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The 14 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend February 2019

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

February may be one of our chilliest months, but that doesn’t mean the events are slowing down in Ann Arbor and our surrounding communities. In fact, with things like a curling festival, ice carving exhibitions and ice hockey, it seems our communities are just fine with the cold.

Keep reading to find out what’s happening in the Ann Arbor area this February. Our guide includes both free and ticketed events for all ages.

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

Arts + Culture

 

Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra | Ypsilanti

February 17, 3:30 p.m. | Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

In celebration of their 20th year, Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra is hosting five concert events continuing through May 2019. Their third is scheduled for Sunday, February 17th inside Towsley Auditorium and it’s free to attend.

 

The Vintage Market presents: Flannel Fling! | Ann Arbor

February 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

The Vintage Market is an upscale, vintage-inspired flea market-based in Monroe, Michigan. But in February, they’re coming to Ann Arbor for Flannel Fling! Held inside at Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, this market will feature more than 100 vendors selling antiques, home decor, kitchenware, candles, handmade items, clothing, jewelry and more. For more information, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

TEDxUofM 2019: Absolute Zero | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6 – 10 p.m. | Power Center for Performing Arts

The TEDx program allows independent organizations and communities to bring the spirit of the annual TED conference to their homes around the globe. And in February, the annual TEDxUofM conference returns to showcase the most fascinating thinkers, doers and leaders in Michigan. For ticket information, click here.

 

The Ark’s 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival | Ann Arbor

February 23, 7:30 p.m. | The Ark

Laura Simms, Edgar Oliver and Michigan’s Ivory D. Williams are taking the stage for The Ark’s 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival. The spoken word event costs just $25 to attend and will be an evening of stories, adventures, laughter and creativity. For updates, RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

 

Washtenaw Community Concert Band: Celebration of the Community | Ann Arbor

February 28, 7:30 p.m. | Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College

This free Washtenaw Community Concert Band program is dedicated to the community. As such, it will celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and it will even highlight student players from local high schools.

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

Let’s Chill Winterfest | Milan

February 1 – 2 | Downtown Milan

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

Centered around Milan’s downtown shopping area, Wilson Park and Edgetown, this annual event is one of our favorite winter happenings. Activities include a chili cook-off, Let’s Chill Winter Fest Wine Walk, indoor and outdoor winter games, ice carving, an Artisan tent, food, The Big Freeze, and more. For full details, check out the website here.

 

Ice Carving Festival | Ann Arbor

February 9, 12 – 4 p.m. | County Farm Park

Chainsaws and flamethrowers will wow the crowds at Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission’s Fourth Annual Ice Carving Festival. Students and teams from colleges and universities across Southeast Michigan will compete for the winning sculpture while you and your family enjoy hot chocolate and crafts at this free event.

 

Rally in the Alley | Ann Arbor

February 9, 1 p.m. | Revel & Roll

February 2019 marks the first ever Rally in the Alley event benefiting the University of Michigan Department of Radiation Oncology. This event will raise funds for patients in the department who are struggling with transportation, food, hotels and other things while under treatment. The event will include two hours of bowling, pizza for everyone and soft drinks, and the attractions of Revel & Roll will be available as well as a silent auction and other mini-games. Individual tickets are $25 and more information can be found here.

 

2019 University of Michigan Polar Plunge | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6:30 p.m. | The Big House

The Polar Plunge is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event that benefits Special Olympics chapters throughout the country. This unique event in Ann Arbor will benefit Special Olympics Michigan and will invite participants into The Big House to take the plunge on the field. After putting on your Wolverine costume in the locker room, you can join the parade of costumes through the tunnel then plunge into an icy pool. For more information on fundraising and registration, click here.

 

 

Sports

 

U-M Ice Hockey vs. Michigan State | Ann Arbor

February 8, 7:30 p.m. | Yost Ice Arena

The U-M Ice Hockey team is facing off against Michigan State inside Yost Ice Arena on February 8th. To get more details and see the full schedule, click here.

 

Curling Fest | Chelsea

February 8 – 10 | Chelsea Lanes Parking Lot

Sponsored by our very own Rick Taylor, Curling Fest 2019 is an entire weekend of curling fun for beginners and experienced competitors alike! Team tournaments are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday morning to compete for the Chelsea Curling Cup. And if you’re not playing, spectating is free. You can enjoy music, beer, food, hot cocoa and more—all in a heated tent!

 

 

Food + Drink

 

Gluten Free WinterFest | Ann Arbor

February 2, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

things to do in February 2019 Ann Arbor Michigan

Gluten Free WinterFest is a one-day food festival that celebrates local makers in a completely celiac safe environment. Attractions include food from eight restaurants, caterers and food trucks, exhibits from local businesses, a shopping bazaar, live music, entertainment for kids, prizes and more. For more information, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

Victorian Valentine Tea | Ann Arbor

February 9 – 10 | Kempf House Museum

Inside the Kempf House Museum, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with an elegant, traditional tea complete with both sweet and savory offerings. This year, Victorian Valentine Tea will have two seatings: one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Period attire is welcome, tickets are between $25 and $30, and you can make your reservations through February 4th by calling (734) 994-4898.

 

Artini | Ann Arbor

February 22, 6:30 – 10 p.m. | Ann Arbor Art Center and other locations

This fundraising event brings together the town’s best bars, restaurants and local martini connoisseurs for an evening of mixology fun. Benefitting the Ann Arbor Art Center, Artini guests will visit with about 10 local businesses, including The Pretzel Bell, Ann Arbor Distilling Company, The Grotto and Bløm Meadworks, at various locations. Then, text in to vote for the People’s Choice Award. The Juror’s Choice Award will be decided by a panel of hand-selected jurors that are unaffiliated with the participating venues. Ticket prices are $65 each and attendees must be 21 years or older. For more info, check out the event on Facebook here.

 

 

Enjoy!

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Where to Eat Healthy in Ann Arbor

healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Ann Arbor is one of Michigan’s many foodie destinations, especially if you’re on the hunt for plant-based, locally sourced or whole food eats. 

Today, we’re rounding up a handful of the best places for meals that are good for you and, coincidentally, good for our planet, too! This guide includes acai bowls, poké bowls, all-vegan restaurants, gluten-free menus, locally-sourced ingredients, fruit smoothies and so much more. Enjoy!

 

Detroit Street Filling Station   

300 Detroit St | Facebook

Detroit Street Filling Station healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of Detroit Street Filling Station

Owned and operated by the same team behind Ann Arbor’s The Lunch Room, Detroit Street Filling Station is housed in the historic building that was once the home of The Staebler Family Oil Company. Today, they’re churning out plant-based eats that make everyone, regardless of diet, love vegan cuisine.

Why it’s healthy: Their menu features high-quality, vegan fare like jackfruit tacos, Carolina tempeh ribs, fried artichoke po’ boys, and more. The menu covers a range of cuisine and nutrition, but because everything is made from non-meat products, every item offers less fat content than meat and more environmental sustainability!

 

Earthen Jar  

311 S 5th Ave | Facebook

Earthen Jar is a vegetarian and mostly vegan Indian buffet, as well as the first and only kosher restaurant in Ann Arbor. Everything at the hot buffet, the cold buffet and the dessert buffet is vegetarian and the majority are also vegan.

Why it’s healthy: Thanks to the all-vegetarian menu at Earthen Jar, this restaurant is healthier for the planet and for you! Next time you need a plate of savory and spicy vegetables swing by for a hearty lunch or dinner.

