June 30, 2013

Huron River Day

Spend the day enjoying family, friends and the river during Huron River Day.
This free event is perfect for the entire family!
Beat the heat this Sunday with a little treat for the entire family during Huron River Day! This yearly free event started 33 years ago as a way to educate citizens about the Huron River watershed and make preservation efforts so that future generations will continue to enjoy our local and immensely beautiful local natural resource.

The free event takes place at Gallup Park (3000 Fuller Rd., Ann Arbor) throughout the day, starting at 8:30 a.m. with the Gallup Gallop 5K Run/5k Fitness Walk. Families can also preregister to take a 1-hour Naturalist led Canoe Trip around Gallup park at 11:00 a.m. for $5/person. Preregistration is required at 734.794.6240.

Then from noon-4:00 p.m. enjoy all that the Huron River and Gallup Park has to offer with so many free activities. Families will find $5 Canoe & Kayak rentals, a free children's activity tent with art and science fun, a photo booth, a butterfly house,  a live animal program with Leslie Science Center, a butterfly house, river exhibits, a Kids Envirochallenge (which I have hear is an awesome fun and education event!), fishing, a classic Small Boat Show, stand up paddle-board and live music from Joe Reilly, Gemini and Wire in the Wood.

But wait, there's MORE. The Parker Mill will also be open that day from noon-4:00 p.m. with free Pioneer Grist Mill tours at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. AND as an added bonus ride your bikes to the park and you'll receive free valet bike parking and a free boat rental. Whew - I'm exhausted just thinking about the event!

There is so much to love about spending quality time with family, enjoying the outdoors and strolling - or paddling - the Huron River, so be sure to come out and enjoy this wonderful afternoon! For more information on the event, please visit the City of Ann Arbor's Huron River Day page or call (734) 794-6240.

June 28, 2013

Weekend Events Round-Up: June 28-30

I meant to post this last night, however I was a bit preoccupied fretting over whether our basement would flood. It didn't thankfully and the water has now receded.

Me standing in the middle of our intersection next to my home!
My back-yard at it's worst! We had a water park for a while.

Yes, yes, I fretted and simply didn't get things posted. But there is lots to do in Ann Arbor tonight including Ann Arbor Summer Festival's Top of the Park events and performances for families - The KidZone, Superhero, a kids music workshop, musical performances, and the movie the Iron Giant - Just check out the A2SF listing for all of the great events happening!

The  62nd annual Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival (Pioneer High School) is running this weekend too with free admission before 9:00 p.m. Find rides, midway games, food and fun. Carnival hours are 4:00-11:00 p.m. Friday, noon-11:00 p.m. Saturday and Noon-9:00 p.m. Sunday. More information at carnival@a2jaycees.org.

For parents with young children, the grand opening of the new play area at Briarwood Mall on Saturday (11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.) might be a perfect diversion. Radio Disney will be there to celebrate as well, so older siblings will enjoy that. The free event will include a ribbon cutting, and special give-aways every 15 minutes. Kids can also get free temporary tattoos, enjoy a coloring activity station and interactive gaming station. 

What's on your weekend planner?

Friday, June 28
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. Baby playgroups at the Ann Arbor District Library (downtown) For toddlers and babies.
  • 11:00 a.m. - noon Lori Fithian's "Drummunity!" at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter) 
  • 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.  See the Joel Tacey Variety Show at the Ann Arbor District Library (2359 Oak Valley Dr., Ann Arbor) for a little comedy fun. Families will see a mix of dazzling juggling, silly music, wacky stunts, and amazing gadgets. This free event is appropriate for kids in grades K-5.
  • 2:00-4:00 p.m. Film Friday's at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti) - Watch the free movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles.
Saturday, June 29
  • 10:00 a.m. Dancing Babies at the Ann Arbor District Library (3333 Traverwood Dr., Ann Arbor).
  • 11:00 a.m. Free Hands-on Demo at the UM Natural History Museum. Kids will learn about the evolution of whales.
  • 11:00 a.m. Storytime at Nicola's Books(2513 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor) 
  • 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.Planetarium show at the UM Natural History Museum
  • 12:00-1:00 p.m. Open drop-in studio art time at the Fly Children's Art Studio (40 N. Huron, Ypsilanti). Cost is $5/class.
  • 1:00 p.m. Raptor feeding at the Leslie Science & Nature Center
  • 2:00 p.m. Free dinosaur tours at the UM Museum of Natural History
  • 3:00 p.m. Make a "fireworks" t-shirt at the Ypsilanti District Library (5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti). This free event does require registration at 482-4110 ext. 1340to make a one of a kind tie-dye tee. Kids ages 5-12 need to bring their own washed t-shirts for the program.
  • 4:00-5:00 p.m. Crazy Craig at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti). Prepare your family to be astounded and dazzled by juggling, unicycle riding, and devil stick twirling. Find magic tricks, stunts, and so much more at this free performance. 
  • 9:45-11:45 p.m. Kids experience a Hands on interactive event with Superhero at Top of the Park. Superhero is an interactive projection mapping experience in which participants are transformed into superheroes. Fly over Ann Arbor while enjoying many super powers like throwing light balls, becoming gigantic/tiny, and flying!
  • 10:00 p.m. Whitmore Lake fireworks!

