Bissell HowlOween Hoof and Woof Brought to You by Meijer
Manhattan Park, East Grand Rapids
Oct. 19, noon to 3 p.m.
hoofandwoof.org, (616) 791-6666
It’s a chance for you and your pet to dress up for Halloween. Taking place at Manhattan Park, this new and exciting Bissell Pet Foundation event promises a fun-filled day for families and their two and four-legged kids. Entrance to the event is free, but games, food and activities can be enjoyed at family friendly prices. “It’s an old-fashioned fall carnival,” said Pet Programs Communications Coordinator Holly Kroeze. Experience face painting, a cake walk, games (many of which include your dog) and prizes. Take a walk with your dog along the “Trick-or-Treat Trail” in your Halloween costume and fill up your candy bag and bring your pooch along to get a treat. There will be prizes awarded for best dog costumes and raffle prizes as well. “It’s a good time to relax with the whole family.” Save room for hotdogs, popcorn, caramel corn, caramel apples and more. Before you leave, pop into the “Smooch Your Pooch” photo booth and get some pictures with your best friend. “My dog loves getting kisses anytime he can so he’d love that,” Kroeze said. Funds raised through this event will benefit the West Michigan Therapy Dogs, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, and BISSELL Pet Foundation. “This event is about opening up your eyes to therapy dogs and how pets can have such a positive impact on kids and their healing process," Kroeze said. "It’s so cool to see these pets and the impact they have on people.” The event takes place even if it’s raining cats and dogs.
Holland Farmers Market
150 W. 18th St., Holland
Oct. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Free, $1/pumpkin carving for kids
hollandfarmersmarket.com, (800) 506-1299
When the pumpkin patch seems played out, you can check out the pumpkin carving skills of professionals and all the sights and sounds of the Holland Farmers Market. The carvers on hand are from all over the Midwest, showcasing their unique and intricate carving skills that represent this year's theme. “Last year there was a Mad Scientist theme,” said Marketing Coordinator Kara de Alvare. Get up close and watch ordinary pumpkins transform before your eyes or get hands on during a carving activity for kids. There’s an amateur pumpkin carving contest where participants can carve at home and bring in their creation for a chance to win a $100 cash prize (there is a $10 entry fee). Last year, the event featured pumpkin painting, a candy hunt, candy guessing, a bean bag toss and other entertainment. Expect the same type of liveliness this year. “It’s free and a great day to come down to the market and browse the vendors," de Alvare said. "They’ve got pumpkins, gourds and squash. It will put you in the fall spirit.”
Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship
Grand Rapids Public Museum
272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids
Oct. 18-Apr. 19
$17/adults, $12/children 3 to 17, free admission/ages 2 & under
Little buccaneers everywhere will be in their glory (and maybe find some great Halloween costume inspiration) with the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Real Pirates exhibit. It’s a compelling exhibition of the story of the Whydah, the first authenticated pirate shipwreck. The ship was sunk in 1717 by a fierce storm and is still actively being excavated today. Get a look at treasure chests filled with coins from all over the world, including authentic coins that visitors can touch, pirate dress items, daily objects used aboard the ship, jewelry and technologically advanced weaponry of the time—18th century cannon, pistols and swords. “The biggest things are the interactive pieces. There is a recreation of the ship that you will be able to walk through,” said Kate Moore, vice president of marketing and public relations. There’s quite a bit of history to learn here as well. “We talk about how the ship was a slave ship prior to becoming a pirate ship, the connections to trade and economic, political, social and historic lessons.” With pirates being so popular among children, the exhibit is sure to be a special outing filled with mystery and wonder. Fun fact: There is mention of John King, the youngest known pirate (possibly under 11 years old) in some of the exhibit’s stories, as well as a section about women pirates.