September 30, 2011

Native American Heritage of Healing Social Tonight - All Welcome!


THIS JUST IN:

I just received notice of this event and thought it might be nice for earea families to experience. The Heritage of Healing Old-Time Social is tonight starting at 4:00 p.m. at Parker Mill Park (4650 Geddes Rd., Ann Arbor). The free event is a traditional Native American event, featuring singing, dancing, food, information booths & speakers. The focus of this Gathering is encourage younger generations to make healthy lifestyle choices, and to provide some comfort to those who are fighting cancers and chronic diseases.

There is no admission fee and anyone is welcome. All donations, as all proceeds will go to benefit the  Cancer Relief Project for children in families experiencing cancer. We will also be collecting donations of VISA gift cards for purchasing new school clothes for the benefit of this program.

Schedule of Events:
4:00 pm: Water Ceremony
4:30 pm: Walk/Run for Health & Healing
5:00 pm: Potluck Dinner featuring Healthy Foods
6:30 pm: Evening Social

For more information on the Heritage of Healing call 734.550.7094, email HeritageofHealing@NativeYouthAlliance.org  or visit the Native Youth Alliance website.

Harvest Time at the Rentschler Farm

Harvest time was a busy time of the year for folks 100 years ago. Frankly, as a gardener who preserves food through canning and drying I am actually amazed at what they were able to do!

This Sunday, families will have the opportunity to see for themselves what harvest time was like on the farm at the Rentschler Farm Museum (1265 E. Michigan Ave., Saline) from 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Take a wagon ride,  visit with farm animals, see the farm gardens, demonstrations, displays, traditional crafters, and things for the entire family to enjoy. Visit each of the farm buildings and tour the farmhouse, which is interpreted as a family might have used it in the 1930s.

September 29, 2011

Nightfall Festival at the Toledo Botanical Gardens

What grows in the garden after dark? Is it spooky jack-o-lanterns or happy scarecrows? Find out during the Nightfall Festival at the Toledo Botanical Gardens (5403 Elmer Dr., Toledo OH 43615).

Just 30 minutes south, the Toledo Botanical Gardens is having a fun family-friendly celebration of autumn in the gardens with kids trick-or-treating, activities for the kids including art projects and games, a walking tour by lantern a spooky pumpkin patch, live music and good eats. So if your family is looking for a way to begin October, consider heading south for the evening.

The event runs September 30 and October 1 from 4:00-10:00 p.m. Tickets are $7/adults, $6/seniors and students with children under 12 receiving free admission.

Bird Walk at Brauer Preserve

Mornings are for the birds, so why not check out what they are up to. On Saturday, October 1, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. visit the forest and field with a Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation specialist to find the many bird species, both resident species and ones migrating. Bring good walking shoes and binoculars (if possible). The walk takes place at Brauer Preserve in Ann Arbor.

September 28, 2011

Family-Friendly Hallowen Fun With The Huron-Clinton Metroparks:

Looks like the Huron-Clinton Metroparks have plenty of great seasonal family activities planned throughout October. Check out the fun as there is something for everyone from toddlers up through teens, even the big kids will find something to enjoy!


“Tot Time – Creepy Crawlers,” Saturday, October 8 at 10 am, Environmental Discovery Center of Indian Springs Metropark near White Lake. Don’t be afraid! Let’s learn about these amazing creatures together! Fee: $3 per child. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 248-625-7280 or 1-800-477-3192.

“Evening Lantern Tours,” Friday & Saturday, October 14 & 15 at 7 pm and 8:30 pm, Nature Center of Oakwoods Metropark near Flat Rock. Take a hayride followed by a lantern-lit hike around our nature trails where a host of interesting characters are sure to make you laugh, learn and have a great time. Enjoy cider and cookies in the Nature Center before taking another hayride back to your car. Tickets: $10 per person; advance ticket sales only, beginning September 1st. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Oakwoods Nature Center at 734-782-3956 or 1-800-477-3182.

“The Great Pumpkin Hunt,” Saturday, October 15, from 11 am to 2 pm, Environmental Discovery Center of Indian Springs Metropark near White Lake. Enjoy an old-fashioned neighborhood gathering with food and fun sponsored by the Huron Valley Optimist Club. Kids can search for clues on pumpkins to solve a puzzle during The Great Pumpkin Hunt. Prizes will be awarded to winners 16 years and younger. For more information, go to www.huronvalleyoptimist.com  call 248-625-6640 or 1-800-477-3192.

“Fun on the Farm Halloween Party,” Thursday, October 20 from 10 am to noon, Farm Center of Kensington Metropark in Brighton/Milford. This program caters to the little ones. We will have story time, a craft and an activity. Our special fall party includes games, treats, a hayride and even a parade. Costumes are encouraged! Fee: $5 per child; includes a hayride and pumpkin. For more information call 248-684-8632 or 1-800-477-3178.

