ISHPEMING - After a full day of class, students at Aspen Ridge School in Ishpeming headed back to school Wednesday evening for the 13th annual Child and Family Resource Center Family Night.
"Originally, this started out as family night, celebrating our families. That's still our main goal," center coordinator Donna Ballweber said. "It's about our partners and community and how we come together and support each other.
"Our main focus is the families, but it's become so much more."
Janet Wisuri and her sons, Nathan, 9, and Owen, 7, add ketchup to their hot dogs during the 13th annual Aspen Ridge Child and Family Resource Center’s Family Night on Wednesday. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
Lilly Blecker, 3, learns to make Flubber, a slimy, putty-like substance, at the event, which offered a wide variety of activities from interacting with therapy dogs to kite making. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
The Family Night gives the families of children who attend Aspen Ridge the chance to come to school for an evening of demonstrations, fun activities and a hot dog supper.
Along the elementary school wing of the Aspen Ridge building, local organizations and businesses ranging from the Marquette Food Co-op to the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum to Best Buy set up a different activity in each room. By roaming the halls of the school, families could do everything from touching real animal pelts to tying fly-fishing flies, making their own kites to making a slimy, putty-like substance called Flubber.
"We've got a couple new things this year," Ballweber said, including an appearance from horses from the Heritage Hills Horseback Riding stable and tours of the Aspen Ridge hoop house.
For families, the night has become a tradition.
"We come every year," said Janet Wisuri, who attended the night with two of her sons, Nathan, 9, and Owen, 7. "Mom likes that she doesn't have to make supper."
The two boys said they enjoyed the games and the demonstrations from the Ishpeming Township Fire Department.
Ballweber said besides a chance for families to enjoy being at Aspen Ridge together, the event also provides an opportunity to showcase some of the fun events, organizations and businesses that are available in the area.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.