As we continue to adjust to our new reality, some events are taking place in modified form, and some are being adapted to a virtual setting. Either way, there are lots of fun options to explore this month. Here are a dozen of our favorites.
September 1-5 Chairlift Ride at Crystal Mountain – Thompsonville
There’s nothing quite like a panoramic view and Crystal Mountain is eager to please. Hop aboard the Crystal Clipper chairlift for a vista that stretches out over three counties. When you reach the top, you’ll find live musical entertainment, a snack bar, a cash bar, and other attractions. This unique experience runs just $9 per person, with ages 8 and under riding free accompanied by a paying adult.
September 1-7 Arts, Beats & Eats – Various & Virtual
Like most event organizers, the team behind Southeast Michigan’s annual Arts, Beats & Eats festival had to cancel the live event, but they found a way to do some good with a major effort to support the local music industry. “The Beats Go On…” aims to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local musicians, as well as spread the joy of music virtually and through limited capacity drive-in concerts Labor Day Weekend. More than 400 bands across nearly 15 genres, will perform virtual concerts to raise money for the cause, Aug. 27 through Sept. 3. Oakland County is matching the first $500,000 in donations. The art will also still have a role with the reimagined Art by Appointment. Patrons can preview top Michigan artists’ work online then schedule a 75-minute visit in downtown Royal Oak with up to 20 participating juried fine artists. Think of it as your own private art fair. Learn more here. Food trucks will also visit local communities through the Eats On Your Street initiative, or you can work on losing those extra COVID pounds by participating in limited fitness events each weekend morning like 100-person yoga, with a minimum of 12 feet between participants.
September 1-30 Michigan Freedom Trail Gatherings – Virtual
To truly understand the social injustice happening in our lifetime, it is critical to grasp its origins. One way to do that is to learn more through events like the third annual Underground Railroad Heritage Gathering, which will take place as a series of virtual presentations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in September this year. The sessions are free and open to individuals, organizations and communities interested in our statewide Underground Railroad heritage. Download the PDF listing of sessions, presenters and registration links. Once you register for a session, you will receive an email confirmation with the detailed event information, including log-in credentials.
September 1-30 Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes Exhibition – Dearborn
Kids and adults alike are marveling at this cool spectacle at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Whether into the comic books or the films, more than 300 artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic and sought-after pages, costumes and props, will provide smiles and memories for every superhero fan. Immersive set pieces, soundscapes and interactive elements bring this unique universe to life. This is the biggest Marvel exhibition ever, and it chronicles the role of Marvel from its own origin story to its influence on popular culture. Along the way it delves into the worlds of Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and so many more beloved characters.
September 1-30 GlenLore Trails Light Forest – Commerce Twp.
With most of their events canceled, a talented lighting team saw an opportunity to use their available equipment to create a fantasy world all their own. Now you are invited to enter Glenlore Trails for an odyssey of your own. This half-mile outdoor walking path has been outfitted with lighting, projection, and other sensory elements to create an experience that centers around the mysterious happenings of Glenlore, where adorable, vibrant, and often mischievous little creatures have been discovered. While mostly quiet by day, they come to life at night to unleash a fury of color and magic. Expect this experience to take around 40 minutes, depending on your speed.
September 4-7 44th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival – Virtual
It’s not Labor Day Weekend in Detroit without Jazz! While the gathering may have been thwarted, the music cannot be. Fear not, jazz aficionados, the 2020 Detroit Jazz Festival will be streamed and broadcast for free this year. The fun begins on Friday, Sept. 4 and runs through Monday, Sept. 7. All performances will be streamed or broadcast live (no replays or on-demand) from indoor sound stages at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, while closed to the public. Fans will be able to view or listen to performances in a number of ways including: Channel 22, the city’s new arts and entertainment channel; the festival’s web page; or on public radio and television stations. There is also a DetroitJazzFest LIVE! App available for download to enjoy the shows. This year’s celebration will showcase mostly local artists, highlighting Detroit’s incredible jazz talent to the world.
September 6-13 Bright Spots – Jackson
If you haven’t been to Jackson in a while, you’re in for a big surprise. The city has been visually transformed in many ways, including public art, thanks to previous Bright Walls events. The full showcase has been postponed until next year, but a scaled back version is slated for Sept. 6-13. Three artists from around the United States will be in Jackson, creating fresh art. They will be painting murals on buildings in town that allow for appropriate social distancing so guests can swing by and soak in the creative process. Plan to stroll around town and check out the many murals from years past as well. The Bright Walls Grand Finale is scheduled to return in 2021 with a full roster of artists from around the world and special community events.
Lunch & Lavender – Boyne City
Not only does lavender smell incredible, it can also be used as a culinary accent to brighten up foods and beverages. That’s why Lavender Hill Farm is partnering with Lake Street Market for a unique dining experience. Gourmet boxed lunches made with fresh foods featuring lavender from the farm will be served in the barn at noon. The lunch menu has been carefully created by the culinary masterminds at Lake Street Market to highlight both sweet and savory lavender accents. Lunch is $23.50 per person and will include a lavender beverage, a choice of a lavender-themed salad or sandwich, and their famous lavender shortbread cookies. Tickets are available for purchase online until 6pm the Monday before the lunch or until sold out.
September 11 Rock the Gilmore – Hickory Corners
If you’ve been missing the big, live musical performances that are a hallmark of summer, then head to Hickory Corners for a concert by The Rock Show, a Journey tribute band. This Michigan-based band, has performed all over the country including appearances in Las Vegas, numerous festivals, and more than a few nightclubs. The show will be drive-in style with admission running $35-50 per carload, depending on how close to the stage you want to be. Best of all, in remembrance of September 11, a percentage of the proceeds from this concert will benefit the Barry Township Fire Department.
September 18-20 BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration – Vicksburg
The event will look a little different this year, but make no mistake, the welcome mat will be out for cyclists throughout the spectacular Fall Bike Celebration weekend in Vicksburg. Enjoy more than seven fantastic routes through the beautiful Southwest Michigan countryside centered in the charming village. Can’t make it into town physically? No worries, they we will be offering expert webinars on important subjects related to bicycling during the weekend.
September 19-20 Michilimackinac Secrets and Scandals – Mackinaw City
Today much of it plays out in politics and reality TV, but secrets and scandals are nothing new to the world. They’ve always captured attention, and some even become fodder for generations. This new themed weekend at the fort will present visitors with a variety of programs focusing on some of Michilimackinac’s lesser known history. Each program will examine an aspect of the Michilimackinac’ past that caused the original residents to gossip and share secrets with one another. Like all special programs and events, it is included with regular admission to Colonial Michilimackinac.
September 30 TEDx Detroit – Virtual
Since 2009, TEDxDetroit has been bringing creators, entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, educators, geeks and non-geeks together from across the Great Lakes region to share big ideas and explore boundless possibilities. This year, the handshakes are gone, but the inspiration rolls on. TEDxDetroit 2020 is going virtual and it’s free thanks to generous sponsor support. If you’ve ever wanted to attend, but didn’t have the funds or weren’t really sure what it was all about, this is a great opportunity. If you’re a long-time fan, then you can still get your fix online. The whole day is designed to celebrate creativity while fostering new connections, collaborations, and opportunities. Shake off those quarantine blues and get reenergized with fresh ideas.