Friday, June 10, 2011

Explore America this summer (on the cheap)

School is coming to an end. That means families will be looking for places to go and things to do on the cheap.
As luck would have it, there is a new website that is brimming with information and ideas on how to navigate your way through summer without going broke.
It's called the Federal Citizen Information Center and its sole purpose is to connect Americans with government benefits, services and information available on its family of websites. 
"If you'll be traveling this summer, having a plan set before you head out is the best way to be sure you stick to your schedule and your budget," said a spokesperson for the site. "There are plenty of online government resources that will help you get where you are going as quickly and safely as possible.
It's the 150 anniversary of the American Civil War. Want to know where you can find an event going on to celebrate it? Follow the link to government resources and you'll discover a link to all of the recreation departments in the United States and what they've got going on this summer.
It's a gold mine site. Hiking, biking, historical sites and where a family and the dog can stay for the night along the way.
I do not drive a Cooper or a VW Beetle. No matter how much I would love to own either one, I drive a large vehicle that is somewhat good on gas. That is unless I'm hauling a camper, bikes, surfboards and supplies for a week away from home. Then we are usually in need of a gas station. If you look on the FCIC site, you'll find a link to the cheapest fuel prices in your area.
Most people have visited at least one of their state parks but how about one of the country's 400 national parks? If you're interested in discovering one of those, a link on the site will take you directly to the National Park System where you can explore economical routes to places such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. How about the Statue of Liberty? Want to know when you can visit her or where to stay nearby? The National Park Service can give you tips on the best way to explore your country's heritage.

Looking to find out what's going on in your own state? Use the search engine at USA Gov and enter your city name along with the word "summer" and see what events or programs are available for you and your family.

"There's no need to break the bank because you're ready for some summer fun," said the FCIC spokesperson. "Enjoy the extra hours of daylight, while keeping your pennies in your pocket."

What's going on this weekend? Here's just a few of the events going on in the Metro Detroit area:

Walt Disney classic
The Redford Theatre will be showing, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” on tonight at 8 p.m. and June 11 at 2 and 8 p.m. This is a Disney musical fantasy about an apprentice witch and evacuee British children who ride on a magic bed in their quest to defeat the invasion of England during World War II. It stars Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson and Roddy McDowall. Tickets: $4. Bonus: Disney cartoon starring Pluto.

Antique show
Greater Washington Area Historical Society and Friends of the Octagon House antique show 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through June 12, in the barn behind the Octagon House, 57500 Van Dyke, north of 26 Mile Road. Admission $2 per day; antique appraisals $5 per item noon-4 p.m. June 12. Also perennial plant sale, ice cream social by donation on June 12, and Octagon House open noon-4 p.m. both days with $5 admission fee, and the Washington Historical Museum, 58230 Van Dyke, open 1-4 p.m. June 12. For details, www.washhistsoc.org or www.octagonhouse.org or (586) 786-5304.
Chesterfield Historical Society presents French Fur Trade re-enactment by

Ste. Claire Voyageurs
Ste. Claire Voyageurs, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 11  and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 12, at Chesterfield Historical Village Green, 47275 Sugarbush Road, north of 21 Mile Road, Chesterfield Township. Call (586) 749-3713. Admission $1 adults, $2 family; refreshments available.

Clinton Seniors
Activities at the Clinton Township Senior Adult Life Center, 40730 Romeo Plank Road, include glass craft project, 9:30 a.m.-noon June 13; and how to maintain a purpose in life after retirement, 9:30 a.m. June 14. To RSVP for any program, (586) 286-9333.

Card parties
St. Clair Shores Eagles Auxiliary No. 3619 card party, 1-4 p.m. June 12, at 23631 Greater Mack; $6 admission includes refreshments and table prizes.
Ashlar Chapter No. 378 Order of Eastern Star card party and luncheon, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 13, lunch served at noon, at Roseville Masonic Center, 27151 Gratiot, Roseville; admission $7. Call (586) 772-6126.

Garden Walk
Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farms and Rochester Branch of Woman's National Farm and Garden Association 12th Annual Garden Walk, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. June 16, at the museum, 1005 Van Hoosen Road, one mile east of Rochester Road off Tienken Road. Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 at the door. "A Garden Gala" preview party is 7-9 p.m. June 15. For information, visit www.rochesterhills.org or call (248) 656-4663.

'Twilight Tuesdays'
Self-guided tours of Meadow Brook Hall or landscape and architecture tours of the grounds during "Twilight Tuesdays" 6-9 p.m. June 28, July 26, Aug. 23 and Sept. 20, at the historic Rochester hall, with music. Admission $10 adults, free ages 12 and younger; reservations not required. For details, (248) 364-6263 or www.meadowbrookhall.org.

