April things to do: Spring break fun, Earth Day celebrations, music, theater, movies, and more

Spring break is here, and many West Michiganders are fleeing to warmer climes. If you’re staying, don’t think of it as being stuck here. There’s plenty to occupy your days along the Lakeshore, including a presentation on birds of prey and symphony music, a fundraiser and fair housing events, a bridal show and a movie, as well as several spring break activities. April 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 (April 1–7)

Witness the changing of the seasons as Critter Barn hosts its annual Spring Fling on April 1-6 in Zeeland.

Spring Fling
Downtown Holland
Monday-Friday, April 1-5, hours vary
Cost: Free to attend
Staycationers won’t be missing out this year. Downtown Holland is planning an entire week filled with spring break swag, shopping and dining discounts, fun in-store promotions, and giveaways galore at more than 50 participating shops and restaurants. Each day offers a different activity for families to enjoy. See the link below for details.
Details: ​​https://hollandspringfling.com/

Annual Spring Fling
Critter Barn, 2950 80th Ave., Zeeland
Monday-Saturday, April 1-6, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost: $8 per person; ages 2 and younger admitted free
This family-friendly week allows visitors to witness the changing of the seasons at the farm. There is new life to see in the barn — chicks, bunnies, lambs, kids, and calves — and the mothering skills of the animals are amazing to watch.
Details: https://www.critterbarn.org/spring-fling

Crafty Spring Break
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Monday-Friday, April 1-5, hours vary
Cost: Free
Join library staff for fun youth activities all week long. See the link below for a list of activities.
Details: https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/crafty-spring-break-5/

Touch a Truck 
Fennville City Hall, 125 S. Maple St., Fennville
Tuesday, April 2: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Come explore and touch a variety of vehicles, such as fire trucks, police cars, construction vehicles, salt trucks, ambulances, and more. This event provides a hands-on experience for people to learn about and interact with different types of vehicles and the people who operate them. 
Details: https://www.saugatuck.com/events-1/touch-a-truck/

Spring Break Bowling
Socibowl, 441 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Tuesday-Saturday, April 2-6
Cost: Free
Hackley Public Library has a limited number of free passes to Socibowl. Library cardholders can pick up a pass for a free hour of bowling during any open spring break hours. Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
Details: https://www.muskegon.org/hackley-public-library-april-programs-2024/

Tech Take Apart
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
April 4, 2-4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Do you like to explore how things work? Are you interested in learning about technology? Do you love tearing things apart? Now is your chance to open up all sorts of old tech to see what’s inside. If you have your own screwdrivers, please bring them with you. We will have extras for those who don’t. This program is designed for those in fourth through 12th grades. Registration is encouraged, but not required.
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/

Spring Break PJ Party / Oliver Jeffers Exhibition
Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Thursday, April 4, 4-7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Wear your favorite pajamas and be ready to have fun with art activities, a museum-wide scavenger hunt, and stories in the “Oliver Jeffers: 15 Years of Picturing Books” exhibition. Finish off the night enjoying snacks and watching an animated film in the auditorium. The exhibit highlights 80 original artworks from Jeffers’ picture books, including “The Day the Crayons Quit” and “This Moose Belongs to Me,” and offers creative interactives for all ages to enjoy.
Details: https://muskegonartmuseum.org/exhibition/oliver-jeffers/

Dropoff Items for Garage Sale FUNdraiser
Fellinlove Farm, 6364 144th Ave., Holland
Thursday-Saturday, Monday, April 4, 5, 6, and 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
The farm is gathering clean, new, or like-new treasures for an epic garage sale. Drop off items at the Pavillion. Add your personal touch by marking items with prices.
Details: https://fellinlovefarm.com/

SD Art Club: Open Studio
Saugatuck-Douglas District Library, 174 Center St., Douglas
Thursdays, April 4, 11, 18, and 25, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
The Art Club’s “Plein Air” painting group has moved inside for now. Bring your own materials to the library and spend time creating with other artists. All are welcome.
Details: https://www.sdlibrary.org/sd-art-club-open-studio/2024-04-25

