Kids: Jay (15), Ray (2), Archer (1)
I have the pleasure of serving as the Executive Director for Read to a Child, a national nonprofit literacy and mentoring organization with a mission is to foster a love of reading, improve literacy skills and empower underserved children by inspiring adults to read to them regularly. I am a Detroit native but currently live in Berkley with my husband and three sons. My husband Pete and I have been married 3 and it’s a second marriage for us both. There are so many things about raising children in a blended family and that we just didn’t anticipate but we’re figuring things out.
KIWANIS TOT LOT // BERKLEY
This hidden little gem is a perfect place to play with kiddos 5 and under. The park was designed with toddlers in mind and has play structures, bounce toys and swings that will allow your little one to play until they are asking for nap time. There are also picnic tables and tons of green space which are perfect for impromptu mommy meetups.
BELLE ISLE // DETROIT
Growing up, my parents took me to Belle Isle every Saturday morning and I fell in love with everything about it. I have fond memories of playing in the sand, bolting down the Giant Slide and enjoying the Zoo. Now as a mother and with the awesome improvements made, my boys can enjoy the beautiful aquarium, nature center, paddle boats, swimming, biking and a multitude of activities that are ongoing throughout the year. This place truly has something for everyone and it allows for my entire family to enjoy ourselves together which is rare given the large age difference between our boys.
MT ELLIOT SPLASH PAD // DETROIT
This is by far the coolest local treasure around. Mt. Elliott Park & Pavilion has a pirate ship, water cannons and cascades that are AMAZING for a summer cool down with the kids. There is a huge pavilion with tons of seating, restrooms and concessions that are very well maintained. The park is a part of the Detroit Riverwalk as well which allows for fishing and a relaxing stroll after the kids tire from splash time fun. Did I mention, it’s completely free!
CHANDLER PARK FAMILY AQUATIC CENTER // DETROIT
This is a true hidden gem. I used to be a Red Oaks water park loyalist until I ventured to the east side of Detroit and entered this beautifully maintained water park. There is a wave pool, water slides, tot area and concession that rivals most of the local waterparks I have been to. The staff is great and the admission price is only $8 for adults, $6 for ages 3 and over and $3 for ages 2 and under.
“I am my worst critic. Giving my children a lollipop at 2 years old just so that he will stop screaming in the middle of a crowded department store may not be in the top 5 parenting strategies book, but the screaming did end. Going home lamenting over such a small #parentfail is foolish and is energy that would be best served in a congratulatory cookie and wine break for not going nuclear on your toddler.”