 

eat

1906 Packard St | Facebook

This local Ann Arbor restaurant is built on the ideals of wholesome, imaginative, and thoughtfully prepared food. That means this team cares about everything from the farmer to their neighbors and, of course, you! Though you can’t dine in at eat, you can order from the carry-out menu or get them to cater your next event.

Why it’s healthy: From their meals, sandwiches and salads to their TV Dinners and larder items, everything at eat is prepared with sustainability and whole, local foods in mind. And because meals are made from scratch, too, they cut out many processed items, preservatives and additives.

 

First Bite  

108 S Main St | Facebook

First Bite healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of First Bite

First Bite is driven by the idea of Food 4.0, which is why you’ll find the phrase featured prominently on the wall in the dining room. They believe that food must positively impact everyone involved: the producers, the customers, the First Bite team and the environment. That’s why they support local farming and sourcing from like-minded vendors and almost all of the team’s packaging is fully compostable.

Why it’s healthy: Using sustainably grown, whole foods is better for the planet, our bodies and our minds. Though the First Bite menu includes delicious, sugary items like Fluffy French Toast, it also includes an impressive burger lineup: the Beet Burger, the Southwest Black Bean Burger and the Turkey Burger made with an organic house-made turkey patty.

 

Wilma’s  

403 E Washington St | Facebook

Previously called Fred’s, Wilma’s opened in 2016 with the goal of brightening, refreshing and uplifting through food. Inside their bright and modern setting, they serve a menu of both sweet and savory toasts, acai bowls, yogurt bowls, poké bowls, grain bowls, salads, smoothies, and large items like shaved ribeye and a beetroot and quinoa burger.

Why it’s healthy: Everything on the Wilma’s menu is hearty, delicious and filled with both micro and macronutrients. For example, their Kale Shake has kale, avocado, banana, dates, cashews, agave and almond milk. Yum!

 

Fresh Forage   

5060 Jackson Rd | Facebook

Ann Arbor’s Fresh Forage fills the community’s need for both convenience and health as well as quick and locally sourced. The team’s ingredients are sourced from their own family farms and other local farms, and several are sustainably foraged from Michigan’s deep woods. Using 100% compostable materials, they prepare these meals rapidly so the busy people of Ann Arbor can fuel up on the go. 

Why it’s healthy: Using whole, local, sustainable and responsibly produced ingredients, the Fresh Forage menu gives you choices that range from sugary to savory, vegetarian to omnivorous, whole grain to meaty and everything in between.

 

Juicy Kitchen  

1506 N Maple Rd | Facebook

Using locally sourced produce, hormone-free chicken, and organic vegetables and grains as much as possible, Juicy Kitchen crafts meals from scratch in healthy, sustainable ways. While this Ann Arbor spot is an excellent option for anyone searching for healthy food, they also cater to specific allergies, gluten-free diets, and vegans and vegetarians during both breakfast and lunch.

Why it’s healthy: Scratch-made and sustainable eats at Juicy Kitchen allow for fewer preservatives and additives, and a lot more nutrients!

 

The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

407 N 5th Ave | Facebook

The Lunch Room healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

Often referred to simply as The Lunch Room, The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen is this team’s original location in Kerrytown. Because only plant-based foods are served here, you never have to worry about the presence of meat, dairy, eggs, honey or anything processed with animal products.

Why it’s healthy: In addition to being entirely plant-based, many of the ingredients at The Lunch Room are organic and non-GMO, and most items can be made gluten-free. Additionally, nearly everything is made from scratch—even the bread!

 

Pocai  

1232 Packard St | Facebook

Whether you’re looking for delivery, quick eats on-the-go or sit-down meals, Pocai is the place to find healthy, carvable selections. Their menu includes acai bowls, poké bowls, vegetarian Bim Bap, toasts, salads and more.

Why it’s healthy: Pocai caters to special diets including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. Additionally, their bowls are packed with micronutrients thanks to ingredients like kale, pickled red onions, acai berries, chia seeds, brown rice and more.  

 

Salads UP  

611 E Liberty St + 878 Briarwood Cir | Facebook

Salads UP healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of Mackenzie King via Salads UP

Robert and Max were seniors at the University of Michigan when they discovered their dream of creating a healthy, fast-paced restaurant that would be accessible to students, visitors and townies alike. Today, they have two locations in Ann Arbor and one in Madison, Wisconsin.

Why it’s healthy: The menu at S’UP is entirely made up of classic healthy meals like salads and wraps, warm grain bowls, fruit smoothies and even homemade juices and cold brew coffee!

 

Seva Restaurant   

2541 Jackson Ave | Facebook

Seva has been serving outstanding plant-based cuisine in Ann Arbor since 1973. Now located in Westgate on the town’s west side, Seva offers an impressive craft beer list, entirely homemade desserts, gluten-free options and dishes that will make even carnivores love vegetarian food.

Why it’s healthy: Seva offers the perfect combination of healthy and indulgent, from the fruit smoothies to the ice cream shakes and The Beyond Burger to the homemade desserts.

 

Vedge Cafe   

205 N Main St | Facebook

Owned and operated by Amanda, a Registered Dietitian and a plant-based eater since 2005, Vedge Cafe is where she gets to combine her love for cooking with her passion for educating and sharing diet alternatives. Amanda and her team offer a menu of scratch-made vegan food like Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos, The Vedge Stromboli with house-made dough and pepperoni seitan, Reubens and more.

Why it’s healthy: In August 2018, Vedge Cafe made the move from vegan and vegetarian to all vegan which improved sustainability and created even more innovative plant-based dishes like the Vedge Stromboli!

 

Do you have a go-to spot in the Ann Arbor area?

In the comments below, tell us about your favorite places to dine out for healthy foods in Ann Arbor and in our surrounding communities.

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15 Winter Date Ideas in the Ann Arbor Area

Winter date ideas in Ann Arbor Michigan

Winter in Michigan brings us our coldest, snowiest and coziest months of the year. Sure, that means date night needs to head indoors, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find something fun to do in town.

We rounded up some of our favorite things to do indoors in the Ann Arbor area, including comedy shows, live music, art classes, museums, theater productions, food, cocktails and so much more.

For even more local date ideas, check out 16 Ann Arbor Date Ideas That Don’t Involve Going to a Restaurant and 10 Ann Arbor Date Ideas Perfect for Any Time of Year.

 

Click these links to jump ahead and see the best date ideas in each category:

Adventures | Classes | Food + Drink | Museums | Shows

 

Adventures

 

Escape Decode.

Decode Ann Arbor escape room

Photo courtesy of Peter Doyle via Decode 

As Michigan’s top escape game, Decode offers some of the most interesting and complex escape rooms in the state—and they have facilities in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit! In Ann Arbor, their facility offers a three-part adventure called Minerva’s Trilogy. The story is about Minerva, an adolescent Artificial Intelligence machine with lofty goals. The Minerva Project and Minerva’s Return are the first and last parts, both one-hour escape rooms. And the second part, Minerva’s Escape, is a free puzzle hunt through downtown Ann Arbor.

 

Skate at Yost Ice Arena.

The University of Michigan ice arena, Yost Ice Arena, offers programs like Public Skate, Noon Skate and Sticks-n-Pucks. All three allow you to skate at one of the most recognized and iconic rinks in college hockey! Public Skate admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students, kids and U-M faculty. For $3 more dollars, you can rent skates, too. And Noon Skate prices are even lower. Get all the pricing details here and be sure to check the arena schedule before you go.

