University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History

University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History is officially in its new home & OPEN! We have been dying to see it! We finally did! Check it….




This prehistoric power couple features two unusually complete mastodon skeletons — a male and a female, both discovered and excavated with help from U-M scientists, within a few hours’ drive from Ann Arbor!

Only place in the world where you can see a male and female mastodon skeleton side-by-side



What’s more, the On the Trail of Mastodons exhibit is the only place in the world where you can see a male and female mastodon skeleton side-by-side and see a mastodon skeleton paired with a mastodon trackway. These footprints were cast from a trail left by a mastodon near Saline, Michigan. This is the only mastodon trackway ever found!




What’s more, you can step into a cast of a separate mastodon footprint and touch a cast-replica of an eight-foot mastodon tusk. You can also learn how U-M paleontologist Daniel Fisher and his team use tusks to learn how these amazing creatures lived and what factors may have led to their extinction.



How cool is this? You can not only get a glimpse into the awesome process of preparing fossils but you can actually interact with the professionally-trained preparators in the lab.




Evolution, Life Through Time was a bit out there….but, you need to visit &judge for yourself!













At 25 feet long with a 35-foot wingspan, the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi rivals a small airplane in size and is one of the largest winged animals to ever have lived.


Reconstructed from fossil bones discovered in Texas, the life-sized model demonstrates what it would have been like seeing these enormous flying reptiles swoop and dive overheard. Step onto the bridge over the West Atrium for a closer look directly into its eye…if you’re feeling brave!



Planetarium & Dome Theater….we learned about the night sky! Tickets are $8 available in the Museum Store.

And there’s Food!….just through the doors to the left




And shopping!!


University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Address: Biological Sciences Building, 1105 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1085

Phone: 734-764-0478


Museum Hours: Monday-Sunday 9AM-5PM

Admission: Free (suggestion donation of $6)

Parking: Good luck, lol! Just kidding…there is a parking garage on Forest Ave. Cost us $6


Babysitters Club & Pop Rocks to Dick Pics?! Generation Xennial Kids

Babysitters Club & Pop Rocks to Dick Pics?! Generation Xennial Kids

If being gender neutral is so important why do people have gender reveal parties? Do I call the boy in class, who is now a girl, “he”, “she”, “you”, if I get it wrong I’ll forever be called a bigot? What’s catfishing? Can I please get SnapChat…dick pics won’t be sent, I’ll only be friends with my friends, please? Say what?? These are just a few of the many questions asked by my 13 year old. Back when I was a 13 years old my biggest concern was getting enough babysitting hours so I could cover that bike I really wanted & still get candy at the $1 movie theater. Who remember the $1 theaters? Those were the days! And while there’s always a difference between a parents’ generation & their children’s generation our dynamic (us 45-36 year olds) is extra special, there’s lifetimes worth of technology between us & our kids!

We are the Oregon Trail Generation, the My So Called Life Generation, the Xennial Generation! Xennial is a term being used to describe people born between 1977 and 1983. We are the small unique micro-generation that were the last to use the Dewey decimal system card catalogs, microfiche (google it), had to actually read a map for directions, we used pay phones, knew the struggle of a sibling listening in on a landline, though, also had the luxury of being anywhere we wanted to without parents being able to track us, & we know the struggles of trying to hold it till the next commercial…and if you missed those last few crucial minutes you’d have to wait until summer reruns.

Who would have thought that both, my parents, when they were kids, & my own children, could both be ask, “what’s a rerun?”. Crazy, right?! So where am I going with this?

Though the differences are vast & maybe our children will never come to experience the anticipation of having to wait an entire week for the next episode and sadly miss out on all the fun lunch table conversations that ensued, we as Xennial parents have so much to offer!!

We are young enough to be able to remember the analog, pre-iPhone days, & we can keep those days alive by encouraging our kiddos to have a 1980’s type of childhood, to go play with friends until the streetlights come on, to experience the joy of selling that first cup of lemonade at a lemonade stand, to slip-n-slide a summers day away, & don’t let them binge watch a show, pick one you watch as a family and set aside a day each week to do so, watch 80s movies together, sign up kids for one less activity this school year & instead use that time to have friends over for REAL face time, teach them how to have conversations, to disagree respectfully, to learn that virtual reality isn’t reality!

