June 23, 2011

Fun Health Fair Today at Packard Health

Today from 12:00 - 5;00 p.m., parents can take their children to participate in the 34th annual health fair at Packard Health (3174 Packard Rd., Ann Arbor).

Families can expect to find a fun event filled with activities for kids including bubbles, line dancing, games and music as well as finding free sports physicals, immunizations, dental screenings, car seats, digital thermometers and books for the first 300 kids.

The yearly event is put on to promote safety with free bike helmets donated by Thomson Reuters and free car seats and car seat checks from Safe Kids Huron Valley.

June 20, 2011

Free Movie Under The Stars at Rolling Hills

Yogi Bear1

Join in the family fun for a free movie under the stars on June 25 at Rolling Hills County Park (7660 Stony Creek Rd., Ypsilanti). This free event will take place on the sledding hill (next to the Lodge) at dusk (around 9:15 p.m.) featuring Yogi Bear.

Dress accordingly and don't forget a blanket to sit on (chairs are not recommended for the hill), bug spray,   and light snacks. Concessions will also be available for a nominal fee.

For questions or more information, please contact Gus Rosa at rosag@ewashtenaw.org or call (734) 484-9676. No registration is required, although a vehicle admission fee applies.

June 19, 2011

Remember Dad With A Book

Since it's officially time for the kids to participate in their Summer reading programs AND it's Father's Day, I would like to point out that the Ann Arbor District library has an awesome list of books featuring "Dad"!

June 17, 2011

Relay for Life of Ann Arbor: Free Kids Activities

One of the best ways to promoted a healthy lifestyle to your children is to do so by example, and what better way than by introducing kids to the Relay for Life! My son's school participates in a mini-program that he was very interested in this year so it may be time to introduce it at a greater level.
The Relay for Life of Ann Arbor will be held on the Campus of Washtenaw Community College (4800E Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48105 ) starting June, 25 at 10:00 a.m. until Sunday, June 26th 10:00 a.m. Families can celebrate er survivorship, remember loved ones lost and fight back against cancer.  Decorate a luminaria bag to remember loved ones lost to cancer and honor those who have won their battle. Free entertainment throughout the day includes live bands, DJ music and kid’s activities in a Kid's Zone area 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. The activities for kids are provided by St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and the Lamaze Family Center from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.  

For more information visit the Relay for Life Ann Arbor website.

June 12, 2011

Free Crafts at Jo-Ann Stores This Saturday

Kids decorate their own bobblehead pet at local Jo-Ann
stores this Saturday. Keep it or gift it!
Here's another great opportunity for your child to create a fun Father's Day gift, or even just create something for themselves. On Saturday, June 18 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. kids can attend a free Make-it take-it craft event at local Jo-Ann stores creating a cute bobble-head pet and gift tag.

Be sure to check out the many other places where kid's can create something for Father's Day too. 

June 10, 2011

Weekend: Civil War Days in Dexter

You'll find Yanks and Rebels in Dexter this weekend as the Dexter Area Historical Society is sponsoring Civil War Days (June 10-12) to benefit Gordon Hall.

The event will offer outdoor activities, and a glimpse into the lives of Civil War era persons.
families can wander military and civilian encampments of the 4th Michigan Regiment and Company A while enjoying the Towne Band, storytellers, gospel music (Sunday morning), a Civil War-era baseball game, and a kids scavenger hunt. Those interested in geneology can also attend a family genealogy workshop. Be sure to check out the Civil War Days events schedule for more details!

The suggested donation for admission on Saturday and Sunday is $10 for adults, $5 for those 5-17, and free admission for children under age 5.

June 9, 2011

Weekend Events Round-up: June 10-12

I meant to post the weekend events earlier today but the end-of-school year events for my kids have simply eaten a hole in my time. To expedite things, here's a quick list of what's happening around town.

