Holiday family fun – kicking off the holiday season

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) The holidays are a special time of year, we get to spend time with family and friends. Check out Maranda’s top picks in this week’s Five Star Family Fun Update. To get a full list of events e-mailed to you each week, click here to sign up!

4-H CAMP KIDSWELL FESTIVAL OF TREES
Dec 1 – 4
4-H Camp Kidwell is turned into a “Winter Wonderland” featuring beautifully decorated trees and wreathes, a chance to visit w/ Santa, make cookies w/ Mrs. Claus and have a meal with family and friends!  The Festival of Trees is 4-H Camp Kidwell’s largest fundraiser which has raised over $200,000 in 11 years!   Please stop out and be part of this wonderful event!!!!

4-H Camp Kidwell
39000 1st Ave
Bloomingdale
269-521-3559
CostFREE

CANDY CANE HUNT
Dec 3, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Children will have the opportunity to hunt for nearly 5,000 candy canes dispersed throughout the park! We will also be drawing names for gifts, doing arts and crafts, and visiting with Santa at the event. Visit http://www.kzooparks.org for more details as we draw closer to the event!
Homer Stryker Field
251 Mills Street
Kalamazoo
Cost: FREE

TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY – PORTAGE
Dec 3, 7pm – 9pm
Come see the lights at City Centre at 7 p.m., then take a stroll down the trail to Celery Flats where Santa, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer will be waiting for you. Apple Cider, Hot Chocolate will be available for a $1 donation,
City Centre
7719 S. Westnedge Ave.
Portage
269-329-4522
Cost: FREE

Holland High Theatre Presents Mary Poppins
Dec 1 –Dec 11, 7pm
Holland High Theatre is opening it’s 2016-17 season with the timeless and family friendly musical MARY POPPINS!
The show runs December 1-11, 2016. Tickets officially go on sale September 1 at hollandtheatreguild.org. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students (18 and under) in advance. Prices goes up $5 if purchased at the door the night of shows. Tickets will sell fast, so get them now! The show features students from 3rd thru 12th grades from throughout Holland Public Schools. With hundred’s of costumes and wigs and some special magic thrown in, MARY POPPINS will be a great evening! Come see Mary fly and Bert leap from building to building!

Holland High Theatre
600 Van Raalte Ave
Holland
Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students

JINGLE BELL PARADE – Grand Haven
Dec 3, 6pm-7pm
The Jingle Bell Parade is held the first Saturday in December in downtown Grand Haven, and is gaining in popularity each year. Area non-profits and businesses ring in the holidays with lighted floats, music, costumes and good cheer. The parade is followed by the lighting of the community Christmas tree and caroling in Central Park.

MONA SHORES SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE
Dec 1 – Dec 3, 7pm
This Muskegon area event has become a rich tradition for families near and far as a way of kicking off their holiday and getting into the spirit of the season. With their debuts on THE TRAVEL CHANNEL and THE LEARNING CHANNEL, as well as their 2013 Excellence in Education Award, sponsored by the Michigan Association of School Boards, their popularity has spread and large crowds are again expected at the Frauenthal Center December 1-3 at 7:00pm each night with a 3:00pm matinee Saturday as well.

425 W Western Ave # 200
Muskegon
Cost: $15

SAUGATUCK’S ‘WHOOTVILLE’ CHRISTMAS PARADE
Dec 3, 1pm
Dress up as your favorite Whoville character and join Saugatuck’s Festive Holiday parade which will be let by Whoville’s fabled Mayor as parade Marshall. Sponsored by the Saugatuck/Douglas Visitors Bureau. Call 269-857-1701
Butler Street in downtown Saugatuck.

LET’S LIGHT UP DOWNTOWN TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY – GRAND RAPIDS
Dec 2
Join in the holiday themed festivities as we kick off the season with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree and opening of the Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink.
This year’s celebration will feature a performance and skating lessons from the Western Michigan University‘s synchronized skating team, free professional photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ice-skate for free, sing with the 3rd Annual Holiday’s Cheer caroling group, grab a bite to eat from local food trucks, and meet some of the Grand Rapids Ballet Nutcracker performers.
The schedule for the evening’s activities includes:
5:00pm – CEREMONY
– Choir performance by 3rd Annual Holiday’s Cheer‘s JA PR Group
– Partner booths/activities including: LaughFestDowntown Grand Rapids Inc. and the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation DepartmentMaster Plan Open House, and Grand Rapids Ballet.

