January 21, 2015

Celebrate Elmo's Birthday Party!

Celebrate Elmo's Birthday at YDL!
Does your child like Elmo? Perhaps celebrating Elmo’s Birthday Party would be a good idea then! On Saturday, January 31 at 11:00 a.m., the Ypsilanti District Library (Michigan) is hosting a small birthday celebration with stories and activities. This free event let's your little one decorate a cupcake like Elmo and do several fun crafts NOT in your home! Sounds like a winner to me!

January 13, 2015

Snowy Owl Friends Craft

On Saturday January 17,  join other kids ages preschool through grade 5, to create a Snowy Owl friend. At 2:00 p.m. at the AADL Malletts Creek Branch learn how to turn a pinecone and assorted materials into a one of a kid owl friend! Sounds like a hoot.

January 8, 2015

Win Free Tickets to Sea Life Michigan

Today I was invited to preview the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. at the Great Lakes Crossing mall. It was a big day too as it was the  arrival of several of the aquarium's sharks.

The event was a quiet one for local press, a few of my fellow bloggers, Sea Life's kid reporter and several of the Sea Life's young environmentalists. We did not get to visit the entire aquarium this wee, however my kids were thrilled to be able to attend, since they had an unexpected snow day!

The stingrays were quite happy to say "hello" at Sea Life Michigan!
I've been invited back for the media/blogger preview on January 22, so I'll have my full review at that time. However I wanted to take a moment to share some photos of today and give one lucky family a chance to win (4) free passes to Sea Life Michigan!

My kids loved seeing the many species of fish, the loved the blue tangs, the eel and the many sting rays swimming around. The sting rays even seemed happy to see us, as they swam to the edge of the aquarium waving! My daughter was especially impressed to see the puffer fish gliding past.

There were so many types of fish. We can't wait to walk through the tunnel below to see their world from another view! It was certainly beautiful, my iPhone just did not due their beauty justice!

Of course the main event of the day was the release of the sharks, specifically two varieties of sharks called a Bonnethead Shark and Blacknose Shark A third variety of shark, a Nurse Shark, was released into another enclosure elsewhere in the aquarium however we did not see that release. To see an exclusive sneak peek of the release of one of the Bonnet-head Sharks, be sure to visit the Ann Arbor Mom Facebook page.

It was a nice way to spend an unexpected day off school, that's for sure!

Now, I would like to know, what are you most looking forward to seeing when you visit Sea Life Michigan? Comment below before midnight on January 15 for a chance to win. One lucky winner, drawn at random, will win tickets to Sea Life Aquarium after they open January 29.

The family 4-pack includes: 4 tickets (for one visit), 4 behind the scenes tour tickets, 1 souvenir guidebook and 2 gifts from the retail store.

I'd also like to point out that tickets right now are discounted. The pre-opening price saves up to 25%! Tickets are just $17.50 with free entry for children under age 3. There are also options for a year long annual pass for individuals and families. Field trip and group pricing is also available. To buy tickets or to learn more about Sea Life Michigan be sure to visit their website. The grand opening is set for January 29!

Setting the fish free into the aquarium at Sea Life Michigan.
We are looking forward to exploring more of the aquarium and sharing the experience with another Ann Arbor Family, so be sure to enter soon. Good luck, I know you and your family will enjoy the experience! Don't forget, be sure I can reach you if you win so please provide your name in the comments.

The kids thought it was cool to be interviewed by
several television reporters - I think my daughter has
a new passion too. She now wants to add TV personality
to her list of future jobs. She looks a natural holding the mic.

Maker Workshop at YDL- Michigan

My kids have really enjoyed the many "maker" activities they have joined in on, and now it seems that the Ypsilanti District Library (Michigan branch) is jumping on the maker bandwagon, at least for one event. On Saturday, January 17, be sure to have your kids stop in for the YDL Makey Makey Workshop where they can create a banana piano. During the program at 1:00 p.m. they will explore several musical activities  while using electronic controls. Certainly sounds like fin to me!

January 7, 2015

Cool Happenings at the Plymouth Ice Festival

I love attending the Plymouth Ice Fest, and I do mean that I love it. There have been winters when the ice melts almost as fast as it's been carved, and there have been bitterly cold winters, but nothing beats bundling up and heading to Plymouth Michigan to see the many sparkly ice sculpture creations created before my eyes scattered throughout the downtown area! the past couple of years, we have even introduced the kids to the experience - My son thinks it is especially awesome to see the ice carvers cutting away "with chainsaws" at the giant ice blocks!!!

"I loved it!" says Zach Mayrend, "I like when they are carving the ice, and REALLY liked the COOL carved snowmobile!"

The 2015 Plymouth Ice Festival storms into Plymouth, Michigan January 9-11 - Friday 3:00-10:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Created specifically for the love of winter, the revamped Plymouth Ice Festival will feature over 100 ice sculptures, live music and entertainment, interactive family shows, winter-themed tasty treats and a variety of additional events to interest all ages. Several event highlights include the Dueling Chainsaws, ice carving competitions, interactive ice sculptures, a Detroit Redwings slapshot contest, and don't forget the lighting of the spectacular fire and ice towers on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. Many of the Downtown Plymouth merchants will also be holding individualized in-store events offering discounts and giveaways. An estimated 100,000 people are slated to attend the three-day event.

The Plymouth Ice Festival has ranked among the top ice festivals in the United States by promoting ice sculpture as an art form through competitions, demonstrations and seminars with standardized judging and exhibitions. To see the complete list of what's happening, be sure to check out the complete Plymouth Ice Festival schedule of events or the Plymouth Ice Fest Facebook Page.

So bundle up your troops and take a 20 minute drive to downtown Plymouth. The quaint downtown area will be alive with amateur and professional ice carvers and families who enjoy the experience. Don't forget to bring some extra cash though for fun midway food or a great cup of hot cocoa!

All photos are property of Tammy Mayrend.