Leprechaun hunt, farmers market, and fresh sap on tap along the Lakeshore

Editor’s note: This is a monthly feature to highlight what Allegan, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties have to offer residents and visitors alike.

Who’s had enough of this winter weather? March brings the first day of spring, St. Patrick’s Day, and the appearance of flowers peeking out of the ground. In Allegan, Muskegon and Ottawa counties, there’s much to do. Find out how maple syrup is made, enjoy a “to-go” adult beverage, or head out in search of Lucky the Leprechaun. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

Fellinlove Farm is celebrating St. Patrick's Day all month long with a unique outdoor adventure.

Leprechaun’s and gold coins
Fellinlove Farm, 6364 144th Ave., Holland, 49423
March 5-7, 12-14, 17, 19-21
Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? Grab your friends and family and head to Fellinlove Farm for a unique outdoor adventure. Be on the lookout for Lucky the Leprechaun as you walk the Heartwood Forest Nature Trail, then gather some gold coins at the end of the rainbow. And keep your eyes open. You may even spot some “Irish Unicorns.” $5 donation suggested. More details here.

Muskegon Farmers Market is open in March.

Fresh from the farm to you
Muskegon Farmers Market, 242 Western Ave., Muskegon, 49440
March 6, 13, 20, 27
There’s nothing better than fresh produce — especially in March. Shop this downtown market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday for beets, greens, onions, radishes, herbs, and field-fresh sprouts, along with winter fruits and veggies. Learn more at www.muskegonfarmersmarket.com.

Finding family
Virtual event
March 6, 10 a.m. - noon
Want to know more about family history, but don’t know where to start digging? Tracking down family history information requires some knowledge on what to look for and where to look for it. Herrick District Library’s free virtual event “Records – and they’re not vinyl” with local genealogist Megan Heyl will help by providing research strategies to dig up information on the local, state and national level. Participants may register at herrickdl.org/events.

Saugatuck is trying out a “Social District" this spring.

Saugatuck Social District, Downtown Saugatuck
Trial period: March 7 through May 31 (Update: the start has been delayed)
Be among the first to check out Saugatuck’s new “Social District.” From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, you’ll be able to enjoy a “to-go” adult beverage of your choice while perusing the eclectic mix of shops and eateries in Saugatuck’s riverfront shopping district. Learn more at www.saugatuck.com.

Learn how sap is turned into maple syrup at Holland’s historic Van Raalte Farm. (Mike Lozon)

Maple sugar time
Van Raalte Farm, 1076 E. 16th St., Holland, 49423
March 13 and 20
If you’re in search of a fun (and educational) activity, head to Holland’s historic Van Raalte Farm. Sap from the stately maple trees will be flowing, and the sugar house will be steaming. Join in the fun as the trees are tapped and the sap is gathered. Then watch as the sap is boiled into real maple syrup. There will be lots of fun activities for the kids, and pure maple snacks for purchase. Advanced registration required; $5 fee per car. Learn more at https://outdoordiscovery.org/maple-sugar-time/ 

This photo of a red-bellied woodpecker was taken by Ottawa County Naturalist Curtis Dykstra
Woodpeckers Peck’n Out a Liv’n 

Hemlock Crossing Nature Center, 8115 W. Olive Road, Allendale, 49460
March 14
Have you ever wondered why woodpeckers pound their beaks on trees? If so, head into the woods at Hemlock Crossing Nature Center to look for woodpeckers and watch them in action. (If the Nature Center remains closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, a wildlife hike will take place instead.) This is an event for children ages 5-12; must be accompanied by an adult). Advanced registration required. Learn more at www.facebook.com/OttawaCountyParks/events.

Fellinlove Farm will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.
World Down Syndrome Day
Fellinlove Farm, 6364 144th Ave., Holland, 49423
March 21
Put on your “crazy socks” and head to Fellinlove Farm to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. You’ll learn how Fellinlove Farm began (with Alyssa and her Fell pony, Penny), take a farm tour to see many of the Farm’s 130+ animals, enjoy pony and horse rides, and take a hike on the Heartwood Forest Nature Trail Walk. (Fellinlove Farm promotes awareness, acceptance, inclusion, and celebration of individuals with Down syndrome on this day and every day.) Donations accepted. More details on the farm’s Facebook page.
A class on on agates will be given at the Hemlock Crossing Nature Center.(Pixabay)

Earth Encounters: Amazing agates
Hemlock Crossing Nature Center, 8115 W. Olive Road, Allendale, 49460
March 27
Do you know what an agate is? Is it a rock, a stone, or a mineral formation? How are agates formed, and where can you find them? Learn this and more at Earth Encounters at Hemlock Crossing Nature Center, where you’ll examine a variety of agates up close, and even take home your own hand-crafted agate. Registration required; ages 10 and older. (If the Nature Center remains closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, a geology hike will take place instead.)
More details at www.facebook.com/OttawaCountyParks/events
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Read more articles by Sally Laukitis.