Events remain elusive around the state, but many summer destinations and adventures are available again, so grab your mask and hit the road. Here are 12 fun options.
Summer Saturdaze at Gilmore Car Museum
The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners is happily welcoming guests back again. If you’re not familiar with the place, you’ll be surprised to note that it is North America’s largest car museum. It started in the early 1960s when Donald S. Gilmore began collecting vintage automobiles. To accommodate his collection he acquired 90 acres of land near Kalamazoo. Car enthusiasts gather each Saturday in the summer, for Saturdaze celebrations based on a theme like red, white and blue cars, hot rods, or even motorcycles. Visit the calendar for this month’s themes and other events.
Helicopter Tour over Mackinac
It’s always a joy to take a car ride across Mighty Mac, or bike your way around the island. Now consider adding a thrilling new transportation experience to a tip o’ the mitt visit by hopping aboard a helicopter for a tour of the area by MIFlight Aviation. Enjoy the East Moran Bay, St. Ignace, and a glimpse of Mackinac Island like you’ve never seen before for just $40 per person. An $80 ticket will get you a flight over the majestic bridge, or for $20 more you can schedule a sunset voyage. All flights depart from Mackinac County Airport and require a 2-person minimum.
Boyne Family Fun Days
Say you love the game of golf and want to pass that passion along to your kids. Getting them out on a course to try it out can be a tad pricey. Boyne Family Fun Days are designed for just that purpose at an affordable rate. Every Sunday after 2 p.m. the courses are available for up to 2 juniors to play for FREE when playing with a paying adult. The courses include The Monument at Boyne Mountain, The Moor at Boyne Highlands, and Crooked Tree Golf Club.
At long last, it’s time to Play Ball! The boys of summer have taken to the field. While, unfortunately we can’t join them in the stands, we can still tune in and cheer them on throughout the 60-game season. Check the Tigers schedule for game days. Many local pubs have set up social distanced viewing opportunities if you want to share the experience with other fans. Otherwise, pour yourself a cold Michigan brew, grab a bag of Germack peanuts, and create your own at home Tiger experience.
You can find yoga sessions almost anywhere…in a park, on a beach, and now right out on the water. Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) Yoga is a fun way to experience the exercise phenomenon in the great outdoors. Participants paddle out, do an hour of yoga on the boards, and then paddle back in. Eclipse Yoga provides the paddle boards and life jackets which will be sanitized before and after each use. No experience with SUP or Yoga is needed. They’re happy to teach you everything you need to know. Classes are offered at Silver Lake, Island Lake State Park, and Spring Mill Pond. Schedules and registration are available online.
Outbreak Exhibit at Grand Rapids Public Museum
Talk about a timely exhibit, the Smithsonian’s Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World opens at the Grand Rapids Public Museum on August 1. It features informative panels and videos that cover outbreaks such as Zika, Ebola, Influenza and new information pertaining to COVID-19. Visitors will learn about the vaccination process, stigmas associated with certain infectious diseases, different roles community members and international partnerships assume to help stop outbreaks from becoming epidemics and more. The museum is adding a section related to its community documentation project of daily life during COVID-19.
906 Festival in Curtis
While most festivals around the state have sadly been canceled due to COVID-19, there are a couple that are valiantly adapting to go on such as this celebration of our beloved Upper Peninsula on August 1. It includes live music, over 30 art and retail vendors, a beer and wine tent, and entertainment, along with fun games and activities for the whole family. Vendors have been spread further apart and each will have hand sanitizer. Handwashing stations are also available, and guests are asked to wear face coverings at all times.
National Blueberry Festival in South Haven
The National Blueberry Festival will also still go on, but in a limited capacity. Emphasis will be placed on the local growers. Many will set up under the Huron Street Pavilion on Saturday August 8 from 9-5 p.m. and several will be hosts for Farm Day. Additionally, there will be several virtual events that anyone can participate in. DeGrandchamp Farms Postcard Perfect Photo Contest invites you to host your own pie-eating contest and submit your video or photo to the festival’s Facebook page. There will also be a Kid’s Scavenger’s Hunt. Get your clues online or in-person and have fun exploring South Haven for answers. Check out the website for additional details.
St Ignace Fireworks
Perhaps the only thing that can improve a fireworks display is a stunning setting. How about over water alongside the majestic Mackinac Bridge? The town of St. Ignace invites you to join them every Saturday through September 3 for just such a spectacle. Gather on the Huron Boardwalk, at American Legion Park, Kiwanis Beach Park, and all along the waterfront, to marvel at the colorful Chrysanthemums, Rings of Saturn, and all the fizzlers, swizzlers, boomers, and everything in between.
Paint Grand Traverse
One of the more unique art events in the state has been creatively transformed, given our pandemic. It’s now called Paint Grand Traverse 2020: Virtually Beautiful, and will still include many of the things guests love. Artists will spend a beautiful weekend painting in downtown Traverse City and Old Mission Peninsula. Online shoppers will get the first choice of paintings, August 10-16. An in-person exhibit and sale will run August 17-September 12 in the Carnegie Gallery at Crooked Tree Arts Center. There will also be a virtual Pint-Size Paint Out for Kids, outdoor painting demonstrations, and a live-streamed awards ceremony. Visit their website for the latest details.
Grand Rapids Restaurant Week
Our local eateries need us now more than ever so Grand Rapids Restaurant Week has reinvented its usual process in order to encourage more eating out. This year, diners will download a digital pass to their smartphones (available soon). They’ll use the pass to check in at participating restaurants. Diners will receive a return visit coupon at every restaurant they check into – perhaps a free dessert offer, a buy-one-get-one-free deal or a meal discount, all redeemable within 60 days of their Restaurant Week visit. Diners who check into four restaurants will earn a special foodie-themed gift from Experience Grand Rapids. Restaurant Week runs August 5-16. Bon Appétit!
Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes Exhibition
The long-awaited heroic exhibition at The Henry Ford in Dearborn is now open. From comics to film, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes features more than 300 artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic and sought-after pages, costumes and props. Spectacular artifacts will thrill both avid collectors and casual fans, while immersive set pieces, soundscapes and interactive elements bring the Marvel Universe to life. The biggest Marvel exhibition ever, it chronicles the story of Marvel and its influence on visual culture, while also uncovering the stories of individual characters like Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange.