The Whitecaps are the only Minor League Baseball team in West Michigan. Just five miles north of downtown Grand Rapids!
Class A Affiliate
MIDWEST LEAGUE KEY BEL - Beloit Snappers (A’s) BG - Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays) BUR - Burlington Bees (Angels) CLI - Clinton LumberKings (Mariners) CR - Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins) DAY - Dayton Dragons (Reds) FW - Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) GL - Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers) KC - Kane County Cougars (D’Backs) LAN - Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) LC - Lake County Captains (Indians) PEO - Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals) QC - Quad Cities River Bandits (Astros) SB - South Bend Cubs (Cubs) WIS - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers)
With 24/7 slots, table games and dining, here’s one more thing to love about West Michigan. GRAND RAPIDS
HASTINGS ALLEGAN 43 89
GUNLAKECASINO.COM 269.792.7777 • US 131 | EXIT 61
13 71 75 81
Guest Editorial Last Call Guide to Hotel Dining Calendar of Events
F E AT U R E S
31 38 49 56
Over the Bridge on Bridge Street 116 Ways to Turn Up the Heat on Summer Food Trucks: Digging into GR's Meals on Wheels Masters of Mixology
17 21 23 27
Celebrating SOLACE Ice Cream, You Scream Rock On Pack and Play
V O LU M E 1 1 | N U M B E R 1 GET OUT THERE
Editorial Director | Dave Kantor Creative Director | Wendy Wassink Editor | Amy Marinari Design | Kantorwassink
ON T H E CO V E R
Illustration by Kantorwassink
A N A H C + H O S P I TA L I T Y P U B L I C AT I O N
Chief Marketing Officer | Chad LeRoux Senior Marketing Manager | Carrie Kolehouse
SOLACEâ„˘ magazine is published two times per year by Kantorwassink on behalf of AHC+Hospitality. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of AHC+Hospitality. For advertising information, please call 616.776.6980 or visit us online at solacemag.com. Follow us on Facebook at facebook. com/solacemagazine and Twitter @solacemag.
A university quality education at a community college price.
The GRCC Experience is seamless transfer to many college and university programs; faculty with industry experience; state-of-the-art, flexible and online learning options; study away and experiential learning opportunities; and business partnerships to develop tomorrowâ€™s workforce.
Grand Rapids Community College West Michiganâ€™s Best Choice.
For a cold beer and a warm smile, try the new Flanaganâ€™s! Lunch, dinner, and nightlife in a relaxed atmosphere just 2 minutes from your hotel. Open 7 days a week, with live music 4 nights per week.
139 Pearl St. NW | 616.980.0705 flanagansgr.com
5 Floors, Endless Fun.
drinks 8pm.............................. dinner live music 10:30pm...................... comedy 1am........................ dancing 6pm........................... 9pm............................ Lyon
20 Monroe Ave NW • Downtown Grand Rapids • 616.356.2000 • thebob.com
CO U MA RTYA RR R IO D TT
JUDSON’S - modern american cuisine BOBARINO’S - wood-fired pizzas & american favorites GILLY’S - beer-centric flavors & oyster bar B.O.B.’S BREWERY - handcrafted beers H.O.M.E. - house of music & entertainment, bourbon bar DR. GRINS - nationally acclaimed comedians EVE - late night lounge
AMWAY GRAND PLAZA
DEAR GUEST, Welcome to West Michigan! As the warm weather wafts its way into West Michigan, I would like to welcome you to the Spring and Summer issue of SOLACE Magazine. I encourage you to lace up your shoes, step outside, take a deep breath of fresh Michigan air, and get out there. Get out there...and get the most out of what West Michigan has to offer. There is an endless number of places to see and things to do all around you. So Ready…Set…Summer! What could be better than having a world of culinary treats to choose from right outside your hotel door? Learn about Grand Rapids' vibrant food truck scene in “Food Trucks: Digging into GR’s Meals on Wheels” (p.49). Thirsty? Take time for a tasty cocktail at one of the many classic and new cocktail haunts around the city. The cocktail culture is picking up speed, and our local Michigan Mixologists are carefully crafting on a nightly (or daily for that matter) basis (p.56). Along with the cocktail scene, the music scene here is up to the challenge of any big city’s scene. From rock to indie to jazz, our music venues, our unique local performers, and a constant stream of national performers will keep your toes tappin’ or your head bangin’. Check it out in “Rock On” (p.23). Looking for a quiet spot for a long, luxurious picnic on a patch of grass or a picnic table where you can let the sun shine on your shoulders? Read about the bounty of beautiful picnic spots in and around Grand Rapids in “Pack and Play” (p.27). When the exploring bug hits you, take a stroll up and down Grand Rapids' recently reborn Bridge Street. See why this strip of shops, restaurants, and bars has hit an all-time high in “Over the Bridge on Bridge Street” (p.31). Looking for a to-do guide that will cool off and heat up those summer days and nights? See “116 Ways to Turn Up the Heat on Summer” (p.38) and you won’t believe all the possibilities for fun right outside your door. Who doesn't love ice cream? Take a taste of the most delectable ice cream spots in town in “Ice Cream, You Scream” (p.21). This year marks the 10th year of SOLACE Magazine. We have seen this incredible city in this amazing area on this perfect peninsula flourish, making us more and more proud to share SOLACE Magazine with you. Read about the retrospective of our beloved publication in: “Celebrating SOLACE” (p.17). As Senior Marketing Manager for AHC+Hospitality—the operator of the Amway Grand Plaza, the JW Marriott Grand Rapids and the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott—I’m so happy to unveil issue 20 of SOLACE Magazine for the Spring and Summer season. We hope this issue informs and inspires you to get up, go forth, and Get Out There!
Carrie Kolehouse Senior Marketing Manager AHC+Hospitality
Restaurant, Cocktail & Wine Bar, Retail Beer & Wine, Private Dining 15 Ionia SW | Downtown Grand Rapids | 616.774.9463 | DivaniGR.com
G U E S T E D I TO R I A L S A M A N T H A S UA R E Z
Photo by Josh Tyron Written by Samantha Suarez
MY KIND OF TOWN Why This 20-Something Writer from the Philippines Made the Move to West Michigan “You’re moving to West Michigan? That’s pretty random!” is how people from my hometown, Manila, often react. Most Filipinos who move to the U.S. set their sights on landmark cities like New York, San Francisco, or LA. It was my godfather, George Aquino, who convinced me that moving to Grand Rapids was a good idea. His compelling argument: “It’s awesome here! Think small town feel with a big city vibe. You get the best of both worlds! It’s a great place to get started.” So I took the leap of faith. Little did I know his plan was to get me here and make sure I never left! I’m a fairly well-traveled person. I’ve been to the capitols of Europe, the major cities of the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, and around Southeast Asia. I also graduated from the University of New South Wales, in Australia. Despite all that, I can say wholeheartedly that moving to West Michigan was the best decision I’ve ever made. When I first arrived in September 2016, I was apprehensive about my decision to move to a place I hadn’t been before, where I didn’t know anyone besides my godfather...but just a few months into my stay, I feel like Grand Rapids is my new home. Why? To sum it up: it’s the people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve been fortunate to make. I can talk all about how a city is great because of its architecture, the food scene, or the hip bars, but when it comes down to it, a city holds a place in your heart because of the interactions you have with its locals; and hear me when I say the “Midwestern nice” stereotype is all too real, but in the best way possible.
I felt welcomed into the city literally before my plane landed! During my transfer flight from Detroit to Grand Rapids, two women asked me all about my life and how I ended up moving here. One of them even offered to help me find a job! Where in the world would that happen besides Grand Rapids? The best way to summarize my experience here, though, would have to be the first 24 hours after I arrived. Dinner at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck and beers at Founders were first on the list after landing. The next day, we drove to Saugatuck, had fried chicken and epic martinis at Phil’s Bar, and then hit Douglas’ Dunes, where we proceeded to dance the afternoon away engulfed in a sea of ripped, shirtless men. I remember thinking, “If this first day is at all indicative of what my stay here will be like, then I’m in for quite an adventure.” Since then, I’ve racked up quite a few great moments with different West Michiganders, including the bartenders (now my friends) at Gray Skies Distillery. During one of my first visits, I happened to mention that “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is one of my favorite movies. One of the bartenders overheard and surprised me by playing the movie on the TV as well as The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” (which is played in an iconic part of the film). We went on to re-create scenes from the movie…and the rest is history! Around Halloween, I attended “The Haunt,” where locals dress as ghosts, zombies, and clowns trying to scare you as you venture through a haunted house of sorts. Unfortunately, zombies and other ghouls don’t frighten me at all – I shoot them too often playing video games. A lovely, young lady zombie jumped out and roared an inch away from my face trying to scare me.
My immediate reaction was to stare at her and say, “Oh, hi!” Her unexpected response was to extend her hand to mine in a handshake, whereupon she immediately pulled away and exited via moonwalk. I still laugh when I remember her. Happy connections like those are just a few of the many I’ve enjoyed since moving here. So Godfather George’s advice proved to be very, very good. In fact, his offer of hospitality was one I couldn’t refuse, even if he didn’t promise to make any boys who broke my heart “sleep with the fishes.” He’s taken me to so many places that my Grand Rapids friends often tell me that I’ve seen more of Grand Rapids than they have! Despite the occasional lack of motivation, I make it a point to be up and about and always exploring. I regularly get my Street Fighter II fix at Stella’s, I saw Kanye West at the Van Andel Arena, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting numerous chefs from Grand Rapids’ best restaurants through my writing assignments, all in just a few months! And I’m just getting started. Whether you’re partial to the vibrant downtown area, the historic West side, or the artsy East side, new establishments are popping up left and right. There’s no excuse not to get out and try out a new restaurant, join community events like ArtPrize, or have a conversation with your barista when you start your day. Make it a point to put yourself out there and fully enjoy this amazing city! I know I will. See ‘ya out there!
UP THE STREET
Uptown is up the street from downtown—a charming, historic neighborhood with a boutique vibe. Stroll along brick roads that lead to award-winning restaurants, local breweries and independent shops filled with goods you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re UP for a unique experience, we’ve got it.
City bus service (#5, #6, #14) or a quick cab ride will get you to Uptown. Once here, you’ll find four walkable districts encompassing two square miles within the city. 14
Visit www.uptowngr.com to learn more.
