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Named BedandBreakfast.com "Diamond Collection" B&BVoted BedandBreakfast.com's 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Award WinnerVoted "2012 Best Spa Services" & "2012 Most Affordable Luxury" by LanierBB.comVoted iLoveInns.com "Most Romantic B&B" Winner!
 

3180 Washington Ave. SW

Grandville, Michigan 49418

(616) 538-9442

{Just 6 minutes from Grand Rapids}

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"3RD BEST OVERALL B&B IN NORTH AMERICA!"

by InnTraveler Magazine

 

"2012 MOST AFFORDABLE LUXURY"
"2012 BEST SPA SERVICES"

by LanierBB.com

 

"BEST IN THE MIDWEST & BEST OF GREAT LAKES"

by BedandBreakfast.com 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

   

Celebrating Christmas in West Michigan

Christmas is right around the corner and in Grand Rapids, Michigan that means a lot of great activities to celebrate the season. Whether your goal is to have an amazing shopping experience, create family traditions, or you're looking for fun outdoor activities to enjoy this coming holiday season, Grand Rapids has it all.

Not only does this area offer great shopping with hundreds of brand name stores in three major malls, Rivertown Crossings, Centerpointe, and Woodland, there's also dozens of other unique shopping experiences in and around town. Some people are perfectly happy to stick to the major malls and find the best Black Friday deals around. You can find almost any major store you want between these three easy to get to mall locations and the recent addition of Swedish clothing retailer H&M gave local shoppers even more to get excited about.

But maybe you're more into unique and interesting finds. Grand Rapids offers a wide variety of antique shops to find that perfect treasured item with more than a dozen different locations to roam. Or maybe you prefer to find a special one of a kind fine art masterpiece. There are a handful of local stores and galleries that offer artistic pieces. The addition of the new Downtown Market offers a great collection of shops under one roof where you're guaranteed to find a spectacular gift for your favorite foodie or maybe some delectable treats to serve up at your holiday parties. And between the beginning of November to mid-December you can find a wide variety of holiday craft shows all around the city.

Once your shopping is all wrapped up, it's time to make some memories. One of the most elaborate holiday displays around is the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World set up at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.  Experience more than 300,000 lights on 40 different trees displaying the holiday traditions from countries all over the world. Throw in some strolling carolers and a horse drawn carriage ride and you can't help but get into the holiday spirit. And on Tuesdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas you can get your chance to pet real life reindeer. You can also enjoy a fabulous holiday light show all from the comfort of your own car by driving through the Christmas Lite Show at 5/3rd Ball Park, where you'll see over a million lights in an animated display.

What holiday season would be complete with out the big bearded guy in the red suit? There are all sorts of wonderful ways to experience Santa Claus in and around town. Start off the Christmas season with the Art Van Santa Parade on Saturday, November 23rd. Or you can get up close and personal with Santa during a ride on the Santa Train on Saturdays starting at the end of November. It's like a little bit of your own Polar Express magic. Not only does Historic Coopersville offer this great train experience, but they're also the home of the oldest nighttime Santa parade in Michigan, on Friday, December 6th. On Saturday, December 7th the Salvation Army Kroc Center offers you the chance to have have some family fun during breakfast with Santa.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas comes a lot of extra eating and usually a few extra pounds. Grand Rapids and the surrounding area offers great way to burn off those calories while celebrating the Christmas spirit. On December 6th the Grand Rapids Art Museum has their tree lighting ceremony downtown, which also kicks off the official opening of Rosa Parks Circle outdoor ice skating rink. Get an early preview of the holiday lights display at the ball park while participating in the 4th Annual Yule Walk, I'll Run family-oriented 5K event. If the snow starts flying early this season you can take full advantage of it by heading north of town to Pando Winter Sports Park where you can enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and their x-country ski trails.

No matter what your idea of the best way to spend this Christmas season, the best place to spend part of it is Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast. The holidays can be stressful, but they don't have to be if you take a little time to book a stay with us. Relax in one of our beautifully decorated rooms, enjoy a soak in one of the two person Jacuzzi tubs located in all our rooms, book a massage, then at the end of the day curl up in one of our cozy beds and drift off to sleep dreaming of the delicious breakfast that awaits you in the morning. If you have a hard to buy for spouse, boss or mother-in-law consider giving a Gift Certificate to Prairieside Suites or to any Bed and Breakfast in Michigan.  These gift certificates are good for 5 years plus B&B's are truly a "Better Way to Stay".

