Pure Michigan March 2015 Events Roundup

In just a few weeks, the month of March will bring a change in season, some signs of springs and plenty of fun events to go along them. From LaughFest in Grand Rapids to St. Patrick’s Day festivities around the state, there are so many ways to get out and enjoy March in Pure Michigan!

Below is a roundup of some of the many events happening in March. Please visit michigan.org for a complete listing of Michigan events.

March 1 – 8

Back to the 80’s
March 1 – 8, Alpena
From the era that brought the world The Rubik’s Cube, Max Headroom and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes the “totally awesome” musical Back to the 80′s. In the style of movies such as Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Karate Kid, Back to the 80′s is a nostalgic romp through the greatest hits of the decade. Visit the website link for show dates/times.

Retro Weekend Ski Event
March 6 – 8, Harbor Springs
Pull out your vintage gear for a celebration of an era gone by. Come celebrate Retro Weekend at Boyne Highlands Resort with a weekend full of events celebrating decades of winter fun! Saturday night features a Retro Party in the legendary Zoo Bar with the most awesome collection of 80s songs you can dream of!

Photo courtesy of LaughFest

Photo courtesy of LaughFest

Melting Mann Dirt Road Bike Challenge
March 8, Marcellus
The Melting Mann is a flat tire bike race through Cass and St. Joseph Counties in Michigan. You may choose from either a 14 mile or a 28 mile route, both routes are single loops and will have you riding over 90 percent of unpaved roads. Visit the Melting Mann website to keep informed on the event.

LaughFest
March 5 – 15, Grand Rapids
The nation’s first ever community wide festival of laughter has quickly earned a reputation for being one of the nation’s most enjoyable event for both participants and artists. This major 10-day Midwest festival is based in Grand Rapids and includes events throughout West Michigan. LaughFest 2015 will feature Jim Breuer, Kathleen Madigan, Sinbad, Justin Willman, Michael Kosta and many more. There are free and ticketed shows. For a list of talent and participating venues in Grand Rapids and West Michigan, visit the website link.

March 9 – 15

Kid’s Festival Weekend
March 13 – 15, Boyne Mountain
Kids’ Festival Weekend is when kids rule the mountain! Event highlights include a Village Party with a cookout; face painting, lively entertainment; inflatable obstacle course, bounce house and Euro Bungee Ride; family après ski and dance party; on-hill kids’ race events.  Plus, bonfire and s ’mores, horse-drawn wagon rides, story time, appearances by Fritz, the resort mascot, family movies, arts and crafts, and more. Join us at Boyne Mountain for a weekend full of fun!

Thumbs up Detroit Exhibition
March 13 – 14, Detroit
This is a time to showcase all that is available in Detroit, from the arts and food, to business and people. Helping Detroit rebuild and show what is possible in this great city. Mingle, check out exhibits, sample food and have a great time. This is a ticketed event.

MHM_main_atrium

Photo courtesy of Michigan Historical Museum

Michigan Historical Museum Fruit Festival
March 14, Lansing
Children can participate in hands-on activities, including crafts that relate to our exhibits. Learn about the new farm tools that led to booming fruit production in Michigan after the Civil War. Also, you’ll discover the variety of produce from Michigan’s “fruit belt” and investigate planting and canning. This program is included with museum admission. Be sure to tour our special exhibit, Conceived in Liberty, which examines Michigan’s role in the second half of the Civil War and the postwar period.

Return to Clare Steam Train Excursion
March 14, Clare
Pere Marquette 1225 “Return to Clare” excursion is a one day excursion. The train will depart Owosso, Mich., at 9 a.m. and arrive at Clare, Mich., at 11:30 a.m. We will have a three hour layover in Clare so passengers can partake of the Irish Festival which will coincide with our excursion. The train then departs Clare at 2:30 p.m. running back to Owosso to finish up around 6 p.m. Please note that these times are subject to change. We will have at least one photo run-by so be sure to bring your camera. Visit their website for ticket prices.

