The Kalamazoo Wedding Affair sets brides-to-be and their fianc?s loose to explore, meet, and bounce ideas off some of west Michigan's most sought-after wedding experts. Dozens of exhibitors converge to create a buffet of possibilities that range from bridal fashions, cakes, and catering to gift registries and photographers. Couples can also scope out postceremony services, including reception halls and honeymoon destinations.
Armed with a variety of art-, sensory-, and experience-based programming, Grand Rapids Children's Museum plots a plethora of strategies for holding the attentions of unruly tots. Permanent exhibits include a hands-on bubbles display; a construction site made of Legos, building blocks, and more; and an interactive play-banking site complete with cash registers, ATMs, and legally binding loans. Beginning January 27, the temporary exhibit Izzy's World of Shapes will entice creative kiddos with three-dimensional stacking puzzles, drawing activities, and an enormous light-bright structure.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (starting around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (starting around $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (most 24" x 36" pieces are less than $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
More than 2,000 animals populate John Ball Zoo, crawling, swimming, and flying from five different continents and more than 250 different species. The zoo has some other impressive stats: in 2013 alone, for instance, more than 500,000 visitors flocked to John Ball Zoo to marvel at its collection of creatures. Animal-lovers can spot critters big and small, from lions and bears to lizards and lemurs. In the North America section, they come nose-to-nose with grizzlies, and on the Far Side of the World Trail, they get close enough to smell the wallabies' cologne.
At some exhibits, the view is even closer. Visitors can pet stingrays and sharks, ride atop the humps of a camel, and stop by the petting zoo at Red's Hobby Farm. For an adrenaline fix, zoo adventures include the zip line, offering bird's-eye views of the farm from a four-story, 300-foot line.
UICA fills 4,000 square feet of gallery space with innovative exhibitions by contemporary artists, screens films in a 198-seat movie theater, and organizes creative classes for youths and adults. The institute is going into its 35th year of sharing and inspiring innovative, challenging forms of visual arts, and it continues to engage the public with events such as a speaker series.
As the sun dips below Coopersville Farm Museum and Event Center’s grain silo, local musicians gather in the high-ceilinged hall against the backdrop of patchwork quilts and antique farm tools. They sing gospel, country, and folk songs that have been passed down for generations. Events such as these are one facet of the museum’s mission to honor and uphold rural traditions. In addition to the monthly jam sessions, the 12,000-square-foot facility hosts quilting circles, line dancing, and other skill-swapping events. Curators spotlight the region’s agrarian past by recruiting antique-farming tools and folk art and freeing hopelessly lost scarecrows from corn mazes. In addition to shining a light on the region’s past, the museum strives to support current culture makers; The hall serves as a gallery space for local artists, and during the youth-led Kids’ Day local teens teach tykes creative skills.