“Family Halloween – Nature Myths & Superstitions,” Friday, October 21 at 7 pm, Nature Center of Metro Beach Metropark near Mt. Clemens. What does it mean when an owl hoots? Can bats really get stuck in your hair? Discover the truth about these mysterious night-time animals as well as other nature superstitions through fun activities. Halloween treats will be included. Ages 7 and up. Fee: $3 per person. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 586-463-4332 or 1-800-477-3172.

“Kids’ Kandy ’n’ Krafts,” Saturday, October 22 at 6 pm, Nature Center of Oakwoods Metropark near Flat Rock.Crafts, games, candy and a ton of fun will be the theme for this night. Take part in a cupcake walk, make Halloween-themed crafts, play Halloween-themed games and get some candy. Fee: $7 per person. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call Oakwoods Nature Center at 734-782-3956 or 1-800-477-3182.

“Halloween Fun,” Sunday, October 23 at 10 am and 1 pm, Hudson Mills Metropark Activity Center near Dexter/Ann Arbor. Join us for some Halloween fun. Make cider, decorate doughnuts, and create “spooky” crafts. These kid-friendly activities will get you in the Halloween spirit. Also, meet animals from the Great Lakes Zoological Society. Admission is by advance ticket purchase only.  Tickets are $6/child, children under 1 are free (includes all activities and hay ride), and $3/adult (includes cider, doughnuts and hay ride). Tickets are limited and available for purchase October 1 at the park office. For more information call 734-426-8211 or 1-800-477-3191.

“Beastly Bones & Sinister Skulls,” Saturday October 29 at 1 pm, Environmental Discovery Center of Indian Springs Metropark near White Lake. Celebrate Halloween the biology way! We’ll learn to identify skulls and pelts of Michigan mammals. We won’t let you go away empty-handed, though! After all, it’s Halloween. Be prepared to make realistic mammal masks. For children 3rd grade and up. Fee: $3 per person. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 248-625-7280 or 1-800-477-3192.

“Halloween Murder Mystery,” Saturday October 29 at 1 pm, Nature Center of Oakwoods Metropark near Flat Rock. “Who Done It??” Find out during this fun mystery with an ecological twist. Fee: $4 per person. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call Oakwoods Nature Center at 734-782-3956 or 1-800-477-3182.

“Creepy Crawlies Under the Scope,” Sunday, October 30 at 1 pm, Environmental Discovery Center of Indian Springs Metropark near White Lake. Think of your favorite (or least favorite) six or eight-legged friends. Want to see them closer than ever before? Join us for some “spooky” Halloween insect viewing in the microscope lab. Participants will learn how to take digital photos of the creatures that can be emailed home! Ages 6 and up. Fee $3 per person. Pre-registration required. For more information or to register, call 248-625-7280 or 1-800-477-3192.

“Calling All Souls: A Halloween History,” Sunday, October 30 at 2 pm, Marshlands Museum & Nature Center of Lake Erie Metropark in Brownstown. Discover how pumpkins, costumes, tricks and treats became part of an American tradition. Fee: $3 per person. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, call 734-379-5020 or 1-800-477-3189.

Muttster Mash Bash Halloween Party For Kids

I am certain that my kids would fully enjoy the Muttster Mash Bash Halloween Party at the  Humane Society of Huron Valley (3100 Cherry Hill Rd., Ann Arbor). In fact they would likely try and con us into another addition to our already large fam!

On Saturday, October 22 at 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. kids ages 3-12 will have a paw-tastic time trick or treating through the shelter. Along the way they might also find many activities including games, crafts, pictures with Happy the Hound, face painting, snacks, and meet and greets with some four-legged friends! Tickets for the event are $3/child in advance or $5/child at the door. Tickets go on sale October 1st and can be purchased online or at the Humane Society of Huron Valley between the hours of noon-6:00 p.m. Your kids are bound to have a howl-ing good time!

For more information call the HSHV Humane Educator at 734-661-3575.

September 27, 2011

Bird Hike at Hudson Mills Metropark

It's the perfect time of the year to take the family on a nature hike to experience the early fall colors and creatures of the wild, especially migrating birds! This Saturday at 8:00 a.m., at Hudson Mills Metropark (8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter)  families can enjoy a short bird hike in the park for only $3.00 per person plus vehicle parking fee.

Bring your binoculars and a field guide to observe bird species seen in the park and record dates, locations, and trends from year to year. Hikers will explore a variety of habitats throughout the park.

This would make an excellent hike for aspiring avain enthusiasts, scouts and the whole family - Mom, Dad and the kids!

September 24, 2011

Monthly Sensory Sensitive Cinemas at Rave Ann Arbor

On the fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m., Rave Mothion Pictures (4100 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti) will be hosting a series of films aimed at families who have children with disabilities or are on some stage of the Autism Spectrum. The features will always be family friendly, and will be rated either G or PG.

"We realize that bringing children with autism to the theater can be quite a challenge. Each child reacts differently to the normal conditions of the theater, darkened theaters, and loud sound systems. These shows are shown at a light and sound level which will be more inviting for these families. We also realize that the normal standards of theater etiquette of “please sit and be quiet” can also be challenging."

