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The 11 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend April 2019

April 2019 Events in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Good news, Ann Arbor. Spring is officially here! To welcome the new season, our community is hosting Earth Day celebrations, seasonal expositions and some of our favorite annual events (looking at you, FoolMoon!).

We rounded up the essential events happening throughout the Ann Arbor area this month, so you can celebrate Easter, Earth Day and more. Enjoy!

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

 

Arts + Culture

 

Michigan State University Science Festival | Various locations

April 5 – 20, various times | Various locations

April 2019 Events in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Michigan State University is hosting a science festival during the month of April with events on campus in East Lansing and all around the state. Here in the Ann Arbor area, you can join in the educational fun at events at Sherzer Observatory on the Eastern Michigan University campus, at Yankee Air Museum, and even in Detroit. To see the full schedule of events, click here.

 

Cabaret 2019: An Evening to Remember | Ann Arbor

April 13, 6:30 p.m. | North Campus Research Complex, Building 18

On Saturday, April 13th, the UMS Ambassadors, UMS Board Chair and UMS Cabaret founder Sarah Nicoli are celebrating with an evening of food, fun and show tunes provided by University of Michigan musical theater students and alumni. The best part is all proceeds support UMS K-12 Education programming! For tickets, click here.

 

Spring Fiber Expo | Ann Arbor

April 13 – 14, various times | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

Once during the spring and again during the fall, the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds are filled with fiber products of all kinds. Come by to shop, learn and meet makers of wool, linen and cotton crafts, see real alpacas and more! Children 12 years and under are admitted for free, while adults pay just $4 cash for one day or $6 for two.

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

FOOLmoon | Ann Arbor

April 5, 7 – 10 p.m. | Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Kerrytown

FoolMoon and FestiFools Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan in April 2018

Photo courtesy of Ryan Stanton via WonderFool Productions

Considered one of the community’s favorite annual events, FoolMoon is the nighttime kick-off event to a very foolish weekend hosted by Wonderfool Productions. This year, the celebration is taking place in Kerrytown at the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, but it will still have all the dancing, laughing and luminaries we’ve come to love. Other attractions include interactive installations, laser shows, live performances, DJs and a beer tent. You can even make your own luminary at several workshops in advance. For details, follow the Wonderfool Productions team on Facebook here.

 

FestiFools | Ann Arbor

April 7, 4 – 5 p.m. | Downtown Ann Arbor

FestiFools is Wonderfool Productions’ daytime event of foolishness and art. The enormous public art spectacular showcases creations made by members of the community and U-M students. You can make your own puppet or come down to Main Street to watch the procession of colorful, bizarre, human-powered paper-mâché creations for an entire hour of fun!

 

SpringFest | Saline

April 20, 11:30 a.m. – 1:40 p.m. | Saline Recreation Center

Saline Recreation’s SpringFest is a family-friendly event packed with spring and Easter-themed fun. During the event, you can join in the egg hunt with your own basket, have lunch with Mr. Bunny, meander the Hippity Hop Trail, and dive in the leisure pool for the Egg Dive. For full event details, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival | Ann Arbor

April 28, 12 – 4 p.m. | Leslie Science & Nature Center

The Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival is an annual celebration hosted by the Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival Planning Committee, a coalition of local environmental nonprofits and agencies, and the Leslie Science & Nature Center. At this free, family-friendly event, guests can enjoy displays from 40 local organizations, live animal demonstrations, hands-on activities, live entertainment and much more.

 

 

Sports

 

Earth Day 5K | Ann Arbor

April 13, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Lillie Park South

April 2019 Events in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Pittsfield Township is celebrating Earth Day with their first ever Earth Day 5K. Open to all ages and skill levels, the course will wind through Lille Park, and you can register here.

 

Dawn Farm Ride for Recovery | Ypsilanti

April 28, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Dawn Farm

This family-oriented fitness event is an annual fundraiser for Dawn Farm. Community members at any fitness level are invited to register for one of four bike rides: a 10K, a 25-mile, a 40-mile and a 58-mile. There will also be a Farm Fun 5K Run/Walk, and a celebratory lunch will be provided after the races. Family members not participating are asked to register for the $5 lunch only option so there is enough food for everyone. You can register for all the options online here.

 

 

Food + Drink

 

HopCat Ann Arbor Beer Dinner | Ann Arbor 

April 23, 7 – 10 p.m.HopCat

HopCat Ann Arbor is teaming up with California’s Lagunitas Brewing Co. for an epic beer pairing dinner this April. The event will feature five beers and four courses made with locally sourced ingredients in the HopCat kitchen.

 

Two James Spirit Dinner at rel-ish | Ann Arbor

April 26, 7 – 10 p.m. | rel-ish

The local restaurant inside The Kensington Hotel, rel-ish, is celebrating on April 26th with a specially paired, five-course dinner. Two James Spirits is the first licensed distillery in the city of Detroit since Prohibition, and their contributions to the event include artisanal gin, vodka, whiskey, rum and absinthe. For full menu details and tickets, click here.

 

 

Happy April!

Want to submit your next event for our monthly guide? Send us an email at ReinhartPR@booj.com.

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The Music Lover’s Guide to Ann Arbor

Music venues, events record stores in Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor is a book town, a college town, a quirky town, an artsy town and a music town all rolled into one. And that collection of cultures and characters makes our hometown one of the best places to explore the arts.

Music lovers can do that through live shows at local venues, visiting indie record stores, and attending annual, music-centered events. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, keep reading to find the best places and occasions for all three!

 

Jump ahead to find the best:

Venues | Record stores | Annual events

 

Venues

 

Kerrytown Concert House

Kerrytown Concert House music venues in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Kerrytown Concert House

An intimate 110 seat venue, Kerrytown Concert House is a nonprofit organization focused on community engagement and providing audiences with fine art, from live music to gallery exhibitions. Inside their historic home-turned-venue, you can attend affordable events in various genres; check out the event calendar here.

 

The Blind Pig

The Blind Pig is the locals’ choice for live music almost every night of the week. This quirky bar and music venue hosts everything from punk and folk to comedy and karaoke. Check out the calendar online here and you can buy your tickets in advance if needed.  

 

The Ark

The Ark is Ann Arbor’s destination for live music and has been since it was founded in 1965 by four area churches. Today, the venue offers over 300 nights of shows each year in one of the best listening rooms anywhere. In the past, they’ve brought Howie Day, Blind Pilot and the Violent Femmes to town! See all their upcoming events here.

 

Michigan Theater

The historic Michigan Theater was founded in 1928, then the Michigan Theater Foundation was founded in 1979 to save the Michigan Theater from the wrecking ball. Today, the theater is home to three screening spaces for independent movies, concerts, comedy shows, national tours and more. Check out the current films here and peruse the special event schedule here.

 

The B-Side

The B-Side began back in 1999 in the original location of local Ann Arbor organization Neutral Zone. As the program grew, they moved up the street to 310 E. Washington and increased their audience capacity to over 400. Today, the all-ages concert venue hosts everything from touring hip-hop acts to teen hardcore bands to local folk singers, and every show is booked and promoted by teens through Neutral Zone. You can learn more about Neutral Zone in 23 Local Charities in the Ann Arbor Area and How You Can Help.

 

Johnny’s Speakeasy

Johnny’s Speakeasy calls itself one of the worst kept secrets in Ann Arbor. The small, intimate venue hosts a range of genres and just a limited number of house concerts each year. To stay up-to-date on this year’s shows, follow the team on Facebook here.

 

University Musical Society  

A program of the University of Michigan, UMS has been around since 1879 and offers more than 60 performances each year. Today, they host events throughout the year in six different theaters and venues: Hill Auditorium, Rackham Auditorium, Power Center, Michigan Theater, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. To get information on their current season, click here.

 

Ziggy’s

Located just minutes from Ann Arbor in Ypsilanti, Ziggy’s is a downtown music venue, bar, coffeehouse and arcade. Hosting a range of local acts alongside small, touring artists, you can attend fundraisers, music shows, parties and so much more. Follow the team on Facebook here to stay up-to-date on upcoming events.

