August 31, 2011

Premier Toy Store and Hobby Shop to Join Forces

A little bird in a local "Tree" in town said that there are some exciting changes at Ann Arbor's premier toy store (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor).  Seems that starting today the store is being modified to accommodate Rider Hobby into the sales space, joining forces and expanding toy, game and hobby sales to cover kids ages birth to 99999999!

Shhh, don't say much, but if you peek into the window at this "Tree" I am sure you will see some significant changes, especially if you stop in early next week when they re-open!

Seems like a good bet to me!

August 30, 2011

Family Hayride & Fall Decorations Deal

Find family fun and great photo ops at Three Cedars Farm - Get
 the $10 Groupon for a family hayride and decorations too!
It's beginning to feel like autumn anjd I'm getting in the mood for apple cider and a hayride! I suyppose that's why today's Groupon at Three Cedars Farm (7897 6 Mile Rd., Northville) sounded like an awesome deal.

For only $10 a family will get:
  •  One corn stalk ($5 value)
  • A half bale of hay ($4 value)
  • One mum plant ($6 value)
  • One small pumpkin ($2 value)
  • A family hayride ($5 value). Hayrides have no person limit, as long as each rider is a member of the participating family.
With a vibrant red barn and rippling farmland as its backdrop, Three Cedars Farms lures pumpkin pickers of all ages with an eclectic stock of autumn trimmings and full-family hayrides. Decoration packages allow fall enthusiasts to harvest seasonal ornaments from the farm's country store, including an ornamental cornstalk and a half-bale of hay in which to hide proverbial needles, threads, and half-finished quilts. Blossoming mum plants can enliven terraces with the bright shades of fall, and small pumpkins add quirky splashes to stoops with their variegated shapes, tones, and raspy comments in the voice of Ernest Borgnine. After picking out decorations, families can clamber aboard a wagon-toting tractor for a scenic hayride past the property's twisting corn maze and eye-pleasing family photo ready scenery.

Just in Time for Back-to-School: Stick2It™ Decals and Skins by American Greetings

Just in time for the back-to-school shopping season, American Greetings has introduced a new line of decals and skins for cell phones, laptops, home, apartment, and dorm room walls, cars and anywhere consumers want to add their own personal style. The fun new collection, called Stick2It, leverages the greeting card company’s expertise in developing clever humor and unique art to create a line that is sure to catch many an eye.

There are 36 different designs in the Stick2It collection featuring a mix of humorous, clever, and trendy styles. Designs include everything from faux security camera decals that can adorn a dorm room and the offbeat fun of a paparazzi photo decal for the bathroom to a boom box laptop skin and the nostalgia of an old-school video game controller skin for a cell phone.

Stick2It decals and skins are
fun, funky and easy to use!
I was given several Stick2It decal samples to pre-view and review for my audience; I have been wanting to try a laptop skin for some time and was given the Flower Power laptop skin, a fun retro floral design. It was more substantial and thicker than I expected, and exceptionally easy to apply, adjust and re-adjust. The best part is, it hasn't lifted at the corners or along the edges of my laptop. It was a bit of a challenge to cut to the specifications of my laptop though, I would have preferred straighter edges too; That's why I highly recommend using a straight edge and cutter on a cutting board - that might be the perfectionist in me talking though!
I also tried out the Stick2it memo board refrigerator decal. Thought not as thick and seemingly "sticker", the application went on nicely. Just be sure to apply with a straigh edge for the smoothest application. You might want to have a wipe off pen at the ready too, since one does not come in the box!

Both products I have tried thus far have exceeded my expectations! For more information on Stick2It, including where to find the products, visit the official product page at In the Ann Arbor area though, Stick2It products can currently be found at the following locations:
  • K Mart (2095 Rawsonville Rd., Beleville)
  • Meijer (9701 Belleville Rd., Belleville)
  • CVS (413 E. Michigan Ave., Saline)
Stay tuned for more on American Greetings Stick2It products, and a chance to win your own prize pack of wall deals and laptop skins for home, dorm, or locker use!

