Ann Arbor

As the home of the University of Michigan, this is only the beginning of a great extended weekend getaway.

The Ann Arbor area doesn’t ever hibernate during the wintertime! There are just too many culinary events, cultural offerings, and community celebrations to enjoy, so let’s get going!

The Ark’s 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival is scheduled for February 22 – 23. Each year, The Ark’s Storytelling Festival brings masters of the tale from near and from far to pay tribute to humanity’s oldest art. This year’s tellers are Laura Simms, Edgar Oliver, and Ivory D. Williams. Laura Simms combines traditional stories with personal narrative.  Edgar Oliver brings experience from New York’s downtown theatre community, and appeared with The Moth. Ivory D. Williams, from Michigan, interweaves his stories with humor, wit, and fun to engage audiences and spread positive messages, promoting and perpetuating the ancient art of African and African-American storytelling in the oral tradition.

Now if you want to “see” a story as well as listen and ad music to the mix, visit The Encore Theatre in the historic Village of Dexter, where the rock musical,  Next to Normal is being performed through Feb. 24. The story centers around a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effects that her illness and its management have had on her family. This play won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Les Miserables will be featured March 8-17.  >MORE

The How and Why by Sarah Treem is being shown at the Theatre Nova through Feb. 24. A biological mother and daughter meet for the first time. Both brilliant evolutionary biologists–one established, one up-and-coming–they share a bold, contrarian approach to their male-dominated field. When the daughter challenges her mother with a radical new theory—one that could change society’s basic understanding of female sexuality— a battle of their prodigious intellects unfolds. >MORE

Other Places to Visit:

The Ann Arbor Art Center is proud to present the fifth annual Art Now exhibition, opening Friday, February 15th and running until March 16th. This year’s exhibition focuses on painting and is juried by Roula David, the Executive Director of Detroit’s Murals in the Market. Works in Progress, an exhibit on view now at the Ann Arbor Art Center, celebrates the creativity of 24 international and domestic designers, at varying stages in their careers, who bring functional works to life through fashion, graphic design, furniture, architecture, and industrial design. Since 1909 the Ann Arbor Art Center has been sparking creativity in people of all ages and artistic abilities. Hours are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mon. – Thur., until 8 p.m. Fri., 6 p.m. Sat. and only noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. >MORE

Now in its 57th year, the Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) is the longest running avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America. This year’s festival takes place March 26-31. In addition to the films, Off the Screen! offers an extended festival experience. Off the Screen! is a series of Ann Arbor Film Festival art and media installations and events—most of which are free—held at several venues around Ann Arbor. The events were selected as a way to enhance the community’s understanding of, appreciation for, and conversations around film art. Everyone is invited to attend Off the Screen!

For a unique overnight stay, make reservations at the Burnt Toast Inn. It is a unique comfortable home on the Old West Side, serving as a Bed and Breakfast. It is conveniently located within walking distance to the University of Michigan campus, downtown Ann Arbor, and many local events. It is decorated with antique furnishings, but with modern conveniences. The perfect room for a romantic getaway, you may ensconce yourself in the private sitting area, or take a soak in the extra deep soaking tub. Our beautiful master suite features a king sleigh bed, writing desk, extra deep soaking tub, twin sinks and fully tiled doubleheaded shower. Serving organic, healthy, tasty breakfasts, “burnt toast” is the furthest thing from the table.

Another  Ann Arbor classic – Weber’s Boutique Hotel has more than 80 years of history in Ann Arbor. Weber’s is known for great service, awesome prime rib, its fabulous indoor pool, and most recently – gorgeously renovated guestrooms. Weber’s is a deluxe, full-service Hotel, Restaurant, Banquet & Conference property. Weber’s Boutique Hotel guest rooms feature stylish surroundings, comfortable beds, and deluxe amenities. Webers Restaurant within the hotel also serves live main lobster Business desks and complimentary high-speed internet keep travelers connected. Dance to live music every night in the Habitat Bar . >MORE