December 30, 2014

Build a Mini Sled at Home Depot

This Saturday, January 3 at 9:00 a.m., kids can build there own mini sled during the Home Depot kids building clinic. To register for this free event, be sure to visit the website. My kids thoroughly enjoy these simple clinics and look forward to attending when we have the ability to do so. It's nice to know they are now less-likely to need my assistance and I too can enjoy!


December 9, 2014

Winter "Beach Party" at Mack Pool


Need to warm up this winter? Then perhaps the Beach Party at Mack (715 Brooks St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103) would do the trick. This fun family event is just $10 and includes admission to the pool, lots of great activities plus dinner. Be sure to join in on the fun January 9, 8:00 p.m.

To sign up call 734-794-6237 or visit www.a2gov.org/mack.

December 2, 2014

Father Christmas at the Leslie Science & Nature Center

The Leslie Science and Nature Center (1831 Traver Road Ann Arbor) is excited to have an 1890s-era version of Father Christmas visit! On Saturday, December 6 (1:00-2:00 p.m. or 3:30-4:30 p.m.) Father Christmas will visit with you and your family to tell stories about holiday season traditions.

"Santa," complete with a long brown hooded robe, staff, and a wooden backpack brimming with interesting items will even offer you and your kids a photo opportunity following the presentation, so bring your camera! Registration is $8/person or $30/family. To be sure that all our guests for this program have a terrific time, space is limited for this program and preregistration is required.

For more information visit the website or call 734-997-1553 to register by phone today!

November 17, 2014

Failure Should Not be a Dirty Word

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”       ~J. K. Rowling 

While watching the Blood Moon eclipse this morning I was reminded about an experience I had this past weekend. Perhaps that was due to the fact that it was dark and peaceful outside, and my mind was allowed to wander. Whatever the reason though, I wondered again, why the word “failure” strikes fear into the hearts many.

One of the things I enjoy doing in my personal life, is to lead future generations through the lessons taught in scouting. I am a scout leader for both of my children – Boy Scouts as well as Girl Scouts. Lessons in failure, perseverance and overcoming obstacles are commonplace. So too, are those lessons about winning. So when sitting in an adult training session last weekend, we were asked, “What types of things make for a successful outing?” One of my answers was ,”Sometimes I have allowed the kids to fail, and in doing so I may illustrate some of the pillars of scouting.” (Which happen to also be life lessons.)

The room fell silent, and I received many icy stares which caused a cold rush of fear to wash over me. The reactions throughout the room were pretty amazing. The facilitator then icily responded, “We don’t call it failure, we call it learning from mistakes.”

Yes that is true, however there is nothing wrong with using the word failure. Would I use that word with the kids? Probably not, but a failure is still the opportunity to learn and can be a fun challenge to overcome. I realized this morning that the same can be said in business. Failure should not be a dirty word for my clients!

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

So many times clients are put off when hearing the word “failure”, when they really shouldn’t. Marketing failure is going to happen. Whether you are creating a new ad strategy, trying something new on social media, running new creative or creating a new brochure, there will be hits and misses. 

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”      ~ Bill Gates 

Failure only happens when we give up. Failure happens when we don’t learn from our mistakes. Failure in marketing happens only when we walk away without tweaking the creative. Yes one could say simply stating that “learning from our mistakes” should be used, or that we can use the term “challenges”, “obstacles” or otherwise, but the word “failure” should not be considered a dirty word. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it! Do you think that “failure” should be banished as a word used in business?

“You make mistakes. Mistakes don’t make you.” ~Maxwell Maltz

November 14, 2014

Black Friday Kids Activity


Are you working or shopping on Black Friday? Need something fun for the kids to do? Check out this great opportunity for a Black Friday Mini-Camp with Peachy Fitness and Bricks4Kiz Ann Arbor. To register: http://peachyfitness.com/register-for-class/

November 10, 2014

Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Fox Theatre: Win Tickets

Win tickets to see Cirque Dreams Holidaze December 16, 8:00 p.m.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the 2014 holiday season when it returns to the Fox Theatre, December 16-20. Tickets for this amazing show start at $34 and are on sale now at OlympiaEntertainment.com, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices and at all Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. 
Cirque Dreams Holidaze is an original musical extravaganza of ornaments that re-imagines the holiday season. With over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 performers from 12 countries showcasing an endless variety of imaginative, heart-pounding and gravity- defying feats there will be something to dazzle and entertain each member of your family. Experience gingerbread men flipping mid air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires along with snowmen, icemen and penguins, balancing, jumping and spinning in disbelief.  The show celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, choreography and exciting production numbers.  Performers twirl, bounce and soar thru the air to original music and seasonal favorites brought to life within a stage setting of gigantic gifts, colossal candy canes and 30-foot towering trees & soldiers creating a wonderland of amazement. 

Cirque Dreams Holidaze Performance Schedule: 
Tuesday, December 16 - 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 17 - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 18 - 8:00 p.m.
Friday, December 19 - 2:00 & 8:00 p.m.       
Saturday, December 20 - 2:00 & 8:00 p.m. 

Want to win free tickets to Cirque Dreams Holidaze? The Ann Arbor Mom blog will award 1 lucky indiviual a family 4-pack of tickets for the December 16 perfomance. All you need to do is to comment below on why this show would be an amazing gift for your family. 

All entries must be submitted no later than midnight on November 21. A random winner will be chosen from all entries on November 22.

November 1, 2014

Junior Chef Classes at Local Williams-Sonoma

Do you have a budding chef on your hands? A picky eater? A child who is thtrilled when watching Cutthroat Kitchen? Williams-Sonoma has complimentary Junior Chef classes each Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in November. The free Williams-Sonoma Junior Chef classes have a limited class size so be sure to call coon to register. Most classes are suitable for kids ages 9-13 unless noted otherwise.


November 1
Thanksgiving Helper - Soup Please! Learn to make a delicious butternut squash soup with crispy herbed  croutons.

November 8
Thanksgiving Helper - Mash Potatoes. Learn how different potatoes make mashed potatoes. 

November 15
Thanksgiving Helper - Decorating Pies.  Learn how to make a lattice top pies with cutouts, sugar crystals and other finishing touches. Suitable for ages 5–13.

Williams-Sonoma
808 Briarwood Cir,
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone:(734) 665-1500

October 30, 2014

Win Tickets to Pinkalicious the Musical

Pinkalicious The Musical will turn the City Theatre
positively Pink November 21-23.

Based on the popular children’s book, Pinkalicious The Musical will be in Detroit at the City Theatre on Friday, November 21 through Sunday, November 23. Tickets ($22 general admission and $15 opening night) are on sale now and may be purchased online at OlympiaEntertainment.com, and at all Ticketmaster locations.

