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12 Things to Do in April in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

Crocuses, Daffodils, Trillium, and even Tulips are beginning to pop up and bloom across the state, which means the promise of sun-soaked days is on the horizon. Here are some of April’s delights.

 
April 1-9 SmartPrize Innovator Competition – Marquette

This business competition is designed to help good ideas find financial support. Entrepreneurs and innovators will display their business or product ideas in venues throughout Marquette’s Downtown District and the public is invited to vote on their favorites. You can vote a maximum of once daily from each device. The entrepreneur-focused event also includes a variety of renown speakers. www.smartprize.org

 
April 5-9 Capitol City Film Festival (CCFF) – Lansing

Movie-lovers will relish this opportunity to see smaller, independent flicks in cool and vibrant environments. CCFF combines live performances and distinctive films to create a festival experience that is unique to Lansing. The fun begins with a Red Carpet Premiere Party at Lansing Brewing Company. The list of participating venues is diverse, ranging from creators’ restoration project, Potter’s Mill to the Lansing Public Media Center. Some events are free, others as low as $5, or you can purchase an all-access pass for $50 which includes admission to all film screenings, concerts, and parties. www.capitalcityfilmfest.com

 
April 7 Art Baseball Opening Day – Detroit

You know fun in the sun is about to begin when the boys of summer hit their home field. The Detroit Tigers opener at Comerica Park is not just a game, it’s a holiday in the city. If you’re lucky enough to score tickets, you’ll see the Tigs square off against the Boston Red Sox. If you don’t have tickets there is still plenty of fun to be had in parks, parking lots, and pubs throughout the downtown area. Things will be especially lively around the ballpark and in Corktown, site of the former Tigers Stadium. www.detroit.tigers.mlb.com

 
April 8 & 17 Small Plates – Leelanau Peninsula

If you’re a foodie then this lovely evening out has your name written all over it. The event runs from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Wineries on Leelanau Peninsula partner with local chefs to create delightful pairings of wine and tapas served up in their tasting rooms. You can buy a ticket for one, or get in on the progressive fun by purchasing tickets for two or three seatings, each at the participating winery of your choice. Seatings will be at approximately 6:00pm, 7:00pm, and 8:00pm. Tickets run just $15 per seating.   www.lpwines.com 

 
April 15 Breakfast with the Easter Bunny – Acme

Hop on over to Grand Traverse Resort and Spa for a magical seasonal experience. Reservations in advance are highly recommended for this popular event. Seating options include 8:00am or 10:00am. The Easter Bunny will arrive to give small gifts to younger guests and photos with the happy holiday hare will be available for $5.00. In addition to a kid-friendly buffet, there will be performances by strolling magicians, balloon artists, a caricature artist, a build your own Italian soda bar, and plenty of Easter fun. Pricing is: Adults $19.99, Ages 11-14 $14.95, Ages 6-10 $9.95, and children under 6 may join for free. www.grandtraverseresort.com/easter  

 
April 17-22 Cider Week GR – Grand Rapids

If you’re a fan of hard ciders, sit up and take notice. The Michigan Cider Association and Experience Grand Rapids plan to hold their first-ever Cider Week celebrating the apple-based alcoholic beverage. The celebration includes an international cider and perry (made from pears) competition, local tap takeovers and a fest from 2-7pm on April 22nd held on downtown Grand Rapids' iconic pedestrian water crossover known as the "Blue Bridge." Attendees will enjoy a line-up of local musicians alongside cider and food, available for purchase from area vendors. Tickets to the Blue Bridge event are $25. www.experiencegr.com/cider-week

 
April 21-23 MI Earth Day Fest – Rochester

While many of us endeavor toward it all year long, Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 as a way to make people think about how our actions affect the future of our planet. With more than 100 exhibits and presentations, a full schedule of entertainment, a parade, 5K run, food and fun for all ages, this festival is a great way to explore green and healthy living. Take note, this year's event moves to Third and Water streets in Downtown Rochester. Admission and parking are free. www.migreenteam.com/miedf

 
April 25 Food Photography Demystified Workshop – Kalamazoo

The Can-Do Kitchen is a unique food producer incubator that offers classes in addition to a shared commercial kitchen space. This month they offer an opportunity to work with professional food photographer Derek Richmond to learn the fundamentals of food photography. He will teach you to see your food products with an artistic eye, identify the most important aspects of a photo, and be prepared to work on a professional food photography set with your own products someday. The workshop is $30 and runs from 6:30pm-8:30pm. www.candokitchen.org/tours-workshops-events

 
April 26-30 National Trout Festival – Kalkaska

For more than 80 years, people have flocked to Kalkaska to celebrate the opening of trout season. The infamous trout fountain should be a clue that this town loves to fish. The celebration itself has something for anglers and non-anglers alike. You’ll find a flea market, classic car display, carnival rides, a horse pull, lumberjack and puppet shows, fireworks, and even camel rides! Fishing competitions are also a main attraction, of course. www.nationaltroutfestival.com

 
April 28-29 Bringin’ Back the 80s Festival – Frankenmuth

Want to recapture your youth, share your high school days with your kids, or experience one of last century’s greatest music decades for yourself? Well here’s your chance. Harvey Kern Pavilion will be da bomb, at this totally tubular 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, see a breakdancing show, and tons more fun. Free shuttles will be running from hotels all over town. All ages are welcome to attend on Friday, though it is a bar atmosphere. Saturday is 21 and over only. Tickets are $10 and proceeds support cancer-related causes. www.80sfest.org

 
April 29-30 White Fish Point Spring Fling – Paradise

Birders mark your calendar for this unique experience. You’ll find excellent watching opportunities, along with a chance to learn more about avian migration and conservation in the Great Lakes. Attendees will learn from fellow birders, field trip leaders, and guest speakers including renown hawk-watcher, Josh Haas, who will be unveiling an innovative way of identifying hawks in flight and celebrating the release of his brand new DVD, Hawks on the Wing. www.wpbo.org  

 
April 29-30 10th Annual Maple Festival – Almont

Another sure sign of spring in Michigan is when the buckets tapped into the sides of trees begin to fill with our local favorite version of liquid gold…maple. That also means it’s time to celebrate. Head out to Keller Family Farms to join in their annual tradition. Enjoy chainsaw carving demonstrations, check out antique tractors, tour the site, shop local vendors selling Michigan-made products, and of course stock up on your favorite maple treats. www.freewebs.com/kellermapleproducts    


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