Looking for the best, unique winter festivities to get you into the spirit this year? Keep reading to find more details on winter activities in Grand Rapids in 2022! You’ll find things like wine tours, carriage rides, and lots of twinkling lights! There is also live music, family-friendly fun, and some unique 18+ parties as well! Explore the menu or continue reading to see what’s the right adventure for you this winter season!
Featured Dining, Wine & Beer Tours
Location: 2090 Celebration Dr. NE #130, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Date & Time: Sat Jun 19, 2021 – Sun Jan 1, 2023, 6:00 PM
If you’d like a unique and luxurious feeling experience, you MUST get your tickets for this melting pot event! This fanciful dinner focuses on igniting the senses: taste, smell, texture, and sound. Experience amazing flavors, scents, and the ‘art of conversation’ all in one dinner. There is a two-person minimum and you also MUST call to make a reservation after buying tickets. You can do so by following this link for tickets and then calling (616) 365-0055 for your reservation.
Included with your reservation:
- Cheese Fondue accompanied by fresh fruits, vegetables, breads, and more
- Farm-to-table salad served with house-made dressings & our signature Garlic & Wine seasoning to take home!
- Fondue Entree; choose 4 proteins of your choice. Choose any signature cooking style for table-side cooking. Comes with fresh vegetables & signature dipping sauces.
- Chocolate Fondue paired with fresh fruits, sweet pastries, and a variety of treats for dipping
- Sparkling toast with dessert, served in a Melting Pot logo glass to take home!
World of Winter Event
Are you ready for the ultimate Grand Rapids, MI winter experience? The World of Winter Festival is the largest winter festival in the midwest. Running from January 6 – March 5, 2023, this annual seasonal excitement has over 100 absolutely FREE special art exhibits, events, and performances to experience. Featured will be indigenous artists, family-friendly activities, live music, and interactive photo booths with virtual reality! Whether you’re looking for a road trip destination, an excuse to hold hands on date night or a perfect family outing – the World of Winter festival is going to be a grand adventure and a need-to-see on your winter bucket list.
You can also click HERE for easy access to the interactive map of the whole festival!
Location: Pick up at Pearl Ionia Parking Ramp (28 Pearl St NW, downtown GR)
Date & Time: By Reservation
Price: $299.99/ person
Searching for an all-inclusive wine, beer, and cultural tour of Grand Rapids? This is THE event for you! For your convenience, this event is privately reserved for couples and has a 2-person max for each ticket. This is a great date idea for foodies, wine connoisseurs, and beginners alike. Everyone can learn and have fun at the best, all-inclusive wine tour of Grand Rapids.
Included with your reservation:
- All wine-tasting fees
- 8 (or more!) different wine tastings
- Small plate pairings at each location
- No Wait / Immediate Seating
- Comfortable and safe transportation in a luxury vehicle
- Our expert tour guide will escort you to and from each wine-tasting location
- Premium wine education from a Sommelier or a Chef
- 10% off retail wine purchases
- Gratuity for servers at each tour stop.
- Three Stops to be selected for Wine Tasting stops include; Forty Pearl, 40 Acres, Bistro Bella Vida, Brass Ring Brewing, GR Noir, and House Of Wine
Holiday Parties to Check Out
The Roaring Twenties
Where: Creston Brewery, 1504 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids
Date and Time: December 31, 2022, from 7:45 pm. to 2 a.m.
Let’s manifest a Golden Age with this Roaring Twenties-themed party! Enjoy music, food, drinks, and 20s-themed everything at this Roarin’ New years event.
Each ticket includes a dinner buffet, two drink tickets, a champagne toast, DJ, a dance floor, a balloon drop, photo props, and more! Please note, you’ll never go hungry again, as the dinner includes: a prime rib carving station, chicken piccata, red skin mashed potato, butternut squash risotto, green beans, shrimp cocktail, house salad, french bread, and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Side note, all tickets must be purchased at the taproom located at the hosting brewery (Creston Brewery).
Unique Event **DEEP DARK AND DANGEROUS NYE (**18+)
Where: The Intersection, 133 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, Grand Rapids
Date and Time: December 31, 2022, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Intersection has been providing live music entertainment to West Michigan for over 50 years! This year, they’ll be introducing this new event just in time for the New Year! If you’re looking for something adventurous and full of unique musical experiences, then this is the party for you! This fun time takes place at The Intersection and will feature artists like:
- Distinct Motive
- Support by Dissonance
With a lineup like this, you won’t have a single moment without entertainment!