March 16 – 22

Lansing Home & Garden Show
March 19 – 22, Lansing
The biggest Home & Garden Show in Mid-Michigan fills the MSU Pavilion on the campus of Michigan State University. Stunning gardens, extensive landscaping projects and a Standard Flower Show surround exhibits featuring new construction, remodeling, kitchens and baths, retail garden centers, pools and spas, and home services. Free seminars will be hosted on the Garden Stage, Home Stage, and Cooking Stage. Admission: $9 adults, $4 children 6 – 14, and under 5 are free.

Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival
March 19 – 22, Kalamazoo
The Midwest Regional Alternative Dance (RAD) Festival will take place at the Wellspring Theater in the Epic Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. RAD Fest will present five different live performances featuring 39 contemporary choreographers and over 250 dance artists from all over the Midwest and will also offer a film in the Atrium series featuring 10 different dances for the camera artists. For more information or a full schedule, please visit the website link.

Zipline-Adventures-are-available-year-round-at-sister-resorts-Boyne-Mountain-and-Boyne-Highlands-in-northern-Lower-Michigan-300x200

Photo courtesy of Boyne Highlands

Krazy Daze
March 20 – 21, Boyne Highlands
Celebrate spring with our something-for-everyone weekend of no-holds-barred festivities – Krazy Daze! Join us for live music, lighthearted activities and upbeat events tailored to every member of the family. Whether you’re a face-painted kid taking a pass at the Silly Slalom, or a kid at heart warming up for the Ski over the Pond competition at a tailgate party you’ll find enough fun and laughter to keep you smiling all weekend long. Ski & Stay lodging packages are also available. For complete event details, visit the website link or call (800) 462-6963.

Carnival Weekend
March 20 – 22, Boyne Mountain
For the Boyne Mountain faithful, Carnival Weekend is nothing short of a major holiday. Schedules are rearranged, elaborate plans formed, and the stops are all pulled out to avoid missing a moment of the fun. The weekend gets started with the Carnival Kick-off Party from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. in the Snowflake Lounge Friday night (free entry for those ages 21+). On Saturday, the infamous On-Hill Party takes place, along with the King and Queen of the Mountain Adult Costume Contest, and a Village Party in the afternoon. Saturday night features music to dance the night away. Sunday’s main event is the Slush Cup on Lower McLouth where you can skim or be soaked.

Maple Syrup Festival
March 21, Lansing
Celebrate nature’s own “Liquid Gold” at Fenner Nature Center’s Maple Syrup Festival! Participate in demonstrations in our Sugar Bush, try your hand at tapping a tree and treat your taste buds to savory treats like maple crème and maple cotton candy!

March 23 – 31

Michigan_Theater_Sign-199x300

Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor Film Festival
March 24 – 29, Ann Arbor
Internationally recognized as a premiere forum for independent filmmakers and artists, each year’s festival engages audiences with remarkable cinematic experiences. The six-day festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, and performance-based works.

Family & Friends Race
March 28, Boyne Highlands
The Friends and Family Race was a new event last season and turned out to be a huge success so we’re bringing it back again. There are divisions for “Friends” and “Family” with teams comprised of up to four ski racers. This race is open to ski racers of all ages so get your team together and enjoy a fun day of racing at Boyne Highlands. There is a team entry fee.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park Maple Sugaring Day
March 28, Tahquamenon Falls
Discover how to turn sap from Mother Nature into sweet golden syrup for your pancakes during our annual maple sugaring event. The entire process will be on display, including traditional methods, hands-on activities and taste testing! Free guided tours begin at 12:00, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. Tours start at the Upper Falls Fact Shack. Maple syrup experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice about at-home maple sugaring. Pancakes will be available for participants to taste a variety of homemade syrups from the region. Nature’s Kennel will offer $25 dog sled rides during the event (weather dependent).

