Whether you are entertaining out-of-town relatives or bored school children on break, there are many opportunities in Macomb County for quality family entertainment this holiday season.
Get into the holiday spirit by introducing your adolescent to new cultural experiences. The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township will feature Christmas with the Detroit Concert Choir on Sunday, Dec. 20. The performance will be filled with familiar seasonal songs and include opportunities for the audience to sing along. The Clintondale Community Theatre is presenting the Michigan premier production of “The Little Mermaid: A Broadway Musical.” Catch shows Dec. 17, 18 or 19 at the Clintondale Community Auditorium on 15 Mile Road in Clinton Township.
The Happy Holly Days Christmas Market at the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens runs through Wednesday, Dec. 23 and sells some kid-friendly art including pillows, monster nightlights, notebook covers and Christmas ornaments. However, children must be supervised and strollers are not allowed in the gallery, so this is an outing for the mature child. The Anton Art Center also offers youth classes. Sign up your 6- to 12-year-old for the Handcrafted Card & Paper workshop on Saturday, Dec. 19. No appointment is needed to create your own art at Plaster Playhouse in Shelby Township. Simply choose your piece of plaster or pottery and start painting!
Boost your baby’s brain power through programs offered at your local library. Throughout the year, the Clinton-Macomb Public Library offers storytime sessions including Baby Time, Tot Time, Little Listeners, Preschool, Music & Movement and Pajamarama. My daughter loves Pajama Storytime at the Eastpointe Memorial Library, where kids dress in their pajamas, bring their favorite stuffed animal to hold and listen to the youth librarian read stories. The next Pajama Storytime is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
Check with your local Parks and Recreation Department to see what seasonal offerings are scheduled. The Warren Community Center boasts an indoor waterpark comprised of a lap pool, pool basketball, waterslide, lazy river and play structure complete with a water cannon and waterfall. Other nice amenities for adults include a sauna, steam room and fitness room. On Saturday, Jan. 9, Warren will host Cold Rush at Warren City Square. This family festival features outdoor ice skating, learn-to-skate clinic, an ice carving show, petting zoo and putt putt golf. Play miniature golf any day of the week at Jawor’s on Gratiot in Roseville. It has an 18-hole course for kids of all ages and is open year-round.
Get hands-on and join your kid for a skate around the rink. The St. Clair Shores Ice Arena has public skating from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It is $3 per person, and children under 6 are free when accompanied by an adult. The Mount Clemens Ice Arena has special holiday hours for public skating Monday, Dec. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 3. Admission is $5 for adults and $4.50 for students, seniors and youth. Skate rental is $3.
Pack on the layers and head out to one of Macomb County’s Metroparks. Weather permitting, Lake St. Clair Metropark offers ice fishing, cross-country skiing and outdoor ice skating. Snowshoe or cross-country ski across marked trails at Stony Creek Metropark, or head over to the winter sports area with hills to snowboard, sled or toboggan. Eastpointe’s Spindler Park recently revamped its new sledding hill. Open dawn to dusk, it includes a hay bale safety barrier and seating area. The Macomb Orchard Trail isn’t just for running or biking; it’s also open to cross-country skiers.
Just Delicious Scones on Utica in Roseville is a quaint tea room, bakery and coffee shop with … well, delicious scones. Get big-girl dressed up for this fancy excursion. Sip tea or cider from beautiful China and delicately nibble on scones – a memory your child will remember. If your little one isn’t likely to sit still for long, try Chuck E. Cheese in Roseville or Sterling Heights. Jungle Java in Clinton Township is an indoor play center with a sports court and laser maze. It includes a separate toddler play area and a full menu.
Let the kids burn off energy at the Bounce House in New Baltimore, St. Clair Shores or Sterling Heights. It consists of giant inflatable slides, moon walks and an obstacle course along with arcade games that might even entertain mom and dad. Try Airtime in Sterling Heights or Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Shelby Township for open jumping on wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits, dodgeball and basketball. Jumpers are sorted by age to make sure the intensity level is a good match, though there are waivers that must be signed before participating in the fun.
No matter what you decide to do this break, make the time spent together count. Unplug and give your kids your full attention – that’s all they want!
Caitlin Gerds-Habermas works for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, often providing content for the Make Macomb Your Home website.