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Winter Wonderland: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Make the most of winter, indoors and out, in Grand Rapids. Start with some holiday cheer, courtesy of annual traditions like the dazzling Christmas & Holiday Traditions show at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. The World of Winter Festival (January 6-March 5) extends the celebratory spirit throughout the season, with dozens of outdoor art installations all over downtown, plus ice sculptures, interactive games, live entertainment and more. Much of the festival district overlaps with the Downtown Refreshment Area, so you can stroll around and see the sights while enjoying your favorite alcoholic beverage.

You’ll have ample opportunity to discover a new favorite beverage in Grand Rapids, which is both America’s Best Beer City and Craft Beverage Capital, per USA Today. There are 100+ breweries, cideries, distilleries, meaderies and wineries to explore. Grand Rapids has also been named one of the nation’s Top 20 Foodie Cities, an honor fueled by the area’s rich agricultural bounty and acclaimed culinary school. Enjoy a cozy meal by an indoor fireplace or in a heated outdoor dome – winter al fresco dining is big here!

If winter sports are your thing, you can ski, skate, snowshoe, snowboard and fatbike at resorts and trails just minutes from the city center, then head back downtown for a nightcap at The Apartment Lounge, Michigan’s oldest gay bar, a dance at Rumors LGBTQ+ nightclub, a concert or a show (like the Tony Award-winning musical Six, here January 10-15). Named one of the Gayest Cities in America by The Advocate magazine, Grand Rapids is a perfect spot for your winter getaway.


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