May These Events Spring You Into Summer

As May flowers will soon bloom, now is the perfect time to plan next month in Michigan. From Spring Flings to the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, there are several events celebrating Michigan’s natural beauty. 

Below is a roundup of a few May events sure to make you fall in love with Pure Michigan all over again. Visit our events page to see everything going on all month long.

May 1-8

Guided Tour of Albert Kahn: Under Construction
May 1, Ann Arbor

Start your May off with a cultural excursion. In the last two decades there has been a tremendous swell of interest in Detroit architect Albert Kahn (1869-1942), arguably the most important architect of American industrialization. Albert Kahn: Under Construction focuses on the remarkable archive of photographs from the River Rouge complex to the Willow Run Bomber Plant. Shot by an array of professional photographers, these often striking documentary images were a novel strategy for conveying information showing buildings as they grew on site to busy managers at the main office. UMMA docents will explore these artifacts as photographs and evidence of Kahn’s innovative solutions to the architectural challenges of his day.

Science Talks: Saving the Kirtland’s Warbler
May 5, Bloomfield Hills

Join experts from The Nature Conservancy for a series of evening lectures on conservation challenges and solutions facing the Great Lakes region and beyond. Each lecture begins with a Meet the Scientist mixer with refreshments and appetizers to enjoy (cash bar) as you learn more about the evening’s topic. This session is about the inspiring story of bringing North America’s rarest songbird back from the brink of extinction, how it’s being protected now and what makes the Kirtland’s warbler unique.

Downtown Tecumseh Art Walk
May 6, Tecumseh

During the evening, downtown merchants will partner with area artists to bring art into downtown businesses. Merchants will offer extended hours and refreshments for the public to enjoy. Local artists will be on hand to greet people and talk about their work, which will range from pottery to photography to jewelry and more. Bring your family down to enjoy watching artists demonstrate their skills! New this year the Carnegie Artist Studios will have an Open House with artists showcasing their work. This popular event is one you won’t want to miss!

Cinco de Mayo Flint 5K/10K
May 7, Flint

Ole! Come help usher in spring by taking part in this festive 5K/10K event. Participants will be able to enjoy post-race festivities that include a delicious Mexican snack from Rico’s Authentic Mexican Take Out! This is definitely a race you will not want to miss.

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly at Ives Road Fen Preserve, Michigan. This wet, spring-fed prairie blends into floodplain forest to create a globally significant habitat. It’s pure, cool water flows in rivulets under the thick grasses and sedges of t

Spring Treasure Hunt
May 7, Raisin Township

Have a fun family outing with a guided hike at Ives Road Fen Preserve to celebrate our brand new quarry trail and interpretative signage. Learn about floodplain and southern mesic forest communities and the restoration projects that saved this globally significant habitat.

Holland Michigan Tulip Festival
May 7 to May 14, Holland

This is a must-see event for you and your family! Holland’s Tulip Time Festival, named “Best Small Town Festival” by Reader’s Digest, Tulip Time has delighted visitors for over 80 years!

blog tulip festival

The number one attraction is the tulip itself and there are literally millions to see, in our city parks, downtown planters, Tulip Lanes, Windmill Island Gardens, Nelis’ Dutch Village, and Veldheer’s Tulip Farm. There are also three parades to enjoy. The Dutch Marktplaats offers Dutch food, merchandise, and demonstrations. Throughout town, you’ll have many chances to experience traditional Klompen (wooden shoe) dancing, as well as the Art & Craft Fair, Quilt Show, carnival rides, concerts, theatrical shows, fireworks, trolley tours, and so much more!

May 9 – 15

National Morel Mushroom FestivalMinolta DSC
May 12-15, Boyne City

The festival starts with a Craft Beer Block Party. Then there is a free mushroom hunting seminar followed by an optional guided morel hunt on Friday afternoon and a competitive morel hunt on Saturday morning. The Wine and Dine dinner is Friday night at the Beach House restaurant including five morel-infused hors d’oeuvres paired with five wines. The Taste of Morels gives you your choice of tastes from a dozen great restaurants in the giant festival tent in Veterans Park. There are dances with great live bands and carnival rides and much more throughout the weekend.

Main Street Ladies’ Night Out
May 13, Ann Arbor

Grab you friends and have a ladies’ night! Sales will be offered throughout the day, but from 5-9pm the retailers roll out the red carpet with special offers, discounts, snacks, goody bags, raffles and more! Participate in the passport’ program during this time and be entered into a drawing to win fabulous prizes. Check out the link for more information.

