West Michigan Home and Garden Show is On the Way! E-mail
With exciting new additions and well-rooted favorites, West Michigan's best Home and Garden Show gets even better this spring.

Meijer Gardens officially joins the show as a sponsor in 2006, following years of participation by members of their staff. Show Manager Carolyn Alt says both groups are excited about the association. "We're delighted to have such an outstanding organization as part of the show," she says. "Meijer Gardens' participation adds to the general level of excellence. It's also a nice endorsement of our long commitment to gardening and gardeners." The Meijer Gardens Stage will host seminars by their own staff, as well as other experts.

The Michigan Floral Association also makes its inaugural appearance at this year's show, promising an array of stunning displays in the Grand Gallery. Their annual design contest, held during the show, will be open to public viewing for the first time ever, and the Designer of the Year Competition takes place Saturday, live on the Home Stage.

Butterflies Bloom at the Gardens E-mail
Beginning March 1, thousands of butterflies representing dozens of species will once again gracefully flutter around Meijer Gardens, creating the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the United States. The open air conservatory allows everyone the chance to observe butterflies from South and Central America and Asia up close in a Florida-like atmosphere.

Each week, 750 chrysalises, or cocoons, are delivered to the gardens and visitors have the chance to watch new butterflies hatch and emerge through glass panels at the butterfly bungalow. “A relaxing stroll through the tropical conservatory will put one’s mind at ease, and can seem like a tropical vacation without even leaving Michigan,” said Brent Dennis, executive director of Meijer Gardens.

Meijer Gardens Announces New Downtown Exhibition E-mail
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has announced their newest art exhibition will be held not only in their indoor galleries, but also throughout downtown Grand Rapids. The exhibition, Tom Otterness in Grand Rapids: the Gardens to the Grand, will feature 22 sculptures ranging in size from 20 inches to 20 feet along a two mile stretch of sidewalks and pedestrian bridges. The bronze works – seven of which have never been on display before – will become part of the downtown landscape beginning June 1.

Grand Rapids is the fourth location in the country to exhibit his works, following displays in Beverly Hills, Indianapolis and on Broadway.

GRNow Presents Online Classifieds E-mail
GRNow has launched a brand new classified ad system that allows users to quickly and easily post real estate, auto, apartment, boat and garage sale ads. Basic ads start at just $15 for 30 days in all categories and include title, unlimited description, up to three photos, website link and more.

GRNow Weekend Guide: Feb 17-19 E-mail
DeVos Place hosts the Boat Show this weekend, while both the Wealthy Theatre and Forest Hills Fine Arts Center host improv shows. Plus the Symphony plays DeVos Hall, local bands raise money for charity and Gun Lake hosts an icy dip. And don't forget to practice for St. Patty's Day.

Friday (2/17)

Grand Rapids Boat Show - The 61st edition of the show features over 400 boats including sail boats, canoes, water skiis and wakeboard boats, plus seminars, antique boats and the chance to win prizes. Admission is $9 for adults and $4 for children 6 to 14.

Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Hamilton Bulldogs - The Griffins attempt to defend their first place lead as the division foe Bulldogs come to Van Andel Arena.

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood - The stars of the Emmy nominated "Who's Line Is It Anyway" team up for an extraordinary improv comedy show at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center. Tickets start at $32.

Beethoven's Heroic Symphony - The Grand Rapids Symphony presents Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” plus guest pianst Scott Goodyear performs Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1. Tickets prices begin at $10.

St. Practice Day - With only one month to go before St. Patrick's day, get in shape for the big day at McFadden's St. Practice Day. The event features favorite Irish menu items, drinks specials and more.

Saturday (2/18)

Gun Lake Winterfest - Head down to Middleville for a pancake breakfast, bake sale, children’s activities, pony rides and petting zoo. The Gun Lake Tribe kicks off the day on the entertainment stage with an opening drumming ceremony. Other stage acts include storytelling, ice sculpting demonstration and a swimsuit fashion show. The famous Polar Bear Dip will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Gun Lake County Park. Admission is free.