All Things Detroit
March 29, Detroit
All Things Detroit is returning to the Eastern Market Sunday March 29, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Shed three. Come out and enjoy an afternoon of browsing the best local products Detroit has to offer, all under one roof! Come check out Detroit apparel, handmade jewelry, artisan food products, custom artwork and more. Explore 60+ local vendors; purchase Detroit/Michigan made products, convenient, FREE parking, free door prizes to the first 300 guests and more.

What’s on your calendar for March in Pure Michigan?

Eight Awesome Spring Activities to Enjoy this Season

Today, guest blogger Jennifer Hamilton of The Awesome Mitten gives us the run down on some great spring activities to enjoy in Pure Michigan this season.

When thinking about what activities I will be participating in this spring, ideas such as flood-proofing my home and shopping for heavy-duty rain boots came to mind. However, I dug a little deeper into my brain and with the help of others, came up with some great spring activities that we can all delight in.

Spring Building

Spring BuildingI once visited the Upper Peninsula  and was shocked to find my friend building a bonfire in the driveway. If you want to have a bonfire and do not have a fire pit, no fear, there is an excellent Plan B. It is as simple as using a steel wheelbarrow, placing kindling and logs inside, and making fire! It is great fun and a unique way to hold a bonfire almost anywhere.

Other fantastic springtime building projects are birdhouses and bird baths. Birdhouses and baths are always useful, and they are a great project for families to create together.

Spring Eats

During the winter, there are certain comfort foods we consume on a regular basis; soup, slow cooker delights, and various heavy pasta dishes. Spring food is so much more exciting! Most importantly, we can all get our grills out again. There is nothing more delightful than recognizing that grill smell for the first time after a long winter. Additionally, seasonal foods are about to make a great change. Locally grown watermelon, tomatoes, green beans, and cucumbers will soon be at our disposal. As we all know, nothing tastes as good as local produce.

Motorcycle/Bicycle Rides

A great way to delight in the smells, sights, and sounds of spring is to get out there on your favorite two-wheeled contraption. Whether you prefer pedaling a bicycle or gliding along on a motorcycle, just go enjoy the fresh air. A fellow Awesome Mitten writer mentioned that he loves going for motorcycle rides to Michigan’s best ice cream spots. And of course, our beloved potholes become a fun obstacle to weave around.

Garden Planning

Though the ground may be taking ages to thaw, it is never too early to decide what you want to grow this year. Some of these items may even be started indoors in pots and transferred outside when the time is right. Michigan’s garden centers are filling up with people buying soil, indoor planters, and seed packets. Items such as tomatoes, broccoli, and cabbage are great produce goods to start growing indoors, then transfer to an outdoor garden.

Disc Golf

Once the snow is melted enough, spring is a great time to explore some of Michigan’s disc golf courses. The sport has exploded over the last ten years, and many parks have taken notice and constructed courses as a result. Many courses wind through the woods, near water, and over beautiful areas of land. Disc golf does not require much physical effort, either, so people of almost any fitness level can participate and enjoy.

Spring Races

Disc GolfSpring is when fairweather runners make a comeback. Jump into a 5K to kickstart this running season! The best part about spring races is that many of them are themed; Easter Races, 5Ks with pets, and costume races start their season in March and continue on through the rest of the year. The best kind of race is the kind that allows you to get a little creative while running, then celebrating with some great food and beverages from race sponsors afterward! RunMichigan.com is jam-packed with races that take place literally every weekend; take a peak and pick one out.

 

 

Fishing

To go along with the great activity of grilling, one needs to catch some fish. Opening day of trout season is the last Saturday of April, so get those fishing licenses ready. Creeks, streams, rivers, bays, and lakes are all full of great tasting fish that want to come home with you. On one occasion, I even had the pleasure of purchasing live worms that had been injected with a fluorescent green dye, making the worms glow in the dark. So get those green worms ready, folks, it’s fishing season!

