Christmas is right around the corner and in Grand Rapids, Michigan that means a lot of great activities to celebrate the season. Whether your goal is to have an amazing shopping experience, create family traditions, or you're looking for fun outdoor activities to enjoy this coming holiday season, Grand Rapids has it all.
Not only does this area offer great shopping with hundreds of brand name stores in three major malls, Rivertown Crossings, Centerpointe, and Woodland, there's also dozens of other unique shopping experiences in and around town. Some people are perfectly happy to stick to the major malls and find the best Black Friday deals around. You can find almost any major store you want between these three easy to get to mall locations and the recent addition of Swedish clothing retailer H&M gave local shoppers even more to get excited about.
But maybe you're more into unique and interesting finds. Grand Rapids offers a wide variety of antique shops to find that perfect treasured item with more than a dozen different locations to roam. Or maybe you prefer to find a special one of a kind fine art masterpiece. There are a handful of local stores and galleries that offer artistic pieces. The addition of the new Downtown Market offers a great collection of shops under one roof where you're guaranteed to find a spectacular gift for your favorite foodie or maybe some delectable treats to serve up at your holiday parties. And between the beginning of November to mid-December you can find a wide variety of holiday craft shows all around the city.
Once your shopping is all wrapped up, it's time to make some memories. One of the most elaborate holiday displays around is the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World set up at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Experience more than 300,000 lights on 40 different trees displaying the holiday traditions from countries all over the world. Throw in some strolling carolers and a horse drawn carriage ride and you can't help but get into the holiday spirit. And on Tuesdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas you can get your chance to pet real life reindeer. You can also enjoy a fabulous holiday light show all from the comfort of your own car by driving through the Christmas Lite Show at 5/3rd Ball Park, where you'll see over a million lights in an animated display.
What holiday season would be complete with out the big bearded guy in the red suit? There are all sorts of wonderful ways to experience Santa Claus in and around town. Start off the Christmas season with the Art Van Santa Parade on Saturday, November 23rd. Or you can get up close and personal with Santa during a ride on the Santa Train on Saturdays starting at the end of November. It's like a little bit of your own Polar Express magic. Not only does Historic Coopersville offer this great train experience, but they're also the home of the oldest nighttime Santa parade in Michigan, on Friday, December 6th. On Saturday, December 7th the Salvation Army Kroc Center offers you the chance to have have some family fun during breakfast with Santa.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas comes a lot of extra eating and usually a few extra pounds. Grand Rapids and the surrounding area offers great way to burn off those calories while celebrating the Christmas spirit. On December 6th the Grand Rapids Art Museum has their tree lighting ceremony downtown, which also kicks off the official opening of Rosa Parks Circle outdoor ice skating rink. Get an early preview of the holiday lights display at the ball park while participating in the 4th Annual Yule Walk, I'll Run family-oriented 5K event. If the snow starts flying early this season you can take full advantage of it by heading north of town to Pando Winter Sports Park where you can enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and their x-country ski trails.
No matter what your idea of the best way to spend this Christmas season, the best place to spend part of it is Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast. The holidays can be stressful, but they don't have to be if you take a little time to book a stay with us. Relax in one of our beautifully decorated rooms, enjoy a soak in one of the two person Jacuzzi tubs located in all our rooms, book a massage, then at the end of the day curl up in one of our cozy beds and drift off to sleep dreaming of the delicious breakfast that awaits you in the morning. If you have a hard to buy for spouse, boss or mother-in-law consider giving a Gift Certificate to Prairieside Suites or to any Bed and Breakfast in Michigan. These gift certificates are good for 5 years plus B&B's are truly a "Better Way to Stay".