GR|MAG’s Top Weekend Picks


If you are a fan of the AMC show “The Walking Dead” head to 20 Monroe Live on Sunday night for the season nine premiere. Looking for fun family activities this weekend? Frederik Meijer Gardens is hosting Family Fall Day. You can also enjoy classical music with the Grand Rapids Symphony, create your own artwork at the GRAM or check out several local food vendors making vegetarian and vegan treats at VegFest.

Creativity Uncorked @ GRAM

The Peace Signs by Scott Froschauer at GRAM.
The Peace Signs by Scott Froschauer at GRAM.

Explore “ArtPrize 10 at GRAM” and take a tour of Scott Froschauer’s entry “Word on the Street.” Examine the universal language found within signs and create your own using stencils and paint methods on a blank reflective aluminum sign. The event starts at 6:45 p.m., but if you arrive early you can enjoy music, mingling and drinks from a cash bar. Due to the intoxicating nature of this event, participants must be 21+.

This event is $40, GRAM members receive 20 percent off. Purchase tickets here.

Walking Dead Premiere Watch Party @ 20 Monroe Live

Stagger over to the BOB’s Beer Garden this Sunday at 7 p.m. for a zombie meet-up, then stumble over to 20 Monroe Live for a costume contest and the season nine premiere of “The Walking Dead.” There will be themed food and drinks, on-site vendors, a zombie makeup artist, prize giveaways, and a photo booth. Zombie costumes & attire are encouraged. The floor is concrete so bring things to sit on—lawn chairs, beanbags, pouch couches, etc.

Admission is free. RSVP in advance to enter your name for a prize.

Scheherazade @ DeVos Performance Hall
(Friday and Saturday)

Jean Yves Thibaudet. Photo by Andrew Eccles.
Jean Yves Thibaudet. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, known as one of the world’s greatest pianists, joins GR Symphony Friday and Saturday. The French pianist and fashionister (the male version of fashionista) makes his Grand Rapids Symphony debut to perform Aram Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto. The epic battle between soloist and orchestra features a special guest appearance by Robert Froehner, of Texas, who performs on musical saw.

Thibaudet, who is an old friend of music director Marcelo Lehninger, has performed as piano soloist on many Hollywood films, including “Pride and Prejudice.” Thibaudet has been a featured soloist on such films as “The Portrait of a Lady,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Wakefield” and “Atonement.”

Lehninger also leads the Grand Rapids Symphony in Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” a perennially popular audience favorite that’ll feature violinist and concertmaster James Crawford and principal harpist Beth Colpean. The piece by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov tells the story in music of “The Arabian Nights” or “1,001 Nights,” the story of the slave Scheherazade who is forced to marry the murderous Sultan who plans to put her to death following their wedding night. But Scheherazade’s fantastical tales intrigue the Sultan who eventually falls in love with her and spares her life.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the GR Symphony website.

Family Fall Day @ Frederik Meijer Gardens

Visit the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for fall-themed family fun. Activities include something for all your senses—press and pound color banners, autumn-themed stories, tree vest craft, and an “I-Spy” naturalist walk focused on trees.

While you are there, explore the fall sculpture exhibition and the lush displays of Chrysanthemums.

Family Fall Day will be from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. Tickets are included with admission. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens website.

GR VegFest @ the Deltaplex Arena

The goal of annual Grand Rapids VegFest is simple: to promote plant-based diets for health, compassion and conservation of the environment. With local and national vendors, nationally-recognized speakers and food samples galore, VegFest is the place for vegans, vegetarians or omnivores curious about the health benefits of a plant-based diet.

VegFest starts at 10:30 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

*Main photo courtesy of Burly Bison Bakery (look for them at GR VegFest). All other photos courtesy of individual organizations.

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