It’s just as I expected: December is flying by at lightspeed.
I’m already more than halfway through my advent calendar. I’ve already received two of my Secret Santa gifts (gingerbread man socks and an impossibly large box of Ferrero Rocher). Our office has already collectively experienced one legendary hangover from our holiday party — open bars are fun!
And yet, the holidays are far from over. This weekend alone is jam-packed, filled-to-the-brim, chock-full of events before next week, when the festivities actually arrive.
Whatever plans you have with your family, ditch ’em! Or if you really want, I guess you could bring them along.
Here’s what’s on our radar for the weekend:
Double Dare Live
20 Monroe Live
11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 18, 8 p.m., $45+
Get ready! You’re about to be slimed. This December, Double Dare is hitting the road for a night of live slimes and stunts. The popular Nickelodeon show is coming to Grand Rapids with host Marc Summers for one night of messy obstacle courses, quiz challenges, green slime and intense nostalgia. A show for the whole family to enjoy, this is the perfect early Christmas gift.
The World Famous Emo Nite
The Intersection's Elevation
133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 19, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., $15
Sometimes the best way to get happy is to just feel everything, then let it all out while screaming along to emo and pop-punk music with a bunch of other sad people. It's like a juice cleanse, except it actually works! Emo Nite LA has established itself as the premier emo night across the country, featuring surprise guests and special hosts. For Grand Rapids, Craig Owens of Chiodos is coming to act as DJ for this rockin' party at Elevation in The Intersection. The holidays are an emotional time — don't feel it all by yourself!
FUGLY XMAS: Drag Benefit for Kids' Food Basket
201 Michigan St. NW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 20, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m., $10, 18+
“Oh, the sweaters inside are FRIGHTFUL, but your company would be so DELIGHTFUL!” Or at least, that’s what Beauty Beyond Drag Productions says. While drag queens are usually all about glam, this production is all about ugly Christmas sweaters. This is the first year of FUGLY XMAS, an ugly sweater drag performance that benefits Kids’ Food Basket. All donations will go to the organization, just in time for the holidays.
Christmas at Critter’s
133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 20, 7 p.m.
sectionlive.com, (616) 723-8571
It’s a party! This event boasts a night full of holiday music and Christmas cheer. Local musicians including Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys, Melophobix, The Legal Immigrants, Mark Lavengood, Elijah Russ Music, Zack Volkers Music, and many more will fill the night with merriment. Bring your friends and celebrate the season in your best holiday attire.
Harmony Halliday Brunch Party
401 Stocking Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 21, 12-3 p.m.
You don't need a hall pass to take part in this festive party at Harmony! There's a special brunch menu, cookie decorating, a Bloody Mary bar, tons of beer, and the chance to take photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. It's a low-stakes, free-to-attend event, which we could probably all use during the hectic holidays.
Logan's Winter Solstice
916 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids
Dec. 21-Dec. 22
Special times call for special beers, and the winter solstice is nothing if not special. It's the shortest day of the year, which believe it or not is actually a cause for celebration! It means from here on out, the days will only get longer. In the meantime, however, dark days call for dark beers. Logan's Alley is featuring rare beers from excellent breweries all over, including Evil Twin, Deschutes, Mikkeller, Collective Arts and many more, as well as food specials and some local brewers!
Dark Night, Darker Beers
Bell's Eccentric Cafe
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo
Dec. 21, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Bell's Brewery understands just as well that these long nights call for dark beers. Just like Logan's, they're celebrating the winter solstice with a wide variety of stouts, including some special rarities. They're also busting out some domes, so you can chill outside, somewhat safe from the elements with a beer in hand. They'll also have a fire pit and s'mores bar in the garden, giving you yet another way to brave this long night.
Last Chance Holiday Art Market
The Pyramid Scheme
68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 22, 4-8 p.m.
We all procrastinate on buying presents, there's no shame in that. That said, even if you wait 'til a few days before Christmas, there's still hope! The Pyramid Scheme hosts a last-chance art market with dozens of local artists offering ceramics, baked goods, jewelry, soap, woodwork and so much more. You get to find presents, support local artists and shop with a drink in-hand — it's hard to beat.