Archive for July, 2014|Monthly archive page

Join the fight against heatstroke deaths on Heatstroke Prevention Day

The dog days of summer are officially here as the July sun sets into August. That means it’s more important than ever to take extra precaution to help save children from heatstroke. Today, Chrysler Group joins the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a discussion focused on raising awareness about the dangers of kids in cars, as well as preventing heatstroke.

At least 19 children have already died this year from vehicular heatstroke, which means one child dies from being left in a hot vehicle nearly every 10 days. It is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle deaths for children 14 and under.

Sadly, 52% of kids who died from vehicular heatstroke were “forgotten” by their caregiver. This is a 100% preventable tragedy, which is why it’s so important to look before you lock!

Another thing to keep in mind is how much easier it is for a child to overheat than it is for the average adult. On a hot day, a child’s temperature heats up five times faster than an adult’s does. It’s also important to remember that children are at higher risk of dying from heatstroke because many are too young to communicate. In more than 29% of cases of fatal heatstroke, a child got into the vehicle on their own, so be sure to keep a close eye on children, even if there isn’t a car ride planned.

Even if you aren’t a child’s caregiver, it is still critical to take action if you see a child alone in a hot vehicle. Safe Kids recommends that you call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you see this. If the child is in distress due to heat, get him or her out of the vehicle as quickly as possible, by any means necessary, and cool the child rapidly by spraying him or her with cool water or a garden hose. The same is true for pets left in hot cars – not only do they have a higher body temperature to start with, but they’re also wearing a fur coat.

Join us to help fight heatstroke deaths by discussing the issue on social media. While you are on Facebook or Twitter today, use the hashtags #heatstroke#heatstrokekillsand #checkforbaby. Sharing this information with your family and friends will help get the word out about vehicular heatstroke.

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What to Know Before You Tow a Fifth-Wheel Trailer

There’s a good chance that the computer you’re reading this article on and the food you had for breakfast this morning came off the back of a truck and that’s why the fifth-wheel hitch is so important. It is the primary link between tractor and trailer

But you don’t have to be a big rig driver to use a fifth wheel. The most common personal use fifth-wheel trailers are for recreation, including horse carriers and travel trailers, meaning plenty of people are hitching up fifth wheels every day.

Why go Fifth-Wheel?

A fifth-wheel hitch is all about optimal weight distribution.

As you add weight to a trailer hitched to the rear end of a vehicle, the front wheels will begin to lift because the rear axle acts as a pivot point. On top of that, the majority of the weight will rest on the rear suspension, increasing the risk that something will break or wear out.

Ultimately, the dynamics of your tow vehicle will be increasingly compromised as the load on your rear-mounted hitch gets heavier. With a fifth wheel, the weight that is placed on the truck is between the rear axle and the cab, eliminating the pivot point and spreading the weight evenly over all four wheels, allowing the suspension to share the load. This makes sure that the dynamics of your tow vehicle are affected less.

Another advantage to towing with a fifth wheel is the increased turning radius. The front end of the trailer sits above the truck bed helping to reduce overall length. This setup also allows you to turn the trailer up to ninety degrees and even a little more in some cases, making it easier to back up.

And once your rig is backed into its spot – whether it be a motor home or a trailer – a fifth-wheel hitch allows you to unhitch your trailer quickly and easily so you can use your tow vehicle independently.

What kind of truck do you need?

So the advantages are clear, but where do you start when looking for the appropriate tow vehicle and fifth-wheel hitch?

First, you need a truck. While a half-ton, like a Ford F-150 or Ram 1500, is enough to pull a fifth wheel, most people who spring for a trailer big enough to warrant a bed-mounted hitch will likely need at least a three-quarter-ton truck like a Ram 2500 or Ford F-250.

You want the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the truck to exceed the weight of the truck and trailer tongue weight combined, by at least 10 percent, which is a much easier rule to follow with a larger truck. Curb weight is also important, as the heavier your tow vehicle is, the better it will handle the weight. And when it comes to hauling a big fifth-wheel, the last thing you want is to feel your trailer overpowering your truck.