Find Pre-sale tickets here.
New Years’ Eve Goth Circus
Where: Betty Van Andel Opera Center – 1320 East Fulton, Grand Rapids
Date and Time: December 31, 2022, from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Looking for a darker and deeper vibe for your New Year’s Celebration? Look no further than the Goth Circus! Included in each ticket price is an open bar, entrancing burlesque performances, and vaudevillian-inspired sounds from Detroit’s Theatre Bizarre Orchestra.
*About the Band (click for more info): “Rooted in Detroit’s burlesque, rock and roll, jazz, and vaudeville culture, the TBO are a band of musicians invoking the spirit of dark carnivals, demented circuses, and ribald debauchery.”
Winter Outdoor Dining
Location: 53 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids
House of Wine is one of the destinations you could see at a “Raise a Glass” wine tour, but if that’s not for you – you can still make a reservation at this wonderful winter dining location in Grand Rapids. As an additional fun surprise, this destination has individual outdoor covered spaces that look like mini houses! Each personal ‘wine shack’ is heated conveniently for guests and each building can hold up to four people at a time. There’s a major bonus though… huts are dog friendly! So feel free to bring your furry pet pals. These huts do require a reservation ahead of time and you must use the space for at least one hour. They also have alcoholic drinks to-go, such as mulled wine, cider, Irish coffees, and other delicious beverages. Order your food via the QR code located in the huts, or simply order inside with an attendant.
Location: 720 Michigan Street NE, Grand Rapids
At this unique winter dining destination, you’ll get to enjoy your meal in a heated and cozy outdoor patio, under a sky of sparkling string lights. The 50-person rooftop deck allows for the ultimate food and drink experience while offering a still intimate setting great for small group outings or even a couples night out.
This destination does require reservations that can be made through Open Table.
Location: 648 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids
The Winchester boasts an enclosed, outdoor, heated patio with walk-in seating. This Grand Rapids dining spot has a fantastic variety of high-quality dishes, bar items, and even catering options if that’s what you’re looking for on your couples or girls’ night out! It boasts a pub atmosphere, scrumptious food, and drinks at this delicious dining location.
Their sister location is hosting igloo dining this year and can be found below! (Donkey Taqueria)
- Important to note for patrons: The previous sister location entitled “Royals” is permanently closed.
Location: 665 Wealthy St SEGrand Rapids, MI
Igloo Dining Price: $10 / hour
This award-winning taqueria and tequila bar in the heart of Grand Rapids’ historic Wealthy Street Business District will win your heart. If you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience this holiday season, Donkey Taqueria should be a priority for you. At this destination, you’ll get to experience not only the excitement of outdoor, heated, igloo dining… but also the taste of delicious, homemade AUTHENTIC Mexican food and yummy cocktails! The outdoor facilities can hold up to six people and reservations go fast – so be sure to book them quickly!
Reservations can be made on their site here.
Location: 417 Bridge Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
This might be one of my favorite destinations on the list, and that’s saying something about all these amazing choices! New Holland Brewery has just added a retractable, outdoor roof for its all-season and full-service bier garden. NHB also features tons of weekly specials on drinks and food, making it a truly welcoming space and one that you can visit for any holiday! During the winter, the retractable roof features its own heating source making it a unique and enjoyable experience for summer and winter babies alike.
Make a reservation here!
Holiday Dining & Entertainment
Christmas Pub Crawl Event (21+ ONLY)
Join the 6th annual 12 bars of Christmas crawl! This is an adults-only 21+ celebration you won’t want to miss. Taking place on December 3 from 12 to 8 p.m., put on your best holiday onesie, Santa suit, or ugly sweater for the most wonderful crawl of the year. Explore the following bars and enjoy specials at each location as part of the event; The Bob, Gilly’s, Bobarino’s, Flanagan’s, Tin Can, Uccello’s, and more. Check out their Eventbrite page, for more information and updates on the event. What a fun way to kick off Christmas in Grand Rapids!
Location: 53 Commerce Avenue Southwest Grand Rapids
One of the most exciting things about this location—besides the outdoor seating—is the Thursday night burger specials! Every Thursday when you purchase a drink, you get $5 off one of their famous burgers—and, if case you haven’t heard, they’re sensational! They also have many more specials throughout the week, making them a great destination for budget-friendly food seekers. Not only do they have great food and drinks, but they also have vintage arcade games to play like Pacman, Donkey Kong, Tron, and more.
