5 Ways to Enjoy Cocktail Week Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids launched Cocktail Week GR last year – and the response was so great, the city is gearing up for a second go-round, November 9-20, 2016.

Sip local! Bebidas Estilo GR!

Logo for Grand Rapids Cocktail Week

Cocktail Week Grand Rapids was created to celebrate Michigan-made spirits and the art of the craft cocktail. New distilleries are popping up all over Grand Rapids and throughout the state, and Cocktail Week GR is a great opportunity to taste their handiwork in delicious drinks created by West Michigan’s best mixologists.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of this spirited event.

1. Pair and Share. Participating bars and restaurants are offering a special food-drink pairing deal – get two Michigan cocktails and a shared-plate appetizer for $25 or less. Chefs and mixologists have collaborated to create pairings that perfectly complement each other, adding balance and depth to your gustatory experience. Last year, a crowd pleaser was, The Drapple – made with Beer Barrel Bourbon from New Holland Brewing – which was paired with Duck Confit Leg at Reserve Wine & Food.

Photo Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

Photo Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

2. Go the Extra Glass. Enjoy enticing extras to enhance Cocktail Week GR including local events. Check cocktailweekgr.com for this year’s schedule.

3. Get in the Mix. Learn how to create your own delicious drinks at a Downtown Market cooking class. “Thanksgiving Cocktails and Desserts: Beyond the Pie” takes over the Teaching Kitchen on Wednesday, November 16.

Photo Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

Photo Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

4. Take a Tour. Long Road Distillers, established in 2015 and already the winner of multiple international awards, offers tours of its facility on November 11, 12, 18 and 19. You’ll learn how Long Road uses local grains and fruits to craft vodka, whisky, rum and more.

5. Think Global. Attend the International Wine, Beer & Food Festival (November 17-19) to sample spirits – plus wines, beers and ciders – from around the world. More than 1,500 beverages will be featured, along with gourmet foods, workshops, seminars and more. It’s billed as “Michigan’s premier tasting event,” so bring your appetite!

“Flowers in the Window” is a cocktail made especially for Cocktail Week GR by Zac Williams from Six.One.Six.

What is your favorite place to enjoy a cocktail in Grand Rapids? Let us know in the comments below!

Fall Into These Michigan Events in November

November is fast approaching! Not only will fall colors be in full bloom, but it’s also the holiday season with a ton of tree lighting, cookie decorating and Santa-themed events to partake in. 

Below is a roundup of November events to help you plan the upcoming month. Visit our events page to see everything going on all month long.

November 1-6

Murder Mystery Eventmurder mystery event
November 4-6, Montague

Once a month, from November through May, Amanda’s Bequest B&B offers a Murder Mystery Weekend. Participants enjoy an early check-in (we suggest a 2 day stay to enjoy the area outside of the mystery activities, but a day works) dinner and a MURDER. You will be emailed your character and role prior to arrival. Mystery activities last from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday, with food courses as acts. The B&B will need a minimum occupancy of four to make it a fun night!

November’s theme will be “An Evening of Murder, A Feast to Die For!”. A fabulous dinner party full of flirty ladies and bad boys with agendas has gone awry. Egads! The hostess did a face plant in her food…Poison? You won’t want to miss this fun night!

Treetops Trifecta
November 4-6, Gaylord

Have a weekend of remarkable trail running! The Treetops Trifecta is a micro-stage race with 5K, Hill Climb and Half Marathon events over two days beginning on Saturday morning with a 5K on newly crafted single track at the resort’s main campus. This is followed by a 1K Hill Climb on the ski hill on Saturday afternoon. A special pasta dinner is offered to participants and guests on Saturday night. The event concludes with a half marathon staged at the North Property with an ultra-scenic course that includes a single track through the Headwaters Conservancy land and historic Project Nature, a landscape that offers stunning views of the Sturgeon River Valley.

