Tasty treats on Turkey Day in Grand Forks

 - by julie

Will you be visiting Greater Grand Forks over the Thanksgiving holiday and are looking for a great dinner, or do you live here and don’t feel like cooking? Whatever the reason we have some delicious dining options for Turkey Day!

The following restaurants will be open on Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving Day):

  • Blue Moose Bar & Grill, 507 2nd Avenue South, East Grand Forks, 218.773.6516
  • Aalto’s in the Canad Inns Destination Center, 1000 South 42nd Street, Grand Forks, 701.792.1957
  • North Side Cafe, 3450 Gateway Drive, Grand Forks, 701.738.8500
  • IHOP, 3951 32nd Avenue South, Grand Forks, 701.775.7001
  • Ruby Tuesday, 3915 32nd Avenue South, Grand Forks, 701.772.1105
  • Roadhouse Cafe, Highway 2 & Interstate 29, Grand Forks, 701.772.1273
  • Eagles Crest Grill at Kings Walk Golf Course, 5301 South Columbia Road, Grand Forks, call for reservations, buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 701.787.3491
  • Denny’s, 3770 32nd Avenue South, Grand Forks, 701.757.1148
  • Ramada Inn, 1205 North 43rd Street, Grand Forks, 701.775.3951
  • Buffalo Wild Wings, 2717 South Columbia Road, Grand Forks, 701.775.9464
  • Big Sioux Cafe, 44401 32nd Avenue South, Grand Forks, 701.738.0441
  • Hilton Garden Inn, 4301 James Ray Drive, Grand Forks, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., reservations encouraged, 701.775.6000

Are you also wondering about the weekend shopping hours? We have also compiled a list of extended store hours and published it on our website.

If you have any questions or want more information, please e-mail or call the Convention & Visitors Bureau at info@visitgrandforks.com or 800.866.4566.


Upcoming showcases offer great holiday gift ideas

 - by julie

Today’s post comes from Michaela Schell, local blogger and business woman.

The holidays are just around the corner, and November brings so many local showcases that offer a wide array of holiday gift ideas. Here are some of the showcases going on in upcoming weeks for you to find that one-of-a-kind gift for the people on your list.

Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase

On November 9 and 10, the Alerus Center will be packed with products all made in North Dakota. More than 500 member companies, ranging in size from large companies with more than 100 employees to “mom-and-pop” operations, participate in the statewide Pride of Dakota program. Many of these companies will be at the showcase in Grand Forks with their products and services for you to check out and purchase. In 2012, more than 34,000 shoppers came out and supported North Dakota companies in these showcases held in Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot and Bismarck. Come support these local companies and get some gifts that can only be found in North Dakota!

Event Details:

  • Saturday, November 9, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Alerus Center
  • $2/person at the door

Holiday Bazaar

In tandem with the Pride of Dakota Showcase is the Holiday Bazaar, also at the Alerus Center. This showcase features vendors of all sorts…Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware and more. When you’re finished shopping for North Dakota products, you can jump to the next Alerus Center ballroom and check out products from a wide array of local and nationally based companies.

Event Details:

  • Saturday, November 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 10, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Alerus Center
  • Free

Vendors on Main Craft Sale

For a quick shopping stop every Saturday, come by the Canad Inns Destination Center. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the hotel’s north lobby area, local vendors display their products for sale. Every week brings a variety of area art, crafts, clothing and jewelry vendors offering up their wares. You are likely to find something new that catches your eye.

Event Details:

  • Every Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Canad Inns Destination Center
  • Free

Ultimate Diva Holiday Expo

Every other month on the third Thursday the Ultimate Diva Expo fills the lobby and halls of the Canad Inns Destination Center. On November 21, from 5 to 9 p.m., check out a variety of vendors from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota all featuring products especially for women at the Ultimate Diva Holiday Expo. Let the kids swim at the Canad Inns water park while you relax and treat yourself. Or better yet, get your husband to go and find you a great Christmas present. The Canad Inns Destination Center also offers drink and food specials just of the night!

Event Details:

  • Thursday, November 21, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
  • Canad Inns Destination Center
  • Free

For more information about these and other events occurring in the Greater Grand Forks area, log on to our Calendar of Events.



Exploring holiday shopping in Greater Grand Forks

 - by julie

Today’s post comes from Manitoba travel writer and blogger, Shel Zolkewich.

Listen closely. Can you hear them? Yes, those are Christmas carols wafting from the loud speaker in your favorite store and that means the season is upon us! Join us as we explore Grand Forks, North Dakota during the happiest of holiday seasons.

