December 30, 2013

Lego Holiday Break Programs for Bored Children

Are you counting the hours until your child returns to school after the holiday break. I have seen a few comments to that from friends on Facebook so I know it's not uncommon. Earlier this week I posted ideas holiday break activities, so consider this idea from Bricks for Kids an extension of that!

If your little guy or gal has a love of all things Legos and is itching for something to do, consider the Mining & Crafting Lego Mini Camp in Chelsea (Thursday-Saturday) or Ninjago & Speedorz Lego Mini Camp in Dexter (Friday).

Your child will have action-packed activities building models, creating mosaic pictures or creating crafts which can be taken home. Opportunities for creative free building, LEGO® based games and challenges are also the main part of the program! The cost is only $35/day so sign up for 1 day or multiple days!

To register visit Bricks for Kids online and click  click "View Classes" or call  (734)-719-0303.

Mining & Crafting Lego Mini Camp
Thursday - Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
St Mary Catholic Church (14200 Old US Hwy 12 Chelsea)

Ninjago & Speedorz Lego Mini Camp
Friday 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
St James Episcopal Church (3279 Broad St, Dexter)

December 29, 2013

Family New Year's Eve Party

Looking for a family friendly New Year's Eve event? Lodge Lanes (46255 I-94 S Service Dr, Belleville) may have what you are looking for. On December 31, at 12:30-1:30 p.m. or 3:00-4:30 p.m. enjoy a game of bowling, pizza and party favors for only $39.95 per lane. That includes bowling, shoe rental, party favors a large pepperoni pizza and pitcher of pop for each lane of up to 5 bowlers!

To make a reservation for the New Year's Eve bowling extravaganza, stop in or call 734-697-9178. Spots are limited!

December 27, 2013

Hands-On Holidays at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

The weather outside might be frightful but the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (220 E Ann St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) is always delightful. As an added bonus to the 250 interactive exhibits, now through January 5, families should consider stopping in for additional activities from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:00 p.m. on December 29, January 1, and January 5. The special Hands-On Holidays activities explore the  world of crystals, learn how to predict snowstorms, and also make a snow gauge. There will also be daily performances and science demonstrations for the whole family.

Hands-On Holidays activities are included with Museum admission at no additional charge. Admission to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum $11 for ages two and up. For more information, please call the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum 734.995.5439 or visit their website.

My kids and I will be checking out the Hands-On Holidays and hope to see you there!

Holiday Break Events & Activities

What do you do with the kids after Christmas during the holiday break? Believe it or not, there is a lot to do over the holiday break when the kids are not in school.

First up, be sure to check out the Hands-On Holidays at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum (220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor). The special exhibit happens December 26 through January 5.  Attendees will enjoy special activities, including make and take projects and special experiments, the AAHOM schedule is packed with hands-on excitement. Each activity highlights a science concept, making the programming educational and entertaining for children and adults alike.

We'll do lots of crafts at home, visit with my best friend when she comes into town and hopefully get out for some outdoor fun, ice or roller skating, or taking a winter hike! So what will you do with the kids over the holiday break? Most days there are several free activities happening around town - From free movies, to crafts, science and even teen activities. Check out all of the cool activities and fun for the kids!

Will you see some free movies over holiday break?
Free Movies

Many of the local libraries are offering to show free movies during holiday break - Movies the whole family will enjoy! The Dexter District Library and several branches of the Ypsilanti Library are offering movies.

12/26 - Elf - Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker) | 3:00 p.m.

12/27 - Wreck-it Ralph - Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker) | 3:00 p.m.
12/30 - Despicable Me - Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker) | 3:00 p.m. 1/2 - Escape from Planet Earth - Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker) | 3:00 p.m.

1/3 - Oz the Great and Powerful - Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker) | 3:00 p.m.
1/3 - Monsters University - Dexter District Library | 11:00 a.m.

Holiday Break Crafting

What about taking the kids out to do some School Break Drop-in Crafts? The Ypsilanti District Library (Michigan)  is hosting "Crafternoon" on several days during break at 3:00-4:00 p.m. Stop by the youth desk to create an easy winter craft on 12/23, 12/26-27, 12/30, or 1/2-3.  On New Years Eve day, bring in the New Year at the Ann Arbor District Library (Pittsfield Branch) at 2:00-3:00 p.m. Create your own celebration hats and noisemakers!

Did your child get the hot Rainbow Loom for a gift this year? It's likely they are already bored with the simple chain or perhaps even a bit intimidated. Fear not though as Learning Express Toys of Ann Arbor has you covered with several free how-to classes. On December 28 stop in for an 11:00 a.m. beginners class or a 2:00 p.m. Tulip Tower stitch. On December 30 there is a second opportunity for a beginners class at 11:00 a.m. and the Zippy Chain stitch at 2:00 p.m.

12/27 - Kids can create a cozy collage at the AADL Downtown Library at 2:00 p.m.
1/3 - Just Tape It duct tape crafts - Dexter District Library | 11:00 a.m.(Grades 5-12 | Teen Event)

Get Up, Get Out, Get Moving

It's a New Year so why not wake up with an energizing Shoe Year's Day Hike at Maybury State Park. Hike, enjoy a fire and healthy snacks at 10:00 a.m. at the Concession Building. Use the 8 Mile Road entrance west off of Beck.

On January 4, 10:30 a.m. - noon take the kids (Ages 3-6) to enjoy Winter Fun for Kids: Let it snow! at County Farm Park, Field Operations Building (Platt Road Entrance, come to the building right next to the playground). Your kids will learn about how snow forms and take magnifying glasses outdoors to examine the unique shapes of snowflakes. Then indoors we will make paper snowflakes and have a
snack. Please pre-register for this free event with Shawn Severance at 734-971-6337 x335.

There's another fun outdoor program happening January 5 at Independence Lake. Be sure to join in on the Annual Winter Hike, Potluck and Nature Sharing program that the Washtenaw County parks and Rec puts on. For this free event, consider bringing 10 to 15 of your favorite nature images to share! The program will start with a one hour hike to the prairie habitat of the park which is followed by a potluck. Hot drinks will be provided, but please bring your own table setting and a dish to pass. After eating, we’ll share some nature photos and nature tales. For questions, contact Faye Stoner at 734-971-6337, X334.

Does taking the family swimming in a tropical paradise sound appealing? Perhaps joining in Family Swim Time at the Goldfish Swim School (2107 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor) sounds appealing. Family swim hours are Monday-Thursday noon-1:30 p.m., Friday's 6:30-8:00 p.m. and Sunday's 5:00-6:30 p.m.

The kids and I enjoy roller skating and there is a great rink located within a few minutes drive in Canton. Skatin Station has many open skate times over the holidays too. Take the kids to the rink from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on 12/23, 12/26-27, 12/30 and 1/1-3 for just $6 admission.

Speaking of skating, the Buhr Park Outdoor Ice Rink also has special skating times over the holidays. School Break Skating sessions will be held Noon-2:00 p.m. Dec. 23-24, 26, 31; Jan. 2-3. Fees are less that $6 with a $3 skate rental cost if you don't have ice skates.

Winter Break for Teens

Teens need something to do when school is closed too and there are many great free teen events happening throughout the next two weeks. From movies to crafts to gaming and trivia. Be sure to check it out.
  • Teens can participate in the January Teen Trivia Contest at the Dexter District Library. The theme will be music and Grammy Awards. Stop by the Teen Zone to enter for a chance to win a $15.00 Target gift card! 
  • RU Game? Teens and youth in grades 4-12 will enjoy a huge assortment of board games and snacks at the Dexter District Library on January 2, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. This is a free drop-in program.
  • Have you heard of Amigurumi? The Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker) has a teen club to learn this fun activity. Stop by on December 28 at 11:30 a.m. to learn more. This event is for youth and teens ages 10-19.