For more ice skating options in town, check out Buhr Outdoor Ice Arena and Pool and Ann Arbor Ice Cube!

 

Climb at Planet Rock.

Both beginner and experienced climbers can find fun challenges and learning opportunities at Planet Rock. Ann Arbor’s premier, indoor rock climbing gym, Planet Rock offers more than 25,000 square feet of climbing surface, a full training area and a giant bouldering mushroom. Their second location in Madison Heights offers a 15-meter official competition speed climbing wall and an ice climbing training area as well!

 

 

Classes

 

Learn at the Ann Arbor Art Center.

Ann Arbor Art Center things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition. They do this through rotating exhibitions in the 117 Gallery, special events, and an impressive lineup of classes and workshops. Topics on the class calendar include everything from drawing and painting to metalsmithing and wheel throwing in the Ceramics Studio. To see the class schedule, click here.

 

Bake at Zingerman’s Bakehouse.

When you sign up for a baking or cooking class at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, you’ll get an insight into their delicious breads, pastries, cookies, cakes and more! The class schedule includes pizza, doughnuts, French baguettes, soups, brownies and so much more. The best part is Zingerman’s takes care of all the cleanup and you get to take home your leftovers. Check out the class schedule here.

 

 

Food + Drink  

 

Sip coffee at Hyperion Coffee Co.

Hyperion Coffee Labs classes Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Erica Perry via Hyperion Coffee Co.

The coffee source for many of our favorite coffee shops in Ann Arbor and around the state, Hyperion is an outstanding roaster located right in Ypsi. In addition to brewing their own coffees and serving them in their café, they host Labs where you can learn, sip coffee and take some home, too! Topics cover every process of roasting and go all the way to home brewing methods. To learn more about Hyperion Labs, click here.

And to find more Ann Arbor area coffee shops, check out The 16 Best Coffee Shops in the Ann Arbor Area.

 

Sip cocktails at The Last Word.

Repeatedly named as Ann Arbor’s best cocktail bar, The Last Word is a hidden gem, literally. Located underground with no exterior signage, and offering dim lighting and an outstanding bar program, it’s a bar designed in true speakeasy fashion. The drink menu includes high-quality wines and craft beers alongside cocktails prepared with fresh ingredients and house-made syrups and bitters. The food menu includes crafted dishes like Pork Belly Tostada, Duck Confit Hash and Fried Chicken Buns—and it’s available until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday!

 

Get dinner at Aventura.

Aventura is a charming spot in the heart of Downtown Ann Arbor. And tapas are the perfect date night dish! Their culinary team offers authentic Spanish cuisine and culture including tapas, paella, vino and delicious, artisan cocktails. Inspired by the old-world atmosphere and the historical nature of the building itself, restaurateur Sava Lelcaj designed the restaurant from the bones of the original, 1872 space by utilizing classic Spanish design elements paired with works by local artists.

To learn more and check out other romantic restaurants in town, check out The 15 Best Date Night Restaurants in Ann Arbor.

 

 

Museums

 

Visit University of Michigan Museum of Art.

University of Michigan Museum of Art Ann Arbor Michigan date night ideas

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan Museum of Art

The University of Michigan’s art collection is among the oldest in the nation. Years before the great art museums of Detroit, Toledo or Chicago were founded, UM students and the general public had free access to the on-campus gallery. Today, you can explore more than 20,000 artworks, special exhibits and educational experiences, and admission is still free!

 

Visit Yankee Air Museum.

Yankee Air Museum is an aviation, aerospace and science museum located at Willow Run Airport just a few minutes outside of Ypsilanti. Exhibits offer hands-on experiences and insights into World War I and World War II, Willow Run and Rosie the Riveter, The Vietnam War, aircraft restoration and so much more.

 

 

Shows

 

See a movie at Michigan Theater.

Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Michigan Theater

The Michigan Theater Foundation was founded in 1979 to save the Michigan Theater from the wrecking ball—and we’re so glad it was. Founded in 1928, the theater is now home to three screening spaces for independent movies, concerts, comedy shows, national tours and more. Check out the current films here and peruse the special event schedule here. Or, head over to the historic State Theatre for even more movies and shows!

 

Listen to music at The Ark.

The Ark is Ann Arbor’s destination for live music. Founded in 1965 by four area churches, the venue now offers over 300 nights of shows each year in one of the best listening rooms anywhere. In the past, they’ve brought Howie Day, Blind Pilot and the Violent Femmes to town! See all their upcoming events here.

 

Laugh at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase.

Originally opened in 1984, this comedy headquarters offers a lineup of up-and-coming stand-up stars, as well as nationally touring acts. The 18+ venue has hosted Tim Allen, Drew Carey and Ellen DeGeneres in the past, and has a calendar full of events every single weekend! You can see that calendar here.

 

See a show at Purple Rose Theatre Company.

Located in Chelsea, The Purple Rose was founded in 1991 by Chelsea native and critically-acclaimed actor, Jeff Daniels. The building that houses the company’s Garage Theatre was once a used car and bus garage owned by Daniels’ grandfather. Now, the facility has developed into one of the best places for theatre production in the state. Click here to see the schedule of current and upcoming shows.

 

Laugh at Pointless Brewery & Theatre.

Pointless Brewery & Theatre combines two things that make for the perfect date night: craft beer and laughter. In the taproom, you can taste beers brewed on-site and enjoy frequent events like league shows, improv games, showcases and more. To see the theatre and improv show schedule, click here.

 

 

Do you have a go-to?

If you already have the perfect winter date idea in the Ann Arbor area, tell us about it in the comments below!

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The 15 Best Gyms in the Ann Arbor Area

CrossFit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Whether it’s the beginning of a new year or the middle of the year, beginning a new fitness practice is always a good idea. Doing so can energize your current program, help you reach your health goals, introduce you to a new community and so much more.

We rounded up a selection of the Ann Arbor area’s best facilities that have programs, equipment, trainers, classes and education opportunities suitable for newbies and old pros alike. Keep reading to find your perfect fit!

 

Jump ahead to find Ann Arbor’s best:

Fitness center | CrossFit box | Group training + coaching

 

 

Fitness centers

Fitness centers Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

Ann Arbor YMCA

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

The Ann Arbor YMCA offers a six-lane, 25-yard pool for lap swim, a zero-depth entry family pool, an indoor track, locker rooms, and an 8,200-square-foot fitness floor complete with cardio equipment, a fully-equipped free weight area, lifting machines, stretching areas and more. Your membership can grant you daily access as well as fitness classes, introductory programs, childcare, volunteer opportunities and more.

 

Crunch Fitness 

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Crunch gyms can be found in locations throughout the country offering fun group fitness classes, weight lifting equipment, cardio machines, professional personal trainers and so much more. And their defining characteristic is their focus on judgment-free encouragement and inclusivity. Ann Arbor’s Crunch facility was once Arbor Fit Club and, as the gym makes its transition, Crunch will keep the smiling faces, experienced trainers, and hometown atmosphere we love while adding extra bonuses like new equipment and improved facilities.

 

Chelsea Wellness Center 

Located in Chelsea | Facebook

Chelsea Wellness Center is a community facility perfectly suited to help meet every fitness and health goal. Their services include medical fitness programs, group exercise classes, personal training, massage therapy, Pilates and aquatics programs, nutrition counseling, childcare, wellness coaching and a café where you can get healthy snacks and beverages.

