Things to do in April: Toy show, dance, art, egg hunts, Cowboy Junkies on Lakeshore calendar

It’s April in West Michigan. Spring has sprung and — if it isn’t snowing AGAIN — flowers are beginning to push their way above the ground. There are a lot of events and activities on the April calendar — inside, outside, and all around the towns —  including concerts, art exhibits, events for Earth Day and Easter, a recycling primer, and a birds-of-prey-and-beer mixer. Enjoy the month with family and friends in Allegan, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

The Cowboy Junkies will perform in Saugatuck on April 8. (SCA)
Week 1 (April 1–9)

National Poetry Month Kickoff
Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., Holland
Saturday, April 1, 9 a.m. to noon
Cost: Free (registration required)
In its effort to help the public write their stories, Herrick District Library is also kicking off National Poetry Month with a poetry workshop. Space is limited, and registration is required at Hope College associate professor Pablo Peschiera will lead participants in writing poems, learning three different approaches to poetry and listening to renowned poets recite their favorite verses. 

West Michigan Homeschool Theater — ‘Till We Have Faces’
Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Saturday, April 1, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 
Cost: $10–$15
“Till We Have Faces,” by C.S. Lewis, is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche from the perspective of Psyche's sister, Orual. Set in the pre-Christian kingdom of Glome, Orual's story is one of conflict and struggle with the gods, with her family, and with love. This musical adaptation strives to awaken a desire for love and goodness and to encounter the Author of Love — face to face.

‘Dolores’ — annual César Chávez Lecture Series
Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 E. Eighth St., Holland
Tuesday, April 4, 7 p.m.
Cost: Free
Annual César Chávez Lecture Series presents the documentary film "Dolores," on the life and work of Dolores Huerta, an equal partner in founding the United Farm Workers Union with César Chávez. The film "moves from her childhood in Stockton, California, to her early years with the United Farm Workers, from her work with the grape boycott in 1965, to her role in the feminist movement of the ’70s, to her continued work — in her 90s — as a fearless activist." This event is sponsored by the Hope College Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

‘Expired Memories’ — an art exhibit by Erick Picardo
Holland Area Arts Council, 150 E. Eighth St., Holland
Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, April 2, 5:30–7:30 p.m. 
Cost: Free
Hailing from the Caribbean, Erick Picardo is a percussionist, muralist, cultural ambassador, and activist, "who uses art to address social issues that the world is facing, emphasizing the importance of social change." April 1–2 marks the final weekend for Picardo’s "Expired Memories" exhibit.

Writers’ Workshop
Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., Holland
Tuesdays, April 11, April 25, and May 23, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Everyone has a story to tell. Herrick District Library is aiming to help the public write their stories with a series of writers’ workshops this spring. Whether you write novels, travel essays, poetry, memoirs — anything — HDL has a space for you to work on your ideas,” says event organizer and HDL librarian Lindsay Zrull. During the writers’ workshop sessions, participants will read other writers’ work to give and receive feedback and help strengthen their own craft. The workshop will be a safe space to learn and grow, whether participants are new to writing or a seasoned pro. “Our workshops have both published and unpublished writers in the mix. All writers are welcome,” Zrull says.

Teens and Kids Writing Clubs
Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., Holland
Ages 8–12: Wednesdays, April 5 and 19, and May 3 and 17, 4–5 p.m.
Ages 13–18: Wednesdays, April 12 and 26, and May 10 and 24, 4–5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Herrick District Library is aiming to help teens and kids can get in on the writing fun with a series of writers’ workshops this spring. For the library’s Teen Writing Club (ages 13–18), each week will focus on a different element of writing and participants will get a chance to focus on their own projects. In each Kids Writing Club (ages 8–12) session, participants will play a writing game and get a chance to work on their own writing projects. No registration is required for either program, and all writing levels are welcome.
Details: Teens:

The Great Village Egg Hunt
Village of Spring Lake
Saturday, April 8, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for all-ages hunt; noon for kids’ traditional hunt
Cost: Free
During this all-ages egg hunt, over 1,000 eggs will be hidden throughout the public spaces of the village. Village Hall will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. so all prize eggs can be redeemed. This is a fun event for the whole family. The hunt isn’t over until the last egg has been found. Boy Scouts will have a traditional egg hunt at Tanglefoot Park at noon for kids 6 and younger.

EGGcelent Egg Hunt at Fellinlove Farm
Fellinlove Farm, 6364 144th Ave., Holland
Saturday, April 8, 2–4 p.m.
Cost: $5 per person
Enjoy an EGGstravaganza scavenger hunt around the farm, see bunny horses and bunny mini horses, and photo ops with bunnies and other animals. Space is limited, so text 616-283-7555 with the number attending. Other spring events are scheduled for April 1, 15, 22, 29, 2–5 p.m.; and spring break week, April 3–7, 1–4 p.m. Experience the joy of connecting with different animals, a nature trail, pedalboats/canoes/kayaks. 
Details: ​​
Spring events details:

Cowboy Junkies Concert
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck
Saturday, April 8, 7 p.m.
Cost: $65 per person
The international musical sensation Cowboy Junkies hit the stage at the SCA on April 8. This group, touring since 1985, has released 26 hit albums with loved numbers such as "Sweet Jane," "A Common Disaster," and "Misguided Angel." Cowboy Junkies bring their alternative country/blues/folk rock sound to the SCA after touring North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. 