Science and Nature

Another fun family activity is to check out the birds and critters at the Leslie Science and Nature Center (1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor).  The Critter House is open every Sunday, noon-3:00 p.m. Don't forget to hike their fantastic trails too!!!

Another great free science program continues at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.  There are always free dinosaur tours each weekend as well as hands-on science. The kids will get a kick out of the Hands-0n demonstrations Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and Sunday's at 3:00 p.m.

Do you have a little engineer on your hands? Then be sure to take the kids (grades K-5) to the Ann Arbor District Library (Downtown) for the Marshmallow Engineering Challenge on December 29, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Test their engineering and building skills with toothpicks, marshmallows and lots of fun.

Have you heard "I'm bored" yet, well the Ypsilanti District Library can take care of that with Boredom Busters. Kids will enjoy marble magnet mania, balloons in a bottle, candy science, balloon skewers, and so much more at this fun program at the Michigan branch on 12/23, 12/26-27, 12/30, 1/2-3 at 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • 12/28 - Explore how much fun batteries can be at the AADL (Pittsfield) at 2:00 p.m.

Drummunity is fun for the entire family!
Music and Stories

The younger set even gets into the act over holiday break with many story-time opportunities including two I'd like to highlight. Preschoolers will enjoy Joe Reilly as he performs Environmental Songs For Kids at Ann Arbor District Library (Downtown) on December 30, 2:00-2:45 p.m. Then on January 2, the kids will have another fun story-time day with a Wacky Winter Time With Storyteller Adam Mellema at Ann Arbor District Library (Downtown).
  • 1/3 -New Year Nonsense! Storytelling and tunes for preschoolers and kids through grade 3 at the AADL (Downtown Library) at 2:00 p.m.
  • 1/4 - Get into the groove with a tribute to the Big Band era with a family concert by the Pete Siers Trio at the AADL (Downtown Library) 2:00-3:00 p.m.

New Years Party

The entire family will enjoy the SRSLY annual New Year’s Eve party at Beach Middle School (445 Mayer Dr., Chelsea) from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve. This is a free event full of fun! Find a great line-up of performers, team games and competitions (eating contests, relay races, card games and more), face painting, video games on classroom Smart Boards, cookie-decorating, live music, swimming, basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, and a chili cook-off. Door prizes awarded every half hour will include gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses, board games, and free passes to bowling. Pizza, pop, and other refreshments will be available for a suggested donation of $1 per item.

Skatin Station has a fun New Year's Eve Celebration for kids too - They even have a special prize-filled balloon drop at 3:00 p.m.!  Skating is just $7 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. For the older kids they have a special New Year's Eve (Late) Skate too from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. the next morning. The $20.00 admission is an all inclusive package price too!

Earlier this week I posted about the festivities at the Noon Year's Eve festivities at the Toledo Zoo too!

I'm sure more events will come onto my radar over the next few days, so be sure to check back often for fun, free and often inexpensive holiday break activities for everyone in the family!!!

December 26, 2013

Skating Fun at Ann Arbor Area Ice Rinks

So many of my friends have mentioned that they really enjoy ice skating during the winter months - It's great exercise and fun for the entire family. Below is a list of area ice rinks, their locations and some basic information that parents may need to consider.

Ann Arbor Ice Skating:

Ann Arbor Ice Cube (2121 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor 48103)
Hours: Public skate times vary, verify on the A2Ice3 website.
Cost: $4 Adult/$3 Youth
Skate Rentals Available: Yes - $3 fee.

Buhr Park outdoor ice rink (2751 Packard St., Ann Arbor 48108)
Hours: Listed below. Open October 29-April 1.
Cost: Resident and non-resident fees. Adult $5-6/Youth $4-5
Skate Rentals Available: Yes. $3 fee.
Misc. info.: Arena includes public ice skating and drop-in hockey times. The facility has a heated lobby, vending, restrooms and four separate locker rooms.
School break open skate sessions: noon - 2:00 p.m. Nov. 27, 29; Dec. 23, 24, 26, 31; Jan. 2, 3, 20, 27, 28; Feb. 17 to 21; March 10.

Veteran's Memorial Sports Complex (2150 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor 48103)
Hours: Public skate times listed below. Open mid September-mid May.
Cost: Resident and non-resident fees. Adult $5-6/Youth $4-5
Skate Rentals Available: Yes. $3 fee.
Misc. info.: Complete snack bar services and vending machines are available in the main lobby, along with coin-operated lockers and storage units.

Yost Ice Arena (1016 South State St., Ann Arbor 48104)
Hours: Noon skating (12-12:50 p.m.) weekdays, Thursday's 8:00-9:50 p.m., Friday's 8:00-9:20 p.m., weekend's 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Cost: Resident and non-resident fees. Adult $4-5/Youth $3/Noon skate $2
Skate Rentals Available: Yes. $2 fee.
Misc. info.: Discount frequent skater passbooks available. Check available sizes of skates before going.

Belleville Ice Skating:

Lower Huron Metropark (17845 Savage Rd., Belleville MI)
Hours: During park operation.
Cost: Free with Metropark admission.
Skate Rentals Available: No.
Misc. info.: Skate at own risk. Safety gear is recommended. Enjoy ice skating on two natural frozen ponds - Hockey enthusiasts can practice their shot on one rink, while families skate on the other two. Bring hot cocoa and warm up by a bonfire. There is no skate attendant on duty and children should be supervised by a responsible adult. To verify availability of the rink, call 734-697-9181 or 1-800-477-3182.

Canton Ice Skating:

Arctic Edge (46615 Michigan Ave., Canton)
Hours: Public open skate Fridays 12:00-12:50 p.m. & 7:00-8:50 p.m. / Saturdays 1:00-2:50 p.m. &; 8:00-9:50 p.m. / Sundays 4:00-5:50 p.m.
Skate Rentals Available: Yes. $3 fee.
Misc. info.: For more information call 734-487-777. Be sure to check the calendar for open skate availability before visiting.

Dexter Ice Skating:

Downtown Dexter in Monument Park.
Hours: Temperatures in the low 20s allow outdoor skating rink at Monument Park to open for public use during the winter months.
Cost: Free
Skate Rentals Available: No.
Misc. info.: Skate at own risk. Safety gear is recommended. There is no skate attendant on duty and children should be supervised by a responsible adult.

Milan Ice Skating:

Downtown Milan in Wilson Park
Hours: Verify that council passed the necessary approvals for 2013-14
Cost: Free
Skate Rentals Available: No.
Misc. info.: Skate at own risk. Safety gear is recommended. There is no skate attendant on duty and children should be supervised by a responsible adult.

Saline Ice Skating:

Henne Field, Saline
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 8:00 a.m - 9:00 p.m. / Friday and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
Skate Rentals Available: No.
Misc. info.: Skate at own risk. Safety gear is recommended. There is no skate attendant on duty and children should be supervised by a responsible adult. Hockey sticks and pucks are allowed 3:00-6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9:00-11:00 a.m./3:00-5:00 p.m. weekends.

If you have seen or heard of other area locations where families can skate indoors or out, please feel free to add it into the comments section or send me a message with the details!

December 19, 2013

Noon Years Eve at the Toledo Zoo

This sounds like a fun way to ring in the New Year even if it happens 12 hours early!

The Toledo Zoo is hosting Noon Year's Eve to ring in 2014. Your family can raise a toast to the New Year with some tasty juice, sing a round of “Auld Lang Syne” and watch the ball rise… all at the stroke of noon! There’s even a place where you can make a few ReZOOlutions to be a little greener in the new year.