During the viewing, the lighting in the theatre will be left on high, the sound will be turned down, and our patrons are free to talk, sing, or move around the theater during the show. The purpose of Sensory Sensitive Cinema is to control the environment and provide an atmosphere where the children will feel comfortable and the parents will not have to worry about the noise their kids are making.

Movie admission is $7.50 for adults and $7.25 for children. Families with children with strict dietary concerns, are encouraged to bring in your own snacks that are gluten-free or casein-free. Call the theatre at 734-973-4823 for information of which movie is playing.

September 23, 2011

Weekend Events Round-Up: September 23-25

It's officially the beginning of autumn and another busy weekend around Ann Arbor. Families are taking their kids to children's theatre performances, craft events, and harvest festivals, what will you do around Ann Arbor with kids? As always, the Ann Arbor Mom has a weekend planner chocked full of fun low-cost and free events and activities for the entire family.

Friday, September 23:
Saturday, September 24
  • Free fall movies at the Rave Theatre 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, this week is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules!
  • At 10:00 a.m. area Michaels stores (3655 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor) will be hosting Breakfast with your American Girl®  where girls ages 3 and up can bring their doll to the store, create a breakfast plate and free Make-It, Take-It chef's hat for their doll.
  • Apple Day at the Pittsfield Grange. Make apple cider, eat apples and celebrate everything apples from 10:00 aq.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
  • This weekend is the Saline's Harvest of the Arts in Historic Downtown Saline. The free event will have many free activities for kids of all ages in the Kinderplatz area (South Ann Arbor St.) from 10:00a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Children will find a petting zoo, pony rides, an inflatable bounce house and obstacle course, cookie decorating, free crafts, balloons, characters, and so much more.
  • The Ypsilanti Township firefighters discuss fire safety and give fire truck tours at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) at 10:30 a.m.
  • 2:00 p.m. kids and teens can create decorative bottle cap picture frames to decorate their locker or fridge. Bring a photo of your friends, family or favorite celebrity! This free event will take place at the Ypsilanti District Library (8975 MacArthur Blvd., Ypsilanti)
  • Nostalgia Drags at the Milan Dragway (Saturday/Sunday). Free admision kids under 12.
Sunday, September 25:
  • Enjoy a day at the Detroit Institute of Arts during the Metro Parent Day. Get free admission for everyone!
  • The Pittsfield Township Harvest Festival will be Sunday, September 25 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Sutherland-Wilson Farm (797 Textile Rd., Ann Arbor) where families will be able to tour historic buildings, visit with the animals on the farm, pick pumpkins or roll in the hay. There will also be wagon rides, old-time yard games, historic demonstrations, handmade items for sale, homemade eats at the bake sale, souvenir photos, and performances by Saline Fiddlers Restrung. This is a free event for the whole family!
  • Family Friendly Film Series at the Michigan Theatre has James and the Giant Peach playing at 1:30 p.m. Kids under 12 receive free admission.
  • Kids will love the Kite Festival at U-M (1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor) from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Find free kite demonstrations, competitions & challenges, and a community art table. There will also be plenty of entertainment including Chinese ribbon dancing, yo-yo demos, lion dances, taiko drumming, and zithers too. Kite aficionados are invited to participate, bring their own self-crafted kites, and show off their competitive edge. 

September 22, 2011

Detroit Zoo Fall Festival

On October 1-2, the Detroit Zoo will be celebrating the change of seasons with their annual Fall Festival. The two-day free festival features live entertainment, children’s activities, hayrides and seasonal food. All activities take place in the Main Picnic Grove from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and happen rain or shine. Entrance to the Fall Festival is free with regular Zoo admission although there are additional fees for the children’s activity areas and hayrides.

September 20, 2011

Family Math Night at Clonlara School in Ann Arbor

On Tuesday, September 27 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Mathnasium Ann Arbor, is partnering with the Clonlara School (1289 Jewett, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) to host a free event that includes math games and prizes for students in K-8th grade. The Family Math Night guarantees that everyone will have fun with math as the students get power math workouts in the areas of probability, logic, addition/subtraction, as well as with multiplication/division. After powering through, students get to then test their smarts in fun competitions to win prizes.

There will be plenty of puzzles, riddles, and fun games to help keep kids engaged, and entertained while getting them excited to learn math. The best part is that Mathnasium Ann Arbor has indicated that everyone will win a prize!

Our school has run a Family Math Night for the past few years and has seen much success as a result. My kids have been engaged and actually beg to attend the program, they really don't get that they are learning something and I'm not going to tell them! So mark your calendars for the math night event at the Clonlara School on September 27.

Win Stick2It™ Decals and Skins

A few weeks back I talked about receiving a set of Stick2It™ Decals and Skins to try at home and I'll have to say that they have lasted very well. I have a laptop skin and amazingly there is no lifting at the corners and it is very easy to wipe clear. I am notoriously hard on my electronics and the skinz have protected the cover nicely while adding a special personalized touch. I've even received several very nice compliments on the skin!