 

The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

In addition to offering a state-of-the-art fitness facility, The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College offers services like personal training, fitness assessments, childcare, nutrition counseling, group fitness classes and more. And access isn’t limited to college students!

 

Powerhouse Gym

Locations in Ypsilanti, Saline, South Lyon, Novi and more | Facebook

Powerhouse Gym originally opened in Highland Park, Michigan in 1974. Today, the health club chain has locations all over the world, including several in the Ann Arbor area. Here, you can find facilities in Ypsilanti, Saline, South Lyon and Novi, and each one offers the motivating Powerhouse atmosphere and premier exercise equipment.

 

 

CrossFit boxes

CrossFit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

734 Strength & Performance

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

734 Strength and Fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of 734 Strength & Performance

734 is Ypsilanti’s original CrossFit gym. Their 4,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to functional fitness which means their equipment focuses on pushing, pulling, jumping, lifting, climbing, throwing and every other exercise the human body is innately capable of performing. To learn more about their state-of-the-art facility and their coaches, check out the website here.

 

CrossFit TreeTown

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

CrossFit TreeTown is the only CrossFit affiliate on the north side of Ann Arbor and is dedicated to making CrossFit an approachable and successful practice for everyone regardless of experience or fitness level. And their programs aren’t limited to traditional CrossFit! They also offer Goal Oriented Aerobic Training, a weightlifting club and yoga classes.

 

CrossFit Ypsilanti

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

CrossFit Ypsilanti is a tight-knit community of fitness lovers, health nuts and trainers. To foster their atmosphere of community and strength, each fitness class is limited to 15 people to ensure you can get individual attention and support. Programs in CrossFit, kettlebell, Olympic lifting and nutrition are all available.

 

Joust Strength + Fitness

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Joust fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of A Girl in Love Photography via Joust Strength + Fitness

Ann Arbor’s Joust Strength + Fitness exists to help you achieve all of your strength-training goals, find the perfect fitness program, learn proper nutrition, and create a diverse community of fitness enthusiasts. In their CrossFit training facility, they also offer kettlebells, yoga, gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting and nutrition services with the on-site RD.

 

Wolverine Strength and Conditioning

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Wolverine is one of the largest and cleanest CrossFit gyms in Ann Arbor. Their huge, open facility covers 6,000 square feet of air-conditioned and heated indoor space as well as programs for newbies, old pros, competitors, weightlifters and more. Because they’re so community focused, they also host events and potlucks for members!

 

 

Group training + coaching

Group fitness classes Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

Applied Fitness Solutions

Locations in Ann Arbor, Plymouth and Rochester Hills | Facebook

Applied Fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of Applied Fitness Solutions

Applied Fitness Solutions offers a unique program of fitness training and amenities that combines personal fitness coaching with fun group workouts. Their service includes check-ins with your coach outside of the gym, online tools, fitness assessments and more. To learn more about how their team is different, check out the website here.

 

Blue Lion Fitness

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Blue Lion Fitness is a team of experts and a community of people all striving to reach and support their health and fitness goals. Their program is centered around unique, one-hour classes which include elements of high-intensity interval training, division I strength and conditioning, core strength training, suspension training and plyometric training. To see the class calendar which offers options every day of the week, check out the website here.

 

Imagine Fitness & Yoga

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Imagine Fitness Yoga Ann Arbor Michigan gyms

Photo courtesy of Imagine Fitness & Yoga

Imagine is a unique fitness center, gym and yoga studio all rolled into one. Their tailored health and wellness programs offer personalized support and treatment for group training in cycling, weightlifting, circuit training, various styles and levels of yoga, Pilates and more. As an added bonus, they also have heated floors in their studio rooms! 

 

Wildly Fit

Locations in Ann Arbor and Brighton | Facebook

Wildly Fit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of Jon Crays at ICON Interactive via Wildly Fit

Founded in 2012, Wildly Fit has grown into a center for growth, learning and recovery through their fitness center and two Movement Lab locations. Together, these facilities offer physical therapy, recovery programs, corrective fitness, massage therapy, personal training, group fitness, private classes and more. These services can help members manage chronic illness, improve athletic performance and reduce everyday discomforts.

 

Ypsi Studio

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

Located in the heart of downtown Ypsilanti, this boutique studio offers group exercise classes, personal training, indoor cycling, yoga, Pilates, nutrition coaching, Zumba and more. And classes are always limited to 15 people to ensure personalized attention and support. Each week, Ypsi Studio offers more than 25 group exercise classes and you can see the schedule here.

 

 

Do you have a favorite?  

If you want to recommend a local gym, let us know in the comments below!

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16 Birthday Party Ideas in the Ann Arbor Area that are Better than Dinner and Drinks

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

If you’ve been in Ann Arbor long, the following sentence probably won’t surprise you. Our hometown is loaded with amazing local food and impressive craft beer. So, when you’re looking for a place to celebrate your birthday, dinner and drinks is always a good option. But if you’ve been there, done that, we’re happy to tell you it’s not your only option.

When you’re looking for something more out of the box, you’ll find plenty of escape rooms, classes, tastings, tours, businesses and venues that can help you have an amazing birthday. We rounded up those experiences in one place and included everything from last-minute options to huge, memorable experiences. There are enough things on this list for your next 16 birthdays!

Looking for kid-friendly ideas? Check out 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor for inspiration.

 

 

Escape at Decode.

As Michigan’s top escape game, Decode offers some of the most interesting and complex escape rooms in the state—and they have facilities in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit! In Ann Arbor, their facility offers a three-part adventure called Minerva’s Trilogy. The story is about Minerva, an adolescent Artificial Intelligence machine with lofty goals. The Minerva Project and Minerva’s Return are the first and last parts, both one-hour escape rooms. And the second part, Minerva’s Escape, is a free puzzle hunt through downtown Ann Arbor.

 

Take a tour with By the Sidewalk Food Tours.

Birthday things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Founded right here in Ann Arbor and inspired by our hometown neighborhoods, chefs, businesses and history, By the Sidewalk Food Tours explores all of that and more. The Classic Ann Arbor By The Sidewalk tour is a three hour, guided walking tour through downtown Ann Arbor and Kerrytown that pairs food tastings with history, art, architecture and local stories.

 

Play (and eat) at Revel & Roll.

Revel & Roll offers 27 lanes of bowling, as well as billiards tables, an arcade with nearly 100 different games, shuffleboard, more televisions than anyone in the country, and chef-inspired dining options in case you work up a hunger.

 

Tour Michigan Stadium.  

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States and the second largest stadium in the world. Though the official capacity is 107,601, its record attendance is ‎115,109, which broke a record on September 7, 2013. Superfans can tour The Big House at just $20 per person and see the field, the game-day locker room, the press box and more. Other tour options offer an inside looks at the Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena, too! To learn about all of them, click here.  

 

Take a class with White Lotus Farms.

White Lotus Farms is an Ann Arbor institution, specializing in organic produce, homemade breads, artisan goat and cow’s milk cheeses, and soothing botanicals. Their varied experience and knowledge on the farm, in the bakery, in the creamery and with botanicals makes their classes some of the most fun in the region. Topics include cheese making, croissant baking, food pairing and more. To see the schedule, click here.

 

Laugh at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase.

Originally opened in 1984, this comedy headquarters offers a lineup of up-and-coming stand-up stars, as well as nationally touring acts. The 18+ venue has hosted Tim Allen, Drew Carey and Ellen DeGeneres in the past, and has a calendar full of events every single weekend! You can see that calendar here.

 

Practice art at Ann Arbor Art Center.