EAST EASTFULTON FULTON
Always, Betti (Estate Jewelry) Always, Betti (Estate Jewelry) 1141 E. Fulton St. 1141 E. Fulton St. on Facebook on Facebook Bluedoor Antiques & Elements Bluedoor Antiques & Elements 946 E. Fulton St. 946 E. Fulton St. bluedoorgr.com bluedoorgr.com Buffalo Tobacco Traders Buffalo Tobacco Traders 952 E. Fulton St. 952 E. Fulton St. on Facebook on Facebook The Cakabakery The Cakabakery 919 E. Fulton St. 919 E. Fulton St. thecakabakery.com thecakabakery.com The Catering Company The Catering Company 1307 E. Fulton St. 1307 E. Fulton St. thecateringcompanygr.com thecateringcompanygr.com City Antiques City Antiques 954 E. Fulton St.St. 954 E. Fulton on on Facebook Facebook Freshly Squeezed Print Shop Freshly Squeezed Print Shop 1121 E. Fulton St.St. 1121 E. Fulton printfreshlysqueezed.com printfreshlysqueezed.com Fulton Street Farmers Market Fulton Street Farmers Market 1145 E. Fulton St. 1145 E. Fulton St. fultonstreetmarket.org fultonstreetmarket.org Hair Carrigan Hair Hair Carrigan Hair 900 E. Fulton St.St. 900 E. Fulton haircarrigan.com haircarrigan.com Kangaroo Kitchen and Catering Kangaroo Kitchen and Catering 1007 E. Fulton St.St. 1007 E. Fulton kangarookitchengr.com kangarookitchengr.com Madcap Coffee Company Madcap Coffee Company 1041 E. Fulton St. 1041 E. Fulton St. madcapcoffee.com madcapcoffee.com MercuryHead Gallery MercuryHead Gallery 962 E. Fulton St.St. 962 E. Fulton on on Facebook Facebook Rinaldi Pizza and Sub Shop Rinaldi Pizza and Sub Shop 966 E. Fulton St.St. 966 E. Fulton rinaldipizzasub.com rinaldipizzasub.com Salon Re:Re: Salon 940 E. Fulton St.St. 940 E. Fulton salonre.com salonre.com Urban Exchange Urban Exchange Consignment Boutique Consignment Boutique 926 E. Fulton St.St. 926 E. Fulton myurbanexchange.com myurbanexchange.com UserEasy Computers UserEasy Computers 1141 E. Fulton St.St. 1141 E. Fulton usereasy.com usereasy.com
EAST EAST HILLS HILLS
Blu House Properties Blu House Properties 1426 Wealthy St. SE 1426 Wealthy St. SE thinkbluhouse.com thinkbluhouse.com Connie’s Cakes Connie’s Cakes 1416 Robinson Rd. SE 1416 Robinson Rd. SE iloveconniescakes.com iloveconniescakes.com Foot Outfitters Foot Outfitters 1411 1411Robinson RobinsonRd. Rd.SE SE footoutfitters.com footoutfitters.com Gallery Gallery154 154 1456 1456Lake LakeDr. Dr.SE SE gallery154.com gallery154.com GR GRBagel Bagel 423 423Norwood NorwoodAve. Ave.SE SE grbagel.com grbagel.com Harmony HarmonyBrewing BrewingCompany Company 1551 1551Lake LakeDr. Dr.SE SE harmonybeer.com harmonybeer.com Matchbox MatchboxDiner Diner&&Drinks Drinks 1345 1345Lake LakeDr. Dr.SE SE matchboxdiner.com matchboxdiner.com Michigan MichiganFibre FibreStudio Studio 1503 1503Lake LakeDr. Dr.SE SE michiganfibrestudio.com michiganfibrestudio.com Pita PitaHouse House 1508 1508Wealthy WealthySt.St.SE SE thepitahouse.net thepitahouse.net Rebel Rebel 1409 1409Robinson RobinsonRd. Rd.SE SE rebelreclaimed.com rebelreclaimed.com Smitty’s Smitty’sSpecialty SpecialtyBeverage Beverage 1489 1489Lake LakeDr. Dr.SE SE smittysspecialtybeverage.com smittysspecialtybeverage.com Spirit SpiritDreams Dreams 1430 1430Lake LakeDr. Dr.SE SE spiritdreamsgr.com spiritdreamsgr.com That ThatEarly EarlyBird Bird 1445 1445Lake LakeDr. Dr.SE SE thatearlybird.com thatearlybird.com Wolfgang’s Wolfgang’s 1530 1530Wealthy WealthySt.St.SE SE mattwolfgang.com mattwolfgang.com
Adored Boutique Adored Boutique 968 Cherry St. SE 968 Cherry St. SE adoredboutique.com adoredboutique.com Audrey Lane Boutique Audrey Lane Boutique and Consignment and Consignment 1005 Lake Dr. SE 1005 Lake Dr. SE audreylanegr.com audreylanegr.com Books & Mortar Books & Mortar 955 Cherry St. SE 955 Cherry St. SE booksandmortar.com booksandmortar.com Brewery Vivant Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE 925 Cherry St. SE breweryvivant.com breweryvivant.com Clothing Matters Clothing Matters 141 141 Diamond Diamond Ave. Ave. SE SE clothingmatters.net clothingmatters.net Furniture Furniture City City Creamery Creamery 958 958 Cherry Cherry St. St. SE SE furniturecitycreamery.com furniturecitycreamery.com Global Global Infusion Infusion 143 143 Diamond Diamond Ave. Ave. SE SE welovechai.com welovechai.com The The Green Green Well Well 924 924 Cherry Cherry St. St. SE SE thegreenwell.com thegreenwell.com Grove Grove 919 919 Cherry Cherry St. St. SE SE groverestaurant.com groverestaurant.com Hopscotch Hopscotch Children’s Children’s Store Store 909 Cherry 909 Cherry St. St. SE SE hopscotchstore.com hopscotchstore.com Inner Inner City City Christian Christian Federation Federation (ICCF) (ICCF) 920 920 Cherry Cherry St. St. SE SE iccf.org iccf.org LaFontsee LaFontsee Galleries Galleries 833 833 Lake Lake Dr. Dr. SE SE lafontsee.us lafontsee.us Metal Metal Art Art Studio Studio Fine Jewelry 978 978 Cherry Cherry St. St. SE metalartstudioinc.com metalartstudioinc.com Rock Rock Paper Paper Scissors Scissors Consignment Consignment Boutique Boutique 145 145 Diamond Diamond Ave. SE rpsgr.com rpsgr.com Under Under the the Vines, Vines, Uniquely Uniquely Michigan Michigan 959 959 Cherry Cherry St. St. SE on on Facebook Facebook
Find these featured businesses and more at: Find these featured businesses and more at: www.uptowngr.com www.uptowngr.com Eat Eat
WEALTHY STREET STREET WEALTHY Art of the Table Art of the Table 606 Wealthy St. SE 606 Wealthy St. SE artofthetable.com artofthetable.com DonkeyTaqueria Taqueria Donkey 665 Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE 665 donkeygr.com donkeygr.com Erb Thai Thai Erb 950 Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE##1A 1A 950 erbthaigr.com erbthaigr.com Fromthe theHeart Heart From Yoga & Tai ChiCenter Center Yoga & Tai Chi 714 Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE#C #C 714 fromtheheartyoga.com fromtheheartyoga.com
ReaganMarketing Marketing Design Reagan ++ Design 912 Wealthy St. SE 912 Wealthy St. SE reaganmarketing.com reaganmarketing.com RowsterCoffee Coffee Rowster 632Wealthy WealthySt.St.SESE 632 rowstercoffee.com rowstercoffee.com
HandicapSign Sign Handicap 1142Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE 1142 hsisign.com hsisign.com
TheSparrows SparrowsCoffee Coffee The 1035Wealthy WealthySt.St. 1035 SESE thesparrowsgr.com thesparrowsgr.com
HyperOptik HyperOptik 1134Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE 1134 hyper-optik.com hyper-optik.com
SquibbCoffee Coffeeand and Wine Bar Squibb Wine Bar 955Wealthy WealthySt.St.SESE 955 squibbgr.com squibbgr.com
JeffreyLake LakeAgency Agency Jeffrey 1136Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE 1136 farmersagent.com/jlake farmersagent.com/jlake
TriumphMusic MusicAcademy Academy Triumph 949Wealthy WealthySt.St.SESE #200 949 #200 triumphmusicacademy.com triumphmusicacademy.com
JeffreyRichard RichardSalon Salon Jeffrey 742 Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE 742 jeffreyrichardsalon.com jeffreyrichardsalon.com
VerheyCarpets Carpets Verhey 1113Wealthy WealthySt.St. 1113 SESE verheycarpets.com verheycarpets.com
JonnyB’z B’zDogs Dogsand andMore More Jonny 701 Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE 701 jonnybz.com jonnybz.com
WealthyatatCharles Charles Wealthy 738Wealthy WealthySt.St.SESE 738 wealthyatcharles.com wealthyatcharles.com
KitchenDesign DesignStudio, Studio,Inc. Inc. Kitchen 750 Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE#A #A 750 kds-inc.net kds-inc.net
WealthyStreet StreetAnimal Animal Hospital Wealthy Hospital 1052Wealthy WealthySt.St. 1052 SESE wyominganimalhospital.com wyominganimalhospital.com
Lee &&Birch Birch Lee 759 Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE 759 leeandbirch.com leeandbirch.com
WealthyStreet StreetBakery Bakery Wealthy 610Wealthy WealthySt.St.SESE 610 wealthystreetbakery.com wealthystreetbakery.com
Little Caesars CaesarsPizza Pizza Little 1200Wealthy WealthySt. St.SE SE 1200 littlecaesars.com littlecaesars.com
TheWinchester Winchester The 648Wealthy WealthySt.St.SESE 648 winchestergr.com winchestergr.com
By Carrie Kolehouse
CELEBRATING SOLACE 10 Years in and We're Just Warming Up When you open the door to your hotel room, you might find a place for your suitcase, pull open the drapes to reveal the cityscape, or flop back onto the luxurious linens on your neatly made bed. And in that moment, even if there’s just a breath before you gear up for your meeting, convention, party, or vacation – you find a bit of solace. You take solace in having arrived at your destination – in the drive or plane ride finally being complete – and in being in a place that someone else has prepared for you and that someone else will tend to after you’re gone. It’s part of the magic of staying at a hotel, even if you’re doing it just for business. And in that moment, when you temporarily suspend your cares, there is space for more possibility. It is in that space that SOLACE Magazine meets 450,000 hotel guests each year, introducing the possibilities for dining, shopping, thinking, dreaming, learning, and doing that they might experience during their hotel stay in West Michigan – and beyond. Ten years ago, AHC+Hospitality founded this magazine to give guests at its three downtown properties – the Amway Grand Plaza, JW Marriott, and Downtown Courtyard by Marriott – inspiration to experience more of what the area has to offer, whether during this stay or a future one. “We focused on educating people on the things they would find most surprising,” says Chief Marketing Officer Chad LeRoux, who launched the publication in 2007. While visitors to Grand Rapids often knew a couple of key things about the area (that it had been known as “Furniture
City” or that it is home to Amway’s World Headquarters), they didn’t know about the city’s art or music scene, or how its rich cultural history and abundant agriculture shaped its food trends. Coming out only twice per year, once in April and once in October, SOLACE was a thoughtful and artful publication – one that had the time in between issues to step back and take a look at where the city is headed and what the freshest and most important changes are for visitors to note. Rather than being focused on coverage of specific events like more traditional local magazines, SOLACE filled the niche of showcasing the interesting people, places, and things that define Grand Rapids to an outsider. “We wanted the articles, photography, design, and illustrations to be from local artists and professionals so we could display the breadth of talent here,” says LeRoux, who has worked with local agencies who contracted local freelancers to contribute to every issue of SOLACE. Using the skills of local professionals, SOLACE has endeavored to tell the story of Grand Rapids in a fashion that is interesting to people who are visiting for the first time, who visit repeatedly, or who have lived here their entire lives. Continuing to be a free publication, SOLACE expanded its distribution from just the downtown hotels to local apartment and condominium complexes and area shopping malls so that select residents can be inspired by its content as well – to experience their city through the eyes of a visitor, or simply to get ideas on how they can explore their own territory.
LeRoux finds the theme of SOLACE’s 20th issue, “Get Out There,” to be fitting, in that it encompasses what the purpose of the magazine has been all along. “It’s about inspiring people as much as informing them. Stretching them to experience even just a bit more of our city than they had planned on.” But what will the future hold for a printed publication, the kind you hold and flip through with your hands, in the increasing age of digital? For now, AHC+Hospitality finds its guests are still indulging in their moment of SOLACE, even if they may be quick to resume their phone and laptop activities after turndown service. However, every issue of SOLACE is now available online at issuu.com/solacemagazine and a TV adaptation of the magazine is now shown on TVs in every guest room of the three hotels, and is available on Youtube.com/ amwaygrandplaza. “The magazine will continue to evolve as the demands and needs of travelers do,” says LeRoux, “but we’re confident they will always appreciate a touch of style and inspiration in their guest rooms – whatever form that may take.” Learn more at: solacemag.com issuu.com/solacemagazine facebook.com/solacemagazine
VISIT A DELICIOUS DESTINATION APERITIVO WINE MALAMIAH JUICE BAR & CHEESE BAR MICHIGAN PANTRY BLUE SPOON OLD WORLD PASTA STUDIO OLIVE CO. BOKAY FLOWER RÁK THAI MARKET RELISH GREEN CARVERS GRAND RAPIDS’ FINEST MEATS GROCER DOROTHY & TONY’S ROCKET PIES PIZZA GOURMET POPCORN SLOWS BAR-B-Q FIELD & FIRE BAKERY SOCIAL KITCHEN & BAR FISH LADS SPICE MERCHANTS GRAND TRAVERSE DISTILLERY SUSHI MARKET LOVE’S ICE CREAM SWEETIE-LICIOUS BAKE SHOPPE MADCAP COFFEE TACOS EL CUÑADO MAKING THYME KITCHEN THE ODDEST SUPPLY CO.
