November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend Activities for the Whole Family in Ann Arbor


If you are not in a food coma from all the turkey, out shopping for the crazy deals or decorating for the holidays, there are many great family activities to do this weekend with the kids. Here is a few fun family activities in and around Ann Arbor.

Practice Writing Skills and Letters
Beginning on November 26, kid’s can bring their letters to Santa to Santa’s mailbox located on Liberty Street, in front of Organic Bliss (117 E. Liberty Street). All letters received by December 16th will be answered.

Feed the Birds
Shhh, I heard of a little secret... Behind the nature center at Kensington Metro Park (2240 W. Buno Road, Milford), the birds will literally eat out of your hands if you take along some black oil sunflower seeds. What a great way to get out into nature! On November 26, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks will waive vehicle entry fees and boat launch fees for annual “Appreciation Days”.

Get Your Skate On
Take a break from shopping on November 26 to strap on your ice skates from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Yost Ice Arena (1000 South State Street, Ann Arbor). Open skate times at Veterans Ice Arena (2150 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor) are also available on November 27-28 at 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. or at the Buhr Park Outdoor Ice Rink (2751 Packard Road, Ann Arbor) on November 28 from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. or 7:15 - 8:45 p.m.

Get Crafty
On Saturday, November 27, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. children and adults alike can decorate an ornament free with in-store purchase at Michael’s Crafts. (Actually I blogged on holiday crafts at Michael's Crafts earlier this month...)

Add A Little Holiday Spirit
On Sunday Night when your family is about to head back to school and work, get into the holiday spirit by attending the Kerrytown Market & Shops Annual Tree Lighting Festival (407 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) from 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Join in to welcome the holidays in the courtyard with Christmas carols, candle luminaries and Santa lighting the tree!

November 23, 2010

Great Deal: $50 Jump City Gift Certificate for $25

My kids LOVE to bounce - What kid doesn't right? Heck even I like to bounce with them if the bounce-house can sustain an adult body.  It's a GREAT work-out!!!

I just heard about a great deal offered on AnnArbor.coms Real Deal website that allows parents to purchase a $50 Jump City gift certificate for only $25.  Each household is limited to one purchase per person and is valid until November 23, 2011. 

Jump City is a bounce, play & party place (2825 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor) with pop-n-play times on Tuesdays and Fridays for only $7 per child. For more information call Jump City at 734-995-5055 for pop-n-play times, special events, party information & reservations. Purchased gift certificates may be used toward any purchase at Jump City!

November 18, 2010

Crafty Inspirations at Michael's Crafts This Holiday Season

Looking to get into the spirit with fun and inexpensive (or free) craft projects and activities? I just picked up a flier at Michael's for their 6 Weeks of inspirations that includes many free and low cost make it and take it events appropriate for all ages. Keep this list handy, or better yet pick up your own flier at Michael's (3655 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor) since it has a bonus 20% off coupon attached!

11/20, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Decorate a cute felt stocking. Free with in-store purchase.

11/27, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Ornament decorating for any age. Free with in-store purchase.

12/4, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Learn the make a finger knit scarf and create an ornament for FREE. I think this might be the perfect quick how to for school aged kids through teens!

12/5, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Create that traveling dad his own own duct tape luggage tag or let your kids decorate a tree ornament for grandma and grandpa. Both projects are FREE.

12/11 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Create your own customized gift card holder or decorated a gift bag for wrapping those holiday gifts. Free with in-store purchase.

12/18, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Last minute shopping necessary, don't worry about it, let your teen make their own button rings to give or keep while you shop in the store. Free with in-store purchase. Also from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. check out the activity sampler kit free demo while browsing!

I figure if I'm there anyway, I might as well let my kids have fun creating while I shop!

November 17, 2010

Significant Childrens Clothing Discount at Ann Arbor's Elephant Ears

Elephant Ears (415 N Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) in Ann Arbor's Kerrytown Market and Shops has today's Groupon deal offering a coupon for $15 off a $30 sale of children's clothing and accessories! Inside Elephant Ears sustainable shoppers can sift through a variety of Fair Trade, organic, and natural fiber children's clothing, footwear, bedding , and more.

This 50% deal is perfect timing for holiday shopping!

November 16, 2010

Your Holiday Photo Could Win a $25 Gift Card From Metro Parent

I just saw this posting to win a $25 Amazon gift card from Metro Parent magazine, and the best thing is, as parents we ALL have something to enter - A holiday photo!

Enter your "Holiday traditions" photo at the Metro Parent website before Wednesday, November 23 for a chance to win and to be included in the December gallery of photos! From lighting the menorah, to decorating the tree or donating your time to a cause, this time of year is filled with all sorts of precious customs and family traditions. Many of which have been captured on film.


November 15, 2010

Create Balloon Rockets in Celebration of Aviation Month

I caught wind of this fun project for school-aged children. On Wednesday, November 17 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. children ages 6 and over can create their own balloon rockets at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Road) in Ann Arbor. This is a free kid's event to celebrate the love of flying and Aviation Month! How will your balloon rocket fly?

November 12, 2010

Find Volunteer Opportunities for Families This Holiday Season

I really am a big proponent of giving back through volunteering. It's a life lesson I am hopefully teaching my children as well. Every year we have signed up as bell-ringers, been volunteer shoppers for Warm The Children, helped out at Food Gatherers and Growing Hope, and anywhere else that I can find where my children can participate. What I haven't found though, was one website that might help me find the best opportunities for volunteering locally and instead I've gone directly to the individual organizations. Wouldn't it be nice to go to one place to find opportunities for volunteering? Now there is.

The Blueprint for Aging, sponsored by Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County, is leveraging its new volunteer website,, to communicate holiday giving and volunteering opportunities. In addition to the website’s usual formal volunteer programs, the site has been opened up to communicate one-time opportunities for individuals, families, and groups to help others this holiday season.

My quick check-in to the site revealed many opportunities to give and volunteer, and the best part is, there is an area where families can look for opportunities for their younger children to participate in! So let's all give back to our communities to find “Something Worth Doing”.
I'll be back throughout the year looking for opportunities for myself, my children, and likely my cub scout den, you should too. Visit the Volunteer Washtenaw website today!

November 10, 2010

Half Off: 1 Year Membership to the Ann Arbor Art Center

Hello Ann Arbor families! If you want a great deal today for some family fun for mom, dad AND the kids, check out the deal that Groupon has running for a $50 discount off of a family membership at the Ann Arbor Art Center. The centers Youth Art Classes and Adult Art Classes will be further discounted with membership.

November 8, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Release Party

Tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. the Arborland Borders (3527 Washtenaw Ave.), kids ages 8-12 will surely enjoy attending the release party for "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth". Kids can attend the special event featuring all things Wimpy with a book discussion, games, art activities and Wimpy giveaways (while supplies last).

November 5, 2010

LEGO® Atlantis Kids Party

Tomorrow, at the Arborland Borders (3527 Washtenaw Ave.) at 2:00 p.m. kids ages 8-12 can experience LEGO® fun with games and fun give-aways! Join the quest for the Lost City of Atlantis to check out all of the cool LEGO® items Borders has to offer. Come early though, the give-aways are only while supplies last.

Overwhelming Feeling

Hello readers. I'll admit it, I've been a bit overwhelmed for some reason of late. I've not been feeling good and the change in seasons has done a number on me. It's not a good excuse however it's prevented me from posting at the level I expect of myself! I promise to get more great free events posted soon...