5 Wine Tastings, Classes to Check Out in Genesee County

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Did you know that April is Wine Month in Michigan? Good thing there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate (in moderation) in Flint and Genesee!

In addition to being home to vintners including the Fenton Winery & Brewery and Spicers Orchards & Winery, the region also lays claim to several vino-loving restaurants and establishments. Take, for instance, the following locations that offer wine tastings and classes throughout the year:

  • Cork on Saginaw in Flint regularly hosts wine tastings on and off premises. On April 19, the eatery will offer a class exploring wine’s “quality/price ratio.” Admission is $25 per person by reservation. For more information, call (810) 422-9625 or click here.
  • Special to this month, the Flint Institute of Arts will hosts its 17th Annual From Vine to Wine tasting event on April 16. The event will feature a wide selection of wines, food provided by local restaurants and live entertainment from the Mott Community College Jazz Combo. Tickets start at $100 per person. For details, click here.
  • In addition to the beer and wine tastings held each Saturday, Oliver T’s in Grand Blanc also offers monthly wine classes, priced at $25 per person. Upcoming themes include Modern Portugal (April 21) and Main Street vs. Wall Street (May 19), a blind tasting where you’re the judge. To learn more, call 810-695-6550 or click here.
  • Redwood Steakhouse & Brewery in Flint Township hosts wine tastings the fourth Monday of each Monday. Admission is $25 per person and includes four wines paired with food courses. The April tasting will meet early this month (April 18) and will features pairings such as Mahi Mahi with shrimp and vanilla sauce with Murrieta’s Well The Whip. For more info, call 810-233-8000 or click here.
  • Signature Chop House in Flushing offers wine tastings on the last Thursday of each month. Tickets are $50 per person and include five wines paired with five courses. To learn more, call 810-867-4319 or click here.

What else is going on in Flint and Genesee County? Click here to find out.

Flint’s Downtown Chili Cook-Off: By the Numbers

Flint DDA 2016 Chili cookoff (1)

This Saturday, several of Flint’s downtown eateries will convene outside the Flint Farmers’ Market for the Flint DDA’s Downtown Chili Cook-Off. The restaurants – vying for the title of Flint’s best chili – will begin passing out free samples to the public at 1 p.m.

“This is a great way to promote our downtown restaurants,” says Chris Everson, General Manager of the Flint DDA. “Hopefully, (attendees) will discover a restaurant they haven’t been to before.”

While the event runs to 3 p.m., Everson recommends arriving sooner rather than later. After all, it’s not uncommon for attendees to return for seconds (or even thirds) once they find a chili they like.

Ice carvers from ICON Ice will also be on-site throughout the afternoon.

Looking for some key facts about the cook-off? Check out these key numbers:

4: Years since the chili cook-off first kicked off. It was originally part of the Fire & Ice Festival.

4: Ounces in a sample serving.

5: Gallons of chili to be made by each contender.

12: Restaurants competing in this year’s event (although Everson notes that the list keeps on growing). Thus far, the lineup includes: 501 Bar & Grill (2015 winner), Blackstone’s, Café Rhema, Churchill’s Foods & Spirits, Cork on Saginaw, The Flint Crepe Co., Hoffman’s Chop Shop, The Lunch Studio, Steady Eddy’s Cafe, Tenacity Brewing, The Torch Bar & Grill and Vehicle City Tacos.

200-400: People expected to attend this year’s outdoor event.

For more information about the cook-off, visit www.flinttown.com or click here.

See What’s Happening In and Around Flint & Genesee for the Week of January 25-31

Information and dates are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead to confirm.

Events

January 25: “Harlem Globetrotters” at Dort Event Center, 3501 Lapeer Road, Flint * (810) 744-0580 * dorteventcenter.com

  • (Shows runs 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) Come out and enjoy watching the Harlem Globetrotters as they perform their hilarious antics and amazing basketball skills. This exhibition basketball team combines athleticism, theater and comedy that will entertain the whole family.

January 28: Flint’s Monthly “JazzWalk”, Flint’s Downtown Entertainment District * (810) 238-ARTS * geneseefun.com

  • (Event runs 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.) Stroll Flint’s numerous clubs while listening to highly talented Jazz musicians. A food menu is available at most locations. Just look for the “Jazz Walk” sign in front of participating Flint hotspots.