Fall Fun in West Michigan

Fall is in the air!  In West Michigan that means a trip to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch.  It also means good times celebrating Halloween and other fall related activities.  There are a whole host of ways you can enjoy all the great things that fall brings aside from pumpkin lattes at the local coffee shop.

For those who like things on the spooky side, The Haunt is the most terrifying attraction in West Michigan to get your scare on. " A 20,000 square foot compound of fear" has you trekking half a mile through heart pounding hallways.  The Haunt was voted the number one haunted attraction in West Michigan. If you prefer to be freaked out in the great outdoors, The Forest of Fear, winds you through five acres of haunted woods and swamps, past ghosts, monsters, and other terrifying creatures.

If you're less into scary attractions, but prefer to celebrate Halloween with a little bit of partying, the Grand Rapids area has several events to offer. The Crush at The B.O.B. presents “Night Club on Elm Street” on October 31st, complete with a Halloween costume contest. Founders Brewery, also downtown, not only offers some of the best beers in the world, but they have their annual Halloween Spooktacular on Halloween night. Right up the street from our very own Prairieside Suites, Chicago Dr. Pub & Grill is also celebrating that night with a Halloween costume contest with prizes, a live DJ, and free pool. And if a flashback to the 80's is more your thing, The Intersection is having a Mega 80's Spooktacular on November 2nd.

Maybe Halloween isn't your thing at all and fall is more about long walks in the woods, hayrides, apple picking, fresh pumpkin donuts, and hot apple cider. There's plenty of that sort of fabulous fall fun to be had in and around the Grand Rapids area. Kent Harvest Trails is a compilation of 19 local family farms that offer all sorts of fall activities from apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, face painting, petting zoos, to all sorts of other autumn related activities for the kids. Post Family Farm is a personal favorite simply because their fresh pumpkin donuts can't be beat, but you can also enjoy a hay ride, their corn maze, or the kids can enjoy the pumpkin train. On the north side of town, Robinette's offers the typical apple orchard activities, but also has a great little winery to check out. (And on the subject of donuts, they offer one glazed in maple with bacon sprinkled on top that I highly recommend). Robinette's is a great place to visit if you're of the more active variety. On Sundays they offer free organized trail runs with The Dirty Herd through their orchard. They also offer their trails up for biking for anyone wanting to get out at any day for a bit of exercise through some beautiful land.

There are a lot of great activities to enjoy this fall in West Michigan, but maybe you're the type that just wants to do your own thing, see the beautiful colors, and enjoy the crisp fall air. Check here to see recommended ways to do a driving color tour of West Michigan.

No matter what activities your fall plans may include, keep in mind that the best way to finish off your day after fun fall festivities is a stay at Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast. A cozy bed, romantic jacuzzi for two and a cup of hot chocolate are the perfect finishing touches to a fun fall day.

Beer City USA Part 1 – Beer Romp

Grand Rapids Beer City USAThere is a reason that Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo have been named as two of the top ten vacation destinations for beer lovers. For the second year in a row, Grand Rapids was named “Beer City USA” in an online poll. Grand Rapids took more than 27,000 of the 50,000 votes cast, nearby Kalamazoo came in second with over 16,000 votes. With 15 operating breweries in Grand Rapids, another half dozen in the surrounding lake shore area, and even more in the planning stages it's easy to understand why.