5:25pm– ICE-SKATING PERFORMANCE
– Western Michigan University Grand Rapids Synchronized Skating Team performance on the Rosa Parks Circle ice rink

5:30pm – LIGHT UP DOWNTOWN
– “Season’s Greeting” with our emcee from WYCE, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and Santa Claus
– The The Geek Group will help pull the lever with Mayor Bliss to light the tree
– McKay Tower Dome will light up on top of the McKay Tower
– The Blue Bridge will begin a holiday colored light show

5:45pm – KICK-OFF
– Free ice-skating until 7pm
– Ice-skating lessons from the WMU Synchronized Skating Team
– Free professional photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus until 7pm. Get your professional photographs taken and them download them the following Monday from our Facebook page album
HUDSONVILLE TREE LIGHTING
Thursday December 1
Downtown Hudsonville – 3488 Kelly Street Hudsonville
Time: 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
RE/MAX Premiere invites you to enjoy this holiday event complete with: Personaliaing an ornament to take home Horse Drawn Carriage Rides Christmas Music Pictures with Santa (bring your own camera) Refreshments Family Craft Area Tree lighting is at 6:30pm!

SINTERKLAAS PROCESSION AND HOLIDAY MARKET 
Friday December 2
Eighth Street Market Place – 150 West Eighth Street Holland
Time: 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
8th Street Market Place is home to the Friends of Art authentic open-air European Christmas market, where vendors offer unique gifts and holiday treats from historically crafted booths.

ROCKFORD HOLIDAY LIGHTING CEREMONY
Friday, Dec 2
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Help us ring in the holiday season with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy the sounds of the Rockford High School Jazz ensemble prior to the Rockford Choirs singing Christmas Carols. The Rockford Mayor will present a message of peace prior to thousands to lights coming to life in downtown Rockford.

 

Tinsel, Treats and Trolley Bridge Lighting – Ada
Friday, Dec 2
Ada Covered Bridge – 7490 Thornapple River Dr SE Ada
Time: 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Join us for a fun‐filled way to kick-off the holiday season in Ada Township! Enjoy the annual bridge lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m., followed by trolley rides with stops at area businesses from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. for specials and treats as businesses open their doors to welcome visitors.
Holiday in Lakeside: Lighting of the Pocket Park Tree!
Friday, Dec 2
Pocket Park – Lakeshore Dr. Muskegon
Time: 6:30 pm
Lighting of the Pocket Park tree! Friday, Dec. 2nd @ 6:30 pm Raffle Basket Full of Lakeside Goodies & Gift Certificates.

Coopersville 36th Annual Nighttime Christmas Parade
Friday, Dec 2
Downtown Coopersville – Main Street Coopersville
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Nighttime Christmas Parade in Historic Downtown Coopersville Free of Charge Santa Visit, cookies and hot cocoa following parade in Community Services Building.

Grandville Christmas Parade
Friday, Dec 2
Downtown Grandville – Chicago Dr. Grandville
Time: 7:30 pm
This year’s parade once again promises to provide an evening filled with Holiday magic and cheer. The night begins with a pre-parade stop in the Franklin St. Corridor for refreshments$, Reindeer viewing, Dickens Carolers, North Pole houses, photo stops, and a warm up around the new fireplace.

Wyoming-Kentwood Santa Parade
Saturday, Dec 3
Brann’s Sizzlin’ Steaks & Sports Grille – 4132 S. Division Wyoming
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Saturday, December 3, 2016 @ 10 am Stepping onto S. Division from 34th Street (34th Street Mall Parking Lot, formerly Hope Network) and marching southbound to Chase Bank (Murray Street)

Ada’s Holiday Parade
Saturday, Dec 3
Ada Township Fire Department – 6990 Fulton St E Ada
Time: 11:00 am
10:30- Parade line up at McDonalds (Ada Dr./Thornapple Shopping Center) 11am- Parade begins Join us for Free cookies, hot chocolate, and pictures with Santa from 11am-1pm at the Fire Station after the parade.