Sigur Rose - The rock band from Iceland gives two performances at Calvin College, at 6:30 and 11 p.m.

River City Improv - The improv comedy troupe of former Calvin College students weave together skits, games and audience suggestions for a unique and entertaining show at the Wealthy Theatre. Admission is $7 per person.

La Famiglia - The Intersection hosts this up-and-coming local band that fuses together hip hop, jazz, metal, and salsa. Tickets are $5 in advance.

Sunday (2/19)

Mozart's Magnificent Voyage with Classical Kids - The Dream Children enlist the help of Mozart's son and embark on a journey back in time to Mozart's childhood as well as far into the future. Fun for the whole family with the Grand Rapids Symphony. Tickets: $8-$14.

MSU Stars Battle of the Bands Charity Concert - Features local bands Calling All, Smoody, Infinity Shores and more at the Intersection. Proceeds benefit The Make a Wish Foundation. $8.

GRNow Valentine's Guide E-mail

The most romantic holiday is upon us and love is in the air. View our Valentine's Day guide that features unique date ideas, special dinners, live music, carriage rides and more.

Unique Date Ideas
Valentine's Dinners
Hotel Packages
Concerts & Live Music
Family Events
Carriage Rides
Fund Raisers

Restaurant Guide
Downtown Parking Guide

Unique Date Ideas

Latin Lovers - The cooking class presented by Sue Chef is not only an entertaining evening out, but is also a full-course dinner ending with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Chef Jorge San Chez will demonstrate how to prepare pork mojo, plantains, coconut flan and more. $150 per couple.

Tango Lessons - Instructors Carmen Maret and Andrew Bergeron give an intro dance class, "Close Embrace Argentine Tango" at Mezze from 7p.m. to 8p.m. Then from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. live Tango music accompanies two hours of open dance. $5 cover.

Valentine's Day at Frederik Meijer Gardens - Celebrate Valentine's Day at Meijer Gardens with a special dinner menu at the Taste of the Gardens Cafe followed by stroll through the indoor gardens.

Ice Skating at Rosa Parks Circle - Open skate at the downtown rink from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost is $1 and warming shelter, restrooms and skates will be available.

Valentine's Dinners

Valentine's Day Tasting Menu - For $50, five course meal at Bar Divani includes oysters, salad, chicken, lobster and chocolate cake. The meal can be paired with wines for $75. Seating available both Saturday, Feb 11 and Tuesday, Feb 14.

Valentine's Day Dinner at McFadden's - $50 dinner for two includes bottle of wine, choice of two entrees including New York Strip Steak, Whitefish and Pasta, plus two desserts. Reservations recommended.

Valentine's Day Brunch - On Sunday, Feb 5, Opera Grand Rapids will hold its annual brunch fundraiser, this year featuring the cast of West Side Story. The afternoon event will include complimentary drinks and buffet and selected performances by the cast. Tickets are $40; reservations required.

Hotel Packages

Amway Grand Hotel - The Amway is offering two levels of Valentine's Packagages, the first includes a one night stay, valet parking and breakfast at Bentham's, while the second level adds dinner at Cygnus and sparkling wine. Available Feb 11, 17 & 18. Prices range from $185 to $275.

Concerts & Live Music

Valentine's Day Swirl at Skelletones - Featuring Chasing Victory, Skies Revolt and Vigilantes. Show starts at 6 p.m., $7.

Bach's Lunch - MelodyJoy Smith gives a classical vocal and piano performance in the Dexter Ballroom at St. Cecilia's from noon to 1 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

Kat' Taylor "Chocolate and Romance" - This Valentine’s Day, the intimate setting of the Park Theatre in Holland is the perfect place to be. The feeling of love will definitely be in the air as Kat’ Taylor gives a performance that speaks about Chocolate and Romance. Her sensuous voice will entertain the audience as she shares perfectly selected cabaret songs.

