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Morning Buzz: August 28

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Morning Buzz 8.28.2020
Posted at 11:34 AM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 11:34:16-04

1. The great outdoors is the classroom for some Grand Rapids Public School children. GRPS announcing the opening of a new green schoolyard and natural playscape.

The plan is to create a new space where students can learn about nature at Burton Elementary and Middle School.

The outdoor classroom overlooks the nearby park and the playscape features a stump forest, log jam, and other play features made from local trees harvested and stored by the city's forestry division.

Other features include a rain garden, native meadow planting, and community picnic area.

2. Experience GR is thanking everyone who participated in Restaurant Week this year.

The group says nearly 60 local restaurants were supported, and $2,000 was donated to the GRCC Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.

They say about 2,300 people downloaded the app, and of those, seven out of 10 reported trying a new restaurant in Grand Rapids because of the incentives provided by the event.

3. All over the country, restaurants have been expanding outdoor seating so patrons can stay a little safer from COVID-19. But what about cooler months in places like Chicago?

A contest, called "Chicago's Winter Design Challenge" is offering $5,000 to anyone who can come up with a brilliant idea to make eating outside a little more pleasant, when the temps drop. Indoor seating is capped at 25 percent capacity.

The challenge is open to any Chicago resident or Chicago business owner.

Forget thinking blankets, heat lamps, and greenery are going to be winners. The Illinois Restaurant Association says folks have that covered.

The best plan is going to be something no one has thought of yet.

4. You don't need a magic carpet or pixie dust to transport your taste buds to Disney. The park shared it's gourmet Garlic and HErb Macaroni and Cheese topped with Breadcrumbs to give patrons a taste of the mouthwatering park favorite at home.

Karen McClintock, the food and beverage content relations manager for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, released the recipe on the Disney Parks blog in Tandem with the 2020 taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

She said the special mac and cheese recipe is one "the whole family can enjoy."

5. Today is National Red Wine Day.

Red Wine Day started back in 2014, and there are many ways to celebrate.

For some, August 28 is the perfect day to open a cabernet sauvignon. Next in popularity is merlot, which can be found throughout the world in both warm and cool climates.

Zinfandel, another top=selling red wine, can also vary a lot by the region where the grapes are grown.

If you can't make up your mind, there are plenty of great blends of red wine to choose from.