Ann Arbor Art Center things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition. They do this through rotating exhibitions in the 117 Gallery, special events, and an impressive lineup of classes and workshops. Topics include everything from drawing and painting to metalsmithing and wheel throwing in the Ceramics Studio. To see the class schedule, click here.

 

Get behind the scenes at Bløm Meadworks.

Bløm (pronounced bloom) is a hyper-local meadery located in the heart of Ann Arbor. Unlike many other meaderies and cideries, every ingredient is sourced from Michigan and their mead is fermented like a dry craft cider so it’s not as thick or as sweet as other meads you may have tried.

Want to learn even more? Their event calendar includes things like board game night, yoga in the taproom and monthly tours of Bløm. For $10 on the first Saturday for every month, you can take a tour of the meadworks that explores the Bløm story, the name, the crafting process and more. You can get more information on the event page here.

 

Build a personalized tour with Savor Ann Arbor.

Founder and Owner Marcie fell in love with Ann Arbor through its food, attended the University of Michigan, and has lived here ever since—always learning and trying new restaurants, meals and cuisines along the way. Her customizable tours offered through Savor Ann Arbor explore our town’s history, architecture, shops and food in fascinating ways. You can start with a template like Mixology, Chocolate Heaven, Arts & Architecture, or you can customize your experience from the ground up.

 

See a show at Dreamland Theater.

Dreamland Theater is unlike any other theater in Michigan. This small, non-profit puppet theater and community space is located in downtown Ypsilanti and offers classes and performances in puppetry, theater, music, independent film and other arts. To find out what’s going on right now at Dreamland, check out their Facebook page here.

 

Learn to cook with Zingerman’s Bakehouse.

Birthday things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

When you sign up for a baking or cooking class at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, you’ll get an insight into their delicious breads, pastries, cookies, cakes and more! The class schedule includes pizza, doughnuts, French baguettes, soups, brownies and so much more. The best part is Zingerman’s takes care of all the cleanup and you get to take home your leftovers. Check out the class schedule here.

 

Visit Yankee Air Museum.

Yankee Air Museum is an aviation, aerospace and science museum located at Willow Run Airport just a few minutes outside of Ypsilanti. Exhibits offer hands-on experiences and insights into World War I and World War II, Willow Run and Rosie the Riveter, The Vietnam War, aircraft restoration and so much more.

 

Improvise at Pointless Brewery & Theatre.

If you like your craft beer served with improv comedy, then Pointless Brewery & Theatre is the perfect place to celebrate your birthday. In the taproom, you can taste beers brewed on-site and enjoy frequent events like league shows, improv games, showcases and more. And if you want to learn the ropes, check out Pointless School of Improv for information on classes. To see the theatre and improv show schedule, click here.

 

See a show at Purple Rose Theatre Company.

Located in Chelsea, The Purple Rose was founded in 1991 by Chelsea native and critically-acclaimed actor, Jeff Daniels. The building that houses the company’s Garage Theatre was once a used car and bus garage owned by Daniels’ grandfather. Now, the facility has developed into one of the best places for theatre production in the state. Click here to see the schedule of current and upcoming shows.

 

Enjoy a tasting at Wines on Main.

Wines on Main things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Wines on Main

Wines on Main is a cozy fine wine shop in downtown Chelsea. Their team of experts offers learning experiences and tastings from their collection of boutique wines, which are sourced from the finest regional, local and global wine cellars. You’re invited to come by for daily wine tastings, monthly educational classes, wine flights and more.

 

Play at Pinball Pete’s.

Pinball Pete’s opened its doors more than 30 years ago and has since become the Ann Arbor destination for arcade fun. You can spend your quarters along the entire wall of pinball machines, play video games, and challenge your friends to a game of pool or air hockey.

 

Happy birthday!

If you have an interesting party suggestion, tell us about it in the comments below.  

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Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2019 in Ann Arbor

New Year's Eve events Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 2019

This December 31st, we get to salute 2018 and welcome 2019, but not before we dance, toast and celebrate right here in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Saline. This year’s event lineup includes everything from live concerts and parties to a New Orleans-themed dinner and even an intense dance getaway.

Keep reading to start planning your NYE festivities and don’t miss the free New Year’s Day race with Ann Arbor Running Company and Mighty Good Coffee!

 

 

Michigan Kizomba Fusion Winterfest | Ypsilanti

December 27, 6 p.m. – January 1, 6 a.m. | The Dance Pavilion

Beginning well before New Year’s Eve night, this celebration is a three-in-one event that includes a 24-hour Kizomba dance marathon, 12 hours of intensive workshops and a New Year’s Eve gala on December 31st. Over the course of five days, participants enjoy holiday festivities and outings, in addition to intense dance training. For full details, click here.

 

New Orleans NYE Party | Ann Arbor

December 31, 6:15 – 9:15 p.m. | Detroit Street Filling Station

Detroit Street Filling Station, one of Ann Arbor’s favorite plant-based eateries, is hosting a New Orleans-themed dinner party complete with jazz, beignets, po’boys and gumbo. For more information, RSVP to the Facebook event.

 

NYE with Pete Siers | Ann Arbor

December 31, 7 – 10 p.m. | Kerrytown Concert House

Jazz drummer Pete Siers is coming to Kerrytown Concert House with several special guests to ring in the new year. Tickets range in price from just $10 to $45 and you can buy yours online here.

 

New Beers Eve at HopCat A2 | Ann Arbor

December 31, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. | HopCat Ann Arbor

New Year's Eve events Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 2019

Photo courtesy of HopCat Ann Arbor

HopCat is celebrating the new year the only way they know how: with some of Michigan’s best craft beer! From 7 to 11 p.m., HopCat will release five beverages from Saugatuck Brewing Company, Short’s Brewing Company, Witch’s Hat Brewing Company, Brewery Vivant and Odd Side Ales. At midnight, the celebration will hit its peak with the release of glitter cider from Blake’s Hard Cider Co.

 

New Year’s Eve Improv Show | Ann Arbor

December 31, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. | Pointless Brewery & Theatre

If you like craft beer and improvisational comedy, Pointless Brewery & Theatre is the perfect place for you all year long. On New Year’s Eve, they’re putting on two back to back shows complete with live music, stories from special guests and, of course, improv! For more information and tickets, check out the event calendar here.

 

K-von at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase | Ann Arbor

December 31, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. | Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase

Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase is hosting a special event on New Year’s Eve with comedian K-von. They’ll be hosting two back to back stand-up shows, and the 10:30 p.m. show includes party favors and a complimentary glass of­ champagne at midnight.

 

Stormy Chromer New Year’s Eve Jam | Ann Arbor

December 31, 8 p.m. | Blind Pig

Blind Pig is hosting a rocking New Year’s Eve party on December 31st filled with local talent, Stormy Chromer, Chirp and Biomassive. And Stormy Chromer and Chirp are reuniting on stage for the first time since last New Year’s Eve! Tickets are $15 and the show is 18 years and over.

 

Ring in the New Year with Depot Town Big Band | Saline

December 31, 8:30 p.m. | Tri-County Sportsmen’s League

Tri-County Sportsmen’s League is joining forces with Depot Town Big Band so you can dance the night away and toast the new year. Tickets are $65 per person and include two drinks, hors-d’oeuvres, desserts and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. To find out where you can purchase tickets, check out the flyer here.