Kalamazoo Russian FestivalKalamazoo Russian Festival
November 5, Kalamazoo

The 21st Annual Kalamazoo Russian Festival will be held at the Fetzer Center on the campus of Western Michigan University. The Russian Festival occurs to promote an understanding and appreciation of Russian culture in all its forms. Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy educational speakers, Russian foods, musical performances, dancers, children’s programming, vendors and silent auction. In addition, potluck programs are held the 2nd Monday of each month at the Kalamazoo Public Library at 6 p.m. from September – May.

Hops & Corks Festival
November 5, Dimondale

Head to the Hops & Corks Festival for scrumptious food and live music from Shelby and Jake. There will also be samples of over 100 craft beers from local, national and international craft breweries. New this year, wine from several wineries will be available to taste. This is a 21 and over event.

Tickets include three hours of sampling (15 sampling tickets) and a souvenir glass. The Marines & Toys for Tots will be onsite collecting your unwrapped toys.

54th Annual Fall Coin Show54th Annual Fall Coin Show
November 6, Livonia

The Northwest Detroit Coin Club (NWDCC) is hosting its 54th Annual Fall Coin Show on Sunday, Nov. 6. Both parking and admission is free! Anyone interested the hobby is welcome to attend.

Their club motto is “Knowledge Thru Collecting” and membership is open to everyone.

November 7-13

Festival of Trees
November 9, Big Rapids

The Festival of Trees is an annual event in which community members donate trees, wreaths and other items decorated in the finest of holiday flare. The trees and other items are displayed for several days prior to the auction so you determine your favorite for the night of the auction! The event will be held at Chemical Bank in downtown Big Rapids.

Through Surf & Storm Shipwrecks of the Sunset Coast
November 10, Grand Haven

Cate Reed from the Tri-Cities Historical Museum presents shipwreck stories that illustrate different time periods and circumstances. A Spring Lake mystery, the Ironsides, two Muskegon wrecks and a 1980 loss will be discussed along with the latest Michigan Shipwreck Research Association discoveries – including the John V. Moran, found in 2015. This program is the second in a three-part series in partnership with the Tri-Cities Historical Museum and The Bookman.

Ribbons and Bows Arts and Crafts ShowRibbons and Bows Arts and Crafts Show
November 12, Grand Rapids

Save the date! It’s almost that time of year once again for holiday festivities and gift giving. Thinking about those special people on your shopping list? From mittens and quilts to jewelry and pottery and everything in between, the show is a collection of unique artistry and talent. Save yourself shopping time by joining the Ribbons and Bows Holiday Arts and Crafts Show being held at Aquinas College, Wege Center.

Hatchery Tours
November 13, Mattawan

Come learn how Wolf Lake raises millions of fish each year to stock in lakes and streams all around Michigan! Tours are at noon and 2 p.m. and last approximately 30 minutes, beginning inside the Visitor Center. They are mostly indoors and wheelchair accessible. Tours are free of charge.

Lansing Model Train Show and SaleLansing Model Train Show and Sale
November 13, East Lansing

All aboard Michigan’s largest model train show with over 500 tables of new models, toy trains, artwork, collectibles, DVDs, books, railroad artifacts and much more. See big and small trains running over nine different model railroad layouts. Learn from the experts on how to build a model railroad empire of your dreams. Held at the Michigan State University (MSU) Pavilion, it’s a train load of fun for everyone!

November 14-20

Ladies’ Night OutLadies night out
November 15, Harbor Springs

While the boys are away, the ladies will play! With the hunters heading into the woods, Harbor Springs invites you downtown for a night of shopping and fun! More than 25 businesses will be open so you can find it all – from jewelry, art and hand-blown glass, to boutique clothing and skiwear, to home decor, kitchenware, books, maps, cookies, toys and more! Dinner specials will be offered at local restaurants. Get the girls together for a fun-filled night of laughs, discounts, refreshments and fun!

Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival
November 17-19, Grand Rapids

Come to a celebration of culinary crafts! The Midwest’s largest wine, beer and food festival comes together in November with over 1,600 wines, beers, ciders and spirits from around the world, along with creations from the area’s finest restaurants. The event attracts thousands of food and wine enthusiasts and offers a vast array of extraordinary tastings, cooking demonstrations, wine and beer seminars, mixology, gourmet foods, specialty items and accessories.

