Like exultant newborns, we come screaming and crying into January, waiting for the old, filthy snow to melt so we can resume our lives. In the meantime, you can watch sporting types get sweaty and show off, discover what cornhole really is and dream about a Chattanooga Choo Choo taking you away to another land.
Killamazoo Derby Darlins vs. South Bend Roller Girls
Kalamazoo Expo Center, Kalamazoo
Jan. 11, 5:30-9 p.m.
killamazoo.com, (269) 271-2171
This month, Kalamazoo's own Killamazoo Derby Darlins play their first bouts of the year against the South Bend Roller girls. The games are set to be "super exciting," according to Maggie King aka Neva Soba, assistant charter team captain, "because we're moving to the [Kalamazoo] Expo Center." The new arena will make for bigger productions all around, including working as a venue to show off the burgeoning junior league. You can see the youth league in action, featuring 6-11 year olds, during the half-time entertainment, showcasing drills and skills. They are "brand new and totally adorable," King said. So if you like athletic babes of all ages, skating for their lives and glory, check out this double header.
The Harlem Globetrotters
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids
Jan. 26, 2 p.m.
$16 and up
harlemglobetrotters.com, (616) 742-6600
Everybody's favorite comedic basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, is back in Grand Rapids with a new tour and a new twist. As if hilarious stunts, theatrical antics and impressive skills weren't enough, the audience has a say this year. The current "Fans Rule" tour is just that, where b-ball lovers get to decide what new and outrageous rules will be implemented in the game. Online voting determines what rules make the cut, like "Hot Hand Jersey," the "Trick Shot Challenge" and "Make or Miss," where the game starts with only two players, and team members enter and exit the court based on shots made or missed. Enjoy this unique event featuring a co-ed team, trick shots and spectacle that will wow and amuse.
Lansing Model Train Show and Sale
MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education, East Lansing
Jan. 12, 10 a.m-4 p.m.
$6 adults & free for children under 12 or scouts in uniform
lmrc.org, (517) 648-0628
"Everybody likes trains," according to Robert Teed, vice president of the Lansing Model Railroad Club. Whether it's the experience of riding the rails, delinquent train hopping, the sound of a nearby depot or the simple pleasure of a miniature town complete with a train set, many people have a connection with the once-ubiquitous choo-choos. The Lansing Model Train Show brings out the best in what Teed describes as a multi-faceted hobby. "Some people like the electronics, some people like the scenery which brings out the artistic abilities in people and there are people who just enjoy watching the trains go by," he said. The event has been running for over 40 years and is expected to bring in around 5,000 people from around the US. "The hobby has changed so much in the last 15-20 years," said Teed. The show will offer the latest in new digital technology as well as vendors offering collectibles and antiques plus how-to demonstrations and more.
Jan. 30-Feb. 1
After the holidays and the NYE cherry on top, Michiganders are pretty partied out. Generally, winter rears its frigid, hateful head in full force at the end of January. So, you have two options: you can either weep pointy icicles or party like you were born in a snowmobile suit (which some of you were, I'm sure). Snowfest turns 30 this year and to celebrate, you can enjoy the usual suspects like beer tents, a Euchre tournament, live entertainment, kids attractions, the famed Battle of the (chili) Bowls and games like the always giggle-worthy Snow Cornhole, all brought to you by the Greater Muskegon Jaycees.