Where to Shop

The store is big, bright and apparently a crowd favorite. The recently opening Hobby Lobby has no shortage of customers. That’s because it has something for everyone. Crafters will love it no matter what their passion: scrapbooking, doll making, woodworking, candle making or sewing – just to name a few. The selection of fabric along is a store in itself. The home decor side of things is just as impressive. Whether you want to fashion your own Christmas wreath or pick up something ready to go, the choices are endless. There are also dishes, trees, lights, fabric and likely the most extensive and unique collection of tree ornaments in town.

It’s likely not the first place you think of when it comes to Christmas, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t pop into this Menards. This favorite hardware store puts on a big holiday display for Christmas, transforming a center section into a winter wonderland. There are trees, lights and ornaments but where the store really excels is in its outdoor display offerings. Go classic with a pair of golden illuminated deer on your lawn. Or go cute with a pre-lit Elmo or inflatable Santa on a snowmobile. Menards is also tops for lights. Take your pick from dripping icicles to a huge selection of battery-operated strings – perfect for places where that cord doesn’t quite reach (like the wreath on your front door).

Got a big list? Head to Scheels. Adorable mittens to stuff the stocking of a wee one? Check. A pair of fashionable Uggs for the teen? Check. A new putter for the golf enthusiast? Check. While you may think of Scheels as a sports store, it goes well beyond that. Pick up a pair of new binos for the birder on your list, stock up on rubs and maybe a new smoker for the food and treat the cyclist on your list to a stylish jersey. For the outdoor enthusiasts, there’s everything from shiny new lures to rugged and dependable waterproof footwear for those long days in the field. And for the true sports fan, take your pick from caps, jerseys and t-shirts from your favorite team.

For a full list of shopping holiday options, log on to www.visitgrandforks.com where you will find a complete shopping section and an amazing selection of deals and discounts.



Symphony Orchestra brings the music of our German ancestors to the stage this season

 - by julie

Todays blog is from Michaela Schell, Grand Forks blogger and business woman.

Grand Forks is extremely lucky to have a symphony orchestra in our community. Not many communities our size showcase such amazing musical talent and performances. If you are looking for an evening celebrating the arts, attending a Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra concert is an excellent pick.

GGFSO is a community orchestra that began in 1908. With the mission to improve lives in Grand Forks and its region, it continues to feature local and regional musicians in performances of classical and modern symphonic music.

This year the GGFSO announced a four-year goal to explore the heritage of our region through the music of composers who came from the same areas where our grandparents and great-grand parents came from. During the 2013-14 season, the group is featuring the German heritage we share. Upcoming years will highlight our Russian, Norwegian and American heritage.

This season the Symphony presents popular favorites showcasing UND stars Alexander Platt as Conductor with guest soloists Nariaki Sugiura on Piano and Ronnie Ingle on Trumpet. Their upcoming show on November 2nd features pops selections plus Artunian – Trumpet Concerto and Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto #2.

  • Tickets: $20/$12
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Chester Fritz Auditorium

They Symphony is now also pursuing a goal to reach audiences tha may not normally hear live orchestra music. The Symphony is taking their concert into small venues such as shops, municipal centers and more in this new program they call “Random Acts of Music.” So, if you are unable to catch them at a large concert, you may likely hear them around town at various events.

2013 Symphony Performance Schedule

  • November 2: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 at 7:30 p.m.
  • December 15: Best of the Nutcracker with the North Dakota Ballet Company at 3 p.m.
  • March 8: Mozart Sinfonia Concertante at 7:30 p.m.
  • April 12: Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto at 7:30 p.m.

More information about the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra may be found on their website.

Halloween fun in Greater Grand Forks

 - by julie

Today’s blog is brought to you from local blogger and business person Michaela Schell.

The Halloween fun in Greater Grand Forks doesn’t just happen on October 31st. Events are happening all week long before the actual holiday begins. Whether you want to be tricked or treated, there is something for everyone!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show…

…returns to the Empire Arts Center for its 11th year. The show isn’t just a screening of the cult classic movie, it incorporates live characters and even the audience. Costumes are encouraged and audience participation is a must.

  • October 25, 26 and 31 at 12 midnight
  • Tickets: $10 at the door and through Ticketmaster
  • More information can be found online
  • This show is for adults 18 and over only

Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom…

…performed by the Empire Theatre Company (ETC) is sent in a suburban subdivision with identical houses where parents find their teenagers addicted to an online horror video game. The game setting? A subdivision with identical houses. The goal? Smash through an army of zombies to escape the neighborhood for good. But as the line blurs between virtual and reality, both parents and players realize that fear has a life of its own.

