Beat Cabin Fever

While the Grand Haven area is a very popular destination in the warmer months, there is also plenty to celebrate when the snow starts to fly! Here are just a handful of the popular events that happen in the winter months. Pair these fun events with a cozy overnight stay, dinner out at one of our area eateries, and a night cap with live music for a fun-filled weekend getaway.

Grand Haven Light Night
Downtown Grand Haven

In mid November of each year, Grand Haven’s Main Street is all abuzz with holiday cheer as Washington Avenue is brightened by an eye-catching display of seasonal lights during the all-illuminating Light Night event. As visitors marvel at the twinkling displays, Grand Haven’s own WGHN plays Christmas songs in the street. Hot apple cider, hot cocoa, and freshly roasted nuts offer a warm reprieve on the chilly eve.

Indoors, participating merchants host open houses with special promotions. In Downtown Grand Haven, you can find gifts for everyone on your list. While there, you can even purchase evergreen wreaths from a Grand Haven Boy Scout troop. When Light Night comes around, the joy of the season is all around!

The Santa Train
Saturdays & Sundays in Late November through Late December
Coopersville & Marne Railway – Downtown Coopersville

Everyone loves Santa and Santa loves kids. Each of the vintage passenger cars has a special seat reserved just for the Big Guy and his friends. Elves will escort the children to sit with Santa. All kids get a present, even the shy ones! The story-telling Princess will read from the book, “The Polar Express”, which was written by Grand Rapids native Chris Van Allsburg.

Grand Haven Jingle Bell Parade (Night-time)
1st Saturday in December
Downtown Grand Haven

More than 70 entries decorated with lights and music will brighten the streets of Grand Haven. The parade will travel west on Franklin Avenue beginning at Second Street, to Harbor Drive, north on Harbor Drive to Washington Avenue, then east on Washington to Central Park for the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree. The tree lighting will include a carol sing with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Coopersville Christmas Parade (Night-time)
1st Friday in December
Downtown Coopersville

One of the original night-time parades in Michigan, this annual event begins immediately following the lighting of Lori’s Tree at the corner of Eastmanville and Main Streets. Professional and amateur floats, decorated vehicles, and firetrucks compete for prizes as they travel along Main Street in the Historic Downtown District of Coopersville.

Guests are invited to a free ride on the Coopersville & Marne Railway Shuttle from East Street adjacent to the school campus to the downtown area. After their return ride, they are invited to have free refreshments while the children have a visit with Santa, get their faces painted, and more.

Wine About Winter
Downtown Grand Haven

What better place to “wine” away those winter blues than at Grand Haven MSDDA’s annual Wine About Winter?

Each January, a collection of businesses in Grand Haven’s Centertown and Downtown districts invite the public to sample local wines by Lemon Creek Winery and other participating vendors. As guests sip on samples of Shiraz and Chardonnay, area artists offer talks about their works, all of which are displayed at the various venues as part of the event. When the winter weather is at its worst, head down to Grand Haven’s Main Street and “wine” a bit. You’ll feel better!

Last Weekend in January
Downtown Grand Haven

Grand Haven Winterfest has been a winter tradition for over 30 years!

This four day festival is packed with winter fun for everyone, including the Glow Bowl at Mulligan’s Hollow, the Intergalactic Human Sled Race, Family Dog Pull, the hilarious Cardboard Sled Race, Kids Day, Hamster Races, Polar Plunge, Snow Angel Contest, and the famous Luau Extravaganza. Winterfest is not to be missed!

Coopersville Outhouse 500 & Chili Cook-Off
Late February
Downtown Coopersville

This outrageous winter festival melts the mid-winter blues away. Teams pick a theme for their outhouses, decorate them, and race the outhouses down Main Street! Other festivities include a chili cook-off, live music, and polar dunk.

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