Things to do in February: exhibits, gallery strolls and family fun

Jack Frost certainly has been nipping at our toes recently — not to mention our noses, our hands, and our ears. February brings a new list of fun, exciting things to do along the Lakeshore, including one exhibit featuring portraits of Native Americans and another that includes a 19th-century artist’s best-known images. Other February events include an opportunity to give back (while you shop), outdoor activities, and a gallery stroll. And be sure to check out Valentine’s Day events. This list of Ottawa, Allegan, and Muskegon county events for residents and visitors alike includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

Downtown Holland supports local nonprofits with The Big Give.


The Big Give 
Downtown Holland
Feb. 5
As part of The Big Give charity shopping event, 40 Downtown Holland shops and restaurants will be donating 15% of all their sales to local nonprofit organizations serving our community. Customers are encouraged to bring a healthy, non-perishable food item to donate to the Food Club. Donations will be collected inside Claremont Court (29 W. Eighth St.), home of Cherry Republic. Each customer that donates a food item will be entered to win a $50 gift card to their favorite Downtown Holland business ad a $50 donation in their name to their favorite local charity. The event is sponsored by Downtown Holland’s own LVZ Financial Planning.
Details: www.biggiveholland.com.  

Two photographs featured in “Contemporary Portraits of Native Americans by James Cook,” an exhibit at the Holland Museum.

Native American Exhibit
Feb. 4 to June 20
Holland Museum, 31 W. 10th St., Holland
“Contemporary Portraits of Native Americans by James Cook,” is a collection of 25 color photographs that explores the varied lives of Native Americans in the modern-day world through the lens of Saugatuck photographer James Cook. He has spent decades building relationships with Native American communities across the country, documenting dancers, artists, elders, and other keepers of tradition.
Three programs are planned to complement the exhibit on Feb. 10 and 24, and March 31.
Details:https://hollandmuseum.org/exhibition/contemporary-portraits-of-native-americans-by-james-cook/


Valentines Friday Family Fun Night
Feb. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Lakeshore Museum Center, 430 W. Clay Ave., Muskegon
Cost: Free for museum members and Muskegon County residents; $5 for non-residents.
Come to the museum to receive valentines from your favorite museum animals, such as the mastodon, in this fun, themed scavenger hunt of the museum.
Details: https://lakeshoremuseum.org/event/february-saturdays-valentines-craft/

 
A moonlight night at Ottawa County's Connor Bayou.
Moonlight Night Hike
Feb 11, 7-8:30 p.m.  
Connor Bayou,  12945 N. Cedar Drive, Grand Haven
$5/person; registration required — best for ages 10+
Experience the nip of cold on your nose, the hoot of owls in your ears, and the crunch of snow under your feet as you explore the park by the light of the moon. If snow conditions allow, we will snowshoe. Bring your own or reserve a pair when you register.
Details: https://bit.ly/3uaFYbU


Love is Love Dinner
Feb. 14, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Guardian Brewing Company, 3657 63rd St., Saugatuck
Cost: $85 per person (21+, gratuity included)
Love is Love Beer/Wine Pairing Dinner is a decadent experience of guided pairing led by Head Chef, Abby Gleason, and Certified Cicerone and Guardian Head Brewer, Kim Collins. Guests will have their choice of meat or vegetarian dishes and either a beer or wine pairing for their 6-course meal. Dress how you like and bring whomever you like. Anyone 21 or older is welcome at Guardian for this annual event. Tickets are available online and in person. 
Details at https://www.saugatuck.com/events-listings/love-is-love-beer-wine-pairing-dinner/

Latinx play
Feb 18 -19, 7:30 p.m. and Feb 20, 2 p.m.; Additional performances run Feb 24-26.
Hope College's DeWitt Student and Cultural Center, 141 E. 12th, Holland
Cost: $10 regular admission, $7 seniors; free for persons 18 or younger. (Sunday matinee is free.)
The play, "Native Gardens," by Karen Zacarias will be presented by the Hope College Theatre Department. With a Latinx playwright and predominantly Latinx cast, "serious issues like land possession, border politics, and racial biases" are explored by two couples in the play "in a humorous and yet thought-provoking way."
For more information or tickets, email events@hope.edu or call (616) 395-7222 on weekdays. 

The Winter Break Gallery Stroll returns to downtown Douglas and Saugatuck.

Winter Gallery Stroll
Feb. 19-20, noon to 5 p.m.
Downtown Saugatuck and Douglas
The Art Coast of Michigan hosts the annual Winter Break Gallery Stroll. Visitors are invited to stroll through dozens of galleries and artists’ studios along the picturesque streets of downtown Saugatuck and Douglas. Chat with the artists, watch live demos, enjoy live music, and, between gallery visits, sample delicious local bites and refreshments all while expanding your artistic tastes.
Details: https://www.saugatuck.com/events-listings/winter-break-gallery-stroll-2/

7th Annual Wassail
Feb. 19, noon to 6:30 p.m. 
Virtue Farm, 2170 62nd St., Fennville
Wassail at Virtue Farm is the celebration of the season, and a chance to get outside and revel in the magical winter wonderland that is Michigan in February. The annual gathering is a ritual to bless the orchard for a bountiful harvest and rid the farm of evil spirits by wassailing. Visitors can come in costume or make a mask at the farm, hang toast on trees, and gather around a giant bonfire. Traditional English Wassail fare and mask-making kits will be available on site. So will warm mugs of cider.
Details: https://www.saugatuck.com/events-listings/7th-annual-wassail/
 
The Greater Muskegon Jaycees Annual Snowfest returns.



