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The Rapid’s 2014 Ride Guide For The Holidays

The holiday season is upon us! The Greater Grand Rapids metro area is getting in the spirit with a number of events and celebrations throughout The Rapid’s service area. Enjoy all our community has to offer through the holidays by getting on board. Here’s a few events that offer fun for the whole family:

Holiday celebration lightsArt & Culture

Fox Motors Holiday Pops – Don’t miss the Grand Rapids Symphony at DeVos Performance Hall! The Symphony will be joined on stage by the Symphony Chorus and Santa will make a special visit. This event runs December 4-7; tickets start at $18, $5 for full-time students.

How to get to this event: Route 9, 11, 19, 51, Silver Line

UICA’s 26th Annual Holiday Artists’ Market – The 26th annual Holiday Artists’ Market will be held at Steelcase Town Hall. Shop for handcrafted gifts and goods from dozens of regional artists, including jewelry, home goods, fine art, holiday cards, accessories, and toys. Enjoy live music, local food and beverage vendors, and pick up incredible handmade gifts for your friends and family. Takes place Saturday, December 6 from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Sunday, December 7 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  6, 11, 13, 19, Silver Line.

Festival of Lights – Calvary Church’s annual Christmas production will feature the classic story of The Christmas Carol with new staging, a 100+ voice choir, a dramatic cast and more than 200,000 twinkling lights. Tickets: $6-$7.

How to get to this event: Route 14 & 15

HarkUp 2014: Start a Fire – The upbeat musical re-tells the story of Christmas through song and dance with a 100+ member choir, featured vocalists, dancers and a 20-piece big band. Performance days are December 5, 6 & 7 at GRCH’s DeVos Center for Arts & Worship.

How to get to this event: Route 2 & 24

Annual Barbershop Harmony Holiday Show – This musical event takes place at St. Cecilia Music Society on December 6 and features the Great Lakes Chorus with special guests The Sweet Adelines chorus.

How to get to this event: Route 4, 6, 14, 15, 60, Silver Line

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – The symphonic rock group best known for progressive interpretations of favorite Christmas carols is back again at Van Andel Arena on December 7 with “The Christmas Attic.” Performance times: 3 & 7:30 p.m.

How to get to this event: Route 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 19, 50, Silver Line

The Nutcracker – The Grand Rapids Ballet Company presents this completely re-invented production that will showcase the creative vision of ‘Polar Express’ author Chris Van Allsburg and set designs by Tony Award winner Eugene Lee. Opens December 12 at DeVos Hall; tickets start at about $23.Tickets start at $34.

How to get to this event: Route 9, 11, 19, Silver Line

Lessons and Carols – The Grand Rapids Choir of Men & Boys presents its Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols based on the King James version of the Bible December 13, 14 & 19 at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in downtown Grand Rapids. NOTE: This is a free event!

How to get to this event: Route 1, 3, 5, Silver Line

Schubert Male Chorus Annual Christmas Concert – The Grand Rapids choral group will perform their annual holiday concert with the theme “Home for the Holidays” on December 13 at the East Grand Rapids High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $18 in advance.

How to get to this event: Route 6

Gaither Christmas Homecoming – Multi-Grammy Award winner Bill Gaither presents the holiday spectacular December 13 at Van Andel Arena with the very best in Christian music and special guest vocalists and groups. Tickets: $23.50 and up.

How to get to this event: Route 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 19, 50, Silver Line

Edelweiss Christmas Concert – Joined by Ein Prosit Band, the Edelweiss Choir performs their annual holiday concert with German and Austrian Christmas music, authentic costumes and traditional carols. The concert takes places on December 21 at St. Mary’s on First NW.

How to get to this event: Route 7, 9, 51

Christmas Swing and Ballroom dance at DeVos Place – On December 23, the largest swing dance group in the world is hosting a very special swing and ballroom dance in the Grand Gallery of DeVos Place! Come for a night of dancing with hundreds of other dancers in a fun Christmas event. This is one of the largest dances in the area and sure to be a Christmas hit. Lessons @ 7PM. Cost $10.00

How to get to this event: Route 7, 9, 11, 12, 19, 50

Outdoor Events

Christmas for the Animals – On December 6, zookeepers from John Ball Zoo invite residents to bring gifts from the zoo’s wishlist to the animals. Open 10:00 am to 3:00 pm; free admission with donation.

How to get to this event: Route 12, 50

Ice Skating at Rosa Parks Circle The rink in the heart of Downtown opens on December 5 (weather permitting). Admission is just $1 for kids 17 and under, $2 for everyone else — and skate rentals are free with a photo ID.

How to get to this event: Route 6, 9, 11, 13, 19, 50, Silver Line

Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World – Celebrate the holidays at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park with more than 300,000 lights, 40+ international trees and displays, horse-drawn carriage rides, a magical railway garden, and more. This celebration takes place from November 25 to January 4.

How to get to this event: Route 15


Wyoming-Kentwood Santa Parade – The South Kent chamber hosts its annual Santa Claus Parade December 6 at 10 a.m. The starting point is 34th Street & South Division, and the parade will continue south along Division to Chase Bank. Afterward, Santa will be available for photos. NOTE: Don’t miss our bus in the parade.

How to get to this event: Route 1 & Silver Line

Winter Wonderland – On December 10, the Downtown Market will host an evening of shopping, carolers and free food demonstrations, along with cookies and crafts for the kids.

How to get to this event: Route 1, 2, 5, Silver Line

Shopping Events

Uptown Shop Hop – On December 4, celebrate the season and support local businesses in Grand Rapids’ Eastown, East Hills, Wealthy Street and East Fulton neighborhoods from 4-10 p.m. Ride the free shuttles and hop from store to store while enjoying carolers, in-store promotions and entertainment.

How to get to this event: Route 5, 6, 14

 What is your favorite way to celebrate the holidays?

Written by The Rapid

The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership) is the authority that provides a variety of public transportation services for the Grand Rapids metro area and beyond. It is organized and operates under Michigan Public Act 196 of 1986.