Sunday, June 30
  • 12:00-3:00 p.m. Leslie Science & Nature Center Critter House open and free to the public 
  • 1:00 p.m. Kids Music workshop at the Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor). Kids in grades K-5 will meet The Not-Its during this free hands-on music creation workshop.  Learn to combine guitars with smooth, four-part harmonies, to create pop gems.
  • 1:30 p.m. Planetarium show at the UM Natural History Museum
  • 2:00 p.m. Free dinosaur tours
  • 7:00 p.m. The Not-Its perform @TOP
  • 9:45-11:45 p.m. Superhero @TOP
Chest deep walking on the "path"
after the flood!

So whatever you do with the kids in Ann Arbor, be sure to get out and about for fun. For your viewing pleasure, here is another shot of the Ypsilanti flood yesterday. This is the path behind my home - Pretty amazing huh? I am certainly glad our sump-pump kept pumping!

Do any of you have memories of playing in rain run-off as children? I do. And yes, we did take the obligatory disinfectant bath after splashing in all of the puddles!

June 27, 2013

Nature Fun on Thursdays at County Farm Park

There are a lot of great things to say about Nature Fun Thursday's with Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation. My kids have participated many times throughout the past few summers in the free program, and have always asked for more!

The one-hour program happens the following dates,J uly 11, July 18 and July 25, from at 10:30-11:30 a.m. and features outdoor science, nature and fun. For programs at County Farm Park, you are always conveniently located near an indoor bathroom, covered picnic shelter, play-scape and nature trails for your enjoyment after. Rolling Hills also offers many of these amenities with the addition of a small fishing pond, the water park and many paved trails!

Children ages 5-8 are invited to participate in the free program, however per-registration at 734- 971-6337 X334 is required. For programs at Rolling Hills, a vehicle entry fee also applies.

So be sure to join naturalists Faye Stoner and Kelsey Bolda. for these wonderful and exciting events!
  • July 11 - Fun in the Field (County Farm Park, Platt Rd. entrance) with insects, wildflowers, a camouflage game 
  • July 18 - Geo-cache Mini-Adventure (Rolling Hills)! 
  • July 25 - Flowers and Pollinators (County Farm Park, Platt Rd. entrance) exploring flower shapes, bees and butterfly's

June 23, 2013

Ann Arbor Area Firework Displays Bring Families Together

Be sure to celebrate Independence Day
with spectacular fireworks happening
around Ann Arbor!

Today reminds me that 4th of July is merely a week and a half away as the neighborhood kids have been lighting off firecrackers and small displays of fireworks most evenings. So where are all of the large firework displays happening? Below is a list of Ann Arbor area fireworks displays happening through Independence Day.

Monday, June 24

55th Annual Detroit Fireworks
Fireworks at dusk
Hart Plaza - Downtown On The River
(Rain date: Tuesday, June 25, 2013)

Saturday, June 29

Belleville Fireworks
Fireworks at dusk
Located at the Beck Rd. Baseball fields

Whitmore Lake Fireworks
Fireworks at dusk over Whitmore Lake

Hudson Mills Metropark Fireworks
Fireworks at 10:00 p.m.
Located 20 minutes west of Ann Arbor (8801 North Territorial Road, Dexter)
Fireworks are free with $10 entry permit after 5:00 p.m.
Music from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 3

Manchester Fireworks Display
Fireworks begin at Dusk
Located 30 minutes south west of Ann Arbor in Carr Park (600 W. Main Street, Manchester)
Admission: Free annual fireworks display sponsored by the Manchester Men’s Club - donations are accepted though!

Friday, July 5

Willow Metropark
Fireworks at 10:00 p.m.
Located 25 minutes east of Ann Arbor (17845 Savage Road, Belleville)
Fireworks are free with daily $10 entry permit

Car Seat Fitting Events

There are several car seat safety events coming up for parents (or expecting parents) to check out. At the free event, parents can have a car seat safety check ensuring proper fitting for their infants and young children. Parents wishing to have their car seat fit checked for proper installation, head over to the fitting station at the

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 734.763.2251 to schedule an appointment to have your seat checked. If you would like more information about this event please visit the safe kids website.

