{Printable}: Little Resolutions For The New Year

Despite all the glitter, bubbles and optimism, New Year's Eve was never my favorite holiday. Not even close. But as a mom, it has taken on a completely new importance -- and it's so much fun! We get so busy that it's hard to reflect on our day, let alone an entire year. But it's so very important to get introspective once in a while, and to feel gratitude for the blessings in our lives, the unexpected curveballs that life has thrown us, the place that we are in at this very moment, the wide open, unblemished future. And balloon drops and noisemakers aside, kids love any excuse to celebrate. Chatting with them about the past year, looking through old photos and mapping out a plan for the next

What's On This Weekend: December 29-31

Was it just us, or did the last 12 months flip by at hummingbird-wing speed? It's crazy to be staring 2018 in the face, but here we are. How do you celebrate the New Year? Does your family have any traditions? There are lots of early celebrations around to enjoy if your little ones can't stay up till midnight, or if you prefer to ring in the new year at home, some sparkling cider, balloons and a YouTube'd ball drop are all you need for a party. New Year's Day is the perfect time to take a winter hike at a state park or connect with nature another way. It's a beautiful, bright new beginning, so get out and enjoy it. Happy 2018, friends! FRIDAY Head to Holland's Outdoor Discovery Center for an

Party On! Ring In 2018 With The Kids

Whether your New Year's Eve plans include staying up until the clocks tick over to 2018 or celebrating early enough to tuck the little ones in on time, we've rounded up a dozen of the most stupendous Southwest Michigan celebrations for the whole family. Zip line across a river, splash down a water slide, zoom down the bunny hill or take part in a colorful balloon drop at the stroke of noon. Read on for all the end-of-year details. NYE! 2018 Riverfront | Allegan Zip across the river on a 60' zipline before the ball drops and fireworks light up the river at the stroke of midnight. Fire pits, hot chocolate, s'mores, music. $12 per person. Dec 31, 8 pm-midnight. New Year's Luau Holland Aquatic C

10+ Awesome Ways To While Away The Winter Break

The luster of Christmas and Hanukkah is long gone, leaving behind it a wake of crinkled wrapping paper to clean, cookie-fueled sugar buzzes to calm and empty hours to fill. Fear not, fellow parents. We've got your back. We've perused the event calendars (so many event calendars) to bring you the best ways to get out of the house and have some fun until school starts back up. 1. Inflatables Extravaganza Hope | Edwardsburg This free indoor event features a bounce house, double slide and 52' obstacle course for kids preschool age through 8th grade. Don't forget the socks! 2. Scavenger Hunt Outdoor Discovery Center | Holland With special events planned each day over break (including a fun scav

What's On This Weekend: December 22-24

Are you feeling merry yet? It's not too late to head out for a last-minute dose of Christmas cheer. Festive readings of The Grinch and musical retellings of A Christmas Carol, train rides real and on the silver screen, chances to hang out with Santa and his elves, twinkly illuminations and snow-covered slopes are just some of the cheery happenings awaiting Southwest Michigan families. Keep scrolling for more. FRIDAY Whisk the kids away in their pjs for a festive reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, hot cocoa, cookies and a visit from Santa in St Joe (through Saturday) Watch a mesmerizing spin on Charles Dickens’ beloved tale, the Christmas Carol Ballet, in Grand Rapids (through Saturda

10 Heartwarming Winter Solstice Activities For The Whole Family

The longest night of the year -- and the return of the sun -- is worthy of a simple but significant celebration. Hygge and all that. It also provides a respite from the holiday frenzy, an opportunity to pause and reflect on the wonderful world around us. Luckily, it requires almost no planning and zero dollars to celebrate the solstice and usher in the winter with a little yuletide cheer. Check out some of our favorite ideas. 1) Take a lantern walk through the woods. We did this last year with friends and it was perfect. All you have to do is bundle up, grab a lantern or flashlight and head outdoors. Honestly, it's better with snow on the ground but let's not complain about that, right? 2)

