October 29, 2012

Carnival of the Animals: Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Family Concert

This Saturday, November 4 at the Michigan Theater (603 East Liberty St., Ann Arbor) the  Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra will play the first of three family concerts being offered this season. The concert, called the Carnival of the Animals, will have musicians playing along with a host of furry friends.

The music, geared for families, will include Raccoon Tune and selections from the Lion King. Children can also participate in the pre-concert instrument petting zoo, and for this week, families can even visit with pets from the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Other community organizations, including the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Hands-On Museum and the Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts, also take part in the pre-concert youth activities beginning at 2:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets for this great family event, or to purchase the entire Family Series season, call the A2SO at 734-994-4801 or visit a2so.com.

October 27, 2012

I Hope You Have a Child Just Like You!

My daughter taking a break from soccer!

Today my daughter told me she doesn't want to play soccer any more. Part of me is OK with that. Her heart hasn't been into it this season, she hates the crazy weather, and she is clearly not improving as much as other players her age (which I attribute to the fact that her heart isn't into it). On the phone my Mom said, "I wish she'd find something she likes and sticks with it." 

In all fairness, she has played since she was 3 so 3.5 years of playing soccer, when she's ONLY 6.5 years old isn't too shabby. Maybe she'll change her mind and come back to it. Maybe next spring she'll STILL want to play. Who knows.

As a parent, I have been her coach since she started. I did a good job teaching teamwork, and teaching the basics, but I'd really like to see how she does with someone other than me for a coach. I'd never played soccer, so being a soccer coach was a new experience for me as well. But I'd love to see how she responds to a real coach. 

My daughter has already given up on dance classes and gymnastics.She just didn't LOVE either activity, although if she applied herself I think she could have been a good gymnast. Again she's really young, and I don't want to push on any level, but I too would like her to find something she loves and improve to some level of confidence and proficiency. I'd like her to find "her thing".

Making friends is half the fun of playing soccer.
It's funny though, I know another little girl that heard "I wish you'd stick with something." She tried, basketball, volleyball, track, and cross-country. Even ran on a varsity cross country team her freshman year in high-school and placed 51st in states that year. While only the top 50 got medals, she was competing with a team of seniors, and had major knee surgery before that time in her life. That young woman also tried playing the flute, playing the piano and entering several art competitions and went  oon to have a vocal performance major in college and act in many regional commercials, industrial films and a few indy films. She has even sung the National Anthem at a Major League Baseball game! Oddly enough, the same woman who said "I wish she'd find something and stick to it" about my daughter also said it to that young woman and I think she turned out OK. She is a well-rounded adult, with lots of interests, who is a good parent and mentor to other children. So if my daughter does nothing more than fill her life-bank full of great experiences, can a mother complain? I think not.

So when your mother tells you that "She hopes you have a child just like you!" Just hope and pray that it comes true. I know one mom who is incredibly proud of her very young child and looks forward to seeing the woman she will become!

Free Event: Kids Building Clinics Home Depot Nov 3

Would your little turkey like to create their very own Thanksgiving decoration? Well the folks at Home Depot aim to please. On Saturday, November 3 from 9:00 a.m. until noon, your child can build their own Turkey Napkin Holder during the kids building clinics offered on the first Saturday or each month for free. It's a lot of fun, the kids get the personal satisfaction of building something, and well mom and dad get to help. I have often wished to have my husband along for the ride when attending the clinics though, as I can't possibly help both kids at the same time!

October 25, 2012

Kids Try Hockey for Free

Kids can try laying hokey at one of several free hockey sessions throughout Michigan
courtesy of the Detroit Red Wing Foundation and the MAHA.
The Detroit Red Wings Foundation is offering kids a chance to try hockey for free throughout the cooler months and into early spring. The free sessions start as early as November and are available locally in Chelsea, Canton and throughout the state. All of the locations are open for registration and all of the equipment is brought for the kids the day of the event.

So if your little one wants to know a little more about hockey, try on the equipment and get onto skates, this is the perfect opportunity to try a new sport.

October 22, 2012

Halloween Event Highlights: Oct 22-26

So that you don't become slammed with to many posts, or don't have to go digging for my Ann Arbor Halloween Activities List, I thought to highlight a few activities happening this week through Friday.

For those kids and teens that haven't decided what to wear for Halloween or simply haven't started their costume, the Ypsilanti District Library (229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti) is hosting a Halloween Costume Workshop to start the week off right. Tonight at 6:30 p.m. come to the library to make scary, funny, and cute holiday costumes from everyday items. Don't forget to pre-register for this free event by calling 482.4110 x1390.

Want to celebrate the fall harvest with the youngest members of your family? Then be sure to head to  Harvest Time at Leslie Science and Nature Center on October 25. Learn about apples, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and all of nature's delicious offerings - Some grow on trees and some grow underground. To preregister, visit the LSNC website.