In Pinkalicious The Musical, Pinkalicious can't stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor's office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe - a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament. The one hour musical, promises to be pinktastic fun for everyone.

Want a chance to win tickets to see Pinkalicious The Musical, comment below on your favorite remedy for Pinkititis. A random winner will be chosen from all entries posted by midnight on November 8.

Pinkalicious The Musical  at the City Theatre
Friday, November 21 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 22 - 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 23 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

October 29, 2014

The Leslie Science & Nature Center: November Free Events

My kids and I have been over to the Leslie Science & Nature Center (1831 Traver Rd, Ann Arbor, MI) many times - For field trips, scout outings and just to stop in. We love the many great programs offered. As a mom on a budget though, I really appreciate the many free programs that are offered. Spend one day checking out the raptors, take a hike or even participate in the free campfire program. There is much to do and you won't be disappointed. Here are the free events happening in November!

Raptor Feeding Saturdays happen nearly every Saturday. In November you can stop in on November 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Kids will get to see how a bird's feet and beak work together to help our raptors eat. Volunteers will be on site feeding the birds and answering your questions – after watching the birds in action, you and your kids are likely to have quite a few!

On Sunday's (except November 30), the Critter House will be open from noon to 3:00 p.m.  Noon-3:00 p.m. Your kids will have the opportunity to observe the many frogs, turtles, snakes, rabbits, and other small critters as they hop, crawl, or slither around in their homes. Our animals include species native to Michigan as well many unique and exotic animals donated by our supporters. During Critter House open hours, our staff will answer your questions, hold interactive activities, and help the kids get up close and personal with some interesting and unusual animals! Take advantage of this great way for kids–and the whole family–to develop an appreciation for the incredible diversity of the natural world. The Critter House will be open November 2, 9, 16, & 23.

Both of these programs are free events appropriate for all ages. For more information be sure to contact the LSNC or visit them online!

October 18, 2014

Free Event: Campfire Fun at the Leslie Science & Nature Center

I am planning on taking my children to this fun event, I mean who wouldn't want to? It's free, sounds fun AND is educational. It would make the perfect way for a family to end their weekend. One Sunday each month from 6:30-8:00 p.m., the Leslie Science & Nature Center is hosting a campfire /story session. You bring the chairs, blankets and roasting sticks (maybe some hot cocoa and fixings for s'mores too) and they'll provide the music, entertainment and marshmallows! 

The Fireside Fun program is FREE and designed for all ages, just come out, bring the necessities and enjoy the night. I'm planning on taking my Cub Scout den and my Daisy Troop too! The dates of this fantastic program are:


  • Sunday, October 19
  • Sunday, November 23
  • Sunday, March 29
  • Sunday, April 26
  • Sunday, May 31

  • October 13, 2014

    Events Round-up: Ann Arbor Halloween & More

    Sing it with me now "I want candy!" OK maybe not, but that is the general tune of my household right now. Halloween is just around the corner and there are so many great events and activities.  With so much happening throughout the week, it's worth a stand alone blog post.

    Are you ready for Halloween? I'm just hoping Ann Arbor doesn't have snow, specifically because we're headed to the Greenfield Village Hallow'een, The BSA's HauntedWoods at Camp Munhacke and HalloWeekends at Cedar Point!(Want to win tickets to Halloweends?) And that's in addition to so many other activities and Ann Arbor events!

    So find all of the Halloween events, activities, and haunts you desire in Ann Arbor, in addition to other fun events happening over the next few days. The Ann Arbor Mom will always have ideas whether you are in and around Ann Arbor with kids or living nearby. Want more ideas? Be sure to like the Ann Arbor Mom Facebook Page for local events, activities and things-to-do. There may even be a surprise or two!

    Wednesday, October 15:

    Create some Fuzzy Spiders & Glittery Webs at the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL - Pittsfield Branch) 4:00-5:00 p.m. Gr K-5 event.

    Thursday, October 16:


    Enjoy a Family Night and celebrate Halloween with inflatables, food, crafts, activities and more at Pierpont Commons on October, 16th from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

    Saturday, October 18:

    Make a Frankenstein mask from 10:00 a.m. - noon at Michael's crafts for just $2/child. Ages 3+

    Sunday, October 19:

    Kids in Gr K-5 will enjoy this free event where they will make Mini Yarn Monsters at the AADL (Mallets Creek) 2:00-3:00 p.m. Learn a few tricks to turn yarn into a fun monster you can call your own! For those outdoorsy types, consider instead going to the Trick or Treat on the Huron River program happening from noon-5:00 p.m.

    Friday, October 24:

    Boo at the Zoo noon-4:00 p.m.

    Saturday, October 25:

    This appears to be the "Big" Halloween event day in the area. Everything from ice skating to crafts to events around An Arbor. Start the day at the Ypsilanti District Library (YDL) where the youngest family members will enjoy Boo! Happy Halloween Storytime! at the Michigan branch at 3:30 p.m. or at 11:00 a.m. hear some not-so-scary stories, sing some Halloween songs and create a simple craft at the AADL.

    Want to do some fun Halloween crafts? At 1:00 p.m. create a Spooky Monster Banner at the AADL (Mallets Creek) or bring your child (Ages 3+) to drop into your local Michael's Crafts from 10:00 a.m. - noon for a $2 Halloween Make-and-take program. Teens also have a special crafting event starting at 1:00 p.m. at the AADL (Pittsfield Branch as they create unique Mini-Monster Stuffies. Teens and adults will work with local crafter Beth Battey, to make their creations during this free teen teen event, all supplies provided. This is an intricate project that will require the entire time and patience to complete. Gr 6+

    Get out there and get active before eating all the sweets during the Halloween Skate at Veterans Memorial Park - Indoor ice arena at 1:00-2:30 p.m.  General admission rates apply as you skate to the spooky sounds of Halloween. Best costume prizes awarded. Fun for all ages.

    There are two chances to participate in Trunk or Treat today. There is Trunk or Treat at (YDL -Superior) at 5:00 p.m. or Trunk or Treat with the Ann Arbor Jaycees, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

    Your wee ones will also appreciate Boo Bash at Briarwood Mall from 5:00-8:00 p.m. For the first hour, kids can trick-or-treat with participating retailers throughout the mall in a safe, climate-controlled environment. There will also be fun activities throughout the evening, including appearances from Colors the Clown and Leonard the Lion, a chocolate drop station from The Melting Pot, and an obstacle course from Gym America. Students from the University of Michigan Dental School will dress in costumes and teach kids about proper dental care. Even The Parade Company will be represented, thanks to Art Van Furniture, which is hosting Clownie and providing reflective Halloween treat bags for families. Noerr, the mall's photo provider, will also be available for those frightfully fantastic family photos this year.

