5 Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Spring

5 Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Spring

March 19, 2020, is officially the first day of spring! After a long, cold winter, this is certainly something to celebrate, and it’s also a good chance to teach your children about the seasons. Here are some fun and exciting ways to celebrate the first day of spring with your children.

Hike at Holland State Park

Holland State Park, which is situated on the edge of Lake Michigan, is a lovely place to take a spring hike. The temperatures will still be a little chilly and the ground might be a little soft on the first day of spring, but it’s still fun to see the trees and plants when everything is starting to wake up for the season.

The trails at Holland State Park are kid-friendly, and there’s a playground you can visit, too. Make sure you take a moment to look across the channel at the Big Red Lighthouse.

Run the Snowmelt Shuffle 5K

If you don’t mind waiting a few days to celebrate, consider running the Snowmelt Shuffle 5K on March 29th. It’s the perfect way to get outside and stretch your legs in the nice, spring weather. The race starts at 3:00 pm, and the entry fee is $25 per person. Proceeds go to benefit the Holland Rotary Charities. There are age group awards as well as overall awards, and runners/walkers of all abilities are welcome.

Fly a Kite

Flying a kite is a fun tradition that people frequently take part in during the spring. Your kids will love watching a kite fly high in the sky above them. If you have a big back yard, you can fly your kite at home. If you have a smaller yard, just head to the nearest park. You may have to help smaller children fly their kite, but kids ages 10 and up should be able to fly their own kites with little assistance.

Make Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a healthy snack, and thanks to their name, they are the perfect food to enjoy on the first day of spring. Your kids will love helping you make spring rolls at home. You can put any fresh veggies you like inside of them. Shredded carrots and spinach are a good combination for kids since the flavors are nice and mild. Prepare a tasty peanut dipping sauce, and enjoy your snack on the patio.

Visit the Holland Farmers Market

The Holland Farmers Market is a great place to buy local produce, flowers, and more. Visiting with your kids on March 21st is a great way to celebrate the first day of spring. Your children can sample the many available products and learn more about where their food comes from. The market lasts from 9 am – 1 pm in downtown Holland.

Spring will soon be sprung! Celebrate the change in seasons with your kids by participating in one or more of the activities above. Warm weather and pleasant days are ahead.

 

5 Holiday Activities in Holland, Michigan

5 Holiday Activities in Holland, Michigan

The Holland area is just bursting with fun, family-friendly holiday activities this time of year. It’s the perfect occasion to get out of the house and share some cheer with friends and neighbors. Here are five activities that will appeal to kids and adults alike, getting everyone into that festive, holiday spirit.

1. Kerstmarkt: Full of Holiday Activities for All

November 23 – December 14, 2019

This European-style market is the perfect place to shop for gifts, holiday treats, and decorations for your home. “Kertsmarkt” is Dutch for Christmas market. The booths are set up all through the  8th Street Market Place. You’ll find everything from wall art to homemade jam, and there are always street performers around to provide festive background music. On Tuesday, December 3rd at 6:30 pm, the Parade of Lights will stroll through the market, which is something the kids will really love.

2. Sinterklaas Eve

December 6, 2019

Celebrate the ancient tale of St. Nicholas at this family-friendly event beginning at 6:00 pm at the Holland Area Arts Council. Each child will be given a lantern, and then the group will head outside to water Sinterklaas (which is Dutch for Santa Claus) ride down the street on a white horse. After the procession, there will be photo opportunities, warm beverages for sale, and rides on a trolley!

3. Christmas at the Cappon House

December 15 – 16, 2019

Step back in time and enjoy a Victorian Christmas celebration at the historic Cappon House. You’ll get to tour this gorgeous home and learn a little about how Americans celebrated the holidays in years gone by. This is an important and interesting history lesson for the kids! There will be sweet treats, Christmas carols to sing along with, and other family-friendly festivities. The Cappon House does ask that attendees pre-register.

4. Holland Symphony Holiday Concert

December 14, 2019

Enjoy holiday songs both old and new at the Holland Symphony’s annual performance. There will be songs you remember from your youth, as well as some lighter-hearted hits that will appeal to the kids. Two performances are being held at 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm at Dimnent Chapel at Hope College.

5. A Piffledywiff Christmas

December 13 – 22, 2019

This fun performance at the Lampost Theatre tells the tale of Christmas across two countries. It’s a good way for children to learn about various traditions and cultures while also enjoying a funny, laughter-inducing play. There will even be desserts to sample throughout the performance, and you’ll learn all about what a piffledywiff is.

The holiday season is a great time to share experiences and grow closer to family and friends. Put some of these holiday activities in your schedule, and invite a few friends to join you! At the end of the day, you’ll come home happy, warm, and ready to celebrate even more.

