December is a busy month and everyone has so much going on, but here are a few extra things that might add to your enjoyment!
1. Travel the world with Rick Steves. Our family's favorite travel show host, Rick Steves will be giving a talk at the Michael Guido Theatre at Dearborn's Ford Community and Performing Arts Center on December 4th. This is a fundraiser for Detroit Public Broadcasting so tickets are $30, which might be a bit expensive for a family to attend. So, we plan to take a look at some of our favorite Rick Steves videos, especially his European Christmas. This is a fascinating look at how the holiday is celebrated in small towns and big cities in several countries throughout Europe, featuring breathtaking vistas and convivial concerts. As it does talk about the historical legends behind certain customs, parents might want to view it first to ensure their children are ready for certain information.
Regrettably, we have never been to Europe, it still remains just a dream for us, but watching Rick's gentle, down to earth, friendly, and open-minded travel shows with an emphasis on engaging with local shop owners, innkeepers, and "locals" help remind our family of how kind the world often is. Thank you Rick and team!
Check out ricksteves.com for links to podcasts, videos and great travel ideas.
2. Attend a Community Theatre Performance or Community Concert. When you are travelling, you often have an agenda, a list of major destinations to enjoy, as well as some leisure time by the pool. If you happen to have time to add another event to your list, or if you happen to be looking for something a bit different to do, consider checking out community theatre or concert. We often find that local theatres tend to be very affordably priced and offer family friendly entertainment, plus it is great to support gifted artists who help create community and celebrate creativity.
Whether you attend the Calumet High School production of A Christmas Carol at the Calumet Theatre on December 16, 17, 18, the Tawas Community Concert Band performing at Emanuel Lutheran School's Gym in Tawas on December 12th, or the Redford Civic Symphony performing at St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Livonia on December 4th- your family will be certain to have a good time supporting community artists.
3. Create a family "mix tape" and drive around to look at lights. Although, I am showing my age, "mix-tapes" are definitely coming back! Whether your mix-tape is on cassette, a cd, or created on your phone or tablet, having each member of your family list their five favorite seasonal songs and spending time talking about the perfect order can be a great bonding experience. Then, pile in the car and check out the Wayne County Lightfest, go to Freeland Lights at Tittabawassee Park, head to ZOOLIGHTS at Binder Park Zoo, or just go through a favorite neighborhood (or discover a new neighborhood), listening to music, singing along, and participating in the ancient custom of celebrating light in the these long days of darkness.
Happy December and "Travel Local!"
Family Questions for Discussion
1. Who has inspired your family to appreciate the joys of travel?
2. Has traveling as a family changed you in positive ways?
3. What are some of your family's "must-do" activities in December?
4. What are some unexpected surprises you have enjoyed when seeing local theatre or a community concert?
5. What would your family's "mix-tape" consist of?
6. What is the history of celebrating "light" during this time of year?