 

 

Record stores

 

Wazoo Records

Record stores in Ann Arbor Michigan

Wazoo is Ann Arbor’s headquarters for both new releases and old collections. Their inventory of new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs, VHS and cassette tapes are displayed in an organized and tidy way that makes shopping fun for record diggers and casual music lovers alike.

 

Encore Records

Encore Records buys and sells various types of records, tapes, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, sheet music, books on music and musicians, and memorabilia. If you’re selling, you can come in without an appointment during buying hours which are available every day of the week. To shop, you can come in and enjoy the curated collection of both new and used merchandise. To preview their inventory and shop online, click here.

 

Underground Sounds

Underground Sounds began as That Total Age in 1993 in Ypsilanti. Then, they became Vinyl Joe’s Coffee & Records in 1995 before moving to Downtown Ann Arbor and becoming Underground Sounds in 2001. They specialize in new release vinyl and compact discs and sell them below list price. You can preview their inventory and shop online here.

 

 

Annual events

 

Ann Arbor Folk Festival

Ann Arbor Folk Fest music events in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Andrew Rogers via The Ark

Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a fundraiser for The Ark, began in 1977 and is now one of Ann Arbor’s most anticipated events. Over the course of two days, Hill Auditorium hosts the likes of Gregory Alan Isakov, Rufus Wainwright, Haley Heynderickx, Brandi Carlile and more. Tickets are available for single nights and both nights, and you can get more information here.  

 

Edgefest

Edgefest began in 1997 as a single day event and has grown into a four-day festival that includes collaborations and educational outreach. Hosted by Kerrytown Concert House, the event is focused on avant-garde jazz and creative new music performed by artists from the United States and around the globe.

 

Sonic Lunch

Sonic Lunch Ann Arbor Michigan music events

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson Photography via Sonic Lunch

Since 2008, Sonic Lunch has been bringing free, outdoor concerts to the streets Ann Arbor every summer. The free, outdoor concerts take place at the corner of Liberty and Division in Downtown Ann Arbor every Thursday during the season from 12 to 1:30 p.m. For more information on this year’s series, click here.  

 

Ann Arbor Blues Festival

In August 1969, several thousand blues lovers gathered in a small field in Ann Arbor for the first ever Ann Arbor Blues Festival where they sang and danced along with blues legends that included B.B. King. Continuing the tradition, the festival takes place every August at the Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds. Today, the festival is celebrated as North America’s first electric blues festival and the team is celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2019. To get information on this year’s event, click here.

 

Sounds & Sights Festival

This weekend festival began over three decades ago in Chelsea and has grown to be one of the best summer events in the region. Over two days and three nights, you can experience live music, an indie art market, kids’ entertainment, a classic car show and more in historic Downtown Chelsea.

 

Milan Bluegrass Festival

Featuring both well-known bluegrass bands and up-and-coming acts, Milan Bluegrass is a can’t-miss music festival in Southeast Michigan. The event features multiple different bands each day, including special guests! For the full concert experience, we recommend camping on-site with KC Campground. And you can learn more here.

 

 

Do you love local music?  

Tell us all about your favorite venues, events, music memories and local bands in the comments below.

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The 12 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend March 2019

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

March brings us our first signs of spring, school breaks and St. Patrick’s Day, so naturally, the month’s events offer kid-friendly happenings, festive races and spring-inspired festivities. That’s all in addition to some of our favorite annual events, like the Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show and Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Keep reading to find out what events are happening in our communities this month. Register where necessary, and get ready for a fun and festive March!

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

Arts + Culture

 

Fly Fishing Film Tour 2019 | Ann Arbor

March 1, 7 p.m. | Michigan Theater

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

The Fly Fishing Film Tour travels the country each year in an effort to promote the sport and support local fly shops. You can purchase $18 tickets online, but if you get yours at Schultz Outfitters in Ypsilanti, you get a $3 discount and a portion of that purchase helps support the conservation work that keeps fisheries intact, healthy and available for us all to enjoy. In past years, the tour has raised over $500,000!

 

Youth Art Month | Ann Arbor

March 1 – 30 | Downtown Ann Arbor

Youth Art Month is an annual celebration designed to emphasize the value of art education for our youth. It allows us all—locals, business owners, galleries—an opportunity to connect our community with our youth’s creativity and to illustrate the importance of fostering artistry and innovation. Organized by the Main Street Area Association, the celebration includes several food and drink deals, educational workshops and special events in topics including the art of pizza, coloring, painting and even sailboat making. For all the details on specials and events, click here.

 

2019 Michigan Playwrights Festival | Ann Arbor  

March 6 – 10, 8 – 11 p.m. | Theatre NOVA

Theatre NOVA in downtown Ann Arbor has over 75 years of experience selecting new plays, and the Michigan Playwrights Festival celebrates that history and awards local writers. After selecting the winning submissions, you can enjoy staged readings of the winning plays, and some of those go on to become full-length plays for future seasons. For updates on the stage events, follow the team on Facebook.

 

Saline Craft Show | Saline

March 16, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Saline Middle School

One of the top shows in Michigan, the Saline Craft Show is hosting two events in 2019. Don’t miss the first one this March! Benefitting both the craft show customers and the school community, students get the chance to take on leadership roles and show off their talents.

 

The Music of Harry Potter | Ann Arbor

March 16 – 17, various times | Michigan Theater

Michigan Theatre and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra are once again hosting a Harry Potter musical event this March! On Saturday evening, the show begins at 8 p.m. with a photo scavenger hunt, encounters with a live owl and cocktails from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Or, buy your tickets for Sunday’s family matinee to enjoy a 4 p.m. show and pre-concert activities beginning at 2:30 p.m. featuring an instrument petting zoo, a photo scavenger hunt, live Hedwig, an owl post writing station and more. You can get more details here.

 

Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show | Ann Arbor

March 16 – 17, various times | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

For the 29th year, this home and garden show is connecting guests with builders, suppliers, designers and tradespeople while inspiring all home improvement endeavors. This year’s event features 150 exhibitors in both interior and exterior work, so there’s plenty to learn over two days! Adult admission of $5 can be paid in cash at the door and children under 12 are admitted for free.

 

Ann Arbor Film Festival | Ann Arbor

March 26 – 31, various times | Michigan Theater

One of Ann Arbor’s most important annual events, the Ann Arbor Film Festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries highlighting all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction and performance-based works. Founded by George Manupelli in 1963, the festival is the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America. Follow the team on Facebook for updates on tickets and special events.

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

Old Time Maple Sugar Festival | Chelsea

March 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

Hosted by the Waterloo Natural History Association, the Old Time Maple Sugar Festival celebrates the coming of spring and the tapping of maple trees. The event begins with a short film on the process of making maple syrup, continues with a guided walk, and antique syrup making equipment will be on display from the Waterloo Farm Museum.

 

 

Sports

 

Shamrocks & Shenanigans | Ann Arbor  

March 10, 9:45 a.m. | Conor O’Neill’s

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Robert Bowden Photography via RF Events – Shamrocks & Shenanigans

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, the Shamrocks & Shenanigans 5K and Kids’ K winds through downtown Ann Arbor and benefits Save A Heart, an organization that raises funds to benefit patients and their families at the Michigan Congenital Heart Center at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. You can get registration info here.

 

Waterloo G & G | Chelsea

March 16, 10 a.m. | Waterloo State Recreation Area

This epic bike race offers three options: a rugged, two-loop 100K course, a powerful 50K course and a 10-mile, non-competitive ride. Registration benefits the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and includes a post-race party presented by Short’s Brewing Company. For more information, click here.

 

Probility Ann Arbor Marathon | Ann Arbor  

March 24, 7:30 a.m. | Michigan Stadium

Whether you’re walking your first 5K or running your tenth marathon, this Epic Races event offers something for everyone. Beginning just outside of The Big House, each course winds through downtown Ann Arbor and through the University of Michigan campus. The longer races also traverse stretches of the Huron River, Gallup Park and Nichols Arboretum before returning to downtown. Get all the details and choose your distance here.