August 25, 2011

The Rodeo is Riding Into Town This Weekend

Yee-Haw. Pull on your boots and denim and head to the Super Kicker Rodeo at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds (5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.) in Lodi Township this weekend. The rodeo will feature bull, barrel and bronco riding as well as family fun like inflatable bounce houses, special games for kids 50 pounds and less (listen for the announcer to call for the kids) and even a mechanical bull for the adventurous.
Tickets are 10 for adults, $5 for children age 5-12. Kids age 1-5 get free admission. The fun begins on
Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at LaFontaine Dodge in Saline, Local Tractor Supply in Dundee, Lakeside Saddlery in Whitmore Lake and the Lodi Food Mart in Saline while also being available at the door.

August 18, 2011

Weekend Events: Heritage Festival, Free Movies and

This weekend has plenty happening from festivals, movies in the park and other fun family activities. You'll surely find something inexpensive (or free) to do! We'll be hanging out at the Heritage Festival but might also head over to Saline's ice cream social Sunday for a little more history for the weekend!
Friday, August 19:

The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival happens all weekend throughout Depot Town, on Frog Island Park and Riverside Park. The line-up for families includes a free kids play area (geared for those under 6), face painting, and plenty of entertainment. Times for the festival are Friday noon-8:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Check out a Waterloo Area Farm Museum (2611 Plymouth Rd., Grass Lake) Weekend Tour running throughout the weekend 1:00-5:00 p.m. Museum tour fees are $5 for adults and $2 for children aged 5-12. Guided tours of the ten-room farmhouse, log cabin, barns, blacksmith and woodworking workshop, bake house, ice house, milk cellar, and windmill. 

In the evening, stop by the Liberty School Gym (7265 Saline Ann Arbor Rd., Saline) for free movies and fun. Starting at 6:30, families can find fun free activities from the portable Gym America gym, a balloon animal artist, an inflatable obstacle course and plenty of yummy concession stand food. Then starting at 8:00 p.m., settle the family in to watch Disney's Tangled. Call the Saline Parks & Recreation at 429-3502 with any questions.

Saturday, August 20:

Everyone loves a parade! So be sure to stop downtown Ypsilanti for the Heritage Festival parade. It starts at 10:00 a.m. at Ballard Street and Michigan Avenue and travel east on Michigan Avenue through downtown Ypsilanti, North on Huron Street to Cross Street and west on Cross Street where the parade disbands at Washington Street. Families will enjoy the bands, floats, marching units, neighborhood groups, school organizations and much, much more! (My daughter, a new Daisy Scout and I will be marching - We'll wave!)

Little Ones can get creative at Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) at 10:30 a.m. Toddlers up to 2 years old can, with an adult, can find something fun to do during this free event.

Join Legacy Land Conservancy at 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in celebrating protected lands and local foods during the Land Conservancy’s Fall Bus Tour (let's hope were the first stop, since "fall" isn't for at least another month!). Hop on our chartered coach, starting at REI (970 W. Eisenhower Pky., Ann Arbor), and enjoy the scenic drive,while visiting some of our most beautiful protected lands. Space is limited and registration is required, call 734-302-5263 or email The cost is $15 for non-members.
At 1:00 p.m. check out a free movies at the Michigan Theatre (603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor) where they are screening the 2011 Young Filmmakers’ Camp participants movies! The middle school projects will screen from 1:0-1:45 p.m. with the high school projects immediately following at 2:00-2:45 p.m. The admission is free so why not support the filmmakers of tomorrow!

Sunday, August 21:
At noon, at 100 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, through a donation from the Huron Valley Ambulance, will be giving away free children’s bicycle helmets at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Health Tent. Proper fitting of helmets by Club volunteers will also be provided to the youth!

If your family has a talented youth or teen (ages 2-14) sign them up to participate in the Children's Talent Contest at the Frog Island Amphitheater. Kids can use an original talent (no lip sync performances) to show off for cash prizes! The show starts at 2:00 p.m. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. on site.

If you are stopping by the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market, you will have a special treat at 1:00 p.m. as Joe Reilly performs at Kerrytown Market & Shops (407 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor). Families will find fun with environmental stewardship with creative lyrics and catchy melodies.

