Butterflies emerging, crocuses popping out, NCAA basketball madness, what’s not to love about March? Here are a dozen events that will make your month even better.
March 1-8 Downtown Marquette Restaurant Week – Marquette
Celebrate the local flavors of Downtown Marquette’s dining scene during the seventh annual Downtown Marquette Restaurant Week, March 1 – 8, 2020. Participating Downtown Marquette restaurants will offer $10-$15 fixed price lunch menus and select dinner meals for $25-$30. Downtown Marquette Restaurant Week provides the community the opportunity to experience a wide variety of culinary opportunities for foodies to enjoy. Participating eateries include: Café Bodega, Casa Calabria, Delft Bistro, Digs, Landmark Inn, Steinhaus, Vierling, and Marquette Harbor Brewery, and more.
March 1-April 8 West Michigan Art Competition – Lowell
Head to LowellArts to check out work selected for the 34th Annual West Michigan Art Competition. The 2020 exhibit includes outstanding pieces by artists from 25 Lower West Michigan counties, as selected by this year’s distinguished juror, Jim Nawara. He is a Professor Emeritus of Painting and Drawing in the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History at Wayne State University in Detroit. The gallery is open Tue-Fri 10am-6pm and Saturdays 10am-5pm. Five cash awards totaling $2500 will be awarded at an Artists Reception on Thursday, March 5 from 6pm–8pm.
March 1-April 30 Butterflies are Blooming – Grand Rapids
If you’re not into butterflies, perhaps we can tempt your frozen bones with a chance to walk through a conservatory that is 85 degrees with 70% humidity! If you ARE into the fluttery creatures, then 7,000 tropical butterflies representing 60 different species await you. At the annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition at Meijer Gardens, these little mystical beings fly freely, and may even land on you to spend some quality time. There’s also special educational programming and the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden offers butterfly-themed activities.
March 5-15 Laughfest – Grand Rapids
If ever there was a time when everyone could use a laugh, it’s now. For the tenth straight year, Grand Rapids is poised to bring the funny. The 10-day laughaganza includes stand-up, improv, sketch comedy, speakers, films, and even yoga. It always draws some big names in the event lineup too. This year you’ll find Jim Gaffigan, Russell Peters, Fortune Feimster, Justin Willman, Maria Bamford, Miranda Sings, Ralph Harris, JP Sears, Adam Clayton-Holland, and Jeff Foxworthy. Show up on Saturday, March 7, and make 999 new friends in an effort to set the world record for the greatest gathering of people wearing mismatched socks.
March 6-9 Midwest RAD Fest – Kalamazoo
Are you a big fan of TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance or Dance World? Then Kalamazoo is the place for you. The 11th Annual Midwest RAD Fest is a juried contemporary dance festival which will feature over 200 professional dancers from all over the world performing in 5 different concerts, presenting site specific works, teaching 8 different master classes, presenting in a screen-dance series, and participating in discussion panels and groups. All events are open to the public.
March 7 & 14 Chateau Grand Traverse’s Inside Look at Riesling – Traverse City
Michigan winemakers are creating some spectacular Rieslings and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any doing it better than at Chateau Grand Traverse. If you want to see how they do it, take part in a 45-minute guided tour and get to know what makes this grape so special. Previous vintage dated wines will be pulled from the library to offer a vertical tasting with current Riesling vintages. Admission is $15 and includes the in-depth winery tour, tank samples, Riesling tasting and light food pairings. The tour and tasting begins at 1pm. They suggest arriving ten minutes prior and dressing appropriately for the moderately cool wine cellar.
March 14-15 & 21-22 Maple Row Sugarhouse Maple Festival – Jones
As it stops snowing, the maple starts flowing. There are lots of events around the state providing ample chances to get your maple fix. This one has some unique elements. You can see maple syrup being made in a modern style sugarhouse, and also watch a re-enactment of how a French Colonial family would have made maple syrup and sugar. Take a free tour of the sugarbush, devour a pancake breakfast, entertain the kids with a coloring contest, petting farm, and other activities. Then, of course, stock up on lots of unique maple products.
March 18-28 Real to Reel Film Festival – Saugatuck
Get your fill of flicks at one of the state’s first film fests of the year. The Saugatuck Center for the Arts seeks to use film to inspire, educate and entertain so this year’s event will feature Mountainfilm on Tour in an effort to cultivate community and expand global perspectives through the power and beauty of film. It will combine 65 documentary films with outdoor adventures, live music, local food, craft brews, art exhibitions, and talks with creators.
March 20 Great Beer State Experience – Lansing
MSU and the Michigan Brewers Guild are a great pair, so we can’t imagine what scrumptious pairings they’ll come up with as they collaborate on this inaugural event. Guests are invited to taste your way across Michigan with thirty-two different Michigan-brewed beers, expertly paired with sixteen delicious dishes in a strolling, social and relaxed format. Industry experts will also be on-hand to share some thoughts on what makes Michigan the Great Beer State. Tickets are $65-85.
March 20-21 Boyne Highlands Krazy Daze – Harbor Springs
If you haven’t made it to a Northern Michigan ski resort in March, then you have no idea how much fun you are missing out on. For example, every year at Boyne Highlands, they celebrate the coming spring with Krazy Daze. The weekend revelry includes live music, lighthearted activities, and upbeat events tailored to every member of the family. You’ll see face-painted kids taking a pass at the Silly Slalom, and get some good laughs as the Ski Over the Pond competition begins. Take to the slopes, tailgate, or just soak in the warmth of good family fun, and a spring to come.
March 21 Sips, Chips & Dips – Leelanau Peninsula
We often think of wine as being much snobbier than beer and therefore requiring elaborate pairings. It doesn’t have to be that way, and the wineries of Leelanau will prove that on Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 12pm-5pm. Participating wineries pair everyday snacks with Leelanau wine. This is a fantastic way to try lots of your favorite munchies and see how great they can taste when complemented by wine. Tickets are $25 and include a snack-and-wine pairing at each participating winery, along with a fun souvenir wine glass. After your featured food and wine pairing, standard tasting fees apply at the wineries of your choice.
March 29 Sugaring, Shearing & Science – Jackson
The Ella Sharp Museum is one of Jackson’s coolest places to hang out. It’s educational, inspiring, and fun…especially at this spectacular spring event. Welcome the season Spring with sheep shearing demonstrations by Thorne Farms and sheep herding demonstrations by Jim Valley. Visit the historic buildings and the galleries while onsite and be sure to enjoy the museum’s latest hands-on exhibit, My Sky, which is an immersive exploration of the sun, the moon, and the stars.