The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

The nice thing about dinosaurs is that they are new and old at the same time. It seems each year another fascinating creature is discovered. In October, "the skeleton of what is believed to be a new dinosaur species -- a 105-foot plant-eater that is among the largest dinosaurs ever found -- has been uncovered in Argentina". You can't get more bang for your buck than that. Every Saturday & Sunday here in Ann Arbor you can take a 30-minute docent-led tour of the U-M Exhibit Museum's dinosaur exhibits. 1109 Geddes at North University. Free, but limited to the first 15 people to sign up for each tour. 764-0478. 2 p.m.

Unique Gift of Story with a Local Flavor

time warptime warp

I think the best part about the CD Time Warp Tales is that it will spark memories and get the family telling stories together. These growing up tales from members of the Ann Arbor Storyteller's Guild are clever, warm and funny. How can you go wrong with stories entitled The Worm with a Face Like a Cat, Grandpa's Claim to Fame or The Search for Laughing Sal? I was especially moved by the last tale written by Sunnie Tait, beloved Ann Arbor school librarian and teller, who lives on through her stories. You will find the CD for sale at Nicola's Books, Sixteen Hands or Peaceable Kingdom.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

The Play Ground is still thinking about our trip to Hill Auditorium last year to see Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Every finger and toe was tapping along. Pure, sweet melody. Marsalis and UMS is bringing the group back this January featuring the Love Songs of Duke Ellington. Get out of our way, we need tickets. Wednesday, January 16, Hill Auditorium, 8pm.

Sancho's Picks for Weekend Fun!


It’s sure to be an entertaining weekend! Catch Iolanthe at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater in the Michigan League starting Thursday. This comic operetta, performed by the UM Gilbert and Sullivan society features great music, a talented cast, and, best of all, fairies. Just in case you’re too cozy to leave the house this weekend, even for fairies, the Library also owns versions of the operetta on DVD and CD.

Drumroll, please: Friday, December 7 brings one of my absolute favorite things about living in Ann Arbor—Midnight Madness! Shops Downtown and in Kerrytown stay open late (most really, truly until midnight) and the air is thick with festivity and the scent of hot dogs (the elusive Le Dog on Main Street stays open late!) Not to be missed!

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Youssou N'Dour and The Super Etoile is arguably the most famous band in Africa. We first became familiar with him in 1988 when he was a co-headliner on the Amnesty International "Human Rights Now!" tour alongside Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Tracy Chapman. N'Dour combines African musical traditions with Afro-Cuban and Western influences to create a world-pop fusion. Good to get your mind off holiday shopping. Hill Auditorium, Saturday, December 8, 8 pm.

Get into the Holiday Spirit at the State Theater

How the Grinch Stole ChristmasHow the Grinch Stole Christmas

Take a break from holiday shopping and take advantage of the Twisted Christmas series at the State Theater. Every Sunday in December at 3:30 PM, starting December 2, relax with popcorn while watching Christmas classics and not-so Christmas classics.
The twisted line-up includes:
December 2 How the Grinch Stole Christmas
December 9 Die Hard
December 16 Bad Santa
December 23 Scrooged

For more traditional Christmas cheer, visit the Michigan Theater on December 9 and take part in the Christmas Sing-Along and watch A Muppet Christmas Carol.

Stop by the library on your way downtown and pick up good reading material. We've got a great holiday collection in the Downtown Youth Department that will get you in the mood for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Buy Indie in Ypsi


If you survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday why not try a handmade Saturday? This Saturday from noon to midnight is the fourth Shadow Art Fair at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. There you’ll find all things handmade- from t-shirts, coffee, purses and jewelry, to art, zines and soap. This year also features “Shadow Brew.” It's not too late to take the Handmade Pledge this holiday giving season, and the Shadow is a good place to start. Of course... you could always make your own gifts too!

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Wow, we are stuffed from our Thanksgiving dinner and not interested in cruising around town to check out bargains. A nice walk, visit with family and some music can make us happy. Luckily, Saturday night we can settle down with some smooth music from Mr. B at The Ark. This solo concert celebrates the release of Nine Pianists: Our Town, Our Time, a live recording made at Kerrytown Concert House. Proceeds from sales of the CD go toward the construction of a special bike Mr. B is planning to ride across the state next summer - pulling a piano! We would like to see that.
The Ark, 316 S. Main. Saturday, November 23, 8pm.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is a wonderful source for interesting and informative talks and exhibits. Last year presidential advisor Brent Scowcroft gave his perspective on national policies and last week Thomas DeFrank revealed 16 years of private conversations with President Ford. Tonight, Barry H. Landau will discuss his new book, THE PRESIDENT'S TABLE which is a wonderfully illustrated history of presidential dining and entertainment. It is a complement to the current exhibit, "Art of Diplomacy:Head of State Gifts."
November 15, 7:30 pm, 205-0555.

Making Hot Career Connections at Hot Shots


Looking to get your career off the ground? Michigan Works! and ETCS have teamed up with Ann Arbor Spark in association with the Mega Partnership to produce Hot Shots—a series of opportunities for job seekers to meet up with employers from across the country. Attendees can view a sampling of available positions ahead of time, and browse the list of participating companies. The next Hot Shots event will be held at Vinology on Wednesday, November 28, from 5-7pm. Participants should register ahead of time at the Ann Arbor Spark website.

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