Saturday, September 20, 2014

Get a FREE Mug from TinyPrints

Are you starting to think ahead for Christmas gifts? Maybe you need a birthday gift? Tiny Prints is offering a free* mug this weekend (you will still pay shipping on the free mug).
Disclaimer: I am compensated for sales through links to TinyPrints and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting Ann Arbor with Kids by shopping through our links

Tiny Prints Free Mug

A FREE MUG would be a great stocking stuffer for a parent or grandparent or a nice add on to a gift of coffee or even a coffee maker! Plus you can't beat just paying the cost of shipping!

* You can select an 11oz white mug for Free, or receive a $15.99 credit (it's value) towards an 11oz black mug or a 15oz white mug. Offer expires 9/21/14 at 11:59 pm (PT). Get one (1) free mug using the code MUGSEP14 at checkout. There is no minimum purchase required for this promotion. Offer is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, or greeting cards. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Tiny Prints and is not applicable to third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.

Vets Ice Arena Customer Appreciation Day Next Saturday

Next Saturday is Customer Appreciation Day at Veterans Park Indoor Ice Arena from 1-2:30p. I loved ice skating as a kid and am sad that my daughter has no interest (actually it's more like hating it than uninterested). I wish I had started taking her skating at a younger age.

They are offering free admission for skating and $3 skate rentals. There will be snacks available and lots of fun.

The Veterans Memorial Park Indoor Ice Arena is located adjacent to the pool (in the same building as the locker rooms) at 2150 Jackson Rd. Be sure to take into account the construction on Jackson Rd as you plan your visit.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Save on Talladay Farms Corn Maze!

After trying to fit a corn maze into our schedules for a few years, we finally managed to visit Talladay Farms corn maze. We actually went twice. The first time, my daughter and I visited with her Girl Scout Troop and the second time, we returned in the evening. We had a lot of fun on both visits and are planning to return. They opened for the season tonight.

The 2014 maze theme at Talladay Farms is Under the Sea with 2 separate corn mazes plus a separate haunted maze. The regular corn mazes are open on Fridays from 6-10p, Saturdays from 1-10p, and Sundays from 1-6p. Talladay Farms will remain open through Sunday, October 26. Flashlights are required in the regular maze once it begins to get dark. You may bring your own flashlight or purchase an LED flashlight at Talladay.
Disclaimer: I am compensated for sales through Groupon links. Thank you for supporting Ann Arbor with Kids by shopping through these links. Please read all terms and conditions of the deal before purchase, they are only summarized here.
This weekend Groupon is offering a deal for Talladay Farms in Milan. Talladay Farms is located adjacent to Wasem Fruit Farm where we usually pick apples and pumpkins, so it is easy to combine a trip to the corn maze onto our pumpkin or apple picking trip.

There is also a separate haunted maze which will open on Friday, October 3. The haunted maze features live monsters that will scare and surprise. I think we'll skip the haunted maze for a few more years. The haunted maze is open after dark on Friday and Saturday nights in October.

There are 4 options available through Groupon:
  • $13 for 2 tickets to the corn maze and the haunted maze (up to $24 value)
  • $26 for 4 tickets to the corn maze and the haunted maze (up to $48 value)
  • $7 for 2 tickets to the corn maze (up to $14 value)
  • $14 for 4 tickets to the corn maze (up to $28 value)
Talladay Farms
Two or Four Tickets to a Corn Maze with Option for Haunted Maze at Talladay Farms (Up to 50% Off)

Your Groupon purchase will be valid through the 2014 season and expires on October 26 when the maze closes for the year. The deal is available for purchase through 11:59p on Monday, September 22 or while supplies last.

The regular ticket prices are $7 for adults and $6 for kids ages 5-11 (4 and under are free with parental supervision) for the regular mazes or the haunted maze. Both the regular and haunted mazes are $13/adults and $11 ages 5-11. For my family of 3, I will probably buy the 2 ticket option for just the corn maze which will cover us if my daughter and I go alone. If my husband joins us, I will use the Groupon for he and I and purchase our daughter's ticket for $13.

In addition to the Corn Maze, Talladay Farms has a Kidz CORNer which started last year. The Kidz CORNer includes a giant spiderweb, straw bale maze, giant straw pile and kids games including corn hole, pumpkin bowling, horseshoes, ladder ball and more. Kidz CORNer is an additional $2 for children ages 2-8. Admisison includes one barrel train ride and unlimited use of the other activities.