    If it is music you would rather enjoy, then consider instead the EMU Orchestra Halloween Concert  at 7:30 p.m. at Pease Auditorium.  For an evening of family fun, join the EMU Symphony Orchestra for their annual Halloween Concert. Children of all ages are encouraged to wear Costumes! Admission: $10 Adults $8 Students or Seniors $6 Youth under 12

    Sunday, October 26:

    Of course there is always the iconic Family Halloween Party at the U-M Museum of Natural History Museum noon - 5:00 p.m. My children loved this party when we went a few years ago. It is a crazy day but well worth spending time there! Discover special stations and displays full of hands-on activities, live animals, and more! This is a free party and no reservations or tickets are necessary. The party is suitable for all ages. Don't forget to bring your goody bag! For more information, call (734) 764-0480.

    What about another option for Trunk or Treat at YDL? It's happening at 5:00 p.m. at the Whittaker Road Branch.

    Close out the weekend by enjoying the Music of the Night during the University of Michigan Halloween Concert at 4:30 p.m.

    Monday, October 27:

    More Trunk or Treat at Cueter Chrysler 5:00-7:00 p.m.

    Tuesday, October 28:

    The Dexter District Library is hosting a special Halloween Movie Showing of “The Mummy” at 1:00 p.m. With incredible special effects and classic suspense come follow two explorers, (Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz) as they search for long lost treasure and break a 3,000-year-old curse. Come re-discover this extraordinary classic story. Rated: PG-13, 125 minutes.

    There are also several opportunities for pre-school Halloween Parties with a storytime event held at at the Saline District Library at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and a K-1 Halloween Fun at 4:15 p.m. at the  Saline Rec Center. Later in the day kids can enjoy the Harry Potter Party at the Saline District Library 4:15 p.m.

    Want to help with the decorating? Teens can help out by making a Halloween Wreath at 7:00 p.m. at the AADL Pittsfield Branch. This event is intended for grade 6 to adult Get in the spooky spirit making a Halloween-themed wreath!

    Wednesday, October 29:

    Teens shouldn't miss out on the Teen Halloween Party with a Tarot Card Reader at YDL (Michigan) 7:00 p.m. or making Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Charms at 7:00 p.m. at AADL (Malletts Creek Branch). Both programs are free teen events.

    Thursday, October 30:

    Enjoy the Harry Potter Party at the Saline District Library 4:15 p.m. or head to the annual Downtown Halloween Fall Festival at Ypsilanti District Library starting at 5:00 p.m. The event (always a yearly favorite!) allows kids to wander downtown Ypsilanti for tricks or treats followed by a quick craft and free activities at the Ypsilanti District Library. Don't forget to stop by the "Boo" Mobile and get your free popcorn, candy!

    Need a break and some exercise before the big day? Then the Halloween Yoga Party at Peachy Fitness 6:30 p.m. is the way to go.

    Friday, October 31:

    Teens can have their own party at the Teen Night Halloween Spooktacular 8:00 p.m. - midnight.

    For the rest of the family, try trick or treating during the Halloween Family Bash at Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center at 6:00-8:30 p.m.

      October 12, 2014

      Win Tickets to HalloWeekends at Cedar Point

      Win a family 4-pack of tickets to HalloWeekends at Cedar Point.

      My family and I will be staying at Castaway Bay in two weekends when my son has a soccer tournament. This year my kids are even more excited to spends some time at Cedar Point during  HalloWeekends. I'll share some photos when we go, but I have something even better to share now.
      Want to win tickets for visit Cedar Point for HalloWeekends? Thanks to the folks at Cedar Point you can.

      Comment below on your favorite Cedar Point Memory for an opportunity to win a family four-pack of tickets to HalloWeekends valued at nearly $200. Please note that the tickets are only valid this year, and your lucky winner only has three (3) more weekends to use them - Friday nights (after 6 p.m.), and Saturdays and Sundays now through Nov. 2, 2014.

      All comments need to be posted on the blog by midnight, October 15. A random winner will be chosen Thursday.

      October 8, 2014

      Trunk or Treat at Cueter

      Here is another great, free event from Cueter Chrysler (2448 Washtenaw Ave, Ypsilanti). Be sure to stop by on October 27 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. for candy, music, food and a good time strolling down the haunted vehicle lane!


      Trunk or Treat With the Ann Arbor Jaycees



      My kids and I love the Trunk or Treat event held each year at our church and are sorely to be missing it AND the one at their school due to an out-of-town soccer tournament this year. What is Trunk or Treat you ask? Basically it is walking around the decorated cars in a specific location to collect candy.

      The decorated cars can get crazy too. Families tend to come to compete for who has the most awesome display. For the kids of course it is all about the candy. Don't have a Trunk or Treat event at your school? The Ann Arbor Jaycees has a great family-friendly Trunk or Treat event October 25, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Carpenter Elementary (4250 Central Blvd, Ann Arbor).

      Join other Ann Arbor families for this safe alternative to trick-or-treating that gives kids the chance to dress up and play without going door-to-door. Participating car trunks are decorated in Halloween themes by parents, families and community members, who will be handing out candy.

      This is a free event open to the public.  Parking spaces for decorated cars is limited though, so be sure reserve your Trunk or Treat spot by October 20, 2014. For more details on the Ann Ann Arbor Jaycees Trunk or Treat event, visit their website.  Prizes will be awarded for Best Decorated Trunk and Best Costumes for kids and adults!


      October 1, 2014

      Sea Life Michigan Brand Ambassador

      I am excited to share that I will be a Brand Ambassador for the SEA LIFE Michigan aquarium that will be opening in Auburn Hills at Great Lakes Crossing in early 2015. I know it's not an "Ann Arbor" attraction, however a 35,000-square-foot aquarium is worth driving an hour to!

      SEA LIFE Michigan will be a family-friendly aquarium with a focus on interactive fun. Visit an underwater world, coming nose-to-nose with many sea creatures, like starfish, seahorses, sharks and graceful stingray. In addition to their 30 displays being planned for the launch, the centerpiece of the aquarium will be an underwater tunnel that passes beneath a tropical ocean tank.

      I was excited to learn that the aquarium will offer educational talks, feeding demonstrations, field trips and an interactive touch-pool where kids can hold a crab or touch a starfish too! I can't wait to share this experience with my kids - Sit tight for more information. I should be headed to the tank filling session in a few months.



      September 30, 2014

      Halloween Night Teen Event

      Teen events are often hard to come by, that's one reason this one caught my eye.

