January 31, 2012

Winter Break Camps in Ann Arbor: 2012

Find many great mid-winter break camps for Ann Arbor families.
Many of the area schools have days off or the entire week off school in mid-February (Feb. 18-26). D0 you already have plans for your kids when there is no school? Have you found winter break camps or events to keep the kids busy? Here are some fun events for the kids during midwinter break.

Creativity Camp at the Ann Arbor Art Center allows kids ages 5-12 to spend a week exploring the world of patterns, people and places. Learn to paint, draw, sculpt and learn about the decorative arts and cultures of the world. There will be a field trip to visit Ann Arbor galleries or a museum and each day will include 30 minutes of kids yoga and stretching. At the end of the camp, the children will hold an exhibition and reception for their families.

Want to play some hoops or learn about astronomy? Camps at the Ann Arbor Community Education & Recreation are geared for kids in grades 1-6. Or play soccer during a midwinter break camp at the World Wide Sports Center or play soccer or basketball at High Velocity Sports in Canton . Kids can participate in half or full day camp programs during break.

For the nature lover, kids can head to the winter break camps at the Leslie Science and Nature Center. School break camps there are for kids in grades K-5 and allow kids to explore the forest, fields, and trails or sled down the snowy slopes.

For families that don't need all-day camps but are still looking for something to do that week, check out the blog tomorrow for many great free and low-cost activities happening during Ann Arbor winter break!

January 27, 2012

Weekend Event Round-Up: Jan 27-29

I'd love to think this weekend will be quiet, but for my family and I anyway, it will be anything but! We have our Cub Scout Pinewood Derby races, are heading to the Fox Theatre to see Sesame Street Live and my son is ramping up to be part of a Science Olympiad team for his school. Somewhere in there too will be cleaning house, doing laundry, working AND sleeping. Is a parents job ever done? Never mind, don't bother answering that one!

Have you made weekend plans? Does your planner overflow as much as mine? Someday I'd like a date with my husband, just not sure when that will happen.

Any-who, here's the weekly Ann Arbor weekend event planner...

Friday, January 27
  • Why not enjoy some free bouncing at Xtreme Bounce Zone 10 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.?
  • See Under the African Sky at the Washtenaw Community College Morris Lawrence Building (4800 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor) Fri 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  The play for for the entire family is a delightful collection of African tales performed through storytelling, acting, dancing, and drumming. Colorful costumes, masks, and traditional music will delight and teach our youngest fans, with lots of opportunities for audience participation. 
  • Stop by the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) for Teen Gaming 3:30-5:00 p.m. Drop in and play electronic games for PlayStation and Wii use what the library has or bring a game to share.
  • For a date-night idea for mom and dad, I have been told the Performance Network has a hilarious play happening right now called God of Carnage. It's apparently a comedy of (bad) manners that is supposed to change the way we look at polite conversation. I'm hoping to check it out next week.
Saturday, January 28
  • See Under the African Sky at the Washtenaw Community College Morris Lawrence Building (4800 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor) at 11:00 a.m.
  • Build your own build-a-saurus at the Lowe's Build and Grow clinics  at 10:00 a.m.!
  • Attend the first ever "Grange Junior Maker" program at the Pittsfield Grange at 10:00 a.m.
  • Stay warm while visiting Chillin At The Mills at Hudson Mills. There may not be much snow, but there is sure to be lots of fun!
  • Teens still have time to celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter) at 1:00 p.m.
  • Want to participate in a fun scavenger hunt? The Ypsilanti District Library (8975 MacArthur Blvd., Superior Township) may just hold that anti-boredom key... From 2:00-3:30 p.m. be clever and use your head to search for clues and hidden treasures! 

So what will you do and around Ann Arbor with kids? I'd love to see your family fun photos either on the blog or the Ann Arbor Mom Facebook page.

January 26, 2012

Free Kids Workshops at the Pittsfield Grange

There is a new program for kids and their parents starting at the Pittsfield Township Grange (3337 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd., Ann Arbor). The Grange Junior Maker, will be a monthly free workshop where the kids will build electronics, robotics and wood. Their first project however will be building a workbench for use in future projects.

