Tulip Time 2013

It’s TULIP TIME! I live in Holland, Michigan and I LOVE Tulip Time.

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I’ve been an alumni Dutch Dancer for 7? 8? years, maybe more. My shoes have my initials JMS on them, before I was ever promised S as my last name 😉 (Don’t tell Aaron. Ok, do.) So more than 10 years, actually. Either way, I’ve had a few years off with having babies or partners who had babies but I love everything about Tulip Time.

Here’s my go-to tips for how to make it fun for the whole family (and not spend your entire month’s budget on vendor food and carnival rides.)

Tulip Time is all about the Tulips (and festivals, parades, food and fun.) but mostly – per it’s namesake, it’s about Tulips. You should see some.

Windmill Island is a great place to walk around for photos and to get a good feeling for what life used to be like. Rumor has it they have a new park for kids too, which, awesome. It will cost admission during Tulip Time, more info here.

You can always tip toe through the Tulips at Window on the Waterfront. This is our favorite place. Every year we take photos of the beautiful tulips and the kids.

a morning walk

Walking around Centennial Park for Tulips or up and down any street close to the downtown district will yield beautiful photo’s as well.

You can’t miss the food vendors all around during Tulip Time, but your wallet might be wise to. I decided to try and make our favorites at home so we could still enjoy Tulip Time without feeling taken advantage of by our favorite little city. As much as I love Tulip Time and Holland, $6 for a lemonade kind of makes me want to stab things. Tourism!

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My absolute favorite: Caramel Apples.


Our kids’ favorite: Corn Dogs!

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Parade food: Walking Taco’s.

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Everyone’s favorite: Elephant Ears!!

If you’re venturing into Holland for your very first Tulip Time (even though you’ve lived in West Michigan your entire life!) don’t forget to check out these family friendly places:

Mom’s in Tow is doing their annual Family Rest Area during Tulip Time with activities, specials, freebies and a safe place for you to change/nurse or let your kids be free from a crowd again this year. Usually on 8th St in Pocket Park (next to Cold Stone).

Tip Toes store has a great little tree house that kids are allowed to climb and play in. Shop around, let your little’s use some of the creative energy before being strapped in a stroller.

The Peanut Store is a must. Instead of cotton candy, give your kids $1 or two and let them purchase a treat from Holland’s candy store. (FAVORITE)

I could keep going, this literally is one of my favorite times to live in Michigan. Tulip Time and the summer season that follows. Full of fun!

Ask question in the comments and I’ll be sure to give you my inside guide/tips.

Happy tip-toeing!


Spring Break 2013 {ideas}

There was a possible vacation in the works for Spring Break, demoted to a day trip away, demoted to Tourists In Your Own Town! hashtagexclamationpoint

(This may feel like deja-vu)

Today I’ll make the kids each a “passport”…

Source: thespottedfox.com viaJodi on Pinterest

Places to see, things to do

on a cultural adventure in our backyard:

  • Study Egyptians! (Embalm a chicken!) (Place to go: Library, grocery store)
  • Holland Museum, take a step back in time.
  • GR Public Museum, Planetarium show. Out of this world! (har har har)
  • Frederick Meijer Gardens, butterfly’s!
  • Host a High Tea – English style. (Places to go: Goodwill, costumes. Library, books/ideas)
  • Adventures of Pippy and Huck! Spend the day navigating local trails, making maps, climbing trees.
  • Big City Adventure. (Use public transit to get everywhere for one day, bikes too)
  • Pick a country: make a flag! (Library or computer time for research, Home for art making)
  • On the job: explore different options. Construction? Let’s build. Food industry? Let’s cook. Engineer? Let’s plan.
  • Great Wall Of China: make eggrolls. (Jessica’s always been fascinated with China)
  • Become an advocate: adopt a species, then raise awareness.

I’m sure I’ll add a few more ideas, less involved ones, or even small outings to a park or playdates. Not all of these ideas will make it into our passports but it’s fun to get the ideas flowing so we’re sure not to miss the many opportunities around us.

If you’re headed on vacation, tell us where! And have fun.

Spring Break Staycation, baby

Not unlike the Summer Jar of yesteryear (oh archives, how fun you are), we’re doing a bit of a grab bag adventure for Spring Break this year, too.

Guess which one @schaapy suggested. #springbreak #todo

It’s also a great week to make use of the all Good Ideas I’ve found via Pinterest.

Moms in Tow does a great job of taking the guess work out of how to fill the hours in the day this week. Months and months of a school schedule can make a rusty wheel of my ideas turn again once the kids are home all day, every day, for a stretch of time.

We’re even considering a night away at the Holiday Inn Express with the Big Dip Waterpark this week for a fun and inexpensive way to vacation at home.

Here’s a few links to places on our list:

Holland Aquatic Center or MVP Athletic Club for swimming.

Grand Rapids Childrens Museum (GRCM) or Deanna’s Playhouse.

Hire People … Are you talented? I know you are. You rock-star, you. Gainful employment awaits your skill set.

Fred-Meijer Gardens – the butterflies are in bloom.

If you’re not jet-setting to a warmer or more adventurous climate, what are you doing this week?

MyGR6, a love letter to a city. #spon #client

My GR6

I have this thing called a Life List where I made huge goals for my life and the things I want to accomplish. Turns out the last year threw a wrench into my well oiled plan to dominate my list and now I’m looking for ways to revamp the excitement around it. It’s not too hard when so many opportunities are so close to home.

“Where adventure never seems too far.”

The MyGR6 campaign is all about community. Y’all can submit a six word memoir on www.mygr6.com for your chance to enter and win amazing prizes.

There will be six grand prize winners, who will have their six on a billboard and also receive the “Ultimate Grand Rapids Prize Package” featuring local hotel, restaurant and entertainment certificates and other great prizes valued at over $10,000.

If you need some convincing allow me to show you exhbit A:

Here’s what I want you to do:

# I want you guys to submit your six. If you’ve ever been here, used to live here, currently reside in Michigan or have any ties to this amazing state at all.

# Go to MyGR6 and submit YOUR six.

# Then tell me about it here in the comments or if you’re on Twitter (I’m right her – follow me!) share it with me. You can even tell me all about it on Facebook.

I don’t have other prizes to give you for participating and I’m part of a campaign to spread the word, yes – but more than that … I just want to know. What about this place makes it your’s? What about this state, the area, the lakeshore – the cities and the beautiful places we have access to … what makes it special for you?

I’ve lived in Michigan for the past 20ish years and there are still roads and cities I’ve never seen – the magic of this place astounds me. I’ve had the itch to move away recently but I never feel like I’d be leaving this place because Michigan will always be with me.

A place where so many of my dreams have already come true and an endless array of possibilities for magic to happen. I summed up my crush on this City with my six: Where Adventure Never Seems Too Far, because looking ahead adventure is a main ingredient in our lives and I can’t wait to discover it.

See my disclosure here.