22nd Annual Luminary Festival
November 18, St. Joseph

Head to the 22nd Annual Luminary Festival! Stroll through the beautiful candlelit streets starting at dusk until 9 p.m. as 1,000 luminaries light your way as you shop in downtown St. Joseph. Shops will be open late to entice you with wonderful gift ideas and festive holiday decor – merchants will provide refreshments, great sales, amazing product offerings and more! Eat, drink and be merry! While here, enjoy from a wide selection of area restaurants and eateries.

Michigan History Museum – Silver Bells in the City
November 18, Lansing

The Michigan History Museum offers special evening hours and free admission as part of the 32nd annual Silver Bells in the City holiday season kickoff in downtown Lansing. Bring the whole family to tour the museum galleries together. Be sure to tour the special exhibit, Minds of Modernism.

The evening includes refreshments, musical entertainment, make-and-take hand-warmers and Victorian ornaments and a “Scents of the Season” spice table where you can identify spices and learn their history.

The Library of Michigan, located in the west wing of the building, invites you to stop by to meet artist Randy Asplund and see him at work. Randy is known internationally for his research and work making authentic-style medieval illuminated manuscripts, using period-correct pigments and handmade tools.

St. Nicholas: From Saint to SantaSt. Nicholas. From Saint to Santa
November 19-20, Frankenmuth

The young and young at heart will enjoy recalling the journey of how St. Nicholas became Santa Claus as told by himself! Involving audience participation, this half-hour performance is a delightful way to enter the CHRISTmas season and create memories your young ones will be sure to cherish for a lifetime. Be sure to shop around Bronner’s afterwards for all your holiday needs.

November 21-30

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting
November 25, Charlevoix

Children of all ages are invited to stop in and make a fun craft to take home at Charlevoix Circle of Arts from 3 to 5 p.m. Activities will include holiday cookie decorating and a fun pinecone ornament craft. Santa’s Workshop is brought to you by the Charlevoix Circle of Arts and Chemical Bank.

Fall Exploration DaysFall Exploration Days
November 25-27, Midland

Enjoy your break from school while exploring the wonders of nature in Michigan! This indoor program includes a variety of self-guided, hands-on exploration stations. Experiments, fun facts, crafts and scavenger hunts are just a few of the types of activities you’ll find. Each day of the seasonal session is the same, but feel free to come back again and again!

Chesaning Christmas Candlewalk
November 25-26, Chesaning

Stroll the luminary-lit streets of this cozy Christmas village, enjoying light magic, live music, holiday shopping and free horse-drawn carriage rides. Let the little ones have some holiday fun with events just for them at the Market Street Church of the Nazarene, where they’ll enjoy everything from face-painting to cookie decorating. Step inside of the Peet Community Center to warm your toes and see a dazzling display of decorated trees and wreathes at the Festival of Trees; each item on display is available to win in a raffle drawing! Don’t forget to make a stop at Santa’s Village at North Pole USA, where the Saginaw County Fairgrounds are transformed into a magical Christmas wonderland.

Treetops Light SpectacularTreetops Resort
November 25-26, Gaylord

This annual event will include family fun for all ages with a tree lighting, wagon rides, Elf on Stilts, kid’s crafts, candy cane snowmen decorating, photos with Santa and a bonfire. All this fun happens at the Top of the Hill and is free to the public, but it’s a great time to round up some donations for Toys-for-Tots, so guests are welcome to bring a new and unwrapped toy.

64th Kalamazoo Antique Toy Show
November 26, Kalamazoo

Visit the Antique Toy Show for a sale of antique, vintage and collectible toys such as pedal cars, toy tractors, wind-up & battery-operated toys, Disney, sci-fi toys, Tonka trucks, Japanese pressed tin robots and cars, Hot Wheels, action figures and dolls, movie and TV memorabilia and much more.

