January things to do: Winter celebrations, fundraisers, MLK Day, concerts, theater, and music

We are almost there. With 2023 wrapping up, let’s look forward to January and the new year. Like me, you’ve noticed it’s cold out (some days more than others) and snowy (same). While there are plenty of things to do indoors next month — theater, concerts, museum exhibits (want to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?), and a home building and remodeling show — there’s also plenty to do outside. A fundraising run hits the streets on New Year’s Day, and Grand Haven is hosting its annual Winterfest, complete with the famous cardboard sled race. January offers a wide variety of things to do in Allegan, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.  

Week 1 (Jan. 1–7)

Mike Myrick, 12, getting ready to deliver the Holland Sentinel in October 1960.

Newsflash! The Story of Journalism in Holland
Holland Museum, 31 W. 10th St., Holland
Through April 8, dates and times vary
Cost: $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for kids 6–18 and students with valid college ID, $1 for EBT or WIC cardholder (up to 4 people per card), free for museum members and children 5 and younger

This exhibit reflects on the history of local media outlets, including The Holland Sentinel and WHTC. It also explores the evolution of journalism and the important role it has played in developing the city of Holland. Exhibit-related programming also is featured on the website.
Details: https://hollandmuseum.org/newsflash-the-story-of-journalism-in-holland/

Strange Winter: The Snow Globes of Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz
Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Through Feb. 11, Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students (17+ with school ID), museum members and children 17 and younger admitted free
The exhibit features unique, eerie, and fantastical worlds of unexpected and often macabre scenes within a globe. Alongside will be large-format photography and augmented reality to enhance visitors’ experience.
Details: https://muskegonartmuseum.org/strange-winter-the-snow-globes

Lakeshore Antique Trail Sale
Various antique and vintage shops from Muskegon to Saugatuck
The Porch & Co., 4949 Harvey St., Norton Shores
Monday, Jan. 1, hours vary by store
Cost: Free to attend
What better way to ring in the new year than with shopping and sales? Travel the West Michigan Lakeshore, stopping at antique and vintage stores that are part of the trail. Multiple stores are participating in this one-day-only event with discounts and sales. Find a full list of participating shops here.
Details: See individual stores for participating hours.  

Snowmelt Shuffle 5K
Downtown, meet at Pillar Church, 57 E. 10th St., Holland
Monday, Jan. 1, 9:30 a.m.
Cost: Free to shuffle, $10 or more to sponsor
Lace up your running shoes and start 2024 right, with movement, fun, and a chance to give back to the community. Participants are encouraged to donate what they can to support Community Action House (an anonymous community member will match all donations). And don’t forget to add a touch of flair: Wear your New Year’s best, whether it’s sequins, headbands, or party blowers. Register or sponsor the shuffle here.
Details: communityactionhouse.org/snowmeltshuffle

Hair of the Dog 5K Run/Walk
Spectators Bar, 6432 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck
Monday, Jan. 1, registration begins at 11 a.m., run at 1 p.m.
Cost: $15 kids, $30 adult, $40 adult with dog
This fun run is an awesome opportunity to raise money for the Saugatuck Education Association. All proceeds for this fundraising event go to scholarships for kids in preschool through 12th grade. Hoodies and stocking caps are available for sale. All participants will receive a pint glass with the Hair of the Dog logo. Those of age will get one free beer, those underage will get one free root beer. Coffee and hot chocolate also will be available. 
Details: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61554648172607

Family Toy Donations, Swap
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Donations: Jan. 3-20 during library hours; 
Swap: Sunday, Jan. 21, 2-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Are you looking to declutter the playroom after the holidays? Ready to beat the winter blues with some new-to-you toys? Bring gently used toys or games your family is no longer using (max five items per family) to the youth services desk between Jan. 3 and Jan. 20. For each item you contribute, you'll receive a ticket that can be traded for a "new-to-you" toy as you shop on Jan. 21.
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/#/FamilyToySwap/

Purple Heart Ceremony
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Friday, Jan. 5, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Take part in posthumously honoring George Hunter Wills, a World War I veteran who was wounded in action in 1918. U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten will present Wills’ daughter, Verla Thomas, with the Purple Heart. According to the library, the presentation is in many ways thanks to Chris Petras’ tireless research to bring Purple Hearts to the families of Grand Haven's war heroes. Learn more here.
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/#/PurpleHeart/

Simple Soldering for Tweens and Teens
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Friday, Jan. 5, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free (Registration required)
Interested in tackling one of the library’s beginner-level soldering projects? Ages 12 and older can try one of three kits: light-up beetle, flickering flame, and a flashlight. Registration is required. To register, call Youth Services at 231-772-8014. 
Details: https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/simple-soldering-for-tweens-and-teens/

