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Category Archives: Travel & Tourism

New and Notable in Grand Forks for 2017

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best-western

Today’s blog comes for Grand Forks friend, Shel Zolkewich, Winnipeg travel writer and blogger.   Every visit to Grand Forks brings the rush of excitement to see what’s new in town. And there’s always something new, from changing shops inside Columbia Mall and additions to the downtown scene to brand new businesses along the major thoroughfares and quaint boutiques tucked into historic buildings. We’ll always have our favourites of course, but it’s worth checking out a few new options. Maybe you can add some new favourites to your list!   The former Lakeview Inn & Suites on 32nd Avenue has a new name and a new look. It’s now the Best Western Harvest Inn & Suites. The common spaces and rooms have been completely renovated, offering a fresh and modern look. There’s free Wi-Fi, pillowtop beds, a 24-hour Market Pantry with snacks, beverages and last minute travel essentials along with a fitness center, spacious swimming pool, hot tub and free, full hot breakfast. The two-bedroom suite (one room with a king sized bed and one with two double beds) is perfect for families and includes a spacious living room.   If you haven’t visited Rhombus Guys Brewing Company yet, add …

Posted in: Dining, Lodging, Shopping, Travel & Tourism
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Have one fine auld lang syne

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tsrink

No plans yet for New Year’s Eve? Ring in 2017 with your family and friends in Greater Grand Forks!   Our two towns provide residents and visitors lots of opportunities to have a great time in the great outdoors. Whether you want to pretend you’re legendary like Jonathan Toews or Kristi Yamaguchi, both the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks Park Districts offer scheduled times for open skating. If you’d rather do circle eights Downtown, the Town Square Ice Rink is just your cup of tea (or hot chocolate)! The whole family can also take in a day of sledding or cross-country skiing in Lincoln Drive Park.   If it’s blustery outside, then give bowling a try at one of two alleys. The kids would definitely enjoy splashing around in our water parks: Canad Inns Destination Center and Choice Health & Fitness. Open from 7:30 AM till 8 PM, Choice also features basketball, racquetball and tennis courts, fitness classes and a Kids Zone interactive play area. Northern Air Family Fun Center will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM and features a trampoline park, laser tag, plus lots of inflatables. Zar’s Fun Center is even throwing a New Year’s …

Posted in: Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Garland & grand gifts galore

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kittsona

Christmas is right around the corner and our two towns are a source for the most SimplyGrand holiday gifts around! Yes, good buys can be found at local malls and big box stores but it’s our locally owned shops and boutiques which offer those uniquely ND (MN too) gems especially fun to discover. In addition to supplying great seasonal bargains, these businesses will be sparkling with beautiful decorations. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list…even that “hard to buy for” relative you only see once a year!   One-of-a-Kind Holiday Finds in the Forks:   Badman Design – 18 S 3rd St, Grand Forks Talented local artist and metalsmith, David Badman, creates a variety of regionally inspired gifts including UND jewelry and a beautiful Empire Arts Center Christmas ornament. Stop by his 5,500 square foot design studio/store downtown and check out all the amazing creations including tables, lamps, crosses, mirrors, wine racks and much more.   Key Bliss – 3000 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks Featuring trendy but not spendy women’s clothing, Key Bliss also has a North Dakota Collection with several cute t-shirts, sweatshirts and accessories.   Kittsona – 402 DeMers Ave & 28 S 3rd …

Posted in: Shopping, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Flipping you the bird

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Thanksgiving

Looking to get your gobble on in Greater Grand Forks this Thanksgiving?  If you don’t feel like going through all the hassle of cooking it yourself, we have several restaurants serving up a feast.  Luckily, they’ve got a spot reserved just for you…and it’s not even at the kids’ table!   Aaltos:  1000 S 42nd St (Canad Inn), Grand Forks, 701-792-1957; 9 AM to 12 PM (brunch); 4 to 8 PM (buffet) Aroma Café:  1205 N 43rd St (Ramada), Grand Forks, 701-775-3951; 7 to 1:30 PM (turkey dinner and regular menu) Big Sioux Café:   4401 32nd Ave S Grand Forks, 701-738-0441; 5 AM to 10 PM (turkey dinner and regular menu) Blue Moose Bar & Grill:  507 2nd Ave S East Grand Forks, 218-773-6516; 11 AM to 8 PM (all-you-can-eat turkey dinner served to your table and regular menu) Buffalo Wild Wings:  2717 S Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, 701-775-9464; 11 AM to close (regular menu) Denny’s:  3770 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, 701-757-1148; 24/7 (turkey dinner and regular menu) Eagles Crest Grill:  5301 S Columbia Rd (King’s Walk Golf Course), Grand Forks, 701-787-3491; 11 AM to 4 PM (buffet) IHOP:  3951 32nd Ave, Grand Forks, 701-775-7001; 24/7 (turkey dinner and …

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Get in the spirit

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vcholidayfeature

Feeling a little blue? I know what will put the jingle in your bells and jolly in your holly! If you’re looking for activities to create a festive frame of mind, Greater Grand Forks is definitely the place. We have seasonal celebrations, concerts and everything in between. In addition to offering great holiday bargains, our malls and specialty shops will be sparkling with beautiful decorations.   Following is a list of holiday happenings that are sure to get you feeling very merry. More information on these and other events may be found at www.visitgrandforks.com or by downloading The Official Grand Forks App on Google Play or the App Store.   Nov. 25-Dec. 31 –> Go GRAND for the Holidays Tree Display & Open House at GGF Visitor Center (4251 Gateway Dr) Nov. 25-Dec. 31 –> Christmas in the Park Holiday Lights Tour at Lincoln Drive Park Nov. 25-27 & Dec. 1-4 –> “Christmas Story: The Musical” at Empire Arts Center Nov. 25-Dec. 26 –> Visit & Pictures with Santa at Columbia Mall Nov. 27 –> HollyDazzle Festival of Lights 2016 at Town Square/Downtown Nov. 27 –> Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show at Chester Fritz Auditorium Nov. 29 –> Kat Perkins: Home for the Holidays at Empire Arts Center Dec. 1 –> Kenny Rogers Christmas & …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Play time at the Fire Hall