Location: 35 Division Avenue South, Grand Rapids
For a more formal option, GRNoir is a great choice. They feature live jazz music every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. There is both walk-in seating and the ability to make reservations. However, walk-ins are first-come, first-serve so be sure to plan ahead and reserve your spot if you’ve got this location in mind for a specific date! The seats are limited to 75 minutes per guest(s) but can possibly be extended per request, depending on the waitlist that day.
Make reservations here.
Location: 801 5th Street NW, Grand Rapids
This holiday-themed outdoor dining destination features two options for patrons—an open patio or a covered pavilion. The patio holds up to 25 people and is first-come, first-serve while the pavilion has two large tables and a full-service bar. You can always call ahead to see what the availabilities for outdoor seating are like on any given day!
Family Friendly Activities
Location: Rosa Park Circle
One of the local’s favorite holiday activities in Grand Rapids is ice skating in Rosa Park Circle. The rink is open for skating from November 25 through February 26. Adults skate for $4 and under 18 skate for $2 with punch cards also available for the 22/23 season. Skating is dependent on the weather so be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook for updates. This is a classic Grand Rapids Christmas tradition you will want to make sure to add to your list!
Horse Drawn Scenic Tours of Grand Rapids
Where: Common Gentry Carriage Co., 3665 15 Mile Road, Kent City
Date and Time: Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $40 per half-hour tour from May to December; $60 per half-hour tour from January to April
Take a carriage ride of downtown Grand Rapids on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Located in front of Kilwins Chocolate’s or Bigby Coffee, be sure to stop by to make your night on the town even more special! Carriage rides downtown include an optional narrated tour of the highlights of Grand Rapids history.
Available Carriage Packages Include:
- Romantic Carriage Ride and Wedding Carriages
- Traditional French Romantic Carriage and Wedding Carriage
- Horse Drawn Hearse and Nostalgic Town Coach
- Old Fashioned Sleigh Rides
- Princess Party
- Western Themed Events
- Horse Drawn Nostalgic Town Coach
Walk-ups are welcome or call to make a reservation.
Winter Wonderland: A Holiday Lights Spectacular
Where: Gilmore Car Museum 6865 Hickory Rd., Hickory Corners
Date and Time: Nov 25th – December 30th from 5-9PM
Price: $9.50 to $20
Winter Wonderland: A Holiday Lights Spectacular is fun for the whole family! It’s a unique experience unlike any other holiday lights show you can imagine. Enjoy a driving tour through the lighted grounds, surrounded by festive music and decorations, then journey inside the museum to meet Santa Claus and explore the Gilmore’s Festival of Trees! You won’t be able to miss the amazing walk-thru of galleries filled with hundreds of classic cars. In addition to the twinkling lights and delightful decorations, Winter Wonderland will be featuring a variety of exciting experiences this year:
- Gourmet hot chocolate, adult drinks, holiday-themed food and sweets, and holiday gift shopping
- A giant, one-of-a-kind maze of holiday inflatables
- A nostalgic 1960s fresh Christmas tree and wreath lot, complete with a vintage Shasta camper trailer
- Dashing Through the Snow family rides through the lights in Ford Model T’s, a Checker Taxi Cab, a ‘63 Cadillac convertible, and several other vintage cars from their collection
- A stop inside Santa’s Garage, the big man’s hot rod workshop, located inside their 1930s Shell Station
- Classic cars from the museum’s collection are dramatically displayed inside Gilmore Snow Globes
- Featured outdoor artwork exhibits from legendary automotive illustrators, including Art Fitzpatrick, Van Kaufman, and Jeff Norwell
Does this sound like fun? Purchase tickets here.
New Years Early Eve (GR Children’s Museum)
Location: 11 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids
Date and Time: December 30, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This is a family-friendly event with lights and activities starting at 1 p.m. All activities are included with regular admission. At 4 p.m., the museum will reopen with extra sparkly fun and a confetti ball drop at 5:30 pm. General admission to the Children’s Museum is $20 without any member discounts. The museum also has some other fun activities running during the same hours on December 5 and 16.
- Dance Party With a Live DJ
- 5:30 p.m. Confetti Ball Drop
- Live Strolling Performers
- Noisemakers, Party Hats, Confetti, and Fun
Make sure to follow us on social media and share our posts to stay up to date on ALL the best that Grand Rapids has to offer!