Saturday June 11
  • Michael's Crafts (3655 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor) free craft. Father's Day Make-It, Take-It - Decorate a picture frame for dad. 10:00 a.m. - noon
  • Family Fun Day at Two Twelve Arts Center (216 W. Michigan Ave., Saline). Free make and take art activities, face painting, giant bubbles, pottery demonstrations, title making, sno-cones, popcorn, cotton candy, and live music. 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  
  • Summer Reading Kick-Off at Ypsilanti District Library - Michigan (229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti). Family fun, action–packed story time, arts & crafts, make instruments from recycled materials, decorate a planter made from recycled materials and plant a seed to take home. This free event will take place on the Library Park Plaza, moving indoors in the case of rain. noon - 2:00 .p.m
  • Free puppet show at Ypsilanti District Library - Whittaker (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti). See No More Litter in Oz, and learn about reducing, reusing, and recycling through a new version of the Wizard of Oz. Volunteers from the audience will assist in demonstrating the use of marionettes and at the end, there is a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the show. Make sure to sign up for summer reading after the show. 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Civil War Days in Dexter
  • Thomas and Friends: Hero of the Rails, at Rave Motion Pictures (4100 Carpenter Rd, Ypsilanti) at 11:10 a.m. Discounted movie tickets for KidToon films are $1 for children and $2 for adults.
  • Teacher gift craft at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor). Handcraft your own teacher gift from 1:30-5:00 p.m. Cost $3.
Sunday June 12
  • Pancake Breakfast at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (801 Airport Dr., Ann Arbor). helicopter rides, face painting, and other kids activities for kids. Breakfast is $5, tours are free! 8:00 a.m. - noon. 
  • Civil War Days in Dexter
  • Thomas and Friends: Hero of the Rails, at Rave Motion Pictures (4100 Carpenter Rd, Ypsilanti) at 11:10 a.m. Discounted movie tickets for KidToon films are $1 for children and $2 for adults.
  • Teacher gift craft at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor). Handcraft your own teacher gift from 1:30-4:00 p.m. Cost $3.
  • Michael's Crafts (3655 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor). Father's Day t-shirt or tie craft. 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
  • Joe Reilly's Let's Go Outside Concert at the Leslie Science and Nature Center (1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor). Celebrate the beginning of summer for a fun family concert. Tickets are $8. 3:00-4:30 p.m. 

Salute to America Fireworks at Kensington Friday

Get an early start to summer with a "Salute to America" fireworks at Kensington Metropark (2240 W. Buno Rd., Milford).  On Saturday, June 11 at 10:10 p.m. a spectacular fireworks display will light up the sky.
Instead of having fireworks July 4, Kensington will have their
Salute to America fireworks on Saturday, June 11.

Plan to arrive at least two hours early due to crowd conditions. The fireworks are free except for a vehicle entry permit into the park. For more information, call Kensington Metropark at 1-800-477-3178 or 248-685-1561.

June 6, 2011

Kids Read Comics Festival 2011: June 18-19

Kids Reads Comics, a two-day event celebrating the fun of comics for children and teens, returns this weekend, June 18 and 19, to the Chelsea District Library. This year’s event will be a series of comics artists’ workshops, demos, panels, presentations, an “artists’ alley” (where artists sell their comics), a Superhero Parade, portfolio reviews, “quick draws,” a cosplay contest and lots of fun activities for kids, teens and adults, all about comics, animation, and video gaming. For more information on the event, call Karen or Edith at 475-8732, visit the Kids Read Comics website or better yet, just take the quick trip to the Chelsea library for the fun event!

June 4, 2011

Free Father's Day Craft Events

Dad deserves a special gift from the kids almost as much as mom does, and finding fun, free craft projects for the kids to handcraft him something is a great way for your children to create a beautiful gifts while building on their natural creativity! Here are some great ways for your children to express themselves in the name of "dad".
With the many free projects the kids can participate for father's Day,
they are sure to create a special memory for dad or grandad!
Today from 9:00 a.m. - noon, kids can participate in the free Kid's Workshop at  Home Depot (3300 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti or 45900 Michigan Ave., Canton) to make Dad a special Valet Organizer suitable for home or office use. If that doesn't work, Home Depot has added a special Father's Day Kid's Workshop June 18, from 9:00 a.m. - noon where kid's can build dad his own tool box!