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firehall

Besides being one of the quaintest buildings in Greater Grand Forks, the historic Fire Hall Theatre has become a downtown venue hot spot for great live performing art. Home to the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre Company, this talented troop’s 69th Season of shows is nothing less than stellar! With everything from youthful musicals to impactful dramas, their upcoming productions will have you laughing, crying and up on your feet, giving a standing ovation.   As proof of its diversity, take a look at the 2016-17 schedule: November 11-13 & 18-20, 2016 – “Willy Wonka, Jr.” and “Hansel & Gretel” (Children’s musical version of two classic tales.) December 15-18, 2016 – “Miracle on 34th Street: A Radio Play” (Legendary holiday film performed in its original format.) February 2-18, 2017 – “Prelude to a Kiss” (Story of two people who fall in love despite the girl’s pessimistic outlook on life. Shortly after the couple’s wedding, a supernatural event tests the strength of their love and commitment.) March 23-April 8, 2017 – “Murder on the Nile” (1944 murder mystery play, by crime writer Agatha Christie, based on her 1937 novel Death on the Nile.)   For further details on these events and …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Show up Downtown

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empire

Besides being one of the most uniquely beautiful buildings in Greater Grand Forks, the historic Empire Arts Center has become a downtown hub of great live entertainment. Home to the Empire Theatre Company, this talented troop’s Season Five slate of shows is nothing less than stellar! With everything from hilarious musicals to impactful dramas, their upcoming productions will have you laughing, crying and up on your feet, giving a standing ovation. Several nationally acclaimed musicians will also be taking the stage, with some excellent holiday concerts booked for this fall.   As proof of its diversity, just take a look at the Empire’s 2016-17 schedule: October 13-15 & 20-22, 7:30 PM – “Constellations” (Drama examining how the tiniest change in the details of our lives can lead us on completely different paths. For mature audiences.) October 29, 30 & 31, Midnight – Nine & Numb presents: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show LIVE” (Prepare to be thrilled, chilled and fulfilled as a live cast of actors perform in front of a screen playing the cult 1975 film starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf.) November 25-27 & December 1-4, 7:30 PM /Sundays at 2 PM – “A Christmas Story: The Musical” …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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It’s a SimplyGrand pumpkin, Charlie Brown

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Autumn is here but no need to fear…you and the family are gonna fall in love with all the spooktacular fun to be had at Nelson’s Pumpkin Patch.  Since Halloween is only a few weeks away, time to get pumpkin’d up and pick your very own gourd before they’re all gone!   Located just west of Grand Forks, Nelson’s is a mere 20-mile drive to one great time.  Some of the cool to-dos include a pre-school straw maze, 10-acre spider web corn maze, hayrides, farm animal petting zoo, games, concessions and much more.  And if you’re feeling brave, the Gruesome Canary Haunted House is wicked good!   Nelson’s is open through October 30, from 3 to 6 PM during the week and 11 AM to 6 PM on weekends.  Their address is: 2448 20th Avenue NE, Emerado, ND.  Simply take the Grand Forks Air Force Base exit off Highway 2, then go 1½ miles north and a ¼ mile east…then look for the BIG PUMPKIN.  Additional information may be found at www.nelsonspumpkinpatch.com.  

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Takin’ it to the hoop

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If you’re a fan of high scoring, fast paced action and March Madness is your favorite time of year, a University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks basketball game is right up your alley…or court! Even though the men’s and women’s programs are only in their 5th season of Division I Big Sky Conference play, they’re already a force to be reckoned with.   Veteran head coach Brian Jones takes his club into this season on the heels of a 10-8 conference record in 2015-16 and a postseason tournament appearance. Starters Quinton Hooker and Carson Shanks head a team of skilled players at both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. The quick and tenacious sophomore guard Geno Crandall is also one to watch.   Strong favorites to finish atop the Big Sky, 4th season head coach Travis Brewster will once again be directing a squad of very gifted women. Leading scorers Makailah Dyer and Samantha Roscoe will light up the scoreboard, while fiery guard Leah Szabla frustrates opponents with her ball-handling and defensive skills. UND also has a full slate of other potent weapons including Bailey Strand and NDSU transfer Holly Johnson.   Along with a chance to see …

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Putting the excitement on ice

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hockey

In full discloser, I grew up in small North Dakota town where high school hoops ruled. Even though basketball is still my first love, when I finally experienced Division I college hockey live, I was hooked! If you’ve never been, Grand Forks offers plenty of chances to see all the action up close.   Under head coach Brian Idalski, watch the University of North Dakota Women’s Hockey team this season as they skate, pass and shoot their way to victory. With several standouts like Lisa Marvin and Amy Menke, UND is sure to see playoff action again this season.   The University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks Men’s team, with veteran coach and former UND hockey handout Brad Berry at the helm, is looking to end the season atop the NCHC. The whole crowd will jump to its feet after every goal and with future NHL stars like Gage Ausmus and Brock Boeser on the roster, you’ll be cheering nonstop.   Home ice advantage also means fans get to enjoy all the luxuries of the magnificent Ralph Engelstad Arena, including its granite floor concourses, plush leather seats, amazing sound system and state-of-the-art jumbo screens that highlight every second of the …

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