Now it's your turn to win free Stick2It™ Decals and Skins. And you can win TWO ways! Simply by Liking the Ann Arbor Mom Facebook page and spreading the word or by leaving a posted comment below indicating that you want your free Stick2It™ prize! Give your prize as a gift or keep it for home use, it's your call!

Talliday Farms Corn Maze Discount

There is a great deal out there today for families wanting to experience the Talladay Farms (6270 Judd Rd. Milan),Corn Maze and/or the Haunted Maze! Choose between:
  • For $6, you get two tickets to the regular mazes (up to a $12 value).
  • For $10, you get two tickets to both the regular mazes and the haunted maze (up to a $20 value).
  • For $11 you get four tickets to the regular mazes (up to a $24 value).
  • For $19, you get four tickets to both the regular mazes and the haunted maze (up to a $40 value).
What a GREAT deal eh? Just remember not to buy tickets for any children ages 4 and younger as they receive free admission!

Talladay Farms is open Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The haunted maze opens Friday, September 30, and all mazes remain open until Sunday, October 30. The Haunted Maze is open Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

So be sure to get your Corn or Haunted Maze discount tickets today before they are sold out. Maze completion generally takes 45–75 minutes.

FREE Tickets to DSO Concert at EMU

Free Alert:

Today parents can cal the EMU Convocation Center and receive up six free tickets for a Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert that will be performed on October 1 at the Eastern Michigan University’s Pease Auditorium (College Place & Cross St., Ypsilanti) at 8:00 p.m. For more information please call the EMU Ticket Office at 734-487-2282. What a great way to introduce your children  or teens to the symphony!

The concert is sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation, and is part of a community series of events by the DSO.

September 19, 2011

Jack and the Beantin at Rentschler Farm Museum

See Jack and Beattin at the Rentschler Farm this weekend, it's a
great way to combine children's theatre and history!
Children's theatre and history are a passion of mine, so I was excited to see that the Saline Players are having a children's theatre performance at the Rentschuler Farm Museum (1265 E. Michigan Ave., Saline) this weekend.

Considered a play for the entire family, Jack and the Beattin (a British version of Jack and the Beanstalk) is full of audience participation and fun! Prepare to laugh, react with the characters, meet a cow that talks from both ends, and watch sound effects be made in front of your eyes. Performances are Friday 7:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. Event admission is $8/adults and $5/students. Tickets are available at the door or reserved ahead of time by sending an email to tickets@salineareaplayers.org.

September 17, 2011

FREE: Child Passenger Safety Week Carseat Inspections

Does your child have the proper fit in her carseat? Find out
September,  21 during a free child safety seat inspection.
I'm astounded to learn that misuse rate of child safety seats, car seats and booster seats is 77.8 percent! That means that 3 out of 4 of us aren't giving our young children our full attention as they buckle into their seats! So are mine being used incorrectly? Are yours?

On Wednesday, September 21, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at Moore Pediatrics (13699 Old US 12, Chelsea), Safe Kids Huron Valley is doing a free car seat check event for parents.  If you are unable to head over, there are many locations around Ann Arbor for a free child safety seat inspection typically by appointment. So this month during Child Passenger Safety Week, which begins Sunday, consider having your children checked in their booster seats, 5-point harness or other child safety seat for proper fit and usage.

Check back later for additional free checks occurring around the area September 24.

September 16, 2011

Apple Day at the Grange

Make your own apple cider or try dozens of varieties of apples during
Apple Day at the Pittsfield Grange. Photo courtesy of Absolute Michigan.
Do you like the tart sweetness of freshly squeezed apple cider? Do you live for do-it-yourself projects? Then this weekend will satisfy both requirements as it's Apple Day at the Grange!

On Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., families can make their own apple cider, taste different apples, and even try applesauce and apple butter for FREE! The Pittsfield Grange (3337 Ann Arbor Saline Rd., Ann Arbor) puts on this yearly event. Families can sign up by contacting the grange at preservetrad@gmail.com, calling (734) 769-1052 or simply attend the fun free event. Just remember to bring apples for pressing and containers to take finished cider home in!

Weekend Events Round-Up: September 16-18

Fall can be the perfect time to capture a family moment, be sure
to take advantage out the many photo opts in the area
during the wonderful weekend weather!

We're going to have a beautiful fall weekend in lower Michigan, which is the perfect time to hit the many cider mills, orchards and u-pick places around town, for the younger set, consider hitting Jenny's Farm Stand for some fun, or even Wiards! If that doesn't sound fun, there are several free teen events, some for pre-school and the toddler set and even more for the rest of the family, so be sure to plan your weekend in Ann Arbor with kids wisely - You won't be disappointed!