Friday Matinee
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
April 5, 12 and 19, 2-4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Stop in for a matinee showing, and bring snacks and drinks to enjoy during the film. Registration for one event in the series registers you for the entire month. Afterward, submit suggestions for future matinees. Scheduled films are “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” on April 5, “Devotion” on April 12 and “A Haunting in Venice” on April 19. Registration is encouraged but not required.
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/

FOL Book Donation Dropoff Day
Saugatuck-Douglas District Library, 174 Center St., Douglas
Saturday, April 6, noon to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free
The Friends of the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library is accepting donations of gently used books that are recent (2010 or newer) and are of interest to the general public. FOL members will be available to process donations and ask that donations be limited to 15 books from each person per visit.
Details: https://www.sdlibrary.org/fol-book-donation-drop-off-day/2024-04-06

Week 2 (April 8–14)

Merchants and Makers is hosting its inaugural young entrepreneurs market on April 13 at Grand Haven Central Park Place in Grand Haven.

Bear-y Excited for Books
Saugatuck-Douglas District Library, 174 Center St., Douglas
Tuesday, April 9, 16, 23, and 30, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Cost: Free
Join Ms. Erin for Storytime with Barry the Bear. Activities include books, songs, and rhymes, followed by art activities and open play time.
Details: https://www.sdlibrary.org/bear-y-excited-for-books/

A Night Out with Books
Saugatuck-Douglas District Library, 174 Center St., Douglas
Thursday, April 11, 7-8 p.m.
Cost: Free
Patrons will discuss “Prodigal Summer,” by Barbara Kingsolver, the book in the library’s program room. Copies of the book will be available at the circulation desk.
Details: https://www.sdlibrary.org/april-a-night-out-with-books-2

I Do Bridal Show
Holland VFW Post 2114, 175 W. Eighth St., Holland
Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend (Registration required)
This event will showcase 18 wedding-related businesses, from catering and florals to photography and stationery.
Details: https://www.facebook.com//i-do-holland-bridal-show-free/

Douglas Spring Party
Woosah, 450 Center St., Saugatuck
Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
Celebrate spring and enjoy the outdoors with coffee, food, live music, and beer. Organizers guarantee it will be a good time. This event is dog- and kid-friendly.
Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/814829187340111/

Bobby Floyd Trio
The Block, 360 W. Western Ave., second floor, Muskegon
Saturday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $33-$49
Grammy-nominee and jazz legend Bobby Floyd brings a night of good music and good vibes. His feel is unique and inspirational which has led him to distinguished appearances with artists including Arturo Sandoval and Ray Charles.
Details: https://www.visitmuskegon.org/event/bobby-floyd-trio-jazz-trio/5791/

‘In the Heights’ Screening
Frauenthal Theater, 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Sunday, April 14, 3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Sing along and celebrate at Family Movie Day, featuring a vibrant story about a bodega owner, his community, and a life-changing lottery win. Fun for all ages. 
Details: https://frauenthal.org/event/in-the-heights/

Tenant/Landlord Fair Housing Update
Holland City Hall, 270 S. River Ave., Holland
Thursday, April 11, noon to 1:15 p.m.
Cost: Free
Holland’s Human Relations Commission offers “the latest information on fair housing cases, changes in the fair housing laws and protections, and information related to service and/or emotional support animals. The presenter is Liz Keegan, director of education and outreach for the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan.
Details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tenantlandlord-fair-housing-update

Young Entrepreneurs Market
Grand Haven Central Park Place, 421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
This inaugural event, presented by Merchants and Makers, offers local kids a platform to showcase their innovative ideas. There will be live music and coffee, smoothies, and smoothie bowls for purchase
Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/363255039975657

Week 3 (April 15–21)

Enjoy a night of fun and food while helping a good cause. AgeWell Services is hosting its annual Heels for Meals & More event on April 20 at the Trillium Event Center in Grand Haven.

