Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas! Hanukah started at sundown on Sunday. The week is broken up with Christmas on Wednesday. But Arbor Annie has information for events this week, closures for Christmas Eve & Day, and other activity suggestions.
Arbor Annie’s Winter Break Picks
For us this week is filled with family holiday celebrations. Monday we plan to complete our baking. Fortunately we are basically done shopping with the wrapping done. I have one small gift left to pickup which can wait until after Christmas.
The weather is supposed to be warm (low 50s) for the next few days including on Christmas. With most places closed on Wednesday, check out our list of Playground Profiles to check out a new to you playground – or maybe head outside to enjoy a new bike. A family hike is also a great option for a warm Christmas afternoon.
This week, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum has Hands-On Holidays. It is also a great week to explore the campus area with students gone. Check out the campus museums or Pinball Pete’s.
Also, it’s a great time to make sure your child is signed up for a Winter Break Camp. There are lots of options especially for the first week of January. There are also a few options for both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.
Beyond the Event Calendar, there are plenty of other fun activities around town. While some activities like sledding or going for a hike are weather dependent, many of these are indoor options. Be sure to check for special hours with the holidays.
Check out these activity roundups for ideas – ice skating, swimming, hikes, museum lists, and more.:
Are you looking for Family Friendly Ann Arbor Hikes? Pittsfield Township Mom Annie founded Hike It Baby Ann Arbor. In today’s Ask an Ann Arbor Expert post, she brings us 5 of her favorite Family Friendly Ann Arbor Hikes. With over 160 parks in the city of Ann Arbor, it can be intimidating to pick one to explore - especially when you have little ones in tow! Are there bathrooms? Is it shady? Can we bring the stroller? I have compiled a (non-comprehensive) list of 5 of Hike it Baby Ann Arbor’s favorite family-friendly hikes in Ann Arbor. We hope ... Read More
My daughter loves swimming! When she was younger, I found that swimming periodically would help her maintain her swimming skills. Fortunately there are a number of Ann Arbor Indoor Pool options so kids can swim year round. Swimming Pools The Ann Arbor Indoor Pools below are open to the general public with a daily admission fee. Pools that require a membership are not included in this list. Mack Pool Ann Arbor Parks operates Mack Indoor Pool. They offer open swim daily. Program offerings for children include swim lessons, Mermaid and Mermen Classes, Log Rolling, and Swim Team. They also offer ... Read More
Are you looking for a new Ann Arbor Playground to visit? Be sure to check out our Ann Arbor Playground Profiles. If there is one thing that Ann Arbor has in abundance, it is parks. The City of Ann Arbor owns and operates 159 parks. That doesn't even count Washtenaw County Parks, or parks in Pittsfield Township, Ypsilanti, Dexter, Saline, etc. While the 159 parks number includes all parks and nature areas, our Playground Profile Series will focus only on parks with playgrounds. A new Playground Profile will be published each Tuesday this summer. The series will continue into the ... Read More
I've assembled a list of Fun Ann Arbor Activities with Grandparents. With grandparents spanning a wide range of ages and physical abilities, what works for one family may be harder for others. I also find that with my in-laws who live out of town, we tend to do more "destination" visits. On the other hand with my parents who live locally, we tend to do more everyday activities. Visit a Museum with Grandparents A Museum is always a great choice with the Grandparents. Check out our Top 5 Museums in the Ann Arbor Area. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is ... Read More
There are a few Ann Arbor Bowling Alleys. Bowling is a great family activity that can appeal to a wide range of ages. With bowling ramps and bumpers, even preschoolers can have fun bowling. Bowling is a great option for cold winter days, hot summer days, or rainy days year round. Ann Arbor Bowling Alleys Revel & Roll 1950 S Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor Formerly Colonial Lanes, Revel & Roll reopened in late 2015 after an extensive renovation. Revel & Roll is not your traditional dark, smoky bowling alley. It is bright and offers giant TVs over the bowling lanes ... Read More
For today's Travel Thursday post, we are staying closer to home with recommendations for Day Trips from Ann Arbor. They're perfect for days off from school and in the summer. Amusement Parks Amusement Parks are a great day trip in summer, as well as late spring and early fall weekends (check their operating schedule). If you've been reading Ann Arbor with Kids for any length of time, you know my family loves amusement parks. There are two amusement parks that make great day trips from Ann Arbor. The closest amusement park to Ann Arbor is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio which ... Read More