Please bring your tools and any supplies you would like to donate at 10:00 a.m., Saturday January 28.
Parents must accompany their children in order to participate. For more information call 734-926-5079.

Discount to Sesame Street Live

Were you considering taking the kids to see Sesame Street Live this weekend at the Fox Theatre but ticket prices were keeping you away? You're in luck then, as the Ann Arbor Mom can offer you special discount pricing of $3 off each ticket!

To redeem this coupon for discount admission, simply use the passcode "ERNIE" when checking out at OlympiaEntertainment.com.

Elmo hopes you bring the kids to the Fox Theatre this weekend. Get a $3 discount off
each ticket by using ERNIE when checking out at OlympiaEntertainment.com.

This special offer excludes Gold Circle & Sunny Seats. It is not valid on Family Nights, Kids’ Matinees, Saturday 2:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m., and may not be used for previously purchased tickets. The discount cannot be combined with any other offer.

January 23, 2012

Free Bouncing at Xtreme Bounce Zone

The Xtreme Bounce Zone (82 Aprill Dr., Ann Arbor) is offering free bouncing during their customer appreciation day on January 27, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.Guests will receive free admission, pizza and a juice box!

Kids can enjoy the monkey house, the giant 18-foot slide, the obstacle course and many other great bouncers.

January 21, 2012

'Chillin' at the Mills' Offers Plenty of Family Fun

Photo courtesy: www.Michigan.org
Chillin' at the Mills, a yearly event at the Hudson Mills Metropark (8801 N Territorial Rd., Dexter) offers families the perfect opportunity to enjoy winter and all it's spleandor. The event, on January 28 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., allows families to participate in a variety of outdoor activities including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog-sledding and other winter activities (weather dependant). Then if things get a bit too chilly, the kids can warm up indoors with a craft activity and hot chocolate.

Anyone can enjoy the day, however it's bound to be a busy day, that's why it is recommended that families pre-register 734-426-8211. The cost for the event is $2 per person (or $6 which includes lunch). For more information please visit www.Metroparks.org.

January 20, 2012

Free Science Workshops for the Family

Families will enjoy attending the
Family Reading & Science Workshop at the Museum of Natural History.
This year, the free event will teach kids about science and their bodies.
Starting this weekend, the University of Michigan Natural History Museum is holding a series of free Family Reading & Science Workshops in public libraries all over Southeastern Michigan. The fun, family workshops about science are geared for children ages 6-11. This year's theme will aloow kids and their parents to explore the Evolution and Health and what it means to their bodies.

The first workshop at the museum will be held January 22 at 1:00 p.m.. "How YOU work: What are made of and what do your vital signs mean?" will help youth and tweens explore their bodies, DNA and better understand their individual vital signs.

Future dates/locations for workshop 1:
  • Saturday, January 21, 10:30 a.m. - Milan Public Library
  • Saturday, January 21,  11:30 a.m. - Ypsilanti Public Library
  • Saturday, January 28, 10:00 a.m. - Dexter District Library
  • Saturday, February 4, 11:00 a.m. - Manchester District Library

The second workshop, "Germs, parasites, and allergies: Oh my! What makes us sick and what makes us well?" will teach children about how bodies become ill and how our bodies protect us. Families can find it at the museum on Sunday, February 18, at 1:00 p.m.
Future dates/locations for workshop 2:
  • Saturday, February 11, 10:00 a.m. - Dexter District Library & AADL (downtown)
  • Saturday, February 11, 10:00 a.m. -  Milan Public Library
  • Saturday, February 11, 1:00 p.m. - Chelsea District Library
  • Saturday, February 11, 1:00 p.m. - AADL (Traverwood)
  • Saturday, February 11, 3:00 p.m. - Saline District Library
  • Saturday, February 18, 11:00 a.m. - Manchester District Library
  • Saturday, February 18, 11:30 a.m. - Ypsilanti District Library
  • Saturday, February 18, 2:00 p.m. - Salem-South Lyon Library
  • Saturday, January 21, 11:30 a.m. - Ypsilanti Public Library
  • Saturday, January 28, 10:00 a.m. - Dexter District Library
  • Saturday, February 4, 11:00 a.m. - Manchester District Library