StoryWalk at Stearns Creek Park 
Stearns Creek Park, 13594 136th Ave., Grand Haven
Monday, April 15, through Sunday, April 28, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, April 21, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Celebrate Earth Day by reading “The Earth Gives More,” by Sue Fliess. Pages from this inspiring picture book will be posted on signs along the path for your family to read together — along with ideas for things to look for and do as you walk. The hike is approximately a half-mile long on a natural surface trail.
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/#/events/

Coffee & Genealogy
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Thursday, April 18, 2-3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Join genealogy specialist Jeanette Weiden for a cup of coffee and a casual conversation about genealogy. Registration is encouraged.
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/#/events/

Strong Reader Series: Vision Therapy for Readers
Herrick North Branch, 155 Riley St., Holland
Thursday, April 18, 6-7 p.m.
Cost: Free
One in four students struggle with functional vision problems that interfere with their ability to read, learn, comprehend, and even pay attention. Discover the link between visual development and reading and how you can better advocate for young readers in your life with Dr. Neil Renaud, of Eagle Eye Performance Vision.
Details: https://herrickdl.bibliocommons.com/events/65bbafb

Fair Housing Workshop
DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Thursday, April 18, 8-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $40
Those attending “The Bridge to Welcoming, Equitable Communities” can choose one of three workshops starting at 9:30 a.m.: The State of the American Dream, Understanding & Addressing Lending Disparities, or Ensuring Equitable Communities. Call 616-451-2980, ext. 30, for information about discounted rates or scholarships.
Details: https://www.tickettailor.com/fairhousingcenterofwestmichigan/

WMS Around the World, Part II
Frauenthal Theater, 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Friday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.
Experience new sounds and rediscover familiar favorites on this musical journey around the globe, traversing Italy, Spain, Norway, Germany, and more. An all-orchestral program celebrates talented West Michigan Symphony musicians — front and center.
Details: https://westmichigansymphony.org/events/wms-around-the-world-part-ii/

Indoor Farmers Market
Holland Civic Center Place, 150 W. Eighth St., Holland
Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
This is the last chance this winter to get your fresh fix indoors. Shoppers can stay warm and cozy as they pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, bread and baked goods, honey, syrup, meat, ready-to-eat foods, and so much more 
Details: https://www.holland.org/event/indoor-farmers-market/290/

The Big Shop
Downtown Grand Haven
Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
Shop local and support your favorite nonprofit organizations. All you have to do is find treasures and deals at any of the more than three dozen participating downtown businesses. As you check out, mention your participation in this Grand Haven Main Street event, and the business will donate 15% of your sale to benefit Bluebird Cancer Retreats, Buses by the Beach, The Momentum Center, or READ Ottawa — your choice. It's an easy way to make a lasting impact on your community. See you there.
Details: https://www.facebook.com/GHMainStreet/

Celebrating Pollinators
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Saturday, April 20, 2-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Learn about pollinators and how important they are to our planet, do a craft, learn about the pollination process with a hands-on activity, and build a Lego WeDo bee pollinator. Best for ages 3-17.
Details: https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/celebrating-pollinators/

Heels for Meals & More
Trillium Event Center, 17246 VanWagoner Road, Spring Lake
Saturday, April 20, 6 p.m. 
Cost: $75
Get ready for a night of whimsical fun. Tickets to this fundraiser include a three-course meal, live music, shoe contest opportunities, auctions, and more. All proceeds benefit AgeWell Services’ programs, which help older adults in Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties.
Details: https://agewellservices.org/heels-for-meals/

Sunday Concert Series
Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Sunday, April 21, 2-3 p.m.
Cost: Free
April showers bring The Boogie Woogie Kid to Loutit. Pianist/singer and songwriter Matthew Ball is a national touring act who has 5 million YouTube views. Ball performs New Orleans and Swing Era favorites from The American Songbook.
Details: https://www.loutitlibrary.org/calendar/#/events/

Week 4 (April 22–30)

Pianist Kasey Shao, a Gilmore Young Artist, will perform a concert at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts on April 28.

Earth Day — Soil and Seeds / Gardening 101
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Monday, April 22, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Soil and Seeds
Monday, April 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Gardening 101
Cost: Free
The library and Kaleidoscope Farm are partnering for Soil and Seeds, the first of two programs celebrating Earth Day. Teens and adults are invited to make a soda bottle trench planter to take home and care for. Please bring a clean 2-liter bottle for your planter. In Gardening 101, local grower Lynn will provide tricks, insights, and tools needed to get started gardening this spring. Registration is preferred for each program.
Details: Seeds and Soil, https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/seeds-and-soil/
Details: Gardening 101, https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/gardening-101/