Grab a spoon and dig in as the Ann Arbor Art Center has a cute low-cost family event where everyone creates an individual ice cream bowl then is treated to an ice cream sundea. Sundae at the Ann Arbor Art Center sure sounds sweet! Families can sign up for three separate time slots for the event, 1:00-2:00 p.m., 2:00-3:00 p.m., or 3:00-4:00 p.m.

End the weekend with a sweet note with the old-fashion ice cream Social in Saline. From 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Weber-Blaess One-Room Schoolhouse (520 Woodland Dr. Saline) find fun activities for the kids including a reenactment of a school day, traditional recess games, sing-alongs, musical groups, antique cars, animals, a bucket brigade by the Saline Fire Department. This is a semi-free event, however it is a fundraiser for the Weber Blaess building so please donate generously!

August 17, 2011

Sundae at The Ann Arbor Art Center

This Sunday, August 21 families have the opportunity to join in the fun for a fun day at the Ann Arbor Art Center (117 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor) painting a ceramic ice cream sundae bowl. Then enjoy your own ice cream sundae with all the fixings!

Pre-registration for the Sundae at the Ann Arbor Art Center is required at the website for only $10, choosing a time slot, 1:00-2:00 p.m., 2:00-3:00 p.m., or 3:00-4:00 p.m. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

August 16, 2011

Give Away: Goosebumps Adventures DVD's

Win a free DVD of two new Goosebumps
DVD releases by entering your favorite
 Goosebumps story below.
Ooh, pretty scary. Get goose bumps and keep the light on to ward off the ghosts, goblins, mutants and madness as Goosebumps®: Attack of the Mutant and Goosebumps®: Ghost Beach scare their way onto DVD September 13, 2011.
The latest of R.L. Stine’s wildly successful children’s stories come to life with two all-new terrifying tales.  Attack of the Mutant includes “Attack of the Mutant Parts 1 & 2” and follows Skipper Matthews and his awesome comic book collection and “Phantom of the Auditorium™,” a frightening story about a young actress who is thrilled after winning the lead in the school play...

The next DVD, Ghost Beach includes “The Barking Ghost” and follows Cooper Holmes, a young man who is scared of just about everything and “Be Careful What You Wish For,” where the class klutz Samantha Byrd is the laughingstock of the girls’ basketball team. 

Watch these latest spooky Goosebumps® stories on September 13… if you dare! Thanks to Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment though, two Ann Arbor families will have the opportunity to win a boxed set that includes both releases.

For a chance to win, please tell me in the comments section below what your favorite Goosebumps story was growing up?  Entries need to be received by September 1 at midnight. All entries will be put into a random drawing for the prizes.

Kids Kruiser Taxi Service Answers A Busy Parents Prayers!

Kids Kruiser answers a busy parents prayers by providing taxi services for any reason.
The service is safe, clean, convenient and it's just for kids!
Last night when making a run to the Ypsilanti District Library I ran across this new business in town, so I stopped to get the scoop. Angela from Kids Kruiser LLC told me they have been in business for about 6 months now and provide a pre-arranged taxi service for kids and students ages 3-18.  

Think of it. On demand assistance in getting kids to or from an activity, after school events, doctor appointments, another relatives' house, daycare, summer camps, music lessons, or their parents' office - The possibilities are endless! Their cost is a flat rate too, which is better than using an other taxi service, it's just $2 per mile.

What a GREAT idea.

August 15, 2011

County Farm Park: Nature's Playground

Playing in the dirt, on the playground or wandering the bike paths and trails,
there is a lot to do at County Farm Park in Ann Arbor!
Last week my son and I attended a free activity program with Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation called "Dig Dirt" at County Farm Park. I hadn't been to the park since the county renovated it a year or so ago, and was amazed at how well it is now set up. The natural beauty of the area and landscaping heightens the fun farm-friendly playground equipment. It is a playground any child would love to explore!

The park has plenty of shade, a beautiful covered pavilion, nature trails and bike path's, and gardens snuggled among the paths and play equipment. In my opinion, the park would best serve the under 6 set, however my 7 year old had fun swinging off the play structure and didn't complain much! So the next time you're off to discover new parts of Ann Arbor, take the kidd-o's to County Farm Park to wander.
Kids younger than 6 will especially love County Farm Park, however older
brothers and sisters will certainly find something to do!