‘Expressions’ — Muskegon Student Art Exhibition
Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 W. Webster St., Muskegon
Through April 30
Cost: Free with museum admission
“Expressions” is the annual student art exhibition showcasing the artistic talents of Muskegon County K-12 students. In its 41st year, the exhibition continues through April 30. Public receptions honoring the student artists are scheduled — middle school and high school artists, 5:30–7 p.m. on April 26, and elementary artists, 5:30–7 p.m. on April 27. 

Annual Douglas Easter Parade and Egg Hunt
8 Center St., Douglas
Sunday, April 9, 1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Mark your calendars. The annual Douglas Easter Parade, Bonnet Contest, and Egg Hunt begin Easter Sunday, at 1 p.m. 

Women of Color United Focus Exhibition — The Art of Storytelling 
Kruizenga Art Museum, 271 Columbia Ave., Holland
Through May 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday 
Cost: Free
Eleven objects are works of and by women of color and were selected and interpreted by the Hope College multicultural student organization Women of Color United (WOCU). 

Photovoice: ‘Telling Our Stories’ 
Kruizenga Art Museum, 271 Columbia Ave., Holland
Through May 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday 
Cost: Free
The lived experiences of seven LGBTQIA students at Hope College whose photographs portray images of safety, identity, belonging, and pride, as evident in their daily lives.

Douglas Easter parade

Week 2 (April 10–16)

Vintage Views Along the West Michigan Pike: From Sand Trails to US-31
Pillar Church, 57 E 10th St, Holland
Monday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
The Holland Area Historical Society will host a presentation about the West Michigan Pike, the first continuous, improved route between Michigan City and Mackinaw City. Authors Christine Byron and Thomas Wilson will share the visual history of the roadway with vintage postcards, maps and photos. 
Details: or the Holland Area Historical Society's Facebook page.

Forest Immersion with Scotty Jacobs
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck
Thursday, April 13, 6–8 p.m.
Cost: $40
Come join Scotty Jacobs for a one-of-a-kind forest immersion experience. A unique and immersive meditation experience, Forest Bathing only requires two things: the wilderness and you! Step away from the screen and unplug, connect with your senses, and marvel at springtime in the woods. Rediscover your relationship with the natural world.

‘Nana’s Naughty Knicker’
Holland Community Theater, 50 W. Ninth St., Holland
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 13–15, 7:30 p.m.; April 21–22, 7:30 p.m.; April 23, 2 p.m.; April 27–29, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10–$18
Bridget and her grandmother are about to become roommates. However, what Bridget saw as a unique opportunity to stay with her favorite nana in New York for the summer quickly turns into an experience she’ll never forget. It seems her sweet grandma is running an illegal boutique from her apartment, selling handmade naughty knickers to every senior citizen in the five-borough area. Will Bridget be able to handle all of the excitement? Will her nana get arrested — or worse, evicted?

Free Dinner & Movie Night — ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Momentum Center, 714 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Friday, April 14, 5 p.m. dinner, 6 p.m. movie
Cost: Free
The Momentum Center in Grand Haven will be hosting its April Dinner and Movie Night, featuring the “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.” This heartwarming and hilarious film is about an adorable shell, Marcel, his grandmother, and his pet being sole survivors of a tragedy. Marcel gets his big debut by finding connections in the smallest corners as he encounters fame, dangers, and hope of reuniting with his long-lost family. The 2021 film is rated PG.

Beach Clean-Up
Holland State Park, 2215 Ottawa Beach Road, Holland
Saturday, April 15, 9-11 a.m. 
The Holland Youth Advisory Council with the Hope College Office of Sustainability will sponsor a beach clean-up.  Volunteers can meet at the Holland State Park concession stand. All supplies will be provided. Sign-up at the link below.

Wheel Run for Everyone 5K
GVSU, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale
Saturday, April 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (registration begins at 8 a.m.)
Cost: $25
Come out and walk, roll, jog, or wheel — all the money raised in the Wheel Run for Everyone 5K supports Renew Mobility’s vital mobility equipment program. The doctorate in physical therapy students at Grand Valley State University have, for the past 27 years, been raising support for its vital mission to enhance independence through access to mobility equipment. 

The Adult Egg Hunt
McGraft Park, 2204 Wickham Road, Muskegon
Saturday, April 15, noon to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 online, $25 at the door (if not sold out)
Community Awareness and Managing Pathways present The Adult Egg Hunt. You must be 18 or older. Prizes include Fire TV, golf clubs, Chromebooks, gaming chairs, and one golden ticket worth $500. There will be gag gifts and lots of candy. No children permitted (no exceptions).