The fun starts at 11:00 a.m until 1:00 p.m. on December 31. Activities that families will find include  ice carving demonstration, cool crafts in the African Lodge, a visit with the Zoo mascots, and a special snack. The zoo ice rink will also be open starting at 11:00 a.m.

Don’t miss the fun!

December 11, 2013

Family Friendly Film Series: Elf

The Michigan Theater (603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor) is hosting a free movies for kids 12 & under on December 15 at 1:30 p.m.

The story of Elf has Buddy, a regular-sized man who was raised as an elf searching for his biological family. Tickets are free for children 12 under, $10 for adults and $8 for seniors, students, older children and teens. This movie is rated PG.

December 6, 2013

Wanted: The 25th Hour

I have hinted some on the Facebook Page about my challenges of late, but I suppose it's time to come clean. It's not a big deal really, it's just I haven't been able to keep up as much as I would like to. Sadly I know that's evident from the lack of posts on the blog, the lack of traffic to the site and so many other indicators.

It all started when I returned from our family vacation in August. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma. I suppose one can argue that I haven't done much for mom but she is alone, so as her only local child I have helped. I'm honest with myself and others though so I can say, that like I always do, I have simply avoided things. My home. My marriage. My work. My family. Friends. The blog. Whatever it was, it seemed it was a challenge to focus. You see, I find that when I am stressed, I withdraw.

Her illness has made me stop to consider why I am doing some things and not others. Perhaps in an odd way, it's even helped me to focus. Maybe not right away, but in a round about way.

It seems though that one of the biggest things I have been focusing on, is my children. In my effort to make their lives as normal as possible I have neglected myself and many other things.  Throwing myself into running the kids from activity to activity has given me some power over what I can accomplish. Her illness has helped me to decide which activities were more important than others. Which ones I feel a longing for. And ultimately her illness has helped me to say "no" a little more often.

I am a volunteer. I almost always say "yes" when someone asks for help. I thrive when someone needs me. All of this running though has tired me out. I feel exhausted all of the time. I fell like I have gotten very little done. It's like being in a rock and a hard place - I WANT my children to have as much as I can give, but I simply can't do all they want.

I have some great friends, family and a husband. They do help. Basically though I need to step back and reassess what's important. Why am I doing this or that? Does it help someone? Does it feed me in any way?

I rarely do for myself, but in some selfish ways I need to now even when my mom and the kids need me more. I need to keep myself physically and mentally strong for everyone, especially myself.

The blog was started as a way to learn more about social media, to help me gain experience for my clients, to gain some notoriety and to perhaps get hired by clients. It gave me all of those things and more. I have a great employer for part of the week and a little freedom the rest of the week to help others. That time gets sucked up very quickly though in helping at the kids school, being a scouter mom and leader for both Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, being a soccer mom, coaching at the Science Olympiad, helping with the school play, playing taxi or doing general mom things. Whatever it is, it doesn't leave a lot of time. And the blog is suffering some.

Again I am not complaining. I do love to give of myself and do so freely.

The blog was never meant to be a money maker. I don't have many paid ads, affiliate links or similar posts that detract from offering my readers good, clean family fun and free events. I simply like being helpful. It feeds me to be able to share. Doing so however does take a considerable amount of time. So if you see a few fewer posts, know that I am thinking about you, I just can't find a way to fit it all in. I likely am guilt ridden that I haven't posted, but I do have a few ideas for fun family activities in Ann Arbor. I'm still here, just feeling a bit thinned out right now.

Have patience though, I'm still here. And if you feel the need, visit some of the other helpful blogs in the area. We are all great resources. It seems to be a bit easier to share content to Facebook too, instead of uniquely written content, so make sure to like the Ann Arbor Mom Facebook page. When mom is going through her heavy chemo in the months ahead, I will likely have many hours sitting in the hospital doing not much of anything. I expect then that writing will take more of a priority.

Wishing you all a blessed and happy holiday season, no matter which holiday you celebrate.

December 1, 2013

"Frosty on Ice" ice skating at Vetrans Memorial Ice Arena

Meet Frosty at Frosty on Ice at the Veterans
Memorial Ice Arena on December 15.
Hey families, has the blast of cold air this week and sprinkling of snow made you consider ice skating? For my kids it sure brought it to mind. Check out this great opportunity for a fun open ice skating session called "Frosty on Ice" at Vetrans Memorial Ice Arena (2150 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor) on December 15, 1:00-2:30 p.m. General admission for skaters apply, however skaters will be given free candy canes and have a meet  and greet with Frosty.

November 26, 2013

Mack Indoor Pool Family Splash Days This Winter

A great way to enjoy special time with the kids is during Mack Indoor Pool Family Splash Days.

Splash Days at Mack Indoor Pool (715 Brooks St., Ann Arbor) are on select Sunday afternoons throughout the winter. Families will enjoy special games, activities, prizes and of course swimming! Activities are from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on December 15, 29; January 12, 26; February 9, 23; March 16, 30; April 13, 27; and May 18.

For more information call 734.794.6237 or visit the Mack Pool Website. All activities and prizes are covered with paid admission. Adult: $5, Youth under 17 & Senior 55+: $4. Children ages 3 and under receive free admission.  During Mack Indoor Pool Family Splash Days bring one child and receive 50% off admission for a second child!

November 25, 2013

Family Fun Night at the UM Museum of Natural History

Ever wondered what happens in the museum at night? I'm sure it's not as exciting as the movie Night at the Museum BUT on Friday, December 6 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. families can find out what happens when the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History hosts Family Fun Night.

The fun event will feature activities for kids of all ages including 30-minute planetarium shows hourly starting at 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. for only $3 and free dinosaur tours on the hour starting at 6:00 p.m. For the youngest members of your family, kids can enjoy story-times at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.

So come on out and enjoy a family fun night at the museum!

November 3, 2013

Win Tickets to the Brian Setzer Orchestra

I'm getting into the holiday spirit a little early this year with more free tickets. This time families can win a free family (4) pack of tickets to see the Brian Setzer Orchestra at the Fox Theatre November 23, 8:00 p.m. during the 10th Anniversary tour of the Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks!

What favorite Christmas Song would you like to see rocked out at the concert? Comment below before midnight on November 10. A random winner from all Facebook and blog entries will be chosen to win.
But wait, there's more. Want more chances to win? Share this with your friends. if they use your name in their entry BOTH you and they will receive entries for the concert tickets!

Happy (early) Holidays!!!

October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Whether you are taking your child for the first time, have an experienced toddler or preschooler, are keeping up with your grade school kid or sending your teen off with their friends, I hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween tonight in and around Ann Arbor with kids!

Me after several cups of coffee today wishing all my friends in

Don't remember the trick or treat times, the Ann Arbor Mom has you covered! Tired of hearing "When are we going out for trick or treat?" and need something to keep Jr. busy while big brother or sister are in school - Check out PBS Kids Halloween page!

Do you know of something awesome happening in the community, maybe an event, activity that needs to be highlighted? Be sure to drop me a line with the details!

October 28, 2013

Free Admission to Madeline and the Bat Hat at the Michigan Theatre

The folks at the Michigan Theatre have another great opportunity for Ann Arbor Mom blog readers. FREE admission to the next show in our Not Just for Kids Series, Madeline and the Bat Hat!

The first 100 entries to sign up will see the show on Sunday, November 10 at 1:30 p.m. will get free admission - No strings attached. However it's only available to the first 100 entries no later than November 16, AND we must get 25 entries for the contest to be valid.

To register go to the special link - and enter the secret password (A2MOMBLOG) then click the “Register”. You will then be prompted to enter your name and email. Eventbrite will email a ticket voucher, which should be printed and brought to the box office on the day of the show. (If you forget to do this, though, your name will be on the will-call list!)