 

Are the Holidays Stressful for Kids?

Are the Holidays Stressful for Kids?

The holiday season is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year, and it certainly can be. However, for many children (and adults), the holiday season also brings with it some stress. Routines are disrupted as you plan for visitors, stay up late preparing for parties, and get home late from holiday gatherings. How can you thwart this holiday stress and keep this season magical and wonderful for your little ones? Start by following these tips.

Stick With Routines As Much As Possible

As much as your child may complain when you insist they go to bed on time or brush their teeth first thing each morning, kids really thrive with routine. Maintaining their routine throughout the busy holiday season will help prevent stress. Send them to bed on time, even if this means leaving a party a little early or putting off a few planned holiday tasks until tomorrow.

Schedule Family Time

You’re probably busy wrapping presents, cleaning the house in preparation for guests, and so forth. As you rush about, your kids may start to feel a little distanced from you, which can lead to stress. Combat this problem by scheduling some quiet, laidback family activities throughout the holiday season. For example, you could dub Tuesday night “Movie Night” and watch a classic holiday film together. Or you could simply go for a walk around the neighborhood together, taking a complete break from the holiday chaos.

Have Kids Help You With Preparation

Instead of leaving your kids to entertain themselves while you complete your to-do list, invite them to help you. This way, they will feel more involved in the holiday preparation, rather than feeling like it’s something that’s disrupting their lives. Even little kids can help with tasks like putting bows on presents, putting sprinkles on cookies, and decorating the tree. Put on some holiday music, and make these prep tasks part of the fun!

Keep Your Own Stress Levels Under Control

Your children know you better than anyone else, and they can tell when you’re feeling stressed and anxious. By keeping your own stress under control, you can help them feel more settled, too. Keep your own holiday stress levels low by:

  • Saying “no” to parties and activities you really don’t have time to attend
  • Taking a little time out each day to read, take a warm bath, or otherwise care for your own needs
  • Accepting help from friends and family members who offer to help you

Focus on Eating Healthy Foods

Sugary treats abound over the holidays, but eating too many can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, which make kids cranky. You don’t have to forbid your children from touching holiday treats, but do practice moderation. Let them have one or two pieces of candy or cookies per day, and otherwise, provide plenty of healthy foods to munch on. Cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, and sliced fruit are all perfectly tasty and healthy party fare.

With the tips above, you can combat holiday stress and truly enjoy the holiday season. We wish all the best to you and yours.

4 Family Activities to Enjoy This Fall

4 Family Activities to Enjoy This Fall

Fall is in the air. The kids are back in school, leaves are changing color, and temperatures are falling. It’s the perfect time of year to spend some quality time together as a family, and a great way to do that is to plan some fun family activities on the weekends. Here are some fall activities for kids that you will also enjoy.

1. Apple Picking

Apple season runs through the end of October in the Holland area. Picking apples is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fall air, and it is healthy, too. Not only will you get exercise walking through the orchards and reaching for apples, but you’ll go home with a big basket of healthy snacks.

There are a few good places to pick apples near Holland. Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery is one of them. They do not charge an entrance fee; you just pay for the apples that you pick. In addition to apple picking, they also offer hayrides, and they also operate a cider mill.

2. Corn Mazes

Does getting lost in a field of corn and then spending an hour finding your way out sound like fun? The kids will love it. Corn mazes have become increasingly popular over the years. Basically, the farmers create a series of paths through a cornfield. There is only one way out, and it can take a while to find it since the corn is so tall and you can’t see where you’re going. You and the kids can try to navigate the maze together, or you can split up and see who gets out the fastest!

Crane Orchards operates a good corn maze in Fennville. It encompasses over 20 acres, and admission is only $5 for children ages 6 – 10 or $7 for anyone aged 11 or older.

3. Hiking

This is the perfect season for hiking. The weather is cool, and you can watch the leaves change color! Holland State Park is a great place to hike with the kids. The Stu Visser Trails feature raised boardwalks and easy terrain for little feet. Dogs are welcome to join you, and you’re sure to see plenty of wildlife in the wetlands.

4. Camping

Why not take one last camping trip before it gets any colder outside? Fall camping can be really fun since you get to cuddle around the fire for warmth and snuggle up inside sleeping bags at night. Oak Grove Resort Camp Ground is a fun place to camp near Holland. They have both modern and rustic cabins, and they also have RV sites if you happen to have your own camper. There are a lot of other fun fall activities for kids at the campground, too — like bike rentals and hiking trails.

These fall activities for kids will keep everyone entertained as the days grow shorter. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t forget to book those fall dental appointments to keep everyone’s teeth in good health.