The third, and final workshop, "Build the $6 million you: Making the most of your health" will help the kids leanr about improving and maintaining health. Families can find it at the museum on Sunday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Future dates/locations for workshop 3:
  • Saturday, March 3, 10:00 a.m. - Dexter District Library
  • Saturday, March 3, 11:00 a.m. - Manchester District Library
  • Saturday, March 10, 10:00 a.m. -  AADL (downtown)
  • Saturday, March 10, 10:30 a.m. - Milan Public Library
  • Saturday, March 10, 1:00 p.m. - Chelsea District Library
  • Saturday, March 10, 2:00 p.m. - Salem-South Lyon Library & AADL (Traverwood)
  • Saturday, March 10, 3:00 p.m. - Saline District Library
  • Saturday, March 17, 11:30 a.m. - Ypsilanti District Library
Don't worry if your family doesn't reside in Washtenaw County, Thanks to the Toyota USA Foundation, there are many more opportunities for families throughout south-east Michigan to experience the wonder and science of our bodies with their children; Find the complete Family Science Workshop schedule for dates and locations outside of Washtenaw County.

 Be sure to pre-register for this free event at the University of Michigan Natural History Museum (1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor), registration is required by contacting Jeremy King at 734-764-0480 or by email.

Weekend Events Round-Up: Jan 20-22

This weekend is full of fun events for the family. Luckily the weather is cooperating for events like the 2012 Plymouth Ice Festival or Milan's Ice Sculpture Festival, making it perfect for spectacular ice sculptures. My kids LOVE watching the carvers change a block of ice into something amazing and it's an event that should not be missed. The North American International Auto Show is also here for one final weekend (we'll be there Sunday) and there are plenty of great events and activities for everyone.

Checking out the sculptures at the Plymouth Ice Fest!

Have you made plans for the weekend? Anything special planed for the kids? What about a night out for you and your spouse? Regardless, the weekend event planner will have something for everyone.

Friday, January 20
  • Stop by the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) for "Making Tracks" at 2:00 p.m. The free program from the Leslie Science and Nature Center will visit and bring some animals to discuss how animals survive during winter, including migration and hibernation.
  • The 2012 Plymouth Ice Festival runs throughout the weekend. Friday 3:00-9:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Want some family time? How about visiting the New Zoo Play Cafe (1834 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) for Family Night from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Don't worry about dinner as pizza will be available for $1/slice and of course the entertainment is taken care of. The event will also feature story time at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 21

Sunday, January 22

So what will you do and around Ann Arbor with kids? I'd love to see your family fun photos either on the blog or the Ann Arbor Mom Facebook page.

January 19, 2012

Detroit's Most Valuable Blogger 2011

Wow, I just realized that the blog actually was awarded something; AnnArborMom.com is one of the CBS Detroit's Most Valuable Bloggers (Lifestyle category). Pretty cool huh?

It really helps to know that my work isn't in vain. The blog was born out of the love of finding great free events and low cost activities for my family when we were out-of-work. Then I had so many friends asking about where I heard about events that I simply started the blog!

I'd love to see the blog grow and expand without moving too far from it's original purpose. My kids are growing and changing their wants and desires, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't provide helpful information to Ann Arbor families. So here's to another great year!

I feel blessed and humbled that someone noticed the blog and nominated it. I suppose the way to say it best is "thank YOU!"

January 18, 2012

Stretch Your Math Noodle at the AADL

This Sunday, January 22, 1:00-3:00 p.m., kids in grades K-5 can relax and participate in a fun, free Ann Arbor District Library event (343 South Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor 48104) that focuses on math.

The event, sponsored by Mathnasium of Ann Arbor will allow the kids to play games with a chance to win great prize while pumping up their math muscles. The kids will practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills through fun games and team competitions that include learning geometry through Tangram puzzles!

So bring the kid-o's and let them stretch their noodle. They'll have so much fun they won't even realize they are learning something.