      On Halloween night from 8:00 p.m. - midnight, teens ages 13-17 are invited to join in Halloween Teen Night at the Mack Indoor Pool (715 Brooks St., Ann Arbor). The program is just $10 and includes a night full of spooky swimming, glow sticks pizza and a movie.  To sign up for this event, call 734-794-6237 or visit www.a2gov.org/mack.

      September 29, 2014

      Halloween: Kids Yoga Party


      Want your kids to have fun this Halloween with a twist? (Literally!) Peachy Fitness (2385 S. Huron Parkway, Ann Arbor) is hosting a kids Yoga/Halloween event Thursday, October 30 6:30-7:30 p.m. Kids should plan to attend in costume. This is great way to get some exercise before eating Halloween Treats. Cost for this event is $5/child.

      To pre--register, call Peachy Fitness at 734-681-0477.

      September 25, 2014

      Observe Birds of Prey in Flight

      The Leslie Science & Nature Center (1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor, MI) invites families to marvel at the breath-taking flight abilities of birds of prey up close and personal during the Fall Flight. This is a rare opportunity to witness the power and grace of three of these predators on Sunday, October 5 from 1:00-2:00 p.m.

      During the program, families will get the chance to see three birds of prey in flight, the Peregrine Falcon, a Red-tailed Hawk and one of the two Bald Eagles who live on the site. The event will include an examination of what makes each bird's flight pattern unique as well as the elements that make them similar. The opportunity to see these majestic birds fly free and un-tethered around the LSNC grounds is a rare one so don't miss it!

      Registration for all ages is $9/person or $34/family; discounted rates of $8/person or $30/family are available to LSNC Members. Because event size will be limited, preregistration is encouraged at http://www.lesliesnc.org or by calling 734-997-1553.

      Kids at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market: Free Events

      The Wednesday evening market and Sunday morning Farmers Markets hold lots of fun in store for the kids. Mom and Dad can purchase healthy foods while the kids get to participate in free activities. During the coming month and through October, there are several fun events to hight-light.

      September 27: A Taste of Music - The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra stops by the market, to perform a special concert and hold an Instrument Petting Zoo for children and adults alike! Join us all day for the chance to try out your favorite classical instrument, or stop by at 11:00 a.m. for the concert. Time: 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

      October 8: Bring the entire family to the Wednesday Evening Market to participate in free activities, games, live music and demonstrations to teach kids about food, farming and markets. Tine: 4:00-8:00 p.m.

      October 25: Halloween at the Market - GIVE365 partners with the Ann Arbor Farmers Market for free face painting, pumpkin carving, and other Halloween festivities in celebration of the harvest season. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes! Time: 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

      Huron River Trick or Treat by Canoe

      Enjoy the Huron River Trick or Treat event October 16, just
      don't let the pirates get your booty!
      Although I have mentioned this even in my Halloween Events Round-up, it certainly sounds like a fun event for the whole family... So I thought to pass it along in greater detail.

      On October 19, take your entire family on a trip down the river during the annual Huron River trick or Treat event. Starting at the Gallup Canoe Livery anytime between noon and 5:00 p.m. families can spend the afternoon enjoying the haunting fall beauty of the Huron River by canoe or kayak. As you paddle down the river families will encounter creatures, ghouls and goblins (although they don't look very scary) handing out treats and candy. Feel free to dress up in costumes or come as is, just be sure to bring a bag for your candy and keep an eye out for the swashbuckling pirates as they patrol the waters! You wouldn't want them to grab the booty you collected!


      The fee for this Ann Arbor Halloween event is $22/boat, children need to be 1 for the boat-ride. Really it's no trick, but will certainly be a treat!



      Photo courtesty Ann Arbor Parks

      September 24, 2014

      BOO at the ZOO a Great Lakes Zoological Society Event

      On October 24, noon-4:00 p.m. the Great Lakes Zoological Society (6885 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor) is hosting BOO at the ZOO! This family friendly Halloween event includes a not-too-spooky trail, trick or treating, costume parade, animal activities, treats, music and more. The regular admission fee ($5.50/seniors & children 3-11, $8.00/12+) includes Boo at the Zoo activities and admittance into the Zoo.

      This event is terrific and a lot of fun - Families have a wonderful time, and the venue fills up fast so please register soon!

      Halloween Science Fun Day


      Want to have some spooky science and math fun? Anchors Unlimited Science Fun, Inc. has a Halloween Science Fun Day planned on Saturday, October 25 at Jarvis Stone School (7991 North Territorial Road and Curtis Road, Plymouth, MI).


      Kids ages 2-6 (10:30-11:30 a.m.)  and 7-10 (noon-1:00 p.m.) and their caregivers are invited to this free event. During the Halloween Science Fun Day participants will find activities, refreshments and prizes. Kids are encouraged to wear their costumes and those wearing costumes relating to math or science may even win a door prize!

      Pre-registration is encouraged. Although this is a free event, $5 donations would be appreciated and  accepted. Space is limited.

      To register, send the children's name, age, phone and address/email along with parent or caregiver attending. Everyone will participate and this event happens rain or shine so be sure to dress appropriately. Deadline to register is October 10. Feel free to send any questions and registration information to Lisa Johnson at captain@anchorsciencefun.com.

      Johnny Appleseed Festival at the Wolcott Mill


      I love this time of the year. The cider, the donuts, pumpkins, beautiful mums and cool crisp air. It helps me relax and really take in the colors. There are so many great festivals and events to take in too, and next weekend there is no exception!

      On Sunday, September 28 at the Wolcott Mill Metropark Historic Center (65775 Wolcott Rd.,  Ray MI 48096) families can lend a hand in making cider and apple crafts, learn the apple's history from Johnny Appleseed and enjoy samples of several apple recipes.  The annual Johnny Appleseed Festival will even allow kids and adults alike to use their imagination to design and build one of five scarecrows that will decorate the Historic Center grounds for the fall too.

      While it's a little bit of a drive, the weather this weekend looks like it is going to be near perfect and a nice fall drive may be the best way to explore. The cost for this fun event is just $5/child and $3/adult. For more information or to register, please call 586-749-5997.

      September 23, 2014

      SEA LIFE Michigan Groundbreaking

      Yesterday at Great Lakes Crossing, SEA LIFE Michigan had their Groundbreaking Ceremony.

      SEA LIFE is the world’s largest aquarium brand, with more than 40 attractions worldwide. The brand is focused on offering amazing, breathtaking and educational experiences that wow guests while inspiring them to take an active role in conversation so the many amazing creatures and their environments are preserved for generations to come. In addition to weaving conservation information and tips throughout our exhibits, SEA LIFE takes an active role in conservation through our Breed Rescue Protect initiative. Helping to sustain  endangered species, rescue hundreds of sick and injured creatures and nurse them back to health to return them to the wild, and actively campaign to protect individual species and marine environments from exploitation or destruction.