Fall is Here Weekend Roundup

It is definitely starting to feel like fall this week with the large temperature swings from 45F in the morning to 70F in the afternoons. It definitely makes dressing my daughter for school a challenge...particularly after the jacket gets left at school on the warm afternoons.

One activity that my family loves in fall is picking apples. Last year we also enjoyed a trip to the corn maze. The weather is looking a bit questionable for those activities with an 80% chance of storms on Saturday and a 50% chance on Sunday. Saturday morning is looking like your best bet for heading to the orchard (unless you have a soccer game on the schedule like we do). If you are looking for a good orchard/cider mill/corn maze, be sure to checkout my post from yesterday.

Hopefully the weather holds out for the Sixth Annual Harvest Festival at Historic Sutherland-Wilson Farm on Sunday afternoon. My posting about the event generated a lot of interest when I added it two weeks ago.

If you are looking for indoor activities, this weekend's FREE Fall Matinee at Quality 16 is The Croods with 9a and 10a showings on both Saturday and Sunday. The Ann Arbor Hands On Museum has Professor Ray's Everyday Science - Mind Over Matter at 1p and 3p on Saturday and Sunday and is always a lot of fun.

With the cooler weather have you noticed that your child needs a new fall/winter wardrobe? The Mom2Mom Consignment Sale is Saturday from 9a-2p at Saline's Liberty School. I've sold at their last couple of sales, but was too busy with summer and the blog redesign to get ready to sell again.

There are no shortages of story times this weekend, highlighted by Nicola's Books Saturday Story Time with Humane Society of Huron Valley and Curious Day with Curious George Storytime at Barnes & Noble.

For video game lovers, the Downtown Branch of AADL has one event each day this weekend starting with Friday's Roblox Studio Workshop by GameStart School (Grades 3-8 from 6-7:30p). Saturday's Project M/Super Smash Brothers "Not So" Regulation Throwdown is for tweens through adults, and Sunday is the family friendly All-Ages Mario Kart Tournament.

Finally, if you're wondering what to do for lunch today, check out the Whole Kids: Loaded Nachos event at Whole Foods Market Cranbrook to benefit the Whole Kids Foundation.

Did I miss any events? If so, please add them below in the comments or email them to me at eventscalendar@annarborwithkids.com.

Friday, September 19
Saturday, September 20
Sunday, September 21

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ann Arbor Parks to offer Golf Classes for Kids

Does your child want to learn to play golf? Ann Arbor Parks runs the Start New at Golf (SNAG) program for kids as young as 5 to learn to play golf.


SNAG Classes are held at Burns Park with the lessons moved inside the adjacent Ann Arbor Senior Center in case of inclement weather. The classes meet twice a week for 6 weeks (12 classes).

The second fall session will run from October 20 until December 2 meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays (12 classes total, no class on Thanksgiving). The current session began on September 9 and runs through October 16. Each session is $89. During each session they run an early (4:30-5:30p) class geared towards kids ages 5-7 and a late class (6-7p) for kids ages 8-10.

Schedule
12 Classes • twice a week, for six weeks • Fee: $89
Tuesdays and Thursdays • Sept. 9-Oct. 16
  • Session 1: 4:30-5:30 p.m. (recommended for ages 5–7)
  • Session 2: 6-7 p.m. (recommended for ages 8–10)
Tuesdays and Thursdays • Oct. 20-Dec. 2 (No class Nov. 27)
  • Session 3: 4:30-5:30 p.m. (recommended for ages 5–7)
  • Session 4: 6-7 p.m. (recommended for ages 8–10)

Location
Classes are taught at Burns Park. In the case of inclement weather, lessons will be held inside the Ann Arbor Senior Center (1320 Baldwin Ave.) adjacent to the park.

Register today
Ann Arbor Senior Center, 734.794.6250, www.a2gov.org/seniors
Huron Hills Golf Course, 734.794.6246, www.a2gov.org/golf
Online Registration: https://online.activecommunities.com/annarbor

Kids Day at Pittsfield Township Market

Thursday, September 18 is Kids Day at the Pittsfield Township Farmers Market.