August 14, 2011

Destination Toledo: Family Weekend Adventure

When considering family friendly weekend get-away destinations it was hard for me to think of Toledo, however after a recent media tour that included our visiting the Toledo Zoo, the Imagination Station and the Toledo Museum of Art, I now know why Toledo would make a perfect weekend get-away for the whole family!

Toledo, approximately 50 minutes from downtown Ann Arbor, is a beautiful river city. It struck me as being exceedingly clean and well maintained, and very safe. While on our visit, we stayed at the Park Inn Radisson (101 North Summit St., Toledo) with a picturesque view of the river, central location and reasonable costs ($80/night) it seems like a great option for a family hotel. Before checking in, consider spending the day at either the Toledo Zoo (2 Hippo Way, Toledo) or Fossil Park (5675 Centennial Rd, Sylvania), where families can experience a very unique fossil dig for Devonian Era fossils – And the best part is, kids can dig for FREE and keep their found treasures!

A meal at Tony Packo's means families will leave fully satisfied!
After checking in at the hotel, experience one of Toledo’s culinary landmarks, Tony Packo’s (1902 Front Street, Toledo). Made famous by Jamie Farr’s character Max Klinger on M*A*S*H, Tony Packo’s has a comfortable family-friendly atmosphere, and hearty delicious Hungarian food that is faintly reminiscent of our Detroit Coney dogs. It is a filling, very reasonably priced meal among the stars. Or should I say their buns? Tony Packo’s, walls are decorated by signed hotdog buns, from politicians, television personalities, and other famous folk - We ate dinner with Kiss AND Jamie Farr!

After a quick bite, it’s back to park the car at the hotel followed by a quick walk to Fifth Third Park (406 Washington Street, Toledo) where the Toledo Mudhen’s play.

The Toledo Mudhen’s, a Detroit Tigers Triple-A minor league affiliate, provides the perfect backdrop for family fun. Expect to find inexpensive seats ranging from $9-12 that are close to the action and fan fun. Kids can meet Muddy and Muddonna, vie for t-shirts launched with large air-compressor guns, or watch the games and races on the field. The field even has a playground dedicate to the tiniest of visitors tucked behind the outfield!

Hit the town running Saturday morning with a visit to Toledo’s Imagination Station (1 Discovery Way, Toledo). Being only a scant .3 miles away, it would make a nice after-breakfast walk if your family wanted to leave the car at the hotel. I LOVED the various displays at the Imagination Station from the high-wire bike (yes I rode it), the green-screen room, the gravity room and even the wind tunnel. We even conned the staff into putting the wind tunnel on hurricane speed to see the lovely distortion it made to our faces.

After a day learning about science, head back to the hotel for the car to explore the natural world with a family picnic at the Toledo Botanical Gardens (5403 Elmer Dr., Toledo). Pick up food at a local sandwich shop or bring your own picnic basket! The gardens, which are open year round and are free to the public, provide a lush environment where the kids get a breath of fresh air running while mom and dad become enveloped in peace and tranquility. There are even art sculptures located throughout the grounds providing added beauty to the natural surroundings.

The tranquil beauty and colorful backgrounds are sure to please mom,
dad and the kids when visiting the Toledo Botanical Gardens.

On Sunday after check out, pack up your brood to head to the Toledo Museum of Art (2445 Monroe St., Toledo) less than 10 minutes away. The reason to wait until Sunday to visit the museum is for the free family programming on Sunday’s from 12:00-5:30 p.m. Kids ages 10 and under can create their own masterpieces with the plentiful art supplies after experiencing the art and culture, and it’s all free. That’s right, find free museum tours, free family fun and across the street at the Glass Pavilion, find free glassblowing demonstrations! There are even opportunities for your family, teens and older, to create their own blown glass pieces later on Sunday early evening.

