Wednesday, April 9, 2014

If 'Neighbors' trailer is but a taste of the humor you'll need a platter for the movie

Need a laugh to break the monotony of a typical Wednesday?

Universal Pictures just released the trailer for “Neighbors.”

The new film by director Nick Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek) stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne. Hopefully the trailer is just a sampling of what appears to be a hilarious comedy about a young couple with a newborn baby – who are forced to live next to a fraternity house. 

Let the games and the battle for the neighborhood begin!

Check out the video. You’ll never look at an airbag again without chuckling, guaranteed.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Discover the fun 'Pure Michigan' has to offer in 2014

Enjoy the fun at this year's 15th annual Elvis Fest in Ypsilanti (http://visitypsinow.com/)
Michigan has always been a tourist attraction but this year there's an especially long list of activities and destinations waiting to be discovered.
Check out our guide courtesy of area residents, travel enthusiasts and the folks at "Pure Michigan." From milestone anniversaries and music festivals to football exhibits and sailing -- pack a lunch or book a room and travel outside your normal circle for something new to do in 2014:

What's there to see?
The new LEED-certified Downtown Market Grand Rapids includes retail shops, a rooftop greenhouse, a commercial kitchen and the country’s first hands-kitchen for kids.
Bijou by the Bay a new 150-seat movie house created by the Traverse City Film Festival, has opened in the historic Con Foster building in Clinch Park.
After 70 years, the Flint Farmers' Market is returning to downtown Flint in the former Flint Journal printing facility.
 Binder Park Zoo is making a home in “Wild Africa” for their new cheetah exhibit, as well as welcoming three Alaskan bear cubs into a new home with plenty of shade and a water feature.
Castle Farms in Charlevoix introduces a new garden, “The Dragon Lair,” featuring Norm the Dragon, originally introduced at ArtPrize.
See the New USS Flier (SS 250) Exhibit at the USS Silver Sides Museum in Muskegon.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibit “Gridiron Glory” will be on display at  The Henry Ford this fall.
Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame will open their museum in the Castle Museum in Saginaw.
A new German Christmas Museum, located with the  The Old Christmas Station in Frankenmuth, reflects on the history of Christmas decorating and the Brewery Museum focuses on the city’s brewing history.
The Dream it, Build it Exhibit opening March 1 at the  Grand Rapids Public Museum will feature architectural masterpieces recreated with LEGO© bricks by Certified Lego Professional Adam Reed Tucker.
Check out the DTE Energy Science Sizzle & Spark Gallery and other fantastic exhibits at the The Michigan Science Center

What’s there to do? 
Be enriched. From Friday night fun for children to visiting exhibits and this summer's Fash Bash (Aug. 14) one can always count on experiencing something extraordinary at the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Ludington State Park features a renovated Beach House on Lake Michigan and a handicap accessible fishing platform.
 Great Wolf Lodge has added a whitewater rafting element to its waterpark.
Traverse City has completed a nearly $3 million renovation of Clinch Park, including  a new terraced lawn area with stone sitting walls, interactive playground equipment, a kayak launch and a splash pad.
The Traverse Tall Ship Company operators of the schooner Manitou, have added a new vessel – the cutter Scout – to their Traverse City fleet.
Visitors will be able to zip-line, climb and navigate five different courses in the new Frankenmuth Adventure Park.
Rolling Hills Water Park in Ypsilanti features a new water slide structure and other improvements. Visit Washtenaw .

The Color Run

Runners take your mark and your washcloths to “The Color Run” also known as the "happiest 5K on the planet." Not only because it’s untimed run but designed to celebrate health, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community. Participants can run, jog, walk, or dance through the Ypsilanti trail. There are color-blasting stations at each kilometer ark, meaning you'll show up in white clothes and finish splashed in a rainbow. These quirky races are gaining popularity so where there is one – there’s sure to be another – soon after.

A view of the annual Color Run: Ypsilanti-MI Eastside. Get in on the fun June 21.

