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.

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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Normally Thanksgiving Day morning involves my family gathering in front of our living room television set to watch the annual parade march through downtown Detroit’s historic Woodward Avenue. Having been going on for 91 years, Detroit’s event joins Philadelphia and New York City as being one of the most prestigious and oldest continuous Thanksgiving Day parades within the United States. This year, we decided instead of watching America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television to see it in person by having ourselves a holiday staycation in Detroit.   The evening before Thanksgiving, we drove from our home about a half...

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Choo Choo!  I’ve always found toy trains captivating.  So, I was fascinated to find out that thanks to a group of passionate hobbyists it was possible to actually take a ride on a toy train.  How cool is that?! On the third weekend of the month from May through September, members of the Great Lakes Live Steamers club gather at Kiwanis Park in the southeastern Michigan community of Southgate to provide rides on 1/8 scale model locomotives.  During these Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4pm, weather permitting, anyone who stops by can hitch a ride along the track...

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Have you ever spent any time bird watching with your kids? I’ve been taking my kids on hikes along nature trails since they’ve been toddlers and over the years our treks have evolved into bird watching expeditions. Bird watching is an entertaining and educational way for families to spend quality time together appreciating nature. It is a hobby that you can engage in anytime of the year anywhere in the world providing an opportunity to have fun outdoors while getting some exercise.   Bird watching has been increasing in popularity over the last few years. According to Bill Stewart,...

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One of my favorite baseball games of the year to attend is the Detroit Tigers’ annual Star Wars Night which features members of fan clubs in movie accurate costumes interacting with people at the ballpark. Costumes aren’t just for Halloween fun anymore as people engaging in “Cosplay” has become a popular activity taking place throughout the year. There are many opportunities now to take a road trip or fly off on vacations which revolve around cosplay experiences. With this in mind, I spoke with three avid cosplay enthusiasts about the best ways for someone to get into character. WHAT...

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Situated along Interstate 94 between the cities of Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo lies the largest state park in Michigan’s lower peninsula. The Waterloo Recreation Area provides more than 20,000 acres of rustic territory for camping, hiking, picnicking, mountain biking, boating, fishing, swimming and equestrian activities. Within the park’s borders are 10 miles of mountain biking courses, 11 lakes, 12 miles of interpretive nature paths, 17 miles of bridle trails for horseback riding, and 36 miles marked for hiking. The heart of the Waterloo Recreation Area is the GERALD EDDY DISCOVERY CENTER which provides activities and exhibits that educate and...

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Every summer we make the hour drive from Detroit to northern Ohio for a family road trip to the Toledo Zoo. Primarily because my kids want to take a hike along the zoo’s Tembo Trail which provides remarkable views of some amazing animals from Africa. Visitors weave their way through a variety of exhibit areas that provide unique observation points of exotic animals including African spotted-neck otters, dromedary camels, white rhinoceroses, and meerkats. We’ve had some incredible close-up experiences trekking through the Tembo Trail which is why we continue to come back for visits year after year. The zoo...

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Situated along Interstate 75 between Cincinnati, Ohio and Knoxville, Tennessee just north of Lexington, Kentucky is a theme park that focuses just as much on providing its visitors with an educational experience as it does entertaining them.   The Kentucky Horse Park gives shelter to retired race horses allowing them to live out their remaining years well cared for, features equestrian attractions, displays and exhibitions, and hosts national and international competitions in dressage, racing, steeplechase, and other events.  My kids learned a lot of interesting information about horses when our family visited the place and were thrilled by the personal...

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When visiting a Florida theme park it can be tempting to stay offsite to save money, but the convenience and perks of an onsite hotel can often outweigh these cost savings.   Especially if you place a value on your time!   We recently discovered during a family trip to Universal Orlando Resort that the accessibility provided by staying at one of their onsite hotels really had a relaxing effect that really improved the enjoyability of our vacation. We stayed at Loews Sapphire Falls which is one of five hotels located at Universal Orlando Resort to go along with three theme...

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