Ghost WalkNoir. Silhouette of a passerby on the night street.
May 13, Petoskey

For a spooky outing try a ghost walk! Over the past century, Downtown Petoskey has had its fair share of spooky hauntings, Edgar Allan Poe inspired deaths and mobster dealings. Many of these hauntings have happened repeatedly over the years, and a local historian, Chris Struble, has gathered the facts and the local lore that inspire these stories that tell the history of Petoskey from an otherworldly perspective.

Pollinators Gardening
May 14, Ontonagon

Join this class taught by Marilyn Knuteson & Carol Maass to learn the how to plant a pollinator’s garden and the importance of native plants to wildlife. You will work with a master gardener to plan for the creation of a butterfly garden at your home. Then you will help plan native landscape plantings for the three park entrance signs in the Union Bay area.

Health Plus Tour de Crim

May 14, Flint

Register now at crim.org and Let’s Ride Together at the HealthPlus Tour de Crim, 11AM to 2PM on Saturday, May 14 in Downtown Flint! Check out the Crim’s famous 10-mile blue line course and Flint’s scenic trails by bike. HealthPlus Tour de Crim is a non-competitive, family-friendly bicycle ride with optional obstacles! All ages are welcome to enjoy music, artisan bread, Michigan microbrews or rootbeer from Flint’s very own Tenacity Brewery, and more during the downtown festivities! All finishers will receive a medal, t-shirt, beverage of choice, and snack.

May 16-22

Downtown Tecumseh Classic Car & Bike Show car show
May 19, Tecumseh

Get your motor running and head on down the highway to the 2016 Tecumseh Classic Car & Bike Show. Cars & bikes will be displayed in the Old National Bank parking lot for all to enjoy. Special recognition awards will be given so don’t miss this special event.

Tawas Point Birding Festival
May 19-22, East Tawas

Come to Michigan’s Sunrise Coast to enjoy spring birding at its best, attend presentations on the latest birding topics, hone your birding skills and learn about avian conservation work in Michigan.

Festival participants enjoy some of the best birding in the Great Lakes region; Tawas Point is well known for high concentrations of migrating warblers during the month of May. Recent species highlights include: Kirtland’s Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-crowned Sparrow, numerous raptors, shorebirds, and more. Nearly 200 species were recorded during the festival weekend in 2015.

World Expo of Beer
May 20-21, Frankenmuth

This is Michigan’s largest beer sampling event, with nearly 300 different beers available from around the world. You will gain a free collector beer sampling mug. If you love beer, this event is for you.

Color Fun Runblog color run
May 21, Petoskey

For a healthy event, run in the Color Fun Run. This is a beautiful route, a fun activity and a great cause! Run for the health of it and have a great time! 5K & 1 mile run/walk.

Armed Forces Day
May 21, Muskegon

There will be a tribute to Armed Forces Day aboard the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum. The program and tours through LST 393 and the museum will be free. Enjoy static displays of World War II and current military vehicles as well as displays of military memorabilia. There will also be presentations, music, a 21-gun salute and more.

May 23-29

Memorial Weekend Arts & Crafts Show
May 27-29, Newaygo

Come have a great time at the annual Memorial Weekend Arts and Crafts Festival. This event offers the very best in handmade crafts as well as a handful of unique resale items.

The Festival strives to emphasize on unique home decorations, garden and yard decor, beautiful jewelry, clothing, ornaments, antiques and collectibles. There are also many delights such as dips, jams, candies, breads, candied apples, cookies, popcorn, dried soup mixes, candied almonds and handmade tamales.

Balloons Over Bavarian Inn
May 27-29, Frankenmuth

Enjoy viewing morning and evening flights over downtown Frankenmuth. An awesome “Balloon Glow” event is featured each night at The River Place Shops Field! Visit with dozens of professional hot air balloon pilots and their crews from throughout the U.S.

Fishing In The Park
May 28, Bay City

Go fishing in the park with DNR. They will supply the poles and bait. This would make a fantastic family event where there is a prize for the longest fish caught!

Art & Wine Festival
May 28-29, Berrien Springs

The Memorial Day Weekend Art & Wine Festival is a two-day celebration of regional art, music and wine. This event is open to the public free of charge at Lemon Creek Winery’s Berrien Spring’s location.

Blessing of the Boats
May 29, Muskegon

The Blessing of the Boats is a spectacular show of boats on Muskegon Lake, celebrating the opening of the boating season. The Port City Princess departs for a brunch on board while sailing in Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. She will then float in the Muskegon Channel where boats can float alongside and be blessed by a priest. Watch from the channel or from Muskegon Lake beach!

May 30-31

Dexter Memorial Day Paradeblog dexter parade
May 30, Dexter

Take your family to Dexter this holiday! The Rotary Club of Dexter is looking forward to another great parade supported by the participants and the community.