The configuration of the truck is also important, mainly for the bed length. An eight-foot bed, the longest you can get on any pickup, is always your best bet when pulling a fifth-wheel mounted trailer, because you need space in front of the hitch itself for the trailer overhang to clear the back window of the truck cab.

A short-bed truck is useable, but you need to take extra precautions to be sure the trailer is secure. One answer is the use of a slider hitch. This allows you to move the actual connection point of the trailer and hitch forwards and backwards. It is placed forward while the vehicle is in motion to make sure the weight is centered on the truck, and it is pushed back when you need to maneuver through a tight space to allow the front of the trailer more space to swing.

You can also install an extender on your trailer that moves the kingpin connection forward, creating more clearance for the front end of the trailer. Keep in mind that this also moves the weight of the trailer back, deteriorating the advantage of having a fifth wheel.

Time to Install

Once you have your truck and trailer matched, it’s time to install your fifth wheel. You can do it yourself, but if you buy a one-size-fits-all kit, odds are you will be doing some drilling or welding that isn’t necessary. Getting your hitch straight from the manufacturer will save you time and stress because the frame rails come with preexisting holes that are ready to accept a fifth-wheel.

Strong anchor points are the key to a solid fifth wheel. A set of brackets hook up to the frame of your pickup and act as an anchor for two hitch rails that are located in the bed. Those rails then anchor the actual fifth-wheel hitch receiver, which is fitted with a set of jaws. When hooked up, the jaws close around the kingpin on the trailer and lock it in.

Drop-in bedliners are one thing to avoid if you plan to install a fifth wheel. To fit the hitch rails in the bed, you must cut out sections of the liner. If you install them on the liner, the plastic caught between the hitch and the bed will eventually wear away, leaving you with a loose hitch connection. And even if you take the proper steps and cut the liner away, the hitch rail connecting points will be much harder to access because of the encroaching bedliner, which is sometimes left with sharp edges. If you’re going fifth-wheel, choose a bare bed or a spray-in liner and save yourself the pain later on.

Hooking Up and Hitting the Road

The hitching process is another reason to consider a fifth wheel, because in a lot of ways it is much easier than a rear-mounted hitch. First of all, you don’t necessarily need a spotter, though having a second set of eyes is always better for hooking up. By looking over your shoulder, you can clearly see the both the hitch jaws and trailer kingpin. Start by dropping your tailgate, and backing the hitch towards the pin to first determine if the two are at the right height. If they don’t match up, you may have to raise or lower your trailer using the front jacks.

Some fifth-wheel hitches can pivot front to back and side to side, which will allow you to hookup even if the angle of the truck and trailer don’t perfectly match. If yours isn’t this type of hitch, the angle of the kingpin must be lined up with the hitch receiver. The easiest way to do that is to adjust the trailer jacks individually until you find the right spot.

Before you finally make the connection, you have to make sure the jaws on the receiver are open and set to receive, which is something you can control with a long arm that comes out of the side of the hitch. If everything is correct, the last step is to back the truck up to the trailer so that the kingpin fits directly into the cradle on the hitch receiver. You should hear a loud clicking sound, indicating the jaws have grabbed the kingpin.

Before you take off, there are a few more things to remember. You must lock the jaws shut and that’s usually done with a cotter pin to keep the control arm in place. Next, almost every fifth wheel is equipped with its own brakes, so you must connect the emergency breakaway line to the hitch. It can usually be attached to the control handle and will make sure that if the hitch jaws somehow let go of the trailer, the trailer brakes will lock up and stop the unsecured load.

Next, raise up your trailer jacks to the fully retracted position, so that the front of the trailer is fully supported by the truck. Don’t forget to connect and check the trailer lights and finally, make sure you close the tailgate before you pull out.