Car Seat Safety Events:

Tuesday, June 25, 5:00-8:00 p.m. - Scio Fire Department (1055 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor).

Monday, July 1, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Ypsilanti City Fire Department (525 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti)

Wednesday, July 10, 4:00-6:30 p.m. - Ann Arbor Fire Department (1881 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor)

June 21, 2013

Try It Out Discount - Bricks4Kids Summer Camp Dexter

I just saw a post on Ann Arbor's Bricks4Kids Facebook page.

For just $35, your child (age 5-12) can "try-it-before-your-buy-it" for a half-day summer camp in the Bricks4Kids Dexter location. I spoke with the owner Lori the other day too, and the program should like a wonderful Lego experience for any age child. She assured me that she keeps kids and teens busy and engaged with fun, educational programming!

So why not check them out and register for this premier deal on kids summer camp in Dexter. This discount is only good at the Bricks4Kids Dexter Summer Camp location.

Safety First When Swimming This Summer

I suppose that part of the reason we have been hitting swim lessons hard this summer is that later this summer we are renting a houseboat with another family. Houseboat + water = anxious mama when you consider that neither of my kids have expressed an interest in swimming.

My son has always had a fear of the water despite taking infant swim lessons. He just could not seem to get past the water in the nose thing. What did we do? Get him a really good snorkel mask and let time play out. Eventually peer pressure and watching his friends swim in the deep end helped motivate him to "want" to swim. So last summer, at age 8, we tried teaching him. Apparently moms and dads aren't always the best teachers, so this spring we dropped him into Jump Start Swim Lessons at Goldfish Swim School Ann Arbor. We decided to give him two more months of lessons - Which he has pretty much progressed out of. I'm shocked at how far he got with just a few lessons. He is now a proficient swimmer in many strokes. Now he just needs to build strength and endurance.

My daughter used to LOVE the water, swimming like a fish. Eventually though she gave in to her brother's fear and stopped putting her face int he water. What?! So this spring she too dove into lessons. She's still a beginning swimmer, one I am likely to continue lessons for, however I feel much better about her being on the houseboat. We're still likely to keep her life-vest handy though!

Kids taking swim lessons is one of the best ways to help them combat a fear of the water
while swimming more confidently and safely.
 Next week is Safety Week at Goldfish Swim School, where the kids will have an additional 5 minutes of safety instruction with their lessons. However swimming safely is an important topic, especially this time of the year, so I'd like to share the following swimming safety tips from Goldfish Swim School. More details can be found at their Safe Summer Swimming blog post.

It's common knowledge, but we all need to remember to use the buddy system, never swimming alone! Even at a public pool where there is a lifeguard, your child should have a buddy with the same skills. This allows the children to swim together keeping tabs on one another. If the buddy gets out to use the bathroom, both buddies should. With that however it also bears repeating that parents should also maintain constant supervision when they their children are at the beach or pool.

Knowing the rules is an important step in water safety.Make sure your kids know water safety rules or don't allow them to swim. Remind them, and remind them often. They should know where they can and can not swim at the beach or pool, swimming only in designated areas. They should know who will be watching them, and finally they should be fitted with a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. We have our own life jackets that we take everywhere. Kids should know how to properly wear them and parents need to check often. Remember kids grow, so checking the fit of the life-vest at the start and throughout the summer season is important.

Last summer I found my neighbors toddler after he had escaped their yard and scaled my fence. I found him in our small inflatable pool. What would have happened if I found him unconscious in the pool? It's something that made me stop to consider the surroundings of our pool. Each family needs to make sure their backyard pool, even small inflatable ones, are properly outfitted for safety, it's the law!

Did you know that in 2012 drowning was the leading cause of death in children age 1-4? Swim lessons can help, and actually are known to reduced instances of drowning in that age of child. Making sure your child is comfortable in water, knows how to remain calm and get help can save lives. Making sure your child is comfortable in the water and prepared will assure everyone in the family will have an enjoyable time in the water, whether that is in the pool, lake, river or stream! 

Want to know more about safe summer swimming? Be sure to visit the Goldfish Swim School blog, or better yet, head over to the Goldfish Swim School Ann Arbor (2107 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor) and sign up for lessons. While they are on the pricier end of swim lessons, the outcome far super-cedes the cost. I am very pleased that we did and wouldn't go anywhere else now for our swim lessons. I am now more relaxed, and looking forward to our time later this summer on the houseboat!