January 17, 2012

Nature Stories and a Hike for The Family

Here is a great "get-outdoors" activity for this weekend!

On Saturday, January 21, 10:30 a.m. - Noon, kids 4 and older can enjoy Nature Stories and a hike at the County Farm Park (2230 Platt Rd., Ann Arbor). Kids will enjoy stories about nature then head outdoors to explore the winter world. After the hike, everyone will come inside for a hot drink.

Be sure to pre-register 971-6337, x334 and dress for the weather! The free event will begin in the Field Operations Bldg. (bldg. closest to the playground!) at the Platt Rd. entrance.

Later that same afternoon at 3:30 p.m., the rest of the family can also hike and enjoy the park during a January Field Exploration. Head out to explore the open habitats of County Farm Park to see what we can find; we’ll look for winter birds and mammals, look for animal tracks, do some winter wildflower identification, look for berries and interesting seeds and more!

Dress for being warm while we are outside. Hot drinks inside after the hike!

Kids Only Bookclub

Want you child to read more? What about improving their reading comprehension? Then consider having your child join an area "Kids Book Club". Luckily the area offers several to choose from for the beginning reader through to the very experienced teens! Check out the many choices available to your child.

At the Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti), kids in grades 3-5 will meet at 7:00 p.m. one Tuesday each month for a snack and discussion. The free event does require registration though 482-4110 x1390.

Kids Book Club Dates:
  • A Long Way from Chicago (1/17)
  • The BFG (2/21)
  • The Borrowers (3/20)
  • The Dark Stair (4/17)
  • The Homework Machine (5/15)

For young men that enjoy fantasy stories, the Boys Fantasy Book Club at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) might be the place to start. From 7:00-8:00 p.m. your son will talk about a favorite book that's been chosen just for him.

Fantasty Book Club Dates:
  • Thursday, January 19
  • Thursday, February 16
  • Thursday, March 15
  • Thursday, April 19

Is your teen an extreme reader sucking down countless books? Why not enroll in the eXtreme Readers Book Club. At 6:00 p.m., teens and adults will explore themes of race and class through contemporary teen fiction at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti).

Upcoming titles:
  • When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Nepture (1/18)
  • One Day It Will All Make Sense (2/15)
  • 47 (3/21)
  • Bronxwood (4/18)
  • Street Pharm (5/16)

For the beginning reader, the Book Buddies program might be a better fit. School aged children will meet at 2:00-3:00 p.m. to discuss selected books, enjoy a craft, and have a small snack. Registration for this YDL Whittaker event is required however by calling 482-4110 ext.1340.

Kids Book Groups Dates:
  • Saturday, January 28
  • Saturday, February 25
  • Saturday, March 24
  • Saturday, April 21
  • Saturday, May 19

Your young teen has a group of their own too with the Tween Book Club at Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti). Tweens ages 10-13 will get together at 7:00 p.m. to read and discuss books of your choice. At the first meeting we will discuss The Giver and vote on books YOU want to read for future meetings. Don't forget to register though!

Tween book Club Dates:
  • Tuesday, January 31
  • Tuesday, February 28
  • Tuesday, March 27
  • Tuesday, April 24
  • Tuesday, May 29

With all of these great book clubs available to the kids, it will surely be a busy winter!

January 13, 2012

Weekend Events Round-Up: Jan 13-15

How is your weekend shaping up? Have any plans with the kids? I'll be laying kind of low since I broke my arm this last week. But that won't totally stop me.

Check out the many great events and activities in Ann Arbor for the kids, the weekend event planner has lots to do. With kids being out of school Monday, I have several great events in observance of in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Ann Arbor as well.

Saturday, January 14
  •  Free Science workshop for kids in grades K-5 at the Ann Arbor District Library at 10:00 a.m. (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) and 2:00 p.m. (3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor). During the free event, kids will find out what they are made of.
  • Kids can build a castle during the January Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop at 10:00 a.m.
  • Older kids and teens can create their own custom hurricane lantern at the Ypsilanti District Library at 2:00 p.m.
  • Teens and their parents can learn about Solar Energy at the Ypsilanti District Library (Michigan Ave.) at 3:00 p.m. Discover how solar energy works and learn how to provide photovoltaic solar power for your home.
Sunday, January 15
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year at theYpsilanti Library at 2:00 p.m.
  • Family Dance at Pittsfield Grange  (3337 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd., Ann Arbor)  at 2:00-4:00 p.m.
     Cost: $12/family. Live music and dances suitable for children with their parents or grandparents, followed by Grange-baked cookies.

