September 24, 2010

Free Alert: Free Coldstone Ice Cream - Thursday, September 30

Free Alert:

The 9th Annual "World's Largest Ice Cream Social" will be held September 30 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at participating Coldstone Creamery locations. So stop in to the CSC at Arborland in Ann Arbor and receive a free 3 ounce sample of Kate's Creation served out of a ready to love pan in a Like It cup.

Hurry though, this will happen only while supplies last and there is a limit of one per customer!

Free Museum Day - Saturday, September 25

Tomorrow is the 6th Annual Museum Day, an annual event hosted by Smithsonian in which participating museums across the country open their doors for free to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket.  There are several museums within an hour drive of Ann Arbor that are free, and three (Matthaei Botanical Gardens, University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History, University of Michigan Museum of Art) in Ann Arbor that are free.  Just be sure to get your free pass for Museum Day!
2010 Participating Michigan Museums:Air Zoo - Portage
Arab American National Museum - Dearborn
Birmingham Historical Museum & Park - Birmingham
Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum - Ishpeming
Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve - Niles
Grand Rapids Art Museum - Grand Rapids
Holland Museum - Holland
Honolulu House - Marshall
Kalamazoo Nature Center - Kalamazoo
Kingman Museum - Battle Creek
Krasl Art Center - St. Joseph
Longway Planetarium - Flint
Manistee County Historical Museum - Manistee
Matthaei Botanical Gardens - Ann Arbor
Meadow Brook Hall and Gardens - Rochester
Michigan Women's Historical Center & Hall of Fame - Lansing
Midwest Miniatures Museum - Hickory Corners
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit - Detroit
Music House Museum - Acme
Muskegon Museum of Art - Muskegon
North Berrien Historical Museum - Coloma
Paine-Gillam-Scott Museum - St. Johns
The Knowlton Ice Museum - Port Huron
Ukrainian American Archives and Museum - Detroit
University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History - Ann Arbor 
University of Michigan Museum of Art - Ann Arbor

Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways - Mount Pleasant

September 22, 2010

This Weekend: Apple Day at the Pittsfield Grange

I have mentioned many times in past articles about how much I love apple cider. REAL apple cider. Unpastorized apple cider. There is just something about its crisp freshness that can not be beat. Unfortunately, unless you have your own cider press, it is becomming increasinginly difficult to find that kid of cider, then again maybe you should just attend Apple Day at the Pittsfield Grange hall! This Saturday, September 25 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm, families can try their hand at pressing their own apple cider with apples they bring or ones they purchase on site.

Come press your own cider, taste a dozen varieties of apples, watch demonstrations of apple-based cooking, and shop the apple bake sale! Bring your own jugs for cider; apples available for sale on site, or bring your own. For more information contact the Pittsfield Gange at

September 19, 2010

Family Fun at the Children's Orchard Family Expo September 25

Next Saturday, September 25, local Ann Arbor families can make connections with local organizations and family oriented businesses for the first ever Children's Orchard Family Expo. The event, held from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds (5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Road, Ann Arbor 48103) will feature many great activities for the kids and adults including apparences by Brandon Inge and Jim Price of the Detroit Tigers.

The Family Expo will include live music and entertainment, great food, and fun activities for children including a bounce house, face painting, clowns, balloon artists,  a fashion show and the opportunity where kids join the circus for the day with Cirque Amongus! For adults there will also be goody bags and give aways, and a silent auction of items from many wonderful Ann Arbor businesses in support of the March of Dimes.

The cost for this wonderful family event is only $2 per person with kids and teens 16 and under getting in free.

September 17, 2010

Free Fall Matinees at Goodrich Quality Theatres

I do love the wonderfully cool fall weather because there are so many great things to do in the Ann Arbor area like visiting Jenny's Farm Stand or even one of many local orchards, however the weather can sometimes be unpredictable for outdoor activities. So what can a family do that is free and indoors? On weekend mornings you can go to the show!

The Goodrich Quality Theatres have a great line-up for the kids, so if you have the opportunity, check it out. Just be sure to bring a long a little extra change for the concessions, because what's a movie without popcorn and there is a 15-minute intermission to accommodate that! (The theatre does sell a great kids combo for $3.00 which includes a 12 oz. beverage, popcorn and a snack of some type!)

Free Fall Matinees play every weekend at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.