January 29: “Owl Prowl” at For-Mar Nature Preserve, 2142 N. Genesee Road, Burton * (810) 789-8567 * geneseecountyparks.org

  • (Event runs 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) Join For-Mar Naturalists and learn about local owls and the unique sounds they make! Then travel For-Mar trails to practice owl calling. Night vision protection will be provided, but please bring your own flashlight. Recommended for ages 5 and older.

January 29: University of Michigan-Flint Men’s Hockey at Crystal Fieldhouse Ice Arena, 5371 Daly Farm Drive, Burton * (810) 744-0800 * crystalfh.com

  • (Game begins 7 p.m.) Enjoy an exciting night of hockey when the University of Michigan-Flint Men’s Hockey team plays against Northwood.

January 29 – 31: “The Blue Man Group” at The Whiting, 1241 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 237-7333 * thewhiting.com

  • (Performances begin Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m.) The Blue Man Group is an intensely exciting and wildly outrageous show/concert that combines music, comedy, and multimedia theatrics. Enjoy this unique form of entertainment that will leave the entire audience in a blissful, euphoric state.

January 30: “Super Saturday Storytime” at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 * fpl.info

  • (Event runs 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.) Join a library staff member for themed stories, literacy and hands-on activities in the Children’s Room. Recommended for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school ages.

January 30: “Groundhog Day Fun!” at For-Mar Nature Preserve, 2142 N. Genesee Road, Burton * (810) 789-8567 * geneseecountyparks.org

  • (Event runs 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) In celebration of Groundhog Day, come find out if Punxsutawney For-Mar saw his shadow. Also, enjoy crafts and other activities. Recommended for families of all ages.

January 30: “Walk-In Crafts” at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 * fpl.info

  • (Event runs 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) Stop in at the Library for some fun hands-on craft events featuring different themes each weekend. Recommended for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school ages.

January 30: Flint Firebirds Hockey at Dort Event Center, 3501 Lapeer Road, Flint * (810) 744-0580 * flintfirebirds.com

  • (Game begins 7:30 p.m.) The Flint Firebirds will play against Sarnia. The Firebirds are part of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and represent a continuation of Flint’s rich hockey tradition.

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4 Coffee Shops Within Walking Distance of UM-Flint Ice Rink

Café Rhema in downtown Flint

Café Rhema in downtown Flint

For those of you looking to warm up after skating around downtown Flint’s recently re-opened ice rink, check out these four cozy coffee shops and cafes — all within walking distance* of the University Pavilion. 

A 3-MINUTE WALK: Café Rhema, 432 S. Saginaw St., Flint

With baristas dressed in 1920s-inspired attire and décor to match, Café Rhema (pictured) offers a blast to the past with historic photos displayed against exposed-brick walls. Beyond the traditional Americanos, lattes and drip coffees, guests can opt for one of the 16-ounce “VIP Espresso Drinks,” which have memorable names such as Swift Kick to the Head and The Cat Came Back.

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday

A 5-MINUTE WALK: Flint Crepe Company, 555 S. Saginaw St., Flint

This eatery may be best known for serving up freshly made crepes, but the staff at the Flint Crepe Company sure know how to make a mean coffee. In addition to a traditional Italian-style menu and loose-leaf tea selection, the venue also offers up a variety of specialty drinks — salted caramel lattes, homemade egg nog, etc. — made with syrups and flavorings crafted in-house.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

A 9-MINUTE WALK: The Good Beans Cafe, 328 N. Grand Traverse St., Flint 

Established in 2000, this coffee shop features an old-school bar, fully stocked with teas, flavored syrups and key ingredients for your favorite coffee drinks. Most beverages can be made as decaf, and patrons can save 15 cents if they bring in their own cup.

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; and 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

A 9-MINUTE WALK: Hot Cups/Wanna Spoon, 300 E. 1st St., Flint

Located in the bustling Flint Farmers’ Market, Hot Cups/Wanna Spoon is known for its friendly and personable ownership. The small business, which also sells gelato, offers an an all-organic menu of lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos and specialty coffee and tea beverages. In recognition of National Tea Month 2016, Hot Cups will feature different specialty teas at a reduced price throughout the month of January. 

Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

*Walking times based on estimates provided by MapQuest.com.

See What’s Happening in and Around Flint & Genesee for the Week of January 4-10

Information and dates are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead to confirm.

