MAD (Mindie, Adam, Alex, David) Family Fun is the result of friends and family asking "How do you find so much fun stuff to do?" So, I decided to share with everyone! There are no BIG secrets involved, I promise. I just have a knack for finding fun and now I want to share it with you!

MAD Family Fun is a place to find activities, events and ideas to have more fun with your family. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park


Today was the day we have been waiting for with great anticipation, the grand opening at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park. We, it seems, were not alone. The parking lot filled quickly as families from all over arrived to see Michigan’s newest zoo.

Boulder Ridge is the brain child of Dave and Dawn Hoekstra, who for the last 20 years have developed a passion for wildlife and the desire to share it with others. Rick “the reptile guy” is also on staff and the three of them have developed something very special. Not only is Boulder Ridge an amazing place to visit, but they pride themselves on being self-sustaining by growing their own grain and hay.

Now you might be wondering why you should take the time to visit Boulder Ridge versus another zoo. Well for me, the fact they have animals that no other zoos in Michigan have, such as the cassowary, made the drive and price of admission well worth it. These prehistoric looking birds are very shy, but when disturbed, they are capable of inflicting serious injuries


What else does Boulder Ridge have to offer? Glad you asked! Their exhibit are is very nice. The reptile house is full of interesting critters. The bridge over the gator pond is a nice touch and the tractor ride tour is full of surprises.  One of my son's favorite exhibits was the aviary, where you can feed the parakeets.

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We could have spent hours in the aviary with all of his new "friends."


I am sure you all have been to the petting zoo portion of a zoo, but you have never had the chance to pet anything like the petting zoo at Boulder Ridge! When was the last time you petted a baby bison or a 4 day old wilderbeast!?!?! Not to mention I have it on good authority that the zebras are expecting and a baby zebra may be making an appearance in the petting zoo. 



While Boulder Ridge does not currently offer food, they do have a beautiful picnic pavilion in the zoo you are welcome to use. The are in the process of putting in a play area for the children. And as a parent I am happy to announce their gift shop will not break the bank!

One gator grabber thing, a snake and a stuffed parrot, less then $11. The dorky smile on his face? Priceless!
I don't want to spoil your fun, because you really need to see this place for yourself, so I am only going to post a few more photos. I hope they peek your interest and get you motivated to go out and have some family fun this summer at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park!





Friday, July 29, 2011

What the heck!!?! Why I've been MIA.....

I want to start by saying I am sorry for being MIA the last week or so. My hubby has been on vacation this week but what is even more responsible for my lack of attention is the fact we have received a startling surprise here at MAD.

Back in June, our son went to the grandparents for a weekend. Shortly after I started getting very nauseous. Then a certain something did not show up (women you know what I mean.) SURPRISE, the test came back positive.

Yes folks, it would seem that at 37 years old, just when my “baby” is getting ready to head off to kindergarten, we may be starting all over. Forgive me, but I am having a very hard time wrapping my mind around this. If you have read my “meet the MAD staff” section, you will know that we have experienced both early term and late losses in pregnancy.

So, between throwing up and freaking out, I have neglected you and for that I am sorry. I promise that once we see a heart beat on this little “guy” (in about a week or so) I will get back to being focused. So bear with me as MAD Family Fun might be turning into MAD Family Fun plus ONE. LOL

Thursday, July 28, 2011

FREE kid's e-book


Fans of Dora the explorer are growing up and now so is Dora! The new Dora's Explorer Girls is for the older fans. They are offering a free chapter e-book you can read online or download called "The Runaway Puppy."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot enough to cook an egg?


Well it is 110 degrees in Michigan today. The old phrase "hot enough to cook an egg" popped in my mind, so we are running a little experiment to see if we can actually cook an egg! Any predictions? We will be checking them at 15 minute intervals.


The results....

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hurry and get signed up for some building fun!

Time to get signed up for Lowe's Build and Grow clinic. It's Free and fun! On July 23rd's the building project is this awesome pair of binoculars!


And on Augusts 13 they will be making this cute photo holder!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Disc Dogs are Fun

Flying Aces Professional Flying Disc Team from Grass Lake, MI, brought some of their disc dogs to our local library in the park program. Their dogs are rescued animals, which to me, makes them even more special.

Brian Hayes who fonded the Flying Aces did an introduction on Frisbees. Did you know the first Frisbees were based on pie pans from the Frisbie bakery? Who knew! He also showed the children how to throw and do tricks with a disc.

Spinning a disc on his finger


 Then out came Ulysses, Wild Man Chase, Bad Lad, & Miss Maggie who all put on a wonderful performance! The children (and I, hey I am a big kid at heart!) truly loved the show.



Now I didn't have the best seat in the house for videoing (darn park grill) but the video is still fun to watch. Not only was the crowd having fun, but you can tell these dogs where having fun as well. Just looking at their faces you can imagine them saying "throw it, throw it, throw it!!"


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I am not sure of prices or any of that such business nonsense, but if you have a group who wants to hire these guys to do a show, you can! They also do school fundraisers.

Disc dogs are really fun to watch. Try googling disc dog and your state to see if there is a demonstration or compitition in your area. Get out there and have some fun watching some dogs do what they love.

Give-A-Way: Lets see your fun!

I am feeling like spreading some fun around! For the Give-A-Way you will win a MAD Family Fun surprise Fun Pack. All you have to do is post a picture of your family having fun on the MAD Family Fun Facebook page and tell me about the fun! Everyone who posts a picture will be entered. That simple!

So have some fun and post those pictures!!! You have till Monday! (7/25/11)

Puddle Fun

What to do, what to do....

