Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Break

School's out and The Family Club is going on vacation.  Tuesday, December 23 is the last playgroup before Christmas and New Year's.  We will resume regular playgroups on Tuesday, January 6 at 9:30 a.m.  Enjoy the break and have fun with family and friends.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pick up the newest book club selection, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity.  We'll be discussing the narrative on Sunday, January 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Laura's house.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Train Schedule

The Holiday Train is coming through Wisconsin this week, all decked out in lights and collecting canned goods and cash donations to help local non-profit organizations this holiday season.  If you would like to see the festive train as it makes its annual trek through the U.S. and Canada, head down to the Amtrak Depot on St. Paul Ave. in downtown Milwaukee from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 7.  There will be visits with Santa, cookie decorating, ornament craft projects, and letter writing to Santa.  Don't miss it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Break

Please remember that there will be no playgroup this Friday, November 28.  The fun returns on Tuesday, December 2.  I hope that everyone has a happy Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sprucing Up Our Play Space

The Family Club has had an ongoing relationship with the North Shore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood for many years.  We are sincerely thankful to them for sharing their space with us for playgroups, classes, and special events.  With fresh, motivated church leadership in place, the play spaces have been receiving a gradual face life.  The changes started last year with a fresh coat of paint and ceiling repairs.  Over the summer, new curtains, chalkboard tables, and rugs were brought in, and the bathroom plumbing was updated.  Most recently, the walls have been decorated with new artwork and the coat closets have been cleaned out in anticipation of the onslaught of winter weather.  The playroom is a bright, inviting space that our families are grateful to be able to utilize.  Many thanks to the NSPC for their efforts to spruce up our play space!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Festivities

It's here!  That crazy time of year when I want to believe that we still have lots of the fall left to enjoy, but I know that winter is really here.  There is no denying the snowflakes and frigid temperatures that have settled in to the Milwaukee area.  And I certainly can't deny the intense process of layering the kids up every time we leave the house...hats, mittens, coats, boots, and scarves, oh my!  That undeniable winter weather means that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah festivities are just around the corner.  I just don't feel like Thanksgiving is next week already.  It's only been a few weeks since we were playing at the pool, right?  You'd think my son's daily questioning about when Christmas will be here would be enough to make me snap to and prepare for this "most wonderful time of the year."  Alas, I may need a boost.  In case you don't have your own Christmas chatterbox, or you too need a shot of cheer, here are some upcoming activities guaranteed to help you start singing, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas."  (Bonus: They're all $1 or less!)

  • The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off - Thursday, November 20, Downtown - The fun starts at 4:45-5:30 p.m. with festivities and the official tree lighting outside City Hall.  The holiday spirit continues at 6 p.m. at Pere Marquette Park with live music, dancers, ice carving, and fireworks.   
  • The Milwaukee Holiday Parade - Saturday, November 22, 9:30 a.m, Downtown - Santa, the UW Marching Band, balloons, floats, and more.  And bonus: Saturday is supposed to be the warmest day of the week!
  • The Jingle Bus - Thursday-Sunday, November 20-December 28, 6-9 p.m. - For just $1/person, you can hop on the bus to enjoy a 40-minute narrated tour of the city's best downtown light displays.
  • Cocoa With the Clauses - Saturday, December 13, 11-2 p.m. - Come to Cathedral Square Park to enjoy free cookies and hot chocolate, reindeer games, face painting, and a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.   
  • Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra - November 14-January 1, hourly, Grand Ave Mall - The kids will be mesmerized by the bears' holiday musical performance.
  • BMO Harris Bank Holiday Display - December 1-January 5, BMO Harris Bank downtown - Stop by the bank lobby for a classic Milwaukee experience - the 150-Steiff animal animated display.  This year's theme is The Nutcracker.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Gobble, gobble.  On Tuesday, November 25, The Family Club will be hosting a Thanksgiving party during playgroup.  Before enjoying a pumpkin snack, the kids can lend their hand prints to create a special turkey art project that we will be bringing to the fire station and nursing home to show our appreciation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cleaning Day

It's cleaning day, it's cleaning day!  Friday, November 7 is our next cleaning day at playgroup.  Please make plans to join us as we all pitch in to make the playroom sparkle.  Even if little ones prevent you from giving 100% to the cleaning task, every little bit helps.  As an added bonus, you'll get to go home smelling like pickles after being up to your elbows in vinegar!  See you there...

