Robots rule – at least for Spring Break 2016 as several area organizations have programs around robots and science.
Leading off the robot mania is Kent District Library’s Wyoming Branch, 3350 Michael Ave. SW, with the KDL LAB Maker Break April 4 – 7 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. According to the KDL’s press materials “If robots and smashing and rebuilding things is your kid’s idea of a great time, then do we have the event for you!”
The Grand Rapids Community College Manufacturing Trailer will be at the branch Monday through Thursday with a 3D printer, virtual welder and more to explore. Also on Monday, there will be 11 different STEAM-based activities including Snap Circuits, LittleBits Electronics, Robot Rumble as well as demonstrations from local robotics groups.
Thursday, Spanish-speaking staff from Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities will be on hand as Maker Break week wraps up.
The Grand Rapids Public Library also focuses on robots and programming with its spring break program Teen [Tech]Knowledgy Spring Workshop from 2 – 4 p.m. April 4 at the Grand Rapids Main Library, 111 Library St. NE. Participants will be able to create and program a robot using the Lego Mindstorm Education EV3 base set and software. This program is for grades 7 – 12. For more information, visit grpl.org.
And then there is The Robot Zoo at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the basis for the Museum’s Spring Break programs. The Museum’s Galleria will be filled with hands-on crafts and activities that are free with general admission. Create your own robotic creature to take home and play with oversized games. Activities will take place in the Museum’s Galleria Monday, April 4 through – Saturday, April 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Robot Zoo will be open extended hours until 8 p.m. all during Spring Break and the Chaffee Planetarium features the new original show Starlight Safari and Breaking News from Outer Space and the return of Dark Side: The Light Show. For more information, visit grpm.org.
Not to be left out on the robots theme, the Second Annual FIRST Robotics Competition returns to the East Kentwood High School, 6230 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2. This high-tech sporting event will produce excitement and energy for participants and spectators alike, as teams compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, sportsmanship, teamwork and more.
Also taking place and in the realm of the world of science is the 41st Annual Gem & Mineral Show, which this year returns to Rogers Plaza, 972 28th St. SW. The event is from 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. April 7 and 8 and from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and features an array of mineral specimens, crystals, fossils, beads, and more. Demonstrations will be taking place along with rock and mineral identification, displays and exhibits and children’s activities. For more information, visit www.indianmoundsrockclub.com
The City of Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department will host a Spring Break Fun Club April 4 – 8 at the Kentwood Activities Center, 355 48th St. SE. Hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Activities include sports, games, arts and crafts, gym and outdoor fun. Cost is $25 per day or $85 per week. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 656-5270 to register.
Some other spring break activities:
The Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center NW, opens on April 9. The six-week exhibition, which closes May 22, features original drawings, prints and posters by the children’s book author in celebration of book’s 50th anniversary. For more information, visit artmuseumgr.org.
Craig’s Crusisers, 5730 Clyde Park SW, hosts unlimited fun every Wednesday with $25 wristbands from 4 – 9 p.m. For more information, visit craigscruisers.com
John Ball Park Zoo, 1300 W. Fulton St., will be having a Zoobilee during spring break, April 4 – 8. Activities include special animal feeding times, an opportunity to meet the animal keepers and learn more about the animals at the zoo. For specific activities and days, visit jbzoo.org.
John Ball Zoo also offers Spring Break Day Camps for kindergarten through 5th grade. April 4 and 5 is Just Zoo It! and April 6 and 7 is Who Dung It? There is also the Spring Break overnight, Starlight Safari, April 8 to April 9, for students in third through sixth grades. Visit the website to register.
The Salvation Army KROC Center, 2500 S. Division Ave., will be offering special activities and entertainment such as extended open swim hours and sports tournaments April 4 – 8. Sponsored by the National Heritage Academies, the Spring Break activities are free for members. Non-members can purchase a day pass which is $5.50 for ages 11 and younger and $7.50 for ages 12 and up. Visit grkroccenter.org for more information.
The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, 11 Sheldon Ave. NW, will have all kinds of Spring Break activities from April 2 – 10. There will be interactive dance, magic shows, and storyteller Kevin Kammeraad. For a complete list of events, visit grcm.org.
Flick’s Family Film Fest is currently running at all Celebration! Cinemas, including Celebration! South Cinema, 1506 Eastport Dr. SE (across from the East Kentwood High School). Alvin & the Chipmunks: Road Chip runs April 1 – 7 and Kung Fu Panda 3 is April 8 – 14. Movies are free for children ages 12 and under and $5 for ages 13 and older.
The Grand Rapids Ballet brings back its popular Spring Break for Kids program April 5 – 7. With two performances each day of a half-hour, family-friendly ballet with the fun starting at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. Tickets for these shows do sell out, so if possible purchase early. For more information, visit grballet.com.
For those comic book lovers, Marvel Universe Live! comes to Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton St. Spidy, Hulk and even Thor will battle those dastardly villains tonight at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets start at $27.50. Visit vanandelarena.com for more information.