Events

January 8: “First Fridays” at Longway Planetarium, 1310 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 237-3409 or 237-3400 * sloanlongway.org

  • (Event begins 6 p.m.) Join Longway for an interesting lecture about Space and then stay for the 7 p.m. laser show “Sea Monsters.” Recommended for ages 13 and older.

January 9: “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at The Whiting, 1241 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 237-7333 * thewhiting.com

  • (Performances begin 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.) Enjoy this family musical about the trials and triumphs of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son.

January 9: Flint Firebirds Hockey at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, 3501 Lapeer Road, Flint * (810) 744-0580 * flintfirebirds.com

  • (Game begins 7:30 p.m.) The Flint Firebirds will play against the Niagara Ice Dogs. The Firebirds are part of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and represent a continuation of Flint’s rich hockey tradition.

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4 Cool Ways to Break a Sweat in Flint & Genesee

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Considering that health and wellness are ever-popular New Year’s resolution themes, here are a few ideas for staying fit in Flint & Genesee this winter.

  1. Check out a pair of snowshoes at For-Mar Nature Preserve. On the off-chance the snow doesn’t stick this winter, the Burton-based nature preserve also offers walking sticks for visitors looking to stroll the property’s seven miles of hiking trails.
  2. Scale a wall of ice at Peabody Ice Climbing. The Fenton-based venue provides both a great place for experienced climbers to train as well as a controlled environment where newbies can learn the ropes from a certified guide.
  3. Skate around the University Pavilion Ice Rink. Starting Jan. 2, the outdoor rink will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and from 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays. Local indoor options include Crystal Fieldhouse Ice Arena in Burton on Flint Iceland Arena, both of which offer public skating sessions and gear rentals.
  4. Take a winter run. The Ididarun 8 Mile Challenge will take runners along snow-covered roads at trails in Linden on Jan. 9. Afterward, they can warm up with hot, homemade soups and breads provided by the high school’s cross country team. Then, on Feb. 6, participants will carry logs and climb over cars during the Frozen Fun Run in Davison.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? Find out here. 

See What’s Happening in and Around Flint & Genesee for the Week of December 28–January 3

Information and dates are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead to confirm.

Events

December 29: “Kids Walk-In Crafts” at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 * fpl.info

  • (Event runs 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) Meet in the Children’s Room for some fun hands-on craft projects featuring “Circus Crafts” today. Recommended for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school ages.

December 29: The Shrine Circus Comes to Town at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 * fpl.info

  • (Event runs 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) Guest performers from the Shrine Circus visit the library in anticipation of the Circus’ visit to Flint in January! Also, enjoy face-painting, a popcorn cart with treats and other clowning around. Enter a drawing for circus tickets. Recommended for all ages.

December 29: Flint Firebirds Hockey at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, 3501 Lapeer Road, Flint * (810) 744-0580 * flintfirebirds.com

  • (Game begins 7 p.m.) The Flint Firebirds will play against the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Firebirds are part of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and represent a continuation of Flint’s rich hockey tradition.

December 29 & 30: Christmas at Crossroads Village “Holiday Magic Celebration”, 6140 Bray Road, Flint * (800) 648-PARKS * geneseecountyparks.org

  • (Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.) Visit Crossroads Village when thousands of lights sparkle like tiny stars throughout the village. Ride the Huckleberry Railroad for a festive night-time ride. Find villagers making vintage crafts, shops full of great holiday gifts and Santa himself bringing smiles to faces of all ages.

December 30: “Family Concert: The Storytellers” at the Flint Public Library (Main Branch), 1026 E. Kearsley Street, Flint * (810) 232-7111 * fpl.info

  • (Event runs 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) The Storytellers will perform their special blend of music and tales with loads of audience participation as children are invited to play the many instruments they bring from around the world. Recommended for all ages.

December 31: “2016 Flinttown Countdown” at the Flint Farmers’ Market, 300 E. First Street, Flint * blacktieproductions.com

  • (Event runs 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.) Ring in the New Year at the Flint Farmers’ Market featuring 3 stages of live entertainment, beverages and food sales, a photo booth and a fireworks display at midnight! Must be 21 and over to attend.

January 2 & 3: Flint Firebirds Hockey at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, 3501 Lapeer Road, Flint * (810) 744-0580 * flintfirebirds.com

  • (Games begin Saturday 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 5 p.m.) The Flint Firebirds will play against the Windsor Spitfires Saturday evening and Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday. The Firebirds are part of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and represent a continuation of Flint’s rich hockey tradition.

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