Weekend Events Round-Up: June 21-23

In my opinion it's been Pure Michigan weather this week. My kids have enjoyed their first full week out of school, they participated in a fun scouting activity and have gotten to enjoy the free Splash program at the YMCA. I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend until I realized it was the weekend for the Great American Backyard Campout. 

Not familiar with the campout or local camping opportunities? There are many inexpensive family camping options. If you have not reserved anything locally, you might consider  attending the Great American Backyard Campout 2013 at Island Lake Recreation Area (12950 Grand River Rd., Brighton) for many free activities. A Recreation Passport is required for vehicles entering the park. First time campers who want to try their hand at tenting are invited to camp at Island Lake at their rustic site camping (vault toilets, a pump for water and no electricity) while enjoying the park and camaraderie with their fellow campers. Free activities will take place throughout the day including tug-o-war, softball, crafts and games, fishing, a night hike, bonfire, s’mores and storytelling. Canoeing is available for a small fee.The entire event is FREE (except canoeing and the vehicle entry fee), however you must contact the park office at 810-229-7067 to reserve your campsite!
If that doesn't work, put the tent up in your back yard and enjoy the evening with your kids! That's what we'll be doing!!!  Besides that we'll be making a few jams and jellies with some Saskatoons we foraged this week, as well as baking some rhubarb bread. Strawberry picking might be in the plans too, depending on what's available at Rowe's.

What are your weekend plans with the kids? It's looking like a near perfect weather weekend, so make sure you get out and about and enjoy! Check out what's happening this weekend in and around Ann Arbor.

Friday, June 21

10:00 a.m. – noon Toddlers and preschool aged children will enjoy Big Truck and Emergency Vehicle Day at the Dexter District Library (3255 Alpine St., Dexter) with a special guest - Buzz Lightyear!

2:00-4:00 p.m. Free movies at Free Film Fridays Film Fridays at the Ypsilanti District Library (229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti) today’s movie is Rango.

4:00 p.m.- midnight Ann Arbor Summer Festival's Top of the Park  at Ingalls Mall (915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor) 5:00-midnight. There is a suggested donation per visit of $3 per individual or $5 per family. Tonight’s family-friendly activities and performances include Tangle (4:00 & 7:30 p.m. - Cost $5) where kids can weave their way through a huge, messy, fun, interactive elastic weaving event where kids take control to create a giant abstract visually stunning artwork in public spaces. The KidZone (5:00 p.m.) sponsored by Keith Hafner’s Karate, and Les 7 doigts de la main give a free demonstration of juggling and circus skills on the lawn at Top of the Park (7:45 p.m.)

7:00-8:00 p.m. Youth and teens can jump till their hearts content during Jump Roping Blast at the Ann Arbor District Library (3090 E. Eisenhower Pky., Ann Arbor). This free event is geared for teens and pre-teens (grades 4-12). Bring your jump rope and and rhymes and be ready for a jumpin’ good time! Learn how to do Chinese jump rope, Double-Dutch and standard jump rope techniques. Special guests for the event are the St. Francis Heartbeats to demonstrate their skills. This is a rain or shine event.

8:00-11:00 p.m. Celebrate the longest day of the year canoeing the Huron River during Summer Solstice on Gallup Pond (Gallup Canoe Livery, 3000 Fuller Rd., Ann Arbor). For only $18/canoe or two-person kayak; $14/one-person kayak paddle the breathtaking 2.5 mile Gallup Pond, be sure to bring a flashlight and bug-spray though. No preregistration is required.

Saturday, June 22

10:00 a.m. – late evening Milan Dragway's Night Thrills at the Milan Dragway (10860 Plank Rd., Milan) For only $20 adults/$10 Kids 6-12, check out a Night of Thrills and action watching the drag races. The first 500 kids into the gate receive a free tee shirt.

10:00 a.m. Get out for a hike at the Lower Huron Metropark (17845 Savage Rd., Belleville). Register at recreation@hrwc.org or 734-697-9181. 

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. State Street Kids Day with Peachy Fitness, UM Natural History museum, a magician and magic show, free face painting and so much more during this free event.
11:00 a.m. Amazing Amphibians at Hudson Mills Metropark (8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter). Get the kids outdoors to explore frogs, toads and salamanders. Cost $3/person or $5/family - Preregistration is required 734-426-8211.

11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Evolution of Whales a hands-on demonstration at the UM Natural History Museum (1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor). Free event.