Founders Brewing Company is just one of the establishments in town that helped to make Grand Rapids “Beer City USA”. Ratebeer.com named Founders the third best brewery in the world, brewing two of the top 50 craft beers the world. Rated the #3 beer bar on Earth  by Beer Advocate Magazine, Hop Cat is another local favorite (and speaking from personal experience, their Crack Fries are not to be missed). In 2012, Midwest Living called Brewery Vivant one of the top 25 new places to stay, eat, or play.  These are just a few of the really great breweries in the area that make Grand Rapids such a popular destination for people who truly love a good craft beer. Beer Romp

With all this acclaim, beer related events have become very popular around town. Beer Romp on October 19, 2013 is the perfect event to participate in to sample some great local beers and delicious food (the aforementioned Crack Fries at Hop Cat are just one of offerings on the menu). A self guided tour through great downtown streets, for $40 you get the chance to visit a handful of great Grand Rapids Breweries and other local restaurants that serve craft beers from various Michigan breweries. Not only will you get to tour one of the most beautiful cities on foot, sample delicious food, and enjoy some great craft beers, but a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Kids Food Basket which serves hungry children in West Michigan. Plus Beer Romp has a variety of ways to follow the tour, from those who are in it for the beer, those who love the food, and even those who want the biggest calories burn way to get from location to location. 

No matter what way you chose to do the tour, the best way to finish off your evening is with a stay at Prairieside Suites. Great beer, great food, great town and top it off with luxury accommodations. How better to top off a great beer tour than with a nice relaxing soak in one of our two person Jacuzzi tubs, followed by slipping into one of our comfy king sized beds. The best in local craft beers, followed by the best in local places to stay. And in the morning you'll wake up to more delicious food that is served up every day in our bed and breakfast. Check out Beer Romp and make a memorable weekend out of it by booking your stay at Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast.  Craft Beer

Zucchini Dessert Crumble Recipe

This morning we served our homemade Zucchini Dessert Crumble for breakfast.  Everyone thought they were eating an APPLE Crumble!  It was accompanied by fresh fruit, Belgian waffles, and an egg & veggie scramble.  Nothing left . . .except of course lots of happy guests.

When the weather is hot and the zucchini grow really large I love to prepare this pie filling. I look for as many giant zucchini's as I can find and prepare this filling so I can freeze lots of it for future use.  Funny thing, I'm not much of a pie person, it's a little too sweet for me.  So I tweak my recipes using less sugar and often incorporate them into a simple desert crumble or coffee cake.  So then instead of producing a 9" pie, I can create something yummy in a larger 9" x 13" pan.  I love to use my clear Pyrex glass bake ware. Why the clear glass dish?  Because we eat with our eyes first.  I think food should be enticing and draw you in for a closer look. So seeing through the side of the dish says, "I look good…wait till you taste me!".
 
 
When the weather is cooler and the garden has been put to bed for the season, there's nothing better than filling your home with the smell of garden fresh baked goods.  I go to my freezer and pull out my precious Zucchini filling and make it  into a simple crumble which uses only 4 ingredients and can be mixed in a food processor OR you can dump all into a one gallon zip lock bag.  Add dry ingredients first, shake well and gradually add in the cooled melted butter, shaking the bag in between (this is a great way to involve your children or grandchildren) AND no extra dishes to wash!  I'm not only a GOOD COOK but I'm a SMART COOK!  The truth is with guests mulling around our B&B I never know when I'll have company in the kitchen with me.  So I'm always trying to keep the kitchen looking clean (no big messes) while I'm baking and this works great.  
 
Ingredients for crumble:
 
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 sticks melted butter
 
Mix flour, sugar, salt and melted butter together.  Reserve 1 cup of this for topping and press the rest into a 9 x 13 pan.
 
 
Ingredients for Zucchini filling:
 
7 cups zucchini that has been peeled, seeded, and chopping into 1/2" x 1/2" pieces
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. tapioca
 
Preheat oven to 375.  Boil zucchini and lemon juice together until tender.  Add sugar, cinnamon, and tapioca.  Mix together and spread on crust.  Add reserved crumble mixture over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon.
 
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
 
 I like to serve this with a swirl of caramel on the plate and a dollop of whip cream beside.
 
 
It's just the little treats like this that make a stay at Prairieside Suites special for our guests.  From the little things like in room wine chillers and heated towel bars, to the big things like fireplaces and two person Jacuzzi tubs in every room, we've thought of everything to make your stay at our bed & breakfast perfect.  The modern design of every room means all you need to do is chose which fits your style and you'll be assured you have everything you need.  Check out our rooms' amenities and then book your room today so you can enjoy everything that makes Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast the perfect place to stay.