What’s not to love about the shortest month of the winter? It brings us the Super Bowl, a day dedicated entirely to love, and these dozen opportunities to soak in some much needed fun and culture. Due to the changing nature of the pandemic, be sure to consult each event’s website for safety protocols and to confirm dates and times.
February 1-6 Craft Beverage Week – Kalamazoo
Traditionally known as the town’s Beer Week, this year, Kalamazoo is expanding the concept to cover all craft beverages. While COVID, may have placed some limitations on the annual celebration, such as eliminating large events like bar crawls or festival style gatherings, there are still safe ways to still enjoy the city’s craft beverage scene. #KBW2021 includes a series of small events and specials. It’s an important time to support these local makers, so visit the website for the latest details on how you can take part, and beer sure to make posts with products to social media to help them gain some attention.
February 1-28 Her Ideas Her Stories: Women Artists from GRAM’s Collection – Grand Rapids
This exhibition showcases ten women artists in the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s collection working in the United States from the 1930s to the present. Their identities as women influence their artwork in various, unique ways. For instance, Pakistani American artist Anila Quayyum Agha is influenced by her experiences of being excluded from mosques, Islamic sites of creativity and community, because of her gender. Abstract painter Lee Krasner, throughout her career, struggled against stereotypical ideas about what types of art women should create. The exhibition also highlights the work and struggles of Jennifer Bartlett, Ruth Bernhard, Phyllis Halperin Bramson, Gerda Firant, Sally Gall, Francoise Gilot, Julie Mehretu, and Jennifer Wynne Reeves.
February 1-28 Winter Sports Exploration– Muskegon
If you have an adventurous spirit, and love the outdoors, then February is the ideal month to visit the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. It’s in a beautiful setting where you can snowshoe, cross-country ski, or even ice skate on a trail through the woods. If you’re more of a hockey player than a speed skater, you can do that too. How about getting on a zipline, or even trying out your skills on a real luge run? Purchasing passes in advance is advised, especially during the pandemic, as well as checking the daily conditions before you arrive.
February 1-28 Frida Kahlo’s Garden – Jackson
Frida Kahlo is considered one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. Her body of work, consisting of some 250 paintings and drawings, is at once intensely personal and universal in scope, and relies heavily on the natural world. Through this special exhibit at the Ella Sharp Museum, guests can discover more about her inspiration and art by exploring iconic photos of the artist and her home, reproductions of several of her paintings, information about native Mexican plants that were grown in her garden, and examples of folk art collected by Kahlo and her famous husband, Diego Rivera. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sundays 12-5pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
February 1-28 World of Winter Festival – Grand Rapids
This bustling town is already well known for its commitment to art, and that’s not just a summer thing. Each year downtown Grand Rapids transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland, and this season’s World of Winter Festival is bigger and better than ever to offer more things to see and do outdoors, where visitors can better socially distance. There are 15 unique interactive art installations, featuring a 20-minute light show projected onto the exterior façade of the Civic Auditorium at DeVos Place. Look for 80+ ice sculptures including Batman, Wonder Woman, and Yoda spread out across downtown. Take a walking tour highlighting local Black History or the Heartside neighborhood. All programming and activities are FREE and geared for both families and adults.
February 1-28 Wonderfully Made African American Art Exhibit – Saginaw
Celebrate Black History Month with a cultural exploration at the Saginaw Art Museum. Proud to be from Flint, Anthony and Davida Artis have been collecting African American art since 2009. Their collection now totals more than seventy works mostly prints, but also watercolors and drawings. Works from the couple’s collection are on display at the museum throughout February in Wonderfully Made: The Anthony and Davida Artis Collection of African American Fine Art. Museum admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students or seniors.
February 5-7 – Magical Ice Fest – St. Joseph
Bundle up and head to St. Joe’s for some frosty fun. The town’s annual Magical Ice Fest sponsored by Silver Beach Pizza is designed to embrace and celebrate the winter season. Guests can enjoy professional Ice Carving Competitions, a SnowBiz Scavenger Hunt, Ice Interactives and more.
Be sure to stop by the shore to see what natural, icy art has been sculpted by Lake Michigan waves.
February 6,7,13,14,27 & 28 Dog Sledding at Treetops – Gaylord
The UP 200 was postponed until 2022, but race dogs are still eager to hit a trail, and this time it’s with you aboard, weather permitting. Head to Treetops Resort for the thrill of a lifetime. Iditarod pro, Liza Dietzen and her team of dogs from Evergreen Kennel, will whisk you away on the snow-covered trails of the Jones Masterpiece Golf Course and dash through the majestic hills of Treetops. Be a part of this powerful team’s training experience. Must be 18 or over, or accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $50 per person and reservations are required.
February 7, 14, 21 & 28 Gilmore Car Museum Winter Lecture Series – Hickory Corners
The Gilmore Car Museum’s annual Winter Lecture Series is highly anticipated every year. Each Sunday afternoon at 3pm from January until April, visitors can enjoy a different guest presenter speaking on a variety of intriguing topics. Admission to each lecture is FREE for members, included in general admission, or is just $5 per person if you’re only coming to take in the lecture. Topics this month include: The Interurban Railroad, The Mackinaw Bridge Then and Now (via Zoom only), Buying and Restoring Your Own Antique Car, and MG-An Interdisciplinary Education.
February 12-14 Plymouth Ice Festival – Plymouth
Plymouth’s Kellogg Park might well be the coldest selfie hotspot in the state each winter as ice sculptures start to appear. While this phenomenal annual event has had to undergo some changes this year, organizers are undaunted. To help with social distancing, they are spreading over 65 ice carving displays, in front of merchants and restaurants, in the downtown area. To limit crowd gathering, all live carving competitions and other interactive activities have been postponed until next year, but it’s still an excellent opportunity to enjoy winter’s beauty and then warm up with food and drinks from a local eatery.
February 16 Paczki Day – Michigan
To the rest of the country it may be known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, but thanks to the early Polish settlers in our state, February 16 is Paczki (pronounced puhnch×kee) Day. It represents the last chance to eat something decadent before making sacrifices during the Christian season of Lent that starts on the following day, known as Ash Wednesday. A traditional paczki is very similar to a jelly donut, and if you want to join in on the indulgence you can find them at bakeries and markets all around the state, typically starting the weekend before.
February 21-26 Restaurant/Hotel Week – Ann Arbor
Foodies flock to A2 on a regular basis, but there’s perhaps no better time than during one of the town’s restaurant weeks. This year, the Washtenaw County Hotel Association is simultaneously launching its first-ever Ann Arbor Area Hotel Week. A number of area hotels are offering special rates and promotions, for a limited time, to coincide with Ann Arbor Restaurant Week so you can take a long-awaited getaway. Stay near downtown and take advantage of the numerous specials being offered by participating restaurants.