January 11, 2012

Kids Create a Hurricane Lantern

On Saturday, January 14, kids and teens, ages 7-18, can create their own colorful hurricane lantern at the Ypsilanti District Library (8795 MacArthur Blvd., Ypsilanti) at 2:00 p.m. Decorate a glass jar with supplies provided by YDL. Create a stylish handle with colored wire and beads. It makes a neat night-light when you put in a no-flame candle which we will provide.

Registration for this free event is required and only available to YDL cardholders. For more information call 482-4110 X1391.

January 10, 2012

Events: Celebrate Chinese New Year

Want to celebrate the Chinese New Year with some cool crafts and activities? This Sunday from, the kids can celebrate the Asian Lunar New Year with Frances Wang and students from the Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan. Families can will find stories, fan dance demo, Chinese yo-yo demonstrations, crafts and children’s activities, culminating with the Lion Dance at the free event.

The Chinese New Year event takes place at the Ypsilanti Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) on Sunday, January 15 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Don't worry, if you miss the event, it will be repeated on Saturday, January 21 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Ypsilanti Library Michigan Avenue branch!

January 9, 2012

Kids Building Workshops

Being cooped up all winter does not mean the kids can't have fun. I especially like it when they go elsewhere for fun, as it keeps the house MUCH cleaner! For grade school aged kids that like to build there are several upcoming free kids building clinics.

The Lowe's Build and Grow clinics being offered this month allow the kids to build their own castle (January 14) or a dinosaur creature called a build-a-saurus (January 28). Just be sure to register early as the clinics often fill up quickly!

The Home Depot Keepsake Box.Home Depot also offers kids building workshops with the next being on February 4 when your child can build a cute kepsake box. You do not need to register, but be sure to attend the workshop early or the materials will be gone! Home Depot kids clinics are offered the first Saturday of each month 9:00 a.m. - noon.

January 8, 2012

Teen Writing Workshop

Does your teen enjoy writing? Maybe they just need an extra boost? Why not check out the free writing workshop at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti)?

The 826michigan Writing Workshop will allow teens to experiment with writing prompts while getting constructive feedback on their poems and stories. Teens will learn new techniques, and discuss creative writing with their peers.

Se sure to add this to your calendar! All workshops are scheduled 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Writing Workshop Dates:

Tuesday, January 10
Tuesday, January 17
Tuesday, January 24
Tuesday, January 31
Tuesday, February 7
Tuesday, February 14
Tuesday, February 21
Tuesday, February 28
Tuesday, March 6
Tuesday, March 13
Tuesday, March 20
Tuesday, March 27
Tuesday, April 3
Tuesday, April 10
Tuesday, April 17
Tuesday, April 24
Tuesday, May 1
Tuesday, May 8
Tuesday, May 15
Tuesday, May 22

January 7, 2012

Open Studio Session with FLY Children’s Art Center!

Hey kids check out the free event at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) where you can participate in a free open studio art session with the Fly Children's Art Center! From 4:00-5:30 p.m. on January 9, February 23, March 15 and April 19, you can get creative and have some fun!

January 6, 2012

Weekend Events Round-up: Jan 6-8

Running around Ann Arbor with kids is exhausting business especially when they are out of school. The week between the holidays was spent with out of town family and this week we've headed to the movies (I got sucked into taking them the see Chipwrecked and I didn't fall asleep!), out on a hike, out for scouting events, and spent some time doing crafts despite the need to clean the after-holiday mess!

This weekend we'll be celebrating the birthday of my youngest and heading out with the Cub Scouts. What are your weekend plans? Do you have a special event or outing planned? If not the Ann Arbor Mom can guide you with plenty of free events available on the weekend event planner.

