Top 15 December Events in the Grand Rapids Area

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Even though temps have been more pleasant than usual, it’s still December and it’s hard to miss all the green and red decorations signifying 2017 is coming to an end.

For this month’s top 15, we’ve chosen a diverse mix of events ranging from traditional holiday cheer to cultural experiences. From tree lightings to karaoke and even a Katy Perry concert, this month packs in so many amazing events to fill up your calendar and give you all the holiday feels.

// 12/4 Holiday Mix It Up at JW Grand Rapids//

 The holidays are coming, and you want to make sure your guests enjoy a nice meal. Why not spice things up by serving some exotic cocktails as well? Learn how to make popular and tasty drinks by watching expert mixologists at work at the JW Grand Rapids this Monday, December 4th! There will be handcrafted cocktails, demonstrations, appetizers, live music and more. The event goes from 5:30 to 7 PM.

// 12/6 Vinyl Night at Buffalo Trader Lounge // 

Retro fans will dig this cool holiday event where the vinyl melts on the turntable and the drinks just keep coming. Drop by the Buffalo Traders Lounge on Wednesday, December 6 from 7:30 to 11:30 PM to hear what’s spinning. The music will be hot…and I hear the bartenders are even hotter!!

// 12/7 Uptown Grand Rapids Annual Holiday Shop Hop// 

Get those holiday lists out and get some sturdy bags ready! This Thursday, December 7th will mark the return of the Uptown Grand Rapids Shop Hop! In its 20th year, this annual event will ensure you get all your shopping done in the Uptown districts. Shuttles will run throughout the evening to make sure you can easily get to and from participating stores. The event runs from 4-10 PM; mark your calendars!

// 12/7 Katy Perry at the Van Andel Arena// 

Who doesn’t love them some Katy Perry? Well, your chance to see her is coming up soon! On December 7, Ms. Perry herself will be gracing the stage of the Van Andel Arena, busting moves and performing those catchy tunes live! December 7 will be an added date to her Witness tour, so it may be your last chance to see her perform before she’s back in the studio. Be sure to buy your tickets now! The event starts at 7:30 PM.


// 12/7 The Yule Ball ft. Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers //

Hey Potterheads, Dumbledore welcomes you to Grand Rapids’ first Yule Ball! Activities include: Photobooths, Joshua Wilde will be performing a HP-Themed magic performance started at 9PM, Horcrux Hunt, live owls, and all tickets include a special performance by Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers. Also, enter to win GRAND PRIZES including a flyaway trip to NEW YORK CITY to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theater on Broadway, and tickets to the GR Symphony’s performance of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban! This is a 21+ event.


//12/8 Community Tree Lighting and Holiday Parade// 

Just when you thought the lights couldn’t get any brighter, that the spirit of the season couldn’t get any more festive… why not travel to the City of Kentwood on December 8 for their tree lighting and holiday parade? The event goes from 6PM-8PM and will feature hay rides, hot chocolate, cookies, live music, caroling and a visit from Santa.

// 12/9 Holiday Pop-up Market at Sovengard //

The Sovengard will be holding a pop-up market! They’ve hand-selected artists, businesses, and makers to curate some fantastic one-of-a-kind gifts that you can feel good about. “Dining and beverages will be available before, during, and after the market. Part of the day’s proceeds will go to Hearts of Hope Dog Rescue.”

// 12/10 Holiday Market at the Pyramid Scheme //

This December 10…mark your calendars…because you are going to get that holiday shopping done! For one day only, the Pyramid Scheme music venue transforms into a holiday shopper’s paradise as the entire venue and front bar will be packed with local vendors. This is a kid-friendly event that runs from 4-8PM!

// 12/10 Menorah Workshop at the Home Depot //

Hanukkah begins on December 12 this year, and what better to get ready than by attending the Menorah Workshop at the Grand Rapids Home Depot? The event will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10th from 1-2:30 PM. Children interested in participating should bring their own Menorah. They will be provided with a workshop apron and then…their imaginations can run wild!

// 12/12 Mannheim Steamroller at DeVos Performance Hall //

With new age-y sounds, this band has not only managed to cross musical genres, they’ve also produced choice selections of modern recordings of Christmas music. Tuesday, December 12, they will be in the Grand Rapids area to deliver an unforgettable holiday performance at the DeVos Theater. Plan on keeping friends and loved ones near while enjoying the Mannheim Steamrollers’ neoclassical sound.

// 12/16: Filipino “Parol” Lantern Celebration – Parade and Ceremony //

Parol made by Jocelyn Sabin. Copyright 2017.

Don’t know what a “Parol” is? Well, mark your calendar for the Filipino “Parol” Lantern Downtown Grand Rapids and learn all about this Filipino tradition.  There will be a 0.2 mile sidewalk parade starting at Old National Bank Downtown Grand Rapids (Monroe Ave, across from Rosa Parks Circle) at 5:30pm, and end at the Sister-Cities Promenade, at the corner of Louis and Pearl (JW Marriott and in front of the Amway Grand Plaza) “Right after the parade, the special lanterns will be lit, and carolers will be singing Filipino Christmas songs. Special songs by a Philippine Madrigal singer, and short messages from leaders: “How Filipinos celebrate Pasko (Christmas)”

// 12/16: Ugly Sweater Holiday Karaoke Party // 

Got your ugly sweater? Check! Lyric sheet? Check! Well, then you’re ready to rock while supporting a good cause. On December 16, Eastern Avenue Hall will be hosting the Ugly Sweater Holiday Karaoke Party. All proceeds will support MomsBloom a nonprofit that helps new moms adjust to motherhood. All ages will be welcome from 8-10PM, and then the mikes are open to 21+ only.

// 12/17: GR Salsa at The Cultural Center //

It’s cold outside…but inside The Cultural Center on December 17, it’s going to be hot, hot, hot! Dance the night away while stepping up your salsa game! ‘I don’t know how to Salsa,’ you say? ‘No worries,” we say. Classes are available for beginners and intermediates from 6:15-7PM. Then rock your hottest moves straight up until 10 PM. This is a non-alcohol event, snacks will be provided.

// 12/23 Santa Skate at Tarry Hall Roller Skating Rink // 

We all know about Santa and his sleigh…but Santa on wheels?? Like roller skating wheels?? No, you haven’t been sniffing too much mistletoe. If you’re at Tarry Hall Roller Skating Rink on Saturday, Dec. 23, between 1:30 and 4:30 PM, that’s exactly what you’re going to see. Get your skate on with the man in red himself, and check out Tarry Hall for other cool theme nights happening this holiday season.

// 12/31: New Years Early Eve at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum // 

New Year’s Eve is such an exciting time…but what to do with the kids? How can you make them feel the excitement of the coming year when so much of the celebrating involves 21+ clubbing? Well, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum gets it, and this New Years Eve, they will be hosting their very own Early Eve just for kids. This fun event runs from 6-8 PM. Bring your kids so they can ring in the New Year by creating noisemakers, singing, dancing and making their very own New Year’s resolution!

// 12/31 NYE Family Event at Dave & Buster’s Kentwood // 

No one does fun for the whole family quite like Dave & Buster’s. Why not make this New Year’s Eve a family event by going to Dave & Buster’s Kentwood location to ring your New Year in right? The evening promises tons of food and fun and goes from 5-8PM.