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UNIQUE SWEET SHOPS & BAKERIES IN GRAND RAPIDS

1/23/2020



Whether satisfying your sweet tooth means picking up a box of hand-dipped truffles or peeling back the parchment on a gourmet cupcake, unique sweet shops from bakeries to chocolate boutiques are sprinkled all throughout the city. Check out a few of our favorites and get ready to sink your teeth into these decadent treats!

Le Bon Macaron — Family-owned French macaron bakery, serving up its colorful, dainty treats inside a cozy, Parisian-inspired cafe in East Hills. Delight in traditional French macarons — in flavors like Chocolate Salted Caramel, Honey Lavender, or Matcha Green Tea — while you sip French press coffee and espresso from the roasters at Rowster Coffee. Or, try a craft ice cream sundae and a French or Italian soda with house-made fruit puree!

MoKAYA — Artisan chocolate boutique whipping up uncommon chocolate goods from truffles to confections, pastries to house-made ice creams and syrups. Try small-batch treats crafted by a chocolatier who studied under a world-renowned pastry chef, and even enjoy a “beer flight” of artisan chocolates and caramels made with the good stuff from some of Grand Rapids’ local craft brewers.

Cakabakery — Inventive, crave-worthy cupcakes served up in signature parchment liners, plus gourmet cheesecakes and cakes by the slice — all in a modern and minimal, yet inviting bake shop. Sample from a lineup of cookies and cake pops that changes daily, and get there early; Cakabakery’s treats fly off the counters of their two West Michigan locations faster than they can cool! Try signature cupcake flavors like Banana Peanut Butter — even gluten-free and vegan options — and grab a box of extras to take home.

Rise Authentic Baking Co. — Vegan bakery whipping up soy-free, gluten-free treats from doughnuts to cupcakes, cookies to cheesecake bars. Find their gourmet creations at over a dozen Grand Rapids coffee shops — from Outside Coffee Co. to Ferris Coffee — and try inventive flavor combinations like Orange Cardamom and Cranberry Clove.

Sweetie-Licious Bake Shoppe — From-scratch, national-award-winning pies with hand-crimped crusts and house-made fillings — served up inside Downtown Market Grand Rapids. Try a baked-fresh-daily pie with seasonal fruit filling or other treats like Choc-o-Bomb Cookies or Terrific Turtle Buttercream Brownies.

Nantucket Baking Co. — Specialty tortes and cheesecakes to fresh pies and pastries, enjoy every decadent treat from the display cases found here, tucked inside Martha’s Vineyard. Fresh, seasonal fruit purees to from-scratch buttercream frostings — each and every detail is crafted in-house. Indulge in options like Chocolate Raspberry Torte or the Kameelian Bar — sweetened condensed milk with hazelnut liquor, coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips, and walnuts, all atop a graham cracker crust!

Love’s Ice Cream & Chocolates — Organic, grass-fed dairy ice cream, vegan gelato, and scratch-made, artisan confections from intentionally sourced ingredients — all crafted in an open kitchen inside Downtown Market Grand Rapids’ Market Hall. Small-batch caramels and toffees to frozen treats, try inventive flavors like Madcap Coffee vegan gelato or Mexican Chile Hot Chocolate dairy ice cream.

The Salted Cupcake — Uncommon cupcakes — some highlighting unexpected savory ingredients — on a menu with six staple flavors and five to seven additional flavors switched up daily. Try their flagship flavor — The Salted Cupcake — or unique, rotating selections from Farmhaus Brunch Cider to Tres Leches and Thai Tea.

Wealthy Street Bakery — Muffins and monkey bread to scones and cinnamon rolls — even breakfast cookies — this family-owned Wealthy Street staple serves up its baked-to-perfection treats and pastries on a rotating menu with monthly features.

Van’s Pastry Shoppe — Traditional Dutch pastry shoppe and a Grand Rapids staple since the 1920s, with baked-fresh-daily goodness from donuts to filled pastries and pecan rolls. 