Friday, January 6
  • Wildlife of the Americas, free live animal program by Randy Baker at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter) at 11:00 a.m.
  • Free Duct Tape Workshop at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter) for teens in grades 5+ at 1:00 p.m.
  • School Break Book-to-Movie Matinee at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 W. Michigan Ave.,
    Ypsilanti). Bring the kids to see a free movie (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1) at 1:30 p.m.
  • Head out for some quality Family Jump Time at Pump It Up in Canton from 5:30-7:00 p.m. or at Jump-City from 6:30-9:00 p.m. or better yet drop the kids at Kidz Night at Xtreme Bounce Zone from 7:00-10:00 p.m. while you head out for some fun of your own!
  • Take the kids to see a movie - Chipwrecked, We Bought a Zoo, and the Adventures of Tin Tin are still in theatres.
Saturday, January 7
  • Learn amagurumi during a free teen event.
  • Bring the family to enjoy a Bird Hike at Hudson Mills (8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter) at 1:00 p.m. 
  • Make mochi at the Mochisuki at 1:00 p.m.  
  • Spend time tracking some of Mother Nature's friends at the Waterloo Recreation Area during a free kid-friendly hike at 2:00
  • Do you have a budding entertainer on your hands, kids and teens can participate in Kid's Open Stage at Oz Music (1920 Packard St., Ann Arbor) the first Saturday of every month a 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 8
  • Breakfast with Cinderella at 8:30-11:00 a.m.
  • Free winter hike and potluck at Independence Lake at 10:00 a.m.
  • Pokemania at the Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor). Train your Pokemon well and battle against the other trainers - There will be prizes for the top finishers. Trainers will need to bring a DS, a Pokemon game (No Black or White though) with Pokemon under level 30 for qualifying rounds. 1:00-5:00 p.m.
  • See a free movie - The Muppet Movie - at the Michigan Theater at 1:30 p.m.

January 5, 2012

826Michigan Ann Arbor Tutoring & Writing Center

You wouldn't know it by walking by the sign on the door, but tucked inside Ann Arbor's Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair (115 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor) is 826Michigan, a tutoring facility that helps students with their creative writing skills. Being a mom with a student that is struggling to read and write, the thing that grabbed my attention (aside from the fun products they sent to my home) was that Monday through Thursday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. students age 6-18 can drop in for free homework assistance! That's right FREE tutoring for children.

The programs that 826michigan offer one-on-one student attention that challenges and inspires each child so that the foundation for success can be established and built upon. However none of this would be possible without funding, so all of the sales proceeds from the front of the business, the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair go directly toward supporting 826michigan programs.

So the next time you are looking for that unique gift or just hoping to shop local in Ann Arbor, be sure to stop by the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair. You'll support a greater cause while shopping locally. Not in Ann Arbor, don't worry, you can also buy gifts and supplies from the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair online store!

Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair
115 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
M-F 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. & Sat. 12:00-8:00 p.m.

For adults that have writing aspirations, another way that 826michigan receives funding is from nighttime and weekend writing workshops and seminars for adults.

Free Events at the Waterloo Recreation Area

I love that the kids are getting old enough to spend lengthier periods of time outdoors. I remember playing in the snow for HOURS on end and only coming in when mom begged. Kids today don't seem to always do that. I am very fond of nature and the great-outdoors too, enjoying walks in the woods, introducing the kids to many nature friends and more. I also like to kep a tight budget. I suppose all of these things interested me in the Recreation 101 at the Waterloo Recreation Area (17030 Brush Rd., Chelsea) - Events there are free when you use your Recreation Passport that is part of your Michigan Liscence Tab renewal!

Saturday's throughout January, there are several fun events that the whole family can enjoy:
  • January 7 - At 2:00 p.m. spend time doing some winter tracking of some of Mother Nature's friends
  • January 14 - At 2:00 p.m. Enjoy winter's splendor while cross country skiing folowed by a warm beverage!
  •  January 21 - At 10:00 a.m. the kids can learn about many species of birds that hang around all winter!
  •  January 28 - At 2:00 p.m. kids will enjoy learning about the many hibernation areas of animals while learning to identify many plants and trees by their bark and winter apearance!

