When you stay downtown at the Kalamazoo House B&B, you can choose from a full schedule of concerts, plays, sporting events & festivals in any season. We have 3 live theatre companies right downtown, as well as the historic Kalamazoo State Theatre's concert series. Miller Auditorium on the Western Michigan University campus brings Broadway shows and other headline acts, and WMU's nationally-recognized fine arts department presents quality theatre and music programs all year long. The biennial Gilmore Arts Festival brings the world's best pianists to the area for over 100 concerts in the Spring, and Arcadia Creek Festival Place right downtown is home to major music and food festivals nearly every weekend all Summer long!
Here are just some of the many events coming up soon—we can't possibly list them all. Take a look at this short list, and you can find many more events at Discover Kalamazoo (Updated by Steve each Monday)
- Thursday, December 1st: Are you ready to Run Through the Lights? Gazelle Sports and Kalamazoo Area Runners are looking forward to another year of Run Through the Lights this December 1st at 6pm. Run Through the Lights is an un-timed, non-competitive 2.4 mile run/walk for everyone in the community to join. So get a group of friends together for a festive fun run or walk through Candy Cane Lane and the holiday lights of downtown Kalamazoo!
- Friday and Saturday, December 2nd & 3rd: Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (next door to the inn) 43rd Annual Holiday Art Sale: Friday, December 2: 4-8 pm; Saturday, December 3: 9 am-3 pm; Member night: Thursday, 5:30-8:30 pm. Every year, the KIA is transformed into a bustling marketplace for its annual Holiday Art Sale. This Kalamazoo tradition fills the museum lobby and art school studios with hand-crafted ceramics; jewelry; fused glass wearables and decor; hand-woven scarves and accessories; paintings; functional and decorative ceramics; framed photographs, prints, and paintings; and metal sculpture. More than a 1,000 shoppers annually find one-of-a-kind gifts, wearable art, and home decor. The museum often sees a spike in membership from those seeking early shopping benefits. On view will be the work of more than 150 artists who teach or take classes at the Kirk Newman Art School. All of the work is created by art school students and faculty in the studios and classrooms of the art school, and proceeds support the artists and the school.
- Friday, December 2nd: WMU Hockey vs. St. Cloud State. 7 pm. $.
- Friday, December 2nd: Art Hop throughout downtown Kalamazoo venues.
- Saturday, December 3rd: Gilmore Car Museum Gift Shop Holiday Open House. Gilmore Car Museum. The Gilmore Car Museum Gift Shop staff invites you to come in and shop for unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list! On Saturday, December 3rd from 10am-2pm, refreshments and special holiday sales will be offered to all guests! Admission to the Museum is not required to shop in the store. Visit us any time during the holiday season 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 6pm. 269-671-5089.
- Saturday, December 3rd: Sounds of the Season. Miller Auditorium. Angel Blue, laureate of Placido Domingo’s international Operalia competition, lights up the holiday stage for our annual Sounds of the Season concert. Join us for this annual holiday tradition. Even Santa Claus will be here! 8 pm. 269-349-7759. $.
- Saturday and Sunday, Dec 3 & 4: Christmas at Wings. Wings Event Center. Sat. 9 am-4 pm; Sun. 10 am-4 pm. 269-349-1185. FREE.
- Saturday and Sunday, Dec 3 & 4: Kalamazoo Gun and Knife Show. Kalamazoo County Expo Center. No one under 18 is admitted without a parent or guardian. Sat. 9 am-5 pm; Sun. 10 am-3 pm. 517-676-4160. $.