It is 7am and it is already hotter the H E double hockey sticks. It is so hot my child refuses to even go out to swim! I can only take so many cartoons. So what to do? This is when you bust out the craft box!

You don't even need to have a craft in mind, just give them some supplies and step back. With a little creativity and unsupervised time you might be amazed what you children will make!

Rock, puff ball, wiggly eyes, pipe cleaner and paint: It's a butterfly!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Take a bite out of crime


Good old McGruff has been around for a few decades now, teaching children how to be safe. McGruff has gone high tech and has his own website now! Bullying is the newest problem McGruff is taking on in his office. Why not pop over and check it out. The new school year will be here sooner then we think.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our Fair Fun

Summer is here and that means county fairs! We live near a few counties so we go to a lot of fairs. Today was the first of the summer and it was "Toddler Day" which meant all children 6 and under and parents got in FREE. Not a bad way to start the day. Of course we had to visit with all the animals first.






We did a few extra fun things like ride a camel. I mean come on $5 for a pony ride or $5 for a camel ride, it's a no brainer!

We also visited a free exhibit on being a veterinarian. Here my son got to perform "surgery" on a toy bunny with tummy pains. He loves it. That little blue sponge on the table is a lung!


And then there were the rides! For a $5 dollar wristband, the children could ride all the kiddy rides they wanted for 2 hours. Now my son is a bit of, well, he doesn't go for the fast and scary rides. That being said, I had to force him on the ride in the video. Some times as a parent you have to push a little. He was surprised he liked the ride (which I knew he would. ) In fact he liked it so much he went again!

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So for $10 we had a wonderful adventure at the fair. I did have a flat tire when we left but since that turned into it's own adventure, well the cost of the new tire will not be held against the fair outing!

Summer means FAIRS


Rides, corn dogs, cotton candy! It summer and that means county fairs! And you can get deals on the county fair too! Like today, for us, it is "toddler day" which means 5 and under are FREE. For the kiddy rides from 12-2pm you can get a ride wristband for $5. Not to mention all the special activities for kids today including bike give-a-ways!

Why not check out your county fair. Make sure you look for special days and coupons!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cool FREE beetle stuff

Remember when I posted about learning about a BAD beetle? Well we just got our kid kit from the Emerald Ash Borer website! Looks like we are gonna have some fun with these activities!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pooh & Friends Puppets


Pooh and friends are becoming popular again with a new movie coming out. Disney has this cute craft you can make. Now they say to use colored bags, I don't know where you would get those, so we just used crayons to color our bags. We also used construction paper instead of card stock and they still came out cute! So have a pot of honey and make some fun.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

FREE Slurpee!!


Tomorrow is 7-11-11 and  7-Eleven is giving away FREE slurpees at participating stores!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Train Fun!

Hey my fun friends, does you child love trains? Well check this out!

Cow Appreciation Day July 8th! FREE stuff!!


Chick-fil-a is having Cow Appreciation Day July 8th! Dress up to get some FREE food! They even have a link to help you make a costume. So get you Mooooooooo on!

Learn about a bad beetle


Who is this bad beetle? It is the Emerald Ash Borer and he needs to be stopped. This website by the USDA has a wonderful kids corner full of activities, information and free kits. Find out if this bad bug is in your state (he is in ours) and what you can do to help stop him!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The S'more Store



When I say S'mores, what comes to mind? Joyful memories of childhood camp outs? The overwhelming pain in the hind end of transporting the ingredients when you go camping as an adult? What if I told you there is a product out that that cuts the mommy hassles of making S'mores and returns the joy for not only the children but you too?

What is this miracle? The S'more Store! This convenient and portable storage container is durable and eliminates having to dig through cabinets or camping supplies to find your S'more ingredients. Just ask my 5 year old! He can quickly locate everything he needs with in seconds and have a S'more made in the microwave in under 30 seconds. Gone are the days of "MOOOOOOOM, where are the marshmallows?"

I was so excited when I got mine to review. It was much larger then I expected it to be and holds 3 packs of gram crackers, 6 bars of chocolate and a whole bag of marshmallows! Gone are the day of marshmallows on the ground around the campfire. Gone are the days of missing chocolate! Let's be honest, you wake up, crawl out of your tent for that morning cup of coffee only to find half used chocolate bars here, there, and everywhere, well that is just chocolate abuse!

Besides being super convenient, totally practical and an essential item for any mom (dad, grandparent, even people without children who just love S'mores), this thing is also absolutely adorable! I mean come on, it looks like a big ol S'more!

Hats off and thank you to Jill Schwanz Warsaw and Diane Rinaldi Mathis  for coming up with an amazing product!  You can  order your own S'more Store too.


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Team Umizoomi Coloring book!



Does you child love team Umizoomi? May they just enjoy coloring! Well here is a 20 page printable coloring book just for them!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BOGO Shakes


If you "like" Arby's on Facebook and you can print a coupon for buy one Jamocha Oreo shake and get one FREE. Talk about a sweet way to beat some of this summer heat!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Coloring Pages

Need a minute to finish up those deviled eggs? Why not give the kiddos some 4th of July coloring pages to keep them busy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bald Eagle Toilet Paper Roll Craft

I came across this totally cute craft for the 4th of July, a bald eagle. It is easy to do, as they have templates for it. You child can either color the print offs or you can print it all ready to go, which makes it easy for any age group!

Fire safety

With the fourth of July right around the corner, it is important to remember fires safety. While fireworks are fun, they can also be dangerous. That is why I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone to teach the little ones about fire safety.

You can order some FREE fire safety items from FEMA. We enjoyed ours and it arrived very quickly.










You can also get a FREE Pet Safety Pack from the ASPCA.