 

Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Party with Wishing Well | Ann Arbor

December 31, 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. | Bel-Mark Lanes

New Year's Eve events Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 2019

Photo courtesy of Bel-Mark Lanes

Classic rock band Wishing Well is coming to Bel-Mark Lanes for a family-friendly event on New Year’s Eve. The band will be playing in the lounge and the lanes will be open for bowling! For more information on kid time, family time and party time, check out the website here

 

Hullabaloo & Jive Colossus NYE Bash | Ann Arbor

December 31, 9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. | Club Above

Local bands Hullabaloo and Jive Colossus are joining forces at Club Above on December 31st for a spectacular live show to ring in the new year. For event updates, RSVP on Facebook.

 

The Cellar Cats NYE Bash at the Grotto | Ann Arbor

December 31, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. | Zal Gaz Grotto

The Cellar Cats are taking the stage at Zal Gaz Grotto beginning at 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. For just a $10 cover at the door, you can enjoy a night of dancing, live music, access to The Grotto’s bar menu, and fun all the way through midnight.

 

Mighty Good New Years Day Run | Ann Arbor

January 1, 9 a.m. | Mighty Good Coffee

New Year's Eve events Ann Arbor Michigan 2018 2019

Photo courtesy of Mighty Good Coffee

Ann Arbor Running Company and Mighty Good Coffee are joining forces on New Year’s Day for a family-friendly run beginning at the coffee house and continuing on an out and back course on the B2B trail so you can run as far or as short as you’d like. To sign up for this free run, click here.

 

Happy New Year!

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The 10 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend January 2019

events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

The new year brings both new happenings and returning annual events—all worth attending! This January, our event guide features concerts, live shows, showcases, animal encounters, charity events, winter races and more.

Keep reading to learn more, fill your calendar and purchase your tickets where necessary. But don’t worry! If you added budgeting to your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’ll find several free events, too. 

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

ARTS + CULTURE

 

50 First Jokes at the Ark | Ann Arbor

January 2, 8 p.m. | The Ark

Art and culture events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

The Ark is welcoming 2019 with comedy. Join the fun as 50 stand up comedians tell their first jokes of the year!

 

The Great Tamer | Ann Arbor

January 18 – 19, 8 p.m. | Power Center

Recommended for guests 16 years and above, The Great Tamer is a visual arts performance unlike any other. Greek artist Dimitris Papaioannou, who also created the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, has created a show that explores the human life as a journey. It has resulted in a surreal masterpiece that has now been viewed all over the world. For more information, click here.

 

A2 Tech Film Showcase | Ann Arbor

January 18, 5 – 9 p.m. | Michigan Theater

The A2 Tech Film Showcase is one evening of film and discussion that explores the consequences of technology. Taking place in Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater, the event includes screenings of nine short films, food and refreshments, and a panel discussion with the filmmakers. Tickets are free but you can register here.

 

Creatures of the Night 2019 | Ann Arbor

January 18 and 25, 7 – 9 p.m. | The Creature Conservancy

Designed specifically for guests 18 years and over, Creatures of the Night is an event at The Creature Conservancy that allows you to meet and learn about animals that are primarily active at night, including porcupines, a kangaroo, a sloth and bats. For more information, click here.

 

Collage Concert | Ann Arbor

January 19, 8 p.m. | Hill Auditorium

Collage Concert is a tradition that brings together an incredible range of University of Michigan ensembles and programs for one riveting work played nonstop. The program features songs and performances one after the other without pause, including solos, 17th-century music, jazz, theatre monologues and choir performances.

 

Ann Arbor Folk Festival | Ann Arbor

January 25 – 26, various times | Hill Auditorium

Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a fundraiser for The Ark, began in 1977 and is now one of Ann Arbor’s most anticipated events. Over the course of two days, Hill Auditorium will host the likes of Gregory Alan Isakov, Rufus Wainwright, Haley Heynderickx, Brandi Carlile and more. Tickets are available for single nights, or both, and you can get more information here.  

 

 

COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS

 

Puppies & Pints | Ann Arbor

January 10, 6 – 8 p.m. | Hyatt Place Ann Arbor

Community events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor is teaming up with Wolverine State Brewing Co. and The Devoted Barn for a food, craft beer and puppy-filled event. Your $35 ticket includes a tasting flight of four Wolverine State beers, a complimentary pint of your choice, food pairings from Hyatt Place, play time with puppies from The Devoted Barn, the opportunity to adopt a puppy, tours of the hotel, and a parting gift. Ticket proceeds benefit The Devoted Barn of Newport and you can buy yours here.

 

 

SPORTS

 

Mighty Good New Years Day Run | Ann Arbor

January 1, 9 a.m. | Mighty Good Coffee

running sports events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

Ann Arbor Running Company and Mighty Good Coffee are joining forces on New Year’s Day for a family-friendly run beginning at the coffee house and continuing on an out-and-back course on the B2B trail so you can run as far or as short as you’d like. To sign up for this free run, click here.

 

Frosty Freestyle & Krazy Klassic | Brighton

January 12 – 13, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Huron Meadows Metropark

Just a quick drive north of Ann Arbor, Epic Races, Huron Meadows Metropark and Team NordicSkiRacer are teaming up to host the Frosty Freestyle & Krazy Klassic. The two-day event offers cross-country races with distances perfect for first-time skiers and experienced Nordic competitors alike. For more details and registration, click here.

 

 

FOOD + DRINK

 

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week | Ann Arbor

January 13 – 18, various times | Ann Arbor

Food and drink events Ann Arbor Michigan January 2019

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week is a biannual event hosted by Main Street Area Association. The event brings together upwards of 50 restaurants all over town, which offer special lunch and/or dinner menus for a fixed price. It’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself to some of our town’s best local eats! Check out the winter menus here.

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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11 Family Portrait Photographers in Ann Arbor You’ll Love

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

It’s not every day you have a newborn baby or a pair of laughing toddlers, and these moments certainly don’t last forever. But when your family comes together to capture those moments, those laughs and those hugs, the memories can last forever, and they can even hang on your walls for generations. The right photographer can make that process easy and comfortable for you, for your baby and even for the shyest kids.  

To help you hunt down the best in and around Ann Arbor, we put together a round up we think you’ll love. Each photographer has a unique style and a distinct personality, so flip through a few galleries before you decide on the artist that’s right for you. Enjoy!

 

Amanda Dumouchelle

Facebook | Instagram

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Amanda Dumouchelle

Amanda Dumouchelle has been a professional photographer since 2008 when she was living in Japan. Now, she’s home right here in Ann Arbor and specializes in maternity, newborn, family and lifestyle photography. Her modern approach highlights the real-life moments more than the stiff poses so you can remember your family and your relationships exactly as they are: filled with laughter, surprises and plenty of hugs.

 

Amanda Eskridge Photography

Facebook | Instagram

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Amanda Eskridge Photography

Amanda Eskridge was born and raised in Ann Arbor and is now raising her own family here—a teenager and two toddlers—with her husband. She specializes in natural light lifestyle photography of families, children, newborns and expectant mothers. We love her intimate lifestyle approach to photography because it shows your real family in your real surroundings and can even take place inside your own home. Because she doesn’t photograph inside a studio, her images are honest and naturally beautiful.

 

Amy Kimball Photography

Facebook | Instagram

Amy Kimball Photography Ann Arbor family portraits

Photo courtesy of Amy Kimball Photography

Amy Kimball has four kids of her own and quickly learned just how important it is for families and children to have room to roam. Bringing that insight into her professional photography, she offers a unique studio experience on 70 acres of farmland in Chelsea. After backbreaking work, she and her family have turned the land into a dreamy destination for family photos and exploration. The lands include wildflower meadows, a 25-acre wood, a spring-fed pond and buildings in various states of repair. And after your family is done playing and exploring, you’ll get stunning professional photos to remember the day and the honest relationships you all share.