- Sunday, December 4th: Title: The Gilmore Rising Star Series Presents: Pavel Kolesnikov. Following Russian pianist PAVEL KOLESNIKOV’S Wigmore Hall debut in January 2014, The Telegraph gave his recital a rare five-star review and called it “one of the most memorable of such occasions London has witnessed in a while.” Since becoming Prize Laureate of the Honens Prize for Piano in 2012, Kolesnikov has been winning hearts around the world. A live recording of his prize-winning performances was released on the Honens label in March 2013, about which the BBC Music Magazine wrote “tremendous clarity, unfailing musicality and considerable beauty”. This June, his debut studio recording was released on the Hyperion label. Event URL: http://www.thegilmore.org/event/pavel-kolesnikov/
- Sunday, December 4th: BachFest Christmas! Stetson Chapel. Music Director Jim Turner has chosen many of his favorite pieces for this concert including movements from Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Messiah which will be performed with full orchestra. The second half will feature beloved carols, audience sing-alongs, the Bach Chorus men singing Biebl's goosebump-raising Ave Maria, and a few surprises. This will be Maestro Turner's last BachFest Christmas! concert before his retirement at the end of the season. You won't want to miss it. 4 pm. 269-334-7407. $.
- Tuesday, December 6th: Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. The biggest Christmas experience of the year! The original, direct from Russia, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! “Knock Out!” raves The New York Times. Enchant the whole family with larger than life magical props, a 60 foot growing Christmas tree and spectacular Russian-made costumes and sets. A must-see event, witness the world’s best dancers on stage in Kalamazoo!
- Wednesday, December 7th: the Gull Lake Jazz Orchestra will continue their fall concert series at the Union Cabaret & Grille in downtown Kazoo on Wednesday, September 14. Their usual 7 pm downbeat will apply, however it is suggested you arrive a bit early to get good seating and food and drink ordered before the loud stuff starts. Wonderful vocalist Edye Evans Hyde will join. It's an evening of great big band music that you can't possibly hear anywhere else. And, what the heck, it's FREE!! If you need to call the Union, their number is 269-384-6756 or you can reach me at 269-268-9199.
- Saturday, December 10th: our friends at West Michigan Beer Tours present a Winter Walking Brewery Tour. Central City Tap House, Gonzo's Bigg Dogg Brewery, Ruperts Brew House, Tibbs Brewing Co.; Duration: 5 hours; Price: $39; Departs: 12/10/2016 Celebrate the holiday season with our festive walking tours of downtown Kalamazoo breweries where guests are strongly encouraged to don their ugly holiday sweaters or dress in a costume of your favorite holiday character.The tour will visit three downtown Kalamazoo breweries, include either samples or a pint at each stop and the brewery will award a prize to its favorite holiday reveler (one prize per person, per tour). December 10th Itinerary: Origination: Central City Tap House, noon-1 p.m. registration; Stop 1: Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co., samples, tour and winner announced, 1:15-2:15 p.m.; Stop 2: Rupert’s Brew House, samples or pint, meet-and-greet and festive winner selected, 2:30-3:30 p.m.; Stop 3: Tibbs Brewing Co., samples or pint, tour and festive winner selection, 3:45-4:30 p.m.; Termination: Central City Tap House, 4:45 p.m.
- Saturday, December 10th, 2016: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at the State Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, December 10th, 2016: The Mall City Harmonizers chorus (and quartets)...as well as the Battle Creek Barbershop Chorus and the Sweet Adelines from Plainwell and Battle Creek...are presenting our annual Harmony Holiday Concert on Saturday evening, Dec. 10 at 7pm at the First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan (next to the courthouse). It will be a FREE concert, with 100% of all donations going to the Salvation Army. Four choruses for the price of...ZERO! (With donations for SV gratefully accepted!)
- Thursday, December 15th: Kalamazoo State Theatre presents The Wizards of Winter! Featuring former members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and some of the mid-Atlantic’s finest rock and progressive musicians, The Wizards of Winter will be performing a holiday rock opera right here in Kalamazoo! This 12 member ensemble boasts soaring vocal harmonies, precision string instrumentation, powerful percussion and stunning keyboard work, layered around a rich storyboard that evokes December’s past!
- Friday, December 16th, 2016: Frankie Ballard at The State Theatre. Spend Christmas under the starry sky with Frankie Ballard at Kalamazoo State Theatre! Frankie Ballard’s Annual Country Christmas fundraiser concert returns to the atmospheric State Theatre December 16th. This Michigan born singer & songwriter is known for many Billboard chart topping hits such as; “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Helluva Life,” “Young & Crazy,” “It All Started With A Beer” and his latest “Cigarette.” All profits from this event will be donated to the FTL Sarcoma Fund.
