What's On This Weekend: August 26-28

The summer fun is winding down here in Southwest Michigan as the weather turns a notch cooler and Labor Day looms on the horizon. Take advantage of smaller crowds and milder temperatures to finish off those summer bucket lists, enjoy the summer U-picks before they give way to fall apples and explore your local parks and nature preserves. Friday ​Nab tickets to see a kid-pleasing performance of "Shrek: The Musical" in Saugatuck (through Sunday) Let the littles get creative at ArtQuest while you have a leisurely lunch or do some shopping in downtown South Haven Watch as skilled puppeteers bring beloved fairytales to life in downtown Saugatuck (through Saturday) Head to the YMCA in St. Joe for

Back to School: A Free Printable

It's always a bittersweet time when the kids heave those colossal backpacks over their shoulders and head off to school. Now, in addition to calming fears, grabbing school supplies, sorting out a lunchtime battle plan and adjusting to a new routine, we've taken it upon ourselves to Pinterest the heck out of these moments (don't worry, we do it too). We are suckers for those sweet little questionnaires that will change year to year but adorably capture our children in that moment. So here is our very own version for you to download, running from Pre-K to 12th grade. We might get our little smartie to draw a self-portrait on the backside for total-package back-to-school awesomeness. Download t

Recipe: Seriously Scrumptious, Ridiculously Easy Waffles

There are only two reasons I willingly get out of bed before 8 in the morning: the smell of freshly brewed coffee, and the sound of something or someone crashing/breaking/crying/screaming. SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS WAFFLES Makes: 8 Eggo-sized waffles INGREDIENTS 2 cups all purpose flour (scooped and leveled) 4 tsp baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 3/4 cup buttermilk (whole milk works too) 2 eggs (at room temperature) or flax egg replacement 1/2 cup vegetable oil room temperature butter and maple syrup, jam, lemon curd and smashed blackberries, Nutella or topping of your choice for serving INSTRUCTIONS - Preheat waffle iron - Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt

What's On This Weekend: August 19-21

The last weekend of summer vacation is upon some of us and, instead of crying in our cold brew coffee, we intend to make the most of it. We've got three solid days of stupendous local happenings to punctuate a truly glorious Southwest Michigan summer right here. Friday Win fabulous prizes on the midway and jump on the exhilarating rides at the Berrien County Youth Fair (through Saturday) Indulge the littles in creative play at ArtQuest while you enjoy a leisurely lunch in South Haven Nab your tickets to see a kid-pleasing performance of "Shrek: The Musical" in Saugatuck (through Aug. 28) Sit down to dinner and a musical extravaganza at Crane's Broadway in the Orchard in Fennville (through Sa

6 Fun Spots to Explore With The Money-Saving MAP

Shake off the end-of-summer doldrums, grab your library card and get ready to explore somewhere new with the littles. Here are five ways to use the Michigan Activity Pass for discounted adventures perfect for a family afternoon. Forever Curious Children's Museum Head to downtown Fennville to while away the hours at this curiosity-sparking venue. There are tons of hands-on activities to engage younger kids, including a rock-climbing wall, kinetic sand table, puppets, winding tunnels and a bubble station. MAP: 2-for-1 admission ($4.50/person) or 40% off an annual family membership ($39 with discount) 202 East Main Street Fennville, MI 49408 Nelis Dutch Village Step back in time upon entering t

What's On This Weekend: August 12-14

The summer may be winding down, but there's no shortage of phenomenal events for the whole family this weekend in Southwest Michigan. Friday - Head to the National Blueberry Festival in South Haven for Kids' Day, with fun activities, entertainment and the ever-popular pie eating contest - Get your tickets to see a kid-pleasing performance of Shrek: The Musical in Saugatuck - Let the littles stretch and relax during an hour of Toddler Yoga in Fennville - Watch as skilled puppeteers bring fairytales to life in downtown Saugatuck - Give the kids a taste of country life at the Meijer Gardens' Fridays at the Farm - Indulge the littles in artistic play at ArtQuest while you enjoy a leisurely lunch

Make Perfect 10-Minute Play Dough at Home

We have a love-hate relationship with play dough in our house. The kids love it; I hate it. It will keep them busy for hours, which is awesome, but then someone has to pry smoothed play dough off the surfaces of our house and that person is always me. Plus our 2-year-old wolfs it down on the sly, and what are the ingredients in store-bought play dough anyway? I'd rather not know. Enter Pinterest and its multitude of at-home play dough recipes, some with hair conditioner and cornstarch, others colored with Kool-aid, all quick, easy and conveniently made with stuff in your cupboards and cabinets. My favorite recipe is one made with cream of tartar, flour, salt and water on the stovetop, but we

What's On This Weekend: August 5-7

If ever there was a weekend lineup of local events to cause severe FOMO (fear of missing out), this is it. So many stellar summer things going on, so little ability to multiply and experience them all. Friday - Head to the Cass County Fair for fun rides, animals and delicious foods-on-sticks (through Saturday) - Get your tickets to the ANDkids World Film Festival at Notre Dame (through Saturday) - Celebrate two August favorites at the Coloma Glad-Peach Festival with carnival rides, parades, a baking contest and fireworks (through Sunday) - Slip and slide the afternoon away at Buchanan's watery Summer Thrill on the Hill (through Saturday) - Catch a free, family-friendly performance of Pericle

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