Learn to Be a Tourist in Your own Hometown

Regardless if you love the cold and snowy weather or like me, wish you could hibernate until spring, the cold weather can have an impact on keeping ourselves and our kids entertained.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you must have a boring winter doing the same things you have always done.  This is a chance to go places that you have always wanted to but didn’t want to spend a glorious summer day inside.  Recently, I have been a trek of trying to ensure that I take that class I’ve always wanted to, attend the library program that I think is interesting and just trying something new.  Here are a few of my ideas for keeping your sanity as we enter winter. Try something new and be a tourist in your own hometown.

Recently, I went into Essa Arts for the first time.  After seeing how beautiful their studio was I started following them on Facebook.  I was amazed at the amount of kid and adult classes they offer for reasonable prices.  I’m sure that I will be enjoying more than one of their offerings this winter.  Be sure and check them out at FB/EssaArts. Their classes range from paintings, dye your own garments to Adult Make and Take classes and everything in between.

If crafts aren’t your thing, then take in a show at the Potter Center.  This is a great way to expose kids to the arts but also a chance to introduce them to a college campus.  College visits don’t have to wait until they are in high school.  Showing them that college isn’t scary and can be a fun and exciting time is key to encouraging them to want to explore their possibilities.  The Potter Center has some family friendly winter programming including: Moscow’s Ballet Festival Swan Lake in January, Cirque Ziva in March and Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience in April.  To check these out and the rest of the season go to: www.jccmi.edu/entertainment-events/potter-center.

Want something more hands on?  Then volunteer with your kids.  Volunteering with local nonprofits helps teach kids about giving back, being involved and that everyone can make a difference.  Some of my favorite nonprofits are: Cascades Humane Society, Jackson County Animal Shelter, Salvation Army, Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County and Ella Sharp Museum.  Be sure and call them to find out about their volunteer opportunities.

As I always say it’s not so much about what you do but that you are doing something.  Don’t hibernate this winter, get out there and try something new and be a tourist in your own hometown.

--- November 2017

Valerie Herr is a passionate community member, writer and regular contributor to the Experience Jackson Blog. This series of blogs, entitled Learn To Be a Tourist in Your Own Town was originally published in the Jackson Area Collaborative Kids Source (J.A.C.K.S) Newspaper and we've been graciously allowed to republish them electronically. Enjoy. 

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