- Saturday, December 17th: our friends at West Michigan Beer Tours present a Winter Walking Brewery Tour. Duration: 5 hours; Price: $39; Departs: 12/10/2016 Celebrate the holiday season with our festive walking tours of downtown Kalamazoo breweries where guests are strongly encouraged to don their ugly holiday sweaters or dress in a costume of your favorite holiday character.The tour will visit three downtown Kalamazoo breweries, include either samples or a pint at each stop and the brewery will award a prize to its favorite holiday reveler (one prize per person, per tour). December 17th Itinerary: Itinerary
Origination: Shakespeare’s Pub, noon-1 p.m. registration
Stop 1: Arcadia Brewing Co, samples, tour and festive winner announced, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Stop 2: Boatyard Brewing Co., samples or pint, meet-and-greet and festive winner selected, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Stop 3: Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, samples or pint, tour and festive winner selection, 3:45-4:30 p.m.
Termination: Shakespeare’s Pub, 4:45 p.m.
- Saturday, December 31st (inn is sadly closed): Ultraviolet Hippopotamus WSG The Mainstays, Kalamazoo State Theatre. Spend NYE with Ultraviolet Hippopotamus at the historic Kalamazoo State Theatre! Ultraviolet Hippopotamus is an explosive five-piece progressive improvisational band with a rapidly growing fan base across the U.S. and more recently, Europe. Described as “brightening the future of the jam band scene,” Ultraviolet Hippopotamus mixes tight, funky jams with new dance beats, heartfelt lyrics, compelling composition, eccentric effects and a vibrant light show for an incredible, one-of-a-kind musical experience. Known for its on-stage musical alchemy – cultivated from years of relentless touring – the band performs an eclectic selection of technically demanding compositions and improvised material along with unconventional and fun covers. http://www.uvhippomusic.com/
- Through December 28th: the tradition continues with "A Christmas Carol" at the New Vic Theatre. For over 35 years The new Vic Theatre has delighted audiences with Ted Kistler's adaptation of Charles Dicken's classic. The production has become an annual tradition for many and has the reputation of being impossible to get into. Yes, it is true that much of the production does sell out well ahead of opening night every year. However, because these seats were reserved often a year ahead of time, people's plans change and often, seats do become available. If you are interested in attending A Christmas Carol, please call the box office and we will do our best to find the seats that work for you and your group.
- Through January 8th, 2017: Sustainable Shelter. Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Shelter is a universal human need – a need we share with other living things. Since buildings consume lots of resources and almost half of all the energy used in the United States, it’s important that we make them more efficient. This exhibition introduces visitors to the functions of shelters and how animals and humans have adapted to differing environments through an amazing diversity of structures. Graphics, cartoons, and interactive computer games explore how daily actions are part of the earth’s carbon and water cycles. Visitors are invited through hands-on exhibit elements to test ways to make homes more sustainable. Scale models show how the size and environmental impact of American homes have changed over time. Visitors can then build a model of a home that incorporates many of the environmental features presented in the exhibition.
- Ongoing through January 16, 2017: Let’s Dance. Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Throughout the world, dancing has long been a way to bring people together, and Kalamazoo is no different. Learn about the dance bands, dance halls, and dancing done in the city over the years, hear stories from the people who danced and played the music, and see clothing and more spanning from the 1920s to the 1980s. Mon.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm; Sun. & holidays 1-5 pm. 269-373-7990. FREE.
- Ongoing through April 2017: The Golden Age of the Sports Car. Gilmore Car Museum. The Gilmore Car Museum will take guests back in time in this limited engagement exhibition, "The Golden Age of the Sports Car," featuring some of the most sought after sports cars of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, including a 1949 MG TD Roadster, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, a 1961 Maserati 3500 GT, a 1967 Porsche 911, and many more. 269-670-5089 $.
