The Weekend Edition: Things to do Nov. 25 – 27

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma



’Twas the Night Before Christmas

The Creative Arts Repertoire Ensemble continues its holiday tradition with the annual presentation of the “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” ballet Thanksgiving weekend.

The original ballet, based on Clement C. Moore’s familiar poem and set to traditional holiday music, features mischievous mice, dancing stockings, magical toys and Santa with his prancing reindeer, all combining to create a wonderful hour of family entertainment.


Because the show is about an hour long, it is great for any age and a nice way to introduce younger children to the arts. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center, 2211 Lake Drive SE.

Tickets are $15/adults and $10/students. This show does sell out quickly. For tickets, go to


A nativity scene from Italy is part of the Meijer Gardens holiday display. (supplied)
A nativity scene from Italy is part of the Meijer Gardens holiday display. (supplied)

Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World


So you ate a lot of turkey over Thanksgiving and now are looking for a place to walk it off that does not necessarily involve shopping. Head over to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E. Beltline NE, which has opened its annual Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World.


The exhibit features more than 40 international trees and displays as well as the railway garden that meanders through four indoor garden spaces and features recreated Grand Rapids landmarks. There will be narratives and special displays from Iceland, Ghana, Germany and the countries and other counties and cultures.


The exhibit runs through Jan. 8. For more information, visit



Have Another

The popular a cappella group Straight No Chaser returns to DeVos hall Friday, Nov. 25, for its “I’ll Have Another…World Tour.”


The North American leg — which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the cappella group’s foundation in 1996 and the first show at Indiana University — will be at 8 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW.


The group became pYouTube sensation with is holiday performances. They have been touring since 2008 and in the past several years and in the past several years have made a departure from holiday music. This year, the group has returned to the holiday classics with its latest recording “I’ll have Another…Christmas Album.” The new album features a number of holiday classics, such as “All I Want for Christmas is You” and “Winter Wonderland,” along with such songs as “Run, Run Rudolph” and “To Christmas” (The Drinking Song).


Tickets for the Straight No Chaser concert are $34.50 – $64.50. The concert does sell out quickly. for more information or for tickets, visit


mlk9-e1471880123600A walk in the wintry woods


Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, is open year around and offers lots of seasonal opportunities.


Complete a self-guided hike using one of the center’s free, themed-trail day packs located at its Visitor Center or rent snowshoes for a different way to explore the nature center’s trails. There are also Blandford’s Heritage Buildings that allows visitors to take a trip back in time along with an opportunity to visit with the songbirds, birds of prey and mammals in the observation area.


Cost is $3 per person. Blandford Nature Center is open 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. Monday — Friday and noon — 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information about upcoming events and activities, visit