Pure Michigan April 2015 Events Roundup

It’s time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air! April in Pure Michigan marks the start of spring festivals and outdoor events. From April Fools’ Day fun to food tastings and theme parties, 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 things to do this April.

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April 1 – 4

Easter on the Green in Pentwater
April 4, Pentwater
Bring your children and family to meet the Easter Bunny. We’ll have an Easter egg hunt, Easter bonnet parade and contest, Easter Bonnet musical chairs, face painting, and games.

Lakeport State Park – Easter egg Hunt
April 4, Lakeport
Bring the kids for an Easter egg hunt at the campground with different hunting areas for specific age groups. Each age group has the opportunity to find the “golden” eggs with special prizes! This event is open to the public.

Kalamazoo Numismatic Club Spring Coin Show
April 4, Kalamazoo
Buy, sell, and trade coins, paper money, and memorabilia. Young Collector’s program and auction at 11 a.m. Admission is free.

Dog Loves Books – Theatre Performance
April 4, Rochester
Louise Yates’ New York Times Best Seller comes to life this musical about the irresistible Dog who loves books SO much that he decides to open up his own bookstore. This delightful musical celebrates the power of the imagination and the satisfaction that comes when you share books with others.

April 5 – 11

University Orchestra Concert
April 8
Listen to talented student performers from the University of Michigan-Flint Music Department. 7:30 p.m. Located at UM-Flint Theatre and admission is $5.

Art Downtown 2015
April 10, Grand Rapids
This “shop hop” will feature the works of several hundred artists in dozens of galleries, businesses, and studio spaces around downtown Grand Rapids. See artists and musicians exhibiting and performing at a variety of sites; witness art in unexpected locations from U-Haul trailers to the art museum, and parking lots to private studios; come early and stay late with family and friends.

FoolMoon

FoolMoon – Ann Arbor

FoolMoon 2015
April 10, Ann Arbor
Foolmoon is a procession of participants carrying hand-made luminary sculptures on Washington Street from dusk to midnight. Also features food, live music, shadow puppets, and film projections.

Shell Eco-marathon America
April 10 -12, Detroit
Hundreds of young engineers will compete in the ultimate energy-efficiency challenge. And visitors of all ages can enjoy a free fun-packed event with interactive attractions. While there, check-out the more than 1,000 high school and university students from around the Americas as they push the limits of efficiency to see which team can drive the farthest distance using the least energy in their student-built vehicles.

Cat Show
April 11, Melvindale
Cat Fancier Association All Breed & Household Pet Cat Show. This show features the exhibition and judging of cats and kittens throughout the day. Admission: $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 kids, under age 6- no charge.

April 12 – 18

FestiFools 2015
April 12, Ann Arbor
FestiFools brings students and community volunteers together to create unique public art that is free and accessible to everyone. Specifically, we make huge-mongous papier-mâché puppets and march them around downtown Ann Arbor.

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MSU Science Festival

MSU Science Festival
April 15 – 18, East Lansing
A FREE multi-day celebration of Science, with more than 150 unique presentations including seminars, demonstrations, tours, open houses, discussion panels and hands on activities for ALL ages. This year’s special guests include Dr. Scott Sampson, of the PBS series Dinosaur Train, and mathemagician, Dr. Arthur Benjamin. On the campus of Michigan State University, and beyond!

Let’s Get Wild
April 16, Bloomfield Hills
We’re taken to “wild” places in Michigan and the Great Lakes and we’ll explore what we are doing to protect them for the future. Admission is free. Get ready to be amazed at the Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Junk to Funk Eco Fashion Show
April 17, Tecumseh
Evening of stylish models, food, fun, fashion, and wine! The red-carpet comes alive with wearable Eco-fashions created by local artists and designers – using unique, recycled, and repurposed materials. Join us for an evening of fun.

Picture Perfect Photography Hunt
April 18, Lansing
Bring your camera or smartphone and find your artistic voice in our museum galleries. Take a selfie and then post it to the Michigan Historical Museum page on Facebook. Usually, flash is not allowed in the exhibits, so look for the special “flash allowed” signs.

Fashion & Tea
April 18, Grand Rapids
Visitors will take a step back into time. Starting from the Civil War Era to the early 20th Century, you will experience up-close authentic fashion. Coming from the education collection, you will have the opportunity to inspect the workmanship of the seamstress who made them. Tea and sweets will be served as you enjoy this visual feast.

April 19 – 25

Art Walk
April 24, 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.

Freeland Walleye Festival
April 23 – 26, Freeland
A three day festival celebrating all things walleye, including fireworks, a fish fry, the Walleye parade, walleye tournament, a Texas Hold’Em tournament, car show, 5k/10k race, teen dance and more.

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Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival
April 23 -26. 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.

Bringin’ Back the 80’s
April 24 – 25, Frankenmuth
Bring back hair teasing memories with music, trends and events from the 80s. Don’t sit back in your pegged pants and play Atari–come on down and have a great time. Admission is $10.

Zehnder’s Ragtime Festival
April 22 – 25, Frankenmuth
Zehnder’s has been host to ragtime performers from around the United States and Canada for over 20 years. Come and enjoy ragtime music performed by our featured pianist, Bob Milne and other world renowned musicians.

April 26 – 30

MI Earth Day Fest
April 24 – 26, Rochester
Come visit one of the planet’s largest Earth Day celebrations on the banks of downtown Rochester’s Municipal City Park and the Paint Creek Trail. Explore more than 100 exhibits, speakers, food vendors, kids’ activities, entertainment and more.

Day Out With Thomas: The Thrill of the Rid Tour
April 25 – 26, The Henry Ford
Little engineers won’t believe their eyes—or their ears! This fun-filled event offers little engineers and their families the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine. In addition, children will meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities including arts & crafts, storytelling and more.

chocolate

TC Chocolate Festival

Traverse City Chocolate Festival 2015
April 26, Traverse City
A celebration of all things chocolate from the region’s chefs and chocolatiers! Enjoy tastings and samples of local chocolates and confectionery treats, demonstrations and mini-lectures, live music, chocolate-inspired books, art and goods, door prizes and a silent auction for chocolate sculptures.

Local History through Historic Maps
April 26, Traverse City
Come and hear what discoveries were found about historic Frenchtown through the research on 1800s maps.

America’s Got Downtown
April 29, Monroe
The London Daily Telegraph hails the show, a “remarkable, tour de force one-man show.” Luke Kempner creates more than 30 characters in this parody which blends celebrity visitors with well-known characters from Downtown Abbey.

Which April events do you have on your calendar?

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.