things to do in grand rapids
Grand Rapids

Things To Do in Grand Rapids, February 2021

How are you finding the winter months this year? SuccessAmp, a Grand Rapids website design company, knows our way around West Michigan. There’s a lot of fun stuff to do for the cold months here. 

Winters can be long and dark with short days and long nights. Travel restrictions are a significant thing in 2021 still. Cold and Covid pose a unique challenge to everyone. They are not an ideal pair to go together. 

We researched things we can all do and places we can still go this winter in Grand Rapids. Here’s our ultimate guide to enjoying the rest of the winter in Grand Rapids.

These are the things that we love about Michigan. 

It’s good to see how businesses and establishments are coping and locals supporting them. Supporting local businesses is a great way to keep yourself healthy out in the sun with your family.

Local businesses make it possible for us to still do what we love to do during winter. With all the restrictions, it is still possible to enjoy what winter has to offer. Before heading out make sure to check for updates on openings, restrictions, and weather conditions.

What to do in Grand Rapids, MI, this winter

Nothing beats cabin fever like exploring this winter wonderland. The GR area promises a plethora of things to enjoy during cold months. Let’s do a roll call of some of our favorites.

Popular activities during winter in GR

1. Downhill skiing near the city of GR

Second in the country for the most number of ski areas, Michigan has many ski areas and ski resorts to choose from. We are happy that ski resorts are allowed to operate despite the pandemic. The vibe in these areas is contagious, and outdoor activities are good for our health.

Check out these West Michigan ski resorts:

2. Cross country skiing in and around the city of GR

Explore the best of Kent County cross country ski trails. One of the best cardiovascular workouts, cross country skiing builds your core strength. It sure is a full-body work but it relaxes your busy mind with the scenic landscape and the fresh winter breeze. This sport is not only good for the mind but also for boosting your immune system. 

Check out this list of Kent County Parks cross country ski trails for some of the greatest trails to ski all around Michigan.

3. Snowshoeing in GR

Snowshoeing is a well-loved winter pastime in Michigan. What’s great about it is that it makes for a fun way to exercise and keep your body fit. It is a low-impact aerobic exercise that increases your strength. Along with its many health benefits, it is also a fun activity for the family.

Check out these snowshoeing trails:

5. Ice skating

This is a favorite of many. Gliding on ice is nostalgic for many and kids love it. We recommend checking local updates and making a reservation early.

Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink

Location: 135 Monroe Center St., NW Grand Rapids, MI
Current Status: OPEN. Opens daily until February 21, 2021.
No walk-ups at the moment. One hour reservation should be made. Reservations can be made up to 2 weeks in advance.Read the full COVID-19 guideline information and get updates on the Rosa Parks Skating Facebook page.

Patterson Ice Center

Location: 2550 Patterson Ave., SE Grand Rapids, MI
Current Status: OPEN. Open Skate is open.
Get updates on the Patterson Ice Center website and Facebook page.

6. Sledding

Sledding is one of the most fun activities with your family. Create happy memories this winter. Try other ways of sliding downhill like Luge or Tobogganing

Check out GR Parks and Recreation Winter Activity Guide. Here you will find recommended parks with sledding hills. You can also check this page for more winter fun you can do here. Get updates and contact them through the GR Parks and Rec Facebook page.

Enjoy the winter in GR Michigan with upcoming events happening this February

February 2021 events you shouldn’t miss

1. World of Winter

January 15 – February 28
Free socially-distanced programs and activities for adults and kids of all ages. Experience the World of Winter in Michigan this year. This project is meant to make Grand Rapids an active city all year long. Even in the cold months and even during a pandemic, this city will never fail to lift our spirits.

Hybycozo’s at Ah-Nab-Awen Park

Thursday, January 14, 2021, 11:00 AM  to Sunday, February 28, 2021, 12:00 PM

Ah-Nab-Awen Park
220 Front Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI

If you love artworks, this is a sight to see. Hybycozo’s is a series of artistic large-scale installations. They have geometric patterns. The artworks play with lights and shadows and pure artistry.

Paths of Encouragement

Friday, January 15, 2021, 4:30 PM  to Sunday, February 28, 2021, 5:30 PM

Grand Rapids Public Museum (South Lawn)
272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI

Michigan responded to the pandemic with a mission to encourage people with art. These art installations are a good reminder for us. Remain positive, resilient, and kind to each other while learning about local culture. Walk the Path of Encouragement for free and get the extra motivation you need today.

The Singing Tree at Canal Park

Friday, January 22, 2021, 11:00 AM to Sunday, February 28, 2021, 11:59 PM

Canal Park
941 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI

This traditional magical sight of a tree with dancing lights is interactive. It’s something the kids should experience. Sing, clap, and yell to see how magical it can be.

