Do you need ideas for activities to do with kids? Tried and true suggestions that real parents actually do? Here they are! We’re asking families to share their favorites, to help you find yours.


Do you need ideas for activities to do with kids? Tried and true suggestions that real parents actually do? Here they are! We’re asking families to share their favorites, to help you find yours.

Are you following @oakandreel on Instagram? Local dad Jared is a two-time Michelin Star rated chef and the owner + founder of Oak & Reel restaurant in Detroit that serves up delicious contemporary Italian dishes.


Meet Jared

Hi, I’m Jared – my wife is Abby Gadbaw and Oliver (5) & Everly (4) are our kids. We moved back home to Michigan (I grew up in Garden City) almost 4 years ago to open our restaurant, Oak & Reel. My daughter was 6 months and my son 2.5 yrs. I had the incredible opportunity to be the stay-at-home father for almost 3 years while we began building the business that we opened in September of 2020. My wife, Abby, works from home so we became a very close family over those years which, I feel, will continue through their lives. The kids would come with me to the construction site in the early days and they still come for dinner every Sunday. They love spending time with the pastry chef and nothing makes me happier than to share this other love of mine (cooking) with them. You can follow them through our Instagram page, @oakandreel.


Favorite Ways To Spend Family Time:

  • Playing
  • Eating
  • Snuggling


Favorite Places To Go:


Favorite Bedtime Stories:


Favorite Family Friendly Restaurants:



Best Park/Playground: Belle Isle (Detroit)

Belle Isle offers so much for the family to do especially with the reopening of the conservatory and aquarium. There is really something to do no matter the weather and I love telling my kids how my Grandparents used to live in Detroit and would go sleep on Belle Isle in the summer when their apartment on Cass would get too hot.


Best Family-Friendly Annual Event: Michigan Renaissance Festival (Holly)

We are big on creating traditions for our family whether it is a summer trip up north, apple orchards, or cutting Christmas trees but there is nothing like The Renaissance Festival. It remains unchanged from when I would go with my parents and my brother and we would get wooden swords to beat each other with. It shows them that everyone is different and different is cool. Plus Oliver loves all things weapons and Everly loves fairies and princesses of which there is no shortage.


Your DAD Must-Have: Perspective

I try to step out of the role of father and be their friend as much as possible. Sometimes that is encouraging them to do things a parent might hesitate to let their kids do. I feel this creates a mutual level of respect and trust so that they listen better when I am speaking in my “Dad Voice” and generally respect my requests. This doesn’t always work but I love the relationship I have with them.


Best Fall Destination or Event: Apple Orchards

There is nothing like a fresh spiced doughnut and some apple cider amongst the turning leaves of Michigan. There are no shortages of orchards everywhere so pick one closest to you and go!


“Pat Yourself on the Back” Accomplishment: The relationship I have with my wife & kids

Most people probably have this as well but I am proud of the father I have become and excited for our future together.


Our #MomLife Series is Presented by Hungry Howie’s – the Official Pizza of Moms!


Photo credit: wwww.devinparrishphotography.com/@devinparrishphotography.”


Ashley Porter Headshot

About Ashley Hubbbard-Porter

Ashley Porter is a Chicago native who now calls Birmingham home. Ashley and her husband Mike and son Jake love attending local festivals, exploring Detroit’s diverse food scene, and venturing outside of Metro Detroit to enjoy the natural beauty of Michigan. With a background in Early Childhood Education, Ashley loves connecting with and supporting families in her community, which is why she is so excited to be a part of LittleGuide Detroit.




Looking for inspiration + ideas for things to do with kids in Metro Detroit? Tried and true suggestions that real…

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