 

 

Food + Drink

 

Pie & Mash Pop-Up Shop | Dexter

March 3 – April 7, 4:30 – 7 p.m. | Cornman Farms

things to do in March 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Sarah Fennel via Zingerman’s Cornman Farms

Owner of Zingerman’s Cornman Farms, Kieron Hales hails from England, and he’s bringing the culture and food of his homeland to the farm throughout March. Every Sunday from March 3rd through April 7th, join the team for a traditional English Pie & Mash shop pop-up. Food will include savory handmade pies with mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies and Chef Kieron’s creamy and indulgent Devon Fudge, a recipe from his hometown. To see all the menus and learn more, click here.

 

 

Happy March!

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The ABCs of Ann Arbor: Local businesses, landmarks and characteristics from A to Z

Things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Sure, you know your ABCs. A stands for apple, L stands for lion and Z stands for zoo, right? But do you know your ABCs of Ann Arbor?

Today, we’re swapping apple for Ann Arbor Art Center, lion for Literati Bookstore, and zoo for Zingerman’s. Keep reading to get a peek into Ann Arbor’s best local businesses, landmarks, parks, attractions and characteristics. And don’t forget to practice your ABCs!

 

A: Ann Arbor Art Center  

Ann Arbor Art Center Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition, and they strive to engage minds, expand perspectives, and inspire growth in students of all ages, teachers, artists and the community. Now, they engage more than 49,500 people every year through programming, exhibitions, fun classes and the 117 Gallery Shop.

 

B: Blank Slate Creamery

Blank Slate Creamery is a local ice cream shop churning out homemade ice cream using fresh, all-natural ingredients. This little shop has even won numerous rankings as the top ice cream in Ann Arbor and throughout the state of Michigan!

 

C: The Creature Conservancy

The Creature Conservancy charities in Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of The Creature Conservancy

This nonprofit organization hosts camps, classes, private events and programs that inspire compassionate connections to wildlife and allow the public to learn about ecology, biology, conservation and more through real animal encounters. In addition to offering these programs, they serve as a home for Al the alligator, Quinn the bald eagle, Jerome the Argentine Tegu, Harper the cougar, Bedhead the porcupine and several other rescue and transplant animals.

 

D: Detroit Street Filling Station

Detroit Street Filling Station comes to us from the team behind The Lunch Room, and every eatery and bakery run by this team serves food that is entirely plant-based. That’s why both The Lunch Room and Detroit Street Filling Station landed on The 15 Best Vegan + Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Ann Arbor. This particular restaurant is housed in the historic building that was once The Staebler Family Oil Company so it offers plant-based eats with a side of history (and a great patio!).

 

E: The Earle

The Earle has been a downtown Ann Arbor favorite for more than 20 years. In addition to the decadent menu of French and Italian country cuisine, the romance is heightened by live jazz five nights a week, solo piano and solo guitar performances. Their world-class wine selection has over 1,200 options and wraps the evening up perfectly!

 

F: FoolMoon

One of the community’s favorite annual events, FoolMoon is the nighttime kick-off event to an entire weekend of foolishness and revelry. Hosted by Wonderfool Productions, the event celebrates the coming of spring with dance, laughter and handmade luminaries, interactive installations, laser shows, live music performances, and other entertainment.

And FoolMoon is followed by FestiFools, the annual, daytime event of foolishness and art. This enormous public art spectacular showcases hundreds of colorful, bizarre, human-powered paper-mâché puppets made by members of the community and U of M students.

 

G: Gallup Park Canoe Livery

One of the highlights of Ann Arbor is the Huron River, and one of the best places to see the river is on top of it! Gallup Park Canoe Livery in Gallup Park offers canoe, two-person kayak, one-person kayak, kid kayak, paddle boat and rowboat rentals, plus concessions, merchandise and river-themed programs. And the park itself offers 69 acres of open space for play, recreation, picnicking and more.

 

H: Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum  

Highlighted in 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum is home to countless interactive exhibits where children and adults can get hands-on and discover their inner scientist. Visiting the museum any day of the week means you can explore exhibits like Michigan Nature, Lyons Country Store, MediaWorks, and DTE Energy Foundation Light and Optics.

 

I: Innovation

Ann Arbor loves art, creativity, discovering new things and supporting new local businesses, which makes it the perfect headquarters of innovation. In fact, our hometown institution, The University of Michigan, was ranked on Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities 2018 and the city of Ann Arbor was ranked on the Livability 2017 Best Cities For Entrepreneurs!

 

J: Jim Toy Community Center

The Jim Toy Community Center is a resource center that exists to provide information, education, social events and advocacy by and for the queer and ally community in our county. In addition to providing resources and awareness, they help foster an inclusive community here in Ann Arbor and host Ann Arbor Pride every summer.

 

K: Kerrytown Market & Shops

Kerrytown is a charming market district located just a few blocks from the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. Here, you’ll find the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, other annual events like Kerrytown KindleFest, beloved restaurants like Miss Kim and The Lunch Room, as well as local shops 16 Hands, Ann Arbor Spice Merchants, Spun and more.

 

L: Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore is a locally owned and operated book-lovers’ haven in downtown Ann Arbor. On the store’s lower level, you’ll find the bookstore and the team’s famous public typewriter which invites anyone and everyone to type. Over the years, they’ve accumulated thousands of love notes, poems, sentences and salutations. Published in 2018, “Notes From A Public Typewriter” compiles some of their favorites alongside essays, photos and more. Stop by to shop local for books, type your own note on the Literati public typewriter, and head upstairs to visit Literati Coffee, a full-service coffee shop.  

 

M: University of Michigan Museum of Art

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan budget-friendly under $20 free

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via University of Michigan Museum of Art

Located on the university campus, the University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the country. Their collections represent 150 years of art collecting and include everything from 1000 BCE Middle Eastern artifacts to 21st-century paintings. Admission to the museum is always free, which makes it one of our favorite budget-friendly attractions in town! To learn more, check out 14 Things to Do in Ann Arbor Under $20.  

 

N: Nichols Arboretum

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two educational and environmental spaces on the UM campus. The botanical gardens include eleven outdoor areas full of bonsai, native and medicinal plants, perennials and more. And during colder months, you can enjoy the year-round indoor conservatory filled with plants from around the world. The arboretum spans miles of trails and land with impressive collections of both native and exotic trees and shrubs.

 

O: Ozone House

Nonprofits and charities in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via Ozone House

Based in the Ann Arbor area with facilities in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Ozone House is a community-based, nonprofit agency that helps young people lead safe, healthy and productive lives. They do this by offering high-quality housing and support programs, as well as services that provide support, intervention, training and assistance to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth and their families. To learn more about this and more organizations in the area, check out 23 Local Charities in the Ann Arbor Area and How You Can Help.

 

P: Pinckney State Recreation Area

Covering a whopping 11,000 acres, Pinckney State Recreation Area is one of our favorite outdoor destinations in the Ann Arbor area. Known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes, the park also offers over forty miles of multi-use trails, picnicking, playgrounds, beaches, a concession stand, boat launches and rowboat, canoe, paddle boat and kayak rentals. To find more ways to opt outside in and around Ann Arbor, check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 

Q: Quality of life

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked on research and data-based lists of the best places to live in the United States. In 2018, our city ranked the number one city on the Livability Top 100 Best Places To Live. This list measures data points that cover economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare.

Other rankings and lists include the 2018 National Geographic list The Best Cities in the United States, RewardExpert’s Best Mid-Sized Cities to Visit in 2017, the Livability 2018 10 Best Places to Raise a Family, the National Geographic ranking of the happiest cities in the United States, and Realtor.com’s 2018 ranking of the Cities Where Home Buyers Have the Least Amount of Debt.