Sustainability from the Native American Community
DeGraaf Nature Center, 600 Graafschap Road, Holland 
Saturday, April 15, 1 p.m.
Cost: Free
The Holland Youth Advisory Council, with a grant from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council, will host the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi’s presentation of Learning About Sustainability from the Native American Community. Members of the Pokagon Band will share their history and culture as it relates to the care of and respect for the Earth, and how modern sustainability programs can learn from native practices. 

Week 3 (April 17–23)

Friday Family Fun Night: Recycling
Muskegon Museum of History & Science, 430 W. Clay Ave., Muskegon
Friday, April 21, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free for members and Muskegon County residents, $5 for out of county
In honor of Earth Day, the museum will show ways to recycle and reuse household finds. Frankenstein old circuit toys, craft with old magazines, and participate in other activities.

‘Familiar/Unfamiliar’ Opening Reception
Capizzio Studio & Gallery, 3279 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck
Saturday, April 22, 5–8 p.m.
Cost: Free
In its opening exhibition of the season, “Familiar/Unfamiliar,” Capizzo Studio & Gallery is devoting the entire gallery to the fine art of photography. Join the reception to see more than 30 prints of original work by photo artists Kenny Ingle, Lara Parent, and Morgan Anderson.

Hope College Student Dance Showcase
Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 E. Eighth St., Holland
Saturday, April 22, 6–8 p.m.
Cost: Free
The showcase features Hope College student dancers performing the works of student choreographers. The event includes all styles of dance, including contemporary, hip-hop, and physical percussion pieces. A total of 13 dances will be presented by multiple students from the Department of Dance and across campus.

Romantic Masterpieces
Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, Hope College, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland
Saturday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 for adults, $5 for students through college
The final HSO concert of the 2022-23 season will feature German and Austrian romantic masterpieces with their full range of emotional expression. The concert will open with two movements from Marx’s Old Vienna Serenades. Baritone David Grogan will join the HSO for Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer. The concert will conclude with Brahms’s Symphony No 4 in E minor.

Toy Haven Toy Show
Holland Civic Center Place, 150 W. Eighth St., Holland
Sunday, April 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
Spread the word: The Toy Haven Toy Show is back at the Holland Civic Center Place. It’s going to be a wonderful day, a fun time for everyone.

White Lake Area Trash Bash
White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, 124 W. Hanson St., Whitehall
Sunday, April 23, 1–4 p.m.
Cost: Free
The White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking the public’s help to act as “Trash Bashers” and clean up north and south of the bike trail, shoreline areas, and waterways  Trash Bash 2023, sponsored by Consumers Energy. Groups and volunteers with waders, kayaks and/or canoes are greatly needed. Free kayak rentals will be available for those interested in cleaning up the waterways. Volunteers are asked to dress accordingly, with sunscreen, gloves, hats, etc. Trash bags will be supplied.

Week 4 (April 24–30)

Live Birds of Prey & Beer Show
Saugatuck Brewing Company, 2948 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck
Thursday, April 27, 6 p.m.
Cost: $35, 21 and older
It’s the seventh annual Live Birds of Prey & Beer Show with the Outdoor Discovery Center and Saugatuck Brewing Company. Get up close and personal with the raptors of the Outdoor Discovery Center. See and learn about a half-dozen different birds of prey and “pair” each bird’s personality with the characteristics of one of SBC's beers (5 ounces for each pairing). You will also receive a welcome pint on your way in, just to get you comfortable while you wait for the show to start. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Outdoor Discovery Center. Note: Because no food can be served with birds present, join us earlier for dinner in the taproom.

Earth Day Lakeshore Green March
Ottawa County Courthouse, 414 Washington Ave., Grand Haven
Saturday, April 29, 12:30–1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Show your love for planet Earth and join the Green March to celebrate Earth Day. Walk, ride scooters or bicycles, or be transported in any vehicle that doesn’t burn fossil fuels. Meet at the Ottawa County Courthouse parking lot and march through downtown Grand Haven, ending at Central Park Place in time for the Earth Day Fair.

Art for the Parks — A pop-up sale
Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center, 8115 West Olive Road, West Olive
Saturday, April 29, 5–8 p.m.
Cost: $10 to attend
Support the Ottawa County Parks Foundation and local artists. A $10 donation is suggested to attend the show. All donations and 10% of artists’ sales will benefit the foundation. Register early and skip the line.

‘Zine’ Workshop
Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., Holland
Wednesday, May 3, 7–8:30 p.m. 
Cost: Free
Everyone has a story to tell. Herrick District Library is aiming to help the public write their stories with a series of writers’ workshops this spring, including a “zine” workshop with local graphic memoirist Elizabeth A. Trembley. Trembley will teach the basics of comic creation and each participant will leave with their own eight-page zine they created. All skill levels welcome; no registration required. 

Need suggestions for specific destinations or activities, check out these tourism resources for details:
Holland Area Visitors Bureau
Grand Haven CVB
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
Saugatuck CVB
Allegan County Parks & Recreation
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Read more articles by Melody Wilson.