Variety Magazine describes it as “…a nifty episode of The Twilight Zone, the story builds to an affectingly gruesome finale.”

The ETC cast has continually performed to quality plays and Neighborhood 3 will be no different. If you have yet to see them perform at the Empire, this show will be a great first.

  • October 24-26
  • 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: adults $15/EAC members $12
  • For more information go to the Empire Arts Center online

Extreme North Dakota Racing-Twelve Hour Mountain Bike Enduring Delirium (END-TOMBED)…

…is a Halloween themed endurance mountain bike event hosted by ENDRacing. Solo riders or relay teams race around a 10 mile mostly single-track loop course at Turtle River State Park as many times as possible in 12 hours. In between laps riders can come in the Woodland Lodge to watch scary movies, grab some grub or warm up by the fire. It is a casual Halloween party meets epic athletic event type atmosphere.

Extreme North Dakota Racing-Terrifying Run Amongst Innumerable Lost Souls (END-TRAIL)…

…is another ENDRacing event over the Halloween season. This event is a Halloween themed trail run at Turtle River State Park where runners will compete solo or as part of a relay team to try to get in as many laps as possible in 12 hours.

The course has lots of windy single track, some fast and flat double track, lots of undulations and about 100 yards of pavement. There is even Halloween candy hidden along the course. In the fall, it is a beautiful place to run. There is a warm place to chill out and get cozy between laps and if you are not running ENDRacing will keep you entertained with pumpkin carving, old horror movies and hanging by the fire.

Legends of Terror Haunted House…

…is in its fifth year and continues to get better and scarier each year. On Friday, October 25, and Saturday, October 26, from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight, the Grand Forks County Historical Society will work to scare the pants off you! Halloween enthusiasts spend the evening touring all of the haunted buildings at the Myra Museum…if they dare!

  • October 25 & 26
  • 8 p.m.-12 midnight
  • Myra Museum
  • 2405 Belmont Road
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Half Pint Haunt…

…is also at the Myra Museum but a little less scary, so your little kids can enjoy the fun. Half Pint Haunt shares spooky stories and has lots of treats given away by friendly ghosts in each of the museum buildings.

  • October 26
  • Admission is $3/person or $10/family

Family Day with Halloween Art Making…

… is for parents and children to team up for two creative hours Halloween themed fun at the North Dakota Museum of Art! All ages are welcome and materials provided. There will be various art stations for families to choose from.

  • October 26
  • 10 a.m.-12 noon
  • North Dakota Museum of Art
  • 261 Centennial Drive

Black Cat Bash…

…is a family event for children ages eight and younger featuring spooky stories, crafts and games. The cost is one food shelf item. It is a great place to spend a little Halloween fun with your kids.

  • October 29
  • 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • First Season Community Center
  • 1122 7th Avenue South

The Halloween fun doesn’t end here. Take a look at our calendar of events for more “spooktacular” events and check back for another post about all the fun at Nelson’s Pumpkin Patch.


A day for the girls at the Grand Forks Women’s Show

 - by julie

Today’s blog is written by local business woman and blogger, Michaela Schell.

Every so often, we ladies get a girls night out, but it is not very often we get an entire day out! Saturday, October 26th is that day. The Grand Forks Women’s Show returns for its 6th year and brings everything a woman could want. The GFWS packs the Alerus Center Arena with fashion and beauty, hobbies and careers, food and wine, and everything in between.

The GFWS Main Stage is full this year. The day starts with a yoga calss and demonstration from Choice Health & Fitness and the Altru YMCA. Guests are encouraged to jump in and participate. Marilyn Hagerty takes the stage at 11 a.m. for an interview on her new book. She will also share her various experiences on the Anderson Cooper Show, the Today Show and her trips to New York, At noon 401 E Engery of Grand Forks will give us 10 tips on keeping your home energy efficient and save money followed by a Zumba demonstrative from Choice Health & Fitness.

The final Main Stage event is one of the most popular. At 2:30 p.m. the GFWS Fasion Show begins. Ten clothing stores from Grand Forks and Fargo will be showcasing their fall and winter fasions for this season.

One of the highlights of the Women’s Show is Hugo’s Food and Wine Experience. Starting at 12:30 p.m., Hugo’s will begin a six-course meal that includes appetizers, main courses and desserts along with two wine pairings for each course. Some of the delicious dishes that will be served are chicken mornay and roasted squash, popovers with fresh pineapple mango salsa and sherry trifle layered ladyfingers infused with sherry and topped with strawberries, vanilla custard and raspberry preserve. Yum! Only 150 tickets to the Food and Wine Experience are available, so get yours at Hugo’s Wine and Spirits today!