Written by Emily Taphouse
I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM... The Scoop on the City's Best Ice Cream Spots Whether it’s an ice cream sundae, ice cream bar, ice cream sandwich, or that all-American classic the ice cream cone, Grand Rapids has had a long love affair with ice cream. Some say it started when local farmers, looking for a better way to sell their dairy products, created Hudsonville Creamery and started producing ice cream in 1926. Others say it starts over every spring when kids line up in front of ice cream counters all across West Michigan for their first taste of summer. One thing everyone can agree on is that the ice cream scene is entering a new golden age. A next level of ice cream is beginning, thanks to a new generation of ice cream makers experimenting with new techniques, unusual flavors, and unheard-of ingredient combinations. So, put down your freezer-burned push-ups, popsicles, and Eskimo Pies; forget about your fear of brain freeze, and go see why Grand Rapids’ ice cream aficionados are screaming about ice cream again. Love’s Ice Cream Can’t Live Without: Lavender Blueberry Ice Cream. Stall 106 at the Downtown Market 1 mile from hotel Love’s Ice Cream is a culinary masterpiece of wholesome sweetness. Their frosty treats are handcrafted and GR approved. They get bonus points for also carrying vegan gelato, sorbet, and insanely delicious confections and baked goods. Locally sourced, grass-fed dairy, and as whole food based as it can possibly be. Love’s is owned by Chris McKellar who used his own journey of switching his family’s diet to from-scratch, whole food creations, to bring his sweet dream to life. Seasonal and ever-changing flavors bring an extra boost of excitement to your visit. I have yet to walk out of The Downtown Market without a Love’s treat in my tummy and a pint to go!
Furniture City Creamery Can’t Live Without: Van’s Donut Ice Cream. There is nothing like it! 958 Cherry St. SE 1.5 miles from hotel An itty-bitty (and adorable) space with an insane amount of unique options, Furniture City Creamery dares you not to squeal and clap when you see the magic on the menu (not that I’d know…). With 65+ rotating flavors and options, you’re sure to find a flavor that’ll blow your mind. All of Furniture City’s ingredients are locally sourced, and nearly all are made from scratch, right at the shop. All their cones and sauces are vegan, so the vegans of the world can still enjoy a scoop from a cone covered in sweet deliciousness. If you see Rachel or Denise, don’t forget to throw them a high-five, as those two wonder women make 95% of products in the shop. It’s nestled right in the up-and-coming East Hills area, so you can cruise the shops and eateries before and after your treat! Pinkie’s Ice Cream & Desserts Can’t Live Without: Butter Pecan. My favorite version of this classic flavor, hands down. 1127 Wealthy St. SE 3 miles from hotel As one of the newer ice cream shops in town, Pinkie’s has swiftly made a name for itself. As you walk in, you’re enveloped in a sea of pretty-pink, quirky cartoon images, and unique artwork; a fantastic, eclectic combination fitting for the hip, and equally eclectic Wealthy Street neighborhood. Pinkie’s offers up the delish and West Michigan-based Sherman’s Ice Cream of South Haven, as well as sundaes, shakes, and malts, and a variety of novelty dishes. With some of the friendliest staff I’ve ever experienced, Pinkie’s is a place where you’ll feel immediately welcome and already ready to visit again. Side note: Check out Pinkie’s Facebook photo gallery for some seriously fun ice creamfaced kid pics!
Jersey Junction Can’t Live Without: Hudsonville Creamery’s Birthday Cake Ice Cream. 652 Croswell Ave. SE 3 miles from hotel This timeless ice cream shop is in the heart of Gaslight Village in East Grand Rapids. Jersey Junction was originally opened in 1963 by Doris “Chris” Van Allsburg (mother of the famous author and illustrator, Chris Van Allsburg). In fact, she is credited with coining the name Gaslight Village! The most endearing quality of this everlasting shop is that it hasn’t changed. At all. Along with the scrumptious selection of classic ice cream treats, the shop also displays an impressive array of old fashioned candy. The history, the childlike magic, and the homemade waffle cones are enough to make a trip to Jersey Junction worthwhile. All the ice cream served is supplied by West Michigan based Hudsonville Creamery. Let nothing stop you from stepping into this incredible time capsule, complete with a signed Polar Express train. The Cone Shoppe Can’t Live Without: Soft serve swirl dipped in Magic Shell. Mmm–Mmm–Summer! 1225 Michigan Street NE 2.5 miles from hotel The Cone Shoppe is just a walk-up window with some outdoor seating. But that’s all this little gem really needs, because the soft serve cones coming out of The Cone Shoppe’s window are enough to attract long lines of devoted fans all summer long. With 24 soft serve flavors, milkshakes, malts, flurries, sundaes, and daily specials, you’ll find something to satisfy your ice cream tooth. Be warned though, if you’re looking for a hipster vibe, ingredients sourced from the local farmer’s market, and flavors like fennel flecked goat cheese swirl, don’t look here. But if you’re looking for a chocolate vanilla twist that’s nothing short of perfection, look no further.
Grand Rapids-favorite DJ SuperDre blurs the lines between house and techno.
Written by Lydia Van Hoven Photography by Paul Jendrasiak
ROCK ON Where to See (and Hear) the Best Live Music in Grand Rapids The best way to see a city isn’t always with your eyes. Sometimes it’s with your ears. Grand Rapids is one of those cities. For a city its size it has a music scene second to none; small clubs where you can hear small bands; big venues where you can see big names; and clubs, bars, and breweries where metal heads, punk rockers, rock and rollers, 80s Ladies, and lovers of jazz, blues, bluegrass, and country can all get their fix. So open your ears and hear for yourself! The Pyramid Scheme Part bar, part arcade, but all hipster 68 Commerce SW 7 blocks from hotel Right in the heart of downtown, the Pyramid Scheme is one of the hippest venues on the music scene. The drinks are strong, the music’s loud, and the patchouli’s intoxicating. This venue books everything from local to national bands, including metal, indie, rock, hip-hop, and everything in between. Plus, with 24 pinball machines, you’ll always have something to do between acts. Frederik Meijer Gardens Picnic perfect summer concert series 1000 East Beltline Ave NE 6 miles from hotel The local botanical garden sounds exactly like the kind of place Grandma would get into. But Frederik Meijer Gardens isn’t only an epic garden and sculpture park, it’s one of the best places to see live music outside in the summer. Past acts have included superstars like The Beach Boys and Bonnie Raitt, and indie darlings like The Decemberists and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. It’s not your typical venue. Meijer Gardens lets you enjoy the sweet summer breeze, and jam out under the stars with an ice-cold beer. Maybe Grandma is onto something.
Founders Brewing Beer and music: a match made in Beer City, USA 235 Grandville Ave SW 8 blocks from hotel A Grand Rapids beer scene staple since before there was a “beer scene,” Founders is everything you want a great brewery to be. Exposed brick, big steel beams, fire pits, and, of course, some of the best beer in the city. But enough about its beer – Founders has live music every Thursday (it’s free!) and Saturday nights. Lots of chill acts to match the brewery vibe, like folk, bluegrass, funk, jazz, indie, and electronica. The Intersection The O.G. 133 Grandville Ave SW 7 blocks from hotel The Intersection has been a mainstay in the GR music scene since 1972. It’s everything you want from a mid-sized concert venue: stiff drinks, cool bands, and a floor ready for crowd surfing. In the front room, called The Stache, they host smaller, more intimate shows, but with the same stiff drinks. Both venues earn bravos from local music lovers and the national acts that play there. Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill A hidden gem 760 Butterworth St SW 1 mile from hotel When you first arrive, you may think you’re lost. The Tip Top is tucked away in a residential neighborhood on the up-and-coming West Side. Inside you’ll find a totally rockin’ rockabilly vibe, with lots of local talent (and a few touring acts, too) in genres like surf rock, blues, punk, bluegrass, alt country, and even a little metal. So grab your leather jacket, lace up your Doc Martens, and head out for a night on the west side of town. Oh, and hot tip: the food here is super tasty.
20 Monroe Live New kid on the block 11 Ottawa Ave NW 2 blocks from hotel Brand new as of February 2017, 20 Monroe Live was built as an add-on to the B.O.B. – a Grand Rapids bar and restaurant cluster. 20 Monroe Live already has some killer acts lined up, thanks to their affiliation with Live Nation. Everything from big-name rockers to hip-hop moguls to dub step DJs, plus stand-up comedy and burlesque acts with lots more slated for the future. Think House of Blues meets the Great Gatsby – an artdeco-inspired interior with a small-arena feel. Mulligan’s Pub A super divey dive bar 1518 Wealthy St SE 2.5 miles from hotel In the depths of Eastown lives Mulligan’s Pub. And in the depths of Mulligan’s lives its backroom. And in the backroom, they host concerts. Wade through the long, smelly hallway, and you’ll be spit out into a dark, carpeted bar with some of the surliest bartenders around (order a Mulligan’s Stew; they light it on fire). The best part about shows at Mulligan’s: they’re always free. As in they cost $0 to attend. See local punk, metal, alt rock, indie, and industrial – it's where the locals go to find their next favorite band. Van Andel Arena The big one 130 West Fulton 3 blocks from hotel Yes, it’s an arena. And, yes, arena-sized acts play here. Usually tickets are a bit pricier, but the tickets bear big names that are well worth it. Make sure to get tickets in advance because hot shows sell out. For the ultimate arena show experience, pair with a beer as big as your head, a margarita slushy, and a foot-long hot dog.
By Brittany Schlacter
DASH IN A FLASH
Traveling Downtown is Free and Easy on Grand Rapids' Shuttle Bus Service and The Rapid
You don’t need to use your car, hail a taxi, or order an Uber ride to get where you want to go in downtown Grand Rapids. Just get on board the DASH to arrive in a flash. The DASH is the city of Grand Rapids' free bus circulator. It complements The Rapid, the public transit system in the greater Grand Rapids area, and allows visitors to experience downtown like never before. The purple-and-white DASH buses run from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week, with pickups coming every 7 to 8 minutes. Trips on either of two DASH routes can be completed end-to-end in approximately 28 minutes, providing a fast, easy and convenient connection to all the downtown has to offer. In addition, visitors can ride The Rapid’s Silver Line buses within the “No Fare Zone” north of the Wealthy Street Station and throughout downtown. The DASH does not operate on weekends, but the free Silver Line buses run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Schedules and maps are available at the front desk of your hotel, and bus stops and Silver Line stations are just a short walk outside your lobby entrance. If you are venturing outside the downtown area, information on The Rapid system can be found at www.ridetherapid.org, including fares, schedules and routes to key destinations. There are two free mobile apps – GR Park and myStop Mobile – to help visitors navigate downtown travel and parking.
Two of the more popular destinations on the DASH West route include: Downtown Market Grand Rapids This mecca for foodie aficionados is home to 22 indoor market vendors, two full-service restaurants, monthly outdoor market events, hands-on cooking classes, private event venues, a state-of-the-art incubator kitchen, rooftop greenhouses, and more. downtownmarketgr.com | (616) 805-5308 Grand Rapids Brewing Company One of the Midwest’s largest and best-known breweries, GRBC offers award-winning drafts, organic ales, and a menu of locally sourced pub grub served in a rustic setting with reclaimed wood. GRBC is in the heart of downtown’s unofficial “entertainment district” that features several popular watering holes and concert venues. grbrewingcompany.com | (616) 458-7000 On the DASH North route, consider visiting a Detroit export that opened in the fabulously renovated Rowe Hotel last year and has quickly become one of the city’s hot spots: Atwater Grand Rapids Fans of traditional German-style lagers and unique boutique ales are flocking to this 6,000-square-foot taphouse, winery, distillery, and restaurant that features a rotation of 40 beers on tap and Atwater’s line of spirits, wine, hard ciders, and craft beer. atwaterbeer.com | (616) 649-3020
Along the Silver Line route, be sure to check out: Leo’s Restaurant Craving exquisite seafood and classic cuisine in an elegant atmosphere? Since opening in 2004, Leo's has blossomed as a favorite among the city’s power brokers as well as foodies seeking an outstanding dining experience. leosrestaurant.com | (616) 454-6700 Founders Brewing Company Since the mid-2000s, Founders has become an international sensation, known for its Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS). RateBeer.com ranked it the “Best Beer in America” this year, one of several high rankings over the years. FBC is a definite must-do while you’re in Grand Rapids, as we’re heralded as Beer City USA for our deep roster of excellent microbreweries. foundersbrewing.com | (616) 776-1195 Riding the Silver Line and the DASH to explore Grand Rapids’ treasures is easy and convenient – and not just for visitors. Residents value the convenience, at a price that can’t be beat, of their award-winning public transportation. So my advice to out-of-town guests is to get on board the DASH and the Silver Line, and leave your car keys and worries in your hotel room. Brittany Schlacter is The Rapid’s Public Outreach Coordinator of Digital Media. Learn more at www.ridetherapid.org.
