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3 Ideas for Family Fun in Grand Rapids, MI

August 8th, 2017 by Katie K Team

Frederick Meijer Gardens Grand Rapids MI

If you’re looking for family-friendly fun in Grand Rapids, MI, check out this list of the Katie-K Realtor team’s top picks. While our fair city has been recently feted for its burgeoning craft brewing and gastro-pub status, it’s long been a known as the hub for family outings in West Michigan. Here are a few of our favorite ways to entertain the wee ones:

1. Frederik Meijer Gardens – Tram Tour

Michigan’s second most popular tourist attraction … one of the world’s 100 most visited art museums … one of the Top 30 Must-See Museums on the planet.

These are just some of the accolades earned by Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Just minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, this 132-acre haven integrates horticulture and sculpture throughout its site, setting it apart from other more traditional botanic garden or art museum experiences.

During Summer season, FM Gardens hosts tram tours just for kids and their families. The 45-minute tour takes you on an incredible journey around the Sculpture park, exploring sculptures, plants and more.

Summer Schedule: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:45 am, 11:45 am, 1:45 pm, and 2:45 pm; Sundays, 1:45 pm and 2:45 pm

Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 6.41.16 PM2. Heritage Architectural Tour

As Realtors, we might be a bit biased, but we find architecture in Grand Rapids fascinating. Start your tour with a visit the Meyer May House. This dazzling restoration of a 1909 Frank Lloyd Wright design provides the rare opportunity to experience a Prairie-style home just as Wright intended – complete with original furnishings.

Then, while in the Heritage Hill area, follow this HERITAGE HILL TOUR MAP for a self-guided walking tour.

Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 6.48.37 PM3. ArtPrize for Families – Sept -20 – Oct 8

There is no age limit when it comes to art, which is why ArtPrize, Grand Rapids’ international art competition, is the perfect destination for you and your family this fall. With nearly 200 venues housing over a thousand pieces of art each year, you’ll leave with plenty to talk about around your dinner table. 

 

For more great event information in and around Grand Rapids, MI, visit: https://www.experiencegr.com


Foodies Unite: Visit Grand Rapids Restaurant Week Starting Aug. 9th-20th

August 4th, 2017 by Katie K Team

Grand Rapids Realtor Loves Restaurant Week

When people relocate to Grand Rapids, the Katie-K Real Estate team loves to show them why our fair city has the distinction of being named “Michigan’s Best Food City” and the “World’s #2 Food/Beverage Destination Experience.”

So we’re delighted to learn that even more restaurants are participating in the annual Restaurant Week by serving lunches as well.

This year, a number of the 60-plus participating restaurants will be serving lunch for just $14 per person for a 2-course meal. Add that to the scores of local restaurants offering earth-to-table meals at $28 per person for a 3 course dinner, and prepare to eat like a king, queen, or, well, a Grand Rapidian.

The 12 Days of Grand Rapids’ Restaurant Week: August 9-20, 2017

Yes, it’s true. Grand Rapids has had to extend it’s “week” to 12 days to allow epicurean locals and visitors to  have a fair shot of tasting the city in delicious new ways. Enhance your meal with locally crafted wines, brews and cocktails. You’ll see why Thrillist.com had this to say about Grand Rapids:

Grand Rapids has been making a huge mark on the Mitten, rising as the state’s best beer city and it’s finest place to eat, thanks to fine dining on pan-Polish/German/Latin cuisine at the farm-fresh UN of eating that is Grove, Euro-flecked beer/food-obsessed Green Well, Mediterranean-inspired comfort food and breakfast courtesy of Marie Catrib’s, duck-confit nachos at the gorgeous Brewery Vivant, and so, so much more. The whole “being a beautiful city” thing is icing on the cake.”

Restaurants donate $1 from each meal sold to the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education Student Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community College.

To learn more about Restaurant Week Grand Rapids, visit: https://www.experiencegr.com/restaurant-week/

Take pictures of your meal and use #RWGR!

Check out the video:

Or Map of the Participating Restaurants:

 


Visit Downtown Grand Rapids During ArtPrize Eight

September 27th, 2016 by Katie K Team

ArtPrize8_FourPlay_750x275

The Katie K team is excited to celebrate another year of ArtPrize and share one of the fabulous entries we’ve seen downtown in Grand Rapids, MI! ArtPrize Eight is well underway, and there’s still plenty of time to walk around the city and check out all of the different pieces and installations. Above, you can see just one section of the 288-inch wide painting ‘Four Play’ by artist Charles Yoder. The painting shows the transition of the four seasons in a woodland setting during four different times of day. This piece and more can be seen at the DeVos Convention Center in downtown Grand Rapids, and makes an excellent starting point for your tour of the city.