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park – Memorial Day Ceremony
May 30, Copper Harbor

Families and friends are invited to take part in a Memorial Day program with a music program by students from Copper Harbor honoring our veterans and fallen soldiers. Activities include a Memorial Day Address, the playing of Taps and Fort Wilkins Historic State Park will be presenting the introduction and welcome to our guests.

Wetland Tree Digital Camera Safari
May 30, Bay City

This event is a fun way for families to explore the state park and discover why it is a National Registered Natural Landmark. With your digital camera, take photos of the special trees that are on the scavenger hunt list as you hike the park.

Ypsilanti Memorial Day Parade
May 30, Ypsilanti

Have a fantastic time in Ypsi and watch the parade. Check out the route if you plan on visiting.

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

Spring Skiing, Punxsutawney Phil and Misplaced Enthusiasm

Winter in Michigan is unlike anything else. Between the trails, hills and snow-covered landscape, it truly is an outdoor-enthusiast’s dream destination. One of the many great things to take advantage of during a Pure Michigan Snow Day is the beautiful ski and snowboard hills at Shanty Creek Resorts. Guest Blogger Chris Hale from Shanty Creek shares more on the iconic Pure Michigan destination, and some things you can do as the weather gets warmer.

For many years I’ve struggled with what I call “misplaced enthusiasm.” You see, it won’t be long until spring is in the air. And for many, the first hint of warmer, spring-like temps elicits throngs of skiers to pack up their winter gear. The pursuit of golf clubs, mountain bikes, and unwrapping winterized boats begins. And this is where misplaced enthusiasm lives.

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek

Think back to November. Social media pages light up like Christmas trees with questions about “When are you opening?” “How much snow do you have?” “Are the snow guns on?” and on and on. Winter can’t start soon enough, and regardless of when that opening day is, diehards willingly spend a day skiing even if that’s only on a few runs. And while that’s great, like clockwork their enthusiasm wanes by mid-March.

Sure, on some level it makes sense. Everyone loves the anticipation of what’s next. And after a long, cold winter, spring offers the promise of rebirth and blooming flowers, and blah, blah, blah. But let me be the loudest to say it: Spring skiing in Northern Michigan is simply brilliant!

The snow-pack is deep. Temps are warmer. There’s sunshine, and the slopes are 100% open. For skiers and boarders, it is nothing short of amazing!  Plus we, the industry people who live it day-in and day-out, are ready to have some fun too. That’s why all ski resorts throw our Krazy festivals this time of year!

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek

Here at Shanty Creek, the first weekend of March is our annual Slush Cup at Schuss Mountain. 46 years and counting! The day is filled with family-fun including a Seal Slide, a Frozen Fish Toss, and Shovel Racing before the big finale, and après-ski entertainment. There are s’mores around fire pits and drinks flowing at ice bars. The energy is rocking and contagious.

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek

The following weekend is our Cardboard Classic where guests bring sleds made from nothing more than cardboard, tape and glue. We race and have prizes for best design and best use of the Shanty Creek logo/brand. Then there’s Canadian March Break, St. Patty’s, the Blarney Stone slope style jam, a lot of basketball Madness on the big screen, and finally our Last Weekend Luau to close the month.  (Not to mention some incredible deals on lodging and lift tickets. Trust me. Call our reservations department or check us out online. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!)

TonyDemin-11168

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek

So grab your sticks, some shades and sunscreen, and enjoy what I consider to be the most wonderful time of the year at Shanty Creek Resorts.

Chris Hale

Chris Hale has been vice president of sales and marketing for Shanty Creek Resorts for the past 6+ years where he manages all aspects of the Shanty Creek brand. His career includes various advertising and marketing gigs and has taken him from St. Louis, MO to Boulder, CO to Atlanta, GA before making the move “up north.” He now resides in Traverse City where he is proud to call Pure Michigan “home.” Check out Shanty Creek’s Facebook and Instagram for fun updates and great pictures!

17 Ways To Use The Year’s First Vacation Days On A Pure Michigan Snow Day

New year, new you, right? Except it still feels the same. More Mondays, more meetings, more gazing out the window thinking, “I wish I was out there skiing right now. Have we even taken the kids sledding this season? Maybe they’ll cancel work tomorrow, like a snow day …”  Ha! Work is never cancelled (ever). 

But, psst! You’ve got vacation time, and you’ve worked hard to earn it! Don’t waste it waiting around.  Get out there and make those memories before the fluffy stuff is gone! Now’s the time to make your own #PureMichiganSnowDay happen when you Go Great Lakes Bay!

