What's On This Weekend: July 29-31

It's already the last weekend in July, which is reason enough to celebrate this weekend with a heaping helping of summertime festivities around Southwest Michigan. Friday - Give the littles a taste of old-fashioned life at the Meijer Gardens' Fridays at the Farm - Drop the kids off for some creative play at the South Haven Center for the Arts' ArtQuest while you enjoy a leisurely lunch - Enjoy live music accompanied by the evening breeze in Holland's Kollen Park - Head to the YMCA in St. Joe for a pirate-themed Family Fun Night, capped off by a viewing of "Peter Pan" in the pool - Grab a cozy blanket, pack a picnic and watch "Tangled" under the stars in Niles Saturday - Let the kids learn ab

What's On This Weekend: July 22-24

Once again, there is no shortage of fun things to do this weekend in Southwest Michigan. Slather on the sunscreen, grab some water and make the most of these wide-ranging activities. Friday - Get the kids wristbands and hit the rides at the Van Buren County Youth Fair (continues through Saturday) - Drop the little ones off for a couple hours of creative play during ArtQuest while you enjoy a leisurely lunch in South Haven - Be enchanted by the mysterious spectacles awaiting you at the Colon Magic Festival (continues through Saturday) - Let your young farmhand partake in the old-fashioned activities at the Meijer Gardens' Fridays at the Farm - Head to Dowagiac to celebrate the Summer in the C

Recipe: Fluffy, Sky-High Blueberry Muffins

These have turned into our default breakfast muffins. They are so perfect and versatile, it's hard to not devour the whole dozen in a single sitting. We've made them with blueberries and lemon zest, raspberries and peaches, and chocolate chips so far. They'd also be delicious with cherries and chocolate chunks, apples and cinnamon, pear and ginger, lemon and poppy seeds...you dream up the perfect combo for your family's tastes. FLUFFY, SKY-HIGH BLUEBERRY MUFFINS Makes: 12 regular-sized muffins INGREDIENTS 3 cups all purpose flour (scooped and leveled) + 2 tsp for coating blueberries 4 tsp baking powder (make sure it's fresh) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup granulated sugar zest of one lemon 2 eggs (

What's On This Weekend: July 15-17

Summer is absolutely flying by, so make the most of this glorious Southwest Michigan weekend by enjoying a classic car show, movie under the stars, outdoor concert or one of the other exciting local activities on tap. Friday - Savor classic cars and timeless tunes as they take over St. Joseph's - Slurp up pasta, splash around the pool and watch "The Little Mermaid" at the YMCA's Family Noodle Night - Relax with live music over a picnic dinner in Holland's Kollen Park - Take the little ones to watch "Zootopia" under the stars in Holland Saturday - Lace up your running shoes and Race for the YMCA in the morning - Grab some fresh fruit and veggies at the downtown farmers' market in South Haven

5 Tips For Taking The Kids To The Farmers' Market

The bounty of ripe, rainbow-hued fruits and vegetables is nearing its peak locally, which may mean a trip to the nearest farmers' market is in order. We've got a few pointers to make it a pleasant, sanity-saving trip for the whole family. 1. Grab a light snack when you first arrive to keep hands busy and hangry-ness at bay (for at least a few minutes). Baked goods, fresh-squeezed orange juice and berries are all good, easy options. 2. Have a shopping list. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the sprawling selection of delicious foods at your fingertips. Knowing what you need and sticking to it (more or less) will make your trip much more efficient and enjoyable. 3. Let each child pick out one th

What's On This Weekend: July 8-10

Take a break from the beach and opt for outdoor concerts, movies under the stairs, side-by-side helpings of soul food and history, a vintage women's baseball game and more. Friday - Explore the area's connection to this historic landmark during the Underground Railroad Days in Vandalia (through Sunday) - Let the little ones perfect pretzel-like poses during Toddler Yoga at the Forever Curious Children's Museum in Fennville - Witness the living conditions of many developing countries via The Compassion Experience's interactive exhibitions in Holland - Listen to relaxing live tunes over a picnic dinner in Holland's Kollen Park - Take the kids to see the "Iron Giant" under the stars along the r

MAP Out Your Summer Fun: How To Use Your Library Card To Check Out Local Attractions For Cheap

As if story time and full access to a glorious number of bedtime books aren't enough reasons to love your local library, let us introduce another: the Michigan Activities Pass, or MAP. Armed with only your library card, a computer and printer, you can receive free or discounted access to state parks, museums, campgrounds and more. There are more than 420 participating destinations in all, any of which could be the source of your next adventure with a few clicks of the computer. Here's how it works: 1. Go to the MAP home page. 2. Scroll down till you see "Plan Your Next Activity." 3. Fill in the criteria, then click "Search" (tip: leave the "kid-friendly" option unchecked to find state parks

Crafty, Last-Minute Fourth Of July Ideas

OK, it doesn't get any simpler than these star fruit skewers, but they are freaking adorable. And the delicious epitome of summer. Grab some bamboo skewers and a star-shaped cookie cutter and you're halfway there. Writing out instructions would very possibly insult your intelligence, but I will say that getting the watermelon the right thickness took me an almost embarrassing number of tries. About a half-inch thick should work nicely. We also spent the morning stringing necklaces out of red, white and blue beads and paper straws that I cut up into one-inch(ish) sections. The 4-year-old could string beads for days on end, but it took the 2-year-old a while to get the hang of it and she quick

What's On This Weekend {Holiday Edition}: July 1-4

Fourth of July festivities abound in Southwest Michigan over the long holiday weekend. Take your pick of family-friendly activities! Friday - Watch a live-stage retelling of the children's classic, Charlotte's Web, in Grand Rapids - Pack a picnic and enjoy dinner set to live music by The Niche at Kollen Park in Holland - Look up as hot air balloons take to the evening sky in a mesmerizing spectacle in Battle Creek (continues through July 4) Saturday - Peruse local works of art at the 58th Annual South Haven Art Fair (continues Sunday) - Catch the one-of-a-kind Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship in Eau Claire - Check out Dowagiac's Bigfoot Fourth of July Parade for a spin on the usual tradition

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