GR|MAG’s Top Weekend Picks

Photo by Bryan Esler Photo

Grand Rapids kicks off the holiday season this weekend with the annual tree lighting ceremony at Rosa Parks Circle, Santa makes a stop at an area orchard, and the Grand Rapids Symphony presents holiday favorite “Home Alone” in concert. That’s not all. See what else is happening this weekend!

Tree Lighting Ceremony @ Rosa Parks Circle
(Saturday)

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by attending a tree lighting ceremony downtown? As a part of Light Up Downtown, you can join City of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and Andy Rent from 100.5 the River for the annual holiday tree lighting at Rosa Parks Circle on Saturday, Dec. 1. Activities include free hot chocolate, holiday songs performed by Grand Rapids Caroling Company, an opportunity to pet reindeer and more.

The event begins at 5 p.m. and the tree lighting ceremony takes place at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Light Up Downtown Facebook page.

Visit Santa @ Robinette’s
(Saturday)

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock Photos
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock Photos

Santa will be making a stop at Robinette’s this Saturday to find out what everyone wants for Christmas. Santa will be accompanied by live reindeer.

Santa will be at Robinette’s from noon to 3 p.m. This event is free. Photos are welcome.

12 Bars of Christmas Crawl
(Saturday)

Break out your ugly Christmas sweater and get ready to crawl. The second annual 12 Bars of Christmas Crawl is coming to town. From noon-8 p.m., participants will travel to 12 different bars in downtown Grand Rapids. The purchase of each ticket includes drink specials, a 16 oz. Santa Stadium Cup, Santa hat, no cover fees, access to raffles and giveaways, and bus transportation to all of the participating bars.

Registration is from noon to 4 p.m. at The BOB on Saturday, Dec. 1. Tickets begin at $20 if bought individually, and group tickets are available as well for $18 each. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $25. Find tickets here.

“Home Alone” in Concert
(Thursday)

A modern holiday classic starring Macaulay Culkin, “Home Alone” is the story of an 8-year-old troublemaker, accidentally left behind by his family on Christmas vacation, who must protect his home from a pair of inept burglars. See the full-length 1990 film with the Grand Rapids Symphony performing John Williams’ score with its hummable melodies that evoke a child’s view of family, danger and Christmas in the Midwest.

Tickets start at $32. Purchase them here or by calling the Grand Rapids Symphony at (616) 454-9451. The performance takes place at 7:30 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall.

30th Annual UICA Holiday Artists Market
(Saturday)

Shop for beautifully crafted gifts and goods from dozens of regional artists, including jewelry, home goods, fine art, holiday cards, accessories and toys, at the annual UICA Holiday Artists Market. Enjoy live music and local food and beverage vendors while you shop for handmade gifts for your friends and family.

The market is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Steelcase Town Hall, 901 44th St. SE. Admission and parking are free for this event. Learn more about participating artists and the event here.

*Main photo by Brian Esler. All other photos courtesy of individual organizations.

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