I mentioned in a post last week on AnnArbor.com what a great resource we have right here in Ann Arbor for fun, free family events. As coincidence would have it, the next day I received the electronic version of the latest Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation book (Fall 2009). As expected there are many events that are repeats of past successful events as well as several new events. In today's article I will highlight two of them that I have enjoyed with my family!
This is a great, inexpensive, local camping excursion for the family. We went last year because the kids wanted to camp, and I wasn't sure I was up to camping with a pre-schooler and toddler. In the end though, even with the overnight rain and the restrooms a good distance away, it was an awesome experience!
We started the night with a slide-show by Faye Stoner - She talked all about the animals in the woods then took us on a night-time nature hike. We even had several owls calling back to us when we tried calling them! After that there was a HUGE campfire with fireflies circling, bats in the night sky and plenty of stars to be seen. Breakfast was provided the next morning too!
There were probably 20 families in attendance that day, and it was evident MANY of them have camped for several years with this program - Many groups had their own little "huddle" of tents which only heightened the experience. The best part was, the cost of camping was VERY reasonably priced - I think it only cost us $10 once we got there!
IF you would like to attend the Family Camp Out, please sign up EARLY by contacting Faye at 834-971-6337 x334.
I LOVE real apple cider - And I do mean unpasteurized, fresh, crisp cool cider - There is NOTHING like it! I was excited to learn that in Ann Arbor, families have several opportunities to press their own cider and learn about the process - We made ours at Parker Mill.
The first year, we couldn't get in, since the event was filled. In 2007 though we attended with our two little ones, and were basically laughed at because the kids are all but useless. Let me tell you, pressing cider, and the entire process is HARD work. I would encourage families to bring the family muscles. We pressed cider again last year with a little more strength - At least the kids could help load the grinder and also turn the press a bit.
This is another great family event in Ann Arbor that is free, but SIGN up early if you want to attend (734) 971-6337 X334 - They fill spaces VERY quickly. We'll be pressing our own cider again this year, and I have volunteered to help since I can knowledgeably help Faye out! If you can't get into WCP&R Cider Day, Apple Day at the Grange is September 26 as well (734) 769-1052.
There are many other events that Washtenaw County Parks & recreation is offering in their Fall 2009 schedule. I will likely be writing on several of them! Remember though, now is NOT too late to sign up!
photos by Tammy Mayrend
photo 1: Gabriella Mayrend at the Family Camp Out! (2008)
photo 2: Michael, Gabriella & Zachary Mayrend at the Make Your Own Cider event in 2008