 

Bak Photography

Facebook

BAK Photography Saline Michigan family photographers newborn

Photo courtesy of Bak Photography

Bak Photography was founded in 1980 by Mark Bak right here in Saline. Today, the award-winning studio offers a staff of ten photographers and six DJs available for events and entertainment. Mark himself has been known as one of the state’s most notable photographers for several years and has more than 35 years of experience. He has also studied with 37 master photographers and now teaches other professional photographers. To meet the team and see their impressive lineup of services, check out the Bak Photography website here.

 

Christina Maria Photo and Design

Facebook | Instagram

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Christina Maria Photo and Design

Based in Brighton, Christina Maria Photo and Design is run by professional photographer, mother and wife Christina Kafkakis. Through her business, she gets to explore her passion for photography and focuses in maternity, newborn, baby, children and family portraits. As a mother herself to three boys and a girl, she definitely knows how to make kids laugh. And since 2011, she has photographed more than 350 newborns, including several sets of twins, triplets and even a set of quintuplets.

 

Lori Page Photography

Facebook | Instagram

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Lori Page Photography

Lori Page is an Ann Arbor-based photographer but travels to Ypsilanti, Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Plymouth, Northville and our surrounding communities. Throughout her life, she has gained experience as both a mother and a teacher; she is a member of the Professional Photographer’s of America; she was accepted through application into the National Association of Professional Child Photographers, and she was accepted as a ClickPro. In summary, she’s one of the best people to make your family comfortable and to capture those comfortable smiles, big laughs and huge hugs.

 

Melissa Cozart Photography

Facebook | Instagram

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Melissa Cozart Photography

Melissa Cozart is a mother, wife and professional photographer specializing in newborns, maternity, family, children and senior portraits. Her flexible style and personality offer a combination of posed and lifestyle portraits in the location of your choice or even in the comfort of your home. Because her passion for portrait photography is heavily influenced by her own children and her desire to freeze her favorite moments, she strives to provide the same for you and yours.

 

Meredith Allyn Photography

Facebook | Instagram

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Meredith Allyn Photography

Through global travels, big moves, career changes, marriage and motherhood, Meredith Allyn has always had a camera in hand, and she has always had a desire to capture every moment: both the laughter-filled and the tear-filled. Through her powerful conviction that images matter, she has developed a stunning, honest style of family and newborn photography we love. One session, the day in the life documentary, chronicles the simple interactions and everyday happenings we all wish we could capture every day. 

 

MJR Photography

Facebook | Instagram

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of MJR Photography

Mary, the artist, owner and wizard behind MJR Photography, travels all over Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio to prove real photos matter and that they can and should last for generations. Experiences with her three children and husband have given her plenty of experience in making families and kids comfortable in front of the camera so she can capture the candid moments, the authentic smiles and the playful instants in between standard shots.

 

Photography by Trae

Facebook | Instagram

Photography by Trae Belleville Michigan family photographers newborn

Photo courtesy of Photography by Trae

Trae is a mother, an artist, a knitter, an entrepreneur and one of Southeast Michigan’s best photographers. Based in Ypsilanti, she uses both studio light and natural light to photograph newborns, new mothers, children and families. Her passion is in capturing the moments you can’t capture yourself, the memories you’re wrapped up in but still want to remember forever. If you want to see her work for yourself, here is a direct link to her online galleries.

 

Tara Droz Photography

Facebook | Instagram

family and newborn photography Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Tara Droz Photography

Located in Howell, Tara Droz specializes in newborn, baby and family photography in the Brighton area, Metro Detroit and the Ann Arbor area. Her studio is located in Howell, and some of her best photos have been taken during outdoor sessions all over Southeast Michigan during all seasons. Completely self-taught, we especially love her style because it offers a balanced combination of posed photos and candid moments so you have the perfect image for your holiday card and the perfect capture of genuine moments.

 

Do you have a favorite local photographer?

Give them a shoutout in the comments below!

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Where to Stay When You Visit Ann Arbor

where to stay when visiting Ann Arbor Michigan

In addition to various hotel chains like Hilton, Marriott and Sheraton, our Ann Arbor community offers countless options for hyper-local and boutique overnight stays in town. Did you know you can rent The Palmer House, an entire home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright?

We rounded up a handful of our favorite locally-owned hotels, inns and B&Bs so your time in Ann Arbor can be as charming as it is convenient. And, if you want to see even more Ann Arbor bed and breakfasts, we invite you to check out the Ann Arbor Area Bed and Breakfast Association.

 

Click each label to jump ahead and find Ann Arbor’s best:

Hotels | Inns | Bed & Breakfasts

 

 

Hotels

 

The Ann Arbor Regent

2455 Carpenter Rd | Facebook

where to stay when visiting Ann Arbor Michigan hotel

Photo courtesy of The Ann Arbor Regent

One of two Ann Arbor hotels owned and operated by Dahlmann Properties, The Ann Arbor Regent is part of a multiple-generation, family-owned business and is one of the highest customer-rated hotels in the area. Their amenities include an indoor pool and hot tub, billiards, a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, free WiFi and free parking.

 

Bell Tower Hotel

300 S Thayer St | Facebook

Located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor and on the University of Michigan’s main campus, Bell Tower Hotel offers one of the best locations and some of the most glamorous accommodations in town. As another Dahlmann Properties business, the hotel offers incredible amenities like 43″ flat screen TVs in every room, a coffee and tea maker in every room, valet parking, free parking, free WiFi, and a freshly baked cookie at check-in.

 

Graduate Ann Arbor

615 E Huron St | Facebook

Graduate is quite possibly the most talked about hotel in Ann Arbor thanks to its unique decor and outstanding amenities. Located directly across the street from the University of Michigan campus, the decor pays homage to Ann Arbor’s love of coziness, arts, books and, of course, Maize and Blue. Partner businesses on site include Poindexter Coffee and Allen Rumsey Cocktail Lounge which is reminiscent of an old-school club. Check out the website to get an inside look at more luxurious Graduate rooms.

 

The Kensington Hotel

3500 S State St | Facebook

The Kensington Hotel boasts 200 newly revitalized guest rooms and suites surrounded by bonuses like the Union bar open 24/7 in the lobby, in-room dining from the on-site restaurant, a marble bath in every room, pet-friendly options and a complimentary Viennese coffee bar.

 

Weber’s Boutique Hotel & Restaurant

3050 Jackson Ave | Facebook

Weber’s has been a family-owned Ann Arbor institution since 1937. Over the years, it has become a destination hotel, restaurant and live music venue all rolled into one. The boutique rooms feature modern furnishings and decor, patios, free WiFi and more luxurious amenities. The hotel itself boasts an indoor saltwater pool, a 24-hour gym, an elevated sun deck with a giant chess set, a pinball arcade, charging for electric vehicles and so much more. Don’t miss the live music and cocktails at The Habitat at Weber’s!

 

 

Inns

 

The University Inn Ann Arbor

2424 E Stadium Blvd | Facebook

where to stay when visiting Ann Arbor Michigan inn

Photo courtesy of The University Inn Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor’s unique, boutique motor lodge is The University Inn which offers some of the best accommodations at an affordable price. And they’ve been doing so for more than 50 years! The renovated rooms are available as King and Double Queen Suites as well as Kitchenettes and feature contemporary decor alongside vintage and mid-century details. To see the long list of amenities (which includes free breakfast and bicycles available to rent) check out the website.

