5 Things To Do With All That Candy

Our kids have already gone trick or treating a handful of times, and the calendar has not yet ticked over to October 31. Fortunately, we've made it through so far without a major surplus of candy -- or maybe that's unfortunate, since I was hoping to pilfer some of their stash. If you're stuck watching a mountain of shiny plastic wrappers accumulate before your eyes, we've sifted through some nifty options for minimizing the sugar-buzz crashes. 1. Let the Kids Do Their Thing Give them permission to gorge on sweets to their heart's content for one night only. Brush the holy heck out of their teeth before bed. Make the rest of the candy disappear (see below). 2. Make It Last Tuck a single piece

What's On This Weekend: Oct 28-30

Don the costumes, bust out the candy and jazz yourself up for Halloween celebrations big and small. And if it all gets to be too much, head outdoors and away from the crowds for some sugar-free time with Mother Nature. FRIDAY Head to the spectacularly decorated Silver Beach Carousel for a hauntingly fun nighttime ride -- free for those wearing costumes -- and kids' activities (all weekend) Walk the lighted trails at Sarett Nature Center in Benton Harbor and discover wild creatures and fun activities along the way, then head indoors for snacks and crafts Get creative with glow sticks at the Glow in the Dark family-friendly party at Beery Park in Douglas Stop by Barden's Farm Market in South H

Take A Hike: 6 Places To Experience The Brilliant Fall Colors

The fall colors are set to peak here in Southwest Michigan soon (source: eyeballs). Couple that with warm weather forecasted for the weekend and you've got zero good excuses to not take the kids out for a nature walk. And if they're anything like ours, they've been eating candy non-stop for the last week and have energy reserves the size of Lake Michigan that need to be dealt with swiftly and preferably out of doors. Here are half a dozen scenic spots worth exploring: 1. Sarett Nature Center | Benton Harbor Highlights: 8 miles of hiking trails, a treetop walkway, playground and picnic area, live native animal exhibits 2. Fernwood Botanical Garden | Niles Highlights: 12 hiking trails, geocach

What's On This Weekend: Oct 21-23

It's like we blink and Friday is here again. Must be magic. Give in to the mesmerizing ways of late October with a veritable smorgasbord of festive activities in the area. FRIDAY Encounter awesome animals, eat s'mores and partake in trick or treating at the Outdoor Discovery Center's Treats & Trails in Holland (through Saturday) Bundle up and watch a trio of Halloween flicks (starting with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) outdoors near the South Haven marina Catch an enchanting performance of Peter Pan by the Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company (through Sunday) Dare to wander through the Michigan Maritime Museum's Haunted Asylum with the older kids (ages 14+; through Saturday) SA

Ready, Set, Go! A Fall Scavenger Hunt Awaits

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." - Albert Camus With that quote in mind, head outdoors to explore this lovely, fleeting treasure trove of Mother Nature. Having some warm cider afterward wouldn't be terrible. Download the pdf right here.

Halloween Is A-Comin'! Don't Miss These Spooky Shenanigans

Give your costumes a vigorous workout this year with oodles of entrancing Halloween happenings for families across Southwest Michigan. Barney's Halloween Party | Oct 19 You're invited to a party with the big purple dinosaur at the Curious Kids' Museum in St Joseph. Listen to stories and make a scarecrow to take home. 1-3 pm. Kalamadoodle Costume Party @ Bell's | Oct 19 A festive, family-friendly evening out at Bell's Eccentric Cafe, with Halloween costumes, drinks, doodles and more. 6:30-8:30 pm. Treats & Trails | Oct 21-22 The Outdoor Discovery Center in Holland hosts a slew of Halloween activities, including barrel rides, kids' games, trick or treating, live animal encounters and s'mores.

What's On This Weekend: Oct 14-16

The first of the Halloween activities kicks off this weekend, the leaves are starting to turn color -- basically Mother Nature and the local caramel apple purveyors have teamed up to tell us that now is the time to bundle up and get outdoors for some fall fun. Grab a warm cider and map out your plan for the next few days. FRIDAY Catch live jack-o-lantern carvings in downtown Holland when the Fall Fest kicks off at 3 pm (through Saturday) Let the kids perfect their pretzel-like poses during a session of Toddler Yoga at the Forever Curious Kids' Museum in Fennville Cheer on lumberjacks as they compete in log splitting, ax throwing and more at Gull Meadows in Kalamazoo Get your tickets for a l

Boo-tiful, No-Carve Jack-o-Lantern Alternatives The Kids Will Love

Pulling out the gooey, slimy guts of a soon-to-be jack-o-lantern is an absolute delight, and some detail-oriented folks even enjoy the carving part. But if you shudder at the idea of handing a small knife over to your little one (or doing all the meticulous work yourself), we've come up with a few simple alternatives for you. MELTED CRAYONS We tried this first with no glue and a hairdryer, and the results were less than pleasing. And ridiculously messy. The second time around, I got smart. Preheat the oven to 225 F, peel the crayons (I nabbed a pack of 20 at Goodwill for $.50 and luckily the labels came right off), break them in half and hot glue them in a circle to the top of the pumpkin. A

What's On This Weekend: Oct 7-Oct 9

Not gonna lie: We thought the hefty majority of entertaining, enthralling activities took place in the summer. But here it is October and we're wishing for the ability to multiply (why is that not a thing yet?) because everything on the calendar this weekend sounds like SO. MUCH. FUN. How to choose? FRIDAY Enjoy carnival rides, tasty treats, a parade and fireworks (!!!) tonight at Fennville's Goose Festival (through Sunday) Behold the world-class ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, with oversized art scattered across the city for the whole family to enjoy (through Sunday) Head to Zeeland for kid-friendly activities like pumpkin bowling, a pet costume contest, music, food and more at this year's Pumpki

Small-Town Fall Festivals Are Coming Your Way

Just about every town in Southwest Michigan is celebrating the charms of autumn with a local celebration, or so it seems. Take your pick and spend the day outdoors amid the bustle of games, crafts, contests, live music and so much more. ZEELAND'S PUMPKINFEST | Oct 7-8 Pumpkin bowling, pumpkin pie eating contest, 5K/kids' fun run, parade, face painting, inflatables, pet costume contest, music, food and more FENNVILLE'S GOOSE FESTIVAL | Oct 7-9 Fireworks, carnival, arts and crafts, 5K/kids' fun run, parade, live music, car/tractor show and plenty of delicious treats NILES' FRIGHT FEST | Oct 8 Games, funhouse, crafts, pumpkin carving, scavenger hunts, concessions and Zombie Apocalypse Run/Walk

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