We’ve hit that midwinter stride. Is it snowing? Yes! Does it bother us? Not that much!
Right now is when it’s time to do all those special winter activities you can’t do during summer: Skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, drinking hot chocolate by a fireplace, cancelling plans because it’s “not safe to drive,” etc.
The soft white blanket over everything is kind of nice! And just notice how quiet it is outside, how calm. Surely this will never get old (don’t remind me that I said this a month from now).
It’s also a great time to get out and do fun stuff around West Michigan — who knew February would have so many festivals?
Here’s what’s on our radar for this weekend:
Pre Beer Fest Beer Fest
Perrin Brewing Co.
Feb. 21, 5-9 p.m.
This is NOT the famous Winter Beer Fest — you’ll have to scroll down for that. This is the PRE Beer Fest Beer Fest, because it’s always good to practice drinking the day before. Perrin Brewing is giving you plenty of opportunity to do so, with 34 unique, one-off beers to sample amidst outdoor bonfires. Come for the Malted Milk Ball, stay for the Cinnamon Apple Stout … and then the Honey Ginger Tripel … and then the Smoked Chocolate Porter. You know what? Just plan to stick around awhile.
AfroFest: Michigan’s Largest Afro Party
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
435 West South St., Kalamazoo
Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m.
Spend an evening celebrating Black History Month and African American culture at AfroFest. Grab a drink, dine on soul food, browse the art gallery, shop with vendors who support the black community and, most important: dance, dance, dance. DJ Conscious will be spinning R&B, hip-hop, and reggae favorites all night long. Guests are encouraged — but not required — to wear natural hair and authentic African prints or retro hip-hop and ’70s attire. Nothing costume-y, please!
Winter Beer Fest
Fifth Third Ballpark
4500 W. River Drive NE, Comstock Park
Feb. 22, 1-6 p.m., $55
The Winter Beer Fest is back once again with roughly 150 Michigan breweries and more than 1,100 beers. Your ticket gets you 15 tasting tokens, and you’d be surprised how long those will last you. The fun is in walking around and taking in the incredible range of beer styles, while listening to live music, watching performers, and warming up by the fire pits. All with a brew in hand, of course.
2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
Feb. 22, 8 p.m., $10
We all know cat videos are the best part of the internet — this has been true since its inception. But what’s amazing is that the videos are only getting better and better as time goes on. CatVideo Fest compiles some of the best cat videos of the modern era — including animations and music videos — for an incredible communal experience of cuteness and laughter. Plus, a portion of ticket sales go to Carol’s Ferals.
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
Feb. 25, 8-10 p.m.
If you haven’t been to Wealthy Theatre’s Meanwhile Movie series, you’re missing out. It’s one of the only places you can see absolute classics like Good Burger, The Big Lebowski, and this week, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you want to see Jim Carrey in a serious role opposite Kate Winslet as they both try to forget each other, this is the film for you. The historic theater feels very communal, and don’t worry: They have (adult) drinks and popcorn.