The Pittsfield Township Farmers Market is held in the parking lot at the Pittsfield Township Offices, 6201 Michigan Avenue.

The Pittsfield Township Parks & Rec Department will have kids crafts from 3-7. Bank of Ann Arbor is sponsoring musical guest Kevin Devine from 4-6p. GymAmerica will also have tumbling with DeAnna Mylander at the market.

Plus, the Marsh View Meadows Playground is also there to provide activities for the kids.

Fall is Here: Time for Apple Orchards, Corn Mazes, Cider Mills, and Pumpkin Patches

A classic fall activity for me is always visiting the apple orchard and of course finishing our trip with an donut and glass of cider. Last year we also added a trip to the corn maze into our fall activities.

I have compiled information on several of the local apple orchards, corn mazes, and cider mills. If I missed someplace, let me know in the comments or by email.

Our favorite orchard to visit is Wasem Fruit Farm which offers a number of varieties of apples for u-pick. They also offer pumpkins later in the fall and raspberries early in the fall. They serve donuts and cider (which is also available by the gallon. I recommend arriving early and getting your donut and cider first as the lines get long. One of our favorite purchases there is also popcorn by the gallon (also available in smaller jugs). My husband loves popcorn. Last year we bought a gallon when we went apple picking and it was almost half gone by the time we went pumpkin picking. Wasem Fruit Farm is located on Judd Rd in Milan. Before going, be sure to bring cash or a check. According to their Facebook page they are having an issue with accepting credit/debit cards and are cash/check only. Also according to their Facebook page, today is a good day to stop by since they made too many donuts yesterday.
In the Trees at Wasem Fruit Farm
Apple Picking at Wasem Fruit Farm
Conveniently located next door to Wasem Fruit Farm is Talladay Corn Maze. They offer two mazes which open for the 2014 season this weekend (Friday, September 19). A third haunted maze will open in October. I recommend the haunted maze for tweens and teens, and not for young ones. In addition tot he corn mazes, they offer the Kids Corner for kids ages 8 and under. The Kids Corner is a very reasonable $2/child including one barre train ride and unlimited time on each activity (giant spider web, straw bale maze, straw pile, and games). Last year's visit to Talladay Farms Corn Maze was our first corn maze and we visited twice - once in the daytime and once in the evening. We had a lot of fun and hope to return to a corn maze again this year.
Corn Maze at Talladay Farms
Ready for Talladay Farms Corn Maze
Disclaimer: I am compensated for sales through Groupon links. Thank you for supporting Ann Arbor with Kids by shopping through my links.
Update 9/19 - There is now a Groupon available for Talladay Farms. You can buy admission for 2 people for $7 ($14 value) or admission for 4 for $14 ($28 value). They also offer combo packs for the corn maze and haunted maze with 2 people for $13 ($26 value) or 4 people for $26 ($52 value). The deal is available through the end of the day Monday, September 22 or while supplies last. Your admission will be valid through October 26th beginning the day after purchase.

 
Talladay Farms

Two or Four Tickets to a Corn Maze with Option for Haunted Maze at Talladay Farms (Up to 50% Off)

Spicer Orchards in Fenton is another farm where we have picked both apples and cherries in the past. They are the best location for cherries offering both sweet and tart (pie) cherries typically in July. We don't typically pick apples there since they are further from our house. They also offer a lot of other activities such as inflatables, playground, animals, hayrides, train rides, face painting, sand art, and more. Many of the extra activities have an added cost. They also offer a winery and a few indoor tables to enjoy your cider and donuts away from the yellow jackets.

Wiard's Orchard and Country Fair combines u-pick fruit with the activities of a country fair.  In addition to offering u-pick apples, they also offer family fun with corn maze, playgrounds, slides, inflatables, mini-golf and more. The downside is the admission price ($9.25/person Wednesday-Friday and $14.75/person Saturday & Sunday. Babies under 2 are always free) that is required even to pick apples or pumpkins. We have only visited the market at Wiard's (once), and never their orchard or Country Fair, largely due to the cost. It was around lunchtime on a Sunday and the parking lot was crowded for the Orchard and Country Fair. Wiard's also operates Night Terrors on Fridays, Saturdays, and some Sundays beginning on Friday, September 26. I recommend Night Terrors for tweens, teens, and adults.

