December calls for an array of holiday events that will get you in the holly-jolly spirit of the season. With festive lights, crafts and music, these events are sure to spread the cheer.
Light Up Downtown - Winter Season Kickoff
Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink
135 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 1, 5-7 p.m., free
Be there for the annual lighting of the breathtaking 47-foot Christmas tree, the beginning of downtown’s holiday lights, and the opening of the Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink. Along with the lights and skating, the Good Tidings Caroling Company will be spreading cheer with song throughout the evening. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for local food trucks, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be available for professional photos with the entire family.
Christmas Lite Show
Fifth Third Ballpark
4500 West River Dr. NE, Comstock Park
Nov. 21-Dec. 31, 5:30-9:30 p.m., $22 per car
If sparkly lights are your favorite part of the winter season, head on down to the Christmas Lite Show at Fifth Third Ballpark. Entering its 21st year, this all-ages event sends your car on a nearly two-mile ride with more than a million twinkling lights, animated displays, a lighted tunnel and more. Don’t forget to stop by the Santa house on your way out.
Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
Nov. 20-Jan. 6, $14.50
Celebrate the holidays with a visit to Frederik Meijer Gardens’ most popular winter exhibit. The annual Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibit is aglow with nearly 400,000 multi-color lights, carolers, visits from Santa, rooftop reindeer and 42 international trees on display.
America’s Tallest Singing Christmas Tree
425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Dec. 1, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., $15
Chances are you’ve never sat around a tree quite like this. Entering its 34th anniversary, the Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree is a musical way to kick off the holiday season. The 15-tier, 67-foot tree features more than 280 singers accompanied by the 50 piece Mona Shores High School Orchestra. With 25,000 colored lights that dance perfectly to the singing, this event is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.
Binder Park Zoo
7400 Division Dr., Battle Creek
Dec. 1-23, 5-8 p.m., $6
Experience Binder Park Zoo transformed into a winter wonderland. Enjoy the holiday season with festive lights, decor and carousel rides. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the winter-friendly animals at the park.
BYOB Holiday Lights Trolley
New Holland Brewing - The Knickerbocker
417 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 1-29, $65
Grab your favorite seasonal six-pack and hop on the trolley ride that takes you to a few of the holiday hot spots in GR. Hosted by Events with BeneFitz, this five-hour tour starts at The Knickerbocker, where you begin the night with specialty pepperoni pinwheels. Once boarded on the vintage trolley, the stops include The Christmas Lite Show at Fifth Third Ballpark, residential displays in surrounding areas, downtown cruising to view the light displays and then a final stop at Rosa Parks Circle to admire the Christmas tree and skating rink.
Creativity Uncorked: Linocut Card
Grand Rapids Art Museum
101 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 7, 6:45-9 p.m., $40
Ditch the store-bought greeting cards and send your friends and family a unique handmade card this holiday season. The Grand Rapids Art Museum is offering a class on the beauty of linocut relief printing. Once you’ve peeked at the GRAM’s collection of linocuts for a little inspiration, you’ll review basic linocut tools and methods to create your own cards. You’ll be taught how to print by press and hand so you can turn your homemade cards into a holiday tradition. No experience is necessary and all supplies are provided. Two drinks are included with each ticket, so participants must be 21 and over.
Grand Rapids Symphony’s Cirque de Noel
DeVos Performance Hall
303 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids
Dec. 19-20, $32
Every year since 2009, Cirque de la Symphonie has made a stop in Grand Rapids during the holiday season. Watch skilled acrobats, jugglers, contortionists and aerial artists perform astounding acts, all accompanied by the season’s best Christmas music and classical favorites.