Tuesday, 25 February 2020 13:49

Events for Everyone

Written by  Elma Talundzic
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Grand Rapids Children's Museum. Grand Rapids Children's Museum. Courtesy Photo

If you’re tired of sitting at home with the kids, West Michigan is full of opportunities to get out and have fun together! Mark your calendar with these fun, family friendly events that are exciting for all. This list offers up opportunities to get creative, dance, eat, get thrilled, tell some jokes and more. 

Disney on Ice: Celebrate Memories
Van Andel Arena
130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
Feb. 27-Mar. 1 
vanandelarena.com

Disney on Ice entertains by bringing your favorite Disney stories to life with music and graceful ice skating. After more than 1,200 annual performances in North America alone, it’s time for you to enjoy the show that’s created unforgettable memories for more than 5 million guests.

Family Game Day
Out of the Box Games, Toys, & Puzzles
5212 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
Mar. 1, 1-3 p.m., FREE
ootbgames.com

Discover some new games that the whole family will enjoy at Out of the Box Games, Toys, & Puzzles. Demos from Haba, Blue Orange, Peaceable Kingdom and other publishers will be present. These games will focus on cooperation, dexterity and family-friendly fun.

Crybaby Concert Series: Whiskey Before Breakfast
Friendship Village Kalamazoo
1400 N. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo
Mar. 7, 11 a.m., FREE
fontanamusic.org

Fontana hosts the Crybaby Concert Series held in various locations in Kalamazoo. These late morning mini-concerts bring the whole family together for 45 minutes of musical entertainment. These concerts allow kids under five, their parents, grandparents, siblings and anyone else in the family to enjoy a relaxed environment filled with music and dancing. There is plenty of room to get moving, space for strollers, nutritious kid-friendly snacks and complimentary coffee for the adults. Don’t worry if your little one feels like crying or making some noise, there will be no shushing or judgmental looks. 

The Grand Rapids Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo
HSB, Inc. 
5625 Burlingame Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Mar. 7, 10 a.m., $5
bit.ly/reptilepetexpo

This all-ages event hosts unique reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and small mammals from all over the world. Learn about these unique animals and potentially give them a forever home. This event has all the supplies and feeders to keep the various reptiles and exotic pets happy.

Saturday Art Classes: Van Gogh with a Twist!
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
11 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
Mar. 7, 3-4 p.m., FREE with museum admission
grcm.org

Get inspired and let your creativity run with your kids. These classes encourage young artists to play with different artistic techniques and media. They’ll learn all about Vincent Van Gogh’s art style and create their own masterpiece, and you can too! 

Kids Rock Hip Hop Dance Party
The B.O.B.’s HOME
20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Mar. 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., $7
laughfestgr.org

Get the wiggles out and dance the day away at the Kids Rock Hip Hop Dance Party. DJs will be playing their best beats and funky mixes, MCs will be rocking the mic and BBoys and BGirls will be dancing in the cypher.

Open House at the MSU Bug House
MSU Bug House
288 Farm Lane, Room 147
Mar. 9, 5:30-7:30, FREE
canr.msu.edu/bughouse

Get to know some critters up close and personal at The Bug House at MSU. This special place holds a live honeybee hive, specimen displays and a variety of live insects and arachnids including, beetles, tropical cockroaches and tarantulas. Observe or even interact with these crawlies with the whole family. 

Grand Rapids Kids Joke Time
Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Branch
111 Library St., Grand Rapids
Mar. 11, 6 p.m., FREE
grkids.com

If your kiddo loves to make people laugh, this event will encourage them to take the stage and crack their best jokes. This evening full of giggles and silliness puts a smile on everyone’s face.

Grand Rapids Ballet’s Aladdin
Peter Martin Wege Theatre
341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Mar. 13-22 
grballet.com 

The Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company presents Aladdin. We all know the classic folktale from the book One Thousand and One Nights where boy sees girl, boy finds out she’s a princess, boy goes undercover as a prince to win her heart, and there’s also a genie involved. Whether it’s your first time seeing this tale or your 100th, the experience is always magical. 

MasterChef Junior Live!
DeVos Performance Hall
303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Mar. 18, 7 p.m.
devosperformancehall.com

All foodies and aspiring chefs are invited to experience the hit TV show MasterChef Junior, live with the whole family. The evening will feature head-to-head culinary challenges that are both fun and messy with past MasterChef Junior contestants. The show is known for being cute, surprising, and treating the young chefs with full respect. Limited VIP packages include premium seating, a meet and greet opportunity, signed show poster, photos and more.   

Monster Jam
Van Andel Arena
130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
Mar. 21-22, 1p.m., $15
vanandelarena.com

Get your adrenaline pumping at this family fun event that’ll have everyone at the edge of their seat. Monster Jam stars a number of customized high-powered vehicles, including Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the iconic Monster Jam trucks. Monster Jam drivers are trained, world-class drivers who have the physical and mental strength to control 12,000-pound trucks while doing aerial stunts and racing at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. Come back Sunday for the Monster Jam Pit Party where you can see the monster machines up close and meet your favorite drivers. 

Baby and Me Tours
Grand Rapids Art Museum
101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
Mar. 24, 11 a.m., FREE
artmuseumgr.org

Join the GRAM for an interactive gallery tour and discussion inspired by the latest exhibits. Parents, grandparents and guardians are all welcome and encouraged to bring their little ones without worrying if their babies let out some cries and coos. Strollers are permitted and all ages are welcome.

Rhythm in Your Rubbish
Grand Rapids Symphony
Forest Hills Fine Arts Center
600 Forest Hill Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
April 4, 3 p.m.
grsymphony.org

Bringing your kids to the symphony at a young age can help them realize how fun and important the arts are, but it doesn’t just have to be Beethoven and Bach (though those are great, too). The Grand Rapids Symphony’s Family Concerts provide a unique and delightful experience, like Rhythm in Your Rubbish, which follows two homeless pals making music out of items found in a junkyard. The imaginative 55-production shows how you can find music in anything. 

The Sleeping Beauty
Michigan Ballet Academy
Jenison Center for the Arts
8375 20th Ave., Jenison
April 18 & 19
michiganballet.org

Kids love a princess, and The Sleeping Beauty puts Princess Aurora at the heart of its story about a cursed child waiting for true love. With relatively young performers and a score by Tchaikovsky, this is a magical show for the whole family. To make it extra fun, head to Princess Aurora’s Tea Party on April 19 at 1 p.m. for a special lunch with lemonade, tea, crafts, storytelling, photographs and prizes!

Air Zoo
6151 Portage Rd., Portage
airzoo.org

Our Air Zoo is a world-class museum with more than 100 air and space artifacts, interactive exhibits, flight simulators and indoor rides. It’s absolutely full of hands-on activities for kids to both learn and have fun. You can just visit and have a great time, or get your little scientist involved with the Sky Kids Club, which offers extra opportunities to learn in an entertaining way.

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