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.
For two days, the World Expo Of Beer sprawls across the lawn of Heritage Park in Frankenmuth. True to its name, the event gathers more than 65 breweries and over 300 beers from around the world at tented outdoor booths, where representatives pour samples of some of their most popular brews. Prior to the festival, judges rate each beer and dub one the winner, or claim they didn't taste enough and ask for a retrial. The winning beer is revealed during the event. These festivities don't make up the entire event, though: food and beer come together at two educational events: a class on beer fundamentals led by a local brewing expert and a craft beer pairing dinner. Every sip is for a good cause, since the expo proceeds go to benefit various charities.
Inside of Extreme Fun's 10,000-square-foot facility, there exists a wide array of colorful inflatable bounce surfaces perfect for sliding, jumping, and expelling energy. With moon walks, video games, and treats such as popcorn and cotton candy, it's an optimal place to honor a birthday child or new CEO. The indoor facility is safe and well-attended to, and can accommodate children of all ages.