Guest Speaker: Hope, Horses, and Healing
Red Horse Center for Collaborative Leadership, 6181 122nd Ave., Fennville
Friday, Jan. 5, 4-6 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend (donations accepted)
Cheryl L. Eriksen lived with undiagnosed PTSD and has written two book about her discoveries, her healing, and the way horses played a significant role in the process
Details: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=red%20horse%20center

Alley Door Club — Big Daddy Fox
Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Friday, Jan. 5, 7-10 p.m.
Cost: $13 (including fees)
This live music series kicks off its 18th season in the Ballroom on the third floor of the Hilt Building. Enjoy a great mix of live R&B, rockin’ blues, and feel-good music. The series, which continues on select Fridays through March, features unique concerts with dancing and a full cash bar. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Details: https://frauenthal.org/presenting-season/

Park Theatre Film Series
Park Theatre, 248 S. River Ave., Holland
Friday, Jan. 5, 7-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $8 in advance, $12 day of show, $20 VIP red leather chairs
In E.T., a lonely boy befriends a homesick alien stranded on Earth and attempts to help him find a way home. Meanwhile, a group of government scientists attempt to capture the benevolent visitor for research. This heartwarming film won Oscars for sound, visual effects, and score.
Details: https://parktheatreholland.ludus.com/show_E.T.

Preschool Fair
Holland Civic Center Place, 150 W. Eighth St., Holland
Saturday, Jan. 6, 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: Free
Are you looking for a preschool for the child in your life? This popular Herrick District Library event — in partnership with Help Me Grow Ottawa, Ready for School, and Great Start to Quality — offers parents and caregivers the opportunity to learn more about early childhood education opportunities in the area. More than a dozen preschools and other early childhood education associations will be on hand.
Details: https://herrickdl.bibliocommons.com/events/PreschoolFair

Week 2 (Jan. 8–14)

Meet Breezy and Dolly at the Hackley Public Library Paws and Read events, set for 4–5 p.m. on Jan. 8 and Jan. 22. Registration is required.
Paws and Read with Breezy and Dolly
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Mondays, Jan. 8 and 22, 4–5 p.m.
Cost: Free (Registration is required.)
Practice and strengthen literacy skills by reading out loud to the four-legged reading helpers in youth services. These friendly therapy dogs are calm, non-judgmental listeners. Call 231-722-8014 to register your child for a 20-minute time slot. Ages 3-12. 
Details: https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/paws-and-read-28/

Coffee with Council
Wednesday, Jan. 3, 5-6 p.m., at Holland City Hall, 270 S. River Ave., Holland
Saturday, Jan. 6, 9-11:30 a.m., at Holland Civic Center Place, 150 W. Eighth St., Holland
Cost: Free
City residents are invited to meet with the City Council, city manager, and other city staff for this interactive and relaxed open house. Residents may share ideas, remarks, and concerns regarding current issues related to the city with elected and appointed officials as they begin preparing the fiscal year 2025 city budget. Participants can enjoy light refreshments during the events.
Details: https://www.cityofholland.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=698

Coffee & Coloring
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Thursday, Jan. 11 and 25, 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: Free (Registration is encouraged)
Reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and connect with others during a relaxing morning of coloring. Coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and coloring supplies will be provided. You are also more than welcome to bring your own!
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/#/coloring/

The Holland Fire on TikTok?
Tracking Changes in Media, Journalism, and Local Information Sharing 
Holland Museum, 30 W. 10th St., Holland
Thursday, Jan. 11, 7-8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
How would a monumental news event like the fire of 1871 be covered in different eras of mass media? Former journalist and adjunct professor of communication at Kalamazoo College Fritz Klug will use the fire as a focal point to discuss how news and media would cover the story in print, radio, television, internet, and social media. He also will touch on the challenges facing the news industry and consumers in this age of misinformation, artificial intelligence, and niche media interests. Register here.
Details: https://hollandmuseum.org/event/the-holland-fire-on-tik-tok?