Families will find Sunday's at the Toledo Museum of Art the perfect outing
with free tours, free kids programs and free fun!
I'll admit I've never thought of Toledo as a place to visit. It's always been somewhere driven by on I-75. After experiencing Toledo with the Destination Toledo Media Tour though, I know that the area has man affordable gems worth exploring further. Toledo is a great place for families, so many sure you consider it for your next family adventure even if it is only for a brief stay!

August 12, 2011

Weekend Events Round-Up: August 13-15

Make your weekend eventful by attending one (or more) of the great events happening around Ann Arbor. Here is a quick events round up!
Friday, August 12:
  • Kids ages 4+ can create their own Sunflower Paintings at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor) 2:00-5:00 p.m. for only $2.
  • Check out a Waterloo Area Farm Museum (2611 Plymouth Rd., Grass Lake) Weekend Tour running throughout the weekend 1:00-5:00 p.m. Museum tour fees are $5 for adults and $2 for children aged 5-12. Guided tours of the ten-room farmhouse, log cabin, barns, blacksmith and woodworking workshop, bake house, ice house, milk cellar, and windmill.
  • The Wayne County Fair (10871 Quirk Rd., Belleville) is happening through tomorrow. Find rides, fair food, animals, music, exhibits and more to explore.
Saturday, August 13:
  • Teens (Grades 6-12) should plan on attending a free workshop at the Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) called Geek Academy III - Game Programming with Scratch at 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 2:00-5:00 p.m. Teens will discover a way to get started making their own digital games.
  • The circus is in town! The Kelly Miller Circus will have shows at the Lake Shore Apartments (2117 Lakeview Dr., Ypsilanti) at 2:00 and 5:30 p.m. Advance ticket prices are $10.00 per adult, Kid tickets (11 and under) $6.00 On show day (at the door) tickets are $15.00 per adult and $7.00 per kid (11 and under). Advance tickets can be purchased at Aachen Auto at 2280 E. Michigan Ave. or Keybank west Michigan Ave. branch. Come over at 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. to see the elephants help raise the Circus Big Top for FREE.
  • Create your own Aboriginal Dot Painting at Tree Town Toys 3:30–4:30 p.m. for only $2. This project is geared for kids at least 6 years old.
Sunday, August 14:
  • Create a cute Plant Pal at Tree Town Toys 2:00-4:30 p.m. with a homemade type Chia Pet. kids older than 3 can have fun creating their own creature from just a sprinkling of seeds, a bit of sun, and a few drops of patience. Cost $1.

August 11, 2011

Cedar Point: For the Big Kid in You!

I mentioned a few days ago the media tour of Northwest Ohio I participated in, what I hadn't gotten to yet though, was mentioning the third day of our tour - a day at Cedar Point!

Even as a Cedar Point alumni
the park never gets old. There is
something special about a perfect
summer day in the park!
As Michael and I are both Cedar Point alumni, we knew about the many great aspects of the point. Sadly though we haven't visited since we got married 10 years ago. So this was an excellent opportunity to catch up with the best of Cedar Point with it's 17 roller coasters and thrill rides!

I'll have to admit, I'll never experience a day at Cedar Point like this again, and I am now officially spoiled. When we arrived at the park, we were greeted by a marketing intern Ainsley, who spent the day walking the park with us, taking us from ride to ride. She took us to the front of the line for any ride we wanted to experience. That's right, first row baby!

I suppose some might say we began the day rather gently, warming up on Cedar Point's newest ride, Windseeker. It provided a great view of the entire park though, and made is seem as though we were flying. After a gentle warm up though, we hit the blacktop hard, walking over 5 miles hitting Blue Streak, Corkscrew,  Mantis, Top Thrill Dragster, Millennium Force, Gemini, Maverick, Mean Streak, Raptor, Magnum XL-200, Iron Dragon and Disaster Transport. Riding the rides as a 40-something is a much different experience and one that I highly recommend to any "big kid" at heart.
Cedar Point still has classic coasters and for
speed deamons, they have the tallest and
fastest out there too! (photo courtesy
of Cedar Point)
We did take a short lunch break, at Pink’s too (as in the legendary Los Angeles Pink's Hot Dogs). Cedar Point has the first Pink's franchise East of Las Vegas. It was nice allowing our dogs to stop barking for a brief moment before hitting the pavement, and most importantly it was air conditioned!  I'm just glad we rode the Top Thrill Dragster BEFORE lunch!