Snowfest
Feb. 19
Downtown Muskegon
The Greater Muskegon Jaycees Annual Snowfest returns with a jam-packed Saturday, including popular events such as the “Battle of the Bowls Chili Cook-Off” and a Cornhole Tournament. Rad Dad’s will be open early at 9 a.m. for Bloody Marys and Waffles.
Details at https://www.jcimuskegon.org/snowfest

A family enjoys a winter walk at Hemlock Crossing.



Wildlife Encounter — for KIDS!
Feb. 20, 3-4:30 p.m.
The Nature Center at Hemlock Crossing, 8115 West Olive Road, West Olive
Ages 5-12, with a caregiver; registration required
Birds at My Feeder. Learn about the wildlife found in your backyard and at area parks.
Details: https://www.miottawa.org/Parks/hemlockcrossing.htm

 
Waterfowl Birding Trip
Feb 26, Part 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Part 2, 2-5 p.m.
Hemlock Crossing, 8115 West Olive Road, West Olive
Cost: $10/session; ages 12+, registration required
Wintertime birding can be an adventure worth the effort. Come along as we venture to local birding hotspots of winter. Both sessions will meet at the Nature Center.
Details: https://www.miottawa.org/Parks/hemlockcrossing.htm

Muskegon Luge and Adventure Sports Park (Photo credit: MLASP)



Winter Sports
Muskegon State Park
Open daily until 9:45 p.m., lit at dusk
Tickets and passes are available.
Muskegon Luge and Adventure Sports Park, located in Muskegon State Park, has one of only four luge tracks in the United States. Participants can reach speeds up to 30 mph. There is also ice skating on 2 acres of an outdoor rink and a quarter-mile skating trail that winds through Muskegon State Park. There are 9 miles of cross-country ski trails and three trail systems for snowshoers.
Details: https://msports.org/

Detroit multimedia artist and metalsmith Tiff Massey creates art and jewelry pieces inspired by 1980s hip-hop fashion.

Jewelry Box Exhibit
Through Feb. 20
Muskegon Museum of Art
Cost: Adult $10; Seniors (65+) $8; Students (17+ with school I.D.) $6;
Children and Museum members, free
Detroit multimedia artist and metalsmith Tiff Massey creates art and jewelry pieces inspired by 1980s hip-hop fashion. The MMA’s Olthoff Gallery has been transformed into a shiny and jaw-dropping display of massive hip-hop jewelry, gold, and mirrors. 
Details: https://muskegonartmuseum.org/exhibition/tiff-massey-jewelry-box/
 
This indoor game of miniARTure Golf was inspired by artwork from the MMA’s permanent collection..




Art-inspired Miniature Golf
Through May 22
Muskegon Museum of Art
Cost: Admission is free for members; $15 for non-members; $5 for children 17 and younger.
This indoor game of miniARTure Golf was inspired by artwork from the MMA’s permanent collection. Designed by staff, this nine-hole course will “take guests through a fun and challenging array of obstacles. Almost 250 feet of custom-designed greens with multi-levels, unique stunts, visual canals, volcanos, towering sculptures, mazes, tornados, snowdrifts, and more.” All ages are welcome; golf clubs and balls will be provided.
Details: https://muskegonartmuseum.org/exhibitions/ 

Indoor Winter Market
Every first and third Saturday through March, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Holland Civic Center Place, 150 W. Eighth St., Holland 
The Holland Farmers Market’s Indoor Winter Market returns to Holland Civic Center Place. More than 25 vendors provide a wide product assortment of fresh produce and specialty foods and beverages, including greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables, bread and other baked goods, honey and maple syrup, jams, meat, cheese spreads, and dog treats. Lemonjello’s serves coffee on site for early-morning marketgoers. Bridge Cards, Double Up Food Bucks, and Market Bucks accepted.
Details: http://www.hollandfarmersmarket.com/



Winslow Homer exhibit
Through March 20
Muskegon Museum of Art
Cost: Adult $10; Seniors (65+) $8; Students (17+ with school I.D.), $6; Children 16 and younger, free; Museum members, free
A new exhibition, “Winslow Homer: Illustrating a Nation,” highlights one of the most significant American artists of the 19th century, famed for his dramatic depictions of people and nature. The exhibition features several of Homer’s best-known images, including “The Noon Recess,” “Snap the Whip,” “A Sharpshooter on Picket Duty,” and “The Dinner Horn,” a companion image to the MMA’s oil painting “Answering the Horn.” 
Details: https://muskegonartmuseum.org/exhibitions/
 
Registration Open for Girlfriends Weekend
March 4-6
Downtown Holland
During this three-day event, women are invited to celebrate their friendships as they shop, wine, dine, and indulge in Downtown Holland. Registration for the event is $45 per person, which includes a swag bag stuffed with goodies, a coupon book full of savings to Downtown Holland shops and restaurants, fun hands-on activities and classes at participating merchants, the chance to win great giveaways, live music, and more.  
Advance registration is at www.girlfriendsweekend.org
 
If you are looking for more information on specific destinations or activities, check out these tourism resources:
visitgrandhaven.com
holland.org
visitmuskegon.org
saugatuck.com
whitelake.org 
Allegan County Parks & Recreation
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
 

Read more articles by Sally Laukitis.