 

5 Things to Do in Holland, Michigan This September

5 Things to Do in Holland, Michigan This September

September is a month of comfortable weather and new beginnings, and it’s also a month packed full of fun, Holland events. Between back-to-school and raking your leaves, make sure you leave a little time to enjoy these upcoming, family-friendly activities and festivals.

Labor Day BoardWALK

September 2, 2019 

Celebrate Labor Day with a fun walk and pancake breakfast. Participants will meet at the Heinz Waterfront Walkway at 8:00 am and enjoy a beautiful, 4-mile walk along the water, followed by a pancake breakfast at the Windmill Island Gardens. The cost is just $5 per adult and $3 per child. What a nice way to get some exercise and enjoy the fall air.

Rock, Mineral, and Jewelry Show

September 13 – 15, 2019

If you have a child who is interested in rock collecting, this is the event for you. The show is being held at the Soccer Stop Sportsplex on River Hills Drive. You’ll browse unique displays of minerals, fossils, and unique rocks. There will be hands-on games for the kids and educational demonstrations throughout the day.

Live Mannequin Night

September 13, 2019

There’s something so interesting about mannequins. They just seem so real… and on this night, they will be. On Live Mannequin Night, downtown Holland will be taken over by real-life mannequins standing in the windows of the local shops. The mannequins will be recreating scenes from comic books and cartoons. Stroll down the street and admire this unique art form while also enjoying the fresh air. The event lasts from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., and all in attendance are invited to vote for the best mannequin.

Van Raalte Farm Civil War Muster

September 21 – 22, 2019

This reenactment will give you an up-close look at what life during the Civil War was like. You can watch live portrayals of battle scenes and medical scenarios. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase on-site, and admission is free for children and adults. This is a great way for your kids to learn about history, perhaps in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Holland Hospital Park Half-Marathon & 5K Race

September 28, 2019

Start getting in shape now for this fun race to benefit Holland Hospital. September’s cool weather makes it a great time for running. The half marathon course winds through Holland College Park, the Ottawa County Fairgrounds, and downtown Holland. The 5K course traverses Waukazoo Woods and the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. There will be overall awards as well as age group awards. Children under the age of 12 must run with an adult. The half marathon starts at 8:00 am, and the 5K at 8:30 am.

Whether you love admiring gems, walking along the waterfront, or running through town, these Holland events offer something for everyone. Get out there and have fun this September! And if you do attend one of these Holland events, let us know what you thought.

July 2019: 5 Family Friendly Events in Holland, Michigan

July 2019: 5 Family Friendly Events in Holland, Michigan

Looking for fun upcoming events in Holland, Michigan? July is a beautiful month marked by warm weather, green grass, and plenty of sunshine. What better time to get outside and enjoy life with your family? Luckily, the Holland area has a lot of fun, family-friendly events planned for July. Here are five you may want to check out with your family.

1. Remember When Cruise & Car Show

Do you have some car buffs in the family? This cruise and car show is scheduled for 5 – 9 pm on July 7th. Hosted by the Holland Vintage Care Club, the event begins with a car show in Downtown Holland, followed by a cruise down 8th Street at 8:00 pm.

2. Holland Farmers Market

Discover what local farmers have been growing at the Holland Farmers Market on 8th Street. The market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am – 3 pm, and Monday nights from 5 pm – 8 pm. July is one of the best months to visit since so many fruits and veggies are in season.

Each Wednesday, the market offers events in Holland, Michigan planned especially for kids! On July 17th, the kids can decorate a bag, and on July 3rd, they’ll learn about keeping water supplies clean.

3. Celebration Freedom

Celebrate Independence Day on July 4th in Kollen Park. The event begins at 4 pm with kids’ games, live music, and food vendors on-site. At dusk, fireworks will be lit off over Lake Macatawa as patriotic music plays in the background.

4. Wednesday Concerts in the Park

Every Wednesday throughout the month of July, there will be live concerts in GDK Park in downtown Holland. The concerts last from 12:00 – 1:00 pm and feature family-friendly performers including:

  • El Brandino: July 3
  • Dylan Tolbert: July 10
  • Sandra Effert: July 17
  • Evolucion: July 24
  • Serita Black Rose Due: July 31

5. Ice Cream Bike Ride

Take a bike ride through downtown Holland with Velo City Cycles on July 30th. The crew will depart from the bike shop at 6:30 pm, with the ride lasting about an hour. Following the ride, Hudson Ice Cream and the Holland Police Department will provide ice cream for everyone. All ages are welcome, and admission is free, but please remember to wear your helmet.

With these awesome events in Holland, Michigan, there’s no reason not to get out and have fun this July. Invite a few friends along, and make a day of it. Local events are an important component of community and health.