‘Faith, Freedom, and the Founders: The Revolutionary Roots of Equality in America’ 
Third Reformed Church, 111 W. 13th St., Holland
Saturday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m.
Cost: Free
Dr. Anna-Lisa Cox, Harvard-based historian and author of “Bone and Sinew of the Land” and “A Stronger Kingship,” will “detail new historical discrepancies that people of faith and the churches of the Revolutionary era were involved in to move forward the values of freedom and equality and how we can look to this past to give us hope for the future.” 
Details: Alliance of Cultural and Ethnic Harmony

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’
Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Jan. 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20, 7 p.m.; Jan. 14, 3 p.m.
Cost: $27
Christopher, 15, has an extraordinary brain — great at math but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He’s never gone beyond the end of his street, detests being touched, and mistrusts strangers. However, when he comes under suspicion in the death of a neighbor’s dog, he is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. Buy Muskegon Civic Theatre tickets here.
Details: https://muskegoncivictheatre.org/the-curious-incident

Week 3 (Jan. 15–21)

Saugatuck/Douglas Area CVB website The Insiders are set to perform on Sunday, Jan. 21, at Salt of the Earth in Fennville.
Family-friendly Martin Luther King Celebration
DeVos Fieldhouse, 222 Fairbanks Ave., Holland
MLK Celebration Monday, Jan. 15, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Cost: Free
Doors open at 10:30 a.m. for “Behind the Dream.” The first 700 people who register will be guaranteed a box lunch at 11 a.m. The event, sponsored by I AM Academy, Hope College, the City of Holland, West Ottawa, Gentex, and the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, will "celebrate the history of advocacy & justice to empower future leaders." 
Details: Register here.

American True Crime — Searching for Patty Hearst
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Wednesday, Jan. 17, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Explore the captivating and controversial story of Patty Hearst, an American heiress whose life took a dramatic turn after she was kidnapped. Local author of “Searching for Patty Hearst,” Roger D. Rapoport, will present one of the most infamous kidnappings of the 20th century. Registration is preferred but not required. Register here
Details: https://www.hackleylibrary.org/searching-for-patty-hearst/

Diversity Lecture Series Event
Dimnent Memorial Chapel, 277 College Ave., Holland
Monday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m.
Cost: Free 
This event featuring Hope Professor Emeritus John Yelding, a specialist in diversity in education, is part of the college’s Civil Rights Celebration Week. The lecture will explore “Reflections on MLK, Civil Rights, and DEI at Hope College.” A reception will follow the address at the van Andel Huys der Hope (Campus Ministries Office, 110 E. 12th St.) from 4–6 p.m.
Details: https://calendar.hope.edu/event/civil_rights_lecture

MLK Day at the Museum
Holland Museum, 31 W. 10th St., Holland
Monday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Wander the galleries as part of a scavenger hunt, looking for interesting facts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and inventors of color. Hunt participants will be entered to win a children’s book about MLK’s life and teachings. Visitors also will receive activity pages and resources to take home.
Details: https://hollandmuseum.org/event/mlk-day-2024

‘Black Man’ Documentary
Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 E. Eighth St., Holland
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 6 p.m.
Cost: Free
The film, which highlights several Black men from Muskegon as they reflect on life, love, longings, losses, and their place in America, will be shown in observance of the National Day of Racial Healing. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the documentary’s producer/director, Jon Covington, and a few of the men featured in the film.
Details: MLK Day Leadership Summit: Civil Rights Lecture

The January Series
Calvin University, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids
Monday, Jan. 15, through Friday, Feb. 2
Cost: Free
This 15-day, award-winning lecture series “aims to cultivate deep thought and conversations about important issues of the day, inspire cultural renewal, and make us better citizens in the world." Register through the link below to watch in person in Grand Rapids or watch virtually at many sites, including Christ Memorial Church, 595 Graafschap Road in Holland.
Details: 2024 Speakers

Artemis — Return to the Moon and Beyond
Herrick District Library live presentation via Zoom
Wednesday, Jan. 17, 7-8 p.m.
Cost: Free (Registration is required)
Adults and teens are invited to join Mike Cortright, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, as he reviews the history of the Apollo program and explains the plans and details of the NASA Artemis program, which will return us to the surface of the moon and beyond. Registration is required to receive a link to the presentation.
Details: https://herrickdl.bibliocommons.com/events/Artemis

Visions: 16 Detroit Artists — Exhibition
Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Thursday, Jan. 18, through April 28
Cost: Free with museum admission (see website for hours and admission) 
The world-famous Detroit art scene comes to West Michigan with an exhibit featuring 16 contemporary Detroit artists. From Jazz-inspired collages to large-scale portraits, photography to photorealism, these works reveal the unique and diverse stories within Detroit’s art community. See the link below to find a list of artists. An opening reception will start at 5 p.m. Jan. 18, featuring an artists’ panel. A presentation on Public Art in Muskegon is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22.
Details: https://muskegonartmuseum.org/exhibition/visions-16-detroit-artists/

Wine About Winter
Downtown and Centertown, Grand Haven
Friday, Jan. 19, 5-8 p.m.
Cost: Admission: $5, which includes a wine-tasting glass; tasting tickets, $4 each; pre-purchase of each available at Fortino’s.
Grand Haven Mainstreet invites residents and visitors to this 13th annual tasting event. Wander the heated sidewalks and visit local storefronts that will be displaying specials, and serving treats and wine. Must be 21 with a valid ID to purchase. Additional tickets may be purchased the night of the event at Fortino's Guitar Haven, Harbourfront Place, and Third block of Washington Avenue.
Details: https://visitgrandhaven.com/event/13th-annual-wine-about-winter/