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Quality Built into Each 2015 Chrysler 200

Quality is typically at top of mind for anyone looking to buy a new vehicle. Here are some of the ways Chrysler Group has made quality front and center in the development of its all-new 2015 Chrysler 200.

Before they are shipped to dealers, shiny new Chrysler 200 sedans pass through the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant’s (SHAP) newly-added Quality Assurance Center in the final step of the vehicle’s exhaustive quality process.

Randomly selected vehicles are scrutinized each day in the first-of-its-kind Quality Assurance Center, which conducts quality audits and detailed technical measurements on more than 400 vehicle functions (such as heating, cooling, emissions, fit-and-finish) and houses a material laboratory staffed with an on-site chemist.

“We’re confident the 2015 Chrysler 200 will make a strong first impression with customers,” Doug Betts, Senior Vice President—Quality, said. “The all-new sedan benefits from a significantly enhanced quality process at the plant that’s part of our commitment to World Class Manufacturing. Quality and customer satisfaction are part of everyone’s job.”

About one and a half years ago, team leaders at SHAP started analyzing and planning how they would build the all-new Chrysler 200. SHAP employees identified and implemented approximately 3,500 quality controls into the assembly process before the first customer vehicles were built.

“The goal is to design each workstation so it’s impossible to make a mistake,” Betts explained. “The best expert on how to error-proof a specific assembly job is the person who does it every day – that’s why it’s so important to have all workers engaged in World Class Manufacturing.”

While the primary objective is to prevent issues from occurring in the first place, the plant also increased the number of dedicated quality inspectors from 22 to 50 as an extra layer of protection for customers.

The all-new body and paint shops make SHAP one of the most versatile and flexible facilities within the Company, significantly enhancing the quality and consistency of each new car.
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A 2015 Chrysler 200 is measured and inspected in the Metrology Lab at the all-new Body Shop in Chrysler Group’s Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant. (2014)

Like other Chrysler Group assembly plants, SHAP also constructed a state-of-the-art metrology center in preparation for the new vehicle launch. The metrology center is a high-tech laboratory with a clean room environment that allows engineers to find the root cause of any build variations – even when components appear perfect to the naked eye. The lab uses a complex set of fixtures, which mimic the body shop’s process, plus laser scanners and blue light fixtures to measure and create 3-D digital models. All of these tools are used to find and resolve any fit-and-finish issues before customer vehicles are built.

The attention to detail and quality controls at the plant represent the final steps in a quality process that begins with the inception of each vehicle program at Chrysler Group.

The Chrysler team conducts extensive research with current customers – and competitors’ customers – to set the vehicle targets for things such as performance, safety, fuel economy and quality.

This includes the company’s Perceived Quality Team that works with designers, engineers and suppliers to enhance the fit-and-finish, surface quality, material options and even the sound quality of moveable parts like doors and storage bins. Customers make judgments on a vehicle’s quality the first time they see and touch a car, whether it’s at an auto show, dealership or neighbor’s driveway; the Perceived Quality team is tasked with making sure customers receive a strong first impression on the quality of the 200.

In final preparations for the market launch, a development fleet of 200 sedans undergoes testing, day and night, on all kinds of road surfaces, at high and low altitudes and through blizzard conditions, as well as dry, desert heat. All that testing adds up to more than 17 million validation miles, including tests done in Chrysler labs, at the proving grounds and on public roads.

Some of the most punishing tests take place inside the Chrysler Technology Center on the Road Test Simulator (RTS). It recreates the abuse vehicles endure at the hands of a 95th percentile customer – meaning a customer who drives the vehicle in more severe conditions than 95 percent of all drivers. The RTS recreates a wide range of on-road and off-road driving surfaces and puts a lifetime of wear-and-tear on a vehicle in one month’s time.

Continually improving its test methods, the 200 is one of the first Chrysler Group vehicles to be evaluated on the newly built Lateral Load Test Track at the automaker’s Chelsea (Mich.) Proving Grounds. The Lateral Load Test Track recreates the type of suspension stresses that a vehicle gets after years of hard-driving on twisty roads that are more common in Europe. To validate the 200’s durability, development vehicles were run through the new track approximately 40,000 times, which simulates millions of rigorous miles and contributes to excellent long-term ride and handling characteristics.