While wating between the vaiours entertainment segments on the main stage, you can peruse over 100 exhibits with vendors carrying products and information on everything a woman could want. Marilyn Hagerty will also have a booth where she will sign copies of her new book.

When you arrive at the show, make sure you get registered for the many door prizes that will be given away throughout the day. A few of the goodies include a Hope Schwinn Scooter for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a beautiful chocolate diamond necklace set in 18 carat gold from Riddle’s Jewelry valued at $2,900.

You can get your tickets for the Grand Forks Women’s Show at the Alerus Center Box Office or at the door ($10/adults and $5/students).


  • Saturday, October 26
  • Alerus Center
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Show tickets: $10 adults and $5 students
  • Food & Wine Experience tickets: $15

For regular updates, like the Grand Forks Women’s Show on Facebook. See you there!

Something for everyone…kids, adults and fans of the 70s

 - by julie

Today’s blog is brought to you from local writer and buisness person, Michaela Schell.

Usually Mondays can be pretty boring and likely the least favorite of the week, but on Monday, October 21, Grand Forks has something to do for everyone.

For the kids…

Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure. It all starts with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They will lead your kids on an adventure through their favorite Disney shows with their favorite Disney characters: Doc McStuffins, Jake the Pirate, Princess Sofia and even Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.

When I think about how much kis love these characters on TV, I can only imagine the excitement that will fill the Ralaph when these fun friends come to life. There will probably be more energy in the arena than when it is full of UND Hockey fans!


  • Monday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Ralph Engelstad Arena
  • Ticket prices: $20/$30/$50
  • To order call or log on to Ticketmaseter

For the adults…

MYTHOLOGY, a new show by Celtic Thunder. This world-renowned group performs folk, traditional Irish, adult contemporary, rock and classical crossovers. It’s a modern twist on the old Celtic storytelling tradition. Whether you are Irish or just havea little Irish spirit, you have got to see and hear this show.


  • Monday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Chester Fritz Auditorium
  • Ticket prices: $53/$63
  • Tickets are available at the Chester Fritz Box Office or online

For the fans of the 70s…

The ABBA Show. On Tuesday, October 22, internationally acclaimed impersonators ABBAsolutely FABBAulous take you through the musical history of ABBA. You will for sure be singing along, likely be dancing in your seat, and probably have songs in your head for the rest of the week. If you grew up in the 70s or just wish you did, you can’t miss this show.


  • Tuesday, October 22 at 8 p.m.
  • Chester Fritz Auditorium
  • Ticket prices adult: $46/$56; child and student: $32
  • Tickets available at Chester Fritz Box Office or online

No day of the week has to be boring in Grand Forks. There always seems to be something happening. Our calendar of events will keep you up to date.


How can a visitor center assist me?

 - by julie

Today’s blog is brought to you by Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director, Julie Rygg. Please e-mail your travel questions to Julie at julie@visitgrandforks.com.

In a time of so many technological advances, one might think that visitor centers where you can receive actual help from another person may be a way of the past, but actually visitor centers can now provide even more services to people traveling to new destinations.

Take the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Visitor Center, located at Interstate 29 Exit 141, for example. While our team of travel counselors continues to provide exceptional customer service, we also offer ipad stations, free WiFi, a computer/printer work station, table top plug-ins for charging devices while traveling and more. Our visitor center welcomes about 20,000 people per year from all over the U.S. and Canada as well as other countries from across the globe.

We strive to continue to add services to assist weary travelers whether they are staying in Greater Grand Forks or just making a quick rest stop. Services provided in the Greater Grand Forks Visitor Center include:

  • Free maps to almost every state and Canadian province
  • Visitor information for Greater Grand Forks as well as all over North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba
  • Gift shop with Greater Grand Forks, North Dakota and Minnesota products
  • Hot coffee bar
  • Free WiFi
  • Computer/printer work station
  • Ipad station
  • Relaxing lounge with television with weather related information
  • Public restrooms

You may find some or all of these at other centers, but they are all in place to assist visitors traveling across the U.S. and abroad, so make sure to locate a visitor center as you make your next travel plans.


Grand Forks Airport makes flying with kids stress free

 - by julie

Today’s blog is written by Michaela Schell, a local writer and business professional.

Everyone has heard the phrase “North Dakota nice.” I recently had an experience that proved to me it isn’t just a saying around here, it really is the truth.

I have never gone through airport security and gotten to the other side with a smile still on my face, until I went through security at Grand Forks Airport. Actually, in the few years I have been through GFK security quite a few times, one time with an infant, a second time with a 1 1/2 year old, both times it was just my kiddo and me, and both times I came out the other end with a smile on my face thanks to the amazing people working there.