Written by Rachael Wierenga Illustration by Kantorwassink with inspiration from Paul Rand
PACK AND PLAY How to Plan the Perfect Picnic Nothing says summer like a precision-packed picnic basket in a perfectly picked place. And with the weather being all bloomy, now’s the perfect time to sling a picnic basket over your arm and venture out into the great outdoors. At the Beach Kirk Park 28 miles from hotel Kirk Park is a gorgeous beach site on Lake Michigan that offers an experience more akin to the rugged natural beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes than to hoppin’ hangouts like Holland or Grand Haven. Unspoiled panoramas and fewer crowds make 68-acre Kirk Park the Lake Michigan picnic site to beat all. In the City Eastown Picnic 2 miles from hotel Urban explorers simply must head to Eastown to feel the heartbeat of Grand Rapids grunge pulsing around them. For a progressive picnic, start by parking at the intersection of Robinson and Lake, at the nexus of hip and homey. First off, peer into Redux Books—a hidden gem, of an unsparkling cobwebbed kind, replete with shelves spilling books, a low-ceilinged basement with squeaky hardwood floors, and nooks and corners where rare treasures are waiting to be discovered. Stuff your basket with a book and now it’s time to nab some food for the body. Walk a few steps across the street to E.A. Brady Butchers, where two hospitable brothers will welcome you into their clean, modern shop. Ethan and Aiden offer the hands-down humaneliest and tastiest meat available on the market, sourced from local farmers practicing pasture-raised animal farming. Paired with a few of their unique side items, your picnic basket will positively pop with pride. It’s a pleasant short walk to get to Wilcox Park, near Aquinas College, where you can spread out and dig in.
Best Small-Town Charm John Collins Park 5 miles from hotel For the social picnicker looking for a pleasant site to see and be seen, unpack a picnic at Collins Park, hugging the edge of scenic Reed’s Lake. If you play your cards right you may happen upon the doggie swim group that meets on nice days to let their pooches paddle. Match which owners look like which dogs and when you tire of that, no matter, plenty of people watching to be had in the other direction. In summer, sidewalks are bustling with people out enjoying the area.
put some serious color into his metal cheeks, and it starts at the bottom of a large hill, with an x-shaped path crisscrossed in it. Climb the hill at Belknap Park, and take in a breathtaking nighttime view of the city lights sparkling below. Want to feast on something besides love? Well, if you’re looking to impress, make the night really special with a basket of Michigan-made items from the Downtown Market. You and your date will find it epically fun to browse through the “food central” of the Grand Rapids community, picking out small treats and specialty items you simply can’t find anywhere else.
Downtown Dessert Picnic Ah-Nab-Awen Park 3 blocks from hotel Have a dessert picnic in the heart of downtown at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, well known and loved by area residents for the many summer activities that happen here. Near the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and boasting fountains, benches, walks across bridges, and lovely open spaces, this pretty city park is sure to please. Some of the best times of summer include movie nights in the park, when people turn out in droves to spread a blanket on the lawn and enjoy an old-fashioned community movie. Break from the boring and order a piece of chocolate cake from Ruth’s Chris or cheesecake from six.one.six to bring to the movie. Don’t forget the forks!
Fun with the Family Gerald R. Ford Airport Viewing Area 13 miles from hotel Though there’s plenty of airport radar on site, the Viewing Area at the Gerald R. Ford Airport is not on many Michiganders’ radar. Perhaps because of its entrance located off the beaten track (note that interested picnickers will need to approach from the south side of the airport near Kraft and 52nd to find where Kraft Street dead-ends into the viewing area), this summer picnic destination is one of West Michigan’s best-kept secrets. This is a prime picnic site for those looking to spend some quality family time together. Pack up a picnic and the kids for a fun and affordable family outing. Kids will definitely love sitting at one of the many picnic tables spread along the runway, watching airplanes soar into the sky right in front of them. Look for the brand new pavilion area to be finished this spring.
Hilltop Romance Belknap Park 1 mile from hotel A statue of Charles Eugene Belknap, “distinguished soldier, worthy public figure, self-sacrificing citizen, and faithful friend,” will greet you as you come upon this secluded picnic site just on the outskirts of downtown. Little does this famous Grand Rapids figure know of the passionate necking about to happen behind his bronzed back. You’re on a quest that will
Whether you’re a hotel guest or not, you can rely on the JW Marriott or Amway Grand Plaza to help you pack the perfectly appointed basket. Just order the JW’s Picnic Basket or the Grand Plaza’s Michigan Munchies basket, available through the front desk, for a truly memorable meal.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE
WEST MICHIGAN'S PREMIERE PIZZERIA & SPORTS GRILLE
VOTED GRAND RAPIDS BEST PIZZA (Grand Rapids Magazine)
GREAT FOOD + GREAT BEER Watch the game on 65 different HD flat screens, shoot pool, play shuffleboard, cozy up next to our fire in the lounge area… Whatever the plan, it’s GAME ON at PEPPINO’S
130 IONIA AVE SW, GRAND RAPIDS MI, 49503 | 616-456-8444
Best of 2016-17 Readers Poll
45 s. division ave, grand rapids, mi 49503 616.551.3563
Written by Samantha Suarez Photography by Tommy Valdez
Over the Bridge on Bridge Street
Your guide to what’s happening on the most happening street in town. When I first arrived in Grand Rapids (Was that really just last September?) I knew nothing about the city, its culture, or its people. Today, I’m happy to say, I am one of its people. And despite the fact that I haven’t been here very long, I’m already a proud West Sider! I love its vibrant yet old-school feel, its history, and the small-town charm meets big-city excitement of the West Side’s booming Bridge Street. Whenever a friend visits my side of town or whenever my Uber driver fetches me, they almost always say something along the lines of: “Back in the day, non-West Siders would never come to this area. Now it’s THE up-and-coming neighborhood!” While I’m well aware that “up-and-coming” is a term real estate agents use to get you to a sign a lease and collect their commissions, in this case, it’s actually true. On Bridge Street alone, there are tons of establishments, both old and new, that are definitely worth the short trek from downtown. With a feel comparable to New York’s Brooklyn, find out why, as the saying goes, “the West Side is the best side” and why 20-somethings like myself love to spend their precious weekends and post-work Happy Hours over the bridge on Bridge Street.
Featuring locally sourced, seasonal dishes and beverages, this biergarten and kitchen brings the Scandinavian food movement into the spotlight. Executive Chef Patrick Conrade places emphasis on sustainable farming practices and animal welfare. My personal favorites are the chicken soup and the meatballs, with some Westside Punch on the side. The Sovengard 443 Bridge Street NW sovengard.com 14 minute walk, 0.7 miles
New Holland Brewing’s new pub and distillery was undoubtedly worth all the hype leading to its opening. Whenever I tell people that I’m from the Philippines, they ask me if I’ve been to the Knickerbocker yet! With an extensive menu of craft beer, spirits, food, and more, it’s no surprise this months-old bar is already a West Side classic. As a huge fan of gin, I particularly love their“Knickerbocker” branded liquor. The beer is fantastic too, (Duh, it’s a brewery) and the beers have been given nutty names like “Dragon’s Milk” and “The Mad Hatter.” If you haven’t been to the hidden upstairs lounge, Zeppelin, you should definitely check it out, especially if you enjoy live music, cool art, and specialty cocktails. The Knickerbocker – New Holland Brewing 417 Bridge St. NW 616.345.5642 newhollandbrew.com 13 min walk, 0.6 miles
The Mitten State’s products all tell stories that show their love for everything Michigan. With ’70s and ’80s inspired style, they display their Michigander pride with vintage designs showcasing the state’s culture, community, and history. The Mitten State 415 Bridge Street NW themittenstate.com 616.228.4937 12 minute walk, 0.6 miles
Do you like cheap, good drinks, and free peanuts? O’Toole’s is essentially Bridge Street’s Central Perk from “Friends” or the McClaren’s of the “How I Met Your Mother” gang. It’s the “ye old faithful” pub on the West Side that’s been around for over a decade. Did I mention you’re allowed to toss the peanut shells wherever you want? The floor, the counter, in your pockets — you name it. Jenga and other board games are available to play after you’ve had a few. On one visit I actually built a Jenga house for my peanuts — and no one found it odd. O’Toole’s 448 Bridge St NW 616.742.6095 otoolesgr.com 14 minute walk, 0.7 miles
The Steel Cat represents what the West Side is all about: a relaxed and unintimidating place to wind down after a long day. It’s also home to Grand Rapids’ first frost rail; essentially an icy trail along the bar that keeps your beer at a perfect 32 degrees. Steel Cat Bar 640 Bridge Street NW 616.200.4449 steelcatbar.com 15 minute walk, 0.7 miles
For late-night wings and pizza, Fratelli’s is the perfect place. Even without the post nightcap buzz, the food is still delicious. I highly recommend the honey garlic buffalo wings with some ranch dressing. On a really good day, I can finish a dozen wings in one go, and I’m a tiny Asian lady. Fratelli’s Pizza 435 Bridge St. NW 616.454.9370 fratellispizzagr.com 14 min walk, 0.7 miles
This consignment store features clothing, shoes, and accessories, as well as local, handmade gifts. If you’re all about good-quality affordable apparel and like to support small neighborhood businesses, this is the place to shop. You can even sell your pre-loved items to the store and use your store credit to buy more clothes. The Conscious Collective 445 Bridge St. NW 616-719-2222 theconsciouscollectiveconsignment.com 14 minute walk, 0.7 miles
Harmony Hall is a must-see, must-visit West Side spot that opened its doors two years ago. When I first explored their menu, I was charmed by playfully named cocktails such as Lemony Snicket and Star Stuff (after a Carl Sagan quote). “Our go-to is to either name everything after pop culture or just trip out,” says co-owner Heather Van Dyke. Be sure to stop in for some beer and sausages. You’re missing out otherwise. Harmony Hall 401 Stocking Ave NW 616.233.0063 harmonybeer.com 18 minute walk, 0.9 miles
Maggie’s is one of the oldest old school spots on the West Side. In fact, it’s so old school it doesn’t even have a website! That didn’t stop it from becoming and remaining a Bridge Street staple and a favorite spot in town for years, winning awards for its authentic Mexican cuisine. You’re not a real West Sider until you get your taco game on here! Maggie’s Kitchen 636 Bridge St NW 616-458-8583 facebook.com/maggieskitchenwestside 17 minute walk, 0.8 miles
With a fine collection of premium denim pieces and other everyday essentials, this retail store is nothing short of chic for fashion aficionados. Their jeans will last for years and fit better than any pair you’ve had before. DENYM 443 Bridge Street 616-245-6644 denym.com 14 minute walk, 0.7 miles
This kitchen and bar features upscale contemporary cuisine, along with a unique beer and cocktail list. I go there whenever I’m looking to have a good conversation with one of their many friendly bartenders and need my fix of that delicious buildyour-own poutine. With extra gravy. Black Heron 428 Bridge Street NW 616.228.4919 theblackheron.com 13 minute walk, 0.6 miles
The Butcher’s Union delivers exactly what it promises: meat and whiskey. I’ve never been a “whiskey neat” type of drinker, but my friends who are assure me the selection (over 200 different kinds, by the way) is a whiskey-lover’s dream. As for food, the Caribbean spiced beef pie is a delicious and satisfying snack and the rotisserie chicken was on point. The servers were very knowledgeable and gave good recommendations. Bonus points: They didn’t find it weird that I was there for over five hours with my aunt and uncle! If O’Toole’s is ye old faithful bar you can go to and have a good time, Butcher’s Union is the cool gastropub where you take your eclectic friend from out of town who you want to impress. Butcher’s Union 438 Bridge Street NW 616.551.1323 facebook.com/butchersunion/ 15 minute walk, 0.7 miles
SWIM, SNORKEL, SAIL, FISH, DIVE, PICNIC, HIKE, BIKE, DINE OR... DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL. Stay at Peter Island Resort and Spa and the entire island is yours. Literally. 1,800 acres of paradise – perfectly preserved with five private white sand beaches, world-class snorkeling, sailing, fishing, diving, a spa that’s second-to-none, dining that’s continuously rated the best in the BVI and a staff you’ll swear knows what you want before you do. Check into one of only 52 rooms or three villas and see why people who stay on Peter Island refer to it as “that place.” Start your trip today at peterisland.com.