ICE-Breaker

Saturday, February 13, 2021
10:00 AM  1:00 PM

Rosa Parks Circle
135 Monroe Center Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI

Watch the live carving of a 5000-pound ice structure. The design is based on the publicly voted sculpture design this year.

Sunshine Alley

Friday, February 12, 20213:00 PM 
Sunday, February 28, 20214:00 PM

Studio Park
123 Ionia Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, MI

Experience a walk through a summer-themed alleyway this season. Enjoy a walk under the sun dreaming of the tropics and fun summer.

Valent-ICE

Friday, February 12, 202112:00 PM
Sunday, February 14, 202111:59 PM

Downtown Grand Rapids, MI

View 80 ice-sculptures around downtown. Know the interesting backstories of these icy figures.

Visit the World of Winter GR website for more event details and information.

2. Earth Flea

February 6, 2021 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
YT Galleria
966 Cherry Street SE, Grand Rapids

Buy local and spend your money supporting your community. This flea market promotes local sustainable products in support of the local economy. This season, let’s find more opportunities to help our community. See the reVigor Marketplace website for details.

Festivals in West Michigan

Which festivals did you miss last year? We can expect to miss more this year as we get updates on festival cancellations for 2021. That includes this February’s Michigan Winter Beer Festival.

We recommend that we keep official pages handy, so we can check for updates on our most awaited festivals. Here are some pages to keep an eye on.

Electric Forest Festival 2021
2021 Tulip Time Festival

Lunar New Year

Friday, February 12, 2021
3:00 PM  8:00 PM

Ah-Nab-Awen Park
220 Front Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI

Lunar New Year marks the new year in the lunar calendar. It celebrates Asian traditions. This event shares the culture-rich celebration of Asian families. It’s full of colorful performances and food to try. If you can’t make it to the actual celebration this year, you can watch the whole event via live stream.

Grand Rapids Art

Sean Kenney’s Wild Connections Made with LEGO Bricks

If you still haven’t seen this collection of art made from LEGO, you still can. Grand Rapids Public Museum opened this exhibit late last year until May 2nd of this year. The artist shows the delicate interconnectedness and balance in nature using LEGO bricks. It’s an amazing and meaningful sight to see. And the kids love it.

Advance ticketing is required to view the Sean Kenney LEGO museum exhibit.

If you want to explore GR Michigan during this season, look around these areas.

Sometimes it’s great to be discovering stuff on your own. If you are free-spirited and you don’t like planning things, you’ll always figure out something fun to do. Get lost in the moment and be spontaneous. Explore these areas for whatever wonders you may find.

Explore downtown Grand Rapids

This is where the heart of the action is and everything else buzzing all year round. At the heart of why World of Winter exists is to never let a dull moment in this vibrant city. Find something familiar or find something new to do, downtown has everything for you.

The great trails

If you want to drift away from the busy town and spend more moments with nature, head to the great trails. You might know a favorite spot or try other places. Adventure is always waiting down the trails.

Attractions that are open to the public

This is one of the most important things to remember. Always check closure announcements this season. Two things are big factors: health safety regulations and weather conditions.

This place is a winter wonderland for everybody. It’s a place for everyone whether you are spending winter alone, as a couple, or with your family.

If you have kids and want to share fun moments with your family, look for family-friendly places. Here the top vacation spots in Grand Rapids that are family approved.

Weekend Getaway

Looking for some quality time for yourself or cozy up with someone special this weekend? Here are some must-try ideas.

  • Experience luxury at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

    With a historic background and exceptional service, the Amway Grand is one of the top-rated hotels in the state. It boasts old world charm and majestic furnishings that are perfect for a night out or a weekend getaway. You can get pampered in the hotel spa even if you don’t stay there. The spa also offers top tier pampering for couples looking to spend a romantic day together.
  • The Sovengard Restaurant

    A little bit of background on this award-winning GR restaurant. This local farm-to-table eatery is inspired by Scandinavian motifs. If you are familiar with hygge, you’ll appreciate the whole theme of this place. Hygge encourages us to be worry-free and focus on the enjoyment of life. So, enjoy!
  • Rose’s on Reeds Restaurant

    We have limited options for romantic dinners in GR right now. You can still order food that will remind you of how cozy this place is, even if the weather makes takeout the preferred option. The shores of Reeds Lake and this restaurant will continue to make us remember better days. 

More ideas to beat the cabin fever in the time of Coronavirus

There is a good chance you’re familiar with cabin fever. It’s quite common though, especially today. Knowing how to beat it is not only helpful for you but for someone close to you as well.