Noon-1:00 p.m. Open Studio Drop-in Art Sessions at the FLY Children’s Art Studio (40 N. Huron, Ypsilanti). For just $5 (or $40 season pass) keep your kids actively engaged with a little art. No registration is required for this event.

1:00-2:30 p.m. Take the kids to the Waterloo Recreation Area (17030 Bush Rd., Chelsea) for Kids Korral.

1:00 p.m. Raptor feeding at the Leslie Science and Nature Center (1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor). Free event.

2:00-4:00 p.m. Free dinosaur tours

2:00 p.m. kids and teens ages 6-19 can create Clay Tile Mosaics at the Ypsilanti District Library (8795 MacArthur Blvd., Ypsilanti) using colorful tile pieces to create a personalized picture or paperweight.

4:00 p.m.- midnight Ann Arbor Summer Festival's Top of the Park  at Ingalls Mall (915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor) 5:00-midnight. There is a suggested donation per visit of $3 per individual or $5 per family. Tonight’s family-friendly activities and performances include Tangle (4:00 & 7:30 p.m.), the KidZone (5:00 p.m.) sponsored by the U-M Museum of Natural History, and Les 7 doigts de la main at the Power Center (8:00 p.m.)

9:00-11:00 p.m. Free movie: Madagasscar 3 at Rolling Hills (7660 Stony Creek Rd., Ypsilanti Township).
Sunday, June 23

Noon-3:00 p.m. Critter House open at the Leslie Science & Nature Center (1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor).

1:30 & 2:30 p.m. Planetarium show at the UM Natural History Museum (1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor).

2:00-4:00 p.m. Free dinosaur tours.

4:00 p.m.- midnight Ann Arbor Summer Festival's Top of the Park  at Ingalls Mall (915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor) 5:00-midnight. There is a suggested donation per visit of $3 per individual or $5 per family. Tonight’s family-friendly activities and performances include Tangle (4:00 & 7:30 p.m.), a performance by 12-year old Magdalen Fossum (5:00 p.m.), Giant Candyland the KidZone (5:00 p.m.) sponsored by the Ann Arbor District Library, a performance by The Candy Band (7:00 p.m.) and a special presentation of Goonies during Movies Under the Stars (10:00 p.m.)

June 20, 2013

Kids Korral Horseback Riding for Kids

Kids Koral at the Waterloo Recreation Area provides your kid a
 great summer horseback riding experience!
I have two horse-crazy kids. My son took lessons a few years ago, and now that my daughter is old enough, she will be attending Girl Scout Horseback Riding camp this summer. I suppose that's one reason I'm always on the looking for inexpensive kids horseback riding opportunities in Michigan and even when on vacation. Now it looks like Michigan's Waterloo Recreation Area (Grass Lake, MI) is going to provide just that!

On June 22, July 20, August 17, September 21 and October 19 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. your child can join others at the "Kids Korral" to play games, learn the basics of horse-care and even go for a trail ride! For just $15/child, the Waterloo Wranglers will entertain and challenge your kids with fun games and activities involving a horse, of course! So be sure to put on blue jeans and mosey on out to Waterloo for a fun, summer horseback riding outing!

Kids Pottery Classes & Camps @ The Michigan Art Center

For a creative outlet less than 30 minutes from Ann Arbor, be sure to take your kids to the Michigan Art Center (32129 Block St., Garden City) for some pottery fun - It looks like they have a full list of kids pottery classes and summer camp programming worth looking into!

Their kids & teens pottery summer camp offerings provide youth the opportunity to participate in half-day camps (9:00 a.m. - noon) or weekly courses. Learn the basics of clay, learn to use a wheel creating something for your garden, home or as decorative decor. The programs, mostly for kids in grades 4-8, provide many options to choose from, helping your teen stay busy whether they are enjoying their half day camps or summer pottery classes. Classes on the flier include a Wheel Throwing Camp, a Kids & Clay Camp, a Garden Pottery Course or Youth Clay Works Course.

Prices range from $135-165. For more information or to check out more details on their kids summer courses, be sure to visit the MAC online or by calling 734.266.3500. You can also find the Michigan Art Center on Facebook or Twitter.

June 19, 2013

Xplore Engineering One Day Camp

Chemical Engineering's workshop on fluids
Kids in grades 5-8 will enjoy spending the day with a
parent exploring the Xplore Engineering Summer Camp.
I received a note from a reader about publishing information on Xplore Engineering Summer Camp, a one-day program where kids and teens in grades 5-8 and their parent can participate in several fun, educational engineering challenges. The one-day camp runs on August 9, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Three engineering sessions and lunch are included in the $75 registration fee.

