Great Lakes Kiteboarding and its crew of master mariners specialize in converting everyday hydrophobes into Poseidon-punishing aquatic athletes. In a five-hour private lesson, nautical novices can strap a slab of fiberglass to their feet and master wind-riding fundamentals like launching from boat and beach, proper riding form, and self-rescue. Apprentices seeking the deepest secrets of ancient boarders are invited to study at one of Great Lake Kiteboarding’s weekend camps. Starting with ground training to keep too much land from lubbing onto the kites, students will spend a Saturday morning learning about equipment, wind windows, beach etiquette, and safety before hitting the waves to learn basics of riding and landing. After lunch, it’s back out on the water to learn advanced techniques like self-launching, changing direction, and riding the edge, with all of Sunday devoted to honing newfound skills on the water while instructors on WaveRunners play safety shepherd.
Chances are you've seen Marshall M. Fredericks' work and didn't even know it. Over the course of 70 years (1928-1998), Fredericks was commissioned to create enormous lifelike sculptures in public spaces across the country, including The Expanding Universe Fountain in Washington, DC and The Spirit of Detroit. His works were often lighthearted and whimsical, always imbued with a humanist spirit, but never lacking in gravitas. This museum on the Saginaw Valley State University campus is just a sampling of his vast repertoire, including a newly added sculpture garden with botanicals to complement and contrast the sculptures, including Fredericks' Night and Day fountain.
Michigan's Big Country Fest makes ears perk up and boots start tapping to a menu of sweet country sounds. Friday night's festivities kick off to a DJ–supplied soundtrack for a hot-dog-eating contest, line-dancing lessons, a bar-stool race, and a farmer's-tan contest. The night's headline act is Annabelle Road, one of Michigan's premiere young country bands, whose self-titled album fuses rock with classic country.
At each of its seven locations across Michigan, Seung-Ni Fit Club helps clients of all ability reach peak physical condition through kickboxing, bootcamps, and the studio's proprietary body-sculpting and slimming regimens. Core workouts build strong abdominal and lower-back muscles with targeted movements, while kickboxing sessions burn up to 1,000 calories per hour as participants fight against the resistance of heavy bags and invisible bad guys. Zumba classes get bodies moving to infectious Latin rhythms, and BodySculpt classes build dense, well-defined musculature through high-intensity dumbbell workouts.
For a more defense-based workout, exercisers can turn to Seung Ni's comprehensive martial arts program. Classes include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, and kids' programs for children as young as three.
Saginaw Art Museum gathers both contemporary and classic art in a brick-clad Gregorian Revival mansion that itself is a historical treasure. Originally designed in 1903 by Charles Adams Platt as the Ring family home, the building’s exquisite interior includes dark butternut wood paneling and decorative moldings. Filling the rooms is the museum’s permanent collection of paintings, prints, textiles, and sculptures from American, European, and Asian artists; African artifacts and masks; Native American art; and American and Mexican folk art. A library complements the art collection with more than 1,200 books and periodicals discussing art, as well as Leonardo da Vinci's handmade comic book depicting him as a superhero.
A roster of ever-changing current exhibitions includes showcases of forged metal sculptures, contemporary nature paintings, and the recurring Art in the Heart of the City's ART 4 ALL Exhibitions, which showcase works by local Michigan artists. Visitors peruse temporary exhibits in the exhibition wing gallery, an ultramodern glass-covered hall, or teach flowering plants how to spell “Matisse” in a formal outdoors garden.
To continue arts education outside the gallery, staffers organize themed art history and technique classes for all ages, as well as docent-led tours. They also helm the interactive Visionarea, a gallery space where children delve into art-making, science experiments, and the works of famous artists.