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SimplyGrand ways to romance your valentine

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Heart

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Don’t have any plans yet with your significant other? Well then, you best read on! Luckily, Greater Grand Forks has lots of great date options and here are my Top 5:   ON THE BOARDWALK.  Drive your date to the East Side for a flick and some food.  Start out the evening with an early showing of the critically acclaimed romantic musical, “La La Land” at River Cinema 15.  Afterward, journey across the street to Blue Moose.  Located on the popular Boardwalk dining district, it’s the perfect spot for a juicylicious burger, some sweet ‘n’ sassy Norwegian barbecue ribs or comfort food at its finest: homemade chicken pot pie.  Quench your thirst with a choice of close to fifty brews of beer in their Back Forty Bar. UPSCALE DOWNTOWN.  The Toasted Frog is the best place around to get pickled.  By that, I mean their martinis and deep-fried cheesy pickles will make your head spin.  Then stroll hand-in-hand down the block to Sky’s for a 5-star dinner with your 5-star sweetie that includes champagne cocktails, jumbo lump crab cakes, filet mignon with peppercorn sauce and a chocolate espresso ice cream cake drizzled with hot fudge …

Posted in: Dining, Entertainment, Lodging, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Entertaining you in simply grand style

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AlerusCenter

The Alerus Center, Grand Forks’ premiere entertainment and convention facility, is the perfect place to entertain and be entertained. Completed in 2001, with a recent remodel and new additions, it is considered one of the top arenas in the country.   The main arena, with a full set seating capacity of 21,000, has been used for a wide variety of events.   As home to Division I-AA University of North Dakota football, they’ve hosted many exciting college games, in addition to other sports ranging from Harlem Globetrotters and NBA basketball to professional bull riding and wrestling. Some of the most popular performers in the nation, including Luke Bryan, George Strait, Britney Spears, Keith Aerosmith, Cher, Keith Urban and The Eagles have all taken center stage at the Alerus. Because of the BOSE Quality Sound Systems they use, you’ll find the acoustics to be amazing, especially for such a large arena.   When you’re searching for a venue to hold a convention, conference, family gathering or wedding, the Alerus Center’s 12 meeting rooms and ballroom provide a perfect fit. The friendly, knowledgeable staff will be there every step of the way to ensure your event meets (and even exceeds) expectations.   The …

Posted in: Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Going Green by way of the Reds

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Sledding

The Greater Grand Forks Greenway is a huge public recreational space bordering the Red River and Red Lake River in the adjacent cities of Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN. At 2,200 acres, it is more than twice the size of New York City’s famous Central Park!   One of the most prominent features of the Greenway is its extensive 20-mile system of paths which are used by bikers, walkers, joggers, in-line skaters and cross-country skiers. In 2007, the system was designated as a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service. There are also several city parks and two golf courses along the Greenway. Other amenities include a dog park, wildlife observation areas, campground, fishing spots, interpretive displays, wildflower gardens and sites for various athletic activities including volleyball, horseshoes, disc golf and ice skating. Throughout the year, the space is also used to host several festivals and events.   The Greenway, developed after the devastating Red River Flood of 1997, encompasses major portions of the two communities that lie within the floodplain. After the flood, several neighborhoods were removed to make way for a massive new dike flood protection system; the Greenway includes the land that sits …

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Be a know-it-all and get the Grand Forks App today!

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APP

Ever missed out on a fun event because you hadn’t heard about it?  Or perhaps you could have saved 20% off a recent purchase with a discount you weren’t aware of?  Well, that never needs to happen again because the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is happy to announce their mobile app, launched last fall, is a simply grand success! If you wanna be in the know 24/7/365, then get the GRAND FORKS APP available at Google Play and the App Store.   Key features of this SimplyGrand promotional tool include: the community’s most comprehensive calendar of events; deals and discounts for local businesses; great to-dos and must-sees; turn-by-turn directions and much more. Through push notifications, you’ll also be able to receive updates, new promotions and current tourism offerings. Don’t miss out or delay…grab the Grand Forks App today!   Almost forgot, there is even more fabulous news about the CVB’s new mobile app. To help celebrate its debut, they are giving away a $100 gift card each month for the first six months! To be eligible, all you hafta do is “get the GRAND FORKS APP” at Google Play or the App Store.  

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Dining, Entertainment, Events, Lodging, Shopping, shows and concerts, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 & …

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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 …

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