Multimedia touchscreens and controls increasingly influence customers’ overall quality satisfaction. The award-winning Uconnect systems, available in the Chrysler 200, also receive thorough test drives as technicians work through an extensive checklist to validate the functionality and reliability of the system as well as how compatible it is with a wide variety of mobile phones, music players and other media devices.

The 2015 Chrysler 200 comes with a five-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty and roadside assistance, in addition to three-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper coverage.

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The 2015 Dodge Challenger | A Closer Look

Excitement ran high among the 300-plus automotive journalists gathered in a darkened presentation hall at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Each was there to witness and chronicle the first public showing of the restyled 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger, presented on the morning of Thursday, April 17, 2014, at the New York International Auto Show.


After a brilliantly irreverent two-minute opening video featuring a montage of lovable centenarians urging viewers to live life to the fullest — while reminding us that Dodge celebrates its 100th Anniversary (1914–2014) this year — Dodge brand President and C.E.O. Tim Kuniskis took the stage amid applause, asking, “Is there any other brand that could do that video?”


Like the video, the 2015 Dodge Challenger remains fresh, unique and bold. The most obvious updates are seen at the front and rear of the body, where 1971-inspired treatments have been subtly melded into the grille and tail lamp panels. Standard LED halo headlamps and LED tail lamps further accentuate the heritage styling — with a modern twist.


Hoods are also new; the standard power bulge is more defined and its scoops moved forward, while the optional Shaker captures the spirit of the original 1970/71 item perfectly. Inside, an all-new interior revisits the original 1971 E-body Challenger theme with trapezoidal shapes dominating the instrument cluster, door panels and center console. There are also 14 interior color and trim options including a new Houndstooth premium cloth offering.


And while there’s plenty of excitement over the 485 horsepower 392 HEMI® engine powering the Challenger 6.4-liter Scat Pack and 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker, let’s not forget Challenger’s many class-exclusive features, including an eight-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission*.
With all the attention given to Challenger’s two available HEMI V-8 engines, buyers of Pentastar® 3.6-liter V-6 powered models haven’t been forgotten. New for 2015, the Super Track Pack (0.5-inch lower ride height, Bilstein shocks, high-performance brakes, digital 0-60 acceleration timer, G-force indicator and more) is now optional on Challenger SXT and SXT Plus models powered by the 305 hp Pentastar V-6. And new for all Challengers is electric power steering (EPS), offering drivers a choice of three steering modes, Normal, Comfort and Sport.


So here it is, the 2015 Dodge Challenger. The wizened old-timers in the opening video said it best, “Live for now. Be strong. Put the pedal to the metal. Be a bad boy!” Watch your Dodge dealer; the new Challenger is coming soon!


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11 Ways to Reclaim a Relaxing Summer for Your Family

Summers start with the best intentions. We fantasize about long, peaceful days at the beach building sand castles with our toddlers or playing tennis with our teens. Casting off a busy school year, we’re excited to finally relax the rules. Yes to the ice cream cones with insanely sugary toppings just before bedtime (heck, what bedtime?). Yes to the car keys (so what if it’s three late nights in a row?). Breakfast brownies? Why not? Another TV show? Sure, go ahead. It’s summer vacation, right?

Then, in Week Three, reality sets in: the bedtime routine now takes twice as long, everything has become a negotiation, and those idyllic days at the beach — well, they’ve become the setting of the sunscreen wars. How did these relaxing summer days get so… stressful?

Whether your kids are having a throwback 1970s summer, a Free-Range or a Hovering Helicopter summer, beware of the ever-tempting “summer slide.” The summer slide is the parenting equivalent of the “summer brain drain,” where what we know as parents slides, well, down the drain. In an effort to keep our summer fantasy alive, we sometimes bend our rules just a little too much and then suddenly… SNAP.