October 27, 2013

Family Friendly Film Series: Babe

The Michigan Theater (603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor) is hosting a free movies for kids 12 & under on November 3 at 1:30 p.m.

A young pig fights convention to become a sheep dog — or, rather, sheep pig — in this charming Australian family film, which became an unexpected international success due to superior special effects and an intelligent script. The title refers to the name bestowed on a piglet soon after his separation from his family, when he finds himself on a strange farm. Confused and sad, Babe is adopted by a friendly dog and slowly adjusts to his new home. Discovering that the fate of most pigs is the dinner table, Babe devotes himself to becoming a useful member of the farm by trying to learn how to herd sheep, despite the skepticism of the other animals and the kindly but conventional Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell).

Tickets are free for children 12 & under, $10 for adults and $8 for seniors, students, older children and teens. This movie is rated G.

October 23, 2013

November Kids Building Clinics

My kids still love to build contraptions of all kinds, and when the building can be done elsewhere that's a huge bonus for me. That's why I love attending the kids building clinics at Home Depot and Lowes. In November there are three opportunities for fun building projects.

On Saturday, November 2 from 9:00 a.m. - noon your little builder can create their own tabletop ship at the Home Depot kids building clinic. It looks vaguely like the NiƱa, Pinta or Santa Maria and would make a nice addition to your Thanksgiving centerpiece. In addition participants receive a certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin.

On Saturday, November 9 at 10:00 a.m. your kids can create their very own pull-back race car just like the real #48 racing car! Parents do need to sign up in advance though at the Lowe's Build and Grow website.

Finally on November 30 from 9:00 a.m. - noon kids can build their own small toolbox at the Home Depot building clinic. This would make a great crayon storage box or something to gift to Dad at the holidays. Just attend early to be sure to get the project for the day and not the leftover project kits!

Kids building clinics are perfect for kids ages 5-12!

October 21, 2013

100 Years of Broadway at the Fox Theatre: Win Tickets

I have been wanting to introduce my kids to more musical theatre opportunities in the area, so when I saw that 100 Years of Broadway was coming to the Fox Theatre I thought it might be a good opportunity to share the experience with my family. Have you ever wanted to take your family to quality theatre? The Ann Arbor Mom blog has a great option for you to won free tickets for the November 3, 3:00 p.m. performance. All you need to do is comment below on what your favorite Broadway musical of all times is. A random winner from all Facebook and blog posts will be chosen from all entries posted by midnight October 29.

October 13, 2013

Little People Are Coming to the Toledo Zoo!

The kids and I have visited the Toledo Zoo on field trips and family outings. We love the ease of getting around, the sculptures, the animals and of course Nature's Neighborhood. My daughter and I even spent the night at a Zoo Snooze program with her brownie Troop this past summer. A special program was brought to my attention though that I wanted to share with you. On November 9-10 your youngest family members might enjoy the Fisher Price Little People show that the Toledo Zoo will be hosting.

Kids can join their favorite Little People® friends for Signing, Dancing and Plenty of Fun at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. The show is at the indoor theatre in the Museum of Science.  Stay the day and enjoy the zoo, ride the train or stop for a picnic.

Spending the day at the Toldeo Zoo is a great way to spend time with your kids!

October 11, 2013

Weekend Events Round-Up: Oct 12-13

Do you have any weekend plans? It's going to be beautiful fall weather, so be sure to get outdoors. Try visiting Debuck's in Belleville, taking a hike in a local park or just wandering your neighborhood. Of course many of my friends are talking about cleaning up their yards too.

Me? Why we will have soccer on Saturday then heading out to Camp Munhacke for a family campout with my Webelos. On Sunday morning they'll head out for a hike too. Unfortunately I have been benched from the hike - My physical therapist says it's a no-go with my knees. I was really looking forward to seeing the colors too! At least the kids are excited.

Need ideas on what to do with the kids? Here are a few ideas to spark your interest. The round-up weekend events planner is chocked full of programs, and ideas to make your weekend special. Many of them are free events too!

Saturday, October 12
  • 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Fall Color Hike (5-miles) at Camp Munhacke (20120 Bartell Rd Gregory). $4/Free for kids age 5 and under
  • 10:30 a.m. - Family Storytime at the Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker).
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Make A Good Impression hands-on demonstration at the Museum of Natural History. Information about fossils and fun, hands-on exploration of fossil casting.
  • Noon-2:00 p.m. Apple Cider Pressing at the Waterloo Recreation Area (Dexter). 
  • 11:30 a.m. -12:15 p.m. - Family Crafts at Ophir Crafts (Westgate Shopping Center 2507 Jackson Ave.) Free. Register at, or by emailing
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Zumba Time at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine, Dexter). Teen Event.
  • 12:30-1:15 p.m. - Family Crafts at Ophir Crafts 
  • 1:00-4:00 p.m. - The Leslie Science & Nature Center presents Critters Up Close at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum 
  • 2:00 p.m. - Dinosaur Tours at the UM Natural History Museum
  • 2:00-3:00 p.m. - Safety Pin Bracelets at the Ann Arbor District Library Malletts Creek (3090 E. Eisenhower, Ann Arbor) 
  • 3:00-3:30 p.m. - Casting hands-on demonstration at the Museum of Natural History. 

Sunday, October 13
  • 9:00 -11:00 a.m. - Autumn Bird & Botany Hike at Trinkle Marsh at Easton Farm Preserve, (Dancer Rd. just north of Trinkle Rd., Lima Twp.)
  • 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Pioneer Day at the Waterloo Area Farm Museum (9998 Waterloo-Munith Rd., Chelsea). Admission $5 adults/$2 kids ages 5-12/free admission for kids under 4.  
  • 1:00-4:00 p.m. - The Leslie Science & Nature Center presents Critters Up Close at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum 
  • 2:00-3:00 p.m. - Paper Castles at the Ann Arbor District Library Malletts Creek (3090 E. Eisenhower, Ann Arbor)
  • 2:00-4:00 p.m. - Kids Pinterest Craft Party at the Chelsea District Library (221 S. Main, Chelsea). Kids ages 9-12. Materials and snacks provided free, preregistration required 734-475-8732. 
  • 3:00-3:30 p.m. - Casting hands-on demonstration at the Museum of Natural History. 
  • 3:00-4:15 p.m. - Dancing Through Time with People at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown. Kids and teens in grades 4+.
  • 6:30-8:00 p.m. - A Good Old-fashioned Campfire Circle at the Leslie Science & Nature Center 

October 10, 2013

One Stop Holiday Shop

I thought this would be an exceptional holiday shopping experience to highlight for Ann Arbor Moms. The exciting thing is, it's THIS weekend.

On Saturday, October 12 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Washtenaw Community College be sure to check out the many vendors available at the Ann Arbor Jaycees One Stop Holiday Shop! You'll find jewelry, food items and many gift ideas. Find special discounts too, like a special holiday buy from Peachy Fitness.

Peachy Fitness is offering a one-day special 8 classes for only $29*. The special is good for ladies and kids Zumba and Yoga classes and would make an exceptional holiday gift.

*Good for new clients only and to those present at the Ann Arbor Jaycees event.

Family Friendly Film Series: Shrek

The Michigan Theater (603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor) is hosting a free movies for kids 12 & under on Sunday, October 13 & 20. On both of those days, the movie Shrek will be shown at 1:30 p.m.

Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow head the voice cast of the irreverent comedy from the computer animation wizards at PDI/DreamWorks (Antz). Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of fairy tale characters. They were all...

Tickets are free for children 12 & under, $10 for adults and $8 for seniors, students, older children and teens. This movie is rated PG.

