The leaves on the trees are changing and make the perfect backdrop for a road trip. Put on your favorite…
Kids: Henry (2), Sterling (8 months)
Hometown: Royal Oak
I’m a writer, mom and wife. I’m fortunate to be able to work mainly from home, so I spend my days cooking (and cleaning), working, and playing with my two little boys. My husband and I tag team taking care of our babes (and he also runs a restaurant and co-hosts a radio show), so we get to spend a lot of time together (even if it usually involves at least half a pack of wipes).
ELLIE’S // BERKLEY
One of the best discoveries of my adult life has been restaurants that are unassuming but delicious. Ellie’s is hands down some of the best, home-cooked food our family has ever had. It serves authentic Hungarian on Coolidge in downtown Berkeley. Our family loves the wait staff, the quiet atmosphere, but most of all the food! Spätzle, beef tips, beef marsala, sausages and pierogis… and soup that is to die for. It’s a small place, but they cater to our kids (who love the spaghetti), offer highchairs and charm, and we always leave feeling full and happy.
FARMER’S MARKET // ROYAL OAK
Visiting our local farmer’s market has become a much-anticipated weekly tradition in our home. Our kids are usually up relatively early, even on the weekends, so we don’t mind strolling the market with a cup of coffee in hand. The kids love grabbing berries and beef jerky to munch on, and I get some grocery shopping done! (My husband kindly navigates the double stroller through the crowds…). I’m pretty passionate about trying to get our kids to eat diverse and healthy foods. Showing them options other than a grocery store is a great way to do that! They also love being out and about with mom and dad, other kids, parents and friends we undoubtedly see every Saturday!
GOLDFISH SWIM SCHOOL // BIRMINGHAM
I like to keep things simple when I can. So during Michigan’s warmer months I try to give them the freedom to do self-directed play outside as much as possible. For our family, that means one or at most two classes per week (I found that after having two, that was really the limit of what mom and dad could handle in a 7-day period). Goldfish swim school has been a great experience for our older son, who is now learning to swim on his own in the big pool. He looks forward to it every week, and it’s an essential skill for him to start honing. It’s also a great place for mom to socialize! Our younger son has essentially grown up going to his brother’s swim classes every week, and I know he can’t wait to dip his toes in soon as well!
ERWIN’S ORCHARD // SOUTH LYON
Having two littles under two kind of cramps your ability to do things with much predictability, so we haven’t established too many annual traditions as a family yet. But something we have managed to do every year is go apple picking. This is a great activity whether you have a tiny babe, a toddler, or (I imagine) older kids, too! Erwin’s has plenty of apples, apple cider, and other treats, as well as a small petting zoo. Tip: go at lunchtime and make a meal of it: apples, donuts and cider make as good a lunch as any!
“If you can tolerate animals, consider getting a pet early on in your kids’ lives. We have three cats. In addition being fun, they provide opportunities to teach our kids about how to treat animals (and people), they get kids accustomed to other living things in the house, and they provide no shortage of chores for the kids to eventually take over!”
About Kaitlyn Buss
Kaitlyn Buss Cobb is opinion editor at The Detroit News and contributes often to LittleGuide Detroit. She and her husband live in Royal Oak with their two little boys and three rowdy cats. Kaitlyn enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and playing in her garden in between managing naptimes.