- Through April 13th, 2017: Kalamazoo Indoor Flea & Antique Market. Kalamazoo County Expo Center. Come check out the market for some great deals and great merchandise! Choose from new and used items, handcrafted items, antiques, and much more! Market will be closed Nov 1-2, Nov 8-9 & March 7-8. (Tue. & Wed.) 8 am-2 pm. 269-383-8761. FREE.
- January 14th-21st, 2017: Beer Week returns in Kalamazoo! This annual celebration of all things beer features tons of tastings, events, music, and celebrations.
- Friday and Saturday, January 20-21st: It's the return of an amazing weekend of music, fun, new friends, and winter walking brewery tours. It's our very own, exclusive, Kalamazoo House weekend celebration, designed to beat cabin fever: Hat's, Boots, and Hops.
- Sunday, January 22nd, 2017: The Gilmore Rising Star Series Presents: Roman Rabinovich. Praised by The New York Times for his “uncommon sensitivity and feeling,” eloquent young pianist ROMAN RABINOVICH is the winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition. Rabinovich has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Israel in such prestigious venues as Wigmore Hall in London, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, as well as the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Event URL: http://www.thegilmore.org/event/roman-rabinovich-israel/
- Tuesday, January 24th, 2017: DWEEZIL ZAPPA: 50 Years Of Frank & Dweezil Zappa, Guitar Masterclass - Dweezilla On The Road. Kalamazoo State Theatre. Master Class: 4:00pm, VIP Soundcheck Party: 5:30pm; Doors: 7:00pm; Show: 8:00pm. Join Dweezil Zappa, the son of legendary Frank Zappa, at the Kalamazoo State Theatre as he celebrates 50 years of his father's music this January! With this year marking the 50th anniversary of Zappa and the Mothers of Invention debut album, "Freak Out," Dweezil will be playing a lot of his father's early material, giving fans the chance to hear jams like "Who Are the Brain Police?" alongside other works from Dweezil. Don't miss this opportunity to experience Frank Zappa's deeply rich catalogue of music as Dweezil Zappa keeps the legacy alive with his own instrumental & vocal talents.
- Saturday, January 28th, 2017: Join southern country rockers Blackberry Smoke this January at the Kalamazoo State Theatre! Blackberry Smoke has performed throughout the United States both as headliner and as the supporting act for artists such as Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynrd, and more recently completed a tour with Gov’t Mule. This five-piece group is set to release their self-produced new album, “Like an Arrow,” Blackberry Smoke’s fifth studio record,
- Saturday, January 21st, 2016: Little River Band at Miller Auditorium. With special guest Ambrosia. With 11 hit songs breaking the Top 40, Australia’s Little River Band was one of the most successful groups to emerge from down under. With the perfect sound, LRB’s polished style was draped all over radio throughout the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. From Portland to Fort Lauderdale and New York to LA, fans of the band are treated to an entertaining mix of classic songs, including “The Night Owls,” “Lonesome Loser,” “Lady” and “Cool Change” and new material, delivered as always with that trademark blend of impeccable vocals, soaring harmonies, kick-ass playing and the unmistakable feeling of a band really enjoying itself. Joining LRB is another iconic group—Ambrosia. Ambrosia garnered five Grammy Nominations, five Top 20 singles including “How Much I Feel” and “Biggest Part of Me,” heavy FM airplay and the admiration and respect of the musical community. Today, the band is more alive than ever!
- Friday and Saturday, February 24th-25th: It's the second of two amazing weekends of music, fun, new friends, and winter walking brewery tours. It's our very own, exclusive, Kalamazoo House weekend celebration, designed to beat cabin fever: Hat's, Boots, and Hops.