A word of warning, Plymouth Orchards does not offer u-pick apples. They offer apples for sale in their market and "pumpkin picking" via hay ride. Their pumpkins are pre-picked and placed in a field that you take a hay ride to. This was the farm we visited with my daughter when she was a baby/toddler. The pre-picked field was great for a little one learning to walk since there were no vines to trip over.

Dexter Cider Mill is located just a few blocks from Downtown Dexter on the Huron River. It is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan. They offer fresh cider and donuts and also have a winery. The Dexter Cider Mill is a nice place to stop for a donut and cider, but does not offer much in the way of entertainment. We visited two years ago after school and the kids enjoyed skipping rocks into the river.
Fun at Dexter Cider Mill
Silly Pose at Dexter Cider Mill
Coleman's Corn Maze in Saline is also offering u-pick apples this year. They also offer a pumpkin patch, hay pile climb, barrel train rides, and animals. I love that I can combine apple or pumpkin picking with our corn maze trip. They have a $1/adult admission coupon available on their website.

My daughter was reading over my shoulder as I started typing this. She told me she loves picking apples and that the lack of vines at Plymouth Orchard is good for kids even a little older. She remembers tripping over vines at age 4 and getting her boot stuck in Wasem's Pumpkin Patch.
Wasem's Pumpkin Patch - The trip she lost her boot
As I mentioned, our favorite orchard/cider mill to visit is Wasem Fruit Farm. When I am headed to the farm, my goal is to pick apples and have a donut and cider so I prefer the simple atmosphere (with a corn maze next door that you can easily walk to).

Have I missed any apple orchards, cider mills, or corn mazes in the Ann Arbor area? Which is your favorite?

Updates with recommendations from readers:
  • "Three Cedars is a favorite of ours. Free activities for kids such as a playground, corn box and toy tractors. They sell cider and donuts, have a hay ride, corn maze, pre-picked pumpkin field and bonfire fire pits. They also have a very cute gift shop. It's an easy drive from Ann Arbor." - Jennifer S
  • "Apple Charlie's in New Boston is a favorite for us! It's near Detroit Metro Airport, about 25 minutes from Ann Arbor. Parking and admission are FREE. The offer U-Pick apples, cider and donuts, pre-picked pumpkin patch (with a beautiful barn in the background. Great for photos!) large market with other goodies, and a petting farm. I grew up visiting Apple Charlie's and highly recommend it! " - Janette

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back to School Lunches with Oscar Mayer Old World Style


This summer, my daughter discovered Italian subs by sharing them with my husband when we were eating from a deli. While Italian subs are great when dining out or even to make at home, they aren't exactly conducive to packing in a lunch box and would take my daughter too long to eat for a school lunch period.

When I was presented with the opportunity to work with Oscar Mayer to develop a sandwich using their new Old World Style Pepperoni and Salami products, I knew I would be create a version of an Italian sub that was more practical for a school lunch.

Oscar Mayer Old World Style Pepperoni is available in Classic Pepperoni and Turkey Pepperoni. The Oscar Mayer Old World Style Salami is available as Classic Salami or Cracked Black Pepper Salami. A 4oz package retails for $3.29 and is a very convenient size when making an Italian sandwich that calls for both types of meat. They will be available at grocery stores nationwide beginning in August 2014.

After receiving the Oscar Mayer Old World Style Pepperoni and Salami products, Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh ham, and Kraft Mozzarella Cheese, my daughter and I went shopping for extra ingredients to make our sandwiches. My initial thought was to make an Italian wrap, but then I spotted Flat Out's Fold-It Wraps. They are the perfect size to make my daughter's sandwich, and support a local business (Flat Out is based in Saline, MI). Even better for my Italian sandwich mission, they are available in a Rosemary and Olive Oil variety. I was wondering how I would be able to add oil to the sandwich without making it soggy by lunch time. With the Olive Oil and Rosemary Fold-It, the problem was solved.

