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12 Things to Do in a Michigan April

by Lisa Diggs

Maple running in trees and fools running in the streets are just two of the ways Michigan comes to life after a sleepy winter this spring. Here are some of April’s highlights.

 

April 5-7 Grand Rapids Film Festival – Grand Rapids

Unlike some other film fests, this event focuses equal attention on providing educational opportunities for members of the local film industry, as well as quality viewing opportunities for the general public. Day one involves showcasing films along with the work of fashion studies students from Kendall College of Art & Design. On day two, the Wealthy Theatre will showcase 38 different films including Q&A opportunities with filmmakers. On day three, regional filmmakers will share the story of how film has transformed their lives. www.grfilmfestival.com

 
April 7 Maple Syrup Day – Grayling

There’s liquid gold in them thar trees! The sweet nectar of which we speak is of course maple, and now is the time to learn about and celebrate it. This fun day will be filled with tree tapping demonstrations, information on how to start your own sugarbush, kid's activities, sap boiling and maple syrup videos and presentations. To join the fun, head to the Hartwick Pines Visitor Center. Dress appropriately as most activities will naturally be outside. www.michigan.gov

 

April 8 Sustaining the Vision Open House – Hickory Corners

He may be best known to most for cereal, but W.K. Kellogg’s contributions to future generations via philanthropy are almost immeasurable, including his land gift to MSU that created the Kellogg Biological Station more than 90 years ago. To celebrate is birthday, docents will welcome guests while posing as the 1920’s residents of Eagle Heights. Featured characters include W.K. Kellogg himself, Dr. Carrie Staines, Sister Hester, and others. Admission to the Manor House is free as is the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. www.conference.kbs.msu.edu

 

April 12 Binder Park Zoo Opening Day – Battle Creek

You know spring has returned when the animals all start stirring. That must mean it’s time to open the zoos again. Binder Park Zoo invites you to join the celebration as your favorite animals venture back outside. There's so much to see between the black bears, giraffes, snow leopards and especially the newest exhibit at the zoo featuring African lions. www.binderparkzoo.org  

 
April 14 31 Flavors of Magic – Colon

Did you know there were so many different types of magic? What better place to discover them than the magic capitol of the world, Colon. The town will spring to life for 31 Flavors of Magic, with each storefront hosting its own unique celebration. Restaurants, bars, stores, and especially the town’s famous magic shops will collaborate to form a virtual Midway of Magic. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children if purchased online in advance. www.magic-festival.com

 
April 8 FestiFools – Ann Arbor

This one-of-a-kind event is one of the briefest, wackiest, most colorful experiences the state has to offer. Gather early for a good viewing spot on Main Street, as this public art extravaganza only lasts about an hour. Locals and Wolverines band together to create colorful, bizarre, human-powered papier-mâché puppets, wear crazy costumes, and frolic in the streets. It’s a delightful way to usher in spring. www.wonderfoolproductions.org/festifools

 

April 20-21 Bringin’ Back the 80s Festival – Frankenmuth

Don’t be surprised if you run into Tom Cruise or a Mutant Ninja Turtle at this annual trip back in time. Harvey Kern Pavilion is home to this totally bomb celebration of a bygone era. Bring your dancing Adidas and take in the outrageous live cover bands, enter the best dressed contest, enjoy a huge display of 80’s Memorabilia and video games. Rumor has it, you may even lay eyes on Michael J. Fox’s favorite time machine—a DeLorean. Free shuttles will be running from hotels throughout town. Tickets are $12 and proceeds support cancer-related causes. www.80sfest.org

 
April 21 MSU Global Day of Service –  Across the State and Around the World

Michigan State University is inviting students, alumni, and friends of the university to participate in its fifth Global Day of Service. Since its inception in 2013, more than 9,000 Spartans have provided nearly 44,000 hours of free service to their communities. Visit the website to find an event to participate in, or create one of your own. Community initiatives will be led by Spartan alumni communities across the state, country, and even the globe. www.alumni.msu.edu

 
April 20-22 MI Earth Day Fest – Rochester

As the planet continues to face struggles, events like MI Earth Day Fest have become an increasingly effective way of educating and uniting the community around environmental issues, as well as being a fun way to celebrate Earth Day. The fest features dozens of green products, displays of vehicles and renewable energy systems, presentations by experts, door prizes, a kids corner, live music, health and wellness demonstrations, and is kicked off with the MI Green Hall of Fame Awards & My Green Schools Art Awards. Admission and parking are free. www.migreenteam.com/miedf

 

April 25-29 National Trout Festival – Kalkaska

Calling all anglers. Fishing is one of the state’s most popular pastimes and the opening of trout season is definitely a highlight. There’s no better place to ring in, or rather reel in, the season than Kalkaska. For more than eighty years, people have flocked to the town to celebrate and kick off trout season. The party includes a classic car display, dodgeball tournament, golf outing, 5k run, bubble soccer, and two parades. Most important of all, though, are the fishing competitions. www.nationaltroutfestival.com

 
April 28 Beerfest at the Ballpark – Lansing

Let’s face it, baseball and beer just seem to go together naturally, so why not host a beerfest at an actual ballpark? Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lugnuts, will feature over sixty Michigan breweries, cideries, and distilleries for this annual event, which also features live music. Tickets are $32 and include a sampling glass and tickets for ten 3 oz pours. True brew lovers may opt for a $42 VIP ticket that includes early entry at 2PM and tickets for fifteen samples. Die-hard aficionados may want to go for the $67 ticket that, in addition to the VIP benefits, includes a Rare Beer Tasting. Tickets are limited for the rare beer showcase which features ten 2oz rare beer tastings along with light appetizers in a private space. www.beerfestattheballpark.net

 

April 29 Preservation Detroit Authors Fair – Detroit

Preservation Detroit has been working to sustain and revitalize Detroit’s rich architectural and cultural heritage since 1975. Join the group for its latest effort, the inaugural Detroit Author's Fair. The free event will take place at the Jam Handy and endeavors to celebrate local authors and the city of Detroit. Come check out Detroit-centered books and listen to authors speak about their works. Authors interested in participating in the event are invited to check with the organization regarding availability. www.preservationdetroit.org/category/events

 

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