‘FernGully: The Last Rainforest’
Park Theatre, 248 S. River Ave., Holland
Monday, April 22, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $5-$10
The magical inhabitants of a rainforest fight to save their home, threatened by logging and a polluting source of destruction called Hexxus in this all-ages movie.
Details: https://parktheatreholland.ludus.com/show_page

Birds of Prey with Outdoor Discovery Center
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Tuesday, April 23, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free (ages 18+)
Birds of prey — hawks, owls, and falcons — will be used to share their life history and habitat. Hands-on artifacts will include skulls, feathers, pelts, and talons. Registration is preferred. 
Details: https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/birds-of-prey/

‘Expressions’ Public Receptions
Muskegon Museum of Art, 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Wednesday, April 24, 5:30-7 p.m., middle and high school artists
Thursday, April 25, 5:30-7 p.m., elementary school artists
Cost: Free
The public is invited to view 238 works of art created by students from 38 Muskegon County schools at the museum’s 42nd annual student art exhibition, which continues through May 19. Included are two- and three-dimensional artworks in various media.  
Details: https://muskegonartmuseum.org/exhibitions/

Senior Social Hour — Eurythmy
Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Thursday, April 25, 3-4 p.m.
Cost: Free
During this casual community program, seniors will engage in mindful, fluid movements that can cultivate healthy breathing, flexibility, and warmth in hands and feet. Registration is encouraged.
Details: https://www.hackleylibrary.org/event/senior-social-hour-eurythmy/

Marvel Trivia
Odd Side Ales, 41 Washington Ave., Grand Haven
Thursday, April 25, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: Free
Loutit District Library and Odd Side Ales join forces to deliver an evening of Marvel Superhero Trivia. Come alone or gather a group and compete for the top prize. Seating is first come, first served. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and competition begins at 7 p.m. 
Details: Calendar | Loutit District Library

Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 Eighth St., Holland
Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m.; Friday, April 26, 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 27, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Cost: $24 adults and $19 students in advance; $26 adults and $21 students at the door
Turning Point School of Dance will kick off its 25th anniversary season with this all-new performance, featuring themes of spring — new birth, personal transformation, and our salvation through Jesus Christ.
Details: https://www.facebook.com/TurningPointeSchoolOfDance/

‘Elephant Man’
The Playhouse at White Lake, 304 S. Mears Ave., Whitehall
Thursday-Friday, April 25-26, 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 27, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Cost: $20
The story of Joseph Merrick comes to life in this theatrical retelling featuring an ensemble of performers who share the role of Merrick. This classic story of the ultimate outcast feels as fresh and as relevant as ever.
Details: http://theplayhouseatwhitelake.org/spring24.php#elephant/man

Out of the Barn Spring 2024 Expo
Holland Civic Center Place, 150 W. Eighth St., Holland
Friday, April 26, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $5 adults; 14 and younger admitted free
This two-day event is sure to kick off the spring season right! Family fun, food, activities, and entertainment ... all while shopping and supporting over 120 local artists, makers, and small businesses.
Details: https://www.facebook.com/outofthebarnstudio/posts/

Fourth Fridays
Downtown Fennville, Main Street and Maple Avenue
Friday, April 26, 5-7 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend
There’s always something fun happening on the Fourth Friday in Fennville.
Details: https://www.facebook.com/fourth-fridays

Tea & Trails
Ox-Bow, 3435 Rupprecht Way, Saugatuck
Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: $10 per person or $40 per family
Celebrate Tallmadge Woods becoming the newest member of the Old Growth Forest Network. Stroll the trails, learn about the forest, sip tea, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Ox-Bow’s natural landscape. 
Details: https://www.ox-bow.org/tea-trails

Night at the Opera
Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, 221 Columbia Ave., Holland
Saturday, April 27, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $28
Enjoy a night of music with the Holland Symphony, featuring Johannes Müller Stosch, conductor, and soprano Marina Harris. The program includes works by Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Georges Bizet, and Arthur Foote.
Details: https://hollandsymphony.org/events/night-at-the-opera/

Awaiting email for more information on ticket prices.
Gilmore Young Artist Performance
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck
Sunday, April 28, 2 p.m.
Cost: $25
For the first time, Kalamazoo’s Gilmore Piano Festival brings Philadelphia pianist Kasey Shao for a concert on the SCA stage.
Details: https://sc4a.org/event/gilmore-young-artist/

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.