 

R: Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of World War II, representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards during the war. And many of those real Rosies worked in factories right here in the Ann Arbor area. To celebrate this, 3,755 people gathered at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center in Ypsilanti in 2017 to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter. And this Ypsi gathering had 58 original Rosies who worked in factories during WWII!

In addition to celebrating history, this group gathered to support the Yankee Air Museum’s effort to save, preserve and renovate Rosie’s historic World War II-era factory: the Willow Run Bomber Plant located just minutes outside the heart of Ypsilanti.

 

S: State Theater

Paired with its sister venue, The Michigan Theater, the State Theater is an excellent representation of Ann Arbor’s proud history and passion for indie art. Today, the two historic theaters offer regular showings of indie movies, limited releases and special screenings as well as live music shows, performances and more.

 

T: Ann Arbor Triathlon

Every year, our Ann Arbor community hosts countless recreation and racing events to celebrate our community and our parks. The annual Ann Arbor Triathlon is the culmination of all of this and happens every year near the end of the summer. Beginning at Halfmoon Lake in Pinckney State Recreation Area, racers swim the waters of Halfmoon, bike the country roads of the surrounding rural area, and run the 5-mile classic Poto Trail course to complete the challenge. You can get more information here.

 

U: University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is continually ranked amongst the best universities in the nation, and, in the US News & World Report 2019 ranking of the best national universities, it makes the top 30. Boasting a total undergraduate enrollment of just under 30,000, UM offers students more than 1,500 organizations, more than 60 Greek chapters, and an impressive lineup of athletics for both athletes and fans. It’s also our number one reason in 10 Reasons Ann Arbor is the Best College Town in America.

 

V: Vinology

Owned and operated by the Jonna family, this neighborhood wine bar, dinner destination and event venue boasts a chic atmosphere, 150 wines and a New American menu. Their team has more than 40 years of experience in the food and wine business and offers everything from weekend brunch to wedding services.

 

W: Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine Brewing Co Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Brit Hueter via Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine State Brewing Co. snagged their W in the ABCs of Ann Arbor because they represent both our community’s love and passion for the University of Michigan Wolverines (Go Blue!) and our community’s love for craft beer.

And this Ann Arbor craft brewery is the first and only all-lager microbrewery in the state of Michigan! That means a visit to the taproom will be an exploration of absolutely everything a lager can do—from their solid, approachable flagship to their innovative, ingredient-driven and aged creations.

 

X: X-Golf Ann Arbor

X-Golf is a franchise and creator of what is called the most innovative and accurate golf simulator in the world. The Ann Arbor location is minutes from the heart of town in Saline and is different from other locations because the team also offers a full bar and restaurant with pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and pretzels, craft beer, bar games like shuffleboard and darts, and nine big screen TVs. So you can come for a drink, come to cheer on your favorite football team, play some virtual golf, host your own event or even join X-League!

 

Y: Ypsilanti

A celebration of Ann Arbor wouldn’t be complete without a feature on its surrounding communities, and Ypsilanti is a great place to start. This community is located on Ann Arbor’s eastern border, has a dense history in automobile production and World War II, and is now home to some of our favorite local museums, businesses, restaurants, events and parks in the area. To explore the community, check out Ypsi Real, a brand managed by Destination Ann Arbor.

 

Z: Zingerman’s

Zingerman's Creamery Beer and Cheese pairing March 2018

Photo courtesy of Emma Boonstra via Zingerman’s Creamery

A hallmark of Ann Arbor’s entrepreneurial character, Zingerman’s Company of Businesses began humbly in 1982 as a small delicatessen in a historic building that was once a neighborhood grocery store. But when founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig wanted to expand Zingerman’s Delicatessen, they chose to avoid the typical franchise model in favor of expanding their expertise, their team and their company into new, independent businesses. Now, our community boasts a whole array of businesses—from bakeries and restaurants to training services and wedding venues—operating under the Zingerman’s name. You can learn about all of them in Your Guide to 14 Zingerman’s Businesses in Ann Arbor.

 

Do you know your ABCs?

Give your favorite Ann Arbor landmarks, businesses and characteristics a shoutout in the comments below!

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The 14 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend February 2019

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

February may be one of our chilliest months, but that doesn’t mean the events are slowing down in Ann Arbor and our surrounding communities. In fact, with things like a curling festival, ice carving exhibitions and ice hockey, it seems our communities are just fine with the cold.

Keep reading to find out what’s happening in the Ann Arbor area this February. Our guide includes both free and ticketed events for all ages.

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

Arts + Culture

 

Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra | Ypsilanti

February 17, 3:30 p.m. | Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

In celebration of their 20th year, Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra is hosting five concert events continuing through May 2019. Their third is scheduled for Sunday, February 17th inside Towsley Auditorium and it’s free to attend.

 

The Vintage Market presents: Flannel Fling! | Ann Arbor

February 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

The Vintage Market is an upscale, vintage-inspired flea market-based in Monroe, Michigan. But in February, they’re coming to Ann Arbor for Flannel Fling! Held inside at Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, this market will feature more than 100 vendors selling antiques, home decor, kitchenware, candles, handmade items, clothing, jewelry and more. For more information, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

TEDxUofM 2019: Absolute Zero | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6 – 10 p.m. | Power Center for Performing Arts

The TEDx program allows independent organizations and communities to bring the spirit of the annual TED conference to their homes around the globe. And in February, the annual TEDxUofM conference returns to showcase the most fascinating thinkers, doers and leaders in Michigan. For ticket information, click here.

 

The Ark’s 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival | Ann Arbor

February 23, 7:30 p.m. | The Ark

Laura Simms, Edgar Oliver and Michigan’s Ivory D. Williams are taking the stage for The Ark’s 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival. The spoken word event costs just $25 to attend and will be an evening of stories, adventures, laughter and creativity. For updates, RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

 

Washtenaw Community Concert Band: Celebration of the Community | Ann Arbor

February 28, 7:30 p.m. | Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College

This free Washtenaw Community Concert Band program is dedicated to the community. As such, it will celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and it will even highlight student players from local high schools.

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

Let’s Chill Winterfest | Milan

February 1 – 2 | Downtown Milan

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

Centered around Milan’s downtown shopping area, Wilson Park and Edgetown, this annual event is one of our favorite winter happenings. Activities include a chili cook-off, Let’s Chill Winter Fest Wine Walk, indoor and outdoor winter games, ice carving, an Artisan tent, food, The Big Freeze, and more. For full details, check out the website here.

 

Ice Carving Festival | Ann Arbor

February 9, 12 – 4 p.m. | County Farm Park

Chainsaws and flamethrowers will wow the crowds at Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission’s Fourth Annual Ice Carving Festival. Students and teams from colleges and universities across Southeast Michigan will compete for the winning sculpture while you and your family enjoy hot chocolate and crafts at this free event.

 

Rally in the Alley | Ann Arbor

February 9, 1 p.m. | Revel & Roll

February 2019 marks the first ever Rally in the Alley event benefiting the University of Michigan Department of Radiation Oncology. This event will raise funds for patients in the department who are struggling with transportation, food, hotels and other things while under treatment. The event will include two hours of bowling, pizza for everyone and soft drinks, and the attractions of Revel & Roll will be available as well as a silent auction and other mini-games. Individual tickets are $25 and more information can be found here.

 

2019 University of Michigan Polar Plunge | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6:30 p.m. | The Big House

The Polar Plunge is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event that benefits Special Olympics chapters throughout the country. This unique event in Ann Arbor will benefit Special Olympics Michigan and will invite participants into The Big House to take the plunge on the field. After putting on your Wolverine costume in the locker room, you can join the parade of costumes through the tunnel then plunge into an icy pool. For more information on fundraising and registration, click here.

 

 

Sports

 

U-M Ice Hockey vs. Michigan State | Ann Arbor

February 8, 7:30 p.m. | Yost Ice Arena

The U-M Ice Hockey team is facing off against Michigan State inside Yost Ice Arena on February 8th. To get more details and see the full schedule, click here.