The featured workshops are extremely hands-on with participating teams choosing between learning about bones, nanotechnology, bridge construction, rockets, bacteria, and even creating an autonomous miniature robot. The sessions are registered first-come-first-serve though, so you will want to choose your programs quickly. 

For more information and to register for the Xplore Engineering Summer Camp, please visit their website. It sure looks like a fun way to spend the day with your child!

More information and registration information is available on their website.It sure looks like a great way to spend the day with your child!riday, August 9, 2013
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST
College of Engineering
University of Michigan North Campus - See more at: http://mconnex.engin.umich.edu/events/2013/xplore-engineering-alumni-summer-camp/#sthash.k5fYijRy.dpuf
Friday, August 9, 2013
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST
College of Engineering
University of Michigan North Campus - See more at: http://mconnex.engin.umich.edu/events/2013/xplore-engineering-alumni-summer-camp/#sthash.k5fYijRy.dpuf
Xplore Engineering – Summer Camp
Xplore Engineering – Summer Camp
Xplore Engineering – Summer Camp

June 18, 2013

State Street Kids Day: Free Event

This Saturday, June 22 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. be sure to bring the kids to the Kids Day event downtown Ann Arbor (State & Liberty). The day will be packed with plenty of fun for everyone including hands-on opportunities from the UM Natural History museum, a magician and magic show, free face painting and kids Zumba with Peachy Fitness.
be sure to visit Peachy Fitness at the State Street Kids Fair -
They will be highlighting their kids summer camp, kids yoga & Zumba.
Kids Day is sure to be a great day to spend downtown in Ann Arbor with kids in tow, do some shopping, do some stopping and perhaps eat a nice meal while you are there.

June 14, 2013

Weekend Event Round-up: June 14-16

Often our weekends are spent doing
scouting activities. We LOVE it!
This has got to be a quick one today. This week was the last week of school and the start of summer vacation for my kids. Needless to say I am terribly over-scheduled until next week. OK who am I kidding, we always run like crazy.

The kids got out of school Wednesday and yesterday and today we participated in a Scout Activity day in Brighton that ends with an overnight stay Friday. Saturday my son is trying out for travel soccer, the kids and I are building our Father's Day gift and Saturday night my daughter and I are headed to the Toledo Zoo for a Zoo Snooze with her Brownie Troop. Yes indeed my weekend is fully packed with activities. Is yours?  Have any weekend plans? Check out the weekend event planner below, I'm sure you'll find something to do with the kids this weekend.

Friday, June 14

5:00 p.m. - midnight Top of the Park - free face painting
6:00-9:00 p.m. Ann Arbor Green Fair - free event
6:30-8:00 p.m. Family Swim Night at Goldfish Swim School Ann Arbor - $5 for non-members or $15/ family. Swimming, snacks, and a fun craft for kids to make for their special Dads!

Saturday, June 15

11:00 a.m. Make a Father's Day card at the AADL (Pittsfield)
1:00-4:00 p.m. Have a Sundae at the Ann Arbor Art Center - $10/family
2:00-4:00 p.m. Music craft teen event at the AADL (Downtown)
5:00 p.m. - midnight Top of the Park - free face painting

Sunday, June 16

9:00 a.m. Pancakes in the park for Dad
1:00-2:00 p.m. Kids Music Writing workshop at the AADL (Downtown)
1:00-5:00 p.m. Summer Reading kick-off at the Saline District Library
5:00 p.m. - midnight Top of the Park - free face painting, free kids concert at 7:00 p.m. 

June 11, 2013

State Street Kid's Day

On Saturday, June 22, be sure to take your kids and head to Kids' Day on State Street and Liberty in Downtown Ann Arbor. From 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. there will be free kids activities and entertainment for the kids including, magician Ken Mcgee, free kids activities from the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum and UM Natural History Museum, free face painting by Henry and kids Zumba and yoga by Peachy Fitness.

It should be a fun, free event, so make sure to get downtown and check it out!

June 10, 2013

Pancakes in the Park for Father's Day

A Father's Day pancake breakfast at Independence Lake
is the way to go this year - Register today.
Dad may like breakfast served in bed, but breakfast would be even sweeter served in the park - Specifically at Independence Lake (3200 Jennings Rd., Whitmore Lake). This Sunday, June 16 starting at 9:00 a.m. the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission is serving up “Pancakes at the Park; A Father’s Day Event”.

All families are invited to honor the special men in their lives, Dad, Papa, granddad, grandpa, great-grandpa, as they enjoy a special day together at Independence Lake. After the pancake breakfast at 9:00 a.m.,  families can explore the park on a guided nature hike 10:00 a.m. or by spending the day at Blue Heron Bay for free!

