Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to visit
Grand Rapids. There is so much to experience and explore in this
lovely, walkable city full of sculptures and interesting
The Grand Rapids Art Museum offers up a weekly
family education program called Saturday All Day With The Arts.
Drop in any time from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. to enjoy an opportunity to
learn about and create art as a family. Activities are designed
with children in mind and include hands-on art projects,
kid-friendly tours, and sketching in the galleries. Make sure to
ask for the Free Family Activity Guides at the Visitor Services
desk in the lobby.
Children and parents alike will find something to love at the
Grand Rapids Public Museum. Take a ride on a 1928
Spillman Carousel, hear the music of the Mighty Wulitzer Organ, or
gaze at stars in the planetarium.
Kids can travel back in time and enjoy free root beer
samples in Rudell Drug Store on the Streets of Old Grand
In the mood to take in a show? The Grand Rapids Civic
Theatre performs the classic holiday play "A Christmas
Carol" on Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m.
There is a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday.
Detroit Red Wings affiliate hockey team, The Grand
Rapids Griffins, plays the Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m. on
Friday, Nov. 23. Expensive concessions are tossed out like a bad
goalie on this "dollar beers, dollar dogs" deal night. Take part in
the annual Charity Teddy Bear Toss, where fans bring a Teddy bear
to throw on the ice when the Griffins score their first goal. The
Griffins also play 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, against the Milwaukee
Admirals. Sunday is Fun Day at the Griffins with $1 soft drinks and
$1 ice cream as well as a free post-game open skate.
For a unique way to see the city, Grand
Carriages offers scenic tours of downtown Grand Rapids on
Friday and Saturday evenings. Clippity-clop across the Grand River
on a lighted bridge and view some of the architectural highlights
of downtown Grand Rapids. Look for the carriages on the corner of
Monroe Avenue and Lyon Street near DeVos Place.
Exploring works up quite an appetite, so grab a bite at the
beloved hotdog joint Ritz Koney, ritzkoneybarandgrille.com,
across from Van Andel Arena.
Have the best burger in town at the Cottage
Bar, cottagebar.biz, 18 LaGrave
Or settle in for a tasty meal of tapas at San
Chez, sanchezbistro.com, 38 W.
If the entire family likes different things, head over to the
Big Old Building (The BOB for short), thebob.com, 20 Monroe Ave., where
you're sure to find something to please everyone!
Have a little extra time to explore? Meijer
Gardens is the second biggest tourist destination in
Michigan and has been listed as one of the 30 Must-See Museums in
the World. Only a 15-minute drive from downtown, this is not your
average botanical garden. It's also a sculpture park with pieces
from renowned artists and a wonderful family experience. Kids
especially enjoy DaVinci's 24-foot-tall horse and are charmed by
the Children's Garden with a scale replica of the Great Lakes,
giant tree house, log cabin, storytelling garden, and a rock quarry
where they can dig for buried fossils.
The week of Thanksgiving kicks off the gardens' "Christmas
and Holiday Traditions Around the World," an annual exhibition with
more than 41 cultural trees and displays as well as Santa and the
much-loved Railway Garden. Don't miss the Roof Top Reindeer 1-4
p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24.