Pasta and Pinot NovemberPasta and Pinot November
November 26, Montague

Fresh pasta and wine… you can’t argue with that combination as it has stood the test of time and will always be a fantastic way to spend an evening. This class is an adult-only cooking class where you enjoy a glass of complimentary wine as you learn how to hand roll pasta, create ravioli, gnocchi, tortellini, linguini and more. One time make egg noodles and ravioli; the next Spatzle and gnocchi, another time it’ll be fettuccini and tortellini. This is the perfect class for a group of friends. We will also be making some traditional sauces.

Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade
November 26, Petoskey

Holiday spirit will be coming your way during the 2016 Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade. The parade will wind through the downtown streets and end at the Perry Hotel, where children will have those all-important conversations with Santa.

Did we miss your favorite November event? Let us know what it is in the comments!

Explore Pure Michigan with these October 2016 Events

Fall is coming incredibly soon! The beautiful colorful foliage combined with all of the autumn festivities, the month of October great time to explore our beautiful state. From UPtoberfest to spooky walks, there are a ton of fun and exciting events happening around Pure Michigan.

Below is a roundup of October events to help you plan the upcoming month. Visit our events page to see everything going on all month long.

October 1-9 

8th Annual Skitoberfest
October 1, Boyne Falls

Come to the eighth annual Skitoberfest, a fall extravaganza and homecoming taking place in the Boyne Mountain Village and surrounding area. Skitoberfest celebrates the best of fall’s family offerings in an Oktoberfest-style setting and the coming winter season with a Snowsports Expo hosted by Olympian Cary Adgate and special guest speaker. Skitoberfest highlights include gourmet foods from northern Michigan restaurants, markets and farms, Michigan beers, wines and spirits for tasting, plus music and endless family entertainment. It’s art, it’s drama, it’s entertainment plus food, beer, wine and fun for everyone! Admission is free, and tickets for food, brews and some activities are available.

Sleeping Bear Marathonsleeping bear mrathon
October 1, Empire

This scenic marathon starts in Empire and runs through the iconic Sleeping Bear Dune Climb, Little Glen Lake and Glen Arbor, all with gorgeous views of the Manitou Islands and the Sleeping Bear Dunes at the peak of the fall color season.

Big Lebowski Beer Tour
October 1, Kalamazoo

“But sometimes there’s a man. And I’m talking about The Dude here. Sometimes there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s The Dude.” We’re proud to announce the return of the Big Lebowski Beer Tour. This is a celebration of Michigan beer, bowling and the most quotable movie of all-time.

Tawas Point Haunted Lighthouse Weekend
October 7-8, East Tawas

Come to the Historic Tawas Point Lighthouse and visit with the ghosts and ghouls. On Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. get a rare opportunity to climb the tower at night. On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., participate in a Halloween dance, hay rides, campsite decorating, games for all ages, pumpkin painting, lighthouse tours, concessions and corn husk doll making. In addition, registered campers can enjoy trick or treating through the campground from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and a monster dance will take place in the day-use pavillion from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Lake Huron Discovery Tour
October 7-10, Standish

If you’re looking for a unique event on Pure Michigan’s sunrise coast, look no further than the Lake Huron Discovery Tour in Standish. Here you can chart your own course for 200 miles of events, cities, villages, rivers, streams, and lakes from Standish to Mackinaw along Lake Huron on Columbus Day Weekend. Cycling, kayak/paddle tours, running events, dark sky events, exploration of Native American history, writers retreat and Octoberfest celebrations will also be taking place.