 

Curling Fest | Chelsea

February 8 – 10 | Chelsea Lanes Parking Lot

Sponsored by our very own Rick Taylor, Curling Fest 2019 is an entire weekend of curling fun for beginners and experienced competitors alike! Team tournaments are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday morning to compete for the Chelsea Curling Cup. And if you’re not playing, spectating is free. You can enjoy music, beer, food, hot cocoa and more—all in a heated tent!

 

 

Food + Drink

 

Gluten Free WinterFest | Ann Arbor

February 2, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

Gluten Free WinterFest is a one-day food festival that celebrates local makers in a completely celiac safe environment. Attractions include food from eight restaurants, caterers and food trucks, exhibits from local businesses, a shopping bazaar, live music, entertainment for kids, prizes and more. For more information, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

Victorian Valentine Tea | Ann Arbor

February 9 – 10 | Kempf House Museum

Inside the Kempf House Museum, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with an elegant, traditional tea complete with both sweet and savory offerings. This year, Victorian Valentine Tea will have two seatings: one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Period attire is welcome, tickets are between $25 and $30, and you can make your reservations through February 4th by calling (734) 994-4898.

 

Artini | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6:30 – 10 p.m. | Ann Arbor Art Center and other locations

This fundraising event brings together the town’s best bars, restaurants and local martini connoisseurs for an evening of mixology fun. Benefitting the Ann Arbor Art Center, Artini guests will visit with about 10 local businesses, including The Pretzel Bell, Ann Arbor Distilling Company, The Grotto and Bløm Meadworks, at various locations. Then, text in to vote for the People’s Choice Award. The Juror’s Choice Award will be decided by a panel of hand-selected jurors that are unaffiliated with the participating venues. Ticket prices are $65 each and attendees must be 21 years or older. For more info, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

 

Enjoy!

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Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2019 in Ann Arbor

New Year's Eve events Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 2019

This December 31st, we get to salute 2018 and welcome 2019, but not before we dance, toast and celebrate right here in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Saline. This year’s event lineup includes everything from live concerts and parties to a New Orleans-themed dinner and even an intense dance getaway.

Keep reading to start planning your NYE festivities and don’t miss the free New Year’s Day race with Ann Arbor Running Company and Mighty Good Coffee!

 

 

Michigan Kizomba Fusion Winterfest | Ypsilanti

December 27, 6 p.m. – January 1, 6 a.m. | The Dance Pavilion

Beginning well before New Year’s Eve night, this celebration is a three-in-one event that includes a 24-hour Kizomba dance marathon, 12 hours of intensive workshops and a New Year’s Eve gala on December 31st. Over the course of five days, participants enjoy holiday festivities and outings, in addition to intense dance training. For full details, click here.

 

New Orleans NYE Party | Ann Arbor

December 31, 6:15 – 9:15 p.m. | Detroit Street Filling Station

Detroit Street Filling Station, one of Ann Arbor’s favorite plant-based eateries, is hosting a New Orleans-themed dinner party complete with jazz, beignets, po’boys and gumbo. For more information, RSVP to the Facebook event.

 

NYE with Pete Siers | Ann Arbor

December 31, 7 – 10 p.m. | Kerrytown Concert House

Jazz drummer Pete Siers is coming to Kerrytown Concert House with several special guests to ring in the new year. Tickets range in price from just $10 to $45 and you can buy yours online here.

 

New Beers Eve at HopCat A2 | Ann Arbor

December 31, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. | HopCat Ann Arbor

New Year's Eve events Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 2019

Photo courtesy of HopCat Ann Arbor

HopCat is celebrating the new year the only way they know how: with some of Michigan’s best craft beer! From 7 to 11 p.m., HopCat will release five beverages from Saugatuck Brewing Company, Short’s Brewing Company, Witch’s Hat Brewing Company, Brewery Vivant and Odd Side Ales. At midnight, the celebration will hit its peak with the release of glitter cider from Blake’s Hard Cider Co.

 

New Year’s Eve Improv Show | Ann Arbor

December 31, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. | Pointless Brewery & Theatre

If you like craft beer and improvisational comedy, Pointless Brewery & Theatre is the perfect place for you all year long. On New Year’s Eve, they’re putting on two back to back shows complete with live music, stories from special guests and, of course, improv! For more information and tickets, check out the event calendar here.

 

K-von at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase | Ann Arbor

December 31, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. | Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase

Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase is hosting a special event on New Year’s Eve with comedian K-von. They’ll be hosting two back to back stand-up shows, and the 10:30 p.m. show includes party favors and a complimentary glass of­ champagne at midnight.

 

Stormy Chromer New Year’s Eve Jam | Ann Arbor

December 31, 8 p.m. | Blind Pig

Blind Pig is hosting a rocking New Year’s Eve party on December 31st filled with local talent, Stormy Chromer, Chirp and Biomassive. And Stormy Chromer and Chirp are reuniting on stage for the first time since last New Year’s Eve! Tickets are $15 and the show is 18 years and over.

 

Ring in the New Year with Depot Town Big Band | Saline

December 31, 8:30 p.m. | Tri-County Sportsmen’s League

Tri-County Sportsmen’s League is joining forces with Depot Town Big Band so you can dance the night away and toast the new year. Tickets are $65 per person and include two drinks, hors-d’oeuvres, desserts and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. To find out where you can purchase tickets, check out the flyer here.

 

Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Party with Wishing Well | Ann Arbor

December 31, 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. | Bel-Mark Lanes

New Year's Eve events Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 2019

Photo courtesy of Bel-Mark Lanes

Classic rock band Wishing Well is coming to Bel-Mark Lanes for a family-friendly event on New Year’s Eve. The band will be playing in the lounge and the lanes will be open for bowling! For more information on kid time, family time and party time, check out the website here

 

Hullabaloo & Jive Colossus NYE Bash | Ann Arbor

December 31, 9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. | Club Above

Local bands Hullabaloo and Jive Colossus are joining forces at Club Above on December 31st for a spectacular live show to ring in the new year. For event updates, RSVP on Facebook.

 

The Cellar Cats NYE Bash at the Grotto | Ann Arbor

December 31, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. | Zal Gaz Grotto

The Cellar Cats are taking the stage at Zal Gaz Grotto beginning at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. For just a $10 cover at the door, you can enjoy a night of dancing, live music, access to The Grotto’s bar menu, and fun all the way through midnight.

 

Mighty Good New Years Day Run | Ann Arbor

January 1, 9 a.m. | Mighty Good Coffee

New Year's Eve events Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 2019

Photo courtesy of Mighty Good Coffee

Ann Arbor Running Company and Mighty Good Coffee are joining forces on New Year’s Day for a family-friendly run beginning at the coffee house and continuing on an out and back course on the B2B trail so you can run as far or as short as you’d like. To sign up for this free run, click here.

 

Happy New Year!

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The 10 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend January 2019

events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

The new year brings both new happenings and returning annual events—all worth attending! This January, our event guide features concerts, live shows, showcases, animal encounters, charity events, winter races and more.

Keep reading to learn more, fill your calendar and purchase your tickets where necessary. But don’t worry! If you added budgeting to your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’ll find several free events, too. 

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

ARTS + CULTURE

 

50 First Jokes at the Ark | Ann Arbor

January 2, 8 p.m. | The Ark

Art and culture events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

The Ark is welcoming 2019 with comedy. Join the fun as 50 stand up comedians tell their first jokes of the year!

 

The Great Tamer | Ann Arbor

January 18 – 19, 8 p.m. | Power Center

Recommended for guests 16 years and above, The Great Tamer is a visual arts performance unlike any other. Greek artist Dimitris Papaioannou, who also created the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, has created a show that explores the human life as a journey. It has resulted in a surreal masterpiece that has now been viewed all over the world. For more information, click here.

 

A2 Tech Film Showcase | Ann Arbor

January 18, 5 – 9 p.m. | Michigan Theater

The A2 Tech Film Showcase is one evening of film and discussion that explores the consequences of technology. Taking place in Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater, the event includes screenings of nine short films, food and refreshments, and a panel discussion with the filmmakers. Tickets are free but you can register here.