You + Yours

Photo Courtesy of Go Great Lakes Bay

“Honey, let’s get away together, just you and me.”

Say these magical words to your significant other, and watch how fast this #PureMichiganSnowDay can snowball! Live it up and cozy up, too – opportunities for snow day smiles and snuggles are just around the corner:

Let Nature Soothe You: The soft crunch of snow underfoot will put you and yours in sync on a free, guided snowshoe hike at Midland’s Chippewa Nature Center.

Feel Exhilarated: Ski or snowboard down the The Ski Slopes At Apple Mountain Resort together in Freeland, and yell it out together: “B’bye work meetings, hello snow day!”  Afterward, cozy up for a cup of hot cocoa and a bite to eat at Kathleen’s Apple Mountain, while you watch other skiiers hit the slopes!

Enjoy the Warmth: Stare into each other’s eyes while wine tasting at Frankenmuth’s St. Julian Winery, share good times during a free tour at Frankenmuth Brewery, or lounge in overstuffed leather chairs and play footsie by the roaring fire at Whine in Midland. You and yours will be rested and ready … for another #PureMichiganSnowDay!

Family Q Time 

Photo Courtesy of Go Great Lakes Bay

“School, work, dinner, baths, bed, repeat. There’s got to be more to family life than this!”

Oh, there’s more-so much more! Break the routine, and declare a #PureMichiganSnowDay! Then grab your phone to forever capture the look on the kids’ faces when you say: We’re going to …

Splash Village! Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark is 50,000 square-feet of “we needed this”! With a six-story, family raft ride and super loop, lazy river, indoor arcade, two spacious hot tubs (and, ahem, memorable Bloody Marys for the oh-so-deserving parents), and much more, the whole family is sure to have the BEST SNOW DAY EVER!

Toboggan together! Sled until little hearts are content at City Forest in Midland, rent a toboggan ($6/hour) for a whole new experience, or maybe even cross-country ski the .6 mile groomed trail. Pack a thermos of hot cocoa, and simply enjoy!

Aftershock! When you go to Midland’s new indoor trampoline extravaganza, please let us know one thing: Who had more fun, the kids or the adults?! (Psst! Aftershock runs daily specials, including Dollar Jump Night on the first Tuesday of each month.)

Go mini-golfing! The Family Fun Center at Bavarian Inn Lodge has an indoor, 18-hole miniature golf course, four indoor pools, two waterslides, and a 15-foot waterfall to play in! Family fun center, indeed!

See the stars! Winter stargazing sounds cool … like burr! But you can beat the winter chill at Delta College Planetarium and still discover astronomical fun on your snow day! Check out “Led Zeppelin”, January 23 – April 30, for rock sounds and laser lights.

Adventure Bound

Photo Courtesy of Go Great Lakes Bay

“The walls are closing in! Must. Get. Outside.”

Feeling suffocated, adventure enthusiasts? Outdoor-induced adrenaline and blood-pumping experiences await – just take a #PureMichiganSnowDay, and they’re all yours!

Hit The Trails: The rail trails, that is! Plans are in action to eventually connect the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail, Midland County Pere Marquette Rail Trail and Bay County Riverwalk and Rail Trail into The Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail, but each are currently multi-use meccas for walking, running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and even fat tire biking! (Want to know more about fat tire winter biking? Go to the gurus at Jack’s Bicycle Shop in Bay City, and ask about their guided bike tours!)

Drop a Line: In the Saginaw Bay, of course! Local ice fisherman know that our freshwaters are full of hot spots for good eats of the walleye, perch, bass and catfish-kind! (Need gear? Little Forks Outfitters in Midland; staff might even have hints about lucky spots …) Before you get here, brush up on our recent Saginaw Bay Icefishing post from local guest blogger Tom Bennett for even more insider tips on uncovering those high-yield icefishing honeyholes.

Shred it Up: Strap on a set of skis or a snowboard, and hit The Ski Slopes at Apple Mountain! Check for their Cool Deals before you go!

Now that you’re well-versed in all the ways to sled, ski, snowshoe (and, yes, even swim!) your way past the winter blues with the perfect Pure Michigan Snow Day, be sure to share your adventures out into the fluffy white beyond using #PureMichiganSnowDay and #GoGreatLakesBay on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!  You can even enter Pure Michigan’s Show Us Your Snow Day Dance contest on Instagram using #MISnowDayDance!

Guest Blogger - Wainwright O'Deay

Guest Blogger: Jen Wainwright O’Deay

Jen is a freelance writer in Bridgeport, Mich. She specializes in creating effective connection through marketing communications copy, feature articles and content/blog posts. You can find her camping with her family or reading Thoreau.