GR|MAG’S Top Weekend Picks

Pyramid Scheme Dance Off benefiting Well House
Pyramid Scheme Dance Off benefiting Well House

Start your weekend with holiday shopping or a lesson in community activism, let loose Friday and Saturday with some fun dance parties and then finish the weekend strong with a festive 5K run/walk!

Uptown Holiday Shop Hop

Celebrate two decades of the Uptown Holiday Shop Hop as the event celebrates its 20th year. Find the perfect gift within the districts of East Fulton, East Hills, Eastown and Wealthy Street. Over 150 stores are participating.

The event goes from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. with shuttles running throughout the evening to transport shoppers between business districts.

Yule Ball @ 20 Monroe Live

Calling all Potterheads! 20 Monroe Live is hosting Grand Rapids’ first Yule Ball. Make sure to take a picture of host Dumbledore, participate in the horcrux hunt and see the live owls. These are just a few of the many fun activities featured during the evening.

Guests can also enter to win grand prizes like a trip to New York City to see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” at the Lyric Theater on Broadway and tickets to the Grand Rapids Symphony’s performance of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

VIP tickets are available, which include the benefit of skipping the entry line, access to general admission seating in the mezzanine level, and access to the Room of Requirement, which contains a themed dessert spread and private bar. You can also enjoy a special VIP dinner preceding the Yule Ball with another set of VIP tickets specifically available for the dinner.

The doors for general admission open at 8:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $20. Regular VIP tickets (excluding the dinner) are $40. This event is 21 and older.

Ahead of the Yule Ball, Harry Potter fans will have the opportunity to explore the collections of the National Library of Medicine and discover Harry Potter’s world and its roots in Renaissance magic, science, and medicine through a special Harry Potter exhibit that will be on display from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the 20 Monroe Live lobby. Admission to the exhibit is free. The exhibit includes the work of several 15th and 16th-century thinkers and the series examines ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice and the responsibility that comes with power.

Grand Rapids Grassroots Panel Discussion

The Grand Rapids Public Library is hosting a panel discussion with some of the contributors to “Grand Rapids Grassroots: An Anthology.” This book, released in November, asks the often overlooked supporters of the grassroots movements in Grand Rapids to provide testament to the work and change that the grassroots movement has made to the city.

The panel features Breannah Alexander, Shannon Garrett, Michelle Jokisch Polo, and Jes Kramer, as well as co-editor Dani Vilella. The discussion will focus on the importance of telling the stories of people doing work to change Grand Rapids, the process of creating the anthology, and highlighting the movements included in the anthology.

The discussion takes place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Star Wars Dance Party at Pyramid Scheme

May the force be with you! The Pyramid Scheme is hosting a Star Wars Dance party on Friday from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Make sure to wear your best Star Wars costume and sign up for the costume contest.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. The event is 21 and older.

Holiday Open House on Monroe Center

See what the shops on Monroe Center have to offer as they come together for a Holiday Open House. Be sure to have your photo taken with Hipster Santa at 6.25 Paper Studio, enjoy an Uncommon Coffee Roasters free sampling at Grand Central Market, and much more. Activities include giveaways, raffles, photos with Santa and attractions for the kids. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Meet Hipster Santa, of The People Picture Company
Meet Hipster Santa, of The People Picture Company

Pyramid Scheme Dance Off

With auditions held earlier this year, it’s finally time to see who will win the fourth annual Dance Off. Twenty of the city’s best dancers are competing for cash and prizes. Each contestant will enter the initial round of 20 and perform in front of a live audience and three guest judges. From that group, 10 contestants will move on to the second round, and two finalists will enter the third round. There will be cash prizes of: $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $100 for third place.

All the proceeds from the event benefit Well House, an organization that works to end homelessness

This event is open to all ages. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission or $20 for VIP.

Whoville Run/Walk

Lace up your sneakers and head to Riverside Park for a festive 5K run/walk with some of Dr. Seuss’ most iconic characters. The Whoville Run/Walk will include an introduction of the characters, the kids’ fun run, which will include a snowball fight, the 5K, a costume contest, and a raffle drawing. Don’t worry about the cold, there will also be enough hot cocoa for everyone.

Events begin at 11:30 a.m. and will conclude around 2 p.m. Registration is $45 for the 5K including the shirt, $35 for the 5K without the shirt and $15 for the kid’s Fun Run.

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