Outdoor dining spots

Where to dine when the snow starts falling.
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Third Nature Brewing offers a large outdoor space with fire pits and domes to keep patrons warm as they sip and eat. Courtesy Third Nature Brewing

Editor’s note: This list was written before recent in-person restrictions. Check with local establishments for dining availability. 

Winter in West Michigan doesn’t mean you have to move indoors. There are several restaurants and bars around town that offer outdoor seating options year-round. With electric heaters and fireplaces, you don’t have to worry about getting too cold, either.

One of the newest places to enjoy a night of cocktails and small bites is IDC at The Amway. Last year, this unused rooftop space above the hotel’s first floor was transformed into a disco-themed outdoor lounge. This is a great spot to get pre- or post-dinner drinks.

With a name like Third Nature Brewing, it’s no surprise this Rockford brewery would have an extensive outdoor space. The space is decked out with six domes and two fire pits as well as string lighting that creates an extra cozy vibe. It also has a view of the woods for you to enjoy.

The Winchester encloses its summer patio in the winter months to allow for “outdoor” patio seating. The window-like enclosure leaves you with the feeling of being outdoors, while heaters above the tables ensure extra warmth.

Outside Coffee Co. was the first in the area to introduce outdoor domes to Grand Rapids. The outdoor coffee shop operates year-round and its electric heated domes keep you warm while you sip on hot cocoa or another hot seasonal favorite.

If you are looking for dinner and drinks, The Sovengard is planning to have its “wintergarten” open this winter. The biergarten space is a favorite summertime hangout and The Sovengard wants to make it a winter destination, too. To help enhance the space for winter, the restaurant is adding bell tents for warmth.

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