      Visitors will find more information about these initiatives in the new 35,000-square-foot aquarium, that will open in early 2015, along with more than 5,000 amazing creatures from our world’s oceans. Through our one-of-a-kind, engaging exhibits, such as our 180-degree underwater tunnel and our interactive touchpools, guests will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to come nose to nose with these creatures and learn about them and their environments.

      Learning with LEGO and Bricks for Kids

      If you have not been introduced to Bricks 4 Kidz you are in for a treat as the Ann Arbor District Library (downtown - 343 S 5th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI) is hosting Learn with LEGO program!

      On Sunday, October 12 at 1:00 p.m., Kids in grades K-5 and their parents can join in the fun building and learning with trained Bricks 4 Kidz teachers. Families will use LEGO Technic sets to build and play while experiencing a variety of activities designed to foster teamwork, build self confidence and problem solving skills.

      Be sure to sign up for the program - Bricks 4 Kidz programs aim to explore math and science concepts while having fun in a non-competitive setting.Think learning and fun with STEM activities. It's a great way to get your child excited about learning without them realizing what's happening. Be sure to logon or visit AADL to sign up for this free event.

      Astronomy at the Beach: Kensington


      Have you ever wanted to get a closer look at the moon and stars? Perhaps you've wanted to get a telescope to check out our universe? Then the Astronomy at the Beach Maple Beach at Kensington Metropark (2240 W Buno Rd, Milford Township, MI) is the perfect free event for you!

       On September.26 and 27 from 6:00 p.m.- midnight, telescopes will be set up on the beach for observations. Several local astronomy clubs will be present and sharing a variety of starry programs for you and your family. This FREE event takes place at Maple Beach, and it happens rain or shine. For more information, please call 810-227-8917 or visit the Astronomy at the Beach webpage.


      September 21, 2014

      Children's Theatre: Frog & Toad @ Wild Swan Theater


      Hey Ann Arbor families have you ever taken your child to see a theatrical performance? Have you ever seen performances at the Wild Swan Theater? If either of these are true, please feel free to comment about your experiences in the comments below, we'd love to hear about it!

      For me, children's theatre is a must. For years after getting out of college I performed hundred's of children's theatre productions across the state. When I had kids, it was easy then to introduce them to what I was doing and shows others were performing. I suppose that is why I am not surprised that both kids are now interested in theatre!

      If you've never taken your child to live theatre, you are missing a who other world. Luckily the award-winning Wild Swan Theater kicks off the 35th season of bringing the finest professional theater to Ann Arbor families with Frog and Toad on October 9-11. Performances are Thursday, October 9, 10:00 a.m., Friday, October 10, 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 11, 11:00 a.m.

      Based on Arnold Lobel's wonderful stories by the same name, Frog and Toad will captivate children from ages 3 to 8. Through storytelling, puppets, and props, the play explores the adventures of these two very dear characters and their great friendship. Parents who have had a chance to read these much loved stories with their children will recognize some of the dramatized episodes, including Toad's efforts to hurry along the flowers in his garden by speaking poetry to his seeds or the difficulties Frog and Toad face trying not to eat ALL the delicious cookies Toad has baked.

      The humor and compassion of these stories will delight and touch parents and their preschool or early elementary school-aged children. Tickets are just $12/adults, $8/youth and seniors with discounts for groups of 10+; $3 lap passes are also available for children under 2 years of age.

      To purchase tickets visit the Wild Swan website or call (734) 995-0530. All performances take place at the Towsley Auditorium in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College.

      Storytime Programs for Children


      While many of these are ongoing story time programs for toddlers and preschool aged children, it is important to remember that this information was pulled from the various websites. For accuracy, always verify times and locations with your local library.


      MONDAY:

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

      Dexter District Library Toddler Story Time
      Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age: 18-months to 3 years


      Ypsilanti District Library Downtown Storytime
      Location: 229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti  
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age: Age 3-5
      Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians.


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

      Dexter District Library Preschool Story Time
      Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
      Time: 11:30-12:00 a.m.
      Age: 3-6 years

      TUESDAY:

      Preschool Storytime at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum
      Location: 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor
      Time: 9:00-10:00 a.m.


      Ann Arbor District Library Preschool Storytime
      Location: 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor
      Time: 10:00-10:30 a.m. & 11:00-11:30 a.m.
      Age: 2-5 years - Siblings are welcome.

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

      Ypsilanti District Library Superior Storytime
      Location: 8975 MacArthur Blvd., Ypsilanti
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age:18 months - 5 years
      Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians.

      Ypsilanti District LibraryToddler  Storytime
      Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age: 18 months - 3 years
      Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians.


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

      Dexter District Library Preschool Story Time
      Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
      Time: 1:00-1:30 p.m.
      Age: 3-6 years


      WEDNESDAY:

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

      Ypsilanti District Library Toddler Storytime
      Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age: 18 months - 3 years


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

      Ann Arbor District Library, Pittsfield Playgroup Storytime
      Location: 2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor
      Time: 11:00 a.m. - noon
      Age: Babies to 24 months - No older siblings, please.
      15 minutes of stories, rhymes and songs, followed by open playtime. Parents/guardians must remain with their children.

      Dexter District Library Toddler Story Time
      Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age:18-months - 3 years

      Dexter District Library Toddler & Preschool Combined Story Time
      Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
      Time: 11:30 a.m. - noon
      Age: 18-months to 6 years

      Ypsilanti District Library Toddler Storytime
      Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
      Time: 1:30-2:00 p.m.
      Age: 3-5
      Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians.

      Dexter District Library Book Snackers
      Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
      Time: 11:30 a.m. - noon
      Age: Grades 4-5

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

      THURSDAY:



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

      Dexter District Library Toddler Story Time
      Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age: 18-months to 3 years

      Ypsilanti District Library Preschool Storytime
      Location:5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age: 3-5
      Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians.

      Dexter District Library Toddler & Preschool Combined Story Time
      Location: 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age: 18-months to 6 years

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

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

      FRIDAY:

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

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

      SATURDAY:

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

      Ypsilanti District Library Family Storytime
      Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
      Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
      Age: Any age: 2-5 Ideal
      Introduce your child to the wonders of reading with stories, songs, and an occasional craft, led by our creative youth librarians. Alternate Saturday's.

      Storytime at Nicola's Books
      Location: 2513 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor
      Time: 10:00 a.m.
      Age: 7 and under


      The Saline District Library  has storytime programs by registration only (See the Saline District Library for storytime dates, times and sign-up. Look under Youth tab on the website.)

