These are crazy times. Thus, this is one of the most unusual 12 Things to Do posts we’ve ever created. Yes, we’re all staying at home to keep each other safe. But, there are still opportunities for fun and growth. Stay informed and be inspired by our state’s creativity. Here are our 12, mostly virtual, things to do in Michigan in April 2020.

April 5 FestiFools

There is no gathering on Main Street in Ann Arbor. Yet, the wacky folks behind Ann Arbor’s FestiFOOLs still have some fun in store. For example, they are developing a brand new online event. It’s called a Festival of Miniature Puppet Vignettes. Consequently, students from U of M are quite busy. They are making super tiny, fabulously foolish, video puppet tales. Tune in on Sunday, April 5 at 4pm to see the show.

April 8,15,22,29 Innovation Journeys with The Henry Ford

Sadly, safety concerns are delaying opening day at Greenfield Village. However, there are still plenty of ways to be enjoy The Henry Ford. In fact, you can join the museum on Facebook live each Wednesday at 10am. Then learn about innovators through stories from the museum’s collection. In summary, each is designed to help viewers understand and then apply the concepts to their lives. In the end, students will be encouraged to do on their own innovation journey. Then, share with others.

April 8 Elections in the Corona Virus Pandemic

The pandemic is testing America’s electoral system in lots of ways. Immediate action is required to make sure our elections are held in a safe, secure, and effective manner. The Center for American Progress is hosting an online event with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Joining in are California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The trio will discuss state election preparedness during the pandemic. This includes federal resources states need to safeguard free and fair elections.

April 13 MSU Global Day of Service

The Spartan tradition continues. Every year in April, MSU invites students, alumni, and others to participate in its Global Day of Service. Two things have changed this year, amid the crisis. First, many of the volunteer opportunities have been altered. That’s to account for social distancing and other safety requirements. Second, arguably, service to our community is more important than ever. Visit the website for existing opportunities or create one of your own.

April 14, 17 Glass Academy Glassblowing Demos

Once it is safe to open up area businesses again, visit the Glass Academy in Dearborn. First, it is an excellent place to watch incredible artistry. Second, you can take a class to learn about glassblowing. Third, you can buy some unique creations. In the meantime, this family-owned business invites you to join them on Facebook live. Naturally, they are using their down time to fire, spin, and blow sand into remarkable glass works of art.

April 22 Virtual Earth Day Celebration A2ZERO

The annual Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival has been cancelled. Yet, the celebration lives on. Join a virtual gathering of local leaders, nonprofits, storytellers, and artists on Earth Day. It will be a day full of music, panels, presentations, movies, games, and more from 9am to 8pm.  Register to get the link to the virtual event. Then, you can drop-in online anytime throughout the day.

April 22 50th Anniversary Earth Day Celebration

Students and families are invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Join a conversation with expert, Liesl Clark. It kicks off at 10am on April 22. Clark will explain steps students can take to help protect the earth. She also will be joined by climate and energy adviser, Brandy Brown. Both will answer questions from the community. The event is open to the public, but especially welcoming to Michigan’s students K-12 and their teachers. The livestream also will name winners of EGLE’s Earth Day Poster Contest. Additionally they will announce recipients of the department’s first-ever Environmental Service Award.

April 22 Detroit River Coalition’s eEarth Day

The ongoing quarantine, resulting from the pandemic, has put a hold on many planned activities. That isn’t stopping The Detroit River Coalition from pushing forward. The group will honor Earth Day in a unique way. Enter eEarth Day. This is an online activity to encourage small, but helpful changes. People are invited to name a single-use plastic item that they use on a day-to-day basis. Then replace it with recycled or reusable items.

April 23 MSU Filmetry Festival

Lots of people are sad these days. If you’re one of them, then you may find some inspiration from this event. MSU is streaming its film festival at 7pm on Thursday, April 23.  They will show a collection of films from student, faculty and guest filmmakers. Each is movie is based on a poem. The poems are featured in RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music. The virtual event is a collaboration between the several MSU departments.

April 24 Coping with Stress & Anxiety in Perilous Times

There is a lot of stress and uncertainty because of the pandemic. Consequently, people are turning to mindfulness now more than ever. Mindfulness is a state people get into by focusing on the present moment. Thus, in this webinar, participants will learn three strategies. They will also learn to improve leadership through the changes ahead. Furthermore, there will be a focus on one’s own mental health. The talk will be led by Denise Shields, Ph.D.

April 24 12th Annual Global Automotive & Mobility Innovation Challenge (GAMIC)

Twelve teams have been selected to compete as in the finals of this business competition. They include five international companies and seven American. Each will compete for over $300,000 worth of cash and business support. Obviously, this an exciting event. In this new format, each team has 10 minutes to present. Then, there will be 5 minutes of questioning from the judges. The event also includes a chat called How to Turn Uncertainty into Action. Consequently, it will focus on the importance of planning tools for unpredictable time like these. The free event runs from 10:30am-4:00pm on Zoom.

April 28 High Water Summit Town Hall

Rising water continues to pose serious threats. In response, the Michigan High Water Action Team is hosting a High Water Summit webinar. The event is scheduled for 5pm-6:30pm on April 28. It will focus on Great Lakes shoreline erosion and permits. Topics will include the permitting processes and alternatives for homes or critical structures that are in danger. The webinar is open to the public. However, it is limited to 1,000 attendees, so register soon.

Tweet @BuyMichiganNow to tell us about virtual events you’re enjoying. We’d especially like to know which of our 12 things to do in Michigan in April 2020 you found helpful or fun. For next month’s events, or to get ideas for your post-pandemic travel bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page.

Author: BMN Staff