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“hard time” in education lockdown. Tips for sincerity: try not to smile directly at them when you mention school supplies, new teachers and study buddies. Do make an effort at minimal eye rolling when faced with back-to-school whining (it will only be returned ten-fold along with some sass). Happily drive those kids and their tag- along friends to one last shebang while you plot what to do with your new free time.


t’s sort of like last call at the bar: Wait, what? We’ve got to go home now? The party is over? It doesn’t keep on going? Nah, sorry. And in the world of a child, August is a sweaty reminder that their “last call” is coming. That back-to- school vibe begins and summer’s wild abandon ends. Show some compassion while you schlep your child off to one last fun-filled event before they face

Wazobia performs at Grand Rapids Public Library

about the farmers market,” says Kara de Alvare, Downtown Holland event coordinator.

MOVIES IN THE PARK: TANGLED John Collins Park, 650 Lakeside Drive, East Grand Rapids Aug. 26, at dusk (about 8:30 p.m.) FREE!, (616) 940-4800, ext. 300

Making veggie dolls at Holland Farmers Market

MAKE YOUR OWN VEGGIE DOLLS Holland Farmers Market Eighth Street Market Place, 150 West Eighth St., Holland Aug. 10, 10 a.m.-noon FREE!, (616) 796-1210

Kids and vegetables. Not the best of friends. But back to school time means back to rules and structure. You can thank The Holland Area Arts Council for partnering with the Holland Farmers Market and teaching kids to play with their food which, in turn, gets them reacquainted with different kinds of market edibles and why they’re important. Children from preschool to fifth grade tackle fresh vegetables from the Farmers Market with toothpicks and recycled fabrics to infuse some per- sonality into veggie doll creations. “It’s a fun way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into art projects and it gets kids excited


Big decision: Are you a lawn chair or blanket kind of squat- ter? Make your choice and bring the whole family to watch a movie under the stars. The Disney movie playing that evening is Tangled, featuring a feisty tower-bound Rapunzel and her quest to freedom. Past Movies in the Park events have included a Frisbee toss and giveaways at the beginning of each movie. This community event is a great way to enjoy precious summer nights in the beautiful John Collins Park setting. “Tangled is the last scheduled movie of the summer before school starts up,” says Pam Slater, recreation supervisor for the East Grand Rapids Parks. The movie is the perfect way to wrap up the joys of summer with friends. Oh, and no need to fret if you forget your picnic basket as refreshments will be available for purchase.

AMERICAN GIRL BACK TO SCHOOL TEA Celery Flats Stuart Manor, 7335 Garden Lane, Portage Aug. 19 noon-1:30 p.m. Adults: $20, youth ages 5-12: $15 (pre-paid reservations are required), (269) 329-4522

If you’re sending ‘em back to school, you’d better send them off in style. A flashy backpack, lunchbox and cartoon-character school supplies won’t cut it this year. Instead, girls can indulge

in a fancy tea revolving around a particular doll and theme at the Celery Flats Stuart Manor. Guests may sip, chat and mingle at will on a visit to a one-room schoolhouse all while toting around and showing off prized American Girl dolls. “This is a full four-course tea—a high tea, so it’s a meal. It’s not just scones. Each course is brought out by servers with china, real teacups and kid-friendly food,” says Allison Alexander, cultural events coordinator for the City of Portage. Keeping it real moment: If kids don’t have a real taste for tea, pink lemonade is on hand. A visit right next door to a traditional, restored, one-room schoolhouse (in use until 1947) features desks and is the setting for the craft activity.

by Missy Black |

SUMMER READING CELEBRATION Veterans’ Memorial Park, Grand Rapids

Aug. 6, 2-4 p.m. FREE!, 616-988-5400

The Grand Rapids Public Library knows how to throw a party. Join in on an afternoon of jam-packed activities taking place outside at Veterans’ Memorial Park for the free Summer Reading Celebration. Say goodbye to summer with perfor- mances from puppeteer Kevin Kammeraad and WaZoBia, an African drumming, singing and dancing group. Add to that some storytelling, dancing, music, juggling and the chance to get your face painted by Grandma Turtle and crafts provided by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Finally, the Shoebox Troupe promotes creativity with clowning, storytelling, balloon sculptures, live music, magic, games and more. Fun in the sun is here but don’t worry, in the event of rain the party moves indoors to the Main Library. n


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