Rockford Santa Parade
Saturday, Dec 3
Downtown Rockford – 17 Squires St Rockford
Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Join us for Rockford’s 73rd Annual Santa Parade! The jolly man in the red suit makes Rockford one his first stops on his world tour. More than 60 floats line the downtown streets to welcome Santa Claus. He always arrives in style in a gorgeous white carriage.

White Lake Christmas Parade
Downtown Whitehall & Montague – Colby Street Montague
Time: 2:00 pm
Saturday December 3 over 80 participants will line up and follow the parade route from Whitehall to Montague along Business 31/Colby Street. The American Legion and VFW will lead the event along with the proud Christmas Parade sponsor.

Byron Center Christmas Parade/Meet Santa’s Reindeer
Saturday, Dec 3
First Reformed Church of Byron Center – 8425 Byron Center Ave SW Byron Center
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Meet Santa’s reindeer at The Rock starting at 4:00 while enjoying the sounds of Christmas music flowing through town! Be sure to stop by the Chamber of Commerce for free hot chocolate and candy canes! Parade starts at 5:30

Lowell Nighttime Santa Parade
Saturday, Dec 3
Downtown Lowell – Main Street Lowell
Time: 6:00 pm
Annual Night-Time Santa Parade, “Santa’s Village.” Parade steps off from the fairgrounds at 6pm sharp and heads east on Main Street, ending at the First United Methodist Church of Lowell.

Drive-in Movie: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Thursday, Dec 1
10am
KDL Lowell Englehardt Library
What could be better than decorating your own “car” to sit in while eating popcorn and enjoying Mo Willem’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Please bring a sturdy box that your child can sit in. They’ll have craft supplies on hand to rev-up your child’s “car.” Come early to decorate your car and reserve your “parking space” for the film.

Walker Winter Fest
Thursday, Dec 1
5pm-7pm
Enjoy an evening of free ice skating, reindeer, hot chocolate, kids crafts, holiday music, and our 7:00 p.m. tree lighting. A figure skating Exhibition by Lake Effect will kick-off the event at 5:00 p.m. Santa will also be visiting from the North Pole! Event will be held at the Walker Ice and Fitness Center at 4151 Remembrance Rd. NW.

They encourage you to bring your own ice skates. Rental skates will be available for free on a first come basis.
Peppino’s Pizza will be at the event selling $2 slices, so bring some cash and have dinner with us!

Please help them spread some holiday cheer by bringing a canned good item to donate to our local food bank.
Their Youth Commission will be collecting donations at the entrance.

Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops Returns with Classic Christmas Melodies and New Favorites
Grand Rapids Symphony
Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, December 2 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 3 at 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m.
DeVos Performance Hall

The Polar Express Pajama Storytime at Barnes and Noble (RiverTown)
Friday, Dec 2 – 7pm
All aboard! Come in your PJs and join in a magical evening for the annual Polar Express Storytime. Coloring and activities to follow, including writing a letter to Santa

Christmas for the Animals at John Ball Zoo
Saturday, Dec 3
10am-3pm
Share some holiday spirit with furry and feathered friends. Bring a gift for the animals and get Zoo admission and a visit with Santa and his reindeer – all free as their “thank you”.

GRAND RAPIDS DOWNTOWN MARKET HOSTING WINTER WONDERLAND HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE ON DEC. 7
Next Wednesday, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market officially kicks off the holiday season with the annual Winter Wonderland Open House, a family event perfect for kids and adults to get in the spirit of the season.From 4-8 p.m. on December 7, families can enjoy a free evening of holiday cheer at the Market, including visits with Santa and special deals from Market businesses.

Free activities during the Winter Wonderland Open House include:

  • Holiday artisan market, featuring 30+ local entrepreneurs and artisans
  • Visits with Santa in the greenhouse (4-8 p.m.)
  • Opportunity to write and “mail” letters to Santa
  • Cookie decorating
  • Dickens Carolers dressed in Old English garb performing throughout the Market, and Holiday’s Cheer carolers performing throughout the evening
  • Clothing donation opportunity to benefit Degagé Ministries
  • An extra hour of shopping, with all Market businesses open until 8 p.m.

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