Exploring Our Backyard

Black River

Before my husband and I had children, our lives consisted of going rollerblading at Metro Beach, eating out whenever we didn’t feel like cooking and countless hours of “Law & Order” marathons on TV. Now, with a toddler and a newborn, we have to find different things to do to fill our time together, but we have found Michigan’s resources abundant for keeping our entire family entertained.

First of all, our weekends at the beach are not over. We’ve just adapted. Rather than rollerblading, we ride into the park on our bikes, pulling our toddler in a bike trailer. As a bonus, those little trailers have room for a blanket and small cooler for some beverages. And besides a lake and picnic areas, Metro Beach offers a spray zone and pool for the hot days and a nature center with plenty of planned programs. Each Metro Park offers its own variety of activities.

Heading further north, we often travel up the coast of Lake St. Clair, along M-29, through Marine City to Algonac to watch the freighters pass through the Black River. We grab a frozen custard at Cheryl’s Custard-N-More in Clay Township and head to one of the scenic parks along the river and enjoy just running around and watching the river traffic.

We’ve also been able to travel outside the Metro Detroit area and experience what else the state has to offer, children in tow, that we may not have considered before kids. From wineries and shops in Traverse City to the Tulip Festival in Holland and bike paths at local parks.

No longer is our goal to entertain ourselves, but rather find things that make our child’s face light up with excitement and show her all the things our parents showed us — the activities that are available in our backyard.

The best part is that with each season, these same places change and offer new activities with a different view.

Rebecca Thomas a Macomb County mother of two little girls and two dogs.  She is a writer, reader, scrapbooker, camper, chick-flick lover, amateur photographer and news junkie.  She works full-time and tries to make the most of my family’s time together.

Courtney Lawless

Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.

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