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ome January, you are either sick of the cold weather and snow or you are embracing it, sipping hot drinks and wearing outdoorsy sweaters with moose on them. Splitting things right down the middle, there are events for those that want to stay indoors and pretend

they’ve never heard the phrase “lake effect snow,” and there are activities for those that head toward anything resembling a snow mound. Whether inside or out, you can pick from two activities to remain safe and snuggly indoors, or three events for a little winter wonderland wackiness.

HOT AND COLD by Melissa Black |

Harlem Globetrotters Jan. 23, 2 p.m. Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids Tickets start at $20.50 /, (616) 742-6600

Stay toasty inside while watching the legendary Harlem Globetrotters heat things up by running up and down the court as they celebrate their 85th consecutive season with their dazzling 4 Times the Fun World Tour at the Van Andel Arena. When people blab about whole family entertainment this is what they’re talking about as the Harlem Globetrotters have provided a lifetime of memories for generations of fans. The Harlem Globetrotters have played in 120 countries and territories, on six continents — and for more than 132 million fans — so they know how to put on a show. The team’s message, flair and appeal know no boundaries and cross barriers between cultures, societies and people. The 90-minute shows are normally fol- lowed by autograph sessions to get up close and personal with a member of the team.

Honeybees & You! Jan. 30, 2-3 p.m. Kalamazoo Nature Center Adults: $6, children 4-13: $4, children 3 & under: free, (269) 381-1574

Another indoor activity for those wishing to avoid (what we’ll politely call) the elements, is the warm and fuzzy Honeybees & You program. The Kalamazoo Nature Center puts the spotlight on the harbinger of summer, the honeybee, and brings along an experienced hobbyist beekeeper to meet and talk to as well.


Nobody knows the honeybee like the beekeeper, so children (who love bug talk) will be able to handle the beekeeper’s equip- ment and ask questions about what bees do for the winter. Children will “head to the observation hive and view the bees and how much honey they’ve stored up and look for the queen,” said Torrey Wenger, conservation education assistant. This indoor hands-on event offers honey tasting and is a fun way to forget the winter chill.

2nd Annual Ice Festival Jan. 8, 12-4 p.m. Downtown Rockford FREE!

The inaugural festival drew more than 6,000 visitors and accord- ing to Meredith Gremel, event coordinator for the ice festival, it’s “exhilarating, magical and an imagination overload.“ This year is supposed to be bigger and better with more sculptures and free family fun. All ages will be in awe of the ice carv- ing talent provided by Ice Sculptures LTD. Festival activities include carving demonstrations on the deck of Reds on the River (ahem, martini stop?), nine holes of miniature golf, a scavenger hunt throughout downtown, a photo contest, a sports wall for shooting hoops, and hot cocoa in the Pavilion. Add to that, an area to build snow structures and decorate snowmen with area businesses offering shopping and dining deals, and Rockford turns ice into the hottest attraction around. The best part? Sculptures remain lighted and on display until Mother Nature does away with them.

Cardboard Sled Race Jan. 29, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Mulligan’s Hollow, Grand Haven FREE!, (616) 842-4499

Any kid will tell you: it’s just not considered wintertime unless you’ve been inside a sled. Mulligan’s Hollow makes things right by hosting a Cardboard Sled Race that lets your mind get creative and your body fly at dangerously fun speeds. Sled judging begins at 10:30 a.m. followed by the races at 11 a.m. This Winterfest community event combines fresh air and protective head gear — just what every parent wants to hear — but hey, you’ve got to live a little, or a lot when it comes to winter festivities.

Winterfest Snow Angel Contest Jan. 30, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Central Park, Grand Haven FREE!, (616) 842-4499

Make your mark on the world and try your hand—and other body parts—at winning prizes in the Snow Angel Contest at Central Park in Grand Haven. Another Winterfest enterprise, this contest takes the innocent act of making snow angels and combines it with silly supplies such as “spray bottles of colored water, paint, sticks, a ruler and birdseed,” according to Marci Cisneros, executive director for the Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participants register at 2:30 p.m. with the timed event beginning following at 3 p.m. Who wouldn’t be up for this? n


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