Bike Your Way Around Grand Rapids

by Kelly McGrail on May 6, 2015

West Michigan bike trails; White Pine Trail

Grand Rapids is a top “Bicycle-Friendly Community” according to the League of American Bicyclists. Bring your bike with you this May to tackle hundreds of miles of bike lanes and trails, and participate in these great events:

Active Commute Week 2015. Sign up for the ACW Challenge and log your active trips Monday-Friday, May 11-15 to receive cool prizes. Compete as an individual or as a member of an employer team in this one-week challenge.

Bike to Work Day Pit Stops. National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 15 – and Grand Rapids is celebrating with special bicycle pit stops throughout the area. Bike by from 7 am to 9 am for refreshments and giveaways.

Grand Rapids Ride of Silence. This five-mile ride through Grand Rapids raises awareness of bikers’ rights and shows respect for cyclists who’ve been injured or killed. Wednesday, May 20 at 6:30 pm.

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10 Things You Never Knew About Greater Grand Rapids

by Ian Douglass on April 30, 2015

Everyone has heard about how Grand Rapids is “Furniture City,” the home of Amway and Meijer, and the land of cyclopean church buildings. However, quite a diverse mix of attractions has been added to Grand Rapids and its surrounding region in recent years, and both locals and tourists have taken note of the changes.

So, for the sake of recognizing the changing national perception of the jewel that is the West Michigan area, we are providing a list of ten things most people never knew about Grand Rapids and its surrounding region.

1. It’s heaven for beer lovers

Glass of beer at Founders

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Bernt Rostad

While “Beer City, USA” is a title that many cities lay claim to, Grand Rapids has been awarded the title independently… and repeatedly.  On the back of Founder’s Brewery – ranked by RateBeer.com as the third best brewery in the world – Grand Rapid’s has established itself as the capital of Michigan’s powerhouse craft breweries.

[read more…]

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Friday, April 24 at 8:00 p.m., you can experience LiveArts at the Van Andel Arena. It’s an incredibly collaborative production filled with creative elements that are sure to inspire you, surprise you, touch your heart and keep you thinking long after you leave the arena.

LiveArts logoThe Grand Rapids Symphony, the Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Ballet, Opera Grand Rapids, and Broadway Grand Rapids will all play a role in the evening—in addition to over 1000 students from the Grand Rapids area, including the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, a Community Youth Chorus, and the East Kentwood High School and Grandville High School marching bands. [read more…]

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Bridge on a trail at Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve in Grand Rapids.

Take a peaceful stroll on the trails at Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve. Photo by Howard Meyerson

Two minutes from the traffic on East Beltline Avenue is a peaceful, natural setting full of surprises. In spring the woods fill with natural sounds – sweet bird songs by day and a chorus of frogs and toads at night.

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On the Grand Rapids Food Trail

by Lyndsay Israel on April 14, 2015

My dad, who grew up in the South, likes to say that “we eat to avoid getting hungry.” While it’s clear that this isn’t the healthiest advice, I can wholeheartedly advocate that Grand Rapids is a great place to (over)indulge your wildest foodie dreams.

In February of this year, the food scene in GR became a lot more navigable when Experience GR published the Food Trail Map, a great tool for both locals and visitors.

Grand Rapids Food Trail logo

Photo Courtesy of Experience GR

To clarify, the food trail isn’t simply about eating in restaurants.  Grand Rapids’ culinary talent has been recognized consistently with popular annual events like Cool Brews. Hot Eats. and GR Restaurant Week, but the food trail is designed to show off the GR food experience that dedicated foodies can have while in town!  [read more…]

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The Grand Rapids Symphony has a rich history of reaching out to kids through engaging programs like their annual Lollipop concerts, which my kids attended and loved for years, and the Fifth Grade Concerts as well as programs like their Mosaic Scholarship and their Artists in Residence program. “Each year we reach over 70,000 students through our education programs,” says Claire Van Brandeghen, Director of Education, Grand Rapids Symphony.

LiveArts logo

Their outreach continued in a new way when they put out a call to local 4th-8th graders to form a Community Youth Chorus to be involved in the much-anticipated multi-sensory LiveArts production taking place April 24 at 8:00 pm at the Van Andel Arena. Nearly 1,000 students will be involved with this collaborative event between the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, Grand Rapids Ballet, Opera Grand Rapids, and Broadway Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids Symphony

photo courtesy Grand Rapids Symphony

The LiveArts production focuses on the role arts plays in our lives, told through the story of a child who desires to master the cello.

“He’s really a metaphor for the larger story: Arts represent all that makes us human. They express our soul and they pick up where words leave off,” says Van Brandeghen. “LiveArts celebrates many things, including the seed of creativity and need for self-expression that exists in all of us, which begins in childhood, is developed as we grow, and is fully realized in the outstanding artists that live and work among us.” [read more…]

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Ready set run!

by Kelly McGrail April 8, 2015

  Get Your Run On in Grand Rapids this April Whether you’re a serious athlete or you’re looking for a fun family activity, Grand Rapids offers plenty of opportunities to lace up your running shoes. These are all great tune-ups for May’s River Bank Run! The Grand Rapids Running Club hosts a 5/3 River Bank […]

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Museums, Arts and More: Cultural Events You Won’t Want to Miss This Spring

by Kirsetin Morello April 2, 2015

    As the weather heats up, so is the arts and culture scene in Grand Rapids. This spring the city is boasting several events you definitely won’t want to miss! For starters, mark your calendar for FREE admission to five Grand Rapids museums on Sunday, April 26. Free Museums For All! Grand Rapids is lucky […]

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On Tap! April 2015

by Kelly McGrail April 1, 2015

Swig-Worthy Beer Tours and Events On Tap this April Grand Rapids continues its reign as Beer City USA with a series of new brewventures sure to warm your craft beer-loving heart: The Grand Rapids East Side Beer Tour includes transportation to three breweries just east of downtown. The event includes a private tour of Belgian-inspired […]

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Nature Nearby: Parks, Trails, Woods, and Wildlife Within 10 Minutes Of Downtown Grand Rapids

by Howard Meyerson March 26, 2015

Though Grand Rapids’ downtown is often bustling, nature is never far away: green havens can be found throughout the city and all along the Grand River corridor. More than two dozen natural environs can be found within 10-minutes of Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. Several are within easy walking distance, and the rest […]

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