Holiday Events in Michigan 2013

Michigan is full of the holiday spirit starting this upcoming weekend! There is so much to see and do with your family that picking one holiday event might be difficult.

Let’s break it down by area.

Detroit & the surround area

On December 22nd you can see the Nutcracker Ballet performed by the Moscow Ballet at the Detroit Fox Theatre. This is one show only and definitely something that you don’t want to miss!

America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Floats, bands, giant balloons, and celebrities. If you can’t make it to downtown Detroit to see it you can always watch it on TV from the comfort of your couch.

Detroit Zoo Wild Lights: The zoo lights up with an amazing light show! For 24 nights, more than two million LED lights will illuminate trees, buildings and animal sculptures on a half-mile trail through the front of the Zoo.

The Big, Bright Light Show: Downtown Rochester lights up and will be covered with more than 1 million points of glimmering holiday light.

Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village: Step into the past with carolers, candle-lit paths, horse drawn wagons, and of course Santa and his reindeer. The evening is topped off with a fireworks display too!

Genesee County area 

Christmas at Crossroads: This is the one place that we visit every single year for Christmas. The village has carolers strolling around, beautiful lights (you MUST see the tree that is fully covered in lights), and the trip is not complete without riding the old locomotive and seeing Santa.

Nutcracker present by FIM: We have been trying for years to get to this and have yet to make it. There is always some reason why we haven’t gone yet but this year we will go. This show features professional dancers from New York City’s Collage Dance Collective, talented students from the Flint School of Performing Arts, and the  Flint Symphony Orchestra.

Holly Dickens Festival: Starting right after Thanksgiving visitors to downtown Holly will be greeted by performers taking you for a trip through Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol”.

The Holiday Pops: For two nights you can celebrate the holiday season with music and song from the Flint Symphony Orchestra, Flint Festival Chorus with members of area high school choirs, Flint School of Performing Arts students and additional musical groups.

North Pole Express: This is really in Genesee county…. it’s actually Shiawassee county. But it’s really the only event going on in the area. But is so worth sharing! The 1225 has been fully restored and is the exact steam train that was featured in the movie The Polar Express. I’ve seen this train in person… it is incredible.

Lansing area

The Nutcracker 2013:  This is the 33rd year that the Nutcracker will be performed at the Wharton Center and features the Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan and some of mid-Michigan’s best young dancers.

Silver Bells in the City: This weekend, November 22nd, the city will be glittering with lights, a parade, the lighting of the tree on the steps of the Capital, and then a fireworks display all to start off the holiday season.

Wharton Center: The Wharton Center on MSU campus has several events going on for the holiday season. Holiday Pops Series, Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna, and  MSU’s Home for the Holidays.

This is just a handful of events that are going on around Michigan to celebrate Christmas in Michigan. To find something different or closer to you check out the Pure Michigan site where they have a huge list of holiday events from all over the state.

Are you checking out any of the holiday events where you live?

The possible Halloween party

Halloween is my favorite time of the year and I don’t know if it’s because the weather has cooled off and I can pull out all the scarves and boots again, if it’s because all of the trees are bursting with gorgeous colors, or if it’s because some of my favorite movies are on. I’m sure that there are a million reasons why I love it so much.

I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t love it too.

Halloween has a long and sordid history for sure but I think that is what makes it so intriguing to me. Ghost, spirits of long past family members coming back to roam the earth for one night, dressing up to confuse them, and of course jack o’ lanterns meant to frighten off unwanted spirits.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween (Photo credit: Professor Bop)

But what makes the Halloween so much fun is the Halloween parties for kids and adults. This year I think that we’ll be hosting a Halloween party for a dozen or so tweens & teens! If you don’t hear from me after next weekend please send help….

When I was a teen I had a huge Halloween party and everyone dressed up. We converted my parents garage/pole barn into the party area and set up tables and chairs so we could all hang out. Of course there was lots of loud music, snacks, and fun. You know…. the typical teen type party and I was honestly surprised that my parents went for the idea.

Since Halloween only comes round once a year, it’s worth making the most of it. When wondering how to host a grown-up Halloween party, the first thing to start with is the food. It can be the life and soul of any party, so having a few spooky snacks and hors d’oeuvres, like spicy roasted pumpkin seeds, could get everyone talking. Pumpkin soup would make a great starter, and it’s in season!

Also, it might be worth doing some nachos for sharing. They might not seem like the most ‘festive’ thing to serve at a Halloween party, but you could make them so spicy that people are scared to take more than a single bite! Also, nachos are always kid approved around here.