UPtoberfest
uptoberfestOctober 8, Escanaba

UPtoberfest is the U.P.’s largest wine and beer festival, held on the beautiful lakefront in downtown Escanaba, MI. 2016 marks the 11th year of the festival! This is the eighth year that the festival is being organized by Escanaba’s homebrew club, the Bay de Noc Brewers. They are bringing a wealth of knowledge about beer, homebrewing and festivals to the event as well as volunteering all of their time and efforts. This year the focus of UPtoberfest is to keep it local! All beer and wine will be from Michigan, with the majority of it being from the U.P. and northern Lower Peninsula. All proceeds from UPtoberfest benefit The United Way of Delta Count

October 10-16

Fresh Coast Film Fest & Adventure Summit
October 13-16, Marquette

The Fresh Coast Film Festival is the first of its kind: a documentary film festival celebrating the outdoor lifestyle, water-rich environment and resilient spirit of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. The festival will gather the best in adventure cinema from around the world while creating a venue for, and building a culture of, Great Lakes storytelling.

A key component of Fresh Coast will be guided outdoor activities to introduce visitors to the outdoor playground of the Marquette area. Rock climbing, fly fishing, sea kayaking, waterfall hikes fall color tours and mountain bike rides will all be offered as part of the Fresh Coast weekend.

Fall Fest at the Holland Farmers Marketholland farms market
October 14-15, Holland

Come to Fall Fest at the Holland Farmers Market and in downtown Holland! On Friday, professional pumpkin carvers will carve jack-o-lanterns like you’ve never seen before, right on 8th Street. That evening, everyone is invited to take a stroll once the sun sets to see the pumpkins glowing to perfection.

On Saturday, the carvers will return to sculpt masterpieces at the Holland Farmers Market and in Downtown Holland. The entire family can enjoy a variety of fun fall-themed activities including pumpkin painting, a candy in the haystack hunt, pumpkin toss contest and much more! Take a hayride from Downtown Holland to the Holland Farmers Market (and back again) for more fall fun!

Apple Fest
October 14-16, Charlevoix

Fall is in the air and northern Michigan orchards are busy harvesting bushels of fresh, ripe apples in preparation for the 38th Annual Apple Festival taking place downtown Charlevoix. Apples are Michigan’s largest and most valuable fruit crop and our area apple trees are full to overflowing. More than 30 types of apples will be available as well as other fall harvest items including pumpkins, mums, squash, jam, maple syrup, pies, cider and so much more. Local non-profit organizations will be onsite to tempt you with hot food items such as chili, hot dogs, apple flappens, soup, and kielbasa. Pick up your fresh bagels, mustard, crepes, honey, meat, baked goods, granola, and fall veggies – all locally grown and produced.

Family Haunted Village and Spook Walk
October 15, Port Sanilac

Meet the unexpected residents of our creaky old buildings! See what’s in the Halloweeny Woods! Warm your cold Tootsies at the Bonfire and sample goodies at the Food Boooooth! Meet the “Wicked

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Witch and Snow White”, Dr. Loop, the Mad Hatter and others! Find the “Grim Reaper” and walk through the Cemetery in the woods.

Autumn Color Tour Cruises
October 15-16, Bay City

As the leaves begin to change and the temperature starts to cool, the Appledore IV changes course and we begin our popular two-hour Autumn Color Tour. Cruising upriver on the Saginaw, passengers will enjoy a warm lunch while keeping a sharp eye out for fall foliage and wildlife!

October 17-23

Fish with the Prosfish with the pros
October 14-17, Traverse City

Want to fish in the Traverse City area, but don’t have a boat, gear or knowledge of where to find the best spots? Participate in fall 2016′s Fish with the Pros. Fish with a pro for two full days, using their boat and gear! Both individual and team tournaments on Saturday and Sunday. Registration includes amazing food from Friday night through Monday breakfast.

Accommodations at the beautiful Spider Lake Retreat – Traverse City, MI. Double occupancy, private rooms feature patios or a balcony and private bath in each room.

Scarecrow Fest
October 15-23, Frankenmuth

Head to Frankenmuth for the Scarecrow Festival. Enjoy entertainment on stage, costume parade and Trick-or-Treating, view pumpkins with personality, pumpkin catapult, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin painting, face painting, children’s inflatables, rock & roll K-9′s, vote for your favorite scarecrow and more!