What's On This Weekend: December 15-17

We are in the midst of Hanukkah and Christmas is just around the snow-clobbered corner. This weekend is bursting with holiday festivities, but it's also the perfect time to try snow-shoeing at one of the local nature centers or lace up some ice skates for a trip around the rink if you prefer. Keep reading for the skinny on the weekend happenings. FRIDAY Nab a seat for the heart-warming retelling of Christmas staple Miracle on 34th Street in St Joe by the Twin City Players Don't miss the annual Holland Modular Railroad Club holiday train show at the library in Zeeland (through Dec 16) Drop the kids off for a night of sports, board games, crafts and pizza with the Holland Recreation Division

What's On This Weekend: December 8-10

Listen carefully and you can hear children all over the Southwest Michigan region rejoicing over the first snowfall of the season, leaving trails of wet mittens and scarves behind them. Whether you plan on spending the weekend frolicking in the new-fallen snow or staying cozy indoors, we've got a slew of festive happenings to peruse before you make your plans. Have a lovely weekend, friends! FRIDAY Read from favorite Christmas books and enjoy holiday singing and dancing at Tip Toes in Holland Take a well-deserved break while the kids partake in games, crafts and activities at the Watervliet District Library Watch as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars onto the stage for one night of festive

DIY: Make These Sweet Reinbow Antlers

Last weekend, we were putting together some crafts for a community holiday celebration. At the last minute (always at the last minute), it became apparent that there was not enough brown paper for the reindeer antlers...and then inspiration struck. Whimsical reindeer headbands in every color combination imaginable. Because why not? They turned out even cuter than imagined. So we had to make them again to share here. MATERIALS Colored paper (in at least two hues) Pom poms in any color Pencil (for tracing hands) Marker (for making eyes) Glue stick or school glue DIRECTIONS Cut two 1" strips lengthwise out of your colored paper (we used two different colors). Fold leftover paper -- or a third c

Your Ultimate Southwest Michigan Winter Bucket List Is Here!

[Originally published: 12/16] One thing a Midwestern winter will teach you: to embrace it, for otherwise you will be in for a dreadfully long, horribly un-fun season. We found a little sledding hill near our house last winter and made use out of it almost every day that there was snow on the ground. I -- someone who has wholeheartedly cursed the cold weather as an adult -- found myself having fun despite the subfreezing temperatures. The promise of hot chocolate afterward helped. Also helpful? The fact that there are a million delightful ways to while away the winter days, both indoors and out. Download the PDF here

10 Excellent Spots To Dine With Santa

Confession: We've never done a breakfast with Santa. Every year I think it sounds like a lot of fun, and then every year we just can't squeeze another thing into our weekends leading up to Christmas. But, for those of you more on the yuletide ball, we've rounded up a smattering of Santa-adjacent dining options around Southwest Michigan. Prices vary, and there is truly something for every budget. So get to RSVP-ing and enjoy a jolly good meal with the man of the hour. And tell him hi for us :) Breakfast @ The Scott Club December 2 | South Haven Feast on a breakfast of pancakes and sausage, listen to music and visit with Santa. Breakfast @ Fernwood Botanical Gardens December 2, 9 & 23 | Niles

What's On This Weekend: December 1-3

Christmas is almost here! Jingle your way through dozens of festivities this warm, sunny weekend. Read on for more: FRIDAY Help trim the tree and hang wreaths to holiday music, learn to make paper snowflakes, and design an ornament to hang in the Holland Museum lobby Witness the lighting of more than a million lights along the St Joseph bluff and listen to Christmas carols Listen to traditional Dutch stories, make a lantern and play family games before Sinterklaas' arrival, then head to the Holland Museum for photos, holiday craft, tasty cocoa and cookies Savor hot chocolate and sweet treats from vendors ahead of the tree-lighting ceremony and candlelight parade of 100 lighted floats, costum

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