December Book Club

The chosen selection for the next book club meeting is Orphan Train by Kristina Baker Kline.  In order to give everyone enough time to read the selection, the meeting has been delayed until Thursday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Vanessa's house.  Please email with any questions.  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tunes For Tots

An exciting new Tunes For Tots class is beginning on Tuesday, November 11, and we want YOU to join us!  Tunes For Tots is 30 minutes of music fun for all ages with Lorin Shearburn, Family Club member and music teacher extraordinaire.  Children and their caregivers will enjoy singing along to some old favorites as well as learning some new, seasonally appropriate tunes.  Instruments and movement will enhance the music class experience.

The six-session class runs from 9:00-9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays until December 16 in the nursery at the North Shore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood.  The cost is $40 for Family Club members and $50 for non-Family Club members and includes one caregiver and two children.  If you have questions, please email us at

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Happening at Shorewood Library

Our friends at the Shorewood Library are hosting the Halloween Happening tomorrow, Wednesday, October 29, from 2:30-4:00 p.m.  Kids can wear their costumes and trick-r-treat the "haunted hallway", make a "boo-tiful" craft, and enjoy a "spook-tacular" treat.  Check out this free event right in our neighborhood.

Halloween Party Fun For All

On the heels of a trick-r-treat weekend, the Halloween festivities continued at this morning's playgroup.  In the nursery today, brides blushed, flowers frolicked, and fairy tales came to life.  The adults had plenty to "ooh and aah" about while those adorable costumed kiddos enjoyed face and hand painting, a photo booth, and not-so-spooky snacks and crafts.  A sincere thank you to Amanda and Jennifer for making this morning's playgroup so special for all the families in attendance.  Happy Halloween!

November Book Club Selection

Here are the choices for the next book club selection.  Please take a moment to vote for your favorite at the right.  You can click on the title of each novel to read a synopsis and reviews of the book.  We'll announce the winner next Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's the Great Pumpkin, Whitefish Bay

Nothing says Halloween like the Great Pumpkin Festival in Whitefish Bay.  This year, the Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation will host the annual event from Tuesday, October 28 - Saturday, November 1.  The event runs from 6-9 p.m. nightly at The Old Schoolhouse Park across from the WFB library, 5420 N. Marlborough Drive.  This free, family-friendly event invites pumpkin enthusiasts to select a pumpkin and then enjoy carving it before it's lit and displayed at the park for all to see.  In addition, there are live music and food offerings daily.  With hundreds of carved pumpkins on display from professional and amateur carvers, it is truly a sight to behold and a sure sign of the Halloween season.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Trick or Treat

The costumes are on and the kiddos are ready, but when can they trick or treat?  Here is a list of trick or treat times for nearby suburbs.  More detailed information can be found here.

  • Mequon - Friday, October 31, 5-8 p.m.
  • Fox Point - Sunday, October 26, 1-3 p.m.
  • Bayside - Sunday, October 26, 1-4 p.m.
  • Brown Deer - Sunday, October 26, 1-4 p.m.
  • Glendale - Sunday, October 26, 1-4 p.m.
  • Milwaukee - Sunday, October 26, 1-4 p.m.
  • Wauwatosa - Sunday, October 26, 1-4 p.m.
  • Shorewood - Sunday, October 26, 2-4 p.m.
  • Whitefish Bay - Sunday, October 26, 4-6 p.m.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Boo! It's a Halloween Party!

You won't find any scary ghosts or goblins at our Halloween celebration, but you will find fun with your crazy costumed friends.  Mark your calendar to join us on Tuesday, October 28, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. for Halloween fun in the nursery at the North Shore Presbyterian Church.  Kids and caregivers can wear their costumes (though they're certainly not required to appreciate the fun) and enjoy a special craft project, healthy Halloween treats, a goofy photo booth, and a Halloween sing-a-long.  Let's pack the playroom and celebrate the fall season.    

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Family Fun

Miltown Moms has a great list of 10 Things To Do In Milwaukee Before Fall Is Over.  Check it out and get out and enjoy this beautiful time of year!

Friday, October 10, 2014

To Vaccinate Or Not To Vaccinate?

It's October 10th, and the kids have been back to school for a month, just long enough to bring home the first round of illnesses.  Sniffles started appearing at our house about two weeks ago and we ramped-up our hand washing efforts in an attempt to cut it short.  Thankfully, the most significant impact of our head colds was a few sleepless nights.  But the start of the flu season, along with the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola and the spread of the enterovirus D-68 have made the stakes much higher.  Beyond hand washing, what can parents do to protect their vulnerable children?