Before things get totally out of control, let’s get back to the basics, kindergarten-style — and start digging our way out of this sand pit to avoid getting buried alive. It’s worth reminding ourselves that summer is a break from routine, after all, not a break from parenting.

Here are 11 things you can do now to reclaim your relaxing summer:

1. Stop with all the choices.
Teachers offer “choice” in small doses. They don’t offer a range of snacks and they don’t ask kids if they’d rather go to art class or gym class. Giving too many choices gives up too much control, and teachers know to do that sparingly.

2. Go ahead, disappoint.
You-Get-What-You-Get-And-You-Don’t-Get-Upset. Don’t be afraid to disappoint. Resilience, learning how to bounce back, is a skill that can be taught, but not if we’re smoothing over every conflict just to avoid a momentary tantrum or mommy guilt. We need to learn to live with the short-term discomfort and concentrate on the long-term gain.

3. Sloooow down.
Seeds grow slowly; chicks hatch when they are ready; important things take time. Children and teens don’t understand time — they want what they want when they want it. We too often react by jumping on their timeline. When we contort ourselves to suit their whims, we not only upend our lives, we give away the opportunity to teach them about patience.

4. Stop asking permission, OK?
“Mommy just has to run this quick errand, OK?” Teachers don’t ask permission. Ending declarative sentences with question marks is giving power to a little person who doesn’t actually want it. What children want is the security of limits and parents who know when to say no, even in the summer.

5. Let them clean up.
Overscheduled children don’t have time to clean their rooms or do their chores. Teens with summer jobs and SAT prep are just too busy to pick up their clothes off the floor. In school, if you haven’t cleaned up your mess, then you cannot move on to your next activity. By failing to insist upon this at home, we let our kids control the disorder in our houses and in our lives.

6. Revisit Oz.
The single most exciting thing that happens in kindergarten is that children take their first steps on the way to reading — starting on a yellow brick road that leads to a vast magical world they can now visit on their own. And then we and our kids get busy and forget about the Emerald City because life is too rushed and there is already too much reading assigned at school. Take back Oz; remember how lucky our kids felt when they first decoded the printed page.

7. Circle time.
It’s important to ask our kids about their day, every day. Create your own version of “circle time” at home. Tell the kids about your day, your challenges and triumphs, and ask them about theirs. This becomes even more important with teens, who will know that sharing what they are up to with their parents is just part of the deal.

8. Teachers, not friends or fairy godmothers.
When we try to be our child’s friend, we not only cede authority, we actually cheat them out of a more important relationship. We are there to teach and love and guide, not to grant their every wish.

9. Rest time.
Teachers know the importance of rest. Regular and adequate sleep is essential for kids at every age. Even tweens and teens should have a regular bedtime right up through high school. The end of summer should not be like a bad bout of jet lag, with no one able to get to sleep at night or up in the morning.

10. Mind their manners.
Manners never stop mattering. As parents, we all too often rush, cut corners, forget to be as polite as we could and let our kids get away with the glib manners of the 21st century. Nothing has changed; manners are still magical and it is within our power to teach them.

11. Summer doesn’t equal spoiling.
At every age, kids think getting everything they want will make them happy, and it will be a very long time before they learn this isn’t true. We know the truth, and if we don’t teach this lesson early and often, the unbridled greed inspired by media can soon overwhelm our family’s true values. Days at the beach are a treat. A family vacation is something special. Summer doesn’t have to equal spoiling.

Summer is just a different season, not a different childhood. It can be so easy to confuse the two.

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Six Summer Mopar Accessories for your Jeep® Brand Vehicle

Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip or just thinking of making a day-long visit to your favorite trail, there’s still plenty of time to add a few accessories to your Jeep® brand vehicle before your next adventure. With the help of Mopar parts and accessories, you can add the extra tools you’ll need for whatever terrain you plan to take on.