Pre-Registration is required for this event as spaces are limited. Regsiter the family for $6 per person, which includes parking by contacting Lyla Ellens 734.449.4437 x202 or ellensl@ewashtenaw.org.

It sounds like a perfect way to spend the day - outdoors, with dad!

June 9, 2013

Free Concert Tuesday Evening

On Tuesday evening, June 11, the Washtenaw Community Concert Band will be hosting a free concert at Washtenaw Community College Community Park (4800 E. Huron River Dr., Ypsilanti). Families can enjoy the sounds of The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and vartious patriotic tunes while dining alfresco - Of course that means that you will bring your own picnic and accoutrements, but enjoying a concert in the park IS the way to go!

The free concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

June 8, 2013

Pets & Pajamas Movie Nights at the HSHV

Does your child (age 5+) like spending time with furry friends? Then why not spend an evening at the Humane Society of Huron Valley (3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor) during one of their upcoming Pets and Pajamas movie nights?

Spend time with furry friends during an upcoming
Pets & Pajamas Movie Night at the HSHV.
Pets and Pajamas movie nights are offered once a month and are a great way for your children to enjoy after hours time at the HSHV! On these Friday nights, 5:00-9:00 p.m., spend time with furry friends, experience animal interactions with adoptable pets, have a vegetarian dinner and then watch an animal themed movie. Make the time a truly memorable experience by wearing pajamas, then bring a sleeping bag and pillow to be ready for animal themed fun while mom and dad have a date night! During the movie, kids also get free popcorn.

Upcoming Pets & Pajamas Programs:

June 21- How to Train Your Dragon
July 19 - Dolphin Tale 
August 16 - Bolt

The cost is $35 for the first child, and $15 for each additional sibling. Registration is open for the Pets & Pajamas Movie Night event at the HSHV website. Links for each night are included above in the Ann Arbor Mom blog.

Spend Saturday with a Sundae @ the Ann Arbor Art Center

Summer and ice cream go hand in hand and next Saturday is the perfect time to enjoy your Saturday with a sundae. The best part is, you are helping to support the Ann Arbor Art Center (117 W Liberty St, Ann Arbor).
Sundae at the Ann Arbor Art Centre On Saturday, June 15, 1:00-4:00 p.m. for only $10 the entire family can paint a ceramic ice cream bowl then create their one of a kind sundae to enjoy. Ann Arbor Art Center Family Level Members get free admission to this event.

For more information on Sundae @ the Ann Arbor Art Center visit the Ann Arbor Art Center website.

June 7, 2013

Weekend Event Round-up: June 7-9

I am tapped out this weekend. By Sunday you will likely find me cowering in my bed with the sheets pulled over my head, but HEY after today my kids only have 3 more days of school! The end of the year rush seems exceptionally harsh this year, perhaps though it is just my perception. At any rate, you will find us out doing activities from dawn until dusk most of the weekend.

If you are at Ford Heritage Park, my two children will be participating in Lemonade Day Detroit, selling lemonade before their soccer games. They have decided that half of their proceeds will go to help victims of the OK Tornado outbreak. We'll also be playing our last soccer games, attending several birthday parties and my son will head out for the Boy Scout's Top Popper recognition event for his top popcorn sales last year. And that's just for tomorrow.

Does it seem like the end of the school year has been a rush for you too? Are you making weekend plans or relaxing before the kids get out of school?

Take a look at what's on the weekend events planner.

Friday, June 7:

Spending a night at the UM Natural History Museum sounds like a great way to start the weekend. Of course the family carnival in Ypsilanti that I mentioned last weekend would be good tonight too, it runs 5:00 p.m. until midnight.

Saturday, June 8: 

For those with a mind for science, explore Bubbles at Ann Arbor Hands On Museum ( 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during ScienceFest or check out the Raptor Feeding at the Leslie Science & Nature Center. Of course there is always the planetarium and free dinosaur tours at the UM Natural History Museum too!

For the younger set, that's toddlers and pre-school aged children, a storytime event might be the perfect way to start the day. Check out Oh, The Places You'll Go! event at Barnes & Noble (3235 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor) at 11:00 a.m. or Weekly Story Time at Nicola's Books (2513 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor) at 11:00 a.m.  Both free events are perfect for the age 7 and under set.

Need to get your hands on some tools? This weekend kids can participate in a scary kids building clinic at Lowe's with a Monsters University sponsored event. On Saturday at 10:00 a.m. to build an awesome Mike and Sulley Scarer. Just be sure to register for the Lowe's Build & Grow Clinic near you!