October 9, 2013

Win Tickets to See Hello Dolly at the Fox Theatre

Want to win (4) tickets to the Tony Awards-Winning show Hello Dolly! when it comes to the Fox Theatre next week? Here's your chance. Olympia Entertainment has given me a family (4) pack to pass along to one lucky reader. Just comment below on why you need the night out. All entries received by Sunday, October 13 will be entered for a random drawing.

One Ann Arbor Mom fan will get the chance win tickets to see
Hello Dolly! coming to Detroit October 18-19

Hello, Dolly! starring Sally Struthers, is set to arrive at the Fox Theatre for two performances October 18-19. Tickets ($30, $45, $55 and $70) are on sale now and can be purchased at, the Fox Theatre and at

Two-time Emmy Award winner Sally Struthers stars as the strong-willed matchmaker Dolly, who travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a match for the ornery "well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder. With an irresistible story and an unforgettable score including the title song, “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” “It Only Takes a Moment,” and the show-stopping “Before the Parade Passes By,” Hello, Dolly! has been charming audiences around the world for 50 years. The show would make an exceptional night out for you and your spouse, or perhaps families can introduce their older children and teens to the joy of musical theatre!

Remember, just comment below on why you need to win this contest for a chance to win tickets. Tickets are good for the show Friday, October 18 at 8:00 p.m.

October 6, 2013

Win Tickets to See the Little Engine The Could

The Michigan Theater (603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor) has sent me this great offer for Ann Arbor families. This discount ticket offer is available for Ann Arbor folks to see Little Engine The Could Earns Her Whistle at The Michigan Theater on October 20 at 1:30 p.m. The show, part of the Benard L. Maas Not Just For Kids Series would be the perfect outing for kids in grades pre-K-2. 

Little Blue Engine dreams of someday leaving the train yard to pull the big cars on the main line track, but can she convince Big Silver that she is worthy of being a main line engine? This dynamic musical portrays Watty Piper’s timeless tale about hard work, determination and the meaning of true friendship. Join us when, against all odds, Little Blue Engine conquers her fears and demonstrates the extraordinary strength in that beloved phrase: “I think I can!”

To win tickets inspire me with a comment below on why your little one should get the free tickets. One lucky family will be drawn from all entires on Ann Arbor Mom Facebook and the blog! Enter by midnight October 14.

October 1, 2013

Ann Arbor Mom Blog Contests

To make it easier for Ann Arbor families to see all of the available contests, give-aways and freebies running on the blog, I wanted to create a single page that hosts the current contests running with a brief description of each event. The page will be updated as new give-aways are released.

Happy kids win prizes at the Ann Arbor Mom blog!

Coming Soon...

Win tickets to see 100 Years of Broadway at the Fox Theatre - November 3, 8:00 p.m. 

Win tickets to see Dinosaur Train Live - November 22, 8:00 p.m.
Win tickets to see the Brian Setzer Orchestra at the Fox Theatre - November 23, 8:00 p.m.
Win tickets to see Sesame Street Live at the Fox Theatre - January 23-February 17.

October 2013

Win tickets to see Hello Dolly at the Fox Theatre - October 18, 7:00 p.m. Enter by midnight October 13.

Win tickets to see the Little Engine The Could Earns Her Whistle at The Michigan Theater October 13, 1:30 p.m. (Pre-K-2nd Grade) Enter by midnight October 10. Special discounts for all families. 

Win tickets to see Skate America at the Joe Lewis Arena October 18, 7:30 p.m. (All ages / Ann Arbor families) Enter by October 11, 5:00 p.m. 


September 2013

Win tickets to see the Wiggles September 22. (Preschool ages families) Enter by September 13.  

September 29, 2013

Skate America Coming to Joe Louis Arena: Win Tickets

Want to win one of two (4) person prize packs to see Skate America when it comes to the Joe Louis Arena? Sit tight to find out how your family can win.

Skate America is coming to the Joe Lewis Arena October 18-20 and will feature three days of competition in ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dance. The field of competitors will include 52 world-class athletes, some of whom will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. I can't wait for the Olympics and have loved watching them with the kids. The next winter Olympics will probably be the first ones my son will remember even!

The U.S. lineup for the 2013 Hilton HHonors Skate America Detroit is: Samantha Cesario; Ashley Wagner; Caroline Zhang Men’s: Max Aaron; Evan Lysacek; Adam Rippon Pairs: Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir; Caydee Denney and John Coughlin; Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay Ice Dancing: Meryl Davis and Charlie White; Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani. Team USA will be headlined by 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek, who will compete in his first Grand Prix event since 2009, and reigning World and Skate America ice dance champions (and local favorites) Meryl Davis and Charlie White. 

Tickets for Skate America ($23, $38 and $93) are available by visiting all Ticketmaster locations or To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. 

Want to WIN free tickets to Skate America? Tell me, in the comments below, what your favorite moment in skating history was or who your favorite skater is. Two families will be randomly chosen from all entries (received by Friday, October 11 at 5:00 p.m.) to win a family 4 pack for Hilton HHoners Skate America coming to Joe Louis Arena October Friday, October 18 event at 7:00 p.m.

September 26, 2013

October Kids Building Clinics

There are two kids building clinics in October that sound like fun. We like participating in the events too. Kids building workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety all while instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment at a job well done. See what's scheduled and sign your kid up, it is a lot of fun and a great learning experience!

From 9:00 a.m. - noon on October 5, kids participating in the Home Depot kids building clinic will create their own fire rescue plane for Fire Safety Month.  Kids will also get to participate in workshop activities receiving a free a fire safety activity sheet and every kids will receive a buildable mini LEGO CITY Toy and Fire Safety Tips. (While supplies last.)

On Saturday, October 12 at 10:00 a.m., get your Halloween spirit ready with a spooktacular Lowe's Build and Grow kids clinic. Each registered child will build their own Halloween inspired Spooky Stacker Game.

September 24, 2013

Win Prizes at the Mathnasium of Ann Arbor Trimathalon

On October 19, Mathnasium of Ann Arbor is hosting the 3rd annual Mathnasium TriMathlon. The free event is for kids in grades 3-5. During the event, students will compete to demonstrate their knowledge of the three principles of Number Sense: counting, proportional thinking, and wholes and parts. Modeled after a triathlon, the TriMathlon allows kids to test their level of mental fitness by solving math problems.

The fun doesn't stop with math learning though, as students will have the chance to compete for prizes. In addition, Mathnasium has modified the competition to give every child the opportunity to earn money for their school.  For every correct answer by participants at our Center, Mathnasium will make a financial donation to that students school or local school project on  at our direction. So the more students participate, the more money we can donate to our local schools. For more information and to sign up, call 734-408-1118.

September 20, 2013

Weekend Events Round-Up: Sept 20-22

It's been a crazy two weeks. In fact I reminded my friends not to let me go camping with my scouts on back-to-back weekends. Last week I went with my daughter and her Brownie Troop and this week is Camporee with my Cub Scout! I am already exhausted and the weekend hasn't begun. I think perhaps the late night visitor to the cabins last weekend started the sleep deprivation. (We had a flying squirrel in our cabin much of the time. While they are cute I DON'T want them crawling on my face while I sleep!)

Yes he's cute, but this is the little guy that caused sleep deprivation last weekend.
Good thing my daughter slept through his visit otherwise I may have found
 him in our bag when I got home!
Want to go hiking? There are several great opportunities with Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation for guided hikes! Want to enjoy the early fall harvest? Spicer Orchard and Pittsfield Township have free events this weekend. Would you prefer to stay indoors? There are free movies, roller skating, family jump sessions and family swim programs as well as several programs at the UM Natural History Museum and the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum. For those local families staying in town, there is lots to do around Ann Arbor with kids - Check out the many great free events and activities. Here's a sample of weekend events in the round-up. It's short and sweet, but I got it posted.