January 4, 2012

Free Breakfast With Cinderella in Pinckney

Do you have a budding princess in your midst? On Sunday, January 8th,  from 8:30-11:00 a.m. the St. Mary’s Men’s Club (St. Mary's Catholic Church, 10601 Dexter Pinckney Rd., Pinckney) is inviting your little princess to enjoy "Breakfast With Cinderella." This is a free event (although donations are gladly accepted) with a full breakfast menu and Cinderella performing at 10:15-10:45 a.m.
All princesses are encourages to come in costume and join in song and dance to create magical memories that will last a lifetime. Bring the grandparents and the cameras for an event the whole family will enjoy. 
Proceeds from the event are going to St Mary School. For more information call 734-878-3161 or visit the St. Mary's Catholic Parish Website.

January 3, 2012

Free Movie: The Muppet Movie

See the Muppet Movie at
The Michigan Theater.
Need a new (or old) Rainbow Connection? Want your kids to see the origional before catching the latest Muppet Movie? Then the Michigan Theater can help with a film that is part of The Benard L. Maas Family-Friendly Film Series.

On Sunday, January 8 at 1:30 p.m. families can enjoy The Muppet Movie (1979) at Michigan Theater (603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor). All children 12 and under receive free admission.

Teens Learn Amigurumi

I'm wondering if the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd, Ypsilanti) would allow me to pass for a teen? I just noticed they are starting a new club for teens where they can learn to make an Amigurumi creature or finish them off. This drop in free teen event will teach teens the skills to make their own cute creatures, and event provides the supplies free!
Amigurumi penguin pattern by Lion Brand Yarn.

The program starts January 7 and runs every other week through March 17 at 11:00 a.m - noon.

I wonder if they'd start an adult Amigurumi club??? I know how to crochet and can do a simple chain stitch with knitting! For information on the YDL Amigurumi Club be sure to visit the Ypsilanti District Library website.

January 2, 2012

Making Mochi at the 8th Annual Mochitsuki

On Saturday, January 7, 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Center for Japanese Studies (CJS) at the University of Michigan, families can enjoy mochi-making in the traditional way during the 8th Annual Mochitsuki. Besides mochi making, families can expect to find mochi taste-testing, games, origami, kamishibai (Japanese storytelling), kakizome (New Year's calligraphy), manga-drawing, and live music by Miyabi and Raion Taiko at the free event.

I'll admit, aside from knowing that mochi was a Japanese word, I had no idea what to expect so I Googled mochi making and found this fun video. For those of you that want to be in-the-know, mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape. It is the traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time as well as throughout the year!

I expect that this event will provide Ann Arbor families a fun and educational cultural experience that shouldn't be missed!

Winter Hike & Potluck at Independance Lake

On Sunday, January 8th starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Independence Lake  (3200 Jennings Rd., Whitmore Lake 48189) Beach Center, families can head out for a nice 1-hour winter hike into the lovely mature oak-hickory woods of the park. After the hike everyone will head inside for a potluck. Hot drinks will be provided, but please bring your own table settings and a dish to pass.  
After eating, we’ll share slides and nature tales, from near and far!  Consider bringing some of your own vacation photos too - an actual old-fashioned slide projector and computer with a powerpoint projector will be on hand, or consider bringing hand held photos.  Call 734-971-6337, X334 for more information or any questions.

January 1, 2012

Winter Bird Hike at Hudson Mills

On Saturday, January 7, bring the family to enjoy a Bird Hike at Hudson Mills (8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter) at 8:00 a.m. Admission is only $3.00 per person for the hike plus a vehicle entry fee of $5.00. Registration and pre-payment for the event is required. Call (734) 426-8211 to register for the program.
What birds will you see at the Bird Hike at Hudson Mills?

Families should plan to dress warmly and bring your binoculars and field guides if they have them. Observe several bird species seen in the park and record dates, locations, and trends from year to year. During the rogram you can expect to explore a variety of habitats throughout the park.