To make the sandwich, I started by layering a slice of mozzarella cheese, a slice of Oscar Mayer Ham, a slice of Oscar Mayer Old World Style Pepperoni and a slice of Oscar Mayer Old World Style Salami on each side of the wrap. The meat slices were just a tad smaller than the width of the FoldIt, so I made sure to alternate the placement of the meats on opposite sides of the bread so that each bite would have at least one slice of each meat.
Of course the meat and cheese alone does not make an Italian Sandwich complete, you need the vegetable toppings. We topped her sandwich with shredded Iceberg lettuce, sliced onions, sliced roma tomato and a sprinkle of oregano.

As I mentioned above, one of my concerns with an Italian sub is packing it in a lunch box. I love how easily the Oscar Mayer Old World Style Italian Fold-It sandwich packed in her regular plastic sandwich container in the lunch box along with fruit (watermelon) and chocolate milk.

When I unpacked her lunch box, I knew the sandwich was a hit. There were barely a few scraps of lettuce leftover. My daughter's verdict on the sandwich...it was great, but a little spicy! As we finished the Classic Pepperoni, she tried the Turkey Pepperoni and it was not as spicy. So, if you prefer your pepperoni less spicy, the Oscar Mayer Old World Style Turkey Pepperoni is your better bet. My husband is also an Italian Sandwich fan. He also had this Italian sandwich a couple of times.

Oscar Mayer Old World Style Italian Fold-It Sandwich
  • 1 Flat Out Fold-It Rosemary & Olive Oil Wrap
  • 2 slices Kraft Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 slices Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Honey Ham
  • 2 slices Oscar Mayer Old World Style Classic or Turkey Pepperoni
  • 2 slices Oscar Mayer Old World Style Classic or Cracked Black Pepper Salami
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Sliced Onion
  • Sliced Roma Tomato
  • Dried Oregano
  1. Layer 1 slice of cheese, ham, pepperoni, and salami on each side of Fold-It Wrap
  2. Top with shredded iceberg lettuce, onion, and tomato to taste 
  3. Sprinkle with oregano and fold closed
In addition to making the Italian sandwich, we also made pepperoni rolls using seamless crescent sheets. My daughter was home sick last Friday, so we decided to make pepperoni rolls. I unrolled the crescent dough. I topped it with 6 slices of mozzarella cheese being careful not to overlap them. I added 8 slices of pepperoni overlapping them slightly. Finally, I sprinkled with oregano. You could also add onion if desired.
I rolled the dough along the short side. I mixed olive oil with oregano and brushed it on the pepperoni roll log.
I sliced the log into ~1" rolls and baked at 375F for 12-14 minutes, or until golden on top.
These were also a hit with my daughter and would make either a good lunch or a party appetizer.

How would you use the Oscar Mayer Old World Style Pepperoni and/or Salami?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

September's Why Not Wednesday at Arbor Hills

Arbor Hills Shopping Center holds Why Not Wednesday? one Wednesday each month with special activities from 6-9p. September's Why Not Wednesday will be this week, on Wednesday, September 17.
This month's Why Not Wednesday? at Arbor Hills event line-up includes:
  • Live music performances by Sean Z and Ann Arbor's own Violin Monster
  • Arts & Scraps will host pom pom and megaphone craft projects for kids (you can check out Arts & Scraps here: http://www.artsandscraps.org/)
  • Photos of guests will post live from the event to our digital billboard - you/your child could be featured!
  • Raffle: grand prize -(2) tickets to U of M's homecoming game on Nov. 1, second prize -$75 gift card to any Arbor Hills store, third prize -$50 gift card to any Arbor Hills store
  • Sidewalk sales
  • Live demonstrations
  • Special event only discounts

Monday, September 15, 2014

Briarwood Mall Holds Job Fair Tomorrow

Now that the kids are back in school are you looking for a seasonal or full-time position? Briarwood Mall will be holding a job fair tomorrow night for various stores in the mall. Check out their announcement below and their Facebook page for more details.

BRIARWOOD MALL HOSTING JOB FAIR
WHAT: If you or someone you know is looking for a job, now is your chance to network with local employers at the Briarwood Mall Job Fair.

About two dozen mall retailers and restaurants will be looking to fill a variety of job openings, including seasonal and full-time positions. For a full list of participating tenants, visit the mall’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BriarwoodMall and click on the “Events” section.

Be sure to bring several copies of your resume and a great attitude!

WHEN: Tuesday, September 16 from 5-8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Briarwood Mall
100 Briarwood Circle
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(Job Fair will take place in the Macy’s Court area)

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