10 Cool West Michigan Party Ideas

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Tired of just dinner and drinks? If you're looking for a night out—or planning a party—West Michigan has plenty of opportunities to shake things up for you and your friends, family or co-workers!

Figure out Whodunit
If you're looking to liven up a dinner party, consider adding murder to the menu. The Murder Mystery Company hosts public events at Pietro's in Grand Rapids about twice a month, but it's also available for private parties. The Murder Mystery Company adds a whole new meaning to "dinner and show" by immersing guests in the storyline. You and your guests get to dress according to the theme and actively participate alongside the professional theater troupe, to determine "whodunit" in between courses.

Go Bowling
Not old school ... Classic. Hit a bowling alley to eat some food and knock out a few drinks while knocking down some pins. You could make it interesting by dressing in costumes. (Have you ever seen someone bowling in a toga?)

Learn How to Pole Dance
Looking for one last fling before the big day? Pole dancing makes for great exercise, and an even better party! Flirt Fitness instructors host private parties where your group can learn floor work, pole moves and a signature routine.

Live Like a Legend
Headed out for a night on the town? Consider the Hollywood experience and hire your own personal paparazzi through the American Immersion Theater. Professional actors and actresses act as the paparazzi, bodyguards and publicists to follow you through the night—but nobody else in town has to know they're acting. "In almost every case, strangers will come up asking for autographs and photos because the 'posse' appears so real," said Scott Cramton, founder of American Immersion Theater.

Make the Great Escape
Basically, it works like this: You're trapped in a room. You have an hour to get out. The only way to get out is by solving a series of cryptic puzzles and clues. Escape Rooms have been popping up all over the country for the past few years, and there are a few Grand Rapids venues that offer private events for groups: Escape Michigan, The Great Escape Room, Locked 460 Escape Rooms.

Paint a Canvas
You don't have travel Europe to hold a wine glass in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. A few West Michigan studios—among them Brush Studio and Wine and Canvas—offer step-by-step instruction to help you create your own masterpiece. The wine is optional. The fun is not.

Pedal to Pubs
No crawling required for this bar crawl—just pedaling. Great Lakes Pub Cruiser allows a group of up to 16 to tour the town, with several routes to choose from. And it's not just for beer! You could conquer anything with Great Lakes Pub Cruiser, from early-bird mimosa tours to ice cream socials.

Sing Karaoke
You don't have to be a good singer to warrant a standing ovation in karaoke. You might, however, need a few drinks to get up on stage. You can find karaoke nights at local bars and breweries. Make it interesting by having a theme for the night's set list. (Celine Dion, anyone?)

Take on a Scavenger Hunt
Want a challenge? Consider a scavenge ... scavenger hunt, that is. GR Scavenger Hunt designs app-based and printable scavenger hunts. Unlike a traditional scavenger hunt, you won't necessarily be hunting for specific locations. You'll be completing challenges and answering trivia questions. It's a great way to explore a city while having some fun.

Wine it Down
Grand Rapids might be known as Beer City, USA ... but Michigan is also known as the Napa Valley of the Midwest. Tour some vineyards and enjoy some expertly crafted wine at wineries and tasting rooms across West Michigan.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for West Michigan Woman.

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