Many of us were kept indoors by the Coronavirus. It limited travel and play. If you have kids at home, you should always keep them in mind. The previous year was tough for some of us and tougher for children.

With that sense of isolation and the lack of friends closeby, we could only name a few challenges. A lot of factors could set them up for a rough winter season this year.

Check on your family and friends. How are they coping this year? Maybe it’s time to check out the things you can do together. Try doing the things you love again.

How do you cope?

We’ve seen many people do awesome things amid the pandemic. Some have taken on a new hobby, went on a diet, and got creative. Let’s take inspiration from them.

Catch up and beat your winter blues! 

We’ve noted a few things that could bring your sunshine back this season. These are things you can do alone for yourself.

1. Exercise

Exercise is good and way better during these months. According to Harvard Health, there are more reasons to work out during cold months. Exercise during cold weather can transform white fat into brown fat. Brown fat is a calorie-burning fat. So, if you’ve been delaying including exercise in your daily routine, now is the time to change that.

2. Express yourself

Some people are quiet, but this year we have a lot of time to be quiet. Now is the best time to talk to people. It doesn’t matter if done over the phone or virtually, just talk. It is good for you and it is also beneficial to others who might need someone to talk to. 

3. Set a routine

We’ve found ourselves in a different situation the previous year. Set a routine or develop a healthier routine. It should keep you in a sunny disposition and your circadian rhythm in check even during cold months. 

4. Break your routine once a week

Think of something different you want to do and focus on that on weekends. It should give you something to look forward to. You can change the frequency to every two weeks or monthly, depending on how busy you are. There are many benefits of breaking routine. You can achieve more focus and greater creativity when done right.

5. Try something new

It’s the best time to try a new hobby and develop new habits. Test the waters and see what you enjoy the most. It’s amazing how people are discovering something new about themselves.  That’s because they tried what they usually won’t. You might surprise yourself.

Help kids cope this new year

As you find your way of coping, children might not have the same ability to do it for themselves. You will have to provide the opportunity to brighten up their short days and long nights of winter.

Make a list of fun winter activities they can safely do outside.

Commit some time for kids to play outside. It may be shorter than they want, but this would help them shake off the feeling of being locked in for the winter. 

Plan vigorous activities that allow children to be active. Here’s a list of outdoor activities we collected to give you ideas.

Fun winter outdoor activities kids can do any day

  • Make frozen colored ice globes.
  • Collect supplies outside for making frozen suncatchers.
  • Snow spray painting (watercolor + food coloring).
  • Blowing bubbles and watching them turn to ice.
  • Have the kids create a snow maze.
  • Shovel the sidewalk for somebody as a random act of kindness.
  • Make a nature-inspired Valentine card, gift, or token
  • Build a snow castle

These activities are entertaining and will keep kids healthy as well.  Bundle your kids with proper clothing and ensure their safety. Allow regular outdoor fun. It helps them catch a little Vitamin D from the sun to increase focus and creativity.

Connect young people to the world

Despite social distancing, help kids reconnect to the world around them. Not only by going outside, but also by scheduling a virtual catch up with relatives and their friends. This is also your chance to connect more as a family. Spend the extra time indoors doing activities that involve the whole family. 

There are many fun games and activities you can do indoors together. It gives kids time off from their gadgets and in touch with the world around them.

Best indoor activities kids can do at home

  • Building a fort in the living room for a family slumber party
  • Gather the whole family to learn about your family tree and history
  • Play board games
  • Fondue party during family dinner
  • Hot chocolate sampling party
  • Do a pencil and paper game like tic-tac-toe or hangman
  • Dance it out party
  • Puzzles they can do for hours
  • Finger painting
  • Reading

This year, we are all about looking out for each other more. Let’s make sure everyone is healthy. Let’s make sure that everyone is still having fun. Despite the challenges, there is still plenty to be thankful for. We are happy that Michigan is a family-friendly place that offers lots of fun stuff for everyone.

Winter is here in West Michigan, let’s make the most of it

Look at the sunny side of life this winter. We still have ample things to do. GR gives us a lot of reasons to feel motivated and inspired. Feeling good is not dependent on a season. Happiness is a mindset and is resilience. 

Winter reminds us of the best trait in human nature. We learn resilience in the face of adversity. This city shows the best example of resilience paired with creativity. We see it in the way GR is dealing with challenging times. This city is a great example of what thriving amidst challenges looks like. 

And here is our way of looking out for you during these cold months and times of uncertainty. One thing is certain, there is a reason to look out your windows and see it as bright as daylight. Smiles are contagious and a bright outlook lasts all seasons.

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