Editor’s note: This is a monthly feature to highlight what Ottawa and Allegan Counties have to offer residents and visitors alike.
February is the shortest month of the year — with only 28 days — but it isn’t short on things to do along the Lakeshore. While hearts and flowers are on many minds this month, others in Ottawa and Allegan counties are focusing on art and the great outdoors. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.
Shop and dine in downtown Holland on Feb. 6, and you can give back to the community.
The Big Give — Save and Give Back
Saturday, Feb. 6, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Shop and dine in downtown Holland on Feb. 6, and you can give back to the community. Close to 35 local shops and eateries are donating 10% of that day’s sales to their favorite local nonprofits. Bring along a healthy non-perishable food item to donate to Community Action House and you will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card to the downtown business of your choice. (Food donations can be dropped inside Claremont Court, near the intersection of Eighth Street and River Avenue) Sponsored by Lorence & Vander Zwart Financial Planning, this annual downtown event is a win-win for everyone. Get details at https://www.facebook.com/events/321556069187318
Discover your “inner artist” and create your own masterpiece with the Carolyn Stich Studio Zoom Experience.
Paint the Night Away
Carolyn Stich Studio Zoom Experience
Mondays, Feb. 8 and 22, 7 p.m.
Discover your “inner artist” and create your own masterpiece via Zoom. Join Holland artist Carolyn Stich for a fun-filled evening of personal creativity. Once you register, Carolyn will send you a list of supplies to pick up at your favorite arts and crafts store. Then, let the fun begin. Why not make it a “paint party” and invite your friends and family to join you? Who knows, you might be the next Van Gogh. Find details at https://carolynstich.com/order-online/
Moonlight Night Hike
Hemlock Crossing County Park, 8115 West Olive Road, West Olive
Friday, Feb. 26, 7-8:30 p.m.
Change up your exercise routine by heading to Hemlock Crossing County Park for a “walk on the wild side,” where you’ll discover a variety of nocturnal creatures lurking about in the moonlight. Ages 10 and up. Registration required. Cost $5. www.miottawa.org/OCPevents
Learn how to make this heart-shaped string art.
Heart String Art Take & Make
Leighton Township Library, 4451 12th St., Moline
Pick up kits Thursday, Feb. 11
Looking for something different to give your Valentine this year? Reserve your heart-shaped “string art kit” and make your own special gift. If you’ve already done your Valentine’s Day shopping, get a jumpstart on next year. Also, check out the Heart Magnet Take & Make and Sand Art Take & Make later in the month. Learn more at https://www.leightonlibrary.org/february-2021.pdf
Pigeon Creek Lodge is open during satisfactory snow conditions, offering ski and snowshoe rentals, ski lessons, and other activities. (Mike Lozon)
Pigeon Creek Lodge, 12524 Stanton St, West Olive
Open daily, hours vary
OK, sure. It’s cold outside. Still, you might as well do something fun. Pigeon Creek Lodge is open during satisfactory snow conditions, offering ski and snowshoe rentals, ski lessons, and other activities. Check out park hours, lesson schedules, and equipment rentals at https://miottawa.org/Parks/winter-rec.htm
The Winter Break Gallery Stroll returns to downtown Douglas on Feb. 13.
Brighten Your Day — With Art
Center Street, Downtown Douglas
Saturday, Feb. 13, noon to 4 p.m.
What better way to shake off those “winter blues” than by shopping for art. Join the Winter Break Gallery Stroll in downtown Douglas for special exhibits, artist receptions, and “to go” refreshments. The six participating galleries — Water Street Gallery, Mr. Miller’s Art Emporium, Krista Reuter Studio, Button Gallery, Mixed Media Gallery, and Leben Art Gallery — are easy to find because they’re all on one street. Information and directions are available at https://saugatuck.com/winter-break-gallery-stroll/
Snowmen on Main Street
Washington Avenue onto 7th Street, Grand Haven
Snowmen made without snow? But how? You’ll definitely want to check this out. Local schools, individuals, businesses, and organizations have created snowmen using anything but snow, and they will all be on display in downtown Grand Haven. Vote for your favorite and enjoy the cozy ambiance of downtown shops, restaurants, and heated streets. Find out more at https://visitgrandhaven.com/event/snowmen-on-main-street/
Mac N' Cheese Festival
Grand Haven and Spring Lake
A week-long Mac N’ Cheese Festival has been organized by the Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg Chamber. Stop in or call participating restaurants to get a $2 sample of Mac N' Cheese and vote for your favorite. The winning restaurant’s entry will be named the "Best Mac N' Cheese on the Lakeshore.” Turn in your receipts for a chance to win Dune Dollars. More details on the Chamber’s Facebook page
The Nature Center at Hemlock Crossing Park has reopened with special winter hours and offers snowshoe rentals. (Mike Lozon)
Take a Walk on the Snow
Hemlock Crossing Nature Center, 8115 West Olive Road, West Olive
Open daily, hours vary
This Ottawa County park is a popular destination during winter. The Nature Center at Hemlock Crossing Park has reopened with special winter hours and offers snowshoe rentals. The Nature Center staff also offers nature and recreation programming year-round, including snowshoe hikes. For information about hours, rental prices, and a calendar of staff-led activities, visit https://miottawa.org/Parks/winter-rec.htm
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
Allegan County Parks & Recreation