Morel Mushroom Picking

RelaxingThis is an activity for those with patience. It can be very tedious, but it is a spectacular way to get deep into the woods and spend quality time with your face near the ground of mother nature. Many people cook and eat these mushrooms, and quite a few also sell these morels at a fairly decent price. I do advise going in areas you are familiar with, or at least taking your phone with a GPS because it is alarmingly easy to lose track of oneself out there.

In short, spring is messy, but it is the loveliest kind of messy. Spring is for mud puddles, open windows, and new life. We Michiganders survived one crazy winter; now it is time to rejoice with a fine patio cocktail.

What are your favorite spring activities? 

1236752_10104693579790294_533864666_nJennifer Hamilton is a graduate student and outdoor enthusiast living in Traverse City. Jennifer splits her time between working in the substance abuse field, writing for the Awesome Mitten, and chasing after her three dogs.

Pure Michigan April 2014 Events Roundup

With a record-breaking winter behind us, it’s time to enjoy the springtime activities happening in Pure Michigan this April. Below is a roundup of some of the many events going on around the state next month. Visit michigan.org for a complete listing of events.

Week of March 31, 2014 – April 6, 2014

FoolMoonFool Moon
April 4, 2014, Ann Arbor
Join the Ann Arbor community in kicking off it’s FestiFools Festival with Fool Moon. Be mesmerized by the shadowy figures and luminous sculptures that travel on Washington Street from dusk to midnight. Fill up with some festival cuisine and enjoy the live music, shadow puppet performances and film projections.

Traverse City Boat and Outdoor Show
April 4, 2014 – April 6, 2014, Traverse City
With warm weather on the way (yes, hard to believe after the winter we’ve had!), it’s time to start thinking of different ways to enjoy our beautiful state. The Traverse City Boat Show features the hottest pontoons, ski boats, cruisers, fishing boats and personal watercraft models on the market. They’ve also got everything you need for you to begin boat ownership. While you’re there, enjoy some snacks and beverages available on-site.

Spring into Wings Arts & Crafts Show
April 4, 2014 – April 6, 2014, Kalamazoo
Looking to spruce up your home? The Kalamazoo Spring into Wings Arts and Crafts Show at the Wings Stadium is sure to have something for your garden and home décor needs. Parking and admission are free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Wedding Inspirations Bridal Expo
April 6, 2014, Saginaw
Preparing for a wedding is such an exciting, yet busy process. There are dresses to buy, center arrangements to order and so many invites to send out. If wedding bells are in your future, then be sure to stop by the Wedding Inspirations Bridal Expo for the latest trends, products and services to make your big day one to remember.

Week of April 7, 2014 – April 13, 2014

john.ball.zooSpring Break Zoobilee
April 7, 2014 – April 11, 2014, Grand Rapids
Enjoy the improving weather with a trip to the John Ball Zoo for the Spring Break Zoobilee. Like us, the animals are ready to get moving this spring and are ready for visitors. This event includes animal demonstrations, talks and training exercises. There’s certainly enough fun and games for the whole family. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children.

 

St. Ignace Home Show and Spring Expo
April 11, 2014 – April 12, 2014, St. Ignace
After experiencing one of the most-harsh winters on the books, the Upper Peninsula is celebrating the arrival of Spring with the St. Ignace Home Show and Spring Expo. Whether you are looking for a new off-road vehicle or new furniture for your home excites you, this show has something for everyone. Hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Home and Garden Show
April 11, 2014 – April 13, 2014, Escanaba
Back for another year of great remodeling ideas and home solutions, the Home and Garden Show is in Escanaba. Meet area contractors who can fulfil your remodeling needs and find the latest products for your home improvement needs. Make sure you come hungry because there is an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and grilling demonstrations by Chef Tommy Fitzgerald.

Up North Lake & Cottage Show
April 11, 2014 – April 13, 2014, Traverse City
Is your place ‘up-north’ in need of some love? Give it a makeover thanks to the Traverse City ‘Up-North’ Lake & Cottage Show. There will be plenty of designers, decorators, landscapers, furniture outlets and unique retailers to give your home away from home the relaxing and stylish look you’ve always wanted.