A recently aired NOVA program, Vaccines - Calling the Shots, presents thoughtful perspectives on vaccination, one of the first lines of disease defense.  Specifically, the documentary explores a hot-button issue swirling through parental circles - the decision NOT to vaccinate.  Scientists explore the possible connection between the anti-vaccination trend and the resurgence of previously eradicated diseases.  This program is well-researched and provides an organized view of the issues surrounding immunization.  It is certainly worth a look.

NOVA: Vaccines - Calling the Shots

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cleaning Day

It's cleaning time!  On Friday, October 3, we will have our first cleaning day of the year at play group.  Please make plans to join us to give the toys a good scrub and stop those germs before they have a chance to spread.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

October Book Club Meeting

The Family Club book club will hold its next meeting to discuss The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion on Monday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Colectivo Lakefront Cafe.  Join us to enjoy a quiet evening of discussion with friends.  Heller Mcalpin of NPR describes the novel as a "charming, warm-hearted escapade, which celebrates the havoc -- and pleasure -- emotions can unleash."  If you'd like to learn more, The New York Times offers a complete review.  

Tunes For Tots

Miss Lorin is back with her much-loved class, Tunes For Tots.  Lorin Shearburn is a Family Club member with a gift for music that draws in children.  Children and their caregivers will have fun singing along to old favorites as well as learning new, seasonally-appropriate tunes.  She also has a number of musical instruments, a parachute, and plenty of physical movements to get everyone in the groove.  This 30-minute class begins at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 29.  It will run for 6 consecutive weeks in the nursery at North Shore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood.  The cost for the course is $40 for members and $50 for non-members (and includes one caregiver and two children).  If you have additional questions or would like to register, please email

Friday, September 12, 2014

Top 5 Reasons Why It's Great To Be Back at Play Group

Today was the big day - the return of play group!  There is so much to love about our dear Family Club, but here are the top 5 reasons why today's play group reminds us exactly why it's so great to be back:
1.  Our friends welcomed us back with 
stories of summer vacation and gasps 
of, "I can't believe how big she's 
getting!", and the play room welcomed 
us back with updated restrooms and 
a beautiful environment.
2.  It's snack time again!  And those
cute kiddies do so enjoy munching
Goldfish and graham crackers.

3.  Making craft projects is so much
more fun when it messes up the play
room instead of the kitchen at home.
4.  Kids AND adults have fun at the
chalkboard tables!

5.  Ms. Lorin sang songs with
us to get us excited for the
first session of "Tunes
For Tots".

If you missed us today, remember you can always join us every Tuesday and Friday morning from 9:30 - 11:00 in the second floor nursery.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Plein Air Shorewood

The second annual Plein Air Shorewood festival starts next week, September 17-20.  "Plein air" means painting outside the studio, and Plein Air Shorewood offers artists an opportunity to experience all of Shorewood's beautiful outdoor features, from Atwater Park and Lake Michigan, to the Milwaukee River, the business district, and historic homes.  There will be a variety of family-friendly events throughout the course of the four days, culminating in an art show at the library on Saturday, September 20, where the pieces that have been created can be admired and purchased.  A number of prizes will also be awarded.  Here is a sampling of some of the events that may appeal to families with young children:

  • Saturday, September 13, 9-11 a.m.: Free kids quick paint at the lake
  • Wednesday, September 17, 6-9 p.m.: Artist and community dinner at Hubbard Lodge
  • Thursday, September 18, 2-8 p.m.: Chalk artists, plein air painters and special offers at businesses throughout Shorewood
  • Friday, September 19, 7-9 a.m.: Free breakfast at the Plensa at Atwater Park
  • Friday, September 19, 5:30-10 p.m.: Kensington Square Block Party with live music, food, drink, and display of artwork on jumbotron
  • Wednesday - Saturday: 60+ artists painting outdoors around Shorewood

For more detailed information, please visit the Plein Air Shorewood website.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

September/October Book Club

Thanks to Jennifer for selecting the book options for the next book club meeting in September or October.  The new poll below has been created so you can vote for your favorite book.  We will announce the selection and meeting date once the votes are all in.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Playgroup Returns This Fall