ArtPrize is an independently organized, international art competition decided by public vote and an expert jury. Open by design, the contest features 1,453 artist entries from 44 countries and 40 U.S. states all across the downtown area of Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize runs from September 21st through October 9th, 2016. You can read more about ArtPrize Eight by visiting ArtPrize.org

Below, you can hear Katie talk about how great ArtPrize is both for residents of Grand Rapids and for visitors who may be thinking to re-locate here. Check out the audio clip via the player below:

 


3 Favorite Festivals in Grand Rapids and West Michigan

May 27th, 2016 by Katie K Team

Good times make Grand Rapids great. If you’re looking for fun and family-friendly events to entertain visitors this summer or just to get out and about, here are a few of Katie’s favorite festivals.

festivalGR_2016Attend the Festival of the Arts

June 3rd, 4th, & 5th, 2016

Make your way down to Calder Plaza on the first weekend of June for the 47th annual Festival of the Arts! Every year, Festival presents the best performers in West Michigan on six stages, both inside and out. Thanks to their generous sponsors, live music, dance, theatre arts, and more are all presented free of charge. Peruse the artwork for sale in Calder Plaza, find dozens of food booths operated by local nonprofit organizations, and maybe make a masterpiece of your own with provided art supplies. Also featured is the Festival Regional Art Exhibition, a juried show featuring the works of West Michigan’s finest artists. For more information on the Festival of the Arts, visit FestivalGR.org.


cherryNational Cherry Festival in Traverse City

July 2nd through 9th, 2016

Visit scenic Traverse City this summer and partake in their annual Cherry Festival! Every year, the city is host to a massive celebration of farmers, laborers, neighbors and anyone that comes together because of cherries and their important role in the local economy.

The National Cherry Festival has over 150 events and activities and 85% are free for all! Come and see the U.S. Navy Blue Angels air show, parades, concerts, the arts & crafts show, and more! Kids can enjoy events like pie-eating contests, turtle races and more! Visit CherryFestival.org for more information.


coast-guardCoast Guard Festival in Grand Haven

July 29th through August 7th, 2016

Experience this massive celebration of the men and women serving in the U.S. Coast Guard during their annual festival in downtown Grand Haven! Attendees can enjoy parades, food, ship tours, a car show, fireworks, a carnival, and more.

Bring the kids down for a great time on August 2nd for kids’s day, where there will be games, displays, storytelling, face painting, arts and crafts, and other fun activities for the whole family. Senior day is on August 3rd, where there will be a pickleball tournament, free lunch, bingo, live music, and informational seminars.

For the complete schedule of events and more information on the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, visit CoastGuradFest.org!


Get Your Tickets: Spring and Summer Serenades

April 12th, 2016 by Katie K Team

Grand Rapids has one of the most diverse collections of music and performance venues in the Midwest. Below, you can check out three of Katie’s favorite places to attend concerts in the spring and summer!

st-ceciliaSt. Cecilia Music Center

Royce Auditorium was first constructed in 1894 and has been called “the Carnegie Hall of the Mid-West.” Designed by famed Chicago Architect Henry Ives Cobb, the Auditorium is known for its intimacy with seating for less than 700, and the incredible acoustics.

St. Cecilia continues their Acoustic Café Series on April 14th with guitarist Leo Kottke, and ends May 5th with a performance by Alejandro Escovedo. Stop by their box office in downtown Grand Rapids for more info on upcoming performances this summer. Enjoy music from genres such as Chamber, Jazz, Folk, and more! For more information on upcoming shows, events, and to order tickets online, visit SCMC-Online.org.


fredrick-meijer-gardensFifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens:

June 1 – September 1, 2016

Spend a summer evening in the beautiful terraced amphitheater of the Fredrick Meijer Gardens, and enjoy intimate performances from groups like The Monkees, Of Monsters and Men, The Decemberists, Ben Harper, and more. This venue offers lawn seating and food, beverage and merchandise concessions, all surrounded by spectacular views of gardens and sculpture.

The series runs from June to September, and the full lineup is not yet announced. Meijer Garden Member Presale will begin on Saturday, April 30th and close Friday, May 13th. Sales will resume for members and the public on May 14th.

The annual Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens continues to bring the finest national and international musicians to West Michigan, thrilling music lovers across all genres and all generations. To see the full schedule of upcoming performances announced to-date, and for box office info, visit MeijerGardens.org.


DPH_InteriorDeVos Performance Hall

DeVos Performance Hall is a performing arts theater located in the heart of Grand Rapids and is home to The Grand Rapids Symphony, The Grand Rapids Ballet Company, Broadway Grand Rapids and Opera Grand Rapids.

Starting in May, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera will come to DeVos Performance Hall as part of a brand-new North American Tour. This production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier, and will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions now on tour. Performances will take place between May 18th through May 29th. For more information on upcoming shows and for ticket info, visit DeVosPerformanceHall.com.


Spirited Spring Things to do in Grand Rapids, MI

March 31st, 2016 by Katie K Team

The time to hibernate is over: it’s time to celebrate spring in our Grand city! If you’re looking for something different, here are three fun things you can do to “get out there” this spring!

market250Visit the Downtown Market

Fresh, Natural Produce, Informative Classes, and More!