Senior club
2nd Horizon Club for ages 60 and older, meets noon Fridays at Mount Clemens Recreation Center, 300 Groesbeck, light lunch, cards and socializing. For details, call (586) 463-7711. No fee to join.

Salsa dancing
YA Salsa film screening of docu-film "La Epoca - The Paladdium Era," noon June 11 , followed by workshop at 4:30 p.m., and practice party at 5:30 p.m. at Phoenix Center Dance Studio, 220 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. For tickets, visit www.YASalsa.com/LaEpoca.

Music at Metro
Concerts by live bands and dancing at Thomas S. Welsh Activity Center at Metro Beach Metropark, 6:30-10 p.m. Sundays through August at the Harrison Township park. Music, dancing free, vehicle entry permit required. Information, (800) 477-3172 or www.metroparks.com.

Dining Out
Troy Dining Out Meetup Group gathers 7 p.m. at these locations: June 17, Weber's, Ann Arbor; June 18, Max & Erma's, Birmingham. For details and reservations, www.meetup.com/troy-dining-out.

Holistic festival
"Music & Mastery Holistic Festival," featuring spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra and musical artist India.Arie, June 18 at Chene Park in Detroit. Gates open 10 a.m., close 8:30 p.m.; tickets $35-$75 for either Chopra or India.Arie, or full-day combo-passes $47-$130. Call (313) 393-7128 or visit www.cheneparkdetroit.com.

Play auditions
Grosse Pointe Theatre auditions for "The Music Man," 9 a.m.-noon for ages 6 through teens, and 2-4 p.m. June 11  for lead roles of Harold and Marian, and 2-5 p.m. June 12 for other roles, all at the theater rehearsal facility, 315 Fisher Road, Grosse Pointe. Scripts available for $20 refundable deposit at same address (ticket office). Rehearsals begin July 11; performance dates are Sept. 18, 22-25, Sept. 29-Oct. 2. Call (586) 677-4270 or email owen.kyle2@comcast.net.

Catholic Alumni
Summer Breeze dance hosted by Catholic Alumni Club of Detroit, 8 p.m. June 11, Sterling Chateau Hall, 38500 Ryan Road, Sterling Heights. Admission $12, includes DJ music, refreshments. Call (313) 937-1312.

Yoga at Stony
Yoga on Eastwood Beach at Stony Creek Metropark, 8-9 a.m. Saturdays June 18-Aug. 27, fee $5 per session or $30 for five-week series. Park vehicle entry permit required: $5 per day, $25 season, $15 seniors. For yoga information, email theyogapath.kdv@gmail.com or call (586) 918-8407.

Warren art
Warren Tri-County Fine Art Association Prestige Exhibit through June 30, at Warren Community Center, 5460 Arden. Works by member Ted Lang featured 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday during June at Warren City Hall.

Jazz series
St. John Hospital and Medical Center's The Plaza Jazz Concert Series, continues 7 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 4, except July 28, at The Village Festival Plaza, Kercheval and St. Clair, downtown Grosse Pointe. Free concerts at same time Thursdays through Aug. 4, except July 28. Call (313) 886-7474 or visit www.thevillagegp.com.

Vintage baseball
Regular Base Ball Club of Mount Clemens plays 2 p.m. at field on east side of Romeo Plank Road north of Clinton River Road: June 18, against Fort Wayne Early Risers; July 17, Royal Oak Yahoos; July 23, Wyandotte Stars, and Aug. 21 Midland Mighty River Hogs. Visit www.regularsbbc.org/Schedule.aspx.
Rochester Grangers Vintage Base Ball Club plays at 1 p.m. July 10 and Aug. 28, at Halbach Field in Rochester. Free. Visit www.rochesterhills.org or call (248) 656-4663.

Irish festival
St. Patrick Senior Center Irish Festival, 1-9 p.m. June 12, food, drink and entertainment, at 58 Parsons St., behind Orchestra Hall, in Detroit. Admission: $3. Call (313) 833-7080.

Farmers Market
Mount Clemens Farmers Market 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 19, at 141 North River Road. Locally grown products including flowers, visit www.mountclemensfarmersmarket.com.

Volunteers needed
* Macomb Literary Partners needs volunteers to help adults become better readers; applicants trained to tutor an adult 2 hours per week, with training sessions held on weekends or evenings. Call (586) 286-2750.
* Detroit Historical Guild seeking volunteers interested in participating in historical activities, including flea markets at Historic Fort Wayne, tea parties, excursions to historic sites, etc. Call (586) 777-5898.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover -- Mark Twain

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