Camping Tent

During those summer evenings where you find yourself camping on the road, make sure the stay is a little more comfortable. Set up this tent off the back of your Jeep brand vehicle and don’t miss any of your favorite outdoor experiences.

Off-Road Bumper

If your summertime adventures take you on a rougher trail, protect your Jeep brand vehicle with the help of a front bumper from Mopar. This steel bumper is narrower than the stock bumper, but still designed to give your vehicle the fender protection it needs.

Cargo Management System

Bring everything you need for your next excursion and more. Keep all your gear organized and in place inside your Jeep brand vehicle with a cargo management system.

Bike Carrier

Fasten your bikes securely to the back of your Jeep brand vehicle before you embark on your journey. This bike carrier from Thule allows you to store your bikes securely and remove them with ease.

Skid Plates

Protect your Jeep brand vehicle from even the rockiest trails with the added help of skid plates. These steel skid plates cover parts of your vehicle’s undercarriage and help protect them against obstacles on the trail.


Cargo Basket

For any extra items you can’t fit into the back of Jeep brand vehicle, store them on top with the help of the cargo basket. This cargo basket easily attaches to the roof of your vehicle and provides the extra storage space you need for longer trips on the road.

Do you have a favorite Mopar accessory you put to good use in the summer? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Tips to jump-start your college application

Whether your summer plans involve flipping burgers, lounging at the shore, or obsessively watching every World Cup game, we recommend five simple steps that won’t overly-detract from your summer vacation but will give you a leg up in the college admissions process come the frenetically-paced autumn months that loom ahead.

1. Demonstrate Interest

Carve out a few moments to show your prospective colleges some love. Trust us, with yield rate statistics causing admissions officers many restless nights, making schools feel wanted can leave a favorable impression. Whether or not a student showed interest in the form of a campus visit, an email, or time surfing the university website can become a factor come admission time. Colleges want great students, but they really want great students who are genuinely interested in attending their institution.

2. Request Letters of Recommendation

Separate yourself from the panicked masses who, in a few months time, will be begging their favorite teacher to crank out a recommendation 48 before their application deadline. Trust us, recommenders will appreciate your proactive approach and may even utilize the extra time to write a more thoughtful, detailed letter. Additional tips include supplying your recommender with a resume to better inform their testimonial as well as picking an individual who knows you intimately rather than someone prominent who doesn’t know you at all (admissions officers see mountains of generic letters from Congress members signed in autopen).

3. Work on the Common App Essays

There will be no further changes to the common app essay prompts in the 2014-15 admissions cycle, which means you are free to begin them now. Click here for brainstorming advice on each of the five prompts that will help you decide which essay will inspire your best story and win the hearts and minds of admissions officers. Trying to pre-write and generate ideas can cause undue stress when attempted weeks from an application deadline, in the middle of studying for exams. Let the ideas flow while the gentle (and sort of creepy) melodies of the Mr. Softee truck still play on.

4. Complete the Students Activities Resume

When it comes to listing your extracurricular achievements, the goal is not to fill a single-spaced page in 6 point font with a record of every single action you’ve ever taken as a human being. Admissions personnel are looking for depth over breath and want to see evidence of leadership, commitment, and burgeoning passion that will carry over to their respective campus. In other words, leave off that afternoon as a freshman when you attended a Model U.N. interest meeting, only to embarrassingly realize that it was not, as you assumed, a club for building miniature replicas of embassy buildings.

5. Finalize your College List

Developing your college list can be a lot more challenging than it sounds. It’s easy to get caught up dreaming about one’s top choice school, yet it’s important to have not just multiple irons in the fire, but the right irons (all you blacksmiths out there know what I’m talkin’ about!). Remember admission to Ivy and Ivy-level colleges can never be taken for granted so you’ll need to diversify that portfolio. Also make sure to pick at least one financial safety school in case you end up on the short end of the merit aid chase.

Rising seniors, Enjoy this well-earned respite from hard work. Relish the opportunity to enjoy a late breakfast while taking in a Honduras/Ecuador scoreless tie. That being said, if you can find an hour here and there to work on the above activities, you will thank yourself in just a few short months.