There are several Ann Arbor Ice Skating Rinks available including both indoor and outdoor options in winter. In 2016 Ann Arbor added 3 natural outdoor rinks that are available when the weather is cold enough. The local ice rinks have been closed to public skating for much of the 2020-2021 due to the pandemic. The weather has not been conducive for the city to setup outdoor rinks yet this year. As a child my favorite part of winter was ice skating. When I lived in Illinois, our neighborhood park offered outdoor ice skating (basically it was a gully that was ... Read More
Museums are a great choice year round. They are a great option for rainy summer days (or really hot days when the air conditioning is a welcome relief). They are also a great option for freezing cold winter days. There are a number of great museums in and around Ann Arbor that are a great choice for a family visit. Below are my Family's Picks as our 5 Favorite Ann Arbor Museums for Kids. Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum offers a fun interactive visit with plenty to explore for all ages. The Preschool Gallery is perfect ... Read More
Check out our activity reviews of different local venues:
This review of Matthaei Botanical Gardens is part of our Summer Series: Wednesday Activity Reviews. While visiting this weekend, my mother-in law suggested visiting the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. My daughter had just been on a Girl Scout field trip which she loved. She loved her field trip and couldn't wait to show us everything that she had seen in the Conservatory. We had been to the Botanical Gardens a couple of times when she was a toddler or preschooler, but it had been so long that she didn't remember our prior trips. About the Matthaei Botanical Gardens The Matthaei Botanical ... Read More
Did you know the longest Canopy Walk in the US is just two hours away? In October 2018, Dow Gardens in Midland opened their new Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens with the canopy walk, playground, apple orchard, and much more. A friend and I visited on a weekday that month while the kids were at school to check it out. My daughter and I returned during Spring Break 2019 and have a few updates to the article. Activities at Whiting Forest Longest Canopy Walk at Whiting Forest The Canopy Walk is a unique way to explore the forest. It has ... Read More
This review of Zap Zone is part of our Summer Series: Wednesday Activity Reviews. Yesterday I presented my daughter with a list of options for this week's Wednesday Activity Review. She immediately jumped on Zap Zone, a perennial favorite. About Zap Zone Zap Zone Ann Arbor offers laser tag, bumper cars, cannon blaster, and arcade games. By far, the most popular attraction is the laser tag, although my daughter always wants to do the bumper cars as well. She has done the cannon blaster once or twice, but has never asked to do it again. Zap Zone Ann Arbor is ... Read More
Bowling at Revel & Roll is this week's Wednesday Activity Review. Each Wednesday this summer Ann Arbor with Kids is sharing an activity review for school aged children. Revel & Roll My daughter and I visited Revel & Roll today for our Wednesday Activity Review. With the rain this afternoon, it was the perfect day to go bowling. Revel & Roll offers bowling, arcade games, full-service food, and a bar (for the adults). With modern decor, comfortable sofas, and big TVs, Revel & Roll is not the traditional dingy, smoky bowling alley that I grew up with. Bowling at Revel ... Read More
SEA LIFE Michigan is a small aquarium located at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets with over 250 species of sea creatures. Visiting SEA LIFE Michigan, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and shopping at Great Lakes Crossing is a fun day trip from Ann Arbor ... Read More
Toledo's Imagination Station is today’s Wednesday Activity Review. Each Wednesday this summer, Ann Arbor with Kids is covering an activity typically aimed at children in Elementary School. I have heard good things about Imagination Station in Toledo for years, but we had never visited. Last week my daughter was attending Apple Camp at the Toledo Apple Store so we decided to extend our Friday trip with a stop at Imagination Station. Science at Imagination Station High Wire Cycle The first thing that caught my daughter's eye was the High Wire Cycle. Guests who are at least 54" tall can take ... Read More
This morning we visited the Yankee Air Museum for the first time since Memorial Day 2013. About the Yankee Air Museum The Yankee Air Museum originally opened at Willow Run Airport in 1981. After a damaging fire in 2004, it reopened in it's current building in 2010. The Museum is currently fundraising to Save the Bomber Plant. They have acquired a portion of the historic Bomber Plant at Willow Run. During World War II, the Ford Motor Company made over 8000 B-24 bombers at Willow Run. Once the Museum moves to it's new home, it will become the National Museum ... Read More
