While there are certainly no shortage of family friendly events in the summer, in the off season months like February it can be harder to locate these kind of events on a budget. With February already starting to wrap up, there are a few things going on in Southwest Michigan that could be fun for everyone. 

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15th Annual Chili Cook Off: 

February 19th 

Stay warm with a myriad of local downtown Kalamazoo businesses joining the annual Chili Cook off, this event is becoming bigger than ever! Visit a selection of Kalamazoo businesses while you walk through downtown enjoying some warm chili on a cold day. If you would like to learn more about tickets, participating locations, or where to purchase your commemorative spoon check out their Facebook page here.

16th Annual Charity Gumbo Cook Off 

February 27th  

Head on over to Louie’s for some amazing gumbo and to support a good cause as they raise money for Crayons 4 Kids and Chef Therapeutic Riding Center this year. You’ll go for some good food and music, but stay for the good cause and atmosphere. With the help of participating local restaurants, this event is bound be bigger than ever, with more flavor than ever! To learn more about this annual event or to purchase your tickets, check out Louie’s website. 


Air Zoo: Panels Off Month 

February 1-28th 

Have you ever been curious about what is underneath the panel of an airplane, what makes it work the way it does? For the month of February, visitors to Kalamazoo’s Air Zoo are able to not only see the historic giant metal flying machines, but also the parts inside the machine that make it work. While this is only the second annual Panels Off Month put on by the Air Zoo, for such a fun, interesting, and knowledgeable event, I look forward to seeing it continue. To learn more about what is going on at the Air Zoo, find out here. 

Kalamazoo Reptile Expo 

February 19th 

One of Kalamazoo’s favorite child expo returns, the Reptile Expo is back and filled with reptiles and small exotic mammals. Not only do you get to experience these exotic animals, but there are a few you have the opportunity to take home as well. If you do decide to start keeping your own reptiles, they also have a selection of equipment and food for your animal to get you properly started. If you’re interested in learning more about the Reptile Expo and how to possibly book them or their petting zoo, you can look online at collisionzoo.com. 


Shipshewana On the Road 

February 19th & 20th 

If you are interested in some light shopping, head on over to Shipshewana On the Road for the best collection of Midwest businesses. What makes this shopping experience so interesting is getting to see businesses from surrounding states that you wouldn’t have initially sought out. Being able to help local businesses reach new audiences is what this event does best, and they appear to be adding new locations and businesses every year. To find out more about Shipshewana On the Road or to purchase your tickets, find out here. 

Garage Sale Art Fair 

February 26th 

Visit the 25th annual Garage Sale Art Fair to celebrate local artists work at discounted rates. With a wide variety of artists and art this event has something for everyone. Whether the art is overstock, seconds, or damaged everything is marked down at reasonably low prices to spread the word of these local artists. If you are an artist and want your work to be showcased or are interested in learning more about these local artists, you can find out here. 

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