TOP GRADUATE PROGRAMS Set yourself apart Separate yourself from the crowd by earning a graduate degree from Grand Valley. With 38 master’s and doctoral programs, we offer the degree you need to advance your career, increase earnings, and enhance your job satisfaction. Programs deliver a unique blend of theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and professional networking here in West Michigan that no other university can match. And, you’ll benefit from Grand Valley’s respected reputation among employers, convenient campuses, affordable tuition, and diverse educational opportunities. Set yourself apart. Contact The Graduate School at (616) 331-7105 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or help getting started.
Impact. When you become a Laker, you look outward, focusing on others instead of yourself. With professors’ caring guidance, you learn how to make a meaningful, lasting difference. Then, as you go forward into the world, you’re ready to tackle challenges and make meaningful contributions. Like Michigan itself, your positive impact will be far reaching. That’s the Laker Effect.
Summer is all about sunshine, swimsuits, snow cones, and staying out way past when the streetlights come on. We wandered West Michigan to find the best sights, bites, beaches, and more to help you make this summer the kind Kid Rock writes songs about.
TO TURN UP THE HEAT ON SUMMER
WRITTEN BY K A N T O R WA S S I N K
DO A DU N E RIDE
GREAT BEACHES ON THE GREATEST OF THE GREAT LAKES
01 Sun’s out fun’s out when you walk through the trees to the beautiful white sand beaches of Lake Michigan. For the more adventurous beachgoers, there are the beaches of Rosy Mound Natural Area where 1,000 feet of wooden stairs lead you down the dunes to Lake Michigan’s shoreline. For a place to swim and build sandcastles closer to the city – and closer to concession stands and cold beer – there’s Grand Haven City Beach in Grand Haven. Or take a trip to Saugatuck and sun it up at stunning Oval Beach.
ROOT ROOT ROOT! FOR THE HOME TEAM
05 The West Michigan Whitecaps bring baseball to Grand Rapids in a big way. Affiliated with the Detroit Tigers, the Whitecaps play at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park – which was referred to as one of the best ballparks in the country by Ballpark Digest. So buy up some peanuts and Crackerjacks – and a cold beer or two – and head on out to the ole ball game.
08 RIDE A ROLLER COASTER
Only 45 minutes from Grand Rapids is Michigan’s Adventure, a top-notch theme park filled with worldclass coasters. Shivering Timbers is full of breathtaking drops, stomach-lifting lifts, and hair-raising turns, reaching speeds of 65 mph and heights of 125 feet. Thunderhawk is a suspended steel coaster reaching speeds of 50 mph and heights of 120 feet with exhilarating 90-degree vertical climbs, barrel rolls, inverted wing looping, and a complete roll over. Wolverine Wildcat will take you on a wild ride of hairpin turns, sharp banks, and sharper drops, dropping from heights of 85 feet and speeds of 55 mph. For the younger set there’s Mad Mouse, a maze of sharp dips and hairpin turns; and for the younger yet set there’s Zach’s Zoomer.
15 When visitors are in town, the best hosts in Grand Rapids sign their guests up for an adventure with Mac Wood’s Dune Rides in Mears, or Saugatuck Dune Rides in Saugatuck. Part thrill ride, part history tour, both offer incredible opportunities to experience something wonderfully West Michigan that’s kept both guests and hosts riding since the mid 1940s.
FABULOUS FARMERS MARKETS
Michigan is jam-packed with freshpicked, farm fresh produce. Here are four of the dozens around West Michigan where you can fill your fruit basket. The Fulton Street Farmers Market at 1145 Fulton Street East in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8am – 3pm. Drive over to the Holland Farmers Market at 150 W 8th Street on Wednesday and Saturday from 8am – 3pm. Head East to the Ada Village Farmers Market on Tuesday from 11am – 4pm at 7239 Thornapple River Drive. The Downtown Market hosts a Farmers Market on Tuesday and Saturday from 8am – 1pm, and Thursday evenings from 4pm – 7pm at 435 Ionia SW in Grand Rapids.
NO NEED FOR NAPA
23 The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail will take you on a tour that’s every bit as breathtaking as the Napa Trail on the “other” West Coast. Start at the stunning Fenn Valley Vineyards in Fennville, Michigan, where you can sit, sip, and enjoy sweeping views of this beautiful vineyard. Then head south to take in tasting rooms and vineyard tours at Cogdal Vineyards in South Haven, Karma Vista Vineyards in Coloma, Warner Vineyards in Paw Paw, Vineyard 2121 and 12 Corners Vineyards in Benton Harbor. Better still, visit miwinetrail.com and download the entire West Michigan Wine Trail Map.
T HIN K T HU N DERS TORM Lake Michigan demands center stage when thunderstorms are on the horizon. Head to Oval Beach in Saugatuck, the beach at PJ Hoffmaster State Park in Norton Shores, or anywhere along the shores of Lake Michigan to watch thunder boom, lightning flash, and waves crash as the storms roll in. BONUS TIP: Grab a spot at the bar at Bil–Mar Restaurant in Grand Haven and stay dry while you whet your whistle watching thunderstorms roll in.
PA RT Y O N T HE PAT IO ( S )
Outdoor beer gardens are a summer staple in Grand Rapids. These are a few of our faves: Sunlit throughout the day and lit by cabana fireplaces throughout the night, jdek at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids sits right on the Grand River and serves some of the city’s best cocktails. For Margaritas and Micheladas the outdoor options at Donkey Taqueria or José Babushka’s deliver every time. Billed as “The best year-round patio on the planet!” the outdoor scene at the Grand Woods Lounge is always on fire. For craft beers, beer gardens to head to include Founders Brewing Company, Hopcat, Graydon’s Crossing, GP Sports, Brewery Vivant, Harmony Hall, and two newcomers: Rick Muschiana’s Sovengard Biergarten and New Holland Brewery’s new outdoor patio. If sushi and sake in the sunshine is what you’re after, visit Maru Sushi on Cherry Street. Dogs dig the dog-friendly patio at One Trick Pony. If it’s privacy you prefer, hide out on the hidden patios at Reserve Wine & Food (upstairs and out back), the Watersview Rooftop Bar (hidden atop the downtown Homewood Suites Hotel), or the upstairs (out back on the deck) at Rockwell Republic. For lakeside lounging go dockside at Rose’s on Reeds Lake. One more well worth checking out is The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck’s patio, a hidden gem on the banks of the beautiful Grand River.
SPL ISH SPL A SH INSTEAD OF TAKIN’ A BATH
63 A quick way to cool off (and clean up) the kiddies on a hot day is to navigate your way to your nearest splash pad. Millennium Park Beach and Splash Pad is an impressive park and water area with a large cool-water splash pad, a small beach, play areas, and picnic spots. Other smaller splash pads serve their purpose too – try Cherry Park, Mary Waters Park, and Lamar Park for splash pad paradises in the city.
GET LOST IN LAVENDER
55 Head to Shelby, Michigan, an hour drive northwest of Grand Rapids, to wander a giant labyrinth made entirely of calming, beautiful lavender. The Lavender Labyrinth at Cherry Point Farm and Market was lovingly created by Barbara Bull beginning in 2001 and is now so huge it can be seen on Google Earth. It takes about an hour to reach the center, but visits are free, so wander away until the color purple is all you can see.
DRIV E U P TO T HE DRI V E- IN Load up the kids (or child-like adults), grab your comfiest blankets, and head to one of the few still-running drive-in movie theaters in the country – the Getty 4 Drive-In in Muskegon. The drive-in offers four screens showing double features with in-car sound and a concession stand (extra butter, please).
BEST BETS FOR A BIKINI WAX Get bikini beautiful at The Spa and Salon at the Amway Grand Plaza or at The Spa at the JW Marriott with a bikini wax by one of the highly trained and highly talented specialists. Or check out Wanderlux Beauty Co. for waxing, facials, eyelash extensions, and other treatments above and beyond the bikini line.
WHA-SUP Get yourself up on a stand up paddle (SUP) board (it’s easier than it looks – we promise), for the best way to see Michigan’s lakeshore…from the water. Rent boards from J-Boards at Pere Marquette beach in Muskegon, Macatawa Boat House on Macatawa Lake, Westshore Board Sports of Holland, or Wet Mitten Surf Shop in Grand Haven. If you’re feeling extra daring, try out a SUP Summer Yoga Class on Reed’s Lake, hosted by Funky Buddha.
PICK Y, PICK Y, PICK Y
GET HOOKED ON NIGHT FISHING
Nothing beats a handful of West Michigan strawberries or blueberries… unless you pick them yourself. For strawberries, a few of our favorite picks (get it?) are Visser Farms in Holland, Ed Dunneback and Girls Farms near Grand Rapids, and Krupp Farms in Comstock Park. For blueberries, there’s Blok Orchards in Ada, Fruit Ridge Farm Market & U-Pick in Sparta, and Phunny Farm Blueberries in Holland. (Many or most of these farms have both blueberries and strawberries, seasonally.) NOTE: All U-Picks are not created equally. Be sure to call ahead and ask for details before making the trek.
PERUSE A RT PRIZE
82 According to ArtPrize®, ArtPrize is, “a radically open independently organized international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury.” According to anyone who’s ever attended ArtPrize, it’s a three-week “Artapalooza” that transforms downtown Grand Rapids into a giant party inside a city-sized indoor/outdoor art gallery featuring art ranging from “great” to “gawd-awful.” It brings hundreds of thousands of people to town from all around the world to look at everything artsy and otherwise GR has to offer. If you’ve done it, you’ll do it again, if you haven’t, do.
If you have never been on a river in the dark during a bug-mating mayhem of National Geographic proportions, you’re doing summer in West Michigan all wrong. The big event is night fishing on the Pere Marquette River in Baldwin, a little over an hour north of Grand Rapids, during the Hex Hatch, which runs from mid-June to early July and provides some of the best nighttime dry fly fishing in the world. This experience is best suited for the slightly more skilled angler, but the event itself is awe inspiring for any fisherman, fisherwoman, or fisherkid. Hex, which is short for Hexagenia Limbata, is a large mayfly that has a spinner and appears after dark, giving the biggest and most elusive trout in the river reason to come to the surface for a late-night snack. Plan on heading to the river a few hours before dark, bring a headlamp and DEET, and be prepared to see one of nature’s most spectacular spectacles.
86 FLOAT YOUR HEART OUT Ice up your cooler, strap on your flip flops, and head due north to spend a day on the mighty meandering Muskegon River. Rent tubes or a kayak from Wisner’s, located in downtown Newaygo right on the river’s banks. They’ll load you and your crew aboard a bus and drop you upstream. From there, your only job is to keep sunscreen slathered on, keep cool with whatever’s in your cooler, and keep your tube tubin’ on as you ride the original lazy river. Post-float, walk up the Newaygo Brewing Co. for a local draft beer and some grub (our favorites are the Bratwurst skewer and four meat pizza).
IT’S SUMMERTIME SUMMERTIME SUM SUM SUMMERTIME...
105 TA K E A L IGH T HOUSE TOUR
DA N CE T HE NIGH T AWAY
If the rhythm of the night calls to you there are plenty of late night places you can get your groove on. E.V.E at the Bob is a great late-night spot for heart-pumping techno, Billy’s is a classic dance bar that kicks out the jams (especially on 90's night), Stella’s shakes it loose on Friday and Saturday nights, and you can catch Mega 80s at the Intersection where you can boogie to cover bands belting out 80's classics. Hit The Pyramid Scheme for a DJ set, live band, or even the Retro D’Luxe Prom Night.
