Let it Snow: 7 Outdoor Activities for Winter Break


Grand Rapids is a perfectly positioned winter wonderland, with tons of fun activities nearby. There’s so much to do and try that your kids won’t even have the chance to get antsy over the holiday break.


There is a surplus of sledding hills surrounding Grand Rapids. Give your kiddos a shiny new sled for Christmas and take them straight to the hill to try it out! A few great spots include Richmond Park, Belknap Park, Cascade Township Park, Duncan Park (Grand Haven), Sugar Bowl Dune (Muskegon), Van Raalte Farms (Holland), Pinery Park (Wyoming) and Johnson Park (Walker).


Snowshoeing is another great way to get outside and explore for all ages. Several places have great trails and offer snowshoe rentals for a low cost: Blandford Nature Center, Muskegon Winter Sports Complex (Muskegon), Pigeon Creek Park (West Olive).

“The Nutcracker”

Take your family to see the Grand Rapids Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” If you have a little ballerina at home, this show will definitely thrill her! Make it an event by dressing up and going out for dinner, then gift your kid a wooden nutcracker for Christmas and let her imagination run wild. (Show dates and tickets available here)

Ice Skating

Lace up and skate around with your kiddos at one of the many ice rinks in Grand Rapids. Indoor rinks with open skate times include Patterson Ice Center and Griff’s Ice House, or if you’d rather twirl outside under the falling snow and twinkling Christmas lights spend a night skating around at Rosa Park’s Circle Ice Rink in downtown Grand Rapids.

Hockey Game

The Grand Rapids Griffins have games several nights per week, making for the perfect opportunity to take your kids to an action-packed event at the Van Andel Arena. Expect games and entertainment in between every period, and if you’re lucky, they might even get the chance to fist bump Griff. (Schedule and tickets available here)

Skiing & Snowboarding

Take your family to the slopes for a day of downhill skiing. Some great locations near Grand Rapids include Cannonsburg and Bittersweet Ski Area. Both locations have hills for every skill level and they also offer rentals and lessons if your kids have never tried it before.


Did you know that you can try the luge right here in Grand Rapids? At Muskegon Winter Sports Complex there is an Olympian-designed luge track open to the public for use. Buy your tickets ahead of time online for a 2.5-hour lesson and slide. All the necessary gear is provided, just dress warm and come ready for a thrill!

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