West Michigan Winter Activities

It’s that time again. The leaves have fallen, the crisp cold air is moving in, the days are getting shorter… winter is coming! In Michigan we are all too familiar with the long, chilly, slow winters, and many of us seem to just hold on tight and wait for them to be over. I, myself, am guilty of dreading this time of year, but we have it all wrong! We live in a state that boasts a glorious winter and offers plenty of fun things to do and beautiful snowy sights to see! Whether you are looking to embrace the cold and get outside, or find a cozy indoor spot to find entertainment, there are great options for you nearby!

Grand Rapids alone has dozens of awesome sledding hills. Elementary schools like Orchard View, Ada Vista, and East Oakview are great choices. Other places such as Manhattan Park, Zion Christian, Charlie’s Dump, Provin Trails, and Johnson Park also offer great hills for sledding! If ice skating is more up your alley, Rosa Parks Circle, Walker Ice Arena, Patterson Ice Center, and Cedar Rock Sports Plex offer open ice skating times! For a new, fun experience Blandford Nature Center and the Outdoor Discovery Center offer snowshoeing! And if you are looking for more of a challenge, try out Cannonsburg for snowboarding, skiing, and tubing!

For the die-hard winter lovers looking to ring in the holiday cheer, check out some of the local festivals and parades! November 16th is Gerald R. Ford Museum outdoor tree lighting ceremony. For a little more hoo-rah, the Art Van Santa Parade is happening November 18th downtown, and Ada has their annual Tinsel, Treats, and Trolley Ceremony December 1st. If you are hoping to visit Santa check out John Ball Zoo’s annual Christmas for the Animals on December 3rd or swing by Frederick Meijer Gardens on the evening of November 21st.

If you are still not convinced of fun that snow can bring, turn up the heat in your car and take a drive through the Christmas Lite Show at Fifth Third Ballpark held between November 22nd and December 31st, catch a Griffins game at Van Andel Arena or cozy up with a book at a local coffee shop. If you are just plain missing summer, Soaring Eagle offers an awesome indoor waterpark less than 2 hours north of GR.

No matter your preference, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to slow down a bit, enjoy family, and watch a beautiful snowfall. Happy Holidays!