Friday, September 16:
  • Kid's ages 5+ can become a scientist and make your own "Bouncy Ball" at 3:00-6:00 p.m. at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor) for only $1!
  • Slip into your jammies, bring a favorite stuffed animal and perhaps a blanket to enjoy bedtime storytime at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 W. Michigan Ave.,
    Ypsilanti)  at 7:00 p.m. Milk and cookies will be served after the free event.
Saturday, September 17:
  • Check out the free movies at the local Goodrich Theatres Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.  This week's movie is "better than the average bear" - er - is Yogi Bear! Don't forget your pic-a-nik basket for snack time fun during the intermission. (Really just head to the concession stand, not sure my channeling Yogi Bear in text is really working!)
  • Preschoolers can become a pirate during the Pre-School Pirate Party at Ypsilanti District Library(5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Climb aboard to set sail for high-seas adventure and crafts.
  • Children ages 4-7 will enjoy Storytime at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (525 S. State St., Ann Arbor) at 11:00 a.m. Listen to a story that will bring art to life then stay to visit the galleries with mom and dad.
  • Mathnasium Ann Arbor (2111 Packard Rd, Ann Arbor) is celebrating Math Month by hosting a an Open House with Free pizza, math games and plenty of fun from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Teens can stop by the Ann Arbor District Library (3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor)
    for a Locker Makeover craft 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. to create cool stuff to organize, decorate and fix up your locker. Free teen event for kids in grades 6 – 12.
  • Older kids and teens will enjoy attending the Amigurumi Crochet Craft at Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) 2:00-4:00 p.m. This free event if for teens and older kids ages 12-19, registration however is required by calling 482-4110 ext. 1326. Create
    small Japanese creatures (a cupcake or octopus called a crocheted “Amigurumi.” (I need to be loaned a teen, this sounds like a really fun, free activity!)
Sunday, September 18:
  • Dancing babies? What? Find out what it's all about during Dancing Babies with Aron Kaufman at Ann Arbor District Library (2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor). On Sunday from 1:00-1:40 p.m. toddlers to age 5 can jam with Aron Kaufman, in a program of music and movement.
  • The entire family can enjoy Bug Fest at 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Leslie Science and Nature Center (1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor). Celebrate bugs, beetles, butterflies and more as we search, sweep, dip and dig into the incredible world of insects. Participants will search for insects and arthropods, learn how to classify and identify common insects in our area, and get an up close look at insects under our video microscope. Pre-registration can net a discount admission rate, however tickets are available at the door $8/ person or $30 for the entire family.
  • What about taking the family out for a slow hike on the Prairie? The Prairie Hike at Independence Lake Park at 2:00 p.m. that is!

September 15, 2011

Prairie Hike at Independence Lake Park

The golden beauty of summer is best highlighted by taking a hike to see goldenrod's and beautiful fall asters. This Sunday, enjoy beautiful fall flower hike at Independence Lake with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation staff. Meet at Beach Center just before 2:00 p.m. for this 2 hour prairie hike.

September 14, 2011

Bring Your Pennies to Support the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor

I heard about this very good cause and thought to pass it along to my readers. To me it's important that my children understand that they CAN help make a difference, so tonight after gymnastics we will be stopping by to drop off our pennies...

Pennies add up. Let your children make a
difference during the radiothon for the
Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor.
Beginning today through Friday September 16, Brian “Bubba” Cowan of W4 Country’s “Breakfast
with Bubba” show will be hosting a 61-hour radiothon to raise five million pennies to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor. The broadcast, will take place on the roof of Saline McDonald’s (7847 E. Michigan Ave., Saline) until 5 million pennies are raised! That's a lota' dough.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of W4 Country and Bubba for their dedication to
the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor and are thrilled that they’re back to host our 2nd annual
radiothon,” said Kim Kelly, executive director for the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor. “The
monies raised through the radiothon will allow the Ann Arbor Ronald McDonald House to continue to
provide a wonderful service at a time when families need help the most.”

The mission of the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor is to provide a "home away from home.” for families of children receiving care - typically long term care for illness, injury or treatments. The services are unique in the greater Ann Arbor area and help alleviate emotional and financial stress for each family. Most of a families stay is subsidized, with families paying only $10 per night, but only 25% of families are able to even afford this.

So why not help your child understand that they can make a difference and take their pennies to the Saline's McDonald's to help out families in need!

For more information regarding the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor, contact Kim Kelly
at (734) 994-4442 or via email at kkelly@rmh-annarbor.org.

September 11, 2011

Hundreds of Museums are Free on September 24

Find free Museum Admission to many local museume during the Smithosonian's Museum Day, September 24, 2011

Thanks to the Smithsonian Museum's, families can visit hundreds of museums throughout the United States for FREE! That's right, free museum admission for Smithsonian Museum Day. Get two (2) free tickets (per household) to one of hundreds of museums across the United States including many in Michigan. The tickets will gain entry to only one of the participating museums, excluding parking and special events and exhibits.

Participating Michigan Museums:
The Toledo Museum of Art (Toedo), Fulton County Museum (Wauseon, OH ), Sauder Village (Archbold, OH) and the Wood County Historical Center and Museum (Bowling Green, OH) are also easily accessible to Ann Arbor families! For a full list of Michigan Museum's participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day be sure to visit the Museum Day website.