Michael's Crafts (3655 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor or 41904 Ford Rd., Canton) is hosting a free make-it, take-it craft event on June 11, 10:00 a.m. - noon where mom's need only purchase the frame, and kids (ages 3 and up) get to create their own handmade masterpiece for dad's special day! All supplies are provided to decorate something really special for dad, and the best part is, there is no clean up for mom!

The local libraries are also getting into the spirit of Father's Day with several free projects. Kids can show Dad their love by personalizing a key chain and a card for him at the Ypsilanti District Library (8975 MacArthur Blvd., Ypsilanti) from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 or YDL-Whittaker (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) From 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 16. Then on Saturday June 18, head over to the Ann Arbor District Library ( 2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor) from 11:00 a.m. - noon to make an awesome personalized Father's Day card.

If that weren't enough, last year I came up with an idea to help my kids create something fun that my husband would appreciate - And use. Customized golf balls decorated with Sharpie markers. So make sure to check out our fun Golf Ball projects for Father's Day.

June 3, 2011

7-year- old Ypsilanti Township Resident Raises $10,000 for Make A Wish

7-year-old Kyle Theume wants to
raise $10,000 for Make A Wish!
Sometimes things happen in the most amazing way; this morning while my daughter and I were casually perusing the sub-wide garage sale in Greene Farms, we stumbled across a huge sale with an unusual sight.

We immediately knew something was different as there were Make A Wish signs and balloons scattered across tables upon tables arranged neatly throughout the front yard. This was one MASSIVE sale! It wasn’t until we were paying though that we met Kyle, the reason for the sale.

Kyle Thueme, a shy 7-year old student from Perry Elementary School, decided he wanted to raise money for the Make A Wish foundation - $10,000 to be specific – And this garage sale was helping him to reach his goal.

It all started when his grandma gave him a Make A Wish t-shirt and hat and Kyle asked what the foundation was. After hearing the explanation, he immediately went to his piggy bank and emptied it to donate to the cause. “I have a lifetime to earn money!” he exclaimed.

All of the items for sale at the garage sale (June 3-4, 2011)
were donated so that the family can raise fund for Make A  Wish

To reach his lofty goal, Kyle and his family have hosted a dance at his school as well as asking friends and neighbors to donate. The garage sale will get them get even further in their quest. Since all of the food (donated by Sam’s Club) and items for sale have been donated, all proceeds will go towards this young philanthropists fundraising efforts!

If you wish to contribute, Kyle will be at his garage sale today and tomorrow 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (7238 Rachel, Ypsilanti 48198) or you can donate online at Make A Wish Michigan. To date, Kyle has reached his goal and will be able to grant 2 children their wish. Since his deadline for contributions is not until July 29 though, he has plenty of time to collect further donations to grant one more child their wish!

Sam's Club donated all of the food for sale at the garage sale
for Make A Wish Michigan
As a parent, this was an excellent teaching opportunity for me to explain how money helps other people and how even the youngest child can make a difference in the world. Kyle's parents must be proud of their son in his quest to help other children.

Weekend Events Round-up: June 3-5

The end of the school year is wrapping up, the Michigan weather is clearing, and families throughout the area are beginning to look for fun activities and free events. This weekend is a little light on Ann Arbor things to do, but there are two great festivals and a sprinkling of events to pass along to you!
Food, fun and great music can be found this weekend at the
Ya’ssoo Greek Festival in Ann Arbor - Kids even get in FREE! 

From Friday through Sunday, families can head over to the Fifth annual Ya’ssoo Greek Festival
at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (3109 Scio Church Rd., Ann Arbor). Families will find live music, dancing and great food. The festival runs Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. - Midnight and Sunday Noon - 6:00 p.m. and costs only $3 after 4:00 p.m. Friday or  after 1:00 p.m. The event is FREE however for children 12 & under and free all day on Sunday!

