It is the season of throbbing hearts, frolicking, tomfoolery and communing with nature. This month, explore our bountiful waterways, re-imagine trash in the name of art and the earth, get buzzed permanently and wear a hat no one else will dare.
Hats Off to Dr. Seuss
Holland Area Arts Council, Holland
April 25-May 11
hollandarts.org, (616) 396-3278
There’s nothing more Seussian than an outsized, ostentatious hat. For the first time ever, Dr. Seuss’ private hat collection is on tour in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of his book, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Recently, the hats have emerged from a long slumber within a hidden closet on the Seuss estate along with a slew pieces from the Dr. Seuss Secret Art collection, which have been secret until now. The innumerous hats will be showcased alongside rarely seen paintings, drawings and even sculptures. Plus, you can take home a piece of Seussian history with, according to the website, “works adapted from Ted Geisel's original [art].”
GR Paddling: Custom Kayak & Canoe Trips
Greater Grand Rapids
May 1-Oct. 31
grpaddling.com, (616) 558-2609
Seeking adventure, but on your own terms? GR Paddling allows you to create a custom paddling experience complete with amenities and front-door service. Paddlers can choose excursions on any of the five local rivers like the Thornapple or Grand River, and surrounding lakes like Wabasis and Reeds Lake. From there, every detail is customizable from the time of your departure to the length of time you want to be on the water. While traveling along places like the Rogue River, docking and dining options are available if you want to make a day of it. “We take care of them,” said Jeff Neumann, who co-owns the company with his wife. “We provide binoculars, towels, bug spray, sunscreen and even snacks and beverages at the end.” On top of that, GR Paddling will pick you up at your door, whether it is from a local hotel, your office or home. “We're in it to give people a great time,” said Neumann. “I’m retired. I’m just excited to do it.”
Recycled Art in the Park
Celery Flats Park, Portage
Recycled Art in the Park is a non-juried showcase and contest featuring works created with re-purposed and re-imagined materials. For one week, the public can enjoy pieces created by 30 different artists all displayed outdoors at Celery Flats Park. Voting and judging commence on the final exhibition day with cash prizes awarded for the publicly voted Popular Choice Award along with awards in a number of other categories. The judged contest looks for the level of recycled content and examines “creative use of materials as they were not originally intended” along with “overall artistry and originality.” Developed as a means of creating public awareness about recycling, Recycled Art in the Park also promotes creativity in everyday objects.
Skin Deep Tattoo and Body Art Expo
DeltaPlex, Grand Rapids
skindeepexpo.com, (616) 364-9000
If the whir of a tattoo gun makes your heart go patter, then the three-day Skin Deep Tattoo and Body Art Expo will send it humming. Dubbed one of the largest tattoo and piercing events in Michigan, Skin Deep offers all of the usual suspects, plus celebrity appearances. In addition to seminars, vendors and endless opportunities to get poked, participants can enjoy a huge array of daily contests like Best Job Stopper, Best Portrait and Best Tattoo of the Day. Not to mention other attractions including live music and the crowning of the Miss Skin Deep in the pin up pageant. Sound exciting? Enjoy an unforgettable weekend of indelible ink.