It was kind of odd in some ways walking the park. I found myself saying "Hey isn't that where ____ ride used to be?" And of course the theatre I performed in was torn down years ago to make way for a large water ride. Not seeing the theatre remains a bittersweet experience. I was however pleasantly surprised at the changes we were experiencing as well as the way that Cedar Point has maintained so much of the park. It's amazing at what growth they can experience in such a tight space!

The park has an amazing assortment of rides, shows and a large kids area that includes pint-size rides just for them. The kids attractions were actually more prevelant than I remembered, or maybe it was just that I had never taken kids before.. My mom actually meet us down there in the morning, bringing the kids to experience the day with us. They did enjoy the day, and my son got to ride his first big coaster (7 actually) however, (and this is the part I would like to keep quiet) I think I might have enjoyed the day more without them. I will admit though, I think I enjoyed karaoke with the Peanuts gang at the Camp Snoopy Theatre more than they did.

My daughter's wee stature of less than 46" means she was more limited by ride selection; it was pretty warm and muggy that day and there is a lot of walking for one with such short legs. We did however allow the kids full-reign of the park for their own experience after departing the media tour. An experience they fully enjoyed!

A new Cedar Point fan is born!
After walking the park with the kids, I would recommend that families with small children spend more than a single day at the park. This might cost a bit more, but would save volumes in sanity. Stay the night on property in Camper Village, at Lighthouse Point (I'd like to check THAT out for our next adventure) or in an of the resort property hotels. This would allow the children to refresh and enjoy the beach, Soak City, or Challenge Park as well as gain early entry into the park and all that Cedar Point has to offer pint size clientele.

Our day spent exploring Cedar Point was one of those perfect summer days, one we're hoping to repeat many times in seasons to come. A day that I would highly recommend for kids of all ages and sizes. Don't be ashamed if you leave the kids at home and enjoy the day at Cedar Point alone with your significant other - I'm not sure the kids wouldn't be able to read the excitement on your faces though!

D.I.Ypsi Indie Art Fair This Weekend


Get the kid's creative juices flowing before the school year begins by taking them to the D.I.Ypsi art fair (36 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti) this Saturday, August 13 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. in Depot Town. Check out unique local artists with a flair for a "Do it yourself" attitude or shop for early holiday gifts.

August 10, 2011

Cirque Amongus at Ann Arbor District Library

This one sounded like an interesting kids event. Today at the Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) is a free event titled "Comedy And Feats Of Skill: Cirque Amongus" at 10:00 a.m. and at the AADL Pittsfield branch (2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor) at 2:00 p.m.
Find some high-flying circus fun with Cirque Amongus
at the AADL today!

The program, geared for children in Kindergarten through 5th grades, looks to be a fun exploration of circus skills, however I also like that their website indicates that their hands-on programs are designed to build self-esteem, develop motor skills, and promote teamwork.

Sounds like a good plan to me!

August 8, 2011

Ann Arbor Mom Nominated for Detroit's Most Valuable Blogger

A friend of mine recently nominated me for Detroit's Most Valuable Blogger 2011. It certainly would be a nice feather in the cap to get an award for something I gladly do, however if you feel so inclined, additional nominations would be nice too!

Why I blog:

Some of you may know my reasons for blogging however many of you likely do not. I started blogging several years back for several reasons though:

1) To better understand social media, specifically blogging.
2) To walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk for perspective clients.
3) To express myself through some kind of writing.
4) And to mostly relay information collected about low-cost and free events for families that happens around town.

You see at the time my husband was out of work so we were looking for free events or those that would cost us very little. Finding these experiences was a perfect way of exploring the area with our two young children too.

When friends began asking me though, "Where did you find that information?" or "How did you hear about that?" I thought that creating blog would be a perfect fit, so I created

I have certainly had some of my efforts pay off; I have found new clients as a result of blogging, been a dedicated contributor for when they had the parenting section, and have even gotten to review a few products and services that my family has enjoyed. Mostly though I have gotten to meet an amazing network of individuals making new friends a long the way!

