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Places to Hangout (That Aren’t Meijer)

There are only so many ways to hang out with friends at Meijer and make it exciting. It becomes easy to fall into the same routines, sticking to what is comfortable and familiar. However, Grand Rapids is overflowing with hidden places – perfect for a unique gathering. Small businesses, restaurants, and entertainment all make for great places to bond with friends and family. Comedy shows, museums, art shows, live music – the list goes on. With all Grand Rapids has to offer, there is bound to be something for everyone.

An outside view of the GRAM in downtown Grand Rapids.

For the creative and artistic minds, there’s plenty of art and music to discover in downtown Grand Rapids. Plenty of people know about the Grand Rapids Art Museum, otherwise known as the GRAM. But, what some don’t know is that the GRAM isn’t just a museum. They also hold regular community events with a variety to choose from. The GRAM offers everything from yoga classes, held right in the museum, to workshops covering different artistic skills. The community events change every week and most of them are either free or are included in the general admission cost to the museum.

A vase being created on the pottery wheel at the Mud Room.

Prefer somewhere that allows for creative freedom to plan and execute personal projects? Try The Mud Room. The Mud Room provides all the materials needed to paint pottery, create DIY wood signs, fuse glass, or even try your luck on the pottery wheel. The Mud Room offers walk-in sessions for smaller groups or, for those who want to bring a bigger group, reservations can be made. The Mud Room can fall on the more expensive side of things but it doesn’t have to be. Smaller projects start at $14, but larger projects such as making your own project on the pottery wheel can range up to $200. 

The Cirque de Noel performing at the Grand Rapids Symphony.

If hands-on crafts aren’t your jam there are plenty of live performances downtown that you can jam to. The Grand Rapids Symphony has a variety of events – more than just classical music. There are Holiday concerts in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Chorus. These concerts often perform classic and pop pieces. There are even special concerts where they play along to the soundtracks of movies while the movie is projected overhead. One of the most popular concerts from the Grand Rapids Symphony is the Cirque de Noel concert which includes acrobats accompanied by the live symphony. 

The marquee of the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.

The Civic Theater offers visually stimulating performances downtown. Their next productions include the timeless classic The Sound of Music. Performance dates span from November 19th to December 19th – providing plenty of flexibility to stop by and see the show. 

Guests are closely investigating the crime scene to try and solve the murder mystery!

To all the true-crime enthusiasts, check out The Dinner Detective and catch a bite while solving a murder mystery. The Dinner Detective is an interactive comedy dinner show, offering tremendous food and a spectacular time. During your dinner, a crime will be committed and you will become the detectives, guided by a lively cast to move the investigation along. Shows are every Saturday and tickets are $60. This interactive diner is located off the East Beltline near the Grand Rapids Airport. 

Discover something new, find a fresh hobby, or dive into what you already enjoy but in a different environment. With so many options, it is valuable to consider changing up your routines and visit somewhere new with your friends and family. 

Images Courtesies

ArtPrize. (2021). Grand Rapids Art Museum [Photograph]. Art Prize.

The Mud Room. (2021). [Pottery Wheel at the Mud Room]. Awesome Mitten.

Woodtv 8. (2021). [The Civic Theater downtown]. Woodtv.

[Scene from The Dinner Detective]. (2021). Visit Albuquerque.

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