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!
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Dec 18, 3pm
The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchesta is proud to present this KSO original production featuring original music by Daniel Capelletti, dramatic adaptation by Adam Pasen and staging by Ben Zylman. Join them as they bring this timeless tale to life which has passed from generation to generation for more than 190 years. This series offers a delightfully entertaining introduction to music for children ages 4 and up. These programs feature symphonic music, dance and interactive drama for a lively and educational family experience. Each concert lasts about one hour. Arrive early for the pre-concert activities such as the Instrument Petting Zoo and Meet the Conductor!
714 S. Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
CHRISTMAS TRAIN SHOW
Dec 15, 10am-1pm
The Annual Holiday Train Show is presented by Holland Modular Railroad Club
Howard Miller Community Center
Cost: FREE/ Non Perishable Food Donation Accepted for Harvest Stand Ministry
17 SNOW DAY!
Dec 17, 11am-3pm
Not your boring old snow day. Come in for a day of play, we’ll make indoor snow and much more!
Forever Curious Children’s Museum, Fennville.
Santa Claus and Mexican Wolves Heading to Binder Park Zoo for ZooLights!
Santa Claus is coming to town and you can find him and a new pair of endangered Mexican wolves at Binder Park Zoo during ZooLights December 16th through the 23rd. ZooLights runs each evening from 5-8:30pm. The cost to attend ZooLights is $5 for Members and $6 for Non-members. Children under 2 years of age get in FREE! For more information, visit www.binderparkzoo.org (Please note: Wild Africa will be closed.)
A must see feature to ZooLights this year is the newly arrived and highly endangered Mexican gray wolves. Traveling all the way from California, the pair of brothers will bring their story of survival back to Michigan for Zoo guests to learn about this keystone species. Additionally, visitors to ZooLights on December 16th will be treated to Mexican wolf zookeeper chats and will have the opportunity to help name the pair by voting during the event.
ZooLights transforms the Zoo into an outdoor winter wonderland! Special features include:
- Dinner with Santa (registration required)
- Zoo animals on exhibit
- Up close animal meet and greets
- Stories with Grandma Claus
- Hot cocoa and food selections at Beulah’s Restaurant
- Holiday themed activities
- Lighted displays and pathways
- FREE unlimited carousel rides, and other special activities
- Festival of Trees – Trees generously donated by Wilson’s Tannenbaum Farm
Dinner with Santa
Santa takes center stage at ZooLights during Dinner with Santa. Participants enjoy a delicious home-style dinner and exclusive time with Santa. Dinner with Santa includes admission to ZooLights and costs $15 for children and $20 for adults. Dinner with Santa runs each evening of ZooLights and attendees must pre-register in advance. Tickets are limited, so register online at www.binderparkzoo.org
Christmas Lite Show at Fifth Third Ballpark
West Michigan’s largest, animated drive-through light show is now celebrating its 20th year. Enjoy nearly 2 miles and over a million lights, animated displays, lighted tunnels and more.
Cost: $17 per car
The Santa Train
Saturdays and Sundays through Saturday, Dec. 24
Coopersville & Marne Railway
11am & 1:30pm
Children (2-12) $17
Each of their vintage passenger cars has a special seat reserved just for Santa and his friends. Elves will escort children to sit with Santa and all children get a present. Their story-telling Princess will read Christmas-themed books to children in each of the railcars.
Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World
Frederik Meijer Gardens
November 22- Jan 8
Ring in the holiday season with their most beloved winter exhibition. See the glow of nearly 400,000 lights, strolling carolers, visits from Santa, rooftop reindeer and more than 40 international trees and displays.
Regular admission rates: Adults $14.50, children (5-13) $7, children (3-4) $4 children 2 and under free. Free to members
Breton Village Mall Traditional Train Display
Display runs until December 31
Ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle
Open skate hours and ice skating are weather-dependent.
Adults: $2, children 17 and under – $1
Christmas Experience with Santa at Deer Tracks Junction
Santa will be at Deer Tracks Junction every Wednesday through Sunday now until Dec. 24. Get your photo with Santa, check out the Grinch and all the “Whos” down in Whos-ville. The Christmas Experience Package includes the Wildlife Safari Tour too. (Cost $16 per person – 2 and under free)
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – 3pm-6pm. Tours run at 4pm & 5pm
Saturdays and Sundays – Noon-6pm – Tours run 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5pm
Grand Rapids Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker”
After a sold out world premiere, The Nutcracker, re-imagined by Polar Express author Chris Van Allsburg, returns for two weekends at DeVos Performance Hall. This magnificent production features choreography by Val Caniparoli and imaginative set design by Eugene Lee. Sugar plum fairies, fighting mice, and toy soldiers make this enchanting story the perfect tradition for the entire family. The Nutcracker will be performed in concert with the Grammy nominated Grand Rapids Symphony.
Friday, Dec. 16 – 7:30pm
Saturday, Dec. 17 – 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, Dec. 18 – 2pm
Flick’s Festive Favorites
Kids 12 and under free ($5 for adults)
Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” – opens Dec. 9
Polar Express – Opens Dec. 9
International Festival of Lights
Through Dec. 31
Once again, the traditional festival of lights has returned with all its splendor and beauty. Colorful displays sparkle along the Battle Creek River and along State Street every night during the 6-week festival.
Visit with Santa Saturdays 5pm-8pm and Sundays 1pm-4pm at the Warming House (33 North McCamly)
The Critter Barn – Live Nativity
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – 11am, 1pm, 3pm & 5pm
Fridays and Saturdays every hour
Doors open daily at 10:45am
9275 Adams Street – Zeeland
Beauty and the Beast
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre
Dec 15, 16 and 17 – 7:30pm
Dec. 18 at 2pm
301 N. Division Avenue – Grand Rapids
Based on the Academy Award®-winning, Disney animated feature. Determined to save her father’s life by giving up her freedom, Belle’s new home is an enchanted castle led by a furious master. Can Belle tame the heart of the Beast? This is A Tale as Old as Time. Recommended for audiences age 6 and up.
Cirque du Soleil OVO
Van Andel Arena
Tickets start at $62
OVO, meaning “egg” in Portuguese, is a headlong rush into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement.
Turning Pointe School of Dance presents “The Promise”
“The Promise”, a holiday season tradition for many in the Lakeshore area, weaves the Christmas story together using scripture and Christmas music with Classical and Contemporary Ballet. Performed by the Turning Pointe Ensembles, The Promise showcases the beauty of the true Christmas message and celebrates Christ’s birth through dance.
Six performances over two weekends:
Dec 16 & 17 – 7pm
Dec 17 – 2pm
The Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 E. 8th Street, Downtown Holland
Tickets available at the Hope College Ticket Office after November 1st. Click here for seating.
To purchase tickets after November 1st call please call (616) 395-7890 or purchase online at hope.edu/tickets (online service charge applies)
$15 Student, $19 Adult
At the door:
$17 Student, $21 Adult
Muskegon Lumberjacks Home game
Saturday, December 17
Teddy Bear Toss