Monday, December 16, 2013

10 Great Holiday Activities To Do With Kids in Grand Rapids

Looking for some fun Holiday activities to do with your youngsters this season?  There is plenty to do in Grand Rapids!  Here are ten fun activities that will get your family into the holiday spirit.  Hopefully you can fit them all in.

  1. Ride the Santa Train and get escorted by elves to your individual seat!  Every seat is decorated and festive; there is even a princess who reads the The Polar Express while you wait for Santa; its author, Chris Van Allsburg, is a Grand Rapids native.  Santa gives a present to each child who comes to visit. 
  2. Spend some time with an American classic.  Master Arts Theatre performs It’s a Wonderful Life on stage.  This is an amazing story filled with love and important life lessons to watch with your kids. If you can't catch it live, try to see Jimmy Stewart's old familiar face on TV, at least.  Kids should know that there was life before iTunes or even television.
  3. Keep your kids educated about the various traditions of the holiday by bringing them to "Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World" at Frederik Meijer Gardens.  The Gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland with wandering carolers, over 40 international displays and trees, and horse-drawn carriage rides.  It is the perfect activity to create a magical memory.
  4. Take the family to a Grand Rapids Ballet performance of "The Nutcracker."   This is a seasonal classic that should be seen by everyone around the holidays at least once.  The ballet is accompanied by the Grand Rapids Symphony to add to the splendor. 
  5. Pack up the car with some cookies and holiday tunes and travel around West Michigan to view the Christmas lights.  Whether in Rockford, Ada, Alto, or Grand Rapids, this area has some truly amazing displays.  Make sure to drive through some of the luxury homes neighborhoods that go all out with their festive holiday scenes.
  6. If you prefer to get your lights all in one place, the Fifth Third Ball Park's magnificent holiday display. has millions of them - Michigan's largest Christmas light display.
  7. Nothing is more essential during the holiday season than some old-fashioned sledding.  Sledding is so much fun with kids and brings back timeless memories for adults as well.  One of these days take the time to get all bundled up and sail down one of Grand Rapids's many snowy hills.  You won’t regret it! 
  8. Enjoy another holiday classic at Rosa Parks Circle downtown Grand Rapids.  The ice-skating rink opens December 6.  Skates rentals are even free with ID.  Ice-skating is the perfect activity for kids who are getting a little antsy being cooped up in the house.  With a little snowfall, nothing is more festive.
  9. No holiday is complete without at least one visit to Santa.  Kids love visiting Santa and his elves; it is definitely the best way to make sure he knows what they want!  Visit one of the many sites in Grand Rapids that he will be stopping this holiday season.
  10. And don't forget the tree!  Check out the local tree nurseries that Grand Rapids has to offer.  Some even offer a day full of festive fun with horse-drawn wagon rides and visits from Santa.  Choosing and cutting down a tree is the ultimate in family fun! 
There are many other festive holiday things to do and see with your kids in West Michigan.  Besides the above, which are your favorites?