 

Creatures of the Night 2019 | Ann Arbor

January 18 and 25, 7 – 9 p.m. | The Creature Conservancy

Designed specifically for guests 18 years and over, Creatures of the Night is an event at The Creature Conservancy that allows you to meet and learn about animals that are primarily active at night, including porcupines, a kangaroo, a sloth and bats. For more information, click here.

 

Collage Concert | Ann Arbor

January 19, 8 p.m. | Hill Auditorium

Collage Concert is a tradition that brings together an incredible range of University of Michigan ensembles and programs for one riveting work played nonstop. The program features songs and performances one after the other without pause, including solos, 17th-century music, jazz, theatre monologues and choir performances.

 

Ann Arbor Folk Festival | Ann Arbor

January 25 – 26, various times | Hill Auditorium

Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a fundraiser for The Ark, began in 1977 and is now one of Ann Arbor’s most anticipated events. Over the course of two days, Hill Auditorium will host the likes of Gregory Alan Isakov, Rufus Wainwright, Haley Heynderickx, Brandi Carlile and more. Tickets are available for single nights, or both, and you can get more information here.  

 

 

COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS

 

Puppies & Pints | Ann Arbor

January 10, 6 – 8 p.m. | Hyatt Place Ann Arbor

Community events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor is teaming up with Wolverine State Brewing Co. and The Devoted Barn for a food, craft beer and puppy-filled event. Your $35 ticket includes a tasting flight of four Wolverine State beers, a complimentary pint of your choice, food pairings from Hyatt Place, play time with puppies from The Devoted Barn, the opportunity to adopt a puppy, tours of the hotel, and a parting gift. Ticket proceeds benefit The Devoted Barn of Newport and you can buy yours here.

 

 

SPORTS

 

Mighty Good New Years Day Run | Ann Arbor

January 1, 9 a.m. | Mighty Good Coffee

running sports events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

Ann Arbor Running Company and Mighty Good Coffee are joining forces on New Year’s Day for a family-friendly run beginning at the coffee house and continuing on an out-and-back course on the B2B trail so you can run as far or as short as you’d like. To sign up for this free run, click here.

 

Frosty Freestyle & Krazy Klassic | Brighton

January 12 – 13, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Huron Meadows Metropark

Just a quick drive north of Ann Arbor, Epic Races, Huron Meadows Metropark and Team NordicSkiRacer are teaming up to host the Frosty Freestyle & Krazy Klassic. The two-day event offers cross-country races with distances perfect for first-time skiers and experienced Nordic competitors alike. For more details and registration, click here.

 

 

FOOD + DRINK

 

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week | Ann Arbor

January 13 – 18, various times | Ann Arbor

Food and drink events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week is a biannual event hosted by Main Street Area Association. The event brings together upwards of 50 restaurants all over town, which offer special lunch and/or dinner menus for a fixed price. It’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself to some of our town’s best local eats! Check out the winter menus here.

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Where to See Santa in the Ann Arbor Area this Holiday Season

where to see Santa in Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

From Ann Arbor to Dexter and all the way to Northville—Southeast Michigan knows how to welcome Santa Claus! With events and workshops popping up right after Thanksgiving and through Christmas Eve, you and your family will have plenty of opportunities to share your wish lists in person this holiday season.  

We rounded up the events, the brunches and the malls that will be hosting Father Christmas himself. Mark your calendars, check for registration or ticket requirements, and get those wish lists and festive sweaters ready!

 

Briarwood Mall | Ann Arbor

100 Briarwood Cir | November 16 – December 24 | Event info

From mid-November through Christmas Eve, Santa and his shop will be set up in Briarwood Mall every single day. Hours vary each day and there are FastPass options to skip the line. For more information, click here.

 

Three Cedars Farm | Northville

7897 Six Mile Rd | November 23 – December 16 | Event info

The farm fun at Three Cedars doesn’t stop after Halloween. Country Christmas turns the farm into a winter wonderland complete with Christmas trees, wreaths, hot cocoa, roping and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The farm will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Click here for hours.

 

Southern Michigan Railroad | Clinton  

301 W Bartlett St | December 3 – 4 | Event info

where to see Santa in Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

Southern Michigan Railroad keeps this event small and inexpensive so the community’s kids can have a spectacular holiday experience. This December, hop on the train and enjoy a ride to meet Santa himself. From there, the train will take you back to your car for a 30 minute round trip. Book online today before tickets sell out and be sure to bring a toy for Toys for Tots!

 

Saline Rec Center | Saline

1866 Woodland Dr E | December 6 | Event info

The City of Saline is hosting three PJ’s & Stories with Santa events on December 6th. For just $8, kids in their coziest pajamas can enjoy sing-a-longs, crafts, photo opportunities, stories, and treats like milk, cookies and hot chocolate. Pre-register online here.

 

Maybury Farm | Northville  

50165 Eight Mile Rd | December 8 – 9 and 15 – 16 | Event info

Situated on 85 acres, this Northville farm has been a landmark in the community for more than 100 years. Here, children and families can experience the joy of animals, agriculture, farmland and forests year-round. Each December, the farm celebrates the season with Santa Visits. Available two weekends in December, families can come to the Holiday Open House to enjoy delicious treats like hot cocoa and cider, shop in the General Store, see the farm in the snow and meet Santa. There is no admission charge for this event but donations are appreciated.

 

Hudson Mills Metropark | Dexter

8801 N Territorial Rd | December 9 | Event info

where to see Santa in Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

The two Santa Central events at Hudson Mills Metropark on December 9th allow you and your family to meet Santa and take photos with your own camera. Then, you can all enjoy a hayride and make seasonal crafts to take home. For pre-registration information, click here.

 

Matthaei Botanical Gardens | Ann Arbor

1800 N Dixboro Rd | December 15 | Event info

Each year, Father Christmas himself comes to Matthaei Botanical Gardens for one day. A Visit with Father Christmas allows parents, kids, individuals and families to come to the gardens for free and get a great, festive photo with Santa.

 

Kensington Hotel | Ann Arbor

3500 S State St | December 15 | Event info

This year, Brunch with Santa is happening at Kensington Hotel on December 15th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Past events have included omelet stations, vegetarian options like the Michigan Apple Cherry Salad, potatoes, a dessert bar, and the always popular waffle and pancake topping bar.

 

Polo Fields Country Club | Ann Arbor

5200 Polo Fields Dr | December 16 | Event info

where to see Santa in Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on December 16th, guests to Polo Fields Country Club can eat, drink, visit and take photos with Santa! Prices are $36 for adults, $16 for children between 3 and 12, and free for children two years and younger. To see the menu, click here, and call (734) 998-1555 to make reservations.

 

Kerrytown Market & Shops | Ann Arbor

407 N 5th Ave | December 22 | Event info

In Kerrytown, you can visit Santa for free from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 22nd! They’re also hosting a Food Gatherers Can Drive so bring a can of food to donate, too.

 

Happy holidays!  

If you know of a place in the Ann Arbor area where we can see Santa, let us know in the comments below.

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25+ Holiday Events in the Ann Arbor Area 2018

Ann Arbor Michigan holiday Christmas events 2018

The holidays in Ann Arbor kick off with lighting ceremonies, parades and shopping events, then continue throughout the season with themed classes, concerts, plays, screenings and more. To help you join the fun this year, we rounded up more than 25 events where you can shop local holiday gifts, meet Santa, enjoy carriage rides, and even get your blood pumping with a festive 5k!

 

Holiday Art Shop | Ann Arbor

November 16 – December 31 | Ann Arbor Art Center

Ann Arbor Art Center Holiday Gift Shop Christmas events 2018

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

The Ann Arbor Art Center’s annual Holiday Art Shop gives you the opportunity to support a local organization and local artists when you’re shopping for gifts this season. Located in the gallery shop and open every day of the week, you’ll find one-of-a-kind creations and amazing art pieces.