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Ten things to do with your kids this summer.

Summer is in full-swing and your kids maybe starting to get a little bored around the house. The Plymouth-Canton area has many different activities and events that help make the most of your summer.

1. Watch a kid-friendly summer movies at Goodrich Canton Cinema

Movie-goers can go to see select children movies for only $1 at the Goodrich Canton Cinema at 10 am until August 15. Movies being shown include The Lego Movie,” “Wizard of Oz,” and Yogi Bear.”

Phone: (734) 844-3456
Address: 43555 Ford Road, Canton, MI

2. Watch a free movies at the Canton Public Library

Tuesday will be the first showing of family-friendly movies, starting with “Frozen.” The film will be shown at 2 p.m. and you are invited to bring your own snacks and pillows. Three more films will be shown throughout the summer.

(734) 397-0999
1200 S Canton Center Road, Canton MI

3. Hear a story at the Plymouth Public Library

Throughout the summer the Plymouth Library hosts drop-in story-times for children. The next reading will be at 10 am on Tuesday.

Phone: (734) 453-0750
Address: 223 S. Main Street, Plymouth MI

4. Drop-off your children at Kids’ Corner at the Summit on the Park

Would you like two hours to workout or take a class at the Summit? Kids’ Corner at the Summit allows parents to leave their kids for two hours in supervised care. While you are exercising, your children will be coloring, building legos and making crafts. Daily rates are $4 for members, $4.25 for residents and $5 dollars for non-residents.

Phone: (734) 394-5460
Address: 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton MI

5. Spoil them with a night out

Kids can have a Friday night full of fun at the Summit. From 6 pm to 10 pm, children ages five to 12 can enjoy board games, the pool, pizza and a movie. The event will happen on July 11, August 8 and September 12. The price is $20 for members, $25 for residents and $30 for non-residents.

Phone: (734) 394-5460
Address: 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton MI

6. Grab coffee at Jungle Java

While parents are enjoying an iced coffee, kids are enjoying Jungle Java’s huge play structure. There is also a smaller play area for children under five. Jungle Java also has cafe that has an assortment of drinks and food for all ages. Admission is $7 for children two or older, $3 for infants 12-24 months, and infants under 12 months are free.

Phone: (734) 927-6680 
Address: 6481 Canton Center Road, Canton MI

7. Go bowling at the Super Bowl

Kids under 15 can sign up for the Kids Bowl Free program, where they can bowl two games for free at select times. Parents can get more information here. The whole family can enjoy bowling for a reasonable price. For $8.95 a person, you will get two games of bowling, two slices of pizza and a drink. The package is only available on Sunday from noon-5 pm.

Phone: (734) 459-6070
Address: 45100 Ford Rd, Canton MI

8. Soar to new heights at Sky Zone

This indoor trampoline park provides an unique experience for the young and old. Activities available at Sky Zone include open jump times, workout classes, dodge-ball and toddler jump times. Open jumps prices are $10 for 30 minutes, $14 for a hour, $18 for 90 minutes and $22 for 120 minutes. Toddler times are $10 dollars. Parents with children ages 10-15 can also take them to SkyMania on Friday nights. For $18, kids will get 90 minutes of jump time, pizza and a drink.

Phone: (734) 981-0007
42550 Executive Drive, Canton MI

9. Check out any of Plymouth’s 12 parks

Plymouth has many beautiful parks with different amenities including play structures, nature trails and picnic tables. For parents who have children with special needs the Lion’s Club Park on Burroughs and Harding Street has swings available that will meet their needs.

Phone: (734) 459-6070

10. Jump the day away at Pump It Up

Filled with inflatables and other fun activities, Pump It Up in Canton is sure to please kids of all ages. Pump It Up offers different type of open jump including events that include pizza and events only for preschool children. Prices for open jump range from $7-$10.

