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/// ALL AGES


by Missy Black | missy@revuewm.com


Adults: $14.50, seniors: $13.50, children 2-12: $11.50, children under 2:


FREE! MItrain.net, (616) 997-7000


A fall tradition and a guaranteed non-scary event for little ones, the Coopersville & Marne Railway’s pumpkin train is famous for many reasons. Take a ride and be entertained by the wacky characters of The Great Pumpkin, Scarecrow and Little Crow as they sing, dance and tell jokes. The harvest-themed joyride is a great value according to the railway’s General Manager Jerry Ricard.


I MARCHING ORDERS


t’s never too late for a festival. Whether it’s in Kalamazoo celebrating all things Irish or three weekends in Rockford, get your fill of festival amusement while the weather is favorable. Is a joyride more your speed? Grab a seat on a themed train ride with a pumpkin picking destination. Take in an ArtPrize venue displaying children’s artwork that every parent can relate to or be a trendsetter and sign up for the new Downtown Books and Cookies event.


ARTPRIZE: REFRIGERATOR DOOR ART Minty Keen, 125 Ottawa NW, Suite 170, Grand Rapids Sept. 21-Oct. 9, Tue, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wed & Thu, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. FREE! mintykeen.com, artprize.org


The refrigerator door is the gallery of every home with small children. Wacky self-portraits and abstract scribbling co-exist in shows changing weekly, daily — even hourly. The Refrigerator Door Art showcase at Minty Keen is the perfect exhibition for parents and children. The piece, consisting of mock refrigerator doors, features framed, matted and mounted artwork created (in school and at home) by Emma, Kelsey and Meghan Hill. The Hill children’s father, Jeff Hill, believes that “elevating the artwork to a gallery-type status on the fridge is a way to make kids feel proud about the creative stuff they do in school.” Saving some masterpieces from the trash, Hill and his wife wanted to “sup-


PHOTO: JEFF HILL


THE FAMOUS PUMPKIN TRAIN Coopersville & Marne Railway, 311 Danforth St., Coopersville Sept. 24, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. and Sept. 25, 1 & 3 p.m.


20 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2011


port arts in the school and foster more of that creative work.” Take a peek at the playful paintings with lots of color and start a discussion on your family’s own in-home pop-up gallery.


IRISH FEST OF KALAMAZOO Arcadia Creek Festival Place, 145 E. Water St., Kalamazoo Sept. 23, 4:30 p.m.-midnight & Sept. 24, 10:30 a.m.-midnight Adults: $8, students with I.D.: $4, children 13 and under: kalamazooirish.org, (269) 372-7332


FREE!


Immerse yourself in Irish culture at Arcadia Creek Festival Site. Twelve bands, Irish dancers, merchandise, beverages and a food and cultural area are all here. A staffed children’s area is set up as a playground from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., “offering arts and crafts, games and prizes all to keep the kids occupied and supervised,” says Ron Strzelecki, co-chair of the festival. Sign up for the contest at 3 p.m. to win “greenest eyes,” “reddest hair” and “most freckles,” judged by Liam the Extra Large Leprechaun and the festival’s own St. Patrick.


“This is usually the first time on a real train for kids. They are amazed at the size and sounds of the train.” Parting gifts come in the form of a free, locally grown pumpkin that children may pick themselves from a pumpkin patch at the end of the ride.


HARVEST FESTIVAL


Downtown Rockford, Sept. 23-Oct. 8 FREE!


rockfordmichamber.com, (616) 866-2000


Brace yourself for three weekends of fun with the Harvest Festival in Downtown Rockford. The kick-off weekend boasts an evening with the stars, featuring stargazing with meteorologist Bill Steffen Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The first and second weekends in October continue the celebration. All three week- ends—Family Fun, Heritage and Children’s Weekends—each have their own lineup of events sure to help families discover the fun of some good old-fashioned celebration. The Harvest Festival is all about everything fall offering hayrides, Make-It- And-Take-It Scarecrow Building and tons of family fun. Parents will love the chili cook off, Fiddle Fest competition and car show. Believe it or not, there’s even a kids’ tractor pull. For children, “this is some of the last outdoor fun,” says Susan Bodenner, president of the Rockford Rotary.


DOWNTOWN BOOKS AND COOKIES Dog Story Theater, 7 Jefferson, Grand Rapids Sep. 24, 3-5 p.m.


booksandcookiesgr.com


Off the shelf and out of the oven comes Downtown Books and Cookies. Community leaders read their favorite childhood stories alongside treats such as Wednesday Evening Cookies, Dave’s Sweet Tooth and Vegan Cupcakes from Bartertown Diner & Roc’s Cakes. This fresh, no charge event started with Program Director Dakota Shayne’s interest in reading to kids. “My mother would read to me. My father and I would travel to cities and stay right downtown. It was so magical when I was young. I wanted to combine books, downtown – and the cookies are a plus!” n


FREE! (limited space/reservations required)


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE


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