      September 18, 2014

      SNAG Golf for Kids 4-10: Ann Arbor Kids Learn Golf

      A few weeks back I mentioned that Ypsilanti's Pine View Golf course allowed kids to golf for $1, and I've been trying to track down a few golf courses where kids could golf with mom or dad for free (or very cheaply), however I did run across this great opportunity for Ann Arbor kids to learn golf. The weather is right, so why not teach your kids to golf in this fun, and unique environment?
      
      Children with have a great time learning to golf with SNAG!
      SNAG, is a t-ball style teaching method for kids golf. The kids meet once a week for 1 hour for six weeks. Classes are taught at Burns Park, and in the event of in-climate weather, lessons are held inside the Ann Arbor Senior Center which is adjacent to the park.  The cost is just $89/student for 12 classes, twice a week for 6 weeks.

      SNAG Golf Schedule:
      Tuesday/Thursday - Sept. 9-Oct. 16 
      Session 1: 4:30-5:30 p.m. Ages ages 5–7
      Session 2: 6:00-7:00 p.m. Ages 8–10

      Tuesday/Thursdays - Oct. 20-Dec. 2
      (No class Nov. 27)
      Session 3: 4:30-5:30 p.m. Ages 5–7
      Session 4: 6:00-7:00 p.m. Ages 8–10

      To register for kids golf lessons, call or visit the Ann Arbor Senior Center (734.794.6520) or call or visit Huron Hills Golf course  (734.794.6246). Online registration for golf lessons for kids can be found at https://online.activecommunities.com/annarbor.


      Sounds like a great way for kids to learn to play golf doesn't it?

      Details about SNAG:
      • SNAG integrates MODIFIED GOLF equipment to make learning fun and easy.
      • SNAG is designed to be SAFE and can be taught and PLAYED ANYWHERE.
      • The club-heads have more surface area to significantly increase the success of the learner.
      • The psychology of color is used in each of the components to reduce anxiety.
      • The five-sided grip ensures that the student holds the club properly.
      • The Launch Pad™ makes the game portable and serves as an alignment tool.
      • Targets are used to help the student focus on aim and accuracy. Training tools help each student develop skill acquisition quickly.
      The program is put on as a result of a $12,000 grant for the equipment and the program, it's focused to give all junior participants “an opportunity” to then play on our courses. To make sure that our students “enjoyed golf and their experience playing & leaning the game.

      Customer Appreciation Day @ Veterans Memorial Ice Arena

      Don't miss Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday, Sept. 27 at Veterans Memorial Indoor Ice Arena ( 2150 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor). From 1:00-2:30 p.m. families will enjoy free ice skating.

      The arena opened this week for the season too, so be sure to visit to see their open skate times and to register for the first session of learn-to-skate classes and beginner hockey classes!


      I'm Back

      Well things have finally begun to become a more normal for my family. While I'm not fully happy with my mom's outcome from her stem cell transplant (sadly she's not in remission) we can begin moving on with our lives. She is feeling a bit better and starting to get out.  School has started too, which means that we're back into a semi-routine.

      So thank you for your continued support and patience. I am not sure of the volume I will be able to keep up with, but I will try to continue to provide Ann Arbor families with the best activities and free events in the area!

      August 8, 2014

      Free Teen Back-to-School Event

      With the new school year fast approaching, Briarwood Mall and Teen Vogue are hosting a back to school event like no other.  On Friday, August 22 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. youth, teens and even mom and dad can enjoy fashion shows, special offers and giveaways during the "ABC's of Style."

      The free event will feature a fashion show giving families a chance to view the season's hottest trends while receiving first-hand fashion advice from Teen Vogue Beauty & Health emcee Justin Jones. Stay after the fashion show for a special musical performance from the fast-rising new boy band IM5.


      While you are in the mall though, be sure to stop by Guest Services for an exclusive style guide.  Shoppers will also enjoy product demonstrations and giveaways from event sponsors Coca-Cola and Unilever brands St. Ives, Simple, and Q-tips – plus view a sneak peek of Fox’s new fall series RED BAND SOCIETY as well as receiveing exckusive  swag bag giveaways.

      “Briarwood is the center of fashion in Ann Arbor, and teaming up with Teen Vogue elevates our back-to-school shopping season into a true fashion and entertainment experience,” said Denise Murray, director of marketing and business development. “These events and offers will help parents and students alike get set for the upcoming school year.”

      For more information about the ABC’s of Style events, visit http://www.simon.com/teen-vogue-style. For more on IM5, visit http://www.weareim5.com.

      August 6, 2014

      Parents Night Out SkyZone

      Need a night out? Let the kids have fun while you have fun. The next SlyZone (42550 Executive Dr, Canton, MI 48188) Parent's Night out is THIS Friday!

      Meet the United States Air Force Thunderbirds This Friday

      This Friday morning, the Yankee Air Museum has a special opportunity for you and your student (3rd-12th grade) to attend a special educational program with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.  Members from the flight team will be at the Museum to give a career talk about what it takes to be a USAF Thunderbird. 

      The program is Friday August 8, 2014 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Doors to the Museum open at 8:00 a.m. Participants are asked to please be at the museum no later than 8:30 a.m. This will allow for the chance for photographs and autographs with team, however we cannot promise that everyone will get that chance as we have to adhere to the USAF Thunderbirds Team Schedule.

      If you plan on attending, please reply to rachel.krumwiede@yankeeairmuseum.org with your first and last name and number of guests in your party. 

      Super Run Race Discounts

      A week ago I wrote about the Super Run coming to Ann Arbor. The article even offered a free race entry and super hero cape to one lucky mom who comments before August 13. The folks hosting the Super Run though offered me even more to blog about.

      How would you like a $5 discount off your adult race entry? Want a custom cape? What about a 20% discount for a super hero cape from Superfly kids? Guess what, today you can have BOTH!

      I can't wait to see what my custom cape looks like as a race, uh meander, through Ann Arbor. I can't wait to see what my one winner looks like as her cape flows behind her as she races... Certainly we’d love to see everyone at the Super Run wearing a custom cape. Who is to say though, that you wouldn't want to give this fantastic gift for a birthday or holiday – You still get the discount. Just be sure to use the proper codes to receive $5 off your adult race entry or 20% off the purchase of your custom cape!
      • For a 20% off code for Superflykids use the code SUPERRUNFAN during your online purchase. 
      • To receive $5 off an adult race entry, use the code word SUPERANNARBORMOM5 during your registration! 
      Let's go Ann Arbor. Can't wait to see you all at the Super Run on September 6. Let's stay healthy with our families while enjoying many free family friendly activities!

      YMCA and Wal-Mart Team Up To Feed Children This Summer

      While the Ann Arbor Mom blog focuses on free and low-cost activities in and around Ann Arbor, there are times when other content may be shared - Feeding hungry children is an excellent reason to share information. Please pass along this guest blog post to any families who may find it of interest.