Conservation Cafe Great Lakes to Great Lakesconservation cafe
October 21, Grand Rapids

Join Dr. Patrick Doran from The Nature Conservancy for a lunch and lecture as he discusses Great Lakes conservation strategies shared on his travels to Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, Africa. Patrick will discuss how a whole system approach to conservation in the Great Lakes of Michigan and Africa can maximize results for both people and nature. Take a virtual tour of Mahale and the Serengeti as he shares beautiful photography and inspiring lessons learned.

Mackinac Island Great Turtle Trail Run
October 22, Mackinac Island

This year marks the 21st running of one of the most scenic trail events in the state. We have a capacity of 3,500 participants running and walking the inside trails of Mackinac Island during the last open weekend of the season. All who register will enjoy special race features commemorative medals, a race apparel in Great Turtle fashion, special Halloween events for adults and kids, great end-of-season sales plus the beauty of late fall on the island

Zoo Boo!Zoo Boo!
October 22-23, Saginaw

It’s time to put on your costumes and head to the Children’s Zoo for the annual Halloween bash!

Make your way through the merry-not-so-scary Zoo, exploring all of our spooktacular decorations! Meet some of our creepy, crawly animal friends, then take a ride on the Pirate Train. Even the Carousel horses get into costume! Stop by the many activity stations for a treat, a craft or a game. Take pictures next to the hauntingly adorable photo ops! Watch mad scientist Dr. Slime put on a mysterious, scientific show!

October 24-31

Feast & Fear Dinner
October 28, Grand Junction

Feast on a delicious appetizer, entree and dessert served by your favorite ghosts and goblins from Shadow Hollow Haunt! Sample locally crafted wine and beer from McIntosh Winery & Round Bar Winery during dinner. After dinner, if you dare, climb aboard wagons for a chilling end to your evening! They’ll take you through Shadow Hollow Haunt… a one-of-a-kind, live action haunted wagon ride! If you make it back alive, enjoy a free donut and apple cider!

The dinner menu for the haunted evening will be crafted using our in-season produce, meats from a local butcher shop and cheese from Evergreen Creamery in Fennville. The menu will be subject to change based on what foods are available locally. Reservations and payment required ahead of time.

Glow in the Park PartyGlow in the Park Party
October 28, Douglas

Glow in the Park is an annual, all-inclusive kick-off party for the Halloween weekend. In response to growing Halloween tourism and overall community enthusiasm, Glow in the Park is a family friendly event where “anything that glows goes.” There will be music, food and drink along with plenty of fun glow-in the-dark activities for the kids. Come in full glowing costume or get your glow on when you get there with face painting, black light areas and a merchandise booth selling glow sticks, necklaces, bracelets and our official T-shirts! Proceeds support the Douglas Halloween events.

The amazing face painter uses UV reactive face paint to turn you into a human glow stick under the black lights.

Halloween Bash
October 29, Gaylord

Head to Treetops for the annual Halloween Bash Saturday, October 29th! The party festivities will be from 8pm Midnight with a DJ, cash bar, light hors d’ oeuvres and a costume contest! Prizes for “Best Dressed” and “Best Couple”! Cash only event.

Shanghai NightsShanghai Nights
October 29, Clinton Township

Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China present a magnificent blend of athleticism and theatrical expression with high-flying trapeze, aerial balance, flowing theatrical dance, juggling and mime-character comedy, showcasing an artistic world full of history and wonder. These amazing, multi-award-winning artists, direct from Beijing, give us a deeply aesthetic night of breathtaking beauty and physical daring, thrilling young and old alike.

Step Back In Time To the Life of a Fur Trapper
October 30, Monroe

River Raisin National Battlefield Park, welcomes you to a National Park Service Centennial Event: “Step Back in Time to the Life of a Fur Trapper” on Sunday, October 30 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Join Norbert DeWilde to learn all about the fur trade and the life of a fur trapper. Have fun exploring furs in this hands-on fun filled educational activity. This is open for all ages. The activity will be held outdoors with weather permitting.

Did we miss your favorite October event? Name it below!