Chili Cook off
Fenn Valley Vineyards, 6130 122nd Ave., Fennville
Saturday, Jan. 20, 1-5 p.m.
Cost: $10 for contestant registration, $5 and up for attendee-only
Cook-off categories will be: Four Legs (beef and pork), Two Legs (fowl), Vegetarian (non-meat), and Exotic (seafood or wild game, including venison). Registration required.
Details: https://www.fennvalley.com/chili-cook-off/

Drunk on Shakespeare: Buzzed Bard Interactive Dinner Show
Bella Maria’s Event Center, 513 W. Pontaluna Road, Norton Shores
Saturday, Jan. 20, 5-9 p.m.
Cost: $65
Presented by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, this rowdy, hilarious evening features dinner, a lively, laugh-out-loud performance, and a historically authentic drinking game. Can you drink like it’s the 1600s?
Details: https://www.visitmuskegon.org/buzzed-bard-interactive-dinner-show
Impact email: bellamariasristorante@gmail.com

Concert Series
Salt of the Earth, 114 E. Main St., Fennville
Sunday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m.
Cost: $28
Enjoy dinner, drinks, and great live music when Michigan’s premier Tom Petty tribute band, The Insiders, takes the stage. For tickets, call 269-561-7258 or visit the website below.
Details: https://www.saugatuck.com/events-1/salt-of-the-earth

Week 4 (Jan. 22–31)
This year’s four-day Grand Haven Winterfest, a fun time to get out and have fun, is set from Thursday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 28.

Grand Haven Winterfest 2024
Various Grand Haven locations
Thursday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 28, all day
Cost: Free to attend
This four-day weekend of winter fun provides the perfect opportunity for all ages to get out and be active. Events include Glow Bowl, Flannels and Flapjacks, ski and snowboard competition, Kids’ Day, family dog pull, cardboard sled build, and, of course, the cardboard sled race. 
Details: https://grandhavenwinterfest.org/

Great Performance Series — Lavinia Meijer
Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland
Friday, Jan. 26, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $28 for adults, $23 for seniors, $14 for children
This musician is reimagining the harp as a solo instrument, gaining accolades from across the globe. At 14, Meijer was performing with symphony orchestras. She lives in the Netherlands and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Conservatories of Utrecht. Her performance at Hope College will include works by Debussy and Glass, as well as Meijer’s own compositions.
Details: https://calendar.hope.edu/event/great_performance_series_lavinia_meijer

Mozart and Beethoven
Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Friday, Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $19-$68
Join the West Michigan Symphony for a mid-winter musical comfort meal of Mozart and Beethoven, featuring pianist Terrence Wilson, widely known for his interpretations of Mozart.
Details: https://westmichigansymphony.org/events/mozart-and-beethoven/

`Lakeshore Home Building and Remodeling Show
Holland Civic Center Place, 150 W. Eighth St., Holland
Friday, Jan. 26, 1-8 p.m.; and Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: $5 per day, free for children 5 and younger
Check out the latest trends in outdoor living, landscaping, kitchens and baths, remodeling, paint, and more. Looking for inspiration? Get new ideas and have some fun at the show.  
Details: https://lakeshorehomeshow.com/
Impact email: admin@lakeshorehomebuilders.com

Gospel Kickoff Event — Black History Month
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Monday, Jan. 29, 6-7 p.m.
Cost: Free
Get a head start on Black History Month (February) with a glorious evening of music, a praise dance, and vignettes of Black history. Registration preferred but not required. Register here.
Details: https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/gospel-kick-off-event/

Theater Tour
Frauenthal Center,  425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Wednesday, Jan. 31, 6 p.m.
Cost: $20
Discover the magic of the Frauenthal Theater and experience it from every angle. Guided tours uncover the history and workings of this Muskegon gem. Buy tickets here.
Details: https://frauenthal.org/event/theater-tour-jan-2024/

Spark! Rails, Canals, and the Industrial Revolution
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Wednesday, Jan. 31, 6-7 p.m.
Cost: Free (Registration is encouraged.)
Thomas Henthorn, professor of public history at the University of Michigan-Flint, will share about "the transportation transformation." According to Henthorn, the expansion of markets at home and globally prompted business and government officials to seek to improve transportation in the mid-18th century, and these improvements gave key players an advantage as industrialization took off. Register here.
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/#/Sparks!/events/

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.