Organized by the nonprofit West Michigan Action for Healthy Kids, the Race for Healthy Kids bolsters programs to battle childhood obesity and undernourishment in the community. Starting at 8 a.m., the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course guides both serious sprinters and leisurely strollers along an asphalt path shaded by a canopy of hardwoods in kaleidoscopic autumn bloom. Registrants can pick up their race packets on Friday, October 7, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., or on Saturday before the race, when packets will be lobbed from the starting pistol.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
Housed in a train depot that was once part of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad, Kayla Rae Cellars's stock doesn't extend to the Hoosier State. Or any other state, for that matter. Only Michigan-made red, white, fruit, and dessert wines compose its selection. Kayla Rae's other libations—a rotating variety of hard ciders, as well as craft root beer by Jaden James—likewise hails from the Great Lakes State. As they sample varietals amid refurbished depot decor and occasional live music, guests can nibble on cheese-and-cracker plates or order snacks from nearby restaurants.