Top 5 things to do this weekend

Thirty-two-foot-tall camels, a nearly blinding display of holiday lights and the annual Santa Train all get their annual Christmastime start this weekend.
Mark Brooky
Nov 22, 2012

The 2012 holiday season officially kicks off with Thanksgiving and these special events:

(1) Holiday Road Light Show — Brad Boyink's neighborhood show has moved up the road to The Pointes Mall, 1072 E. Sternberg Road in Norton Shores. Admission is free. Donations will be accepted for Special Olympics. The lights go on for the first time Thursday night, from 6-9. They are also on from 6-10 p.m. Friday, 1-4 and 6-10 p.m. Saturday, and 1-4 and 6-9 p.m. Sunday. For more, visit holidayroadlights.com.

(2) Giant Nativity Scene — This Grand Haven tradition opens Sunday night. It will be running from 7-9 every night through Dec. 24. You can see it best from Waterfront Stadium. The eight-minute program of Christmas music, visual displays and narration is free. There's a two-minute break between programs. As always, the Grand Haven Rotary Club puts it together.

(3) Santa Train — Kids and families will enjoy a ride aboard the Coopersville & Marne Railway that includes a visit with Santa and a special gift. The story-telling princess will read from the book, "The Polar Express," written by Grand Rapids native Chris Van Allsburg. All cars are heated and each has a restroom. Tickets are $14.50 for adults, $13.50 for senior citizens, $12.50 for kids ages 2-12, and free for little ones age 2 and younger. For advance tickets, call 616-997-7000, ext. 3; or visit www.MItrain.net. The train departs from the depot at 311 Danforth St. in downtown Coopersville at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday. It also runs Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23.

(4) Thanksgiving Butterball Blast — all day Friday at the Tri-Cities Family YMCA in Grand Haven. Work off Thursday's feast with a Y fitness class. They're free all day for the community. To see the current schedule for class offerings and times, visit tcfymca.com.

(5) Free movie at the library — Spring Lake District Library will host a free screening of the animated movie "Brave" at 2 p.m. Friday. The action-adventure film tells the story of Princess Merida, who relies on her bravery and archery skills to undo a curse. The movie is rated PG and runs for 100 minutes. Children of all ages are invited, but boys and girls age 7 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. The library is at 123 E. Exchange St.

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