5:30-7:00 p.m. - Family Jump Time at Canton Pump It Up
6:30-9:00 p.m. - Jump City Family Bounce
6:30-8:00 p.m. - Family Swim at Goldfish Swim School


9:00 a.m. - Free Movie: Ice Age 3
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Harvest Festival at Spicer Orchards (10411 Clyde Rd., Fenton)
10:00 a.m. - Free Movie: Ice Age 3
10:00 a.m. - A2SO KinderConcert at Dexter Library
10:00 a.m. Rollers & Strollers Skate at Skatin Station II in Canton (Age 7 & under)
10:00 a.m. - noon - $2 owl craft at the Michael's Kid's Club starting every half hour
10:30 a.m. - noon - Tree Walk at Kosch Headwaters Preserve. Pre-register at 971-6337 x334 or email
10:30 a.m. - noon - Geocaching 101 at County Farm Park. Pre-register 734-971-6337 X320 or email
11:00 a.m. - Back to School Picnic at the Leslie Science & Nature Center
11:00 a.m. - Hands-on Demo at the UM Natural History Museum
11:00 a.m. - Paper Airplane & Face Painting Fun at Learning Express Toys - Call (734) 997-0707
1:00-10:00 p.m. Saturday All Day Skate at Skatin Station II in Canton
2:00 p.m. Free dinosaur tours
2:00-3:00 p.m. - Caterpillar Carnival is a free event for families at County Farm Park.
2:00 p.m. - Pendulum Painting at the Ypsilanti District Library (Superior)
3:00 p.m. - Hands-on Demo at the UM Natural History Museum
4:00 p.m. - SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary's annual Fall Festival and Vegan Chili Cookoff


9:00 a.m. - Free Movie: Ice Age 3
10:00 a.m. - Free Movie: Ice Age 3
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Harvest Festival at Spicer Orchards (10411 Clyde Rd., Fenton)
2:00-5:00 p.m. Pittsfield Township Harvest Festival
2:00-5:00 p.m. Open Skate at Skatin Station II in Canton
3:00 p.m. - Hands-on Demo at the UM Natural History Museum

September 17, 2013

Back-to-School Picnic at the Leslie Science & Nature Center

Families are sure to enjoy the Back-to-School Picnic this weekend at
the Leslie Science & Nature Center.
This Saturday, September 21, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. be sure to stop by the Leslie Science & Nature Center (1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor) for a back to school picnic. The family event will feature live music from Gemini, guided hikes, field games, the Critter House, and of course the resident Raptors. The music starts at noon, so bring your picnic lunch and come early to find the best spot for your blanket.

The cost for this event is just $6 for as many people that can fit on your blanket! To register for the event in advance, visit the LSNC websites registration page.

September 13, 2013

Weekend Event Round-up: Sept 13-15

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The weather this weekend will be spot on perfect even, fully reminding me about what I love about Michigan in the fall. What makes it even better is that I'll be spending the weekend camping with my daughter and several of her fellow Brownie Girl Scouts! Do you have weekend plans? If not, how about a few of these ideas. You will find family events, and programs for toddlers through teens - Many of the events are free even!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy all that it brings!

Friday, September 13:

  • 10:00 a.m. Storytime featuring Woolbur at the Ann Arbor District Library - Pittsfield (Stories & songs for age 2-5)
  • 10:30 a.m. Baby playgroup for babies up to 24-months. Find stories, songs and rhymes at the Ann Arbor District Library - Traverwood. No siblings please.
  • 6:30 p.m. Fly Friday's at the Fly Children's Art Center. Weave bottlecaps into macrame and beads for a one of a kind wearable art. Cost $10/student. Register at
  • 7:00-8:30 p.m. Teens can make a noteworthy notebook at the Ann Arbor District Library - Mallets Creek. Add style by crafting with paper, cloth, foam and other embellishments. Supplies provided for this free event.

  • Saturday, September 14:

  • 9:00 a.m. Free movie - Ramona and Beezus 
  • 9:00 a.m. Toddler Time at SkyZone Canton (ages 5 & under)
  • 10:00 a.m. Lowes Build and Grow kids building clinic. Build a classic firetruck toy.
  • 10:00 a.m. Free movie - Ramona and Beezus 
  • 10:00 a.m. Rollers & Strollers Skate at Skatin Station II in Canton (Age 7 & under)
  • 10:00 a.m. Free event for Leslie Science & Nature Center Members - Bats of the World. There is limited space for the event, call 734-997-1553 to reserve your spot.
  • 10:30 a.m. Family Storytime at the Ypsilanti District Library - Whittaker (ages 2-5)
  • 11:00 a.m. Hands-on Demonstration at the University of Michigan Natural History Museum. Life: How do we find it?
  • 1:00-10:00 p.m. Saturday All Day Skate at Skatin Station II in Canton 
  • 2:00 p.m. Free dinosaur tours
  • 2:00 p.m. Kids and teens (ages 10-18) can decorate a locker mirror at the Ypsilanti District Library - Superior. Pre-registration required online
  • 2:00-5:00 p.m. Teen block party at Rock the Block at the Ypsilanti District Library - Downtown. This free teen event has free food, music and fun!
  • 3:00 p.m. American Girl Party at the Ypsilanti District Library - Michigan. Girls bring your dolls for free keepsake photo and storytime fun.
  • 3:00 p.m. Hands-on Demonstration at the University of Michigan Natural History Museum. Life: How do we find it?

  • Sunday, September 15:

  • 9:00 a.m. Free movie - Ramona and Beezus 
  • 10:00 a.m. Free movie - Ramona and Beezus 
  • 1:00-4:00 p.m. Chesstastic for the entire family at the Ann Arbor District Library - Traverwood.
  • 2:00-5:00 p.m. Open Skate at Skatin Station II in Canton  
  • 2:00 p.m. Free dinosaur tours
  • 3:00 p.m. Hands-on Demonstration at the University of Michigan Natural History Museum. Life: How do we find it?
  • 6:30-8:00 p.m. Fireside Fun for the entire family at a good old fashioned campfire circle at the Leslie Science & Nature Center. Bring your chairs and fixings for s'mores. Marshmallows provided.

  • September 9, 2013

    Free Tickets to See the Wiggles

    One lucky family will have the opportunity to win tickets - A family 4-pack - to see the Wiggles on September 22. Just comment below on why your preschooler is amazing for your chance to win. One random winner will be chosen from all Facebook and blog entries posted by the end of the day Friday, September 13.

    After 21 years of entertaining children around the globe, The Wiggles will introduce three new cast members including the first-ever female member, Emma Watkins. These vibrant new Wiggles will bring the “Taking Off!” worldwide tour to the Fox Theatre on Sunday, September 22 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets ($18, $24.50, $34.50 and $75 VIP) are on sale now and can be purchased at, the Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (without service charge) at all Ticketmaster locations and To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. Groups, of 8 or more, save on select seats by calling (313) 471-3099.

    September 7, 2013

    Kids Try Tennis for Free: Event

    Kids can try tennis for free by attending one of the many free tennis Youth Tennis
    programs happening throughout Metro Detroit in September 2013.
    I was watching Nickelodeon - I mean my *kids* were watching Nickelodeon - when I noticed a fun ad encouraging kids to try tennis for free. The ad instructed viewers to go online to find a location near them where they could try the sport using smaller rackets on smaller courts. Of course being an event blogger this intrigued me - Besides I think getting the kids outside, no matter how, is so important, so I went to Youth Tennis website to find a location.

    There are many locations throughout Michigan and Metro Detroit, I did make note of the two closest locations where kids from Ann Arbor can enjoy the free tennis play days. Make sure you get online, but here are the locations or your children.