The Downtown Market in Grand Rapids is a mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local produce. The expansive indoor facility features a 24-vendor market hall, and dozens of farmers and artisans line the outdoor farmer’s market shed.

There are many fun and exciting classes and events to attend at the market too, to see what’s happening next, Click Here to see their event calendar! Learn more about healthy cooking, urban farming, and more!


photo_mangiamoAttend a Wine Education Night at Mangiamo!

Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Want to learn more about wine? Attend a Wine Education Night at Mangiamo! This unique restaurant is housed in a beloved 19th-century mansion just east of downtown Grand Rapids. The Gilmore Collection has transformed the historic mansion into one of West Michigan’s best spots for fantastic Italian-inspired dining.

During the class, you can taste wines from all over the world and enjoy the beautiful setting. For more information, Click Here.


beeertours250Explore Beer City, USA

ExperienceGR’s Self-Guided Brewery Tour

Grand Rapids has certainly made some waves in the national and international beer scene. Voted 2012 Beer City USA and again in 2013, Grand Rapids is home to Founders Brewing Co., the 3rd best brewery in the world, and HopCat, voted both the #1 brewpub in the US and the 3rd best beer bar on Earth. ExperienceGR.com has a great self-guided tour on their website called the Beer City Ale Trail, with a printable map and over 40 breweries to check out all over downtown Grand Rapids and West Michigan. You can download and print out the map here.

For an organized, fee-based tour, check out Grand Rapids Beer Tours to see upcoming events.

We’d like to remind everyone to be safe and enjoy beer responsibly!

 


Support Breast Cancer Month in Grand Rapids

October 14th, 2014 by Katie K Team

MakingStridesScreenFor Katie-K, breast cancer awareness is worth celebrating, this month, and every month. Whether you put on your walking shoes, buy a bra to bridge the Grand, or simply donate to a worthy cause to advance the cure, please think Pink and lend your support.

Bras across the Grand – October 25

Bras will hang downtown at the Blue Pedestrian Bridge during Bras across the Grand. It’s a celebration of breast cancer survivors with an opportunity to honor those who have been lost to the disease. Bring a bra that you’ve decorated or bring a $5 donation and decorate a bra that will be provided at the event. Each donation will support free programs and services to cancer patients and breast cancer research, along with early detection and prevention programs. Bras across the Grand will be held in conjunction with the Making Strides against Breast Cancer 5K. Bras across the Grand will begin at 8 a.m. on October 25, at the Blue Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids.

Strides against Breast Cancer 5K – October 25, 10 a.m., Rosa Parks Circle

The fight to end breast cancer starts with a single step, so join the American Cancer Society Making Strides walk. So far, 569 participants have raised more than $43,000, according to their website. The Making Strides Walk will take place on Saturday, October 25 in downtown Grand Rapids. Visit their website for more information — you can sign up, sponsor a walker, or volunteer to help out.


Grand Rapids’ Celebration on the Grand

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team

KatieCelebration

End your summer in Grand Rapids with a bang (literally) at the 35th Annual Celebration on the Grand. This year marks the first year that the Celebration on the Grand will merge with downtown Grand Rapids’ Amway Family Fireworks on July 4 and 5. The annual celebration was implemented years ago to celebrate the quality of life in the Grand River valley. Events include live entertainment in Rosa Parks Circle and Ah-Nab-Awen Park downtown and a fireworks display over the Grand River. Both the entertainment on Friday and the fireworks on Saturday are free of charge.

 


Wander North to the National Cherry Festival

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team

KatieCherryFest

One fun way to celebrate summer when you live in Grand Rapids is to take a short day trip to a fabulous festival held in Katie-K’s childhood hometown. Celebrate all things cherry this year in Michigan’s gorgeous Grand Traverse Region at the Traverse City National Cherry Festival. Drawing over a half a million people annually, this jamboree is named one of USA Today’s top ten annual festivals. The celebration takes place this year from July 5 -12 and includes concerts, sporting events, air shows, pie-eating contests, pit-spitting competitions, and more (over 150 events!) that involve participants of all ages. Its hosting city is renowned for its 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and home of several wineries, microbreweries, golf courses, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and of course the world record tart cherry harvest. Visit www.cherryfestival.org for more information.


Festival of the Arts coming Soon!

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team
KatieFestivalArts

Festival of the Arts 2014 poster by Dana Ziebarth

One early summer event beloved by the Katie-K Team is the Festival of the Arts, which a fine example of the booming culture Grand Rapids has to offer. Marking the 45th year, the 2014 community celebration downtown will feature art, entertainment, food and fun for adults and youngsters alike. With six stages, music concerts of all genres, dance performances and theatre productions, the variety of things to enjoy is virtually limitless. Alongside poetry, films, storytelling and art activities will be food booths offering cuisine of all kind. All festival performances, exhibits and activities are offered free thanks to the generous donations of local organizations, companies and families. Join West Michigan at the Festival of the Arts June 6-8! Visit www.festivalgr.org for more information.


 

© 2017 - Katie K Team