Grand Rapids: A kid-friendly destination for Thanksgiving weekend

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 sights.

This Michigan city is just a few hours away and has something to offer the whole family.

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 theGrand 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 beersamples in Rudell Drug Store on the Streets of Old GrandRapids.

  • (616) 929-1700
  • grmuseum.org
  • 272 Pearl St. NW, downtown Grand Rapids.


In the mood to take in a show? The Grand Rapids CivicTheatre 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.

  • (616) 222-6650
  • grct.org
  • 30 N. Division Ave., downtown Grand Rapids.


Detroit Red Wings affiliate hockey team, The GrandRapids 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, GrandCarriages 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 thebeloved hotdog joint Ritz Koney, ritzkoneybarandgrille.com,
across from Van Andel Arena.

Have the best burger in town at the CottageBar, cottagebar.biz, 18 LaGrave
Ave.

Or settle in for a tasty meal of tapas at SanChez, sanchezbistro.com, 38 W.
Fulton.

If the entire family likes different things, head over to theBig 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? MeijerGardens 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’ “Christmasand Holiday Traditions Around the World,” an annual exhibition withmore than 41 cultural trees and displays as well as Santa and themuch-loved Railway Garden. Don’t miss the Roof Top Reindeer 1-4p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24.

  • (888) 957-1580
  • meijergardens.org
  • 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Meijer Gardens is just north of Interstate Highway 96 on EastBeltline Avenue, between Bradford and Leonard streets.




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