GR|MAG’s Top Weekend Picks

Outdoor Discovery Center, turtle.
Outdoor Discovery Center, turtle.

Enjoy a hands-on activity this weekend or sit back and let others entertain you. Either way, our arts & culture hubs have something to entice everyone. You’ll also have the opportunity to get up close with some of Grand Rapids’ animal residents this weekend as several animal sanctuaries come together to provide an educational and interactive experience at the Downtown Market.

Date Night @ Muskegon Museum of Art

The Muskegon Museum of Art is providing a unique twist on date night with What a Pair – Wine, Food and Art. Attendees will enjoy great wines and delicious bites while learning about what makes each of these pairings so unique.

The evening includes five distinct wines highlighted by local wine expert Kara Kreps in conjunction with appetizers created by Hearthstone.

The event takes place Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. Space is limited so be sure to register early if you’d like to attend. Cost is $35 for nonmembers and $30 for MMA members.

Nature Day at Downtown Market

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is partnering with Blandford Nature Center, Outdoor Discovery Center, Kent District Library (KDL), Wildlife Rehab Center and Casa La Parrot to host Nature Day on Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This free family event allows kids to get up close and personal with animals, see and touch interesting artifacts, learn through stories and enjoy other greenhouse activities like take-home crafts.

Blandford Nature Center will bring animals from their rehabilitation program, including a barred owl, northern saw-whet owl, long-eared owl, American kestrel, American toad, eastern box turtle, rabbit, opossum and a blandings turtle.

The Outdoor Discovery Center will bring a turtle pond with turtles that kids can touch, great horned owl, American kestrel, black rat snake and hands-on artifacts like skulls, skins, feathers, antlers and furs.

The Wildlife Rehab Center will bring several animals including a rabbit, owl, tortoise and possum, Casa La Parrot will bring a variety of tropical birds for kids to learn about and observe, and Kent District Library will lead nature-themed story time activities and hands-on learning fun.

The event will be held on the second floor of the Market in the greenhouse and banquet space.

Jackie Venson @ The Stache

Jackie Venson, Photo by Jinni J
Jackie Venson, Photo by Jinni J

If you didn’t get a chance to see Jackie Venson when she visited Grand Rapids in the fall as the opening act for Gary Clark Jr., don’t fret. Venson is back in GR on Sunday playing a more intimate venue. She’ll be performing at The Intersection’s front room, The Stache. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Venson put on a great performance during her last visit so this show will no doubt be a lot of fun. Venson is a singer-songwriter based out of Austin, Texas. She released her latest EP, “Transcends,” in September. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

Enmeshed Opens @ UICA

Be among the first to see the newest UICA exhibition, “Enmeshed,” on Friday night during the opening reception.

“Enmeshed” is a group of solo exhibitions that features work by artists who bridge the personal, the political, and the spiritual. Participating artists explore how these relationships refer to both identity and action.

Attendees will be able to meet the artists, explore the galleries, and enjoy light refreshments by The Cheese Lady and a cash bar. The member preview begins at 5:30 p.m. and the public are welcome from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost is free for UICA members and $5 for non-members.

LowellArts James & the Giant Peach performances
(All Weekend)

Support the community’s youngest thespians this weekend by attending a performance of the LowellArts Players Youth Theater’s production of “James and the Giant Peach.” The production includes 18 youth, teen and adult actors, ages eight and up, from Lowell and surrounding communities.

Directed by Teresa Goldner, “James and the Giant Peach” tells the story of James, an orphan boy, who is sent to chop down an old fruit tree. However, he finds a potion that causes a peach on the tree to grow to epic proportions. He enters the gigantic, magical peach to escape his two mean, cruel aunts. The peach rolls into the ocean and James embarks on a wild, surreal, cross-world adventure that includes the company of seven magically-altered garden bugs.

Performances: Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., Jan. 19 at 7 p.m., and Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. at Lowell Performing Arts Center/Lowell High School, 11700 Vergennes.

General Admission $7. Kids 2 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door, over the phone 6168978545, or at LowellArts.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Performs

St. Cecilia Music Center presents the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in a concert on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m., performing the works of Brahms and Dvořák. The performance features co-artistic director and pianist Wu Han, joined by pianist Michael Brown, violinists Chad Hoopes and Paul Huang, violist Matthew Lipman and cellist Dmitri Atapine.

The musical and personal friendship between Brahms and Dvořák is the stuff of legend. Their pairing brings to life the creative energy that reverberated between the German neo-classicist (Brahms) and the champion of Czech folk music (Dvořák), producing a glowing array of classical music’s most essential works.

There will also be a pre-concert talk with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center artists in the Royce Auditorium to discuss the music selection for the evening and any other questions that pertain to the artists themselves. A post-concert party is open to all ticket-holders giving the audience the opportunity to meet the artists and obtain signed CDs of their releases.

Concert tickets are $38 and $43 and can be purchased by calling St. Cecilia Music Center at 616-459-2224 or visiting the box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE. Tickets can also be purchased online at St. Cecilia Music Center.


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