Enjoy the Holidays this Christmas Season

Big, Bright Light Show in Rochester

The holidays are a busy time. Many are working longer hours, shopping more, and finishing the semester at school – the list is long. We all need a break from the action to enjoy the holidays. This time of year offers us a chance to take part in the holiday magic with bright lights, special events, and festive festivals. The Michigan Festivals and Events Association is “Your source for pure Michigan fun!” Here are a few highlights for the holidays: Big, Bright Light Show The … [Read more...]

Halloween Fun Time

Crossroads Village Halloween

Cider mills, haunted houses and corn mazes are fun, but are you looking for something else? Here are a couple different Halloween themed activities for all ages going on this weekend. Waterford Oaks BMX Halloween Race Operated by Oakland County Parks and Recreation, the Waterford BMX (bicycle motocross) runs races on Saturday mornings from May until October. All ages, both males and females, use manual power to maneuver over jumps, banked corners and other obstacles with a pedal … [Read more...]

Rochester Artist Pays Tribute to Fallen Soldier with ArtPrize entry

2014 ArtPrize entry by Larry Binkowski - photo by Michael Dwyer

Artist Larry Binkowski Larry graduated from Rochester High School in 1970 and attended Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills. He took art classes with long-time instructor, Ray Katz. However, for the most part, Larry is a self-taught sculptor, now living in Auburn Hills. Figurative and portrait sculpting in the public, as well as the private sector, is where Binkowski’s career began. That moved into working on product prototypes for a large toy company, then miniature figures for … [Read more...]

Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part Two

Go to Dinner with People you Meet while Traveling - photo by Michael Dwyer

Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part Two Read Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part One First How to Book a Hostel  Hostels come in all shapes and sizes, new and old, here and there. I like to use “HI” hostels. Hostelling International hostels are affiliates of a worldwide organization in 90 countries featuring over 4,000 hostels. You’ll need to buy a membership card ($28.00 annually) before you travel. However, there are many non-affiliated hostels around the world that work … [Read more...]

Hostelling for the Not-So-Young

Visitors check-in at the Hostel in The Loop Area of Chicago - photo by Michael Dwyer

Maybe your friend is in Australia right now? Perhaps your daughter is backpacking Europe this summer before she starts college? Or, maybe your parents are driving the western states coastline? Chances are, hostels may be one their accommodation choices and it doesn't matter what their age is ... Hostelling for the Not-So-Young (part one) Running around the world with a backpack, jumping on trains and buses, and sleeping in hostels may seem like an adventure for college students on … [Read more...]

Thoroughbred Racing Returns to Hazel Park

Thoroughbred Horses Now Racing at Hazel Park Raceway

Thoroughbreds Return to Hazel Park Live Thoroughbred racing returns to Hazel Park Raceway after being absent for 30 years. “Once the site where many of the nation’s top horses and horsemen competed, plans are to restore the excitement and grandeur of Thoroughbred racing as in years past,” stated the welcome page of the opening weekend program at Hazel Park Raceway. The Michigan Gaming Control Board granted a five-year contract to Hazel Park Raceway to run Thoroughbreds in the summer. … [Read more...]

Nature Worth the Trip

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When asked why they love it here, Michiganders invariably praise the state's natural beauty. Heck, nature is why we head Up North. It's why folks from other states vacation on the Mitten. Natural beauty, however, is not always where you expect to find it. More than just serving as a backdrop to other activities—four-wheeling, paddling, hiking, etc.—there are natural areas in the state that are fascinating destinations in their own right. They feature rare flora and fauna, interesting … [Read more...]

Go to Muskegon for the Views, Stay for the Food

The Lake House, next door to the Shoreline Inn, is perfect for dinner - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Across the State to Muskegon Muskegon, Michigan is a weekend destination; one or two nights will rejuvenate a family or a couple looking for a nice, close to home, drive-to weekend getaway. “Whatever the season, you feel the lake effect the moment you arrive in Muskegon County. It’s in the way the sun shimmers on the water, the snow falls gently on an upturned palm, and that impossibly happy look on your children’s faces. It’s the feeling you get in Muskegon County,” states the … [Read more...]

Frank Lloyd Wright and His Little Gem

Laurent House at dusk - Photo by Nels Akerlund

My Little Gem Frank Lloyd Wright signed the contract in July of 1949 to build his only structure designed for a person with a disability. Completed three years later, Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent moved into the single-story, Rockford home, decades before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was on the books. Kenneth, paralyzed from the waist down, and his wife Phyllis, reached out to Wright after his tour of duty in the U.S. Navy put him in a wheelchair for life. “To give you an … [Read more...]

Paddle to the Symphony July 12

Enjoying the tunes of the Michigan Philharmonic at the annual Paddle to the Symphony event in Milford - photo by Michael Dwyer

Paddle to the Symphony A long-standing event that has been going on so long, no one seems to remember the first year it began. The Michigan Council of Hostelling International started the fundraiser 20 (or so) years ago when the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed free summer concerts. For the last several years, the Michigan Philharmonic provides the tunes. This year’s event is on Saturday, July 12, and features music from the Beatles. Attendees paddle across Kent Lake at Kensington … [Read more...]