Bringing the kids, sibs back to GV

Courtesy Photo / Jonathan Burns

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / Jonathan Burns

Matt Oberski

There are many traditions celebrated at Grand Valley State University, one of them being Sibs and Kids weekend.

Held once a year, GVSU students, staff and faculty invite their siblings and children to enjoy a variety of events and activities throughout the Allendale Campus, with past events including bounce houses, tie-dying, a variety of games and much more.

Previous years have had around 700 guests register to be a part of the weekend and Chelsea Pulice, Sibs and Kids coordinator, expects a similar turnout this year. There are already about 500 people registered, she said.

On Friday and Saturday, registered guests will be able to take part in more than 30 different events and activities for the whole family, including a bounce house, craft rooms, airbrush tattoos, Stuff a Critter, photo booths and laser tag.

One of the games in this year’s lineup is “human bowling.” The new game will be held in the Fieldhouse Arena, along with laser tag and bumper cars.

“Basically, human bowling is when you go in a large clear ball, almost like a gerbil’s, and someone pushes you into life-size pins,” Pulice said.

Besides the new lineup additions, a few crowd favorites will also be returning to GVSU, including “The Norman Magic Experience” and the “Jonathan Burns: Flexible Comedy” performance.

Norman Ng first became interested in magic at a young age when a magic store clerk showed him a trick that fascinated him.

“It was amazing, and that moment of astonishment changed my life,” Ng said.

Now, he has amazed audiences at more than 150 colleges and universities, countless fairs, theaters and corporate events across the country, including multiple performances at GVSU.

“I love the wide range of ages at the GVSU Sibs and Kids weekend,” Ng said. “I get to share my unique magic that kids don’t see often.”

Audiences can expect a multitude of tricks, including “smashing stuff with a baseball bat, magic in 3-D” and a “magical treasure hunt.”

“It’s not your typical rabbit-out-of-the-hat stuff,” Pulice said. “It’s hilarious, mind-blowing magic.”

Ng’s philosophy is to have his audience “walk away from his show with the feeling of being a child again where the world has no boundaries.”

As for “Jonathan Burns: Flexible Comedy,” the audience will marvel at his combination of comedy and contortionism. Burns has been showcasing his interesting take on comedy to audiences around the world, having been featured on TV shows, including The Jay Leno Show and the Late Show with David Letterman.

He is ecstatic to return to GVSU for another performance.

“I enjoy these weekends because it gives me a chance to perform some routines with kid volunteers that I don’t get to at other colleges and universities,” Burns said. “My show is very interactive and working with younger volunteers is often an unpredictable experience, which keeps me on my toes.”

This year, guests and GVSU students and staff can experience “a comedic and stunt extravaganza that sibs, kids, and students of all ages are sure to enjoy,” he said.

“I hope that my show will amaze and amuse everyone who comes,” Burns said. “There will be something for everyone, not only the kids, but the GVSU students as well.”
The performers aren’t the only ones excited for the family-themed weekend.

Although this is Pulice’s first year making sure the Sibs and Kids weekend runs smoothly, she is confident and enthusiastic. Not only is she excited to see her hard work pay off, but Pulice is thrilled to see the guests come and have a great time.

“I’m just excited to see kids excited to do all these things,” she said. “I feel like there are a good variety of things for everyone to really enjoy.”

With the $20 registration fee, families can participate in all the activities across campus, except for rock-climbing and the pancake breakfast, which include an additional cost. Guests can register and pay the fee either online or at the Kirkhof Center on the day of the event. GVSU students, staff and faculty do not have to register.

For the full list of events, registration and more information go to or contact Chelsea Pulice at [email protected]
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