School is starting, and that means the return of playgroup.  Hooray!  The first official playgroup of the fall will be held on Friday, September 12, from 9:30-11:00 a.m.  Our location is the same as last year, so you can enter the North Shore Presbyterian Church through the rear door (behind Walgreens) and come on up to the second floor.  (Parking is available on Kenmore Pl. and Barlett Ave. or in the small remaining area in the old Walgreens parking lot.)  We'll even have a special "back to playgroup" craft and snacks.  Playgroups will then continue every Tuesday and Friday from 9:30-11:00 a.m.  We can't wait to see some of our friends from last year and make new friends from the community.  See you soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Last Indoor Playgroup of Season

Hi Everyone! Friday, June 13th is our last playgroup of this season. We'll have casual summer meet ups at Cahill Park in Whitefish Bay on Tuesday mornings from about 9:30 to 11:00. This website will not be updated much over the summer. There will be an announcement letting you know when indoor meet ups start up again. The start date is usually in the beginning of September.

Have a great summer and we hope to see you at the park!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Website for Kid-friendly Milwaukee Activities

Here's a good site that Christine found. Looks like they have lots of family-friendly activity listings on their site. Visit Miltown Moms for more info.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Activities for Kids in Milwaukee

Image via Wikipedia
Looking for some fun summer activities? Click on the links below to learn more about these fun programs for kids.

Milwaukee Art Museum Summer Camps
Zoological Society of Milwaukee County 
Milwaukee Public Museum 
YMCA Summer Camps
Shorewood Recreation Department Summer Programs
Whitefish Bay Recreation Summer Programs
City of Milwaukee Summer Recreation Enrichment Camp
Betty Brinn Children's Museum Special Events
Old World Wisconsin Adventure Camps
Bricks 4 Kidz
Conservatory Music Camps
Knollwood Farm Summer Riding School

Updates from FC members:
Schlitz Audubon Society
Urban Ecology Center 
First Stage

And don't forget The Family Club will meet on Tuesdays mornings (weather permitting) from about 9:30 to 11:00 at Cahill Park in Whitefish Bay! We'll be at the park in June, July and August and then back at NSPC in the fall (we'll make an announcement when the time comes).

Have any suggestions for summer programs for kids in Milwaukee? Put the link in the comments sections. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Club Winner

OK folks, we have a winner and it's The Cove by Ron Rash. This is a Souther Gothic novel that takes place during WWI.

We're grateful to Laura who's hosting this event in July. Book club members will be receiving the details on that one a little later.

And can I just say that The #1 Ladies Detective Agency was such a joy to read. We all had a blast discussing this fun novel at Jennifer's house a couple of weeks ago.

If you aren't already a book club member, you really should join. Reason #1 we all discovered this amazingly delicious (and healthy) (and kid-friendly) recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie at the last book club meeting. It's "cookie dough" with beans and almond butter. I'm telling you, you have to try it to understand how good it is. Thanks Jennifer!

Until our next meeting, happy reading!

Last Indoor Playgroup of the Season

Can you believe that time is here again! Yes, we'll soon be meeting on Tuesdays only at Cahill Park in Whitefish Bay. Please come to our last indoor playgroup at NSPC on Friday, June 13th.

Last Cleaning of the Year

Friday, May 30th is the last cleaning day of the 2013/14 Family Club year. We could sure use your help to make this thing go smoothly. Bring a pair of rubber gloves and let's get down to business. With your help we can blow through this is less than an hour.

Rummage Sale!

Holy Family is having a rummage sale on Saturday, May 17th. Be sure to check it out!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easter Potluck

Saturday, April 12th is our big annual Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck! And it looks like we're going to get some much welcomed warm weather. This is also a great time to invite friends who aren't official Family Club members, so spread the word!

If you haven't already, please RSVP on our Facebook page. 

We're looking forward to seeing you this weekend. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Southeast Wisconsin is for Kids

Image via Old World Wisconsin
Here's a link to a great article on 100 things to do in Milwaukee with kids from Now that it's starting to warm up, Old World Wisconsin is a great day trip that kids are sure to love.

Monday, March 31, 2014

April/May Reading

Thanks to all who voted this week. We're going with The No. Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1) by Alexander McCall Smith. We should all have a lot of fun with this one.

Can't wait to see you all at Jennifer's house in May.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

LaFleur Gymnastics

Our next outing will be at LaFleur Gymnastics in Germantown on March 31st. If you'd like to join us, please got to our Facebook page and click on events for the details.

