June is always filled with the promise of summer and there are many eclectics ways to soak it up. Enjoy the mother of all outdoor markets, where only the cool stuff is for sale, get wild with science and fiction, twist your limbs akimbo in lush forest, and bliss out with a weekend of world beat and reggae.
Funky Junk Vintage Flea
June 8, July 13, Aug. 10
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
funkyjunkflea.com, (616) 516-2224
The Funky Junk Flea is the only outdoor market in Grand Rapids solely dedicated to vintage wares. With the tagline, "put a little funk in your junk," the market promises great finds for the second year in a row. Cecily Near, founder and woman behind the Vintage Life Expo held at DeVos Place, describes the event as "fun with a relaxing atmosphere," in addition to the three huge antique shops (a fourth is on the way). With free admission and $20 booth fees, the vibe is great finds at a low price. Lots of items are "kitschy and cool and funky and weird," Near said. "We have photographers come down and buy stuff for props. It's a great place if you're looking for some good wall pieces for up-cycling projects or furniture." Booth spaces are still available. And as Near notes, "all the vendors are local so the money stays local."
Yoga in the Woods
Blandford Nature Center, Grand Rapids
Mondays, through June 24
$72, $60 for members
blandfordnaturecenter.org, (616) 735-6240
Get limber while going back to nature this summer at Blandford Nature Center. Join yogini Audrey Chapman as she leads you through a series of mixed level asanas suitable for students from a variety of yoga backgrounds. Class is held on the Woodland Overlook, a wooden deck that gives a verdant view of the woods just south of the Interpretive Center. From the Overlook, "when you're looking up at the sky, there are really tall canopies and sunlight is trickling through," Chapman said. "Blandford is probably my favorite place in Grand Rapids. I'm so honored and thrilled [to teach at the nature center]. It's very wonderful." But if it happens to be hot, rainy or buggy, Chapman says indoor space is available. And for the well hydrated, modern bathrooms are nearby. It is requested that you bring you own mat, but a few extras are provided just in case.
MythBusters: Behind the Myths Tour
Wharton Center, East Lansing
June 22, show times at 3 and 8 p.m.
$25-$55, VIP $150
whartoncenter.com, (517) 432-2000
MythBusters is back at the Wharton Center after a sellout show last year and is described as a "mind-blowing and mind-twisting approach to science." The stage show, based on a hit television program featured on the Discovery Channel, incorporates live experiments and audience participation in gleeful romp, led by Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, who seek to debunk everyday myths. Get an inside scoop of behind-the-scenes stories and go head-to-head with the hosts over fact and fiction. Bets are the bearded men will outwit and out-think the average Joe. If you want to glad-hand after the show, VIP tickets will ensure you a meet and greet with Hyneman and Savage who happen to hail from legitimate science backgrounds (which explains why they are smarter than you).
18th Annual Kalamazoo Island Festival
Arcadia Creek Festival Place, Kalamazoo
June 20, 11:30 a.m.-midnight; June 22, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m.
Each year Kalamazoo becomes a reggae paradise with the annual Island Festival. Essentially a celebration of sumptuous food, jammin' music and sun-drenched dancing, the event is the largest festival of its kind in Michigan, drawing an average of more than 15,000 fans. Featured musical acts such as DubTonic Kru, Warrior King, the Cliftones and reggae legend Mykal Rose (Black Uhuru) work the crowd from sunup to sundown. Nosh adult beverages, peruse the wares of merchant vendors, participate in drum circles and reap the fruits of a myriad of cook offs while soaking up the heat.