When it comes to drinks, why not get creative with some Halloween themed cocktails? There are some great recipes out there, such as the Sour Ghost which is super easy to make and will certainly haunt your guests taste buds.

Maybe we’ll skip the kid party this weekend and throw an all out Halloween party for the grown ups!

No adult Halloween party should be complete without a theme, but just dressing up as ghosts and witches won’t be exciting enough. You could use it as an excuse to follow a theme with which you could use as inspiration for costumes, music, food and games. An 80’s theme would be great, where you could dress up like the cast of Dallas or The A-Team!

To try and keep the fun going, why not have a few games? Rather than something as childish as ‘Truth or Dare’, perhaps you could have a few drinking games involving scary cocktails. A good game to play is ‘Guess Who’. Like the board game of the same name, you guess who they are, but the answers could be characters from Halloween movies. All you need are a few post-it notes and a pen.

Did you ever throw a Halloween party when you were a teen or as an adult? What was it like? Please tell it was awesome so I can talk my kids into a real Halloween party.

Psstt…. This was a PR collaboration but all thoughts, opinion are my own.

Memorial Day & Kings Hawaiian

Every year my entire family gathers together for a picnic over the Memorial Day weekend but this year they changed the date and sadly there was no picnic. It threw off our entire weekend because it’s the start of our summer camping season… we were able to turn it around though!

A new campground was found pretty easily and we set out with my husbands grandparents for a fun weekend together in a place called Turkeyville. Our summer camping season could begin and I was looking forward to getting away and enjoying our time together.

This year instead of the family fish fry we roasted hot dogs over an open fire, homemade potato salad (my husbands favorite), and all the other picnic favorites like s’mores. I have to say that it was just as fun and there is nothing better than a hot dog roasted over an open fire. Well, nothing better than eating that hot dog on a Kings Hawaiian bun because these buns are amazing! Super soft, sweet, and someone was a genius when they came up with the idea to split these buns right down the middle instead of the side! Not a single bun broke or crumbled.

memorial day

I have to say that after giving these a try that we won’t be switching back to regular buns any time soon. Seriously… these are amazing.

enjoying Kings Hawaiian

Hmmm… maybe you can’t tell by her expression but she really loved them. She just didn’t want me to take her picture while she was eating I think… oops. She’ll probably like it less that I’m sharing it with all of you too.

King’s Hawaiian® wants to know how you bring people together.  Reply below for a chance to win a $200 gift card!  Sweepstakes Rules.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kings Hawaiian. The opinions and text are all mine.

Black Friday

Next week at this time the stores will be packed with shoppers looking for incredible deals for all the gifts on their shopping lists for friends and families. From store to store they’ll trek, pushing through the crowds, being shoved about, and often struggling to get that elusive “hot toy” of the year.

But before this all starts people start scouring the black Friday ads, planning their attack, and plotting with those who they’re shopping with. What I find troublesome is that this tradition once started on Friday, the day AFTER Thanksgiving has evolved into a 3 – 4 day shopping frenzy. Last year stores started their sales a littler earlier to entice shoppers and make more money of course, so at midnight or earlier the stores opened their doors to the flocks of people who had camped outside the doors.

This year though they’re starting the black Friday sales at 8pm! 8pm! This is pure insanity!

What happened to the Thanksgiving holiday? What happened to family time? What happened to resting & relaxing?

When did we as a society become so materialistic that we have to give up time with our loved ones, some of whom may have driven hours or spent hundreds of dollars on airplane tickets, to run out shortly after the family meal is finished just to fight the crowds for a supposed great deal on wrapping paper or some TV that isn’t really necessary for kids?

I’ve braved the crowds once… yes, just once in my entire life to go to a black Friday sale and it was around 5am that I went out. You know what? It wasn’t really worth it! The deals were so-so, the products that were on sale weren’t anything that spectacular, and more often than not the toys that they have on sale aren’t ones that my kids want.

black friday

So here’s a little history about black Friday from that I dug up.

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.

This year I challenge you.

I challenge you to skip the black Friday insanity and instead stay home. Yes! Stay home with your family and friends. Spend some quality time with them talking, eating a wonderful home cooked meal or creative leftovers, sipping a glass of wine in front of the fire, or playing cards together.

Do something other than giving into the insanity that is causing us to forget about actually giving thanks for what we have and spending quality time with our families.

The sales and “special” deals will always be there. Family won’t.