Parents be vigilant, know that their adolescent minds aren’t ready to handle having the whole world at their fingertips. Remember, technology makes a horrible master but an amazing servant!

Are you part of the small unique generation born between 1977 & 1983? are you a generation Xennial? What do you miss most from your childhood that you wish your kiddos could have in their childhood?

Life is a Highway at TMA FREE on Thursdays

Thursdays just got a whole lot thriftier at the Toledo Museum of Art! Looking for something fun to do with the kiddos, the family, a night out with the gals, or a date night, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? The Toledo Museum of Art has you covered!


Toledo Museum of Art is always FREE admission!! But did you know TMA’s latest exhibition, Life is a Highway is also FREE?  On Thursday evenings 5-9pm only, stop at front desk to receive your FREE ticket(s). (This ticketed exhibition is usually $12 for nonmembers; $10 for military, college students, and seniors; $7 for youth ages 5-17, & free for children four years of age or younger).



Life is a Highway

The first large-scale domestic exhibition provides a historical overview of life on the highway with an emphasis upon the Midwest, Life Is a Highway brings together a diverse selection of artists to showcase the automobile’s reshaping of the 20th-century American landscape and cultural attitudes of self-expression. Featuring more than 100 works from the Toledo Museum of Art’s own collection and both private and public loans, this exhibition charts the rise of auto-mobility as a visual icon of American identity. With works spanning from early depictions through the Pop Artists’ portrayal of the automobile’s impact upon consumer culture to the present, the car’s image as a symbol of newness, freedom and independence, mobility, and renewal is explored. Organized through four themes that call attention to the social, aesthetic, environmental, and industrial dimensions of its legacy, this exhibition includes a range of visual media.












Hurry and make plans today…Life is a Highway Exhibition ends September 15th

While you’re there be sure to checkout……





“Everything is Rhythm” Mid-Century Art & Music

The New Media gallery features a multisensory display focused on an exploration of the relationship between art and music. Jointly curated by Halona Norton-Westbrook, Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Scott Boberg, Manager of Programs and Audience Engagement, the exhibition features a selection of 20th-century abstract paintings each paired with carefully curated musical composition. Presented together in this manner, the art and music engage in a multi-sensory experience that simultaneously engenders close looking, contemplation, and a consideration of the connection between visual and auditory art forms. Free admission



And there is legit fun around every corner!



Make an official evening/night of it and stop off at the Museum Café beforehand for delicious, gourmet, garden to table, reasonably priced meals. Click on link to see Spring/Summer 2019 Menu,



Museum Café Hours

Tuesday & Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Thursday & Friday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sunday: Noon – 4 p.m.



Then head over to the Glass Pavilion for a public glassblowing demonstration (free) and a glass of wine.



Glass Pavilion Coffee Bar

Located inside the Glass Pavilion, this trendy lounge features signature coffees, teas, beer, wine, soft drinks, and homemade pastries.

Tuesday & Wednesday: Noon – 3:30 p.m.

Thursday & Friday: Noon – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday: Noon – 4:30 p.m.










Airstream Tour, J. Marie’s Wood-Fired Kitchen, & MORE!

Ya know how the fam totally gets stoked for a road trip, but you end up hitting the road late, & suddenly once you arrive everyone gets hangry? Yup, that’s what happened! Lol! Thankfully we stumbled upon this AWESOME restaurant! OMG! I was blown away by this restaurant. It’s not your typical small town greasy spoon. In fact, it reminded me of a restaurant we ate at last year in Sydney, Australia. You read correctly, I legit just compared a Wapakoneta restaurant to an Australian big city restaurant…it’s that good!!



Why I love it….J. Marie’s goal is to foster the development of thriving local business, while contributing to the local economy, food system, & jobs in Wapakoneta through strategic partnerships, innovative community driven business & environmentally sustainable practices.