Want to get a little crafty for Halloween? The kids can create a spooky Halloween Visor at Michael's on Thursday night from 6:00-8:00 p.m. OR head to your local Kroger for the Kids Night Out Halloween celebration from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Actually your kids could attend BOTH free events!

On Friday there will be spookiness a plenty as downtown Ypsilanti hosts Halloween Downtown from 4:30-7:00 p.m. It's a fun, free night of craziness, activities, crafts and stories a plenty (Oh and did I mention lots of candy!). If that doesn't float your boat, for a small fee Java Jungle Ann Arbor has their Halloween Bash from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

If you want to talk to the animals, check out the "Spooky Species" at The Creature Conservancy or swim like a fish at the Ann Arbor Goldfish Swim School Family Halloween party! Both events have a minimal cost, but promise maximum fun.

For a more cultured evening, the EMU Symphony Orchestra has their annual Halloween Concert at Pease Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. or become an arr-teest (yes artist!) when your wee goblin creates a Halloween Clay Pot a Michael's for the cost of the clay pot.

And THAT folks is what's happening THIS week, wait until you see the weekend events round-up and even the few events through Halloween!

Halloween Trick or Treat Times Washtenaw County

Looks like AnnArbor.com beet me to the punch this year, I had this post ready to go but wanted to verify the times before making it go live.

Need to know when is the best times to go out trick or treating? When houses are giving out candy of course! Check out the local Halloween times for trick or treat in your area.

Ann Arbor: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Chelsea: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Dexter: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Milan: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Saline: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Ypsilanti: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Ypsilanti Township: 6:00-8:00 p.m.

October 19, 2012

Weekend Events Round-Up: Oct 19-21

There are lots of great things happening around town this weekend including some football game. You'll find lots of families heading out to area cider mills and pumpkin in patches too, and many Halloween activities start ramping up as well. I'll be hitting the soccer field (Only two more games this season - Yea!), heading out on the Fall Color Hike at Camp Munhacke, checking out Debuck's in Belleville, celebrating a family birthday AND finishing up making Halloween costumes. I'm exhausted already!

What's on your weekend planner? Will you be avoiding game traffic at UM to find something to do with the family? Check out what's happening around the area with the Ann Arbor Mom weekend event planner! 

Friday, October 19: 

Your teen may get a kick out of a Sushi Workshop at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St. Dexter ) starting at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free but registration is required. Grades 6 - 12.

Ice Age 4 is Ann Arbor's free movie
this weekend!
Saturday, October 20:

How about seeing a free movie this weekend? Showtimes are at 9:00 or 10:00 all weekend. The free movie this weekend is Ice Age 4!

The wee ones will like the free Halloween storytime and craft at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Deter) at 11:00 a.m. or storytime at Nicola's Books (2513 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor) also at 11:00 a.m.

Older children and teens might enjoy "Fossils: Making a Good Impression" at University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (1109 Geddes Ave. Ann Arbor) Saturday at 11:00 a.m., at 3:00 p.m. or Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  This free program for kids 5+ will explore fossils and how they were made - Kids can even make their own cast of fossils! While you are at the museum, take a free dinosaur tour at 2:00 p.m. as well!

There are several teen events happening Saturday including a Fall Floral Workshop with free supplies at Ann Arbor District Library (2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor) at 2:00 p.m., ,a Carving Workshop at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti) where teens can sculpt a synthetic stone product into a mask, an animal, or a lucky object or the Amigurumi Club also at the YDL-Whittaker at 11:30 a.m.

Sunday, October 21:

Chesstastic at the Ann Arbor District Library (3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor) sounds like an excellent way to pass Sunday afternoon.

Older children and teens might enjoy "Fossils: Making a Good Impression" at University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (1109 Geddes Ave. Ann Arbor) Saturday at 11:00 a.m., at 3:00 p.m. or Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  This free program for kids 5+ will explore fossils and how they were made - Kids can even make their own cast of fossils! While you are at the museum, take a free dinosaur tour at 2:00 p.m. as well!

Girls in grades 4-8 will love attending the Fancy Nails event at the Ann Arbor District Library (3090 E. Eisenhower Pky., Ann Arbor) at 2:00 p.m. where they can create new looks for their nails.

Teens might enjoy learning a little on a Sunday afternoon (or maybe they won't realize they are learning anything at all) during a fun, hands-on workshop with electricity. The "It's Electric" workshop at 1:00 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) will shock you with demos that show how electricity jumps, moves, and boogies. Teens and adults will even get a chance to use their own hands to construct, too!

Those of you that love the outdoors have an opportunity to participate in two free events hosted by the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Naturalists. From 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Sharon Mills take the opportunity to learn about its early days as a saw mill and grist mill site and its years as a Ford Village Industry site. A docent will be available to answer questions and to operate the hydroelectric generator. You can also check out the Fox Science Preserve at 2:00-4:00 p.m. exploring with Geology Guest naturalist Russ Perigo.