To get your free Museum Day tickets or to find a participating Museum Day location be sure to visit the Museum Day websites, but please rememebr that the free ticket does not guarantee entry into the museum if it reaches capacity. Be sure to arrive early to the museum to better guarentee entry.

September 10, 2011

Swiming Lessons at Ann Arbor's Goldfish Swim School

Find out about swim lessons at Ann Arbor's newest indoor pool - Goldfish Swim School.

Next Saturday, September 17 from 2:00-7:00 p.m. bring the kids to swim at the Goldfish Swim School ( 2107 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor  48103), Ann Arbor's newest indoor pool. With its 90-degree pool, tropical styled changing rooms and a Caribbean d├ęcor the tropics are never far away.

The grand opening celebration brings the entire family in to enjoy swimming in a state-of-the-art pool, with fun giveaways. Kids 12 and under can even enter in a goldfish drawing contest to be entered to win a birthday pool party at Goldfish.

Find out how you can teach your child how to swim in Ann Arbor's indoor swimming facility with programs for children, ages 4 months to 12 years. Swim classes have small class sizes with dedicated swim instructors. For more information on swim lessons in the indoor pool or to schedule a visit, contact Goldfish Swim School at 734.864.5555 or swimannarbor@goldfishss.com.

September 9, 2011

Weekend Events Round Up: September 9-11

Looks like it's going to be a wet, or at least cloudy weekend. So what plans have you made for your toddler, school age kids or teens? Are there any activities you like to plan on weekends? Below are some activities in Ann Arbor with kids in mind!
Friday, September 9:
  • 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. 
  • Put on your PJ's and join in the fun at the Michigan Theater  (603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor) for the 25th Anniversary of the movie Flight of the Navigator, a far-out space classic for the whole family. Kids under 12 get free admission to the movie! The fun blasts off at 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 10:
  • Check out the free movies at the local Goodrich Theatres Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. The matinee movie times offer family-friendly films with a built in intermission for snacks! This week's movie is Hodwinked Too. (I actually liked that one!)
  • If you were lucky enough to sign up for Saturday's Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic, your child can build a police car for free at 10:00 a.m.
  • Nissan and Sports Illustrated have partnered to host an interactive fan experience before the Wolverines take on the Fighting Irish Saturday. In the experience tent from noon-8:00 p.m., fans of all ages will have the chance to meet college football legends, get their picture taken with the Heisman Trophy, win prizes by participating in fun, interactive games, pick up a free copy of Sports Illustrated’s special edition College Football’s Unforgettable Games, and a lot more. Located across from Michigan Stadium, at the intersection of E. Stadium Blvd. and S. Main Street - Look for the big Nissan/Sports Illustrated helium blimp flying overhead!
  • Fold your way to an amazing painting by using the age-old technique of inkblotting at Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor) from 3:00-5:00.m. This is a free event is for all ages.
  • Find local food, community and free kids activities at the 4th Annual Home Grown Festival (Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market in Kerrytown - 315 Detroit St., Ann Arbor). From 6:00-11:00 p.m. enjoy delicious Michigan foods beer, wine, mead, kombucha and hard cider, rockin’ good music and kids’ activities  And it's all FREE!
Sunday, September 11:
  • Does science make your kids giddy with joy? Then you're in luck because today is a Ford FREE fun day from noon-6:00 p.m., with free admission into the Detroit Science Center in celebration of Grandparent's Day.
  • If the weather hold off, what about enjoying flying a kite from 12:00-2:00 p.m.?  Ann Arbor Parks has several upcoming Kite Flying Dates on Sundays this fall.
  • Splash the day away from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Mack Pool (715 Brooks St., Ann Arbor) during the first monthly Family Splash Day. Find games, prizes and snacks for the whole family. Admission is $4/adults, $3.50 for children 4-17 or seniors, and free for children 3 and under.
  • After receiving a letter home this week that we're in a peanut free classroom this event sounds interesting to me! From 1:00-3:00 p.m. Sunday, your kids can dip ‘n’ roll healthy snacks while parents learn about kid’s nutrition tips and tricks at Whole Foods (3135 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor).
  • We're hoping the weather clears enough to enjoy the Dawn Farm Jamboree Sunday with it's free bouncers, face painting, petting farm and climbing wall. My son is secretly hoping his sister doesn't beat him to the top of the climbing wall this year! The free event runs from 1:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Take a free guided tour of Parker Mill or Sharon Mills to get a better understanding of the harvest season. The mills both open at 1:00 p.m., however for specific tour times, make sure to check my posting on the event from earlier this week!
  • Does your child practically DIE to have the face painted, then stop by Tree Town Toys (2611 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor) for a free face painting from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • From 2:00-3:30 p.m. join in on the Saline Area Historical Society Civil War Fall Education Program. Your teen might get a better understanding of something for a school project even!

More Free Movies: Family Friendly Film Series at The Michigan Theater

The post from two days ago for free movies at Goodrich Quality Theatres prompted another Ann Arbor Mom reader to send me the information on free movie screenings at The Michigan Theater (603 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor) during their 2011-2012 Family Friendly Film Series - That's right, MORE free movies!
During the Family Friendly Film series, children 12 and under receive free admission to the 1:30 p.m. film screenings.

