Monday, 20 January 2020 11:36

Walking Through the World of Winter

Written by  Revue staff
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Prismatica. Prismatica. Courtesy Photo

The World of Winter is officially here, just in time for weeks of snow to blanket West Michigan.

Rather than cower and spend all winter hiding indoors, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. gives us a reason to go outside with this annual month-long event. They take advantage of Michigan’s cold climate, offering all kinds of things you could never do in summer. And it’s all either free or super cheap!

From skating to snowshoeing to snow yoga, the World of Winter is a magical time and place, and we’ve got the low-down on what’s coming in the month ahead.

Prismatica on Monroe
Monroe North Lot
555 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Jan. 17-Feb. 16

Like moths to a flame, we can’t help but be enticed by spinning prisms full of color and light. This traveling exhibition features 25 pivoting crystals that make the Monroe North Lot (where events like Movies on Monroe have been held) feel magical and fantastical. These glowing prisms will be there throughout the month to accompany other events, or you can just go see them anytime you need some light in your life!

Lunar New Year
Monroe North Lot
555 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Jan. 25, 5-9 p.m.

The Lunar New Year is based on the lunar calendar and celebrated by various East Asian countries. In 2020, we’re entering the Year of the Rat, which also marks the beginning of a new 12-year cycle of the Zodiac! Amid a variety of cultures to enjoy, you’ll find dragon dance performances, firecrackers, lion dancers, a section for kids, prizes and more!

World Market & Game Day
Monroe North Lot
555 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Jan. 26, 12-6 p.m.

Head to a cozy heated tent and shop curated artists and local businesses all afternoon! You’ll also find giant yard games and ice games outside, as well as s’mores around the fire pits, Santa’s reindeer, face painting, food trucks, a dance performance and more.

Snowshoe at the Park
Ah-Nah-Awen Park
220 Front Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Jan. 28, 6 p.m.

FREE snowshoeing at Ah-Nah-Awen Park! What more do you need to know!

Movies on the Piazza
Studio Park
123 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 1, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Surprise! Movies on Monroe (formerly Movies in the Park) is moving once again. Studio Park has the perfect little outdoor theater set up in its piazza, complete with a big screen and comfy turf and fire pits. To help you forget the cold, they’re showing summer-themed movies like Moana, The Sandlot, and What About Bob, alongside fire pits, hot toddies, cocktails, popcorn, s’mores, and food trucks.

Black History Walking Tour
Rosa Parks Circle
135 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 1, 8, 15

Grand Rapids Running Tours is betraying their name by hosting fun and informative walking tours all through January and February, including this special tour where you’ll learn all about Grand Rapids’ Black history.

Ice Sculpture Walking Tour
Rosa Parks Circle
135 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 14-16

Similarly, you can join a tour to see more than 50 beautiful ice sculptures all over Grand Rapids, learning all about the frozen art and the backstory behind it. Or, just walk around and see them yourself – the sculptures should be up for a full week.

Dance in the Annex
Monroe North Lot
555 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 2 & 8

Local dance group Dance in the Annex is making full use of the Prismatica installation with a special show built specifically around the prisms. It’s an original, colorful, contemporary dance piece with live percussion, and you’ll only see it during World of Winter!

Snowga
Monroe North Lot
555 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 6, 6-7 p.m.

Yoga, running, snow — it’s all good for you! This free event has you doing a 20-minute warm-up run before a 25-minute yoga session, with no mat needed. Bring your warm workout clothes!

Downtown Market Ice Bar
Downtown Market
435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 7-9

Head outside of the Downtown Market and grab a drink at the bar made of ice before playing some outdoor games!

Paint the Park
Rosa Parks Circle
135 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

The whole World of Winter culminates in this massive community party that shuts down Monroe Center. You’ll be able to paint the Rosa Parks Circle ice rink until they run out of space, eat from food trucks, get your picture taken with Elsa and Anna of Frozen, play some games, and then hit the rink to skate at 6 p.m.

For even more info, head to worldofwintergr.com.

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Paint the Park. Photo by Erica Townsley.

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