The Ypsilanti Family Carnival happens today too noon-midnight!

Sunday, June 9:

Explore more bubbles at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum, Noon to 4:00 p.m. while enjoying a show from the Bubble Man, Ron Loyd at 1:00 & 3:00 p.m. or head to the UM Natural History Museum for more dinosaur tours. The Critter House at the Leslie Science & Nature Center is also open (and free) from 12:00-3:00 p.m.

Want to learn more about taking photos of your kids? The Ann Arbor Jaycees is hosting a Kandid Kids Photos Class 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Island Park (1450 Island Dr, Ann Arbor). I have blogged about Island Park with it's picturesque beauty, so grab the kids, your camera and be ready to have some fun capturing memories. Many local photographers will be on hand to guide you too! For those that can't attend this event, I have also blogged about some of the best family photo locations in Washtenaw County when I was heavily contributing to AnnArbor.com!

You get another chance to build an awesome Mike and Sulley Scarer at Lowe's at 2:00 p.m.

So what are your weekend plans? Have any other great events to add to the list? Let me know or post them in the comments below!

June 6, 2013

Summer Bounce Times at Pump It Up Canton

Kids can bounce their cares away during summer bounce sessions at Pump It Up in Canton

No matter what happens, during summer vacation there are always times when you just need  to find something for the kids to do. Perhaps sitting with a book in hand as they bounce themselves silly sounds appealing. If that's the case, then possibly exploring summer bounce times at Pump It Up (46090 Michigan Ave., Canton) is the thing to do.

From June 1 through August 31 kids can get all that extra energy out jumping, sliding, climbing and playing in fun-filled  Pump It Up bounce arenas for only $7. Summer open bounce times hours of operation are:

Monday 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Tuesday 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 11:30 a.m. - 1: 00 p.m.
Thursday 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Friday 5:30-7:00 p.m.

The Pump It Up website also wants readers to know that we should all watch for bonus bounce times to be added throughout each week and weekend as scheduling permits!

Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights: Chelsea

Every Thursday night in downtown Chelsea families can enjoy many great musical groups while exploring the area during Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights. Starting at 6:30 p.m. tonight be sure to see comedy routines, musical acts, balloons for the kids, interactive performing art and even dueling pianos!

June 6th
  • Norm Stulz (Comedy) at the Library
  • Cold Tone Harvest (Americana/Folk/Indie Folk) at South St. Tent 3
  • Generations Entertainment (Balloons for the kids) at Main St.
  • Alley Dave Boutette (Americana/Folk) at East Alley 
  • Annie & Rod Capps (Americana/Folk) at East Middle 
  •  Open Mic at Total Fitness Lot 
  • The Modern Day Drifters (Country) at Sylvan Courtyard 
  • The Bluescasters (Blues/Rock/Jazz) at Glazier Building 
  • Pianos on Fire (Dueling Pianos) at Clocktower 
  • Gazebo Eric the Juggler (Juggling) at the Clocktower 

Traveling throughout the downtown area you will see interactive performance art and pop & lock dancers. See the full stage map of locations for all performance groups.

Meet The Animals at SASHA

This Sunday would be the perfect time to meet the animals at SASHA Farm (17901 Mahrle Rd.,
during their Spring Social. From noon-4:00 p.m. tour the farm, meet the many animals is residence, visit with adoptable animals, enjoy vegetarian refreshments and kid's activities. This special event is free for kids under age 5 and only $10 for other family members. Proceeds help support the animal sanctuary.

Kids Fairy Garden Event: Saline

Has your child made a fairy door for your garden? It's a new craze actually - Fairy Gardening! Now your child can make their own fairy house during one of the upcoming classes at Nature's Garden Center (6400 E Michigan Ave., Saline).

As one of the most requested kids class, The Nature's Garden Center is offering two opportunities for kids (ages 4+) to create a fairy garden. On Thursday, June 13 at 4:30 p.m. or  Wednesday, July 17 at 11:00 a.m., your child creates a pint-sized garden. Cost of the class is $15 and includes a garden container, plant, chair and decorative fairy.

Your kids may also find out the answers to fairy-ly often asked questions such as "Why you need to have a fairy garden in your landscape?" "Are there any specific elements you have to include?" "What plants fairies prefer and why." and "Can I tell if a fairy is occupying my garden."

If the classes are booked up fear not, as "Fairy Day" also comes to Nature's Garden Center on June 22, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Guests will find fairy treats and activities the whole family can enjoy.

Registration for the kids Fairy Garden classes can be made in person or by calling 734-944-8644.