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12 Things To Do This March in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

March brings “Madness,” unpredictable weather, kite-flying season, and the long-awaited arrival of spring. It also has loads of enjoyable event opportunities. Here is a dozen of our favorites.

March 1-3 DSO Heroes & Villains Concert – Detroit

What do you get when you cross the incredibly talented musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with the familiar sounds of legendary films? The answer is musical movie magic. From Batman to Superman, Jaws to King Kong, and Robin Hood to Zorro, all of these blockbuster characters count memorable music as a co-star. This concert features the breathtaking scores that have brought timeless characters like these to life.

March 1-April 30 Butterflies Are Blooming – Grand Rapids
For over twenty years this glorious, interactive experience has charmed kids and adults alike. The annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition at Meijer Gardens is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation. During the two spring months, thousands of butterflies, more than 40 different species in fact, find a home in the Tropical Conservatory. Butterflies emerge from chrysalides, or cocoons, daily. To help ease their transition to the open conservatory, staff members will collect and release adult butterflies periodically throughout each day.

March 7-9 Shipwrecked! – Ann Arbor
What a fun way to get a lesson in local history. Long-time Wild Swan Theater playwright, Jeff Duncan, based this original drama on historic maritime and period accounts. It grippingly tells the story of 12-year old Aaron Buchanan, sailing with his parents on their small schooner in Lake Huron during a fierce winter storm. Set in 1893, the boat is loaded with Christmas trees from Sault Ste. Marie, when a ferocious gale suddenly materializes in Thunder Bay's infamous "Shipwreck Alley." Young Aaron must find the physical strength, sailing skills, and bravery to help save his family.

March 7-17 Laughfest – Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids is always a fun town, but every March it becomes downright FUNNY. This unique festival highlights the role humor can play in wellness. The 10-day laughaganza includes stand-up, improv, sketch comedy, speakers, films, and even yoga. There is something for everyone, including several clean and/or kid-based events. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds benefit Gilda’s Club. This year’s talented lineup includes Amanda Seales, Nate Bargatze, Matt Bellassai, Ed Asner, Brian Regan, Nick Guerra, Ramon Rivas, Aida Rodriguez, Brad Upton, and Michigan native, Loni Love, among others.

March 9 Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival – Jackson
Get your brew on at this showcase that offers sampling of over 150 different beers. Though, not all are made in Michigan, you can find an excellent selection of local brews. Weather is not a factor as there are indoor and outdoor tasting tables, and heated outdoor tents. The fest, located at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, also includes concessions, games, and entertainment.

March 14-17 Novi Boat Show – Novi
With a body of water every six miles, it’s no wonder, Michiganders love our boats. This event at the Suburban Collection Showplace features more than 100 exhibitors with watercraft ranging from fishing boats to pontoons, runabouts to kayaks. Accessories also abound with motors, trailers, dockage, inflatables, and much more. The hours are: Thursday & Friday 2pm-9pm; Saturday 11am- 9pm; and Sunday 11am-6pm. Admission is $11 per person. Children 12 and under are free.

March 15-17 Carnival Weekend – Boyne Falls
This is a big year for Boyne Mountain and there’s rarely a better time to visit than Carnival Weekend. If you can believe it, a single dollar and 40 acres of land was just the beginning for Boyne Mountain resort pioneer, Everett Kircher. Now the skiing destination is celebrating its 70th anniversary year. With a little luck, we may even see some shorts among the costumes and wacky apparel on the slopes. Guests can skim the pond in the annual Slush Cup or get festive during the On-hill Party. This is one weekend to leave the kids at home and enjoy some “Crazy Daze.”

March 16 Handmade Pasta and Sauces Cooking Class – Traverse City
Combine delectable Michigan wine with the opportunity to learn how to handmake scrumptious pasta, and you have the latest cooking class at Chateau Chantal. Chef Mark Dunham will guide participants through the nuances of individual noodle techniques and which sauces are best-suited to which pastas. The class is a hands-on experience and last approximately four hours from 12:30pm-4:30pm. Naturally, your preparations will be paired with their wines for a unique culinary experience. Participants may even choose to book a stay at the bed and breakfast on site to make a full weekend out of exploring Old Mission Peninsula.

March 23 Sips, Chips & Dips – Traverse City Area
Wine often has the reputation of being too sophisticated for a casual hangout, but the wineries of Leelanau Peninsula are shifting that perspective. From 12pm-5pm participating wineries will pair everyday snacks, like crunchy goodness from Great Lakes Potato Chip Company, with Leelanau wines. Tickets are $15 per person and include a snack-and-wine pairing at each participating winery, along with a souvenir wine glass. Join in on the fun on the Grand Traverse, Northern, or Sleeping Bear loop.

March 23 Murder Mystery Dinner – Kalamazoo
Anyone who has ever seen the Henderson Castle, can imagine it as the perfect setting for a murder mystery experience. This time it will play the role of the Cavindish Castle located in the heart of Scotland. Enjoy the large fireplace as your hosts entertain you with tales of Knights and valor, but everything will not be as it seems. Tickets are $89 per person and dinner includes: an amuse bouche, soup, salad, bread, an entree, and dessert. While not required, guests are encouraged to don 1920s attire to really get in the spirit.

March 26-31 Ann Arbor Film Festival – Ann Arbor
Recurring since 1963, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is said to be the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival on the continent. The festival is one of a handful of Academy Award®-qualifying festivals in the United States. The six-day event features 40 programs with more than 180 films of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, and performance-based works. Single-showing tickets range from $6-$12 and passes range from $50-$100.


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