The Milan Community Fair also continued throughout the weekend with hours from noon - 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon - 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Discount tickets will be available Sunday for budget-conscious families.  Fireworks will be displayed just after dusk Friday (between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m.) with plenty of rides, food and entertainment available throughout the weekend.

If crafting is in your blood, Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor) is hosting a free kids craft project making beautiful, majestic butterflies! On Friday 10:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. budding butterfly enthusiasts ages 4 and up can join in the free craft folding, twisting and pinching paper to make just the right design to decorate a bedroom or anywhere a bit of color is needed!

On Saturday, get up early and head over to Home Depot to make dad his very own Valet Organizer during the Free Kid's Workshop at Home Depot (3300 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti). From 9:00 a.m. - noon, kids can build a cool gift for dad or their favorite grad during the one-a-month free event.

Don't let time get away from you though, as later that morning families can head over to the Lyon Township Kite Festival at James Atchison Memorial Park (58000 Grand River Ave., New Hudson)from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  During this free event, kite aficionados of all ages are invited to the participate in kite flying or observing many beautiful kites at the festival grounds. Expect to find a  classic car display, moonwalks for kids, an Elvis impersonator, music and kid-friendly entertainment! It's a great way families can enjoy themselves at a community festival for no cost.

If you are in downtown Ann Arbor Saturday, the annual African American Downtown Festival will be celebrating all day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. to visit the areas black history, and find plenty of free entertainment and great food. 

Wrap up your weekend Sunday by taking the kids back to Tree Town Toys so they may make their Teacher a Picture Frame. For only $3, your child can create a great school year memory when creating their own hand-made picture frame on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. I doubt the teacher would be disappointed to find a little gift card token tucked inside the frame after either...

Families can also enjoy the Taste of Ann Arbor Sunday from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The yearly event features local restaurants selling small portions of food. We've gone to it a couple of times and find it to be a great way to try new foods and even introduce the kids to them!  There is also live entertainment for a full evening out with the family!

June 2, 2011

Ann Arbor Summer Movie Deals & Discounts for the Family

Discounted and free movies are a bonus when the summer weather becomes gloomy.  
With lower attendance at free summer movies, some theatres have dropped their free movie program. Some theatres though, still offer value pricing discount shows before noon, and some still offer discount movie tickets or $1.00 shows.
Beginning June 13 for 9 weeks throughout the summer, local Quality Theatres offer $1.00 movie tickets.  Each week, Monday through Friday, at 10:00 a.m. the Canton Cinema (43555 Ford Rd., Canton ) and Quality 16 (3686 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor) offer an entertaining PG movie suitable for the entire family.

Their $1 movie summer schedule is:

June 13-17: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
June 20-24: Pail Blart Mall Cop
June 27 - July 1: Open Season
July 4-8: Monster House
July 11-15: Planet 51
July 18-27: Stuart Little
July 25-29: Surf's Up
August 1-5: Madagascar Escape 2 Africa
August 8-12: Monsters Vs. Aliens

The Rave Ann Arbor theatre  (4100 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti) free family film festival Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. June 21 through August 10. This special incentive grants gives parents and kids free admission for these mornings.

An additional discount I found on their website gives families a $2 movie coupon at Rave Theatres available when a regular priced adult ticket is purchased. With several summer blockbusters coming out like Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (May 27),  Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer (June 10), Cars 2 (June 24), Monte Carlo (July 1), Zookeeper (July 8), Winnie The Pooh (July 15), Mr Popper's Penguins (July 17), Smurfs (Aug 5), and Spy Kids 4: All The Time in The World (Aug 19) there are plenty of great movies to see! For more information call the Rave Ann Arbor 20 at 734-973-8424.

AMC Theatres is no longer running their Summer MovieCamp, however they do provide value pricing for families that  come into the theatre before noon.

I checked the Emagine Theatre (39535 Ford Rd., Canton) website and haven't found any discounted movie thickets or free summer programming, stay tuned however as this might change as summer approaches!