(734) 495-1222
Address: 46090 Michigan Ave Canton, MI

No matter your interest, the Plymouth-Canton area has something to offer. What is your favorite summer time activities?

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The 2014 Top 20 Places to take children in the Ann Arbor – Detroit Area

Ann Arbor is rich in fun events and exciting places. It was hard for our readers to select their favorites from the hundreds of choices! The venues listed below are wildly popular with kids and families in Ann Arbor But don’t miss out on ALL the other wonderful places as well! Browse through our site and discover lots more to do!


1. The Detroit Zoo

2. Motor City Theatre

3. Ann Arbor Hands-on-Museum

4. Airtime Trampoline & Game Park

5. Wild Swan Theater

6. The Henry Ford – America’s Greatest History Attraction

7. Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

8. Farmer Charleys Corn Maze

9. Zap Zone

10. Leslie Science & Nature Center

11. The Complete Dancer

12. Stagecrafters – The Baldwin Theater

13. Detroit Institute Of Art

14. Toledo Zoo

15. PuppetART Theater

16. Michigan Science Center

17. Goldfish Swim School – Ann Arbor

18. The Detroit Tigers

19. Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

20. Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve


Winners in Special Categories

In the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in seven categories. Here were their choices.

Favorite Kid-Friendly MuseumAnn Arbor Hands-on-Museum

Favorite Nature CenterLeslie Science & Nature Center

Favorite Performing ArtsWild Swan Theater


Favorite Indoor Play CenterAirtime Trampoline & Game Park

Favorite Farm (agri-entertainment)Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill

Favorite Place to have Fun OutdoorsMichigan’s Adventure

Favorite Professional Sports TeamThe Detroit Tigers

Favorite Arts Education CenterCranbrook Academy of Art


Favorite Sports Education CenterYMCA

Polar Vortex To Take a Summer Vacation Next Week; South to the Great Lakes

Ironically, just over six months to the date of the first notable visit of the winter polar vortex (this is nothing new of course; happens every year but with varying intensities); she is expected to make a return visit mid summer. What IS impressive on this visit (not unlike her past winter visits) is the depth and position south. At early inspection, the upper low “polar vortex” is expected to average around 3 deviations BELOW average for a summer type upper low over the upper Great Lakes. Along with the fanfare of her arrival will be strong upper winds /jet stream/ and possibly some tough weather in the form of wind storms with such impressive energy at and above ground level. When such cold air (for summer standards) rudely plows into even temperate summer like temperatures (in this case 70s to lower 80s), something’s got to give.

The two questions are when and where the best clash of the notably different atmospheres will be; which will be involving very impressive dynamics and instability levels at the time. It’s much too early to give an exact timing but an estimate seems to be in the late Sunday into Monday time frame for it’s arrival – and early – mid week when she spins up over southern Canada and northern Great Lakes. Even at this time, if available moisture is in place, it wouldn’t take much to pop a gusty storm or shower with such cold conditions aloft along with the impressive strong winds.

Projections for upper heights and widespread low level cool temperatures are some of the best (lowest) I’ve seen for mid July. Upper low height projections are sub 550 MB /546 MB/ on the GFS along with 850 MB temperature projections in the single digits. At the coolest (preliminary timing; Tuesday night-Wednesday morning) widespread overnight lows in the 40s to lower 50s are likely across Southeast Lower Michigan with highs around 60 to the mid 60s. If these temperatures are realized, both record low maxs and record low mins may be in jeopardy. Record low max’s for mid July are in around 60 to mid 60s across the region, while record lows are in the 40s to near 50. One glaring exception is a record low max of just 74 degrees in Flint on the 16th, much higher than other record low maxs from the 14th thru the 16th.

Its too early to predict the exact coolness of the air mass due over the area early-mid week during next week but model projections have been pretty well unanimous on this summer cool outbreak – it is coming with the particulars yet to unfold. If you are heading up north this weekend and plan to stay awhile pack for fall-like weather for a few days – LOL- really not a bad idea in Southeast Michigan too.

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