The pandemic is altering some of our usual winter plans, but there are still plenty of fun and COVID-friendly activities – including dining outdoors, exploring social zones and experience the best of winter things to do. Many event details are still being finalized, so check this page often for new additions.
Winter weather brings new opportunities to explore and enjoy our natural landscape. Hike the trails at Blandford Nature Center and area parks to savor every shift of the season, as snow comes and goes and comes again.
Explore marked trails for fat tire biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing at Indian Trails Golf Course. The clubhouse is open select hours for hot chocolate sales and snowshoe rentals. Click here for more prime snowshoeing spots.
Skiing more your style? You can tackle 21 downhill runs at Cannonsburg Ski Area, just 20 minutes from downtown. Bittersweet Ski Resort (20 runs) and Mulligan’s Hollow (six runs) are 30 minutes or so away. All three offer excellent cross-country trails, as do numerous close-by parks and nature areas.
Want to take the kids sledding? Our favorite fun (and free) sledding locations include Richmond Park, Belknap Park, Johnson Park and Cascade Township Park. Cannonsburg has great tubing for a fee for the family. It's not open yet, but it will be soon!
Ice fishing is a major pastime here – grab your auger and head to one our many inlands lakes and river bayous.
You can ice skate in the heart of downtown at Rosa Parks Circle, which is open through Feb. 21, weather permitting. Due to COVID-19 social distance requirements, skate times must be reserved in advance – reserve online or call (616) 456-3696, option 1.
Bring the kids for Winter-Time Walks at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park – this outdoor discovery walks let young ones investigate the Children’s Garden in new ways.
Attend the World of Winter Festival in downtown Grand Rapids through Feb. 28 to see art installations and performances, play games, take walking tours and more ... all FREE!
Need skis, snowshoes, fat tire bikes and other equipment? Check out Where to Rent Winter Gear in Grand Rapids.
If you prefer a warm and cozy approach to winter, plan a visit to one of the great indoor spots featured below. By state order, capacity is limited at indoor venues, so you may have to purchase tickets or make reservations in advance – check venue websites. Remember to wear masks and stay at least 6’ away from anyone not in your household.
Get Culture Pass GR to save on admission prices to some of the area’s top attractions – it’s just $20 for a limited time!
Check out these great ideas for indoor exploration, entertainment, activity and enlightenment.
See Sean Kenney’s Wild Connections Made With LEGO® Bricks at Grand Rapids Public Museum – beautiful works of art that explore animal endangerment, the balance of ecosystems and mankind’s relationship with nature. Under the Arctic: Digging into Permafrost, which includes a 30-foot-long Alaskan permafrost tunnel replica, is also on display at GRPM.
Don’t miss Mathias J. Alten: An Enduring Legacy at Grand Rapids Art Museum – it features paintings and works from one of the city’s most esteemed and beloved figures as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth. Also at the Museum: In Black and White, a look at what happens when artists cast aside the color spectrum.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park invites you to follow up a stroll around its beautiful outdoor gardens with a visit to the warm and toasty Tropical Conservatory.
Movie theaters are open! See a big movie on the big screen at Celebration Cinema North & IMAX theatre, Celebration Cinema Rivertown, Celebration Cinema Studio Park and AMC Star Grand Rapids 18. Restrictions apply and concessions are closed.
It’s such a busy season, be sure to take time to relax and let someone else do the cooking (and brewing and distilling) once in awhile. Browse our restaurant, brewery, cidery, coffee shop and distillery lists for something that’s sure to hit the spot.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued Pause to Save Lives, an order pausing indoor restaurant service from November 18 through February 1. During this period, many restaurants continue to serve guests through outdoor dining and carryout/delivery service. We encourage you to check with an establishment directly to confirm hours of operation, takeout services, and outdoor dining availability.
Taste something new – try one of the restaurants that opened here recently:
New(ish) beverage destinations to try include Adesanya Mead (Grandville), Alt City Beverage Company (Downtown Market), Kaffeine Place (Medical Mile), Speciation Cellars (Uptown) and Two James Spirits tasting room (Medical Mile).
Celebrate breakfast and brunch classics with featured items during Brunch Bites at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market – all day long, every Saturday in February.
If you don’t feel comfortable entering an establishment for food and drink, remember that many operations also offer carryout and delivery. Restaurants may also equip outdoor Social Zones with heaters and fire pits for milder days.
Imagine the COVID crisis is over – log on to your computer, smartphone or tablet and enjoy a livestreamed performance as if you were sitting in the front row of one of our entertainment venues.
Grand Rapids Symphony presents Marcelo Plays and Conducts, featuring works from Mozart, Copland and Villa-Lobos, available Jan. 8-Feb. 6.
Log on to the Virtual Orchid Show at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park to see a stunning variety of beautiful, unusual and colorful orchids, and learn tips from orchid enthusiasts. Feb. 27-28.
See the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, anytime.
Enjoy archived music concerts from Circle Theatre before its live performance season starts up again in May.
You can also make believe you’re on a museum tour with virtual tools from Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives, Grand Rapids Art Museum, and Grand Rapids Public Museum.
St. Cecilia Music Center presents local Americana troubadour Ralston Bowles (Jan. 21), Portuguese singer Mariza (Jan. 29), acclaimed pianist Gloria Chein (Feb. 11), legendary songstress Judy Collins (Feb. 12), blues band King Biscuit Trio (Feb. 18) and renowned bassists Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer (Feb. 25) live in virtual concert.
Grand Valley State University hosts virtual presentations commemorating Black History Month throughout February.
Visit our Virtual Events Calendar for more virtual entertainment and engagement opportunities.
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