Whatever you do throughout the weekend, plan to end the weekend with the warmth and comfort of a bonfire at the Leslie Science and Nature Center - Your family will love you for it.

October 5, 2012

Weekend Events Round-Up: Oct 5-7

The leaves are changing, the air will be crisp and clean, so what will you be doing around Ann Arbor with the kids this weekend?  I'm sure your family will find plenty to do with the many great events and activities in the weekend events round-up. We'll be hitting the soccer field and otherwise doing yard clean-up. It stinks but it's got to get done!

Friday, October 5:

Spend the Night at the Museum for some Fun Friday Night at University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor). The museum will be open until 9:00 p.m.  Get free admission, see a planetarium show for only $3 at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. There is also a free story time in and a “Making a Good Impression” demonstration at 6:00 p.m.

Free movies are the way to go this weekend!
Saturday, October 6:

The free movie this weekend is Rango, which plays at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.

Kids will also enjoy participating in the Home Depot kids free building clinic from 9:0 a.m. - noon. This weekend the kids will be building a fire truck!

Saturday may be the perfect day to check out the free Apple Daze Festival at Monument Park in Dexter (10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). Families will find a classic car show, craft booths, kids activities and games, hay rides to the Dexter Cider Mill, pony rides, live entertainment and so much more.

The younger set may appreciate a good (and free) concert at the Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor) at 11:00 a.m. Sing along to Fandagumbo with Julie Austin And David Mosher. The concert is perfect for your preschool aged child through grade 3.

Want to slip in a free educational opportunity? Then head to the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor) for the hands-on presentation called "Fossils: Making a Good Impression" at 11:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. This free program (geared for kids 5 and older) will explore how fossils are created, what parts of animals become fossilized, and how old are the earliest fossils? Families will get to discover how fossil casts are made in the museum by making their own casts to take home too!

Excite the kids about fire safety month while building their own Firetruck at Home Depot.
Sunday, October 7:

The free movie this weekend is Rango, which plays at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.

Kids in grades K-5 will enjoy making a bubble craft at the Ann Arbor District Library (3090 E. Eisenhower Parkway, Ann Arbor) at 1:00 p.m. Get a chance to explore the science of making bubbles by trying different recipes for home-brewed bubbles and find out which ones make the best ones!

From 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. enjoy the 2nd Annual Ypsilanti River Day at Frog Island Park. Glide down the Huron on a canoe or kayak (single or double) enjoying all of the colors the river has to offer. You can even enjoy gliding into Ford Lake then hitch a ride back to Frog Island. The last boat will be available for rental at 3:00 p.m. with the last ride from Ford Lake being available at 4:00 p.m. Boat rentals for the day are $15-25 and cash, credit, or checks will be accepted. After your boat ride, step over to Riverside Park for an Antique Truck show (Pssst I heard the Leog guy will be there with thousands of Legos for the kiddo's too!)

Get a second chance to explore the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History's hands-on presentation "Fossils: Making a Good Impression" at 3:00 p.m.

The 10th annual Creature Feature happens this weekend at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum too (220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor). From 6:00-8:00 p.m. the museum will come alive with animals from around the world - families will interact with animal experts and see uncommon animals such as owls and hawks, wallaby or kangaroo, porcupine, emu, coyotes and more for only $10! In addition to the wild animal exhibits, hands-on activities will take place throughout the Museum. Refreshments will be served. All proceeds from the event will benefit facility and exhibit enhancements taking place to celebrate the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum’s 30th anniversary.

October 1, 2012

October Events at Michael's Crafts

Michael's Crafts always has a great line-up of low-cost or free events for the inner crafter ages 3 and up. During the month of October kids can participate in many Make-It Take-It events for a spooktacular good time!

The Crazy Pumpkin Event: Design an extreme craft pumpkin with purchase of pumpkin. Ages 3 and up. While supplies last. October 6, 10:00 a.m. - noon.

Halloween T-Shirt Event: Kids can make a fun scary spider T-shirt with purchase of shirt. Ages 3 and up. While supplies last. October 20, 10:00 a.m. - Noon

Halloween Visor Event: Create a crafty visor for loads of Halloween fun when you purchase of visor. Other supplies are provided free. Ages 3 and up. While supplies last. October 25, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Halloween Clay Pot Event: Design your own adorable clay pot creations after mom or dad purchase the clay pot. Ages 3 and up. October 26, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Halloween Extravaganza Event!: Join the Costume Parade, create trick-or-treat Duck Tape totes or pails and get kids faces painted. Schedule as follows: Duck Tape Pail or Tote 11 a.m. - Noon featuring Make-It Take-It with purchase of pail or tote while supplies last. October 27, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Michael's Crafts Nearby Locations:

Michael's Crafts
3655 Washtenaw Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Michael's Crafts
41904 Ford Rd.
Canton, MI 48187