Why it’s delicious…..J. Marie’s Wood-Fired Kitchen is a small establishment with a big city feel. Boasting a New American menu with everything from wood-fired pizzas to pork loin risotto, J. Marie’s legit has something for everyone, keto, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, etc.!



Local love….The bar boasts over 20 taps with craft brewed beer and draft wines. Almost all of the beer on tap comes from Ohio or Midwestern brewers & J. Marie’s offers house-made infusions and regionally distilled liquors as well.



Marie’s Wood-Fired Kitchen and Drinks

Address: 7 W Auglaize St, Wapakoneta, OH 45895

Phone: (419) 674-2436

Hours: Sunday- Thursday 10:30am-10pm, Friday & Saturday 10:30am-11pm (Happy Hour 2-6pm Mon.-Fri.)




Once your bellies are full & your feeling fabulous…it’s tour time!


If you’ve ever wondered how Airstreams are made, there’s no better way to find out than to come see for yourself.





The free Airstream Factory Tour is an in-depth, two-hour walkthrough of their actual production plants, right here in Jackson Center, Ohio. Over the course of two hours, they’ll first show you how they carefully craft, rivet, and build the travel trailers by hand, and then how they build the finest-quality touring coaches on Mercedes-Benz sprinter van chassis.




Because you’ll be touring the factory floor while it’s at least partially in operation, hearing and eye protection is required and will be provided for you. They ask that you wear closed-toe shoes and let them know of any disabilities that might affect your tour experience. (Source )






Airstream Factory Tours

Address: 419 W Pike St, Jackson Center, OH 45334

Phone: (937) 596-6111

Hours: Monday-Friday @ 2pm meet in the Lobby

Cost: FREE


NEED TO KNOW: Closed toed shoes required. Tour is a one mile walk that lasts approximately 2 hours. Children of all ages are welcomed, adult supervision is a must! Strollers are welcomed. Safety glasses and ear plugs are provided.


My mind was blown! To see actual human beings putting together Airstreams felt so old school & comforting! Now I understand how the Airstreams can be built custom. In fact, we had two gentleman on our tour who had Airstreams being built during out tour, how cool is that?! I legit cannot wait to rent one of these and go camping with my fam…and I’m not a camping type of person, so this is HUGE!!


After a two hour tour & knowing you have a 1hour & 1/2 ride home with a toddler, tween, teen, & 8 year old caffeine and a playground was a MUST!! Adults need to perk up & get energy via caffeine and kiddos needed to run off their excess energy. So we hit up a local coffee shop and then let kiddos burn off their energy at the park.




Winans Chocolates + Coffees

Address: 24 E Auglaize St, Wapakoneta, OH 45895

Phone: (419) 738-7946

Hours: Mon. – Fri. 6am-8pm, 7am-8pm, closed on Sunday





Okay, so, once you get your coffee, if you legit leave through the backdoor you can see the park. You just have to drive on the other side of the water and you are there…less than a 3 minute drive from Winans Coffee. In case you don’t see it here’s the deets ….

Belcher Park

Address: 1 E Harrison St, Wapakoneta, OH 45895

Phone: (419) 738-3011

Hours: 6am-10pm daily






Let them run out & run off their energy while you sit back & sip on your delicious coffee/tea beverage and reflect on that fact that you are an awesome parent…not only did they have fun but they also learned something today, cheers!

FYI, if your day is still young & you’ve recouped all the energy levels stop off at…

Address: 7 W Monroe St, New Bremen, OH 45869

Phone: 419-629-9249


Admission: Adults: $3 Seniors: $2 Children: $1

Hours: Summer: weekdays 9am-7pm, Winter: weekdays 9am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm Closed Sundays

And stop off at the splash pad directly behind the museum!



Or checkout….

For details click on link,

Interested in learning about more awesome places to take the kiddos this summer?

Click here to see Toledo Summer 2021 Bucket List

Click here to see Toledo Summer 2021 Splashpads, Waterparks, & Pools Guide