March 1, 2019 | Story by: Jen Loebig
I am a parent of two kids that participate in travel sports. I love it. I love seeing them grow as athletes and individuals. I love the laughs I have shared with other parents when we have had too little sleep and so much togetherness. I especially love watching my kids play the sport they love.
What I don’t love? All that time in between games, especially with multi-day tournaments. Honestly, those minutes can crawl and those hours can seem endless, especially if we don’t have something planned. So from one team parent to another welcome to Livingston County, make this weekend unforgettable on and off the field.
First, let’s talk food. Team dinners are a staple activity of all tournament weekends. Also, after a long day, everyone is starving. There are plenty of familiar chain restaurants in the area, if you can think of it, we probably have it. However, most of our local originals will take reservations and are happy to show you a good time. Wooly Bully’s in Howell is a rock and roll themed restaurant with a fun menu with a great variety of deliciousness. Hartland has bragging rights as the home of the original Black Rock, here you can cook your steak in front of you and nothing says team bonding like splitting a Sizzling Black Rock Volcano. The Pound in downtown Brighton is a great spot for large energetic groups, they have great outdoor seating and a walkable downtown that will allow for the parents to relax while the kids take off to the Imagination Station or get some handmade candy at Oh My Lolli. As a true team parent, your nerves are probably frayed by the end of a long day of whistles blowing, good and bad calls by refs so rest assured that all of the establishments mentioned above serve alcohol.
If you have free time or you are done for the day and your hotel pool is filled to capacity you can check out our local events; there is always a lot to do. At Rollerama and Zap Zone, kids can skate or laser tag away their excess energy. If they had a tough mental day as a team, try an escape room at Puzzled Escape to build the comradery back up. Another great team or family activities to unwind is shopping; there are plenty of shopping centers as well as Tanger Outlets. Looking for an activity that does not require a lot of interaction? Movies will always fit that need and we have an Emagine Theater in Hartland, MJR in Brighton and the Historic Howell Theater shows new features as well as old favorites. There is plenty of fun to be discovered no matter which community your competition is held.
In the morning and ready to start again, the hotel coffee doesn’t always cut it. Thankfully a good cup of joe is around just about every corner. In Howell, try Uptown Coffee, in Brighton, there is the Brighton Coffee House and for our Canadian friends we have four Tim Horton’s for you to get your fix.
I really hope you enjoy your time at your tournament and in our hometowns! Come back when you are not on such a tight schedule, maybe without the kids to experience one of our many breweries or winery.
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