Sweetland Candies — Fourth-generation confectioner founded in 1919, with shops in Grand Rapids and Downtown Rockford. Truffles to turtles, chocolate seafoam to sea salt caramels, enjoy on-site and grab a gift box to go!

Indoor Winter Fun for Kids in Grand Rapids

1/3/2020

Image result for kids in pool clipart
When the weather outside is more “winter” than “wonderland”, all the hot cocoa promises in the world (even with extra marshmallows) won’t help the kids enjoy playing outside. So, when it’s snowing and blowing and you can’t quite keep them bundled up enough, turn to this list of fun things for kids to do indoors in Grand Rapids!

PLAN ON INDOOR PLAY AREAS

Jester’s Court: West Michigan’s largest indoor entertainment center, made for kids under 12! They’ll love the soft, ouch-free, enclosed jungle gym — plus inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and a Toddler Court for ages three and under.

Craig’s Cruisers: Indoor electric go-karts (and double go-karts), bumper cars, and a trampoline park — not to mention, laser tag, a Ninja Course, and Hologate Virtual Reality.

Catch Air: Inflatable fun zone with giant slides, ball pits, a light-up dance floor for bubble machine glow parties, and an entire play space just for toddlers.

AMP UP THE ADVENTURE

Sky Zone Trampoline Park: A wall-to-wall aerial adventure, featuring everything from a Freestyle Jump Zone to a Foam Zone — even a Toddler Zone. Try their Family Nights on Sundays for extra savings for your crew of four (pizza party included)!

Altitude Trampoline Park: Edge-to-edge trampolines and foam pits, featuring a “dig-down” design that makes the trampolines level to the ground. Try the giant trapeze swing or trampoline basketball!

Grand Rapids Griffins & Grand Rapids Drive: Bring your whole team to root for the home team at a Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game (Oct. – Apr.) or Grand Rapids Drive basketball game (Nov. – Mar.).

MAKE EDUCATIONAL MEMORIES

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum: Playful, hands-on learning space designed for kiddos two to ten, with interactive exhibits like Aunt Daisy’s Farm and the Kidstruction Zone. Watch for free daily programs, too — like Open Paint, Discovery Studio, and Imagination Laboratory.

Grand Rapids Public Museum: Let your kids be curious as they explore this Museum’s many exhibits, then take a spin on the 1928 Spillman Carousel and catch a show inside the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium — like Sesame Street’s “One World, One Sky”.

Grand Rapids Art Museum: Check out a Discovery Pack at the Visitor Services desk to transform the GRAM experience for little ones under 5, with custom-designed activities that enhance motor skills, communication, and, of course, play!

Kent District Library: Find the KDL branch closest to you for events from Family Storytime to Toddler Time — even Rhyme Time Music and Movement!

WARM UP IN THE WATER

GR Kroc Center: An aquatics center with a 28-foot water slide, lazy river, and zero-depth entry area with a play structure. Try the Family Pool & Play Pass to get the whole crew access to this hidden gem all year long!

Goldfish Swim School: Enjoy a 90-degree, shiver-free pool during Family Swim for some tropical fun together, even in the middle of a winter snowstorm!

Homeownership is the Core of the American Dream

3/15/2019

 

Homeownership is a Cornerstone of the American Dream |MyKCM

“The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

The famous quote attributed to Mark Twain can apply to homeownership in the United States today. During the housing bubble of the last decade, the homeownership rate soared to over sixty-nine percent. After the crash, that percentage continued to fall for the next ten years.

That led to speculation that homeownership was no longer seen as a major component of the American Dream. That belief became so widespread that the term “renters’ society” began to be used by some to define American consumers.

However, the latest report by the Census Bureau on homeownership shows that over the last two years, the percentage of homeowners has increased in each of the last eight quarters.

Homeownership is a Cornerstone of the American Dream |MyKCM

Going forward…

It appears the homeownership rate will continue to increase.

The 2019 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile recently released by the National Association of Realtors revealed that 84% of non-owners want to own a home in the future. That percentage increased from 73% earlier last year.

Bottom Line

In the United States, the concept of homeownership as part of the American Dream is very much alive and well.

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