- Sunday, February 19th, 2017: The Gilmore Rising Star Series Presents: Seong-Jin Cho. SEONG-JIN CHO was brought to the world’s attention in October 2015 when he won First Prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. Four years earlier he had won 3rd Prize at the Tchaikovsky competition when he was only 17. This season, Cho makes his debut at the Concertgebouw Recital Hall, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, London International Piano series, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Prague Spring Festival, Klavier Festival Ruhr, and Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. Ticket URL: http://tickets.thegilmore.org/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=4371
- Saturday, March 11th, 2017: The Gilmore Piano Masters Series Presents: Sir András Schiff. Description: SIR ANDRÁS SCHIFF is world-renowned and critically acclaimed as a pianist, conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer. The Hungarian-born virtuoso has been recognized with Grammy Awards, Gramophone Awards, the Gold Medal from the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize, and the Golden Mozart Medal of the International Stifung Mozarteum – an honor received by only four other pianists in the past 70 years. Schiff was awarded a Knighthood by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the 2014 Birthday Honours. There will be a pre-concert talk at 7 PM. Ticket URL: http://tickets.thegilmore.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=4373
- Tuesay, March 14th, 2017: WILCO performs at The Kalamazoo State Theatre. Doors: 6:00pm; Show: 7:30pm. The Chicago band Wilco’s 10th studio album Schmilco is out now. This album is the sextet’s follow-up to last year’s surprise release, the raucous Star Wars. “Quieter, but not safer” than its 2015 predecessor, said The Chicago Tribune, “…as comforting as this album can sometimes sound on the surface, it’s also strange and unsettling.” “It’s sad in a lot of ways, but not in any that reach a conclusion of doom or hopelessness,” said Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. “I just had a lot of fun being sour about the things that upset me.” Wilco is Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Nels Cline, Glenn Kotche, Patrick Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen. <More>
- Saturday, March 18th, 2017: An Evening With Dawes, Kalamazoo State Theatre.
Doors: 7:00pm. Details here.
- March 24th-26th, 2017: Cinderella (Rogers and Hammerstein's) at Miller Auditorium. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream... or a really great pair of shoes.
- Monday, March 27th, 2017: Oberon Release Day at Bells. The release of this summery American Wheat Ale is, as the kids say, "kind of a big deal."
- Sunday, April 2nd, 2017: The Gilmore Rising Star Series Presents: Sara Daneshpour. SARA DANESHPOUR is a 2013 Laureate of the ProLiance Energy Classical Fellowship Awards of the American Pianists Association. She is the First Prize winner of the XII Concours International de Musique du Maroc (Morocco, 2012), 2nd prize winner of the 2007 William Kapell International Piano Competition, First Prize and Gold Medal winner of the 2007 International Russian Music Piano Competition, and First Prize at the 2003 Beethoven Society of America Competition. Ms. Daneshpour has studied under the direction of Leon Fleisher at the Curtis Institute of Music and is currently a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Ticket URL: http://tickets.thegilmore.org/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=4369
- Friday, April 21st 2017: Tommy Castro & Mike Zito With The Painkillers, Six Strings Down Tour at The Kalamazoo State Theatre. Doors: 7:00pm. State Theater page is here.
- May 9-14th, 2017: Mowtown The Musical at Miller Auditorium
- May 9-14th: The 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies takes place at Western Michigan University from May 11-14, 2017. If you haven't heard of it, that's not abnormal, even for locals. But it is HUGE if you study, teach, or have anything to do with Medieval Studies. Book rooms early as the city gets full!
- Sunday, May 14th, 2017: The Gilmore Rising Star Series Presents: Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner. 2014 Gilmore Young Artist LLEWELLYN SANCHEZ-WERNER began piano studies at age two in his native California, and by the age of six made his orchestral debut as soloist. He became a full-time student at Ventura College at age five, where he became the youngest person to earn an associate of arts degree. He now resides in New York while continuing his studies at The Juilliard School of Music College Division. He studies piano with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Ilya Itin, and composition with Lowell Liebermann. http://tickets.thegilmore.org/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=4366
Pedal Power Pub
Indoor Rock Climbing
Skiing (Timber Ridge)
Lake Michigan/Resort Towns
Places to Visit:
Downtown Kalamazoo Mall