So if you think that the Ann Arbor Mom blog provides your family with great information, please feel free to nominate it for Detroit's Most Valuable Blogger 2011.

Please consider passing the information along too - And THANKS in advance.

August 4, 2011

Kids Eat Free: Ikea

Thought to pass along this current "Kids Eat Free" deal at IKEA (41640 Ford Rd., Canton) from now until August 21, kids under 12, can choose one combo meal (valued at $2.49) for FREE. Your child must be present and the deal is limited to one combo meal per child.

August 3, 2011

Weekend Activities August 5-7

It's time for the weekend event round up of Ann Arbor activities for families. I hope that you find something to do, we'll be at the Family Campout at Rolling Hills among other things!

Friday, August 5:
  • Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor) has two free music classes - Find one for 3-5 year olds at 10:30 a.m. and one for 6-8 year olds at 1:00 p.m.
  • Kids ages 9+ can also create a house out of recycled cardboard at tree Town Toys for $2.00.
  • The Dexter District Library is bringing their Summer Reading Program Grand to a Finale with Bev Meyer "The Music Lady" at 11:00 a.m. followed by refreshments and balloon animals.
  • The Saline Summerfest begins on Friday and runs through Saturday.
Saturday, August 6:
  • Find lots to do at the Saline Summerfest!
  • Jo-Ann Fabric stores has two free Make-It, Take-It demonstrations. At 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. create a Cricut machine bookmark, or from 3:00-5:00 p.m. kids and teens ages 12+ can get creative with a Tulip Body Art Face & Body Paint Make It-Take It event!
  • In the area of Tree Town Toys? Stop in to get your child their very own free color-in tattoo anytime throughout the day.

  • From 2:00-4:00 p.m. Ann Arbor families can Celebrate National Clown Week with an afternoon of informal face painting and balloon sculpture, followed by a high-energy gardening variety show presented by Clowns Around Redford at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti)
  • Learn about the Korean martial art Tae Kwon Do, with a free demonstration and discussion at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti) from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 7:
  • Kids ages 4+ can decorate a wooden birdhouse for only $4 at Tree Town Toys. All paint and embellishments are included, which will save your house the mess!

Rainy Day Activities: Wednesday, August 3

Don't let the rain stop you today. Find many great
free activities in Ann Arbor for the entire family!
Rainy days and Monday's always get me down...  OK not really. We need the rain, my garden needs the rain, and everyone needs some down-time which is often forced upon us when we have a day of light drizzle like what's going on outside my window. HOWEVER if your kids are driving you nuts, why not consider a couple of these options today?

Kids in grades K-5 can check out Animal Magic at Ann Arbor District Library (Pittsfield Branch -
2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor) today at 1:00-2:00 p.m. or 3:00-4:00 p.m. joining Mark Rosenthal, for an award winning wildlife program! Kids will discover rare and endangered animals from almost every continent in this free library program.

Today families have two opportunities for low-cost or free movies. See the latest Narnia movie at the Rave theatres at 10:00 a.m. for free or Rio at 5:00 p.m. a the Michigan Theatre in Jackson (
124 N. Mechanic St., Jackson) for only $1!

For families who enjoy cooking together or simply just eating healthy stop by Whole Foods (3135 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor) for today's Whole Kids Club! Kids ages 3-12 can be introduced to a new tasty food while wandering the store and experiencing samples. On the way out the door, stop to pick up a special treat from the customer service desk. My daughter is excited since her punch card is getting very full - Kids get to collect a special gift after 10 visits!

If gaming is what your child would rather do, call the Milan Public Library (151 Wabash St., Milan) today to register them for Game Day. From 1:00-4:00 p.m. today, your child in kindergarten through 2nd grade can play fun Wii and board games. Call 734-439-1240 to register.

August 2, 2011

Free Movie: The Chronicles of Narnia Voyage of the Dawn Treader

See The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage
of the Dawn Treader for free!
Today sounds like the perfect day to see a movie! The Rave
Motion Pictures (4100 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti) may have a solution too - To see a free movie that is! Today and tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. families can see The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader as part of their Free Family Film Festival. Admission is free for all patrons.