Made in Michigan Craft/Product Show
April 12, 2014, Cadillac
For the die-hard Michiganders or if you’re visiting the mitten state for the first time, be sure to stop at the Made in Michigan Craft/Product Show in Cadillac. This show helps fuel the local economy and gives you the opportunity to take home something uniquely Michigan. Admission is free and the event begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

VegFest 2014
April 13, 2014, Novi
Metro Detroit’s premier vegan tastefest is back in town. VegFest 2014 will feature vegan cooking demonstrations by professional chefs, samples of national brands, eco-friendly products, cruelty-free fashion, activities for children and much more. Admission is free, so bring the whole family.

Week of April 14, 2014 – April 20, 2014

Lowell Spring Girls’ Night Out
April 17, 2014, Lowell
Join us in Historic Lowell for the spring Girls’ Night Out. Dress in your favorite look of the 60s. Enjoy shopping and refreshments as you stroll down the city streets. Get your GNO postcard punched and enter to win a grand shopping bag of Lowell town goodies.

Lansing Microbrew and Music Festival
April 18, 2014 – April 19, 2014, Lansing
Craft brew, music and culinary lovers will meet at the Lansing Microbrew & Music Festival scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 18 & 19, 2014, in downtown Lansing. Tickets include five ½ pint pours, custom glass, event features 50+ craft breweries from Michigan – representatives and brewers from each brewery – with a handful of carefully selected national brands, 300+ flavors of brews, wines, ciders and meads, live musical acts, marching bands, a silent disco DJ dance tent, and local food vendors. Festivities are scheduled to take place from 5-11pm daily, with an afternoon of educational activities and forums presented by brewers on Saturday from 12 noon – 4pm.

NMU School of Art and Design Winter 2014 Senior Exhibition
April 16, 2014 – May 2, 2014, Marquette
Graduating seniors present their work from all areas of the School of Art and Design including ceramics, drawing/painting, digital cinema, electronic imaging, furniture design, graphic communication, human centered design, illustration, jewelry/metals/blacksmithing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and woodworking.

 Week of April 21, 2014 – April 30, 2014

ragtime2Zehnder’s Ragtime Festival
April 23, 2014 – April 26, 2014, Frankenmuth
Zehnder’s Restaurant Ragtime Festival. Special events include Vaudeville night, silent movies, sing-along, and dinner, lunch, and brunch concerts. Located at Zehnder’s Restaurant, 713 South Main Street-Frankenmuth. Join us for one or all. Prices vary. For more information call (800) 863-7999 or go to website link below.

National Trout Festival
April 23, 2014 – April 27, 2014, Kalkaska
This year’s Trout Festival runs April 23 – 27 and is in it’s 78th year. Typical events include fishing contests for both kids and grownups, a singing contest, several parades and much more for the whole family. (231) 384-1509.

Art Walk
April 25, 2014, 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. 6-9pm. For additional information, click on the link or call (517) 424-6003.

shepherd.maple.syrup.festivalShepherd Maple Syrup Festival
April 24, 2014 – April 27, 2014, Shepherd
The village of Shepherd invites you to a great family weekend with parades, classic car display, carnival, tractor and horse pulls, bingo, arts & crafts and of course, scrumptious pancake meals all weekend long. The Festival is held the last full week of April each year–mark your calendar for a fun-filled weekend. For more information about the event, contact 989- 828-5422.

Expo in the Park
April 26, 2014, Howard City
Mark your calendar and save the date, because you are invited to the Montcalm County Panhandle Area Chamber of Commerce Expo in the Park, on Saturday April 26, 2014, from 10am-2pm, at Ensley Park in Howard City. Admission is free for all visitors. Make sure to stop by and browse all of the great booths, try some super delicious food, and enjoy the music and crafts.

Which events are you looking forward to this April?