April Potluck

Our annual spring potluck and Easter Egg hunt is Saturday, April 12th. This is the most popular event Family Club hosts. Bring family and friends. Have fun taking pictures of the kids with the Easter Bunny. Then we'll head outside (or inside if it's too cold) for the egg hunt. Afterwards, we'll gather in the church dining hall for a potluck. Sign up on our Facebook page now and let us know what you'll be bringing.

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Book Club Poll

Book club polls are up for May and July. Please make your selection! We'll be taking a book club break after our meeting in July and then meet again in the fall.

May choices are:
Beginner's Greek, James Collins
The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith (the first book in series)
The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid, Bill Bryson
This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper

July choices are:
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
The Cove, Ron Rash
MWF Seeking BFF, Rachel Bertsche

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Free Admission at Milwaukee Public Museum

It's "Thank You Thursday" at Milwaukee Public Museum. If you are a Milwaukee county resident you do not have to pay admission. Admission is free on the first Thursday of the month (that's today!). Click on this link to find out more!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tunes for Tots is Back!

Begins Tuesday, March 11: 11am-11:30am
Ends April 22 (No class April 1)

Cost: $40 for Family Club Members, $50 for non-Family Club Members 

Tunes For Tots will be 30 minutes of music fun for all ages with Lorin Shearburn (Family Club member and music teacher extraordinaire). 

Children and their caregivers will enjoy singing-a-long to some old favorites as well as learning some new seasonally appropriate tunes. Instruments and movement will enhance the music class experience. Hope you can join us! Please RSVP so we can plan for you. 


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

March Book Club Pick

Thanks to those of you who voted. We're going with The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway. We'll meet sometime in mid to late March. If you are not on our email list and would like to be, please email your request to us at:

Happy reading!

Friday, February 14, 2014

March Book Selections

Hi Everyone. I thought it would be good to switch things up and give a selection of classic novels this month.

So here are the titles for this month's poll:

The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
Watership Down, Richard Adams
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon

As always, the poll is over there in the righthand sidebar. You have until the 19th to choose. Happy voting!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Make a Stop Motion Movie with the Kids!

I thought I'd share this really cool activity at Milwaukee Museum of Art. If you go to the Illusions: Near and Far exhibit you'll find the stop motion booth where you and your kids can have fun moving images around to make a stop motion movie. If you upload your mini movie, you'll receive an email with a link to your film on Youtube!

My kids had blast with this one and the Folk Art exhibition was also really fun for them. Plus, kids under 12 are free everyday!

Cleaning Day

It's time to get cleaning!  Our next scheduled toy washing day is this Friday, February 7th. In case you haven't joined us on cleaning day, we get together just like any other play day. Kids can still play as adults wipe down or dunk toys in vinegar water. This is a Family Club tradition and we try and do it once a month.

With a good turnout, we can breeze through this is no time. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Updated Preschool Information

Thanks to Sheila who put a ton of work into updating the preschool list for us. Please click here to find updated information on North Shore area preschools. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Playgroup Is Back in Session

The furnace has been broken at NSPC for the past few days, but it's been repaired and playgroup is back in session for this Friday, January 14, 2013.

See you there!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Thank You Thursday at Milwaukee Public Museum

Did you know that Mondays are no longer free at Milwaukee Public Museum? They do however have "Thank You Thursdays" on the first Thursday of every month for Milwaukee County Residents.

This is such a great museum and kids love it. The butterfly garden is especially fun to visit in winter. Going inside feels like a quick trip to the tropics. 

Here's a schedule of dates for Thank You Thursdays:

January 2
February 6
March 6
April 3
May 1
June 5
July 3
August 7
September 4
October 2
November 6
December 4

And Milwaukee residents receive a $2 discount every day. 

Choo Choo!

Here's a really cool event coming up. The Gas Lamp Express Garden Train show is happening the Domes January 18 through March 30, 2014.

Please click on the link for more information. 

Free Concert for Preschoolers

Fox Point Preschool invites you to a free concert for preschoolers and their Parents.  
January 23 at 10 a.m. 
Click here to go to Fox Point Patch for more information. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Playgroup Canceled Due to Cold Weather

Hi Everyone. I heard on the news that Milwaukee public schools are closed tomorrow, Tuesday, January 6th. So that means we will not be meeting for our regularly scheduled playgroup tomorrow.

Stay warm and join us Friday. Things should be heating up (if you call 37 degrees warm) by the end of the week.