Time one was a little chaotic. An infant who couldn’t stand on her own, a giant stroller, and a carry-on laden with liquids…milk, pureed baby food, and other baby supplies. As I approached the front of the line saying in my head “You can do this! Don’t get stressed out,” over and over again, a security man quickly came to my side. Again, my guard went up, prepared for a hassle, but instead he grabbed my carry on out of my hands and helped me lift it onto the belt. He grabbed my stroller and walked it through himself. He even pulled all the liquids out of my bag for me (with my permission of course) and personally checked them out to make sure they were regulation. All while I just stood there holding my baby, not having to do anything. He was not only polite, he actually had me laughing as I got to bypass the giant body scanning machine to find another security woman helping me to repack my bag and help me put it on my shoulder. Wow! Never had I gone through airport security, and with an infant no less, with such ease and such nice people. That is, until six months later.

Again, I was back at GFK nearing the front of the security line. This time I was testing them. Was the last great experience I had just a fluke? Maybe there just happened to be a couple of really nice people working that day. But as I began to hoist our bags onto the conveyor belt, I got the same service as last time provided by a different set of staff members. And, if I wasn’t already impressed, as I turned around after putting my shoes back on, I saw a security woman give an elderly woman a hug and say “don’t worry, your flight will be fine.” Only in Grand Forks, North Dakota, I thought. And really, I mean only in Grand Forks. Remember, for both of those flights I had a different destination at which I had to go through security at a different airport on my return to Grand Forks. And those return trips through security at a not-to-be named airports proved to be much more stressful and extremely unenjoyable.

My appreciation was so great it prompted me to send a thank you message to the Grand Forks Airport. I hope they passed it on to their security staff. They deserve way more than a simple thank you.

I never thought traveling in an aiport with an infant would be an enjoyable experience, but I am so happy to have been proven wrong. I feel so lucky to live in a city where you can trust one another. A city where a person will gladly stop and give you a hand. A city where people give a little extra to make someone smile. There are not many places in this world that have the quality of people in such great numbers, especially working at the airport.

Thank you Grand Forks Airport for making my family’s trips so stress free and enjoyable.

Summer fun for families

 - by julie

Today’s blog is written by Michaela Schell, a local writer and business professional.

As the years pass, I find myself looking more and more for kid friendly events that cater to our growing family. The more I search for things to do with my toddler, the more I find. The Grand Cities are extremely family friendly and offer lots of things to do with kids. The best part is a majority of them are free! As a stay-at-home mom, any kid event, whether it be a simple library story time or a big circus, that get us out of the house is a welcome occurrence.

So, here are just a few of the upcoming kid and family events happening in the Grand Cities this summer.

Movies in the Park (begins June 12) – The Grand Forks Park District hosts movies on an outdoor big screen at various parks around town. The kid-firendly shows are free and begin at sundown (around 9 p.m.).

  • June 12 – The Muppets at University Park
  • June 26 – Madagascar 2 at University Park
  • July 16 – Harry Potter at Lincoln Park
  • July 30 – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Lincoln Park
  • Auguts 13 – Mary Poppins at Riverside Park

Town Square Farmer’s Market (begins June 15) – The kids may not like all the fresh veggies you will be buying, but they will definitely love the energy and excitement of the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market kicks off in Town Square on June 15th and runs every Saturday through September from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fresh produce, home-baked goods, crafts, jewelry, clothing and all sorts of unique things to find along with live musical entertainment at the bandshell. It is a great way to spend a sunny Saturday morning with the family.

Turtle Fest (June 15) – I have written before about how much my family and I enjoy Turtle River State Park, and events like Turtle Fest continue to keep us coming back. Turtle Fest is a family fun day featuring minnow racing, geocaching, a bouncy house, fishing derby, arts and crafts, bike tours and all the fun things the park has to offer. The event runs Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the vehicle entrance fee to the park will be waived during those times.

Summerthing Kids (June 26 and 27) – If you want your kiddos to burn off some energy and learn something in the process, Summerthing Kids is the event to attend. Tents full of hands-on activities, building, painting, children’s music and more. All activities and events are free all evening long from 5 to 8 p.m. at University Park.

Greater Grand Forks Fair (June 26-30) – The month culminates with the Greater Grand Forks Fair. What kid, and what adult for that matter, doesn’t like a little fair fun. Of course you will find carnival rides along with live music and dancing, exhibits, and food, food, food!

Well, that was just the month of June! You have got at least one fun kid and familiy event a week, and I didn’t even list them all. Summer in Grand Forks is shaping up to be great for families. For more events click here.