WHERE TO GO TO GET YOUR GOLF ON
10 Thornapple Pointe in Grand Rapids, The Meadows at Grand Valley State University, and Boulder Creek in Belmont are all three terrific courses, all open to the public, and all under 30 minutes away from downtown Grand Rapids. Further afield, but well worth the trip, are three courses that made “Golf Magazine’s” list of top 100 courses. Tullymore Golf Resort is a public course 45 minutes away in Stanwood; just under two hours away is Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club built on the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan, and ranked #10 on America’s Greatest Public Courses list; further north, in Roscommon, Michigan, is the 11th ranked Public Golf Course in America, Forest Dunes Golf Club. So go on, get your golf on.
Lighthouses symbolize safety, but be honest, they’re kind of sexy, too. And the West Michigan shoreline of Lake Michigan is home to an incredibly close cluster of these spectacular structures. In a single day’s drive between Manistee and St. Joseph you can see 11 lighthouses. Some of our favorites include Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Ludington North Pierhead Lighthouse, Pentwater Point Lighthouse, Little Sable Point Lighthouse, Grand Haven Lighthouse, Holland Harbor Lighthouse, and the Saint Joseph North Pier Lighthouse. Most of these landmark lighthouses are open to the public, some require a small hike to get to, some ask for donations, and some even offer tours that take you all the way to the top.
BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE This list should certainly get your spring and summer started in the right direction, but for even more suggestions on how to make your summer sunnier visit Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. at downtowngr.org, Experience Grand Rapids at experiencegr.com, or Pure Michigan at michigan.org.
632 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
General Contracting Design/Build Construction Management
We just love when our clients have us over for dinner.
Pioneer Construction 550 Kirtland Street SW Grand Rapids, MI 49507 616-247-6966 pioneerinc.com facebook.com/pioneerconstruction 46
EasternFloral www.EasternFloral.com 800.494.2202
Prepare to be Pampered. SAVOR exceptional cuts of 100%
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DELIGHT in the finest and freshest top-catch fish and premium seafood. EXPERIENCE our extraordinary
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Reservations at (888) 456-3463 190 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids Located across from the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel TheChopHouseGrandRapids.com
47 3/19/2015 3:32:39 PM
Digging into GRâ€™s Meals on Wheels
Written by Karin Lannon Photography by Terry Johnston
There’s something about coming across a food truck that feels like a stroke of luck. A little stretch of pavement that’s normally nondescript is suddenly home to a four-wheeled feast, complete with exotic menu items; quick, friendly service; and enticing aromas to pull you in. More and more of these rolling restaurants are popping up in West Michigan. From converted travel trailers to glossy vans with catchy names and crazy graphics, people with serious culinary talent are dishing up a hot new trend in dining out. And to the delight of Grand Rapidians, the food truck scene is shifting into high gear. Why all the buzz? Brennan Summers, the owner of A Moveable Feast and president of the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association answers, “It’s just fun and unique. The vibe is different. It’s also very convenient. If you don’t have time to go to sit down somewhere, you can still grab a bite.” Dining out á la truck also makes it easy to satisfy everyone in the group. Say you’re in the mood for ribs, but your vegetarian friend is getting hangry, too. Never fear. Where there’s one truck, you’ll often find more.
Maple-bacon doughnuts. Slow-smoked BBQ. Korean tacos. Crab burgers. Lavender blueberry gelato. Hungry yet?
The quickest way to find a food truck nearby is to follow @GRFoodTrucks or look up an individual truck (see the end of this article). Or just try your luck by searching for trucks at Rosa Parks Circle, especially on Thursdays, when the “Relax at Rosa” lunchtime series brings live music to the park. There are plans in the works to develop a similar series at Calder Plaza on Tuesdays, and the city’s Movies in the Park event brings films—and food trucks—to Ah-NabAwen Park every other Friday night from June through August. Andy Guy, Chief Outcomes Officer of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., says, “From a consumer perspective, food trucks are a good way to provide new and affordable food options. Often, these items are culturally diverse—things you might not find in restaurants around town. More choices are good for consumers.” Guy says that ever since the city adopted its new food truck ordinance in August 2016, interest in the trucks has continued to grow. In fact, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. now seeks out ways to include them in its special events. “We do a lot of events out in parks that are a little removed from food options,” he explains. “Food trucks are a good way to bring those options into the park. They’re definitely an attraction. When we’re doing an event like Movies in the Park, the whole back of the park is lined up with trucks.”
Of course, there’s no shortage of excellent brick-and-mortar restaurants in the city. But Guy says that food trucks offer important ways to build on what’s already here. “Our hope is that food trucks will strengthen our competitive advantage by adding a new dimension to our local food culture,” he says. “Grand Rapids has a really strong culinary scene. We’re starting to build up the street scene to complement the bars and restaurants that are already established.” “When you have a line of five, six, or seven trucks in the same place and a crowd comes out, it’s just a good time,” adds Summers. “Without exception, people are just excited to be eating at a food truck.” The rise of food trucks may also be good for the city from an economic perspective. Guy says, “Not every chef or food entrepreneur can afford to start up a restaurant, but they can afford a more modest investment in a truck. That gives them the opportunity to get their products out to the public. It’s our hope that the food truck community can become the first step in the pipeline of developing culinary talent.” “If the trucks are successful and the owners are interested, these concepts can grow into storefronts that will enhance neighborhood revitalization. It’s already happened in some cases. D’arts Donuts started as a food truck but recently opened a store in Eastown. Daddy
Pete’s, which is a celebrated BBQ food truck, opened a storefront on the south side of the city.”
Food trucks serve as a natural magnet— after all, everyone needs to eat! That’s one reason the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association has the support of the city. “We’re excited to work with Mayor Bliss, who has made promoting food trucks and increasing access a priority,” says Summers. “She has attended our association meetings to share her thoughts, listen to our plans, and see what we can do together to increase food trucks in the city. The number one thing we hear from people is that they want more trucks!” The Association is doing its part to increase numbers by planning a seminar for aspiring food truck owners. “A truck provides a great amount of flexibility,” says Summers. “If there’s a menu idea I want to try, I can try it. If it doesn’t work, I don’t do it again. I can do that with greater speed than a traditional restaurant, which lets me be more adventurous.”
You don’t have to go far to find a good meal in GR. In fact, there might be some mighty fine grub parked right next to you. Daddy Pete’s Slow-smoked BBQ. Get the St. Louis cut smoked ribs and the five-spice pound cake. Check them out @DaddyPetesBBQ (Facebook/Twitter). D’arts Donuts Donuts made with whole ingredients and no preservatives. Get the maple bacon apple fritter or the daily special. Check them out @dartsdonuts (Facebook/Twitter). Gettin’ Fresh Lunch and dinner made with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. Get the bacon burger with garlic aioli or sweet potato and black bean rice bowl with chipotle raspberry sauce. Check them out @ gettinfreshtruck (Facebook), gettinfreshfood (Twitter). Love’s Ice Cream Organically principled ice cream and vegan gelato made from scratch. Get the chocolate-dipped Mitten Pop ice cream bar. Check them out @lovesicecreamgr (Facebook/Twitter). Patty Matters Deluxe burgers with beef, turkey, pork, fish, or vegetarian patties. Get The Brewster (using beer cheese from local breweries) and bacon and cheese potato bombs with bourbon Sriracha dipping sauce. Check them out @PattyMatters (Facebook/Twitter).
You don’t have to go far to find a good meal in GR. In fact, there might be some mighty fine grub parked right next to you. River City Cup & Cake Fresh coffee, tea, and pastries. Get the cinnamon rolls and chai latte. Check them out @RCCupAndCake (Facebook/Twitter). Rix Stix Pronto Pups Fast food. The Pronto Pup corn dog on a stick. Check them out @RIXSTIXProntoPups (Facebook). Blue Spoon Locally sourced food from Goodwill’s Hospitality Work program. Get the garlic butter steak kabobs and tomato bruschetta. Check them out at www.goodwillgr.org/bluespoonfoodtruck/ Pinkie’s Ice Cream Ice cream and desserts. Get a double scoop of your favorite flavor. Check them out at @pinkiesgr (Facebook/Twitter). A Moveable Feast High-quality ingredients, local producers, and responsible production methods. Get the Southwestern fish tacos or bacon jam grilled cheese. Check them out @AMoveableFeastTruck (Facebook) @MoveableFeastGR (Twitter). What the Truck Food made to order, from scratch. Get the beef bulgogi taco or Korean pork BBQ. Check them out @whatthetruckgr (Facebook) @tacotruckGR (Twitter).
P RO UD TO BE PART O F TH E WE S T MIC HIGA N LA NDS C A PE F O R M O R E TH AN 50 Y E ARS
L O C A L
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C O M PA N Y
Amway manufactures and distributes more than 450 consumer products, which are developed by our team of nearly 1,000 Amway scientists, engineers and technical professionals that work in 75 R&D and quality assurance labs around the world.
G L O B A L
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At one time, a bartender was judged by his speed and capacity to remember the names and favorite drinks of his regulars – and cocktails were evaluated by their strength and economical value. One rarely inquired about the source of the strawberries in their jumbo, discount daiquiri, and gave no thought to whether the drink had good composition and balance.
WRITTEN BY C A R R I E KO L E H O U S E P H OTO G R A P H Y BY J E S S I E D AV I D G R E E N
Today’s Grand Rapids bartender is still passionate about connecting with people and giving them the experiences they crave without pretense – but now that connection goes deeper. It goes all the way to the farm where the grain for the vodka came from. Our area’s master mixologists are obsessed with making every molecule of their cocktails taste as good as possible – so they’re meticulously sourcing, squeezing, soaking, swirling, shaking, and sometimes distilling to make every ingredient its best, and to make the final product better than the sum of its parts. But before cocktail bars and distilleries could thrive, West Michigan’s populace had to be ready to support establishments with $15 cocktails you have to sometimes wait 20 minutes for. What prepared the soil in the field where cocktail culture could grow?
The Machine | Long Road Distillers
Vesper | Lumber Baron Bar
Harry Wizard | Side Bar
Hazed and Confused | Gray Skies Distillery
I really did not want to mention beer in this cocktail article. But after talking with the area’s cocktail experts, I couldn’t deny that the craft beer movement was what led to the mixed drink boom. As Grand Rapids was named “Beer City, USA” and became home to dozens of breweries, locals grew accustomed to paying premium prices for a pint of beer – a beer they could enjoy every sip of, while analyzing and identifying the flavors, and talking with the bartender about the science behind how the beverage is made. Soon they were ready to do the same with a cocktail, and to appreciate the level of time, technique, and cost involved with a cocktail on the includes-egg-whites level. Then existing bars and restaurants like Reserve, Divani, Winchester, Rockwell | Republic, and Bistro Bella Vita started stepping up their cocktail game. Their bartenders evolved from pouring beer and wine and shot-andpops to inventing their own drink recipes. The JW Marriott’s Mixology Lounge started incorporating herbs from its chef’s garden into cocktails, using basil and thyme to give drinks freshness and complexity. Now new distilleries and cocktail bars have opened, creating cocktail destinations for both locals and visitors to sip the latest and greatest in spirits, along with the most lasting classic cocktails of yesteryear. Here are some you should try.
Rick Muschiana | Sovengard
LONG ROAD DISTILLERS While Long Road Distillers makes their own multi-award-winning spirits, its their attention to the teeniest, tiniest of details in the mixers that makes their ambition the most obvious. Take, for example, “The Machine” – their version of a White Russian which typically includes Kahlua (a coffee-flavored liquor), vodka, and heavy cream. For the coffee element, Long Road selected cold brew coffee from local Ferris Coffee & Nut and combines it with Demerara, an unrefined cane sugar. Instead of adding heavy cream, which General Manager Daniel Lovig finds to be lazy (he says heavy cream can make pretty much anything taste good), bartenders go through the painstaking process of making their own delicious almond milk. ¶ Long Road honors the classics, but always with a twist – like “Our bar is more like a their Lower West Side. It has the same kitchen,” says one of Long basic ingredients as a cosmopolitan, Road Distillers’ owners. but instead of cranberry, it includes a splash of something seasonal like With a bartender squatted rhubarb or cantaloupe. over a pumpkin he was
peeling by hand for the launch of a pie-inspired whiskey drink, the claim was easy to believe.