 

Tree Lighting Festival | Ann Arbor

November 25, 5 – 6 p.m. | Kerrytown Market & Shops

Kerrytown kicks off the holiday season with the Tree Lighting Festival each year. Join them in the courtyard for caroling, lights and candle luminaries, and RSVP to the event on Facebook for updates.

 

Tree Lighting Ceremony | Saline

November 27, 6 – 7 p.m. | KeyBank

The holidays in Saline begin November 27th right downtown in front of KeyBank. Additional fun includes tree decorating, hot cocoa, cookies and holiday sing-a-longs!

 

Fancy Schmancy Holiday Cookies 2018 | Ann Arbor

November 28 – December 24 | Zingerman’s Bakehouse

The most popular event from Zingerman’s Bakehouse is back for the 2018 holiday season! Fancy Schmancy Holiday Cookies teaches participants how to make the best cookie creations using whole grains, local ingredients and freshly milled flours. There are 70 classes through Christmas Eve and all the spots are currently sold out, but if you sign up for the waitlist, you may be able to snag an opening in the event of a cancellation.

Other holiday-themed events with Zingerman’s includes Holiday Sweet Breads, Buche de Noel and Ari’s Greatest Hits Of 2018, and all of these have multiple dates and classes.

 

Hometown Holiday | Chelsea

November 30 – December 1 | Various locations  

In Chelsea, the holiday kick-off lasts an entire weekend! The activities start with Santa lighting the Christmas tree at Pierce Park on Friday night and end with a holiday carol concert featuring singing groups from the churches of Chelsea on Sunday evening. Highlights throughout the weekend include Santa’s Workshop, gingerbread house decorating, the annual Light Parade, and more. To see the full activity schedule, click here.

 

Kerrytown KindleFest | Ann Arbor

November 30, 4 – 10 p.m. | Ann Arbor Farmers Market

Coinciding with Midnight Madness, Kerrytown KindleFest is Ann Arbor’s version of the German tradition Christkindlmarkt. In the same location as the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, you’ll find artisans, farmers and retailers selling their holiday wares plus traditional food like pretzels, bratwursts, roasted nuts, Glühwein (a mulled wine) and beer. You can shop Kerrytown retail businesses which will be open late then grab a spot around a fire pit for warmth and s’mores!

 

Moonlight Madness | Ann Arbor

November 30, 6 p.m. – close | State Street District

During Main Street Ann Arbor’s Midnight Madness and Kerrytown Kindlefest, be sure to head over to State Street District, too! Businesses in the area will be offering amazing deals as they gear up for the holidays, including Bivouac, The M Den, The Original Cottage Inn and more.

 

Midnight Madness | Ann Arbor

November 30, 7 – 9 p.m. | Main Street Ann Arbor

Midnight Madness Main Street Ann Arbor holiday Christmas events 2018

Photo courtesy of Main Street Area Association

Just in time for holiday shopping season, downtown Ann Arbor businesses stay open late for one of our community’s favorite shopping events. Main Street Ann Arbor’s Midnight Madness includes holiday specials inside shops and restaurants, as well as visits by Santa Claus and Miss Washtenaw County as well as performances by various outdoor entertainers.

 

Christmas in the Village | Manchester

November 30 – December 1 | Downtown Manchester  

An amazing hometown celebration every year, Manchester’s Christmas in the Village includes a Christmas parade, business decorating and tree decorating contests, carriage rides, a scavenger hunt, cookie sale, home tour, pop-up market, pajama movie party and more! Follow the team on Facebook for updates.

 

A Manor Christmas at Concordia University | Ann Arbor  

November 30 – December 2 | Concordia University

One of Ann Arbor’s favorite Christmas celebrations kicks off on November 30th this year. A Manor Christmas is another local Christkindlmarkt, featuring tours of the historic Earhart mansion decorated for Christmas by professional designers, a unique Festival of Trees, premium artificial pre-lit trees for sale and, of course, the European-style Christmas market. Tickets are between $5 and $7 and you can buy them online here.

 

Christmas at the Mansion | Dexter

November 30 – December 2 | Gordon Hall  

Hosted by Dexter Area Historical Society, the 2018 Christmas at the Mansion events last all weekend and include a special event on Friday, tours of Gordon Hall on Saturday, and a special tea on Sunday. Whether you’re volunteering or just enjoying the attractions, you’re welcome at the Mansion this season!

 

The Elves and the Schumachers | Ann Arbor

November 30 – December 30 | Theatre NOVA

Each year, Theatre Nova puts on a new holiday-themed play for the holidays. Created by the same team behind The Year Without a Panto Claus and Sugar Plum Panto, this year’s production is a mash-up of musical comedy, slapstick, vaudeville and fun. See all the showtimes and buy your tickets here.

 

The 22nd Annual Holiday Home Tour & Taste of Ypsilanti | Ypsilanti

December 1, 5 – 11 p.m. | Various locations  

Ypsilanti Home Tour holiday Christmas events 2018

Image courtesy of Just Curious, LLC via Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels

Hosted by Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, the annual Holiday Home Tour explores some of the most historic homes in our community and is the unofficial kick-off to the holidays in Ypsi. The 2018 event includes an inside look at five homes in our community and is followed by the Afterglow Reception, complete with local drinks, appetizers and desserts, live music and a silent auction. Get more information and purchase your tickets here.

 

Holiday Bazaar at the Museum | Dexter

December 1 | Dexter Area Museum

Hosted by Dexter Area Historical Society during the same weekend as Christmas at the Mansion, you’re invited to the annual Holiday Bazaar at the Museum. There, you can shop handcrafted holiday decorations, wreaths, unique gifts, hand-knit apparel, toys, gifts for pets, and the Guild’s signature scrubbies. And be sure to grab something from the bake sale!

 

The 43rd Annual Christmas Parade | Saline

December 1, 5:30 – 9 p.m. | Downtown Saline

Saline’s holiday fun continues after the tree lighting on November 27th with the 43rd Annual Christmas Parade. The parade itself includes more than 100 floats, animals, dancers, musicians and even a hot air balloon. Guests can also see Santa himself in Downtown Saline!

 

Ebird & Friends Holiday Show | Ann Arbor

December 6 – 8 | The Ark

This holiday show has been an Ann Arbor tradition since it began in 2007. Now, each year in December, The Ragbirds present a collaborative musical production suitable for the whole family. In 2018, Erin Zindle—known by her stage name, EBird—is joining the fun for four shows of vocals, fiddles, horns, bagpipes, guitars and instruments from all over the world.

 

Big Little Holiday Party | Ypsilanti

December 7, 5:30 – 11:30 p.m. | Marriott Ann Arbor Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest

This concert and holiday party invites you to an elegant setting complete with a gourmet dinner buffet, open bar and live entertainment from Your Generation in Concert. Different price packages include dinner and the concert, the concert only, band meet and greets, and more. Get all the info here.

 

Holiday Hustle | Dexter

December 8, 4 p.m. | Monument Park  

Holiday Hustle 5k holiday Christmas events 2018

Photo courtesy of Robert Bowden Photography via RF Events – Holiday Hustle 5K & 1 Mile

This one-mile fun run and 5k in Dexter has become one of our favorite family traditions in the area. The hilly dash through the community allows participants to take in the neighborhood light displays and run in festive costume and lights, too! Five dollars from each registration will be donated to local charities and race day participants can bring non-perishable food items to receive free raffle tickets.

For more events, all year long, check out the RF Events race calendar.

 

Treasure Trail to Santa | Saline

December 8, 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Busch’s Shopping Center

Treasure Trail to Santa invites kids and their families to visit Santa and take photos, explore the Busch’s Shopping Center, enjoy treats and free carriage rides, and more. Admission is free, but be sure to dress for the weather!

 

Santa Central | Dexter

December 9, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. | Hudson Mills Metropark Activity Center

The two Santa Central events at Hudson Mills Metropark allow you and your family to meet Santa and take photos with your own camera. Then, you can all enjoy a hayride and make seasonal crafts to take home. For pre-registration information, click here.