    September 22, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

    Yasmin and Brick Kids Play Day
    Bricks Warehouse (7246 Jackson Rd Scio Twp, MI)
    For more information contact Yasmin Kashef- or (203) 2178871

    September 28, 10:00 a.m. - noon
    Pinckney Area Tennis Open House
    Location: 10154 Meadown Lane Pinckney, MI
    For more information contact Mark Swanson - or (810) 923-4173

    This free event is being sponsored by the US Tennis Association and Nickelodeon to bring tennis to more kids and to get the whole family more active. Make sure you get your kids playing tennis at this free event this September!

    September 6, 2013

    Weekend Event Round-up: Sept 6-8

    Hello Ann Arbor families - It's going to be a beautiful weekend! I can't wait to get out there. I'm hoping the weather allows for some outdoor play, perhaps even a bike ride or hike! I'll certainly be foraging a bit and preserving some of the goods from my garden, however with the weather we are supposed to have, who wants to be tied to the kitchen? I want to find a great activity for my kids to enjoy. What about you? Do you have any activities or events in mind this weekend in Ann Arbor with the kids?

    Here's hoping this weekend's event round-up will spark an idea for you...

    Friday, September 6:
    • Tonight spend a Fun Friday Night At the UM Natural History Museum (1109 Geddes Ave.Ann Arbor). From 5:30-9:00 p.m. families can wander the museum, participate in fun hands-on activities, see the dinosaurs, take guided tours, participate storytime and watch a planetarium show (for $3).

    Saturday, September 7:
    • Get outside and explore - Perhaps a trip to play disc golf at Rolling Hills, the end of summer hike at Hudson Mills (Hudson Mills Metropark Activity Center) at 8:00-11:00 a.m., or even a tree hike with Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation! Families wanting to know more about trees should plan to attend the Burns-Stokes Trees of Washtenaw County program held at Park Lyndon at 10:00 a.m.-noon. (This would make an exceptional scout event too!) The kids will learn about many of the tree species found in our part of Michigan. Pre-register at 971-6337 x334 or
    • What about a free movie to start the weekend? This weekend's free movie at the Quality 16 is epic. Catch it at 9:00 a.m. OR 10:00 a.m.
    • Your preschooler might really enjoy storytime so be sure to check out the new Saturday stroytime at the Ann Arbor Hand's On Museum at 10:30 a.m.
    • Want to learn about one of natures most important insects? Then the Festival of the Honey Bee at YDL-Michigan is the place to bee. From 1:00-5:00 p.m. create bee-related crafts, taste honey, do the waggle dance, and learn about pollination and the bee life-cycle. There is even an open-mic performance time for bee-related songs, poetry and essays. 
    • Take your wee scientist to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum for Sciencefest for hands-on activities from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. there is even a special pre-school month playtime for the tots happening. Experience even more science fun at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History with the hands-on program "Life: How Do We Find It?" at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and of course don't forget the free dinosaur tours at 2:00 p.m.
    • Teach the kids more about where their food comes from at the Sixth Annual HomeGrown Festival. It happens at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market (315 Detroit St, Ann Arbor) from 6:00-10:00 p.m.

    Sunday, September 8:
    • You have a second chance to catch the free movie epic at the Quality 16 at 9:00 a.m. OR 10:00 a.m. 
    • There is also a second chance for the ScienceFest preschool playtime today from noon-4:00 p.m.
    • Storytime is at the Kerrytown Bookfest at 3:00 p.m.
    • There are two fun fall activities happening at historic locations. Families could head over to Sharon Mills (5701 Sharon Hollow Rd, Manchester) for an open house at 1:00-4:00 participate in a docent guided tour to learn about the mill and its hydroelectric generator. Want to stay closer to Ann Arbor? Then plan to tour an 1870's pioneer grist mill at Parker Mill (4650 Geddes Rd, Ann Arbor). Families will learn how water power was used to grind corn and wheat. Formal tours are given at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. 
    • Don't forget the science fun happening at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History with the hands-on program "Life: How Do We Find It?" at 3:00 p.m. and free dinosaur tours at 2:00 p.m.
    • I posted the other day about the Dawn Farm Jamboree. It's a great way to support a local Ypsilanti cause while spending a fun day out with the kids.

    So there you have it folks. Many great activities and events happening throughout town. What will you choose to do?

    August 31, 2013

    Free Art Tours at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

    Each Sunday in September at 1:00 p.m., families can take a free docent guided tour of the University of Michigan Museum of Art (525 S. State St., Ann Arbor). The free program guides visitors through diverse art gallery tours that include a variety of art styles and media that illuminate the theme and preferences of the unique individual guiding the tour. Themes may be repeated but each docent's approach and choice of objects is always unique allowing families to explore the museum several times throughout the month!

    This docent guided tours are likely best for older, more mature youth and teens.

    August 30, 2013

    Weekend Events Round-up: Labor Day Weekend

    Happy Labor Day weekend. Here's hoping whatever you are doing - Having a family BBQ, spending time at the beach, camping, playing outdoors or having a picnic is peaceful and wonderful. I know many friends will be prepping for that first day of school, as I will be doing, as well as finishing up our summer bucket list! Don't let the weekend get away from you though, there is still plenty of great activities and events happening around town. Experience Kid's Day at the Saline Community Fair, or even head to the Michigan State Fair.

    Another fun weekend event sounds like the Old St. Patrick Labor Day Weekend Festival (5671 Whitmore Lake Rd., Ann Arbor). The festival hours are Saturday and Sunday noon - 11:00 p.m. With free admission, families will find kids’ games, a petting farm, free face painting and inflatables. Teen specific activities include a rock-climbing wall and a bungee jump. Find food and plenty of entertainment in this fun-filled event.

    It's been kind of a hectic week for me with the family and I'm not sure how the next few months will play out, I will however continue to try and get you fun events and activities for the kids! Have a great Labor Day weekend check out a few things happening around town.

    • Free dinosaur tours at the UM Natural History Museum at 2:00 p.m. 
    • You're a Good Man Charlie Brown  at Children’s Creative Center (1600 Pauline Blvd., Ann Arbor) at 8:00 p.m.  Ticket prices for general admission are $20.

    • Weekly story time at Nicola's Books 11:00 a.m. - noon
    • Hands-on cow-eye dissection at University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor) at 11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m. for ages 5+ This is a free event but there is a suggested donation is $6 per person. 
    • Ultimate gaming experience at Briarwood Mall (Macy's court) where kids and teens can try unreleased Nintendo and Bandai Namco games at 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
    • Free dinosaur tours 2:00 p.m.
    • You're a Good Man Charlie Brown  at Children’s Creative Center at 8:30 p.m.  

    • Ultimate gaming experience at Briarwood Mall 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 
    • Free dinosaur tours 2:00 p.m. 
    • West Lake Preserve almost autumn exploration hike at 2:00-4:00 p.m. On this hike families will look at insects, wildflowers, birds, trees and more as they hike the field and forest habitats of the preserve.
    • Hands-on cow-eye dissection at University of Michigan Museum of Natural History at 3:00 p.m.
    • Dancing in the Streets party happens in downtown Ann Arbor (Main & Washington) 2:00-6:30 p.m. 


    • Free admission to the The Henry Ford Museum during the Target Family Fun Day.

    August 28, 2013

    Great Outdoors Youth Jamboree

    As an active scouting parent, there was no doubt I would post this event when I ran into it yesterday at the Saline Community Fair. I'm just sad to know that I can't attend as I will be at a BSA Woodbadge course! The Great Outdoors Youth Jamboree though is the perfect way to stand behind the "No Child Left Indoors".

    On Sunday, September 8, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., , kids can spend the day in the great outdoors learning many outdoor skills - shooting, archery, birding, fishing, boating, camping and even nature crafts. Families can see many displays ad participate in hands-on activities. Kids will find instruction in archery, dutch oven cooking, stand up paddle-boarding, fly fishing, outdoor photography and many, many more nature-based activities. Kids can also learn all about habitat and environmental projects and possibly take part in a live Chukar hunt (pre-registration for the Chukar hunt is required.).

