Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo
June 2, 11 a.m., FREE
This is a rare free event at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, open to all ages. Get outside in Bell’s beautiful beer garden and soak up the sun with yard games, food specials and live music. It’s a great day to kick off summer, a beer in hand and artists like Barn on Fire and DJ House of Boogie providing the soundtrack. There’s really nothing not to like.
After Dark Masquerade Ball
20 Monroe Live
11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
June 7, 8 p.m., $15+
“Masquerade! Paper faces on parade, hide your face so the wooorld will never find you.” If there’s one thing Phantom of the Opera taught us, it’s that the world doesn’t have nearly enough masquerades. 20 Monroe Live is here to fix that, with a mysterious party full of ways to get theatrical. You can make your own mask and get your makeup done there, but make sure to bring your A game because the best mask wins a pair of Electric Forest passes. As for entertainers, there will be strolling puppeteers, burlesque performers, daredevil aerialists, and Theatre Bizarre Orchestra, a band rooted in “burlesque, rock & roll, jazz, and vaudeville culture.”
Summer Wine Up
350 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
It’s time to get summer started with some wining and dining. This inaugural event will have more than 100 wines to choose from, made by nine of the best wineries around the country. Admission gets you a souvenir wine glass and four samples. You can just sit back and have a sip in the beautiful Hackley Park or check out the wine seminars, Mystery Wine Contest, food trucks and more.
US 131 Motorsport Park
1249 12th St., Martin
June 9, $70
Doughnuts, dirt and bicycles don’t come together nearly often enough. In this highly unusual race, bikers can go for 18, 40 or 64 miles on dirt roads out in Martin. The twist is that for every doughnut you eat at one of the doughnut stops, you’ll deduct five minutes from your final finish time. You’ll have to both eat fast and ride fast. You can also skip the doughnuts altogether to race for the Sprint championship, or go all in and eat the most — while still finishing the race in time — to become the King or Queen of the Donuts.
Garage Block Parties
Garage Bar & Grill
819 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Wednesdays, 6-10 p.m., $3
Every Wednesday in the summer, Garage Bar heads out into the street to live it up in the open air. The block parties are all about being outside, having some drinks and making friends, with bands like Innuendo, a local rock n’ roll cover band, providing a show. Once you’re in, the drink specials are off the hook, with $2 drafts, $3 well drinks and $4 wine.
3311 Rich Rd., Muskegon
June 15, 6 p.m.-2 a.m., $10
Yards are the place to be in the summer. There’s really nothing you can’t do there — drink, sunbathe, play games, lay in the grass, have a picnic, grill out, even watch some bands. Yardapalooza understands that, throwing a party with local artists, vendors and musicians every year. This year, the music lineup includes Flexadecibel, Lady Ace Boogie, Elroy Meltzer, Bri Baron and more. Grab your tanktop and get ready to relax.
Van Andel Arena
130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
June 18, 7:30 p.m., $73+
The silky smooth, powerful, lyrical, inspiring, emotional, almost operatic voice of Josh Groban has brought millions of fans around the world to tears. I’ve even seen a car covered in “Groban’s Number One Fan” stickers in a Meijer parking lot. What makes the singer truly special is that despite his almost comically melodramatic music, Groban actually has a great sense of humor about it, appearing on shows like The Office and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia that poke fun at his character. His live show is sure to be full of laughs and tears, supporting his eighth studio record, Bridges.
1969 Tribute Show
The Pyramid Scheme
68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
June 21, 8 p.m., $10
The final year of any decade is an interesting one, marking the transition from one short era to the next. In 1969, four of the world’s greatest rock groups were just getting started. As a haven for bands on the rise, it only makes sense that the Pyramid Scheme would pay tribute, with Grand Rapids artists covering four albums front to back: The Who’s Tommy, Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma, Led Zeppelin’s II and Joe Cocker’s With A Little Help From My Friends. Proceeds of the show benefit Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, a nonprofit helping people at various stages of business ownership.
Eastown Bizarre Bazaar
Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids
June 22, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
It’s always good to get weird. The Bizarre Bazaar brings together all kinds of businesses in Eastown to throw a party celebrating the neighborhood and the people who live there. There are more than 80 local artists and craftspeople selling art of all varieties, backed by local bands and food. The craft beverage tent is returning as well, with local craft beer, ciders and wine for sale.
Rock, Roar & Pour
John Ball Zoo
1300 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
June 27, 6-9 p.m.
The zoo isn’t only for children, especially not when you throw adult beverages in the mix. This event is 21 and older only, giving you and the animals a rare chance to spend some time together in the evening and with a drink in hand — well, the animals probably won’t have any drinks. Beer, wine and cider will be for sale, as well as food from the grill and the usual concessions. Plus, the Crane Wives will provide some live music.
Kia Arts Fair. Courtesy Photo
KIA Arts Fair
200 W. South St., Kalamazoo
June 7-8, free
The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts gets that if we want to be looking at art in the summertime, we’d prefer for it to be outdoors. The annual Arts Fair is Michigan’s first outdoor art fair, according to the institute, and it’s stuck around for a reason. Nearly 190 artists from around the country participate and they’re selected by a jury, so you know they’re the cream of the crop. You’ll find jewelry, photography, sculpture, painting, ceramics, glass, fiber, leather, wood, all for sale beneath the shady boughs of Kalamazoo’s central park. There will be food trucks and family activities to go along with it all. Plus, on Friday evening, the Beer Garden will be open outside of the museum, with food and wine from Bell’s Brewery.