 

DIYpsi Holiday Market | Ypsilanti

December 8 – 9 | Riverside Arts Center

DIYpsi holiday craft fair Christmas events 2018 Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Heather Nash Photography via DIYpsi; art by Diosa de la Luna

DIYpsi is a handmade art fair that takes place in Ypsilanti’s business districts once each summer and once each winter. Their holiday market this year will feature 90 vendors at Riverside Arts Center. Come to shop local and enjoy the community’s favorite indie art fair!

 

The Weepies Holiday Acoustic Duo | Ann Arbor

December 10, 8 p.m. | The Ark

It’s been several years since The Weepies played in Ann Arbor, and they’re returning this holiday season for a festive acoustic show a The Ark! Get more details and buy your tickets here.

 

Holiday Pops | Ann Arbor

December 14, 8 – 10 p.m. | Hill Auditorium

This Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra tradition returns to Hill Auditorium on December 14th. The community’s favorite choruses will come together with orchestral instruments to present all our favorite classical and pop melodies of the season. And Santa may even make an appearance!

 

The Nutcracker | Ann Arbor

December 15, 6:30 p.m. | Michigan Theater

Presented by the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet and the Michigan Classical Ballet, The Nutcracker is coming to Michigan Theater this holiday season. The live show will feature some of Michigan’s best ballet students alongside international professional ballet dancers as guest artists.

 

The Bolshoi Theater Live in HD: The Nutcracker | Ann Arbor

December 23, 2 p.m. | Michigan Theater

Part of the world-renowned National Theatre Live series, The Bolshoi Theater’s production of The Nutcracker will be screened at the Michigan Theater right before Christmas this year. Join the fun for two full hours or professional performance and festive fun on screen.

 

Happy holidays!

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10 Ann Arbor Area Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving Day 2018

Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a time for our families to come together to share a meal inside our homes. But we don’t all have traditional families and that’s okay! If you’re on the hunt for places to dine out where you can get a turkey dinner minus the clean-up, or where you can enjoy some of Ann Arbor’s best Chinese food, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking in advance, check out Zingerman’s Roadhouse Thanksgiving To-Go where you can take home a full family feast November 20th, 21st and 23rd. Their Coffee Spiced Smoked Turkey was named “the greatest turkey recipe in the history of Thanksgiving” by Esquire.

And if you’re looking for food on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, keep reading! All of these restaurants have been confirmed, but we provided their phone numbers so you can double check and make your reservations. 

 

Carlyle Grill | Ann Arbor

3660 Jackson Rd | Facebook | (734) 213-9800

Carlyle Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Photo courtesy of Carlyle Grill

Ann Arbor’s Carlyle Grill is driven by comfort—from the atmosphere to the menu filled with homestyle dishes made with regional ingredients. Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the team is serving up hand-carved turkey, Sparrow’s Market prime rib, acorn squash stuffed with kale risotto, Faroe Island salmon, family-style sides, and a dessert of pumpkin or pecan pie. For all the details and to make your reservations, click here.

 

Gandy Dancer | Ann Arbor

401 Depot St | Facebook | (734) 769-0592

Famous for seafood, steaks and pasta dishes, Gandy Dancer is located in the beautifully restored 1886 Michigan Central Depot, making it the ideal setting for elegance, food and celebration. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect combination for Thanksgiving?

 

Haab’s | Ypsilanti

18 W Michigan Ave | Facebook | (734) 483-8200

Haab’s has been serving the Ypsilanti community since they opened their doors in 1934. When it opened way back then, The Haab Brothers’ Café was the first establishment in Washtenaw County where food was the primary draw. And today, everyone is still understandably crazy about the food. In addition to being open on Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Haab’s serves a killer Grilled Turkey Reuben throughout the year!

 

Holiday’s Restaurant | Ann Arbor

2080 W Stadium Blvd | Facebook | (734) 668-1292

In keeping with their name, Holiday’s is open 365 days a year and they’re open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on holidays. Their menus cover everything from breakfast to lunch and pancakes to ribeye, so if you’re dining out this Thanksgiving, you can come for breakfast and lunch! When you do, be sure to order something from the dessert menu (like Gourmet Carrot Cake or pumpkin pie).

 

Lucky Kitchen | Ann Arbor

1753 Plymouth Rd + 2370 S Wayne Rd | Facebook | (734) 357-8823

Consistently named as Ann Arbor’s best place for Chinese food, Lucky Kitchen has been serving our community since 1993. They also offer catering and are a University of Michigan Strategic Supplier for catering needs, and they make food for the Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels Asian Menu. You can dine in with them at both locations during the holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

 

Mediterrano | Ann Arbor

2900 S State St | Facebook | (734) 332-9700

Mediterrano Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Photo courtesy of Mediterrano

Mediterrano is the Carlyle Grill’s sister restaurant serving up flavors inspired by 14 different countries. Driven by the belief that the Mediterranean diet is inherently nutritious, they source their meats and produce from local farmers and purveyors as much as possible.

On Thanksgiving Day, they’re turning that local sensibility and Mediterranean inspiration into a festive family dinner. Open from 12 to 7 p.m., they’re serving Sliced Turkey Breast, Turkey Leg Confit, Scottish Salmon, Prime Rib, Vegetarian Paella and an impressive lineup of family-style sides. To see them all and get more details, click here.

 

The Original Cottage Inn | Ann Arbor

512 E William St | Facebook | (734) 663-3379

Back in 1948 when it opened, The Original Cottage Inn was Ann Arbor’s first restaurant to serve pizza. Today, they still serve some of the best pies in town as well as classic American, Italian and Greek cuisine. On Thanksgiving, you won’t find their regular menu, but you will find a restaurant filled with volunteers to continue an Ann Arbor tradition that has been going strong for more than 30 years. Each year on Thanksgiving Day, Cottage Inn opens its doors to the impoverished people and families in our community to enjoy a free meal that includes roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies and seasonal fall favorites for dessert. If you’d like to volunteer, call the restaurant at (734) 663-3379.

 

The Quarter Bistro & Tavern | Ann Arbor

300 S Maple Rd | Facebook | (734) 929-9200

The Quarter is the only place in Ann Arbor where you can get European-inspired, bistro-style dining with a Creole twist. Driven by the rich heritage of New Orleans cooking, their menu of homemade dishes includes things like Bronzed Stuffed Chicken with Gumbo Sauce, Catfish and Shrimp, Cajun Crawfish Flat Bread and different specials every week.

On Thanksgiving Day, The Quarter celebrates the holiday with their special event, Thanksgiving Supper. Follow the team on Facebook for event updates.

 

Weber’s Restaurant | Ann Arbor

3050 Jackson Ave | Facebook | (734) 665-3636

Weber’s has been serving the people and families of Ann Arbor since 1937 and the restaurant has become a go-to for prime rib, live Maine lobster and house-made desserts. For Thanksgiving 2018, they’re offering four different dining options. Dinner in the dining room features a special holiday menu of individual turkey dinners, prime rib, fresh seafood, roast duck and more. You can also take complete Thanksgiving dinners to go or enjoy the family-style dinner at Weber’s, which is a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings to feed parties of four or more. To see all the options and make your reservation, click here.

 

5ive Restaurant At The Inn At St. John’s | Plymouth

44045 Five Mile Road | Facebook | (734) 357-5700

Located about 30 minutes outside of Ann Arbor in Plymouth, 5ive has become a destination steakhouse that offers an impressive suite of bourbons and wines from around the world and hand-cut steaks that are chosen from the top 2% of grain- and grass-fed beef in the world. The menu covers everything from breakfast and brunch to pub grub and desserts (check out the Snickerdoodle Cheesecake). On Thanksgiving Day, they’ll be offering a special holiday menu in the dining room for anyone hoping to celebrate outside of their home kitchen. Call in advance to make reservations.

 

Want to add to the list?

If you know of a restaurant in the Ann Arbor area that will be open on Thanksgiving Day, tell us about it in the comments below.

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