GR|MAG’s Top Weekend Picks


Hipster Santa is coming to town this weekend. Find out where you can score a picture with him. You can also catch a free screening of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” If you’re a Harry Potter fan, don your dress robes and head to the Yule Ball and enjoy a glass of Butterbeer. You can also catch the hottest dance competition of the year or watch an Egyptian-themed dance performance. Finally, stock up on gifts at the Holiday Shop Hop. Find out more below.

Powerfully Pink Luncheon & Free Movie Screening @ Celebration Cinema North

Susan G. Komen Michigan, Greater Grand Rapids NAACP and Mercy Health invite you to the 2018 Powerfully Pink Luncheon and free movie screenings of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot captures the incredible and powerful story of an African American tobacco farmer whose cancerous tumor cells were taken without her knowledge or consent. Henrietta’s cells played a vital role in the development of the polio vaccine and continue to impact cancer research, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more; yet her name is virtually unknown. This book explores the collision between ethics, race and medicine in a real-life story of an African American woman, her cells and her legacy.

Attend the luncheon to hear from her grandchildren, Jeri Lacks Whye and David Lacks Jr. as they share their personal journey and perspective, and enjoy free movie screenings of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

The luncheon is being held in the Celebration Cinema North Wave room from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with a Lacks family book signing from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Limited individual tickets for the luncheon are available for purchase here.

Movie tickets are free, however, spots are filling up quickly. The 6 p.m. screening is sold out, so don’t miss your chance to see the film at 8 p.m.  You can RSVP here to confirm your seat.

Uptown Holiday Shop Hop

The annual Uptown Holiday Shop Hop takes place on Thursday evening in the business districts of East Fulton, East Hills, Eastown and Wealthy Street.

Shop Hop takes place from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with shuttles running throughout the evening to transport shoppers between business districts. Many area businesses are offering special deals.

Shop Hop is a great time to stock up on holiday gifts. See a list of specials here.

DanceOff Competition @ The Pyramid Scheme

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

Let’s dance. Grand Rapids’ popular dance competition, TheDanceOff, marks its fifth anniversary this weekend, celebrating local talent and charitable impact. Auditions are held online and the main dance battle, where 25 top dancers go head-to-head, takes place on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Over the past four years, the DanceOff has raised over $12,000 for Well House, to create safe, affordable housing for the homeless. The event features three performance rounds, awarding the top dancers $900 in prize money. If you’re interested in participating, DanceOff is seeking experienced and diverse group or solo dancers of all ages and all dance styles. Otherwise, you’re welcome to attend and watch the dancers compete.

The DanceOff will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday at The Pyramid Scheme. Audition forms are still open and tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.

Photos with Hipster Santa @ Grand Rapids Public Museum

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

Stop by the Grand Rapids Public Museum to take a picture with the hippest Santa in town. Hipster Santa will be stopping by on Saturday, Dec. 8 for photo opportunities.

Hipster Santa will be set up in the museum’s Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibition’s barrel factory from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All ages are welcome to purchase picture packages to be printed on site, during their visit to the museum.

Photo packages may be purchased in advance online for $65. Visitors are also welcome to get a photo with Hipster Santa while at the museum on a first-come, first served basis. Photo package fees still apply. General admission to the museum is required for access to pictures with Hipster Santa.

For more information, visit Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Yule Ball @ 20 Monroe Live

Calling all Harry Potter fans. 20 Monroe Live is bringing fantasy to life with the third annual Yule Ball on Saturday. The Yule Ball is the dance from “Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire,” where students from all three schools come together for “well-mannered frivolity.”

Harry & The Potters and Desmond Jones are featured acts for this night of fun.  There will be themed cocktails & mocktails (especially Butterbeer… lots of Butterbeer!) available for purchase. Dress robes are encouraged to help set the mood.

General admission and general VIP tickets are available. Find out more here.

Holiday Gala Showcase @ Bellydance Grand Rapids

The “highlight of the season” Bellydance Grand Rapids’ Holiday Gala Showcase is a fun way to spend an evening. Expect an enchanting evening, filled with historical and fictional Egyptian themed performance. Bellydance GR will also feature Hawaiian hula, Tahitian drum solos, Chinese dancing, street Shabbi and Nubian dance.

Tickets are $20 advance / $25 at the door. Seating is limited so purchase your tickets in advance. You can find Bellydance Grand Rapids at 959 Lake Drive Southeast, Suite 200.

*Main photo by The Picture People Co. All other photos courtesy of individual organizations.

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