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Exploring Grand Rapids

Global Connections, Local Responsibilities summarizes some of the connections the Off-Campus programs want to make between your global experiences off-campus and your living locally in your community. Within this context we often see our global experiences as a chance for exploration; yet our local communities offer a unique context for exploration as well. What follows is a list of cultural challenges for Grand Rapids. The Off-Campus Programs office wants to encourage you to complete as many of these challenges over the next semester. Students who demonstrate that they have completed 24 challenges by the time they graduate will receive a free gift from the off-campus programs office. This is an honor system! You should search for answers yourself!

1. What is a Paczki? Try one and tell us what day do people eat this traditional ethnic food.
2. What is banket? What is the significance of banket in West Michigan?
3. Ride the White Pine Trail on a bike, from Riverside Park to Rockford and back with a friend, have the friend verify your ride.
4. Ride the Kent trail on a bike, from John Ball Zoo to Cutlerville and back with a friend, have the friend verify your ride.
5. Have a burger at the oldest bar and restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids. Name the restaurant.
6. Attend a service at a Jewish synagogue.
7. Attend mass at a Catholic church.
8. Attend a service at a church comprised primarily of people who are culturally or ethnically different than yourself.
9. Visit three different ethnic grocery stores. Buy food at one of these stores and cook an ethnic meal for your friends.
10. Attend an ethnic celebration somewhere in the city. Describe the celebration.
11. Visit an event at the Ladies Literary Club.
12. Visit the Fulton Street Farmers Market. Buy enough locally grown food to fix a meal for your friends.
13, Have a wet burrito at the Beltline Bar.
14. Eat at an ethnic restaurant that you have not eaten before.
15. Get a photo of yourself on the merry-go-round in the Grand Rapid Public Museum.
16. Get a photo of yourself on the giant tire swing in Grand Rapids.
17. Get a photo of yourself at the Flouride Memorial Sculpture in Downtown Grand Rapids.
18. Attend a concert or go ice skating at Rosa Parks circle.
19. Bike or walk around the lake in Millennium Park.
20. Rent a canoe and paddle a portion of the Grand River
21. Volunteer as a tutor through the Service Learning Center at a school in Grand Rapids.
22. Find where the Robert Morris "EarthworK" outdoor sculpture is located.
23. Visit the Frederick Meyer Gardens and Sculpture Park – get a photo at the DeVinci Horse.
24. Wander the Heritage Hill Historic District, adjacent to downtown Grand Rapids, includes 1,300 homes dating from 1848. Take a self-guided walking tour see more than 60 architectural styles. Find the address of the Meyer May house.
25. Attend an event at Wealthy Street Theater.
26. Ride the Rapid to an event downtown and back.
27 Met an immigrant to Grand Rapids. What is their story and how did they end up in Grand Rapids?
28. Have a meal or snack at God’s kitchen or the DeGage.
29. In 2006, Field & Stream Magazine named Grand Rapids the nation's sixth best fishing city. You can hook salmon and steelhead in the middle of downtown, and the outlying rivers and lakes are teeming with other freshwater species. Get a photo of yourself at the Fish Ladder.