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Pack up the books, sharpen your pencils, and grab an apple for the teacher - school is officially back in session! If you're a parent, it's likely you are either relieved or sad...or a mix of both! September can quickly dissolve into a slew of homework, extracurricular activities, and backpacks as far as the eye can see, but don't forget all the local events here in Grand Rapids. Here are is a quick overview for your convenience.


~ Community events are occurring literally nonstop around the city, from numerous daily brewery and museum tours to weekly free yoga at the Sixth Street Bridge park to more art displays than we could possibly mention. Outdoor movies are shown at no charge every other Friday night, starting on July 6th at 555 Monroe Ave.


~ Not enough arena concerts, you say? Have no fear - the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens run through September, featuring artists such as The Beach Boys, Alabama, Styx, and Air Supply.


~ Got kids? Lucky you! Every day of the month they can play Garden Detective at the Meijer Gardens as well as many other activities. The Grand Rapids Public Library is also hosting Baby Time every Monday at 11am in the downtown branch with stories and music.


~ Quota is sponsoring the 9th Annual Quota Cares Duck Walk and More on Sunday, September 16 at the Mary Free Bed YMCA in Cascade. This is a 5K and a Fun Walk with family and friends to help Quota raise funds for services and hearing equipment for the deaf and hard of hearing - a very worthy cause! There are also free activities for the kids, refreshments, a silent auction, the YMCA Veggie Wagon, YMCA tours, and educational materials.


~ By far one of the most popular and reknowned events in West Michigan, drawing thousands from around the nation, is ArtPrize, running from September 19 - October 7. Our team is volunteering on Friday, September 21 from 10am-noon, so you might spot us if you are downtown then! Bring the kids along on September 30 for Kids Artfest at the Children's Museum, and spend an afternoon exploring the wonderful world of art! Paint, sculpt, draw, design jewelry, enjoy live performances at the stage, meet ArtPrize artists and so much more!


~ Remember, a lot of summer events and activities are still in full swing: farmer's markets, brewery tours, baseball games, live music, and more - plus the beginning of fall favorites like apple picking, bonfires, and hayrides. These are just a few of the reasons we love the Grand Rapids area, and why you will never run out of places to go or things to do!