GR|MAG’s Top Weekend Picks

Grand Rapids Santa Parade
Grand Rapids Santa Parade

Don’t let the snow keep you inside—go out and enjoy a few of the wonderful things Grand Rapids has to offer. You can start at the Robert Downes book signing at the downtown library, enjoy a fresh take on a Disney classic and kick off the holidays by seeing Santa’s parade followed by scoring a picture at his workshop. So don’t surrender to winter hibernation just yet, there’s a weekend full of fun ahead!

Life in Native America 400 Years Ago @ Grand Rapids Public Library

Award-winning author Robert Downes will examine the lives of the Ojibwe and Ottawa tribes of the Upper Great Lakes region from 400 years ago. Fiction mixes with history in Downes’ book, “Windigo Moon,” a finalist for the Forward Book of the Year Award. History, legends and beliefs of the Native Americans of the Upper Great Lakes will be explored. A book signing will follow the presentation.

The presentation begins at 7 p.m. at the downtown library. Find out more here.

Santa Parade Downtown & Santa’s workshop @ GR Public Library

The holiday season will officially kick-off in Grand Rapids with the Art Van Santa Parade. The parade steps off at 9 a.m. at the corner of Michigan and Monroe and will travel down Monroe to Fulton.

Stop downtown to hear the sweet sounds of local marching bands, carolers and local performers. Entrants for the parade have created unique entries around the theme, “Sounds of the Season,” including costumes, music and floats based on all your favorite Christmas jams.

After the Santa Claus Parade, head to the Grand Rapids Public Library to indulge in more holiday cheer. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be stopping by after the parade to meet all the good little girls and boys in Grand Rapids. Stop in and listen to stories with Mrs. Claus while you warm up with a cup of hot chocolate, sit on Santa’s lap and tell him your holiday wishes, create a holiday craft and help light the library tree.

Holiday crafts are available for all ages. Storytime with Mrs. Claus begins at 10:30 a.m. and Santa visits at 11 a.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Open Studio @ Tanglefoot Artists Studio
(Friday & Sunday)

On Friday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 18, artists will open their studios once again for the 27th Annual Tanglefoot Artists Open Studio event. Full of chances to meet accomplished local artists, sip a glass of cheer and find just the right piece of art for yourself or a loved one, the yearly event is known for its hospitality and its variety of price points, allowing for all to support local artists in meaningful ways.

You’ll find paintings, prints, large-scale sculptures, greeting cards, and photo-based art, all available for purchase. Starting at as little as $3 for some of the most well-established artists in the area, attendees may want to bring their pocketbook for a chance to support their local creatives while taking home quality work for themselves or for upcoming holiday gift needs.

Open Hours: Friday, Nov. 16: 5-9 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18: Noon-5 p.m. Location: 314 Straight Ave SW

“The Little Mermaid” @ GR Civic Theatre
(Friday – Sunday)

The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre dives into the “The Little Mermaid” this weekend.

Based on the Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen and Disney’s 1989 animated film “The Little Mermaid,” this timeless love story follows the plight of Princess Ariel and her forbidden love for a human prince from the world above. Irresistible songs by the Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World” will have you humming along with a cast of lovable sea creatures from start to finish.

Find ticket information here.

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