      Learn more about eliminating hunger this summer through the 
      YMCA Summer Food Program website
      .


      Kids splashing in pools, the sound of laughter filling the late evening, and hot dogs and burgers sizzling on the grill – these are some of the sounds of summer children across Michigan enjoy while they ‘re out of school. For some children, however, summer can be a time filled with the pangs of hunger -- the sounds of a growling stomach.

      Childhood hunger isn’t only a problem in developing countries – it is a problem in our own backyard. Almost 1 million households in Michigan have food insecurity, or the inability to provide enough food for the family. In Washtenaw County alone, 10,000 are food insecure. Children who don’t get enough to eat can have trouble concentrating, get more headaches and infections, are more likely to be hospitalized, and have more difficulty excelling in academics and athletics.

      During the school year, some of these hungry children can get their nutrition from USDA National School Lunch Program. 580,000 Michigan students ate a free or reduced-price school lunch. This reflects the trends elsewhere in the nation, where 10 percent of teachers acknowledge buying food for their classrooms at least once a week, and 62% of teachers reporting that at least one student comes to class hungry every day.

      The USDA combats this hunger epidemic by offering the Summer Food Service Program, but only about 2.3 million children of the 30 million who receive free and reduced-cost lunches take advantage of the program. The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, can help, but SNAP benefits can’t do it all – they average less than $1.50 per person, per meal, and about 90% of SNAP benefits are redeemed before the third week of the month, children can still miss out on important nutrition.

      All these facts mean that during the summer, when many children are enjoying the abundance of food and fun, millions of children are losing their main source of nutrition.

      The YMCA of the Ann Arbor has partnered with the Walmart Foundation to provide 5 million meals and snacks to more than 150,000 children and teenagers this summer. The national summer food program is open to children and teens ages 5 to 18 in more than 1,000 communities nationwide.

      In addition to nutritious and delicious meals, the summer food program will provide activities and learning opportunities for these children to help them get their fill of food and fun during the summer. The YMCA of Ann Arbor offers several wonderful day camps for all ages where children can enjoy outdoor activities, learning opportunities and full meals and snacks.

      Children in the Y Summer Food Program will be able to strengthen their bodies and minds, as well as socialize with other children in their communities. Stronger kids equal stronger communities and a brighter outlook.

      To learn more or to find a Y in your community, visit the YMCA Summer Food Program website.

      In Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor YMCA participates in this program.

      Breakfast on The Farm

      If you have never been to Breakfast on the Farm, it is a great family event. My family has gone several times in the past few years, and has enjoyed visiting the farm, and eating the yummy pancake breakfast. On September 6 your family can enjoy this free event too!

      The event, Breakfast on the Farm, is hosted by Uphaus Farms (14324 Pleasant Lake Rd., Manchester) from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on September 6. It will include tours of the farm and great food - In past years we have even gotten to step into and check out some of the big farm machinery, which of course was a hit with my kids! Tickets will be available after August 6 at these locations throughout the Ann Arbor area. More locations are available for other Washtenaw County locations.

      ANN ARBOR
      Ann Arbor Downtown Home and Garden
      GreenStone Farm Credit Services
      Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center
      Nicola’s Books
      Washtenaw Co. Farm Bureau
      Washtenaw Co. MSU Extension

      CANTON
      Wayne Co. Farm Bureau

      CHELSEA
      Chelsea District Library

      DEXTER
      Dexter Mill

      MANCHESTER
      Linda’s Diner
      Manchester District Library
      Wacker Oil & Propane

      MILAN
      Milan Public Library

      SALINE
      Saline District

      YPSILANTI
      Ypsilanti District Library Locations

      This free event is one for the entire family, so be sure to bring, mom, dad, the kids and even the grandparents. It will be a fun time you don’t want to miss!

      July 24, 2014

      Movies-in-the-park: Frozen

      I certainly hope this is not an homage to weather this summer or a forecast of the winter to come, but the next Movies in the Park feature for Ypsilanti Township is Frozen. Saturday, August 2 is a great night to enjoy a movie under the stars at Ford Heritage Park (Ypsilanti Township). Plan to bring blankets, chairs and possibly a picnic dinner to enjoy too!

      The evening events typically are all about family too - Music, games, raffles prizes, activities plus the the feature presentation at dusk (9:00 p.m.).  The movie will shown on a giant video projection system complete with concert stereo sound so that families can have the best experience possible.

      The next Movies in the Park will be held September 6. This is a FREE event for ALL ages!

      July 23, 2014

      The Super Run Comes to Ann Arbor

      The Ann Arbor Mom blog is all about affordable family activities. It seems of late that my kids (now 8 & 10) are getting into more "active" activities and fewer of the free crafty things. As it happens my son has really begun enjoying the various runs around town. Put those two things together and what do you get? The Ann Arbor Super Run!

      On Saturday, September 6 Ann Arbor (Specifically Gallup Park) will be over-run with super heroes fighting for a good deed. Families are encouraged to run (or walk) in the 1K or 5K. While there you will also find free activities for kids including bounce houses, face painting, DJ's, and magicians. Often too the vendors offer things like painting canvases, bubbles and stickers too!

      Want to WIN free entry into the Super Run? Keep reading for details...

      By the way if you are a local business that would like to promote yourself, I have been told that you may receive a free space so long as a family friendly activity or giveaway is provided!



      Now a bit about the organization. The Super Run is a super hero themed family fun run, that partners with local charities to raise awareness and funds for their cause. For Ann Arbor, our Host charity is the Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, who seek every day superheros for the more than 13,000 foster children in Michigan. They have support from their partner charities: American Association for Cancer Research, Children's Hospitals National Foundation, and more.



      As a parent I very much appreciate the price for this run too. For the bargain price of just $10 your children can participate in the 1K race PLUS they receive their own swag which includes an authentic super hero cape, a Super tattoo and a "Be a hero. Help a cause. Join the run." silicone awareness bracelet!
      To register for The Ann Arbor Super Run visit the website at:
      http://thesuperrun.com/locations/ann-arbor-michigan/
      Big discounts are available until July 28!



      While this is a very inexpensive run for the family, it gets even better when the Ann Arbor Mom blog offers a FREE entry to the Ann Arbor Super Run. One lucky winner will win (1) Adult Race package with an extra special "Super Mom" cape (Dads just consider it Super MAN) that is being created especially for the Ann Arbor Mom blog compliments of www.superflykids.com. To win simply comment below on What makes you a Super Mom (or man). A random winner will be chosen from all entries posted by August 13, 2014.