    Get a total outdoor experience for the whole family. Food vendors will be on site or bring a picnic lunch to enjoy by the lake. Make sure to bring a water bottle and a backpack or tote bag for all the goodies you'll be taking home. Dress for the weather as the Great Outdoors Youth Jamboree will be held rain or shine. This is a free event that will take place at the Lake Hudson State Recreation Area (5505 Morey Highway, Clayton MI) so families will need to have the recreation passport or pay the minimal entry fee into the park.

    Be sure to thank the event sponsors for this fantastic opportunity - Pheasant's Forever, the Michigan Pheasants Restorative Initiative and the Michigan DNR.

    August 18, 2013

    Win Tickets to If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

    Win free tickets to see
    If You Give a Mouse A Cookie
    at the City Theatre Detroit.
    Anyone interested in seeing "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" at the City Theatre (2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit) August 23-25? The Ann Arbor Mom Blog is offering one lucky fan the chance to win free tickets - That's right it's family 4-pack time for the August 24, 11:00 a.m. show!

    All you need to do is comment on the blog post below on why your children would enjoy the show. Remember you must be signed in or make sure I can contact you as the winner. This is a quick contest, as the winners name will be drawn by all entries posted on the Facebook post OR this blog post by Tuesday, August 20 at 5:00 p.m.

    My son LOVED the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie story and even wrote his own cute version of the story as a Mother's Day gift the year he was in second grade - I would think this would be an excellent way to spend a Saturday morning with your younger children! Just remember to enter quickly!

    August 16, 2013

    Weekend Events Round-Up: August 16-18

    What events and activities has your
    summer bucket list had? Are there any this
    weekend that will help you out?
    I'm sorry about the brevity of the last few weekend events updates, I've just been slamming with things to do! This summer has been wonderful. Actually though this week is short and sweet because I'm on vacation with my family. Likely not busy. As we lounge on a houseboat on Lake Cumberland! This had better be the relaxing family vacation I was hoping for. Sadly though we are missing our beloved Ypsilanti Heritage Festival as well as a few other pretty cool events.

    Did you see the post earlier this week about the NASA Star Party? Looks fun doesn't it? I still want to get my son over to the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History for the cow eyeball dissection too. Anything else look interesting or fun? How will your family begin to wrap up their summer? Did you have a summer bucket list of events and activities to do? We did. We're trying hard to get to everything too!

    So I'll leave you with this - A full list of events and activities happening for your weekend events planner!

    Friday, August 16
    • 11:30 a.m. Planetarium show at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
    • Noon-8:30 p.m. Ypsilanti Heritage Festival
    • Noon-8:00 p.m. NASA Star Party at EMU
    • 2:00 p.m. Movies n Muffins at the Dexter District Library: Lincoln. Rated PG-13
    • 2:00-2:30 p.m. - Free Dinosaur Tours
    •  2:00 p.m. Film Fridays at the Ypsilanti District Library: Fantastic Mr. Fox
    • 7:00-10:00 p.m. - Friday Night Live Skate at Skatin Station II (Canton)
    Saturday, August 17
    • 10:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Ypsilanti Heritage Festival
    • 10:00-noon - Tot roller skating at Skatin Station II 
    • 10:30 a.m. Family Storytime at the Ypsilanti District Library (Whittaker)
    • 11:00 a.m. - Noon Storytime at Nicola's Books
    • 11:30 a.m. Planetarium show at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
    • Noon-8:00 p.m. NASA Star Party at EMU  
    • Noon-3:00 p.m. Healthy Back-to-school Snack Ideas at Whole Foods (both Ann Arbor locations!) Free event
    • 1:00 p.m. p.m. Cow Eyeball Hands-on Demo at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History 
    • 1:00-3:00 p.m. Kids & Teen Event - Mushroom Workshop at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens
    • 1:00-4:00 p.m. Teen Event - Hands on Drawing Workshop at the AADL (Downtown) Grades 6+ through adult.
    • 1:00-2:30 p.m. Kids Korral at teh Waterloo Recreation Area riding stable. $45/rider.
    • 1:00-4:00 p.m. All Day Skate at Skating Station II
    • 2:00-2:30 p.m. - Free Dinosaur Tours 
    • 3:00 p.m. Cow Eyeball Hands-on Demo at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
    • 7:00-10:00 p.m. Summer Saturday Skate at Skating Station II
    Sunday, August 18
    • 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Ypsilanti Heritage Festival
    • Noon - 5:00 p.m. Summer Reading Finale with the YDL at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival
    • 1:30-2:00 p.m. - Planetarium Show at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History 
    • 2:00-2:30 p.m. - Free Dinosaur Tours
    • 2:00-5:00 p.m. - Open Skate at Skating Station II 
    • 3:00 p.m. Cow Eyeball Hands-on Demo at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History 

    August 12, 2013

    Ypsilanti's Heritage Festival Provides Great Family Fun

    Ypsilanti Heritage Festival
    August 17-19, 2012
    This weekend, Depot Town, Frog Island Park and Riverside Park will be filled with crafts, side-walk sales, historic reenactments, car shows, live entertainment, and a children's village in Riverside Park with plenty of family fun, as the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival comes to town!

    My family especially enjoys the festival and will wander for hours finding many great free activities for the kids.

    Of course the entire family will enjoy the day that includes a midway, casino, games/contests, good food and entertainment, however the kids will especially love the reenactment camp of  Native American culture, art, music and dance, and games for kids of all ages. There is also a free children's activity tent , a petting zoo, and demonstrations by the robotics team (my son loves their demonstrations!). On Sunday your child can even be a star during the kids talent show! With so many things to do with the kids, it's no wonder many families spend the entire weekend in Depot Town!

    Take a look at some of my highlights from attending past Heritage Festival events:

    With so much to do however, I thought it was a great idea to point out some of the happenings that families can find this year. The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival has many great experiences worth checking out, so be sure to stop by for the day, or the entire weekend!

    Friday, August 17:
    • Native American Storytelling 2:30 p.m.
    • Trent the Juggling Guy - 4:00 p.m.
    • Colors the Clown - 5:00 p.m. 
    • Free Activity/Craft tent (Sponsored by the Girl Scouts) - 4:00-7:00 p.m.
    • The Robotics Team Exhibit/Demonstrations - all weekend long
    Saturday, August 18:
    • Parade - 10:00 a.m.
    • Pioneer Village Open - 11:00 a.m.
    •  Free Activity/Craft tent (Sponsored by the Fly Children's Art Studio) - Noon-2:00 p.m.
    •  Gemini- 12:30 p.m. 
    • Boyer, The Magic Guy - 2:00 p.m.
    • Cueter Car Coloring Contest/Car Parts Petting Zoo - 2:00 p.m.
    • Kid's Concert by Kerfuffles- 3:00 p.m.
    • Ypsilanti Youth Symphony - 4:00 p.m.
    • Dance Party! with Ayinde Audio - 5:00 p.m.
    •  Free admission to the Ypsilanti Firehouse Museum (after parade) - 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
    • The Robotics Team Exhibit/Demonstrations - all weekend long
    Sunday, August 19:
    • Berlioz the Bear - Noon
    • Free Activity/Craft tent (Sponsored by the YDL) - Noon
    • Kids Talent Shows - 1:00 p.m. (age 2-5), 2:30 p.m. (age 6-11) and 4:00 p.m. (age 12-18)
    • The Robotics Team Exhibit/Demonstrations - all weekend long 
    For more information, you can follow the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival on Facebook or Twitter too!