The Rapidian

The Bridge of Snow

Snow or no snow, take advantage of the many indoor activities throughout our city to get out of the house this winter!

Upcoming Events

Dec. 18, 9 p.m.: Founder's Taproom

  • The Appleseed Collective

Dec. 18 - 20, 7:30 p.m.: Dog Story Theater

Dec. 19, 8 p.m.: Pyramid Scheme

  • Sharkanoid
  • The Lippies
  • Hollywood Makeout

Dec. 19, 9:30 p.m.: Billy's Lounge. 

  • Vox Vidorra

 

The annual curiosity and chatter stirred up by the question of a white Christmas, is upon us. My answer to the question is always the same. Of course we’re going to have snow by Christmas morning! Even if it’s just a few flurries and a light dusting, it will come. It has to, right? Michigan’s weather has been nothing short of weird. Still, it feels premature to start talking snowy activities with no snow.

December’s unexpected heat wave has passed and since been replaced with a wet and snowless winter chill. We know the no-snow and ice cold thing is temporary, but it sure does get old quick. Everyone needs a break from the season's gift planning, the long shopping lines, gift-wrapping, decorating and the seemingly never-ending baking. It’s not a bad idea for our consumerist driven society to cut back on extraneous spending this time of year. But, it definitely doesn’t mean sacrificing going out and letting loose— a much needed outlet from our everyday routine. From free to cheap, there is plenty of indoor fun to be had over this pre-Christmas week:

 

Comedy. Laughter cures the winter blues and is good for your health!

  • Dog Story Theater: Experience a live, theatrical comedy show at this all-volunteer venue this weekend in downtown Grand Rapids. "A Clashtick Christmas," a satirical holiday themed performance, will be featured Dec. 18-20. Equivalent to a PG-13 movie, the show is best enjoyed by adult audiences. Tickets are $8. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. show.
  • Riverfront Hotel: Every Sunday night from 8:30-10:15 The Lounge within the Riverfront Hotel, located on the West Side, hosts Sunday Night Funnies. The only catch to enjoy this free stand-up comedy show, is a two-drink minimum. Forewarning, karaoke proceeds and follows the free comedy show, but it's smart to arrive early if you want to guarantee a seat. For a full lineup of comedians, visit their Facebook.
  • Dr. Grins: This venue attracts well-known stand-up comedians from across the nation. Their $5 shows are on Thursdays, starting at 9pm.

Bowling. It’s an experience that sparks a smile on everyone’s face— especially the sloppy amateur.

  • Clique Lanes: Host a party, start a league or simply have a night out. This bi-level bowling alley has 16 lanes and is open seven days a week. Game rates vary from $1 to $3.75 depending on the day and time. Clique is hosting their 15th annual Christmas Eve Clique Classic tournament at 1pm. Visit their event page for more information.
  • Wengers Bowl: Also located on the west side, you can find both shoes and games for $1 on Wednesday nights from 9:30pm - 1am. Wengers will also host a New Years Eve party from noon to 6 p.m., and are requesting that you call and reserve a lane. Join their coupon club on their website.
  • Paragon Lanes: Located on the South side of Grand Rapids, games range from $1.50 to $3. Every Saturday you can partake in 2 hours of unlimited glow bowling for $10 per person, including shoes, from 10 p.m. to midnight. They’re offering a New Years Eve glow bowl party special that includes unlimited bowling, pizza, soda and party favors. Visit their website for more details.

Museums. We all know learning can be fun, even if we haven’t felt it in a while. Grand Rapids has a variety of educational and inspired museums, leaving no excuse to delay the cultural experience any longer.

  • Grand Rapids Children’s Museum: Learning and fun comingle wonderfully inside this interactive museum. Family Night is held on Thursday evenings from 5-8pm, with only $1.75 admission per person.
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum: Meandering through the GRAM can be a great way to break up and slow down your routine. The good part of a day can be enjoyed here as you allow your mind to wander in and out of various art works, forgetting about time. Tuesdays are free general admission days and Thursdays are free from 5-9pm. 
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum: A charming excursion for the entire family, with interactive exhibits and $1 carousel rides. Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children. 

Indoor “Parks”. Wintertime can also be a time for shorts, swimsuits and tennis shoes at someplace other than the gym— even in Michigan!

  • Sky Zone: The world’s first trampoline park was designed for both the child and the adult. This park offers work out programs, ultimate dodgeball games, open jump, and even times designated solely for toddlers to bounce and explore. Visit their website for information on times and prices.
  • Castaway Bay at the Ramada Plaza: The Castaway Bay tropical indoor park includes a 180 ft. waterslide, a heated pool, a hot tub for adults 18+, and a game room with ping pong, air hockey and arcade games. They welcome locals and those not staying overnight, but recommend calling beforehand to check if the slide is open and that the park’s capacity has not been reached. A day pass can be purchased for $15 per person.
  • Jester’s Court: Designed for children 12 years and younger, this indoor play area is loaded with activities for your little energized bunnies to find amusement in. They’re sure to sleep soundly after the running, jumping, climbing and sliding they join in on. Admission is free for infants 9 months and under, $1.50 per adult, $5 for children 2 and under and $10 for ages 3-12.

Live Music. Tap those feet and groove on over to a show, it's time to get that blood a-flowing!

  • Pyramid Scheme: This hip pinball bar in downtown Grand Rapids couples as an admired music venue. Their next show is this Friday, Dec. 19, featuring local bands; Sharkanoid, The Lippies, and Hollywood Makeout. Show starts at 8 p.m.
  • Founders Taproom: Live folk, bluegrass and more are enjoyed at Founder’s taproom every Thursday evening for free, and every Saturday for just $5. They host a talent filled open mic night on Tuesdays, starting at 9 p.m. The Appleseed Collective will perform their next live show this Thursday, Dec 18 at 9 p.m.
  • Billy’s Lounge: A local’s legendary bar, Billy’s is known for it’s live musicians, DJs and dance parties in Eastown. Recently, they started hosting an open mic night every Tuesday at 9 p.m. with no cover and drink specials until midnight. Vox Vidorra plays live this Friday, Dec. 19 at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $5.

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