September 18-19: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
September 25-26: Shrek Forever After
October 2-3: Marmaduke
October 9-10: Karate Kid
October 16-17: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
October 23-24: Spy Next Door
October 30-31: Last Airbender
November 6-7: Ramona and Beezus
November 13-14: Despicable Me

September 15, 2010

Free Car Seat Safety Check

My kid's grow so quickly that I sometimes don't notice where their heads are in the auto booster seats - My son my have sprouted a ton, because just before vacation I realized he was riding around with his head above most of the back of the booster! Top that off with the changes in car seat safety laws for children passengers in Michigan last year and it gets very confusing very quickly.

I was lucky enough to have a safety seat check when my son attended Safety Town camp, however that was 2 years ago! And a LOT has changed in that time...  Questions that pop into my mind are, is my daughter big enough to ride without the five-point-harness and When will my son be able to ride without a car seat. It's sometimes just too much to remember. The bottom line is, am I protecting my children well enough in their car seats?

Did you know that studies show that 8 out of 10 booster seats are used incorrectly? So are mine being used incorrectly? Are yours? Luckily there is a real easy solution for those families living in Ann Arbor and surrounding communities - This Saturday, September 18 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. families can attend a free car seat safety check by the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department at The Little Seedling (355 S. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor 48103) to make sure your little ones are riding safely while in the car.

September 3, 2010

Staying In Ann Arbor This Weekend? Try These Family Events

Not going anywhere this holiday weekend? That doesn't mean you have to be stuck with nothing to do. There are some great things going on in and around Ann Arbor this weekend, check it out:

Saturday, September 4:

  • Start the day bright and early with a fun 8:00 a.m. bird hike at Hudson Mills Metropark (8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter). Its an inexpensive fun way to start your morning costing only $2 per person plus the vehicle entry cost - Just be sure to call now to register 734-426-8211.
  • For those parents who are unwilling to get out that early, after swinging by one of the many local farmers markets for a treat, head over to see Curious George who is making a guest appearance at the Washtenaw Avenue Barnes & Nobel for storytime at 11:00 a.m.
  • For families interested in the areas great farming heritage, gardening, preserving or even if you simply have a kid who likes visiting the farm, check out the Rentschler Farm Museum in Saline between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. - it is an interesting local farm full of history!
  • The electronic signage in Ypsilanti on I-94 has reminded me that season football tickets for EMU are reasonably priced, so why not take the kids to EMU vs. Army football game starting at 7:00 p.m.?
Sunday, September 5:
  • The Saline Community Fair begins next week, however there is an early pre-view beginning at 10:00 a.m.!
  • This is one we've been trying to get to all summer. The plethora of great local artisan's in Ann Arbor makes the Sunday Artisan Market a must see for the entire family! It's open from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m so there is no excuse NOT to visit.
  • Let the music be heard and join in the fun at Dancing in the Streets (Corner of Main and Washington Streets) in downtown Ann Arbor at 6:30 p.m. - This once a year festival is great fun for children of all ages!
Monday, September 6:
  • Check out the Beasts at the Beach at the Kensington Metropark Nature Center from 1:00-4:00 p.m. This fun program will highlight snakes and turtles in the area, not the sunbathers!
  • More time to spend at the Saline Community Fair - For those of you kissing the Michigan State Fair!
  • This may be one of your last chances to check out the Block Party at The Ann Arbor Hand's On Museum! It'll be gone at the end of September...
No matter what have a happy holiday weekend, enjoying the last long weekend of the summer spending it with family and friends. I am sure you will have fun no matter WHAT you do. And for those interested in other activities or events, be sure to check out the events calendar at!

September 2, 2010

Register Now for Upcoming Kids Build-it Clinics

I'm back - After a great family vacation I thought I'd better get back to work providing Ann Arbor families some great free and low cost ideas! Since these building clinics often require advance registration, I thought to pass them along:
  • Doesn't matter which football team your kids support, at Home Depot they can build their own football stand on Saturday September 4 from 9:00 a.m. - noon. (I'm thinking too that it might be possible to flip this over for a small football shaped shelf/stool too!). This hands-on free workshop is designed for children ages 5-12 and is available at participating Home Depot locations.
  • On Saturday, September 11 at 10:00 a.m. your children can build the family pooch a cute leash hanger for free at Lowe's! This dog-friendly kid's building clinic requires advanced registration though at the Lowe's Build and Grow website!
  • Teach your kids about fire safety and have some fun doing it while building an awesome Fire Truck on Saturday, September 25 at 10:00 a.m.  This Lowe's Build and Grow project kit even includes a working siren and stickers. Make sure to register early though so that the classes are not filled up!