Construction is underway transforming the Globe Building in Detroit along the riverfront to a DNR Outdoor Adventure and Discovery Center The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will have a new hunting, fishing license and ORV permit structure in 2014 Michigan DNR
Find a spring activity the entire family can enjoy at a park nearby Metroparks
Sign up for sailing lessons with the  North Star Sail Club in Harrison Township
Check out the musical lineup for the annual Stars & Stripes Festival going on June 27-29 at Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights
The Detroit Electronic Music Festival will be a free event at Campus Martius Park and will be held in conjunction with the Federation of Electronic Music Technology (FEMT)  festival being held at Ford Field July 4-6, 2014.
Harbor Shores will host the 2014 Senior PGA Championship (pga.com) presented by KitchenAid, May 20-25, 2014.
The Great Lakes Bay region will host the Wood Cutter's Ball Women’s Professional Lumberjack Festival June 14-15, 2014 at the Auburn City Park.

Milestones and anniversaries
160 Years
Ingham County Fair
125 Years
City of Mt. Pleasant
120 Years
The Whitney, Detroit
115 Years
Perry Hotel, Petoskey
110 Years
The Inn at Stonecliff, Mackinac Island
85 Years
The Henry Ford, Dearborn
Tulip Time Festival, Holland
50 Years
Capri Drive-In, Coldwater
40 Years
Chateau Grand Traverse Winery, Traverse City
30 Years
Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, Howell
25 Years
Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Kalamazoo
15 Years
Annual Michigan ElvisFest
For a complete list of what’s new regarding travel news, updates and information visit Pure Michigan
For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: MichiganBusiness.org.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lakeside is hosting Dr. Seuss Imagination Celebration: Don't keep it under your hat

You’ll like this event Sam I am. 

On April 12, Lakeside Mall will host a Dr. Seuss Imagination Celebration, a special event featuring free, family-friendly activities. Everyone is invited to join in the fun – including stories of course – as well as make-and-take crafts and face painting, music, and one very special surprise guest!

Parents and caregivers will find the activities going on from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower level of the mall, near Center Court. 

In addition to the one very special surprise guest – a DJ will be spinning kid-friendly tunes and hosting Dr. Seuss-themed games for families with children aged 2 to 10. Organizers of the event will also treat guests to Dr. Seuss-themed prizes while supplies last.

Children who wish to attend the event must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, call 586-2474131 or visit shop-lakesidemall.com.

Friday, March 21, 2014

You make the call when handing over your child's first smartphone

Nolan Young, 3, front, looks at a smart phone while his brother Jameson, right, 4, looks at a smart tablet at their home, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


A smartphone for a child is not that outrageous, especially considering there are companies marketing special apps that make taking selfies super-easy for little fingers. Why, you can even buy a pillow with a smartphone pocket so toddlers can take selfies during diaper change.

“Giving a child his or her first smartphone provides a unique teachable moment,” said Jennifer Caukin, a spokeswoman for Zact Mobile, a company that offers no-contract smart mobile plans for parents. “My son, he’s 8 years old and he is very hands-on with the smartphone.”

There is no getting around the technology. Like the generation of parents who wrangled with the idea of putting a TV in their child’s room, today’s parents debate the use of iPads and smartphones.

The key at this age is control.

Zact Mobile was recently awarded The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval for the level of mobile control that it gives to parents of young children.

“You can set restrictions and permissions for the kind of app that you’re going to allow your child to use, even at what time of day they can use it,” said Caukin, who also has a 6-year-old. What’s also nice about the program is the control over the child’s phone comes via an app that parents download on their own smartphone. Caukin said one of the surveys conducted by Zact had to do with who their child is talking to. “We removed that worry by adding the permission (option),” Caukin said. Worried about texting under the covers? With the app parents don’t have to take their child’s phone away at bedtime, they just turn it off.

The plan also cuts down on costs as parents can create a kid-size mix of talk, text and data. “That’s the biggest mistake parents make,” Caukin said. “They pay for more data than their child will use.”

How much data does a kid need?

According to Zact Mobile, 1 GB of data will provide the following:

  • 102 hours of web surfing
  • 51 hours of Facebook
  • 41,000 emails
  • 5,243 photos uploaded
  • 29 hours on Google maps
So, what’s the best smartphone to buy your child?

Since there is no contract you’ll pay a little more for the initial device. “The Samsung ZTE Awe is a really great entry level smartphone as it small and lightweight,” Caukin said. “It has a really nice built-in camera too.”

Whatever plan or smartphone you decide on, it’s a good idea to sit down with your child and not only go through a few ground rules, but let him or her be in on the initial setup. 

To get started here are 10 essential tips to consider before handing over your child's first smartphone courtesy of the experts at Zact Mobile (zact.com):