Friday, 25 July 2014 14:09

ALL AGES: Getting Outdoorsy

Written by  Missy Black
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Family Fun at the Farm Family Fun at the Farm COURTESY PHOTO

Saugatuck Center for the Arts
400 Culver St., Saugatuck
Aug. 19, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
$35, (269) 857-2399

Meet at Saugatuck Center for the Arts to hop on a bus and drive over and hike Saugatuck Dunes State Park out to oval beach for an art lesson in an eco-classroom. Collecting found objects, kids unpack near the beach and create a unique and folky hanging work of art. They do this by experimenting with their found treasures and linseed oil and pastels, fiber and yarn. “There will be history of sand dunes and the natural environment,” said Education and Exhibition Coordinator Whitney Valentine. Instructors Ms. Whitney and Ms. Megan bring along crucial pieces of the mobile-type craft encouraging kids to collect objects to put inside or hang off their mobile creations. “So many good treasures are found on the ground from a stick to a stone—flip it over and look at patterns.” This class is recommended for ages 7 and up and parents will need to pack a lunch.


Family Fun at the Farm
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
Fridays in August, 1-4 p.m.
Free with admission, (616) 957-1580

Reminiscent of a 1930s family farm, Michigan's Farm Garden features a farmhouse, barn, orchard and garden area and children can work together on a cooperative quilting project and doing “chore-challenges” such as gathering eggs, hanging laundry and pretending to paint the barn. “Children love painting the barn with water and big paint brushes and finding and gathering wooden eggs,” said Outdoor Education Manager Vickie Wilkinson. “We have 1930s-era games like jump ropes, hopscotch and even a found-instrument band.” The idea is to unplug and get outside in the fresh air and step back in time. Also enjoy farm-inspired stories, games and music. Of note: There is a themed weekend Aug. 9 and 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. where the farm is transformed into a county fair. Interact with animals such as horses, sheep, goats and rabbits. Sign up for fair-type games including sack races, bean-bag toss, hula hoops and hobby horse races. There’s also pie-making demonstrations with samples to follow.


Street Performer Series
Downtown Holland
Thursdays in August, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Free, (616) 796-1210

Stroll through the outside street performer series and soak up the sweet sunshine while you see a mime and aerial acrobats, listen to classic quartets, watch dance crews and henna tattoo artists. With something for everyone, the Downtown Holland Street Performers Series offers up tons of entertainment all along one street. “Kids love to get a balloon animal,” says Marketing Coordinator Kara de Alvare. “Even Sally Star’s thumbprints that she makes into buttons excite them. Kids love anything interactive.” With 34 performance locations and a total of 94 artists and groups performing on a rotating basis, the event is a fun, festive atmosphere with almost 2,000 visitors. See Juggler Gerry Bose on Aug. 7 along with caricatures by Corey Ruffin. Aug. 14 features Miss Audacious and the Audacious Hoopers, as well as face painting and a mystic on hand. Maciek the Magician appears Aug. 21 alongside Kevin Kammeraad and the Cooperfly Puppet Troupe featuring Andres Salguero. Aug. 28 presents Bangarang Circus and The Almost Amazing Marco—a man with the uncanny ability to predict what people will say or do. While the series is free to attend, performers will be busking for tips and tipping is highly encouraged.


Movies in the Park—Double Feature: Jurassic Park and Voter’s Choice Movie
Downtown Grand Rapids
Ah-Nab-Awen Park
Aug. 22, 7 p.m./activities, film at dusk
Free, (616) 719-4610

With the stars and skyline as your backdrop, an outside movie offers a little touch of summer magic. Bring your blankets, chairs, beer, wine (I’m sold right there) and snack and take in a movie at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids. Families and kids will be able to view not just Jurassic Park, but a Voter’s Choice Movie selection as well. “It’s an opportunity to enjoy many of the films we all love and know every line to in a communal park atmosphere and share an experience,” said Kristopher Larson, president and CEO of Grand RapidsDowntown Development Authority. Too lazy to gather a picnic basket of goods? There are vendors on-site, serving up delicacies such as pizza, ice cream, popcorn and more. Described as one giant picnic, groups and families can also partake in activities before the show including live music, a scavenger hunt and swing dancing as has happened at previous events.

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