Approaching its 50th anniversary and under new ownership, Cannonsburg Ski and Ride Area livens up winter with plentiful runs that invite skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels to fly safely down the slopes or develop their technique. Roughly 15 miles from Grand Rapids, a network of meticulously designed parks challenges sports folk with half a dozen jumps and more than 50 terrain features, and a newly overhauled snowmaking system keeps the tracks covered in fresh snow from brand-new snow guns along with a brand new ski run.
Guests of all ages can hone their skills under the watchful eyes of instructors before hitting the mountain's 20 runs, which are served by ten lifts, including one magic carpet. After relishing rushes of downhill velocity, visitors can peruse the well-stocked shop or refresh themselves with treats from the Cedar Lounge restaurant.
The sommeliers of the recently opened Rogue River Winery, under the management of Jay Johnson, want their guests to learn about and love wine as much as they do, even providing do's and don’ts of wine drinking on their website. They fill appropriate glassware with blends created on the premises, which are perched atop the wooded banks of the Rogue River, and also pour notable wines and sangria from neighboring Michigan vineyards. A tasting room with burgundy walls, a reflective double-sided bar, and soft contemporary lighting welcome guests for leisurely wine-and-cheese tastings, and visitors can also enjoy a spacious outdoor patio. The winery also hosts corporate events, as well as bachelorette parties where brides-to-be can blend their own wine.
Hockey pucks clack from stick to stick and soccer balls soar past goalkeepers inside Cedar Rock Skating Academy, where athletes are welcome to showcase competition spirits year-round. A full-size hockey rink—outfitted with NHL–style dasher boards and glass—hosts games throughout the year, including youth leagues and 40-and-over leagues. During summer months, inline hockey pits wheeled warriors against each other, and during winter, soccer players can show off fancy footwork on the academy’s indoor field.
In addition to its game spaces, the facility also boasts eight locker rooms, a concession stand, and a pro shop, as well as full-length bleachers, which seat spectators and scouts hoping to discover the next star zamboni operator.
Michiganders looking for local flavors might find more than they expected in Rockford Brewing Company's fleet of beers. In addition to being brewed locally, the team works closely with West Michigan farmers to source seasonally fresh ingredients for their creations. These flavors come to fruition in such beers as the Raspberry Duality, brewed with 150 pounds of handpicked raspberries and no artificial flavorings, and the Obsession beer, which is a session rye pale ale. The tasting room features much of the woody character of its beers, with guests sitting at Bavarian communal seating and filling its speakers with a soundtrack of radial saws.
Most popular offering: Painting classes, private parties
Pro Tip: You are welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks.
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We offer a fun, relaxed atmosphere with patient instruction. Creativity is encouraged if you want to go a different direction with your painting. Our fine art gallery displays the work of only local artists.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
Engaging art in all aspects in a relaxed, non-intimidating atmosphere. From beginners to the more experienced, I want people to have fun first. Then the things they learn won't feel academic.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Arrive 15 minutes early to find your seat and apron, and be ready to have fun!
What is the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
Proud smiles, and people saying, "I never thought I could do this, but I did. It looks great, and I had fun!"
At the Blast Factory, inflatables cushion the tumbles of sock-clad youngsters as parents and trained supervisors look on. Kids climb up and glide down multicolored slides or crawl through the mouth of a tall inflatable dragon in search of cavities. Along with open play, The Blast Factory hosts two-hour private parties, during which up to 25 kids can enjoy 90 minutes of private inflatable fun and 30 minutes in a private celebration room. Each party also can include add-ons such as pizza, popcorn, cotton candy, and soda.