GR|MAG’s Top Weekend Picks


If the fall air has you thinking about cozying up indoors this weekend, don’t! Head out and fill your belly with the season’s most delicious comfort foods. Visit the Downtown Market on Friday, where vendors will be offering samples of their “fall favorites.” That night, Local First is bringing together restaurants from across the city for Fork Fest.

On Saturday, visit the Fulton Street Farmers Market for a night of trick or treating. Once you’re full, attend “The Magic Flute” at Opera Grand Rapids. If you’re looking for a chance to dress up, Paddock Place is hosting an interactive Halloween experience complete with several horror-themed rooms!

Fall Flavors @ the Downtown Market

Join the Grand Rapids Downtown Market for a day of awesome autumn treats. Market Hall merchants and restaurants will be offering fall foods packed with pumpkin, nutmeg, apple cinnamon and other seasonal spices and ingredients.

Items include pumpkin spice cookies from Sweetie-Licious Bake Shoppe, a grilled cheese sandwich with brie and maple pumpkin butter from Aperitivo, a free fall candle with the purchase of a bouquet from Pulp and Stem and more.

For more information, visit the Downtown Market website or Facebook page. The event goes from 10 a.m to 8 p.m on Friday, Oct. 26.

Fork Fest @ Romence Gardens and Greenhouses

Saunders Family Bakery. From the Local First Lakeshore Fork Fest.
Saunders Family Bakery. From the Local First Lakeshore Fork Fest.

Eat (and drink) local this Friday night at the eighth annual Fork Fest. Hosted by Local First, this event will feature live music, butchering and cocktail making demonstrations, an artist market, and dozens of local food and beverage producers, growers, grocers and restauranteurs.

More than 30 local food businesses will line the greenhouses at Romence Gardens. A new addition to the event is an artists’ market that will feature 20 local makers selling clothing, leather goods, jewelry, ceramics, woodworks and more. Adult beverages will be available for purchase include choices from Brewery Vivant, Fenn Valley Vineyards, Pux Cider and Long Road Distillery.

Admission includes unlimited food samples, one drink ticket, non-alcoholic beverages and entertainment. Not only will you be able to sample items from local vendors, but it’s also for a good cause; the proceeds from this event go toward the Local First Education Foundation, which leads the “development of an economy grounded in local ownership.”

This event will be from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Local First website or Facebook page.

Trick or Treat @ Fulton Street Farmers Market

Get into your costume and join the Midtown Neighborhood Association and the Fulton Street Farmers Market for the first annual Trick or Treat at the Market.

Take a walk through the Mad Scientist’s Laboratory, visit the Harry Potter photobooth, decorate a pumpkin while enjoying cider and donuts, and visit the boo-ths for some Halloween goodies. Cider, donuts and pumpkins to decorate are free, but limited to the first 500 guests so get there early.

This event takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Find out more here.

Macabre: The Ghosts of Paddock @ Paddock Place
(Friday – Sunday)

Looking for a Halloween event like no other? Attend Grand Rapid’s newest Halloween Experience: Macabre: The Ghosts of Paddock. Created by a collaboration of more than 30 local actors and musicians, this event includes immersive, spooky theatre and music.

Guests enter a multi-room show spread throughout all three floors of Paddock Place, a 19th-century mansion located at 1033 Lake Dr. SE in Grand Rapids. The first floor features a bar, the orchestra and a vintage photographer offering tintype photographs. The second floor will allow guests to explore horror-themed rooms filled with live performances with mad scientists, steampunk, a seance, and more. The third floor features a movie theater showing classic horror films. Guests are encouraged to dress in Victorian and Steampunk attire to help transform the entire house to look and sound as vintage as possible.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to The Spoke Folks, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit bicycle co‑op looking to increase and sustain bicycle ridership in West Michigan. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

The Magic Flute @ Opera Grand Rapids
(Friday & Saturday)

"The Magic Flute" dress rehearsal. Photo by Grand Lubell Photography.
“The Magic Flute” dress rehearsal. Photo by Grand Lubell Photography.

Opera Grand Rapids’ first production of the season combines comedy and tragedy for a wonderful journey of the imagination. The Magic Flute tells the story of Rince Tamino (Dennis Shuman) on a quest to rescue the Queen of the Night’s (Jana Mcintyre) daughter (Cheyanne Coss). Featuring John Viscardi as the comic Papageno.

Performances take place on Oct. 26 and 27 at DeVos Performance Hall. James Meena will lead the Opera Grand Rapids Chorus and the Grand Rapids Symphony in the production. Visit Opera Grand Rapids for tickets.

*Main photo courtesy of Local First. All other photos courtesy of individual organizations.

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