SIDEBAR Hidden underground on Monroe Center, beneath the floor of Parsley Mediterranean Grill, is a bar offering more cheer per square foot than any other place in town. Sidebar features vintage, gangsterstyle décor, a menu of about 40 cocktails, and 18 highly coveted seats. ¶ General Manager Duncan McCargar says that he, like many aspiring actors, turned to the service industry, and his theatrical background plays into his style of cocktail making. ¶ “If you care enough about anything – no matter how menial it is – you can elevate it to an art form,” McCargar says. Squeezing all the juice from a fresh orange for the perfect drink, selecting just the right record for the evening to play on the bar’s turntable, and of course performing a most vigorous over-the-shoulder shake are all the simple things that turn bartending at Sidebar into an art form – and having a drink there into a true experience.
Clover Club | Sidebar
LUMBER BARON BAR GRAY SKIES DISTILLERY The Barrel Finished Hopped Gin from Gray Skies took home the Gold Medal at the New York International Spirits Competition – and if you try one of the ginbased cocktails available in their tasting room you’ll understand why. ¶ When the distillery’s two young owners left their jobs to start making their own booze, they imagined a tasting room where bartenders and bar owners would fall in love with their spirits, and their bottles would make their way to the shelves of the region’s top cocktail bars. ¶ What they didn’t anticipate is how much the general public would flock to their tasting room, furnished with mid-century simplistic yet eclectic style. This necessitated the addition of more cocktails to the menu, with eight of them (including the Moscow Mule, Gin & Tonic, and Hazed & Confused) on tap to ensure a speedy delivery.
THE SOVENGARD While it’s more restaurant than bar, The Sovengard is one of Grand Rapids’ many dining establishments that takes its cocktails seriously. While drinks from owner Rick Muschiana’s menu are good enough to enjoy on their own (like the “A Walk in the Woods” that includes Long Road Aquavit, seasonal fruit purée, wormwood bitters, and lemon juice), Muschiana says cocktails are also designed to help you ease into or finish a meal. ¶ “A spirit can prepare you for dinner by lifting the way you feel and waking your palette,” Muschiana says. Then, after eating, he recommends a digestif like Luna Amara to settle the stomach while ending the meal on a bittersweet note.
The Lumber Baron’s newest bartender, Kellie Rowland, knows the classics are great for a reason, but that doesn’t stop her from using her creativity to reinvent them. ¶ One traditional cocktail that Rowland has refreshed for the 2017 spring/summer season is the Vesper, a long-standing drink she says is severely “under ordered.” This drink first appeared in Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel “Casino Royale” when James Bond ordered it. Kellie recommends her version with Tito’s Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, and Lillet (an aperitif or fortified wine), stirred and served up with a lemon twist. ¶ The Lumber Baron Bar’s atmosphere is as moody and classic as a Bourbon Old Fashioned, complete with a fireplace and round bar. Kellie says the best time to stop by is about 9 pm, when the vibe is festive but not overpacked, and you can sip an after dinner cocktail from the menu, or one she’s crafted just for you.
Before we called cocktail bars “cocktail bars,” the city of Grand Rapids already had a bar serving proper cocktails. The Lumber Baron Bar, hidden away in the corner of the Amway Grand Plaza’s lobby, has been serving classic and high-quality drinks for decades.
FRESH FROM THE CRUVINET What’s a Cruvinet? It’s Reserve’s unique nitrogen preservation system that helps ensure wine is as fresh the moment it’s opened as it is weeks later. The luxury of having such a system allows us to offer a spectacular range of wines by the glass— more than 100 in fact—without you having to invest in the whole bottle! Come join us in our dining room to enjoy a meal from our seasonal menu and try some wine from the Cruvinet.
201 MONROE AVENUE NW RESERVEGR.COM
DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS
616 855 WINE
AI WEIWEI AT MEIJER GARDENS: NATURAL STATE At his first-ever exhibition in a botanical garden and sculpture park, internationally renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei provides a new way of seeing the ideal concepts of freedom, justice and human rights. Come see what the world is talking about.
NOW THROUGH AUGUST 20, 2017 | #MEIJERGARDENS | MEIJERGARDENS.ORG Han Dynasty Vases with Auto Paint, 2015. Han Dynasty vases (202 BCâ€”220 AD) and auto paint. Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 2016. LEGO bricks. Photos by Andy Terzes.
3/2/17 11:43 AM
20% OFF WITH HOTEL KEY
20% Off With Hotel Key
CRAFT BEER, SMALL PLATES, AND AWESOME MUSIC * No cher r y trees were har med in the making of this restaurant.
100 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI, TEL 616.456.7673 101 Washington Ave., Lansing, MI, 517.374.5555
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www.page.works firstname.lastname@example.org 616.454.9224 2801 Oak Industrial Drive NE Grand Rapids, MI 49505
WE DO DELICIOUS ALL DAY LONG
MORNING Start your day with a tasty Bistro breakfast and your favorite Starbucks® beverage.
NOON Unplug and unwind or reconnect and recharge with a quick delicious lunch in our newly updated Bistro.
NIGHT With evening table-service available, you can sit down for dinner or host your own happy hour with locally brewed beers and craft cocktails.
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK ON-SITE PARKING LOCATED IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN GRAB & GO OR STAY & BE SERVED MEETING ROOMS AND CATERING AVAILABLE PERFECT PRE & POST GAMES OR CONCERTS PROUDLY SERVING STARBUCKS®
PUTTIN' ON THE SPRITZ When the mercury rises, a Summer Spritzer is the perfect cocktail to keep you cool. Usually low in alcohol (but not always) these sippers are the perfect companions for whiling away a sweet summer day. Ask one of the talented bartenders at one of the unique bars or restaurants in the Amway Grand Plaza or JW Marriott which spritz they recommend and let the bartender concoct the perfect Summer Spritzer; like the Spiked Lemonade Spritzer at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Lewison at the JW Marriott’s jdek overlooking the Grand River, or the Ginger Paloma at Cygnus27 – each the perfect accompaniment and color match for watching the sun set from the 27th floor.
The Ginger Paloma from Cygnus27
FRESH GRAPEFRUIT GARNISH SPLASH REGATTA GINGER BEER ½ OZ. HOUSE-MADE SIMPLE SYRUP ½ OZ. FRESH LIME JUICE 1½ OZ. JIMADOR TEQUILA ½ OZ. CAMPARI 1 OZ. RUBY RED GRAPEFRUIT JUICE
Pour 1 oz. freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice, ½ oz. Campari, 1½ oz. Jimador Tequila, ½ oz. fresh lime juice and ½ oz. house-made simple syrup, into a shaker and shake until evenly mixed. Pour into a flute, add ice, and top with a splash of Regatta Ginger Beer. Garnish with a ruby red grapefruit slice.
Enjoy the view.
Downtownâ€™s Fitness Destination
15 DAY PASS
with Hotel Room Key Certain restrictions may apply.
616-254-8600 | 33 Fountain Street | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | MVPSportsClubs.com
GUIDE TO HOTEL DINING
Whether youâ€™re looking for a snack on the go, a happy-hour hot spot, or a fine dinner created from fresh, local ingredients, our selection of restaurants and bars delivers. (In fact, you might start wishing there were more than three meals in each day).
CYGNUS27 Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Enjoy the skyline as you dine atop the Glass Tower in Cygnus27. Indulge in a variety of seafood and tapas dishes, along with indulgent entrées and desserts at this AAA FourDiamond restaurant for an epic dining experience. Casual attire, no jacket required. Private dining also available. 616.774.2000 x6525 facebook.com/cygnus27
SIX.ONE.SIX Located in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids For those looking for highly inspired cuisine in a stylish, cosmopolitan setting, look no further than six.one.six. With its unique combination of globally influenced tastes and regional favorites created from local produce, six.one.six offers a feast for the senses without even having to leave the area code. Free validated parking is available. 616.242.1500 ilovethejw.com facebook.com/ilovethejw
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza At Ruth’s Chris Grand Rapids, we’re picky about our steaks. That’s why we serve only the ﬁnest USDA Prime beef available. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, choose from our chef’s seasonal specials, fresh seafood selections, classic sides, and homemade desserts. Casual attire. Private dining also available. 616.776.6426 ruthschris.com facebook.com/RuthsChrisGrandRapids
SOLACE SPRI N G & SUMMER 2 017
S AV O R : A G U I D E TO H OT E L D I N I N G
LUMBER BARON BAR Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Settle into the warmth and charm of this historic barâ€” complete with fireplace, leather club chairs, and a large selection of premium drinks and food from the Ruth's Chris Steak House menu. The Lumber Baron is a grand choice for the beginning or the conclusion of a night on the town. 616.774.2000 x6522 amwaygrand.com
GP SPORTS Located in the Amway Grand Plaza One large screen, 30+ HD flat screens, pool tables, outdoor patio seating, pizzas, signature burgers, and more. The best place to unwind, enjoy a casual meal, and catch all the sports action! Also, check out our breakfast buffet, served daily. 616.774.2000 x6528 amwaygrand.com facebook.com/GPsports
THE BISTRO Located in the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Eat. Drink. Connect. Serving American food, bistro style, whether itâ€™s grab-and-go for someone on the run or guests dining in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Bistro offers fresh seasonal options that are satisfying favorites. The Bistro serves Starbucks beverages and has a full-service bar, known as the S-Bar. 616.776.3400 ourcourtyardgr.com facebook.com/ourcourtyardgr
THE KITCHEN BY WOLFGANG PUCK Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Made-from-scratch comfort fare meets authentic global classics in the kitchen of the world’s first celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck. Known for his genuine warmth and love of his craft, Wolfgang offers gourmet pizzas, appetizers, salads, noodles, and entrées for lunch and dinner in this casual and inviting restaurant. Pair your meal with a signature cocktail or enjoy a glass of wine in our bar overlooking the tranquil Grand River. 616.776.3230 amwaygrand.com facebook.com/thekitchenbywp
THE KITCHEN COUNTER BY WOLFGANG PUCK Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Quick, healthy, and delicious, The Kitchen Counter serves freshly baked and made-to-order breakfast and lunch items with ingredients to nourish and delight. 616.776.6428 amwaygrand.com facebook.com/thekitchenbywp
MIXOLOGY Located in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Casual, upscale service and an atmosphere that invites guests to enjoy the comfort of the solarium and the views. This type of service allows guests to complete business tasks while still enjoying the access to great food and libations. 616.242.1448 ilovethejw.com facebook.com/ilovethejw
STARBUCKS® COFFEE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza, JW Marriott Grand Rapids and Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Stop in to Starbucks for a morning or afternoon treat. It's the perfect place to enjoy a large selection of your favorite made-toorder specialty coffee drinks, teas, pastries, and much more. 616.774.2000 x6565 amwaygrand.com 616.242.1500 ilovethejw.com 616.242.6000 ourcourtyardgr.com
SOLACE SPRI N G & SUMMER 2 017
served all our steaks are
tender, juicy and
Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel | ruthschris.com
Water, fire, earth and style.
Revel in the sun and the tranquility of the Grand River by day, or party under the stars by night with live music and handcrafted cocktails on the jdek – the JW Marriott Grand Rapids’
chic and lively patio. Socialize at our stylish bar or entertain friends in a private cabana. Either way you’ll be transported to an urban oasis experience unmatched by any other destination in the 616 area code.
Reserve your table. │ 616.242.1448 | ilovethejw.com | @ilovethejw
EVENTS local happenings
We might be a small city, but thereâ€™s never a shortage of big things to do here. From art, theatre, and live music to sporting events and productions kids will love, our region offers a full range of tantalizing options.