      For more information or to register for the run, visit the Ann Arbor Super Run website. You can also find details online at Facebook: www.facebook.com/thesuperrun. Proceeds from the Super Run will support Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.

      July 1, 2014

      Nature Connection Kids Club at Heavner Canoe Rental

      A friend shared a great new kids program called the Heavner's Kids Club for kids ages 3-8.  Every Tuesday, July 15-August 26, find opportunities for outdoor play, education, exploration, and adventure at Heavner's. Sessions will be located at several State Recreation areas and Parks with activities from 10:00 a.m. - noon unless otherwise noted. 

      So get outdoors with the kids this summer. You will have fun, great some great exercise and make memories together. This summer you will find: 
      • July 15 Canoeing, Live Music, Bonfire, and Picnic* (Proud Lake State Recreation Area) 
      • July 22 Kensington Farm Center Guided Tour and Picnic* 
      • July 29 Guided Hike, Nature Photography, Scavenger Hunt, Crafts, and Picnic at Proud Lake State Recreation Area
      • August 5 Kensington Nature Center Guided Tour, Hike, and Picnic
      • August 12 Belle Isle Zoo Tour, Canoeing and Kayaking, and Picnic
      • August 19 Kayaking, Fun with (Live) Music, Bonfire, and Picnic at the Proud Lake State Recreation Area
      • August 26 Beach Party 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. with Swimming, Canoeing/Kayaking, Fishing, Games, and Picnic at Island Lake State Recreation Area - Please provide your own lunch. 
       A parent/guardian must accompany each child to the Kids Club and older siblings may attend. There are only 30 spots are available each week so be sure to reserve you space early.

      Parents may sign up for individual sessions for just $12/day for the first child and $10/day for each additional child. Parents and guardians get free admission for the program. If your family attends three sessions, they will receive a free 2-hour self-return canoe or kayak rental (valued at $27.00). In addition, each child will receive a t-shirt with an original Kids Club art design.

      For further information and to register for the Kids Club, please call the Proud Lake livery at (248) 685-2379, or visit the Heavner’s Kids Club website.

      June 18, 2014

      Free Family Art Night

      I am happy to promote the FREE Family Art Night at the Two Twelve Arts Center (216 W Michigan Ave, Saline, MI 48176) happening throughout the summer. Each night will have new and exciting projects created by "activity Rob". 
      Take the family to enjoy the Free Family Art Nights
      at the Two Twelve Arts Center in Saline.
      Wednesdays, June 20-Aug 20.

      The program is hosted on select Wednesday's throughout the summer from 7:00-8:30 p.m. for children and adults of all ages. Family Art Nights start June 18 and run every Wednesday (except Independence Day week) through August 20.

      What will you and your family create this summer?


      June 5, 2014

      Movies-in-the-Park: Disney's Planes

      This Saturday, June 7, at Ford Heritage Park (Ypsilanti Township) families can bring blankets, chairs and a picnic to enjoy Movies In The Park! This weeks free movie is Disney's Planes.

      The night isn't only about the movie as there will be music from sonic tap (7:00 p.m.), games, raffles prizes, activities and the feature presentation  "Planes" at dusk (9:00 p.m.).  The movie will show on a giant video projection system complete with concert stereo sound for maximum enjoyment by families.

      This is the first of five outdoor movies planned this summer in our beautiful park system. Future Movies in the Park will continue on the first Saturday of every month through October. These events are FREE for ALL ages!

      May 29, 2014

      Incentivizing Summer Reading Programs


      It's not a secret to many of my family and friends that I have been frustrated getting my child to read. I still don't understand why reading is not something he enjoys when he comes from a family of fairly avid readers. Thankfully though I'm not against incentivizing his reading - In other words I'll use bribery when necessary.

      That's a good thing too because on a recent shopping trip he begged for a toy, so in seizing the opportunity, I decided to buy it and hold onto it until he read a certain number of books to me. Now he been happily reading to me every evening without my nagging him. Now that the end of the school-year is coming close, I have begun to look for summer reading programs that offer incentives.



      We participate in the summer reading programs at the Ypsilanti District Library. The kids love getting the free ice cream at the start of the program and don't realize they are working hard to reach their summer reading goal. This year I even signed them up with reading buddies for the summer. The Saline District Library, Dexter District Library, the Ann Arbor District Library, and the Chelsea District Library all have summer reading programs for kids and teens. Just head over to your local library and check it out. I have heard some of the programs offer some awesome give-away prizes if your child completes the program in time.

      For parents looking at other summer reading programs, fear not. There are MANY free incentives out there to encourage your child to read this summer, just take a look!
      • Barnes & Noble (3235 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor) - Imagination Destination allows kids to earn a FREE book and reading kit after tracking their reading on a reading log.
      • Chuck E. Cheese - Kids can earn 10 free tokens when they read every day for 2 weeks in a row. Print the reading rewards form, track their reading and take it into a participating location for free tokens! This incentive does require a food purchase for redemption.
      • PBS Kids encourages Summer Reading - Get information for parents and youth to give your child a lifetime of reading.
      • Pizza Hut - BookIt Summer Reading Program - Students in grade K-5 can spark their greatness reading books to be entered into a sweepstakes for great prizes!
      • Scholastic Summer Challenge - May 5-September 5 kids can log reading minutes into the Scholastic site to earn digital prizes! 
      • Sylvan Learning Centers - (1601 Briarwood Circle, AnnArbor) Participate in a free summer Book Adventure program where children (Grades K-8) read grade-level books then take a comprehension quiz. Kids earn points based on how much they remember from reading and can be entered to win many free prizes as they earn points! There are hundreds of books to choose from in all reading levels. 
      These types of programs are a great way to encourage children to read throughout the summer months to help avoid summer learning loss. I will continue to add programs as I find them, or feel free to let me know when new ones become available!

      May 16, 2014

      Ann Arbor Skatepark Grand Opening


      Save the date - The new Ann Arbor Skatepark will have it's grand opening on June 21! The 30,000-square-foot facility located at Veterans Memorial Park (2150 Jackson Road) will be free for the public to use. Skateboarders will enjoy features such as kidney pools from 5 to 9.5 feet deep, a snake run, clover and flow bowls, rock ride, and a slappy curb.

      The grand opening celebration will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, contests, demonstrations from pro skaters, music, vendors and more! For more information on this free event, be sure to stay tuned on www.a2gov.org/parkevents or on the Ann Arbor Parks Facebook Page.

      Ann Arbor Skatepark Grand Opening
      Saturday, June 21, 2014
       11:00 a.m., Ribbon cutting ceremony and remarks
      Noon-6:00 p.m., Skateboarding contests, lessons, music, vendors and more
      2:00 p.m., Professional Skateboard demonstration