Love Stinks - Anti-Valentine's Day Party - On Feb 11, head to Jukes for a concert that thumbs its nose at the holiday with local bands Potatoe Babies, Theives Can't, The Sleeves, The Bitters and more. No cover.

Family Events

Valentine Fun! - Visit the Yankee Clipper Branch of the library Feb 11 and make valentines for friends and family. The library will also have stories, songs and games for everyone and the free program is geared toward kids ages 4-11.

Carriage Rides

Classic Carriage - 616.498.6090

Grand Carriages, LLC - 616.893.4984

Fund Raisers

HAFLA: St. Valentine’s Fundraising-Dance Party - This Valentine’s enjoy yourself in this multi-cultural event, with delicious Eastern treats, Henna Art, lots of music from the Middle East, India, Africa and Latin America. Experience Performances by The Armenta Studio advanced students and the hot show in town, The At-Neemrah Dancers. February 18, cost: $10.

View all Valentine's Day events.

Sponsor: FTD® Long Stemmed Valentine’s Roses!

Last Updated 02/09/2006
Published 02/03/2006

400 Boats Expected to Cruise in to Grand Rapids This Week E-mail
What's new at the Grand Rapids Boat Show, coming to downtown Grand Rapids, February 15-19? In one word: "everything."

Only new 2006 boats are allowed into Michigan's oldest boat show, now in its 61st year. More than 40 dealers have reserved exhibit space in the 250,000 square-foot DeVos Place-including the Ballroom, which was added last year for the first time.

New dealers include American Anchor in Newaygo, Dry Harbor Motorsports in Traverse City and Charlevoix, Lake Effect Powersports in Benton Harbor, Power Cat Marine Group on Lake St. Clair, and Cal-Marine in Sister Bay, Wisconsin.

GRNow Weekend Guide: Feb 10-12 E-mail
The Golf Show takes swing this weekend at DeVos Place while the DeltPlex hosts the West Michigan Family and Kids Expo. Plus, the Griffins and Rampage play at Van Andel Arena all weekend, One Trick Pony celebrates Mardi Gras and a chili cook-off raises money for a good cause.

Friday (2/10)

West Michigan Golf Show - Find everything about golf under one roof including hundreds of exhibits ranging from courses and resorts to clubs and merchandise. Plus there will be great contests, celebrities, free lessons and more. Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $4 for children 6-14.

West Side Story - Opera Grand Rapids performs Leonard Bernstein's landmark musical reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet at DeVos Performance Hall. Single tickets start at $20.

Grand Rapids Griffins - The Griffins attempt to keep their status as the best team in the Western Division as they take on both the Philadelphia Phantoms and the Peoria Rivermen this weekend.

Planetary Blues Band - Swing by Billy's in Eastown to hear some great Blues starting at 9:30 p.m. $5 cover.

Saturday (2/11)

West Michigan Family and Kids Expo - A fun, educational and interactive event for the entire family. Parents can learn about family education, childcare, entertainment, dentistry and much more. $6 for adults, free for kids under 13.

8th Annual Chili Cook-off - The annual cook-off held at Lincoln Lake Country Club benefits the American Cancer Society. The event features all the chili you can eat, silent auctions, live music, raffles and more. Admission is $10 at the door.

Mardi Gras Party - One Trick Pony hosts this tribute to Mardi Gras that features Gumbo, Jambalya, live music by the Creolization Band and some surprises. No cover charge.

Anti-Valentine's Day Party - Thumb your nose at Cupid with the annual party at Jukes that will have performances by The Potatoe Babies, The Sleeves, Theives Can't and more. No cover.

Sunday (2/12)

The Secret Garden - The Secret Garden is a musical adaptation of the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This Tony Award winner is a tale of secrecy, loss, and healing, infused with beautiful melodies. Bring the family for an evening of wonderful storytelling and music. $6-$12.

Grand Rapids Rampage - The Rampage try to pick up the first win of the season at their home opener against the Los Angeles Avengers at Van Andel Arena. Tickets start at $17.

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