Scheduled movies:

September 25: James and the Giant Peach
November 6: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
January 8: The Muppet Movie (1979)
February 5: Curious George (2006)
March 4-5: Rango
April 22: Charlotte's Web (2006)
May 20: Hook

Pre-school Playtime at Gym America

Starting today at 9:45-10:45 a.m. on every Monday and Friday parents and tots can enjoy exercise and fun at Gym America's (4611 Platt Rd., Ann Arbor) pre-school playtime. For only $5 cash per child, per session, let your child play and explore the gym!

Celebrate The Harvest Season

To help the family understand how foods were processed 100 years ago, or to understand where electricity got started, taking a mill tour may be just what you need! There are two such mills in Washtenaw County where families can learn such things. At Parker Mill, families will learn how the Parker family used waterpower to grind flour, turn a lathe, and run other machines. While the Sharon Mill, part of the Ford legacy offers a better understanding of how electrical power was produced.

Both Parker and Sharon Mills will be running free programs at several times throughout September and October. Take your family, child's class or scout troop - It's fun and free education for all! Take a picnic lunch and your camera, both places offer exceptional scenery to enjoy as well.

A free Parker Mill grist mill tour is a
great way to understand how food
was processed.
Parker Mill Tours
(4650 Geddes Rd., Ann Arbor)
Open 1:00-5:00 p.m. with formal tours at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
September 11, 18, & 25
October 2, 9, 16, & 23

Sharon Mills
(4650 Geddes Rd., Ann Arbor)
Open 1:00-4:00 p.m.
September 11 & 18
October 9 & 23
Group tours are also available by appointment May through October (734) 971-6337 x 334.

September 8, 2011

Michigan in the Civil War at the Saline Library

Your teen will appreciate the chance to learn local histroy as the folks at the Saline Area Historical Society puts on the the first of three Fall Education Programs for the fall. On Sunday, September 11, 2:00-3:30 p.m., join John Gibney, Civil War history specialist from Eastern Michigan University and Director of Monroe Historical Museums to understand more about Michigans involvement in the Cival War. The program takes place at teh Saline District Library (555 N. Maple Rd., Saline)

Mr. Gibney is known near and far as a Civil War buff and reenactor. He participated in the filming of Gettysburg, Glory, and Gods and Generals, as well as numerous radio and TV documentaries and specials. John Gibney was named one of the official state partners for the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, charged with coordinating Museum and Round Table activities. Education Programs are always free and everyone is welcome.

September 6, 2011

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Building Workshops for Kids!

Seems everyone is getting into the transportation mood this month for the various kid's building clinics. So get on-board and take your tyke to one of several fun workshops this month. Don't forget to sign up early though...

  • September 10: Wooden Police Car with Flashing Light - Lowe's
  • September 24: Fire Truck with Working Siren - Lowe's
  • October 1: Fire Rescue Helicopter - Home Depot
Lowe's (3900 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti and 5900 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor) offers their kids Build and Grow Building Clinics two Saturday's a month at 10:00 a.m. The workshop fills quickly and provides kids the opportunity to use real tools (a hammer, nails, screws and screwdrivers) to build toys and other usable objects. The Home Depot's Kids Workshops (3300 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti and  45900 Michigan Ave., Canton) offer useful projectsfor kid's age 5-12. The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while at the same time helping to instill a sense of accomplishment. Their workshops run the first Saturday of every month 9:00 a.m. - noon. Both clinics give children their own apron and a certificate of completion or a patch!

September 3, 2011

Storytime: Times and Locations Fall 2011

School is getting back on track, so why not take your younger child to one of the many storytime programs for babies, toddlers and pre-school age children available in the area.

MONDAY:

Ann Arbor District Library Playgroup Storytime
Location: 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Age: Babies to 24 months - No older siblings, please.
15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs, followed by open playtime. Parents/guardians must remain with their children. 

Dexter District Library Toddler Storytime
Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: 18-months to 3 years
Children must be pre-registered at the library. Begins week of September 19.

Ypsilanti District Library Baby Brigade Storytime
Location:5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: Infant to 18-months
Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians. Beginning September 12.

Ypsilanti District Library Kid's Club Storytime
Location: 229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: Pre-school aged children
Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians. Times and locations should be verified.
Dexter District Library Pre-school Storytime
Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Age: 3-5 years
Children must be pre-registered at the library. Begins week of September 19.


TUESDAY:

Ann Arbor District Library, Malletts Creek Playgroup Storytime
Location: 3090 E. Eisenhower Pky., Ann Arbor
Time: 10:00 –11:00 a.m.
Age: Babies to 24 months - No older siblings, please.
15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs, followed by open playtime. Parents/guardians must remain with their children.

Ann Arbor District Library Preschool Storytime
Location: 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor
Time: 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome. 