 

Inn at the League

911 N University Ave

If you want a luxurious stay right on the University of Michigan campus, there’s no better choice than the Inn at the League. This inn is located on the fourth floor of the Michigan League and mimics the classic decor of the building with stained glass windows, oak and walnut paneling, and campus views. These glamorous accommodations are available to alumni, conference attendees, wedding guests and parents of students.

 

 

Bed & Breakfasts

 

Burnt Toast Inn

415 W William St | Facebook

where to stay when visiting Ann Arbor Michigan bed and breakfast

Photo courtesy of Janice Milheim via Burnt Toast Inn

Since opening as an inn in 2004, Burnt Toast has been one of Ann Arbor’s best. Just three blocks west of Main Street, the small, family owned and operated bed and breakfast offers eight beautifully appointed rooms between two properties which can be rented individually or as whole houses. The food is mostly organic, locally made and locally sourced, and the breakfast offerings change daily. Don’t miss your chance to say hello to Mr. Gus Gustoferson, the family’s black lab!

 

Davies House Inn

1355 King George Blvd | Facebook

Davies House Inn Bed and Breakfast offers boutique overnight stays, extended stays and entire home rentals. Located on the first fairway of Georgetown Golf Club in Ann Arbor’s quiet Georgetown neighborhood, the inn boasts four suites and two rooms, scrumptious breakfasts and amazing tailgates for University of Michigan football fans.

 

First Street Garden Inn

549 S 1st St | Facebook

If you’re hoping to explore downtown Ann Arbor or the University of Michigan campus, First Street Garden Inn is a perfect starting point. Located in the Old West Side neighborhood, this cozy, turn-of-the-century home offers a personalized stay that includes customized breakfasts and afternoon tea. They only offer two rooms so the home always stays quiet and comfortable.  

 

Stone Chalet

1917 Washtenaw Ave | Facebook

where to stay when visiting Ann Arbor Michigan bed and breakfast

Photo courtesy of Michelle Fish via Stone Chalet

Stone Chalet is tucked away in a quiet Ann Arbor neighborhood just southeast from the University of Michigan campus and directly south of Nichols Arboretum. Every morning outside of busy weekends, breakfast is cooked to order and served in the formal dining room. Throughout the home, you’ll find ten charming guest suites, all with their own private bathrooms, four with balconies overlooking the gardens, and six with their own gas fireplaces.

 

Baxter House Bed and Breakfast

719 N 4th Ave | Facebook

Located right in the Kerrytown district and renovated in 2010, Baxter House blends Craftsman style with modern touches and offers amenities that include natural and whole food meals, bikes available to rent and, of course, a full, satisfying breakfast. They have five different rooms available, including the entire Baxter House Apartment to sleep four guests.

 

Avalyn Garden Bed and Breakfast

1930 Washtenaw Ave

Less than one mile south of the University of Michigan campus and one and a half miles from downtown Ann Arbor, Avalyn Garden is a bed and breakfast located in a beautiful 1920s home that was renovated in 2005. While maintaining its Arts and Crafts style, the renovations added a gourmet kitchen, sunroom and dining room to make your stay even more relaxing.

 

 

Do you have a favorite place to stay?

Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Where to See Santa in the Ann Arbor Area this Holiday Season

where to see Santa in Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

From Ann Arbor to Dexter and all the way to Northville—Southeast Michigan knows how to welcome Santa Claus! With events and workshops popping up right after Thanksgiving and through Christmas Eve, you and your family will have plenty of opportunities to share your wish lists in person this holiday season.  

We rounded up the events, the brunches and the malls that will be hosting Father Christmas himself. Mark your calendars, check for registration or ticket requirements, and get those wish lists and festive sweaters ready!

 

Briarwood Mall | Ann Arbor

100 Briarwood Cir | November 16 – December 24 | Event info

From mid-November through Christmas Eve, Santa and his shop will be set up in Briarwood Mall every single day. Hours vary each day and there are FastPass options to skip the line. For more information, click here.

 

Three Cedars Farm | Northville

7897 Six Mile Rd | November 23 – December 16 | Event info

The farm fun at Three Cedars doesn’t stop after Halloween. Country Christmas turns the farm into a winter wonderland complete with Christmas trees, wreaths, hot cocoa, roping and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The farm will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Click here for hours.

 

Southern Michigan Railroad | Clinton  

301 W Bartlett St | December 3 – 4 | Event info

where to see Santa in Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

Southern Michigan Railroad keeps this event small and inexpensive so the community’s kids can have a spectacular holiday experience. This December, hop on the train and enjoy a ride to meet Santa himself. From there, the train will take you back to your car for a 30 minute round trip. Book online today before tickets sell out and be sure to bring a toy for Toys for Tots!

 

Saline Rec Center | Saline

1866 Woodland Dr E | December 6 | Event info

The City of Saline is hosting three PJ’s & Stories with Santa events on December 6th. For just $8, kids in their coziest pajamas can enjoy sing-a-longs, crafts, photo opportunities, stories, and treats like milk, cookies and hot chocolate. Pre-register online here.

 

Maybury Farm | Northville  

50165 Eight Mile Rd | December 8 – 9 and 15 – 16 | Event info

Situated on 85 acres, this Northville farm has been a landmark in the community for more than 100 years. Here, children and families can experience the joy of animals, agriculture, farmland and forests year-round. Each December, the farm celebrates the season with Santa Visits. Available two weekends in December, families can come to the Holiday Open House to enjoy delicious treats like hot cocoa and cider, shop in the General Store, see the farm in the snow and meet Santa. There is no admission charge for this event but donations are appreciated.

 

Hudson Mills Metropark | Dexter

8801 N Territorial Rd | December 9 | Event info

where to see Santa in Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

The two Santa Central events at Hudson Mills Metropark on December 9th allow you and your family to meet Santa and take photos with your own camera. Then, you can all enjoy a hayride and make seasonal crafts to take home. For pre-registration information, click here.

 

Matthaei Botanical Gardens | Ann Arbor

1800 N Dixboro Rd | December 15 | Event info

Each year, Father Christmas himself comes to Matthaei Botanical Gardens for one day. A Visit with Father Christmas allows parents, kids, individuals and families to come to the gardens for free and get a great, festive photo with Santa.

 

Kensington Hotel | Ann Arbor

3500 S State St | December 15 | Event info

This year, Brunch with Santa is happening at Kensington Hotel on December 15th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Past events have included omelet stations, vegetarian options like the Michigan Apple Cherry Salad, potatoes, a dessert bar, and the always popular waffle and pancake topping bar.

 

Polo Fields Country Club | Ann Arbor

5200 Polo Fields Dr | December 16 | Event info

where to see Santa in Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on December 16th, guests to Polo Fields Country Club can eat, drink, visit and take photos with Santa! Prices are $36 for adults, $16 for children between 3 and 12, and free for children two years and younger. To see the menu, click here, and call (734) 998-1555 to make reservations.

 

Kerrytown Market & Shops | Ann Arbor

407 N 5th Ave | December 22 | Event info

In Kerrytown, you can visit Santa for free from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 22nd! They’re also hosting a Food Gatherers Can Drive so bring a can of food to donate, too.

 

Happy holidays!  

If you know of a place in the Ann Arbor area where we can see Santa, let us know in the comments below.

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