Tim Burns

Tim Burns is the father of 8-year-old twins. He blogs about the adventures of parenting from a fun-loving dad's perspective at ageekdaddy.com. A connoisseur of comic books and remote control cars, he enjoys family road trips and is an avid Detroit Tigers fan.


As any traveler knows even the best planned trips can be negatively impacted by that uncontrollable adversary known as Mother Nature. We had planned out a road trip to explore the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan during my children’s Spring Break from school. The weather forecasts had been showing a nice weekend full of sunny skies and fifty-degree days leading up to our visit. Alas the day our family headed over to the zoo we faced cloudy skies, blustery winds, below freezing temperatures and snow flurries. Because of other commitments in the area, we went ahead with...

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Give yourself a moment of Zen by taking a stroll through the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Japanese Gallery which showcases oriental treasures from the museum’s permanent collection. During a walkthrough of the space my family found the place to have a sense of peacefulness that radiated from the objects on display. The artwork has a commonality of sharing the complementary qualities of stillness and movement which are inherent in many Japanese works. Walking through the gallery the sight of magnificent folding screens and solemn statues provide the ambience of  being inside a tokonoma, an alcove in Japanese homes and...

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    When the topic of peanuts comes up the first thing many of us think of is enjoying them as a snack at baseball games or during an airline flight.  But for a growing number of families when it comes to this topic what comes to mind is food allergies.  According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 4 million children in the United States suffer from a food allergy. These allergies occur when the body’s immune system associates a certain food as harmful and becomes overstimulated to attack the threat causing a person...

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How To Plan Summer Vacations Without Wrecking Your Finances

I admit it! I have a tendency to splurge on having fun with my family during summer vacations then come home to credit card bills and bank statements that tend to be more troublesome than initially expected.  Seems like I’m not alone though.  A survey by the consumer credit reporting agency Experian found that 68% of people overspend during their summer vacations. In fact 38% of those surveyed by Experian didn’t do any advance saving to prepare for their summer vacations plans and took on much of the expense as debt.  While everyone wants to have enjoyable, memorable vacations,...

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We stopped by the historic Van Raalte Farm while my family was in Holland, Michigan for a weekend road trip to learn about how the maple sugar that is used in candy and syrup is made. March is the ideal time of year in Michigan for creating maple sugar. The freezing temperatures at night combined with warm, sunny days stir trees to emerge from their winter dormancy producing flowing sap from which the maple sugar is made. While visiting Van Raalte Farm, my kids had the chance to learn how sugar is created from the sap of maple trees,...

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Spring Break is supposed to be about having fun in the sun. Unfortunately, numerous vacations are ruined when an upset stomach or intestinal distress caused by a foodborne illness leads to most of the trip being spent sick in the bathroom or stuck in a hospital bed instead of having fun on a beach or cruise deck. The United States’ Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne illness causes by bacteria, viruses and parasites each year. While no time is ever ideal to get sick, I think we can all...

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Remember the Alamo! Texas militia yelled out this famous battle cry as they battled Mexico’s army for the territory’s independence in honor of a fallen garrison of their comrades who were wiped out on March 6, 1836 trying to defend a fortified former Catholic mission. Roughly 200 men led by James Bowie, Davy Crockett and William Travis stood up against a Mexican force of 5,000 soldiers for 13-days at the Alamo Mission in a defeat that ultimately rallied support for a Texas revolutionary victory. The Alamo has since become one of the world’s most famous battlefields and hosts more...

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The XXIII Olympic Winter Games are taking place in 2018 from February 9 through the 25th at Pyeonghang, South Korea.  Wouldn’t going in person to see some of the world’s best athletes compete in bobsleighing, figure skating, ice hockey, ski jumping and a number of other winter sports during the Olympic Games be an amazing experience?!  Attending the Olympics someday is definitely on my bucket list! Unfortunately, a trip to Asia for the Pyeonghang Olympic Games is impractical for most of us; but there are a number of great destinations within the United States and Canada that provide a...

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Getting Cozy with Penguins at Detroit Zoo’s Polk Penguin Conservation Center

A highlight of any visit to the Detroit Zoo is checking out the new penguinarium. This 33,000-square-foot facility named the Polk Penguin Conservation Center has an exterior meant to replicate the appearance of an Antarctic iceberg and is home to more than 80 penguins. Its state-of-the-art interior provides close-up views of these penguins both walking about on land and swimming around in the water. A Penguin Expedition at the Detroit Zoo The exhibit is themed around the early 20th century expeditions of legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica. As you enter the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, a...

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Santa Claus brings so much joy to people during the holiday season. Have yourself a jolly good time by visiting a destination that will bring out your Christmas spirit throughout the year. Here are a few family-friendly destinations that have a Santa theme to them: Christmas in Michigan Visitors to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland situated within the city of Frankenmuth, also known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, are welcomed by a 17-foot statue of Santa Claus. This store designed to look like an Alpine chalet is open year-round and specializes in one thing … Christmas decorations! Known as the world’s largest...

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