Ypsilanti District Library Superior Storytime
Location: 8975 MacArthur Blvd., Ypsilanti
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age:
Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians.

Ypsilanti District Library Toddler Storytime
Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: Toddlers
Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians. Beginning September 13.

Ann Arbor District Library, Traverwood Preschool Storytime
Location: 3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor
Time: 11:00-11:30 a.m.
Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome.

Dexter District Library Pre-school Storytime
Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Age: 3-5 years
Children must be pre-registered at the library. Begins week of September 19.

WEDNESDAY:

Ann Arbor District Library, Malletts Creek Preschool Storytime
Location: 3090 E. Eisenhower Pky., Ann Arbor
Time: 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome.

Dexter District Library Toddler Storytime
Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: 18-months to 3 years
Children must be pre-registered at the library. Begins week of September 19.

Ypsilanti District Library Toddler Storytime
Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: Toddlers
Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians. Beginning September 14.

Ann Arbor District Library Preschool Storytime
Location: 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor
Time: 11:00-11:30 a.m.
Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome

Ann Arbor District Library, Pittsfield Playgroup Storytime
Location: 2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor
Time: 11:30 a.m. - noon
Age: Babies to 24 months - No older siblings, please.
15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs, followed by open playtime. Parents/guardians must remain with their children.

Dexter District Library Storytime
Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Age: 18-months - 5 years
Children must be pre-registered at the library. Begins week of September 19. Begins week of September 19.

Ypsilanti District Library Pre-school Storytime
Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
Time: 1:30-2:00 p.m.
Age: Pre-school age
Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians. Beginning September 14.

Ann Arbor District Library, Traverwood Preschool Storytime
Location: 3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor
Time: 6:00-6:30 p.m.
Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome. 

THURSDAY:

Ann Arbor District Library, Traverwood Preschool Storytime
Location: 3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor
Time: 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome. 

Dexter District Library Toddler Storytime
Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: 18-months to 3 years
Children must be pre-registered at the library. Begins week of September 19.

Ypsilanti District Library Jump-Start Storytime
Location:5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: Pre-school aged children
Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians. Beginning September 15.

Dexter District Library Pre-school Storytime
Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Age: 3-5 years
Children must be pre-registered at the library. Begins week of September 19.

Ann Arbor District Library, Malletts Creek Playgroup Storytime
Location: 3090 E. Eisenhower Pky., Ann Arbor
Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Age: Babies to 24 months - No older siblings, please.
15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs, followed by open playtime. Parents/guardians must remain with their children.

Ann Arbor District Library, Pittsfield Preschool Storytime
Location: 2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor
Time: 7:00-7:30 p.m.
Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome.

FRIDAY:

Ann Arbor District Library, Pittsfield Preschool Storytime
Location: 2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor
Time: 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome.  

Ann Arbor District Library, Traverwood Playgroup Storytime
Location: 3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Age: Babies to 24 months - No older siblings, please.
15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs, followed by open playtime. Parents/guardians must remain with their children.

SATURDAY:

Ann Arbor District Library, Malletts Creek Storytime
Location: 3090 E. Eisenhower Pky., Ann Arbor
Time: 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Age: Any age
Library staff will read aloud stories that the whole family, all ages, can enjoy together. 

Ypsilanti District Library Super Saturday Storytime
Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Age: Any age
Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians. Alternate Saturday's.

Saturday Storytime With Mr. Bones / Barnes & Nobel Storytime
Location: 3235 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Age: 3-6 years old
LibClassics, favorites and requests are chosen reads. Sometimes he has special visitors like Spot the Dog or Curious George and maybe cookies and activity sheets too!

Weekly Storytime at Nicola's Books
Location: 2513 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Age: 7 and under

The Saline District Library also has storytimes, however they are by registration only. See the Saline District Library for storytime dates, times and sign-up. Look under Youth tab on the website.

Information was pulled from the various library websites. For accuracy, always verify times and locations with your local library.

Holiday Weekend Events

Feeling energized to do something this holiday weekend? Check out one of the few great events happening around town:

Get twisted at the Twisted Balloon Workshop at Ypsilanti District Library (229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti) today at 11:00 a.m. Learn about how to inflate and twist balloons into fantastic shapes without popping them! Pumps and balloons included for the workshop and kids can keep everything they create.

Through the weekend, make sure to stop in at the Saline Community Fair for great fair food, a few rides and some fantastic displays of agricultural excellence! Including my award winning pepper jelly (yes I know let the accolades begin!).

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 2:00-6:30 p.m. Sunday - This once a year festival is great fun for children of all ages! Find dancing, plus a dedicated children's area with crafts and an instrument petting zoo.

September 1, 2011

We Can Do It - Spend Labor Day at the Henry Ford for Free!

Monday, September 5, is the final Target Family Fun Day at the Henry Ford. Spend Labor Day learning about the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well being of our great nation with free admission to the museum. The entire family will enjoy the many live musical performances, scavanger hunts and make and take activities happening throughout the day as well as the wonderful dramatic presentations with “Rosie the Riveter”!