At Kidopolis, we provide a safe and fun environment for kids ages two to eleven to use their creative play skills, letting their imaginations run wild among their friends. Using all repurposed materials, our studio sets are not only creative and safe but environmentally friendly too. Whether kids want to celebrate a birthday party or attend a fun field trip, everyone can expect to have a safe and fun time while playing with us at Kidopolis ... Read More
Visiting the Library is today's Wednesday Activity Review Each Wednesday this summer, Ann Arbor with Kids is covering an activity typically aimed at children in Elementary School. Especially with the heat, a trip to the library is always a great choice. In addition to all of the great books, each of the Ann Arbor District libraries offers other fun activities. AADL also hosts great events for all ages at their branches. Ann Arbor District Library Branches There are currently 4 Ann Arbor District Library Branches to visit - the main Downtown Branch, Malletts Creek Branch, Pittsfield Branch, and Traverwood Branch ... Read More
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is this week's Wednesday Activity Review. Each week Ann Arbor with Kids is reviewing an activity for kids in elementary school. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is one of my favorite family places to visit in Ann Arbor. Last week my daughter and I visited the Hands-On Museum with my sister, 16 month old niece, and my mother. First Floor We started on the first floor exploring the ball ramp and Block Party. While my daughter and niece played, I was intrigued to see that they are renovating the building house. I can't wait to ... Read More
This review of the Ann Arbor's Pinball Pete's is part of our Summer Series: Wednesday Activity Reviews. Pinball Pete's Review My husband and I grew up in the 80s and loved taking our daughter to Pinball Pete's and introducing her to some of our favorite classic games. My daughter has grown up with video games, but was fascinated with the Pinball Machines since there are no longer many around. She was also thrilled to find Mario Kart where we could sit next to each other and compete. She loves Mario Kart on the Wii U, so it isn't a surprise ... Read More
This review of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is part of our Summer Series: Wednesday Activity Reviews. Did you know that University of Michigan has it's own Museum of Archaeology? The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology on the University of Michigan campus focuses on archaeology from the Mediterranean region. Kelsey Museum of Archaeology The museum is not large. It is focused on ancient Mediterranean civilizations, particularly Egypt during the Roman occupation. My daughter and I spent about 35 minutes in the museum. One of the highlights at the University of Michigan Museum of Archaeology is the child mummy. She enjoyed exploring ... Read More
Disclosure: Zap Zone hosted my daughter and I to check out their new Virtual Reality offerings. All opinions are our own. This summer Zap Zone Ann Arbor replaced their Cannon Blaster room with a new Virtual Reality room. My daughter was thrilled with Zap Zone hosted us to try out the new activities. Zap Zone Virtual Reality Zap Zone has added two different Virtual Reality options. They offer a ride in the main arcade. There is also a room which has 5 Virtual Reality stations and a wide variety of video games for kids waiting their turn. Zap Zone Virtual ... Read More
The big movie news this weekend is the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – the conclusion of the latest trilogy – and the conclusion of the trilogy of trilogies. We saw it Saturday afternoon and shared our mostly spoiler-free review yesterday.
Cats also opened this weekend. I loved the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber and loved seeing Cats on Broadway about 20 years ago. However, I am in the camp that did not like the trailer and styling of the cats. I have not heard great things about the movie.
Little Women and Spies in Disguise open on Christmas Day.
Family friendly films in the theater include:
Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Ford v. Ferrari (PG-13)
Other upcoming Family Friendly movies through next spring:
March 6 – Onward
March 27 – Mulan
March 27 – The Queen’s Corgi
April 3 – The New Mutants
April 3 – Peter Rabbit 2
April 17 – Trolls World Tour
May 1 – Black Widow
May 15 – Scoob
May 22 – The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
May 29 – Artemis Fowl
June 5 – Wonder Woman 1984
June 19 – Soul
July 3 – Minions: The Rise of Gru
July 10 – Ghostbusters: Afterlife
July 24 – Jungle Cruise
August 14 – The One and Only Ivan
August 21 – Bill & Ted Face the Music
September 4 – Monster Hunter
October 2 – Venom 2
October 9 – The Witches
November 6 – Eternals
November 13 – Clifford the Big Red Dog
November 20 – Godzilla vs. Kong
November 25 – Raya and the Last Dragon
December 18 – Dune
December 18 – West Side Story
December 25 – The Croods 2
December 25 – Tom and Jerry
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