Looking for inspiration + ideas for things to do with kids in Metro Detroit? Tried and true suggestions that real moms actually do? Here they are! We’re asking local Metro Detroit families to share their favorites, to help you find yours.
Are you following @sweetmittendreams Julie is a local mom of 3 kiddos and the owner and founder of Sweet Mitten Dreams which offers the most breathtakingly adorable play tent packages and sensory “Dream Bins” for littles. Support local and have Julie plan your next birthday party but first, get to know her and some of her family’s favorite local finds!
To brighten up the holidays at home, Julie is giving away a FREE Christmas in the Mitten party rental! 5 tents, air mattresses, Christmas decor/fixings, and a hot cocoa bar set up (valued at $300).
Hi! My name is Julie and I am a stay at home mom to three kids. Brady (5.5), Hudson (4), and Teagan (2). Yes, busy busy! I always knew I wanted to be a mom and have a family one day but never realized that it would be the hardest job I’ve ever had. Our kids are 20- 22 months apart and our third was a preemie (born at 29 weeks), so life has definitely thrown us curve balls along the way.
Sweet Mitten Dreams was born during the pandemic after I realized we would be spending more time at home “camping out.” One day I decided to sew a few play tents and make it a fun activity for the kids to do indoors. After receiving interest in the idea from friends and family, we realized it could be a business and we decided to go for it. It was scary, exciting, and so many other emotions but above all, I was feeling those similar feelings as a recruiter that I got to help parents plan their children’s birthdays or first sleepovers and create customized tents as gifts that brought smiles and joy on faces. I just knew this was our next chapter. Our mission is to help kids celebrate everyday fun through our products and services.
Favorite Ways To Spend Family Time:
- Playing games
- Going on neighborhood walks
- Baking/Cooking with the kids
Favorite Places To Go:
- DNR Outdoor Adventure Center (Detroit)
- Great Lakes Crossing Outlets (Auburn Hills)
- Detroit Zoo (Royal Oak)
Favorite Bedtime Stories:
- Love You Stinky Face by Lisa Mccourt
- Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
- Mo, Ba, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
- My husband’s grandma’s spaghetti sauce
- My mother in laws Chicken Bundles
- My mother’s Turkey Chili
Best Park/Playground: Rochester Municipal Park (Rochester)
We love this park because it’s local, there are two different playgrounds, we can bring our bikes and scooters and ride throughout the park, and can even take a walk to a local restaurant downtown if we decide to grab a bite to eat.
Best Family-Friendly Annual Event: Santa Visit @ Cherry Creek Golf Club (Shelby Township)
The food is amazing, there are Santa and Ms. Claus pictures, and they even bring a few reindeer with them too! Our kids really enjoy this event and it’s something we look forward to every holiday season.
Your Mom Must Have: Backpack Diaper Bag
We all know we could use extra hands so a backpack diaper bag has been my favorite thing. I always have an extra change of clothes for the kids, snacks, water bottles, creams and sunscreens, diapers, and kleenex!
Best Winter Destination: Downtown Rochester Lights
We usually pick a night to do a family dinner downtown and then walk the streets to grab ice cream. My birthday is in December so we usually celebrate that and spend an evening downtown. It is so beautiful and brings in a big crowd every year.
“Pat Yourself on the Back” Accomplishment: Starting My Own Business
I would have to say starting my own business. I always dreamt of being an entrepreneur/business owner but never thought I’d go for it especially with how busy life is. I am so happy I get to do what I love and still have the flexibility as a mom.
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.