Art + Exhibitions BUTTERFLIES ARE BLOOMING
Through April 30, 2017 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park The annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition at Meijer Gardens is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation. Tropical butterflies from around the world fly freely in the Tropical Conservatory. Some may even land on you! For more information, call 888.857.1580 or visit www.meijergardens.org
US IS THEM: ART FROM THE PIZZUTI COLLECTION
Through May 14, 2017 UICA US IS THEM is a powerful exhibition of works by 42 international artists who confront issues of politics, religion, and racism. The collection presents more than 50 individual contemporary artworks across a diverse range of media including painting, sculpture, photography, and video. The exhibition is organized to reflect timely and potent issues of social justice and current affairs across the world. For more information, call 616.454.7000 or visit www.uica.org
THE ART OF RUBE GOLDBERG
May 21 – August 27, 2017 Grand Rapids Art Museum The Art of Rube Goldberg brings together more than 75 drawings, photographs, sketches, and animated films—as well as rare personal photographs and memorabilia from the Goldberg family archives—to trace the creative process and bring to life one of 20th-century America’s most wildly talented innovators. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org
Opens May 27, 2017 Grand Rapids Public Museum Enter the wonderfully puzzling world of Mindbender Mansion, an eclectic place full of brainteasers and interactive challenges. Explore the neuroscience principles at work in each challenge while polishing up your communication, collaboration, leadership, and teamwork skills. For more information, call 616.929.1700 or visit www.grpm.org
Theatre + Performing Arts CREATURES OF LIGHT
FANCY NANCY: THE MUSICAL
AI WEIWEI AT MEIJER GARDENS: NATURAL STATE
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Through July 9, 2017 Grand Rapids Public Museum Explore the extraordinary organisms that produce light; from the flickering fireflies found in backyards around the world to the alien-like deep-sea fishes and other fantastic creatures that illuminate the perpetually dark depths of the oceans. For more information, call 616.929.1700 or visit www.grpm.org Through August 20, 2017 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park This landmark exhibition will feature internationally renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Known to work in a wide variety of contexts and scale, his ability to transform materials to share his ideas, concerns and vision has given rise to a critically acclaimed and widely appreciated body of work. Today, he is among the most inspiring and influential cultural figures in the world. For more information, call 888.857.1580 or visit www.meijergardens.org
BLACK WAVES: THE TATTOO ART OF LEO ZULUETA
Through August 27, 2017 Grand Rapids Art Museum Black Waves: The Tattoo Art of Leo Zulueta is a visual biography of the man largely responsible for the popularization of tribal tattooing. The exhibition’s narrative format draws on Zulueta’s personal history, as well as the historical cultures of indigenous tribes in Pacific Rim Nations, that greatly influenced his work. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www. artmuseumgr.org
September 20 – October 8, 2017 Three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids become an open laying field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what art is and why it matters. Downtown businesses and public spaces exhibit the art, as the public decides the winner. For more information, visit www.artprize.org
April 21 - 30, 2017 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre From the top of her tiara to the points of her sparkle studded shoes, Fancy Nancy believes that more is always better when it comes to being fancy. Based on the wildly popular children’s book series, this family musical brings the page to the stage. For more information, call 616.222.5560 or visit www.grct.org April 28 – 30 & May 5 – 7, 2017 Peter Martin Wege Theatre Alice in Wonderland will be a delight to the eyes and ears. Curiouser and curiouser is certainly how you’ll feel after watching the costumes, set design, and music all come together in a whimsical onstage adventure. For more information, call 616.454.4771 or visit www.grballet.com
BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS PRESENTS MOTOWN THE MUSICAL
May 2 – 7, 2017 Devos Performance Hall It began as one man’s story… became everyone’s music… and is now Broadway’s musical. Motown the musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. For more information, call 616.235.6285 or visit www.broadwaygrandrapids.com
OPERA GRAND RAPIDS PRESENTS THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
May 12 – 13, 2017 Devos Performance Hall Distinguished director Bernard Uzan returns to present a traditional setting of Rossini’s comic masterpiece. The first part in the legendary “Figaro” trilogy, Barber of Seville centers on a nobleman’s quirky attempts to woo the beautiful young Rosina away from the clutches of her overprotective guardian, but not without the help of the madcap barber-turned-matchmaker. For more information, call 1.800.982.2787 or visit www.operagr.org
PRINTS AND PROCESSES
Through June 25, 2017 Grand Rapids Art Museum Drawn entirely from GRAM’s collection, this thematic exhibition reveals the depth and quality of the Museum’s holding of prints; a collection that spans the 16th century to the present. Each section of the exhibition provides information about the different methods, tools, and materials that go into the production of the most common print forms. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org
Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens. Photo by Andy Terzes Us Is Them: Art from the Pizzuti Collection. Photo courtesy of the UICA. fa r r i g h t The Barber of Seville. left
Calendar of Events presented by:
SOLACE S PRI N G & SUMMER 2 017
Concerts THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE
June 2 – 18, 2017 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre The 2002 winner of six Tony® Awards including Best Musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" will have West Michigan audiences traveling to 1922 New York City. Millie Dillmount is searching for a new life and the draw of all things modern: bobbed hair, short hemlines, jazz music, and women entering the workforce. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit www.grct.org
BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS PRESENTS DIRTY DANCING
June 6 – June 11, 2017 Devos Performance Hall "Dirty Dancing" — the classic story on stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny in the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. For more information, call 616.235.6285 or visit www.broadwaygrandrapids.com
July 28 – August 6, 2017 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre You can’t stop the beat in this big and bold adaptation of the award-winning musical. It's 1962, and spunky plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad has one big dream—to dance on the popular "Corny Collins Show." When she finally gets her shot, she realizes she also has a chance to make a big difference in the world. For more information, call 616.222.5560 or visit www.grct.org
THE NEVERENDING STORY
July 28 – August 6, 2017 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Batian Balthazar Bux’s life is filled with pain. His mother has died, his father ignores him, and he is ridiculed by bullies every day. When he stumbles on a strange book, "The Neverending Story," he is magically transported to the land of Fantastica. For more information, call 616.222.5560 or visit www.grct.org
September 15 – October 1, 2017 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre After leukemia claims her husband’s life, Annie Clarke and her friend, Chris Harper, team up to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund. Their genius idea? Create a pinup calendar featuring their middle-aged garden club members. For more information, call 616.222.5560 or visit www.grct.org
MICHAEL W. SMITH
April 29, 2017 20 Monroe Live Sure to be a night full of favorites, The Revolution Tour will take concert attendees on a journey through Smith’s entire career. Presenting a rare evening of music from today and yesterday, Smith will perform hits from his extensive repertoire that spans more than 30 years and includes chart-topping singles such as “Place In This World,” “I Will Be Here For You,” and many more. For more information, call 1.800.448.3000 or visit www.livenation.com
JIMMY EAT WORLD
May 7, 2017 20 Monroe Live One of the all-time best pop punk bands, Jimmy Eat World return with their ninth studio album, "Integrity Blues" Now, the Arizona rockers have revealed more details about the LP and announced a US and European tour in support. For more information, call 1.800.448.3000 or visit www.livenation.com
ERIC CHURCH: HOLDIN’ MY OWN TOUR
May 11, 2017 Van Andel Arena Eric Church, an American country music singer and songwriter, is launching a 60+ city run through North America on his Holdin’ My Own Tour. For the first time ever, there will be no support act on this tour. Eric and the ECB will play two full sets of music with an intermission in between. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY: BEETHOVEN’S EROICA
May 19 – 20, 2017 Devos Performance Hall The two mighty chords that open Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony announce all by themselves that music will never be the same again. We leave the genteel world of the 18th century behind and begin the wild and exciting ride into the romantic era with the Eroica Symphony. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit www.grsymphony.org
May 20, 2017 The Intersection Selling out shows across the country and achieving multiplatinum success by paving a path of his own, SoMo has quietly emerged as R&B’s most successful underground superstar. Now, it’s time for the world to properly meet the Dallas, Texas singer and songwriter on his second full-length tour, The Answers. For more information, call 616.451.8232 or visit www.sectionlive.com
May 21, 2017 20 Monroe Live Tech N9ne is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. In 1999, he and business partner Travis O’Guin founded the record label Strange Music. Tech N9ne is known for his dynamic rhythm schemes and speed rap abilities known as the Chopper style. For more information, call 1.800.448.3000 or visit www.livenation.com
"Hairspray Jr". at the Grand Rapids Civic Theater Eric Church: Holdin' My Own Tour at Van Andel Arena
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Community + Cultural Events ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES
June 9, 2017 Frederik Meijer Gardens St. Paul & the Broken Bones is a tight ensemble with a gospeltinged, retro-soul garage sound complete with horns and a dynamic lead singer. The stirring live shows of the Birmingham, Alabama, band quickly garnered them a large following after the group formed in 2011. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit www.startickets.com
June 12, 2017 Frederik Meijer Gardens Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoree Joan Baez will join Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, on a limited summer tour as they share the stage in a special group performance as Four Voices. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit www.startickets.com
June 18, 2017 Pyramid Scheme Incorporating elements of early jazz, ragtime, country blues, Western Swing, and beyond, Pokey Lafarge has created a vibrant, deeply expressive body of work that embodies an expansive musical vision and vivid storytelling sensibility that are wholly his own. He’s also earned a reputation as a tireless, uniquely charismatic live performer, winning a loyal international fan base that regularly picks his live shows. For more information, call 616.272.3758 or visit pyramidschemebar.com
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Pokey LaFarge at Pyramid Scheme
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
June 25, 2017 Van Andel Arena Red Hot Chili Peppers have announced their 2017 North American Tour in support of their 11th studio album, the worldwide No. 1 The Getaway. The Getaway debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album Sales Chart and at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 upon its release in June. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com
July 12, 2017 Pyramid Scheme Japanese-American indie rock star Mitski’s single “Your Best American Girl” tells a heartbreaking love story of cultural clashes. This tour, in support of the album she considers her “most mature,” showcases her work that is both emotional but studiously crafted. For more information, call 616.272.3758 or visit pyramidschemebar.com
August 18, 2017 Frederik Meijer Gardens Ian Anderson, known throughout the world of rock music as the flute and voice behind the legendary Jethro Tull, celebrates his 49th year as an international recording and performing musician in 2017. For more information, call 1.800.585.3737 or visit www.startickets.com
FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
June 2 - 4, 2017 Downtown Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts is a community celebration featuring arts, entertainment, food, and fun activities for the entire family— including six stages and dozens of food vendors operated by local nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.festivalgr.org
GRAND JAZZ FEST
August 19 & 20, 2017 Rosa Parks Circle GRandJazzFest brings together notable jazz performers as well as up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences. Bring your lawn chair or blanket for this family-friendly musical event. For more information visit www.grandjazzfest.org
October 6 - 8, 2017 14 Local Polish Halls Celebrate Polish Heritage with the city’s annual three-day event in which the city’s normally private Polish Halls open their doors to the public for food, drinks, and activities, including the pageant for Pulaski Days queen. For more information visit www.pulaskidays.org
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SOLACE SPRI N G & SUMMER 2 017
WEST MICHIGAN WHITECAPS BASEBALL GAMES
April 6 – September 4, 2017 Fifth Third Ballpark Enjoy the excitement and competition at Fifth Third Ballpark as West Michigan’s professional minor league baseball team competes against other teams in the Midwest League! For more information, call 616.784.4131 or visit www.whitecapsbaseball.com
FIFTH THIRD RIVER BANK RUN
May 13, 2017 Downtown Grand Rapids The 40th Annual Fifth Third River Bank Run will feature the largest 25K road race in the country, along with 10K Run, 5K Run, 5K Walk, and Junior events, and will play host to more than 21,000 participants. For more information, call 616.771.1590 or visit www.53riverbankrun.com
Tuesdays Grand Rapids Children’s Museum Special programs designed specifically for ages 3 and under are available every Tuesday morning between 10 am and noon, with activities ranging from sensory play to art to story times. For more information, call 616.235.4726 or visit www.grcm.org
GRAM STUDIO: DROP-IN FAMILY SATURDAYS
Saturdays Grand Rapids Art Museum Drop in to the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Education Center on Louis Street anytime between 1 and 4 pm for family activities. Children and their adult chaperones are welcome to join the fun and participate in exciting art exploration activities in the Education Studio. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Baseball, Softball, Outdoor Track and Field; Women’s Golf, Volleyball and Soccer; Football Beginning in Fall The Grand Valley State University athletic program has repeatedly earned the NACDA Directors’ Cup for being the best NCAA Division II athletic program in the nation. For more information, call 616.331.3200 or visit www.gvsulakers.com
THE COLOR RUN
July 29, 2017 Downtown Grand Rapids The Color Run, also known as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet,” is a unique paint race that celebrates health, happiness, individuality, and giving back. Participants can walk or run the 5K at their own pace, and are asked to wear white—as they will finish covered in color from the packets sprayed on runners as they pass by. For more information, visit www.thecolorrun.com
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West Michigan Whitecaps Baseball The Color Run
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