I AM "planning" (aka, making lists and daydreaming) all the fun things I want to do with the family, aside from regular trips to the zoo and "the beach" and...mostly those things. I don't want my "what I did on summer vacation" report to read "just more of the same."
Here are the top ten activities I want to do in Southeast Michigan area this summer.
Ann Arbor Children's Museum
I've heard nothing but rave reviews for this hands-on museum designed for children. Ann Arbor is only a 45 minute drive away, and it seems like a great place for Li'l G to explore, learn and go a little crazy!
With a carousel, splash pad and other attractions all summer, you'd think we would park ourselves there (except that parking costs some moula, of course)!
I love this place. I LOVE this place. It is a zoo on Saturday mornings, but I love the fresh produce, the smell of barbecue wafting through the air, the open air market, the mix of people, the wine shoppe...it reminds me a little of the outdoor markets in Roma. I do not love the smell of the butcher shop, so we will stay away from there. What I do not love is the traffic, and that we sadly only get there a couple times a year. I would love to make this a regular part of summer Saturday routine. No Hubbers, by regular I don't mean EVERY week, but every few weeks would be nice. *insert cheesy grin here*
Belle Isle Aquarium & Conservatory
I've only been to Belle Isle once, but I would love to take the kids back there to play and explore. The Belle Isle Aquarium was the oldest continually operating aquarium in the country until it closed in 2005. It has since reopened on a limited basis, and this summer, we are going to go visit!
Cook's Dairy Farm:
A real, live, operating dairy farm that has ice cream? Yes, please! My one trip to Cook's Dairy was when the Peters family (friends from church) piled us all in their huge van and took us there for ice cream on National Ice Cream Day. Oh, did I mention this was NOT in my childhood, but rather just a handful of years ago? Who wouldn't want to recreate that fun for their own kids?!?
We took a friend of ours there for her birthday several years ago, and it was a fun experience for us. How much more fun with Li'l G and J in tow??!! Well, that is unless the animals freak them out. Then that would be the opposite of fun and you'll find me making a beeline for the car.
Library Story Hour:
I will find one. I will. Southfield had a great story hour program that I discovered after its season ended. Hopefully they will start another one for summer for babes and toddlers. Palm to forehead for late discoveries!
Detroit River Tour
Yeah, maybe a bit extravagant, but it could be fun!
Paint Creek Trail
Run, Li'l G, run! Oh, wait, stop! While we shan't attempt the whole trail at once, Paint Creek is the perfect blend of nature and civilization - if we need to stop off somewhere, we can. If we only want to venture a little way and return to a park, we can. Li'l G can burn off some energy, we can do a nature scavenger hunt and mom and dad can get a little exercise in as well. Who knows, if the Hubs gets the bike out, that might be a fun adventure too. Mama's not so sure about the whole biking thing, though...
Does anyone else automatically think Sound of Music when I say "berry picking"? No? Oh. Li'l G LOVES her berries - blue and straw alike. This year I think it would be loads of fun to take her to pick her own berries. I'm hoping she won't just eat them straight off the plant - I would guess that is frowned upon in an organized picking setting... We are also in search of somewhere to hold her 3 year old birthday party (THREE? WHEN DID SHE GET CLOSE TO BEING THREE?!?), and a lot of these farms allow groups to come in - perhaps an orchard mill/pumpkin patch party for our little pumpkin would be in order?
Moving out of the Southeastern bubble, here are a few other things on my wishlist as long weekend trips.
- Take the train to Grand Rapids (or Chicago if we are truly adventurous)
- Go to Mackinac Island
- Visit wine country around Traverse City
- Toledo Zoo
- Cross in the Woods
Get on your travelin' shoes, 'cause we are hitting the road baby!
And if we've got some time one weekend, perhaps we shall see if Old Man Donahoo in Harbor Springs is open to some rowdy visitors...
Inquiring mind wants to know (me): Have you visited any of these places? What are your plans for the summer?