Relocating to Ann Arbor from Miami, FL

Updated on October 01, 2009
C.M. asks from Ann Arbor, MI
30 answers

My family of 4 (3 1/2 year old boy & 1 year old girl) will be relocating to the Ann Arbor area from sunny and warm Miami, right in the middle of the winter (December 2009). We are very excited but know it will be quite a change... can someone who's gone through something similar share what challenges we face and how we can better prepare for them?
I have no clue as to where to start in moving my family from the tropics to the North, so I need all the help I can get.Mostly my worries right now revolve around what the heck we're going to wear during winter!!! since it's a short-term move (1.5 years), I don't want to spend a fortune in clothes that will be outgrown and never used again, so the basics will do... but what are those basics??? I lived in Minnesota for 3 months (Sept-Dec) in my teenage years, so it doesn't even compare to what it will be like with kids. We want to make this a fun experience for our family, but are on a tight budget. Any advise will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Wow! Thank you so much for all the responses.
I have received so much advise, even on topics I didn't even think about. I will go into more detail on each response and digest all of it in the next few days.
My family and I feel welcome to the area already! you are all great and have been extremely helpful.
I will keep you posted on how the move goes, and again, many, many thanks!

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Detroit on

I can't help you with the moving part, but the budget part I've got covered! If you go to www.mom2momlist.com it will list re-sales all over the metro detroit area. You can find one near Ann Arbor when you get here. If you've never heard of a mom2mom sale, it's basically a HUGE garage sale of moms selling their baby/kids clothes, toys, coats, strollers, etc. at great deals! I save a TON of money outfitting my kids (5 and 3 years). Good luck...it may not be as warm here, but the different seasons are great! Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.T.

answers from Detroit on

A premature welcome to Ann Arbor!
If you happen to be up here the first Saturday in November, Mitchell Elementary is having their Mom-to-Mom Sale...always have lots of little kids clothes. Also, the PTO Thrift Shop is a good option - there will be a shipment of stuff from Mitchell after the sale :) - I get my stuff from Kohl's, WalMart, Target and Children's Orchard (resale shop). Payless has good prices on boots as well.
Someone mentioned thinner blood, so layer up! The kids probably won't notice the cold as much as you, so make sure they have the layers as well.....I found long-sleeved onesies and undershirts to help out immensely during those ages.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.K.

answers from Saginaw on

boots, coats, long sleeve shirts/sweaters, jeans, gloves/mittens, hat/scarf

Check out my website at www.workathomeunited.com/SusanK
We work for a legitimate company that won many awards from the business community. This business can be worked where ever you live - MI/FL

S.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.C.

answers from Detroit on

Welcome to my world C.. Thats what I did almost 50 years ago. We lived in Fla. and moved to Michigan. For me it was the first time I had seen snow having lived in Minn. you at least know what cold feels like. I would encourage you to be prepared to dress in layers that way if it gets cold you can put on more if it gets hot you can take off some things and still be decent. The weather here changes sometimes in the hour and can be very unpredictable.
When you get here My son David is hiring and I can get you an interview with his company. I know he hires part time and full time and the money is very good. Let me hear from you. Email me and I will send you my phone number. [email protected]____.com blessing in your move.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Saginaw on

one good thing about your moving coming well after winter starts, is that most of the winter clothing and accessories (boots hats etc) will be on sale. it is expensive right now in the fall....but starts to go on sale in december, and then is clearanced out by february. keep that in mind. maybe hit a second hand store for your initial purchase just to get you by a month or two.

for a little bit of humor....(i HATE winter by the way)
I have come up with the "positive points" on winter.

A. you can grocery shop on your lunch hour, or during a long day of running around, and the stuff keeps just fine in the trunk of your car...no rush to get it home. even ice cream!

B. you can keep sodas, beer, juice boxes, bottled water, outside in a cooler and have more room in your refrigerator.

and...that's about it! haha

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,
There are lots of Mom2Mom sales in the area. I live in Goodrich but I am in the Ann Arbor area a lot. I also have 2 kids and they don't stay in anything very long. You can also check out the outlet malls, old navy is really good.
I also want to mention an opportunity in working from home. I am an Arbonne Consultant and doing very well with it. If you haven't heard of it...it's a Swiss formulated, consumable product line that is absolutely awesome. It's vegan, no chemical/fragrances/dyes, healthy and nutritous. My NVP is a navy wife and moves around a lot, she has regions all over the US. She is driving a Mercedes (company paid for), she's a stay at home mom too and her income has given her financial security and a blessed life. I am working toward the same. You could start in your area and continue as you move in the future. It's a wonderful way to meet people and get involved with "Kid Stuff". Please let me know if you would like more info about it. I would be happy to send you some literature and samples.
Hope your move goes well, T.; [email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.J.

answers from Detroit on

Hi welcome to the area, in Dec. hats mittins (water prof.) scarf, snow pants, sweat shirts, coat, snow boots. (Sled), carrett for snow man nose, cole for eye's, sm. branches for arm's, & hat of course, old scarf. Now for dressing the children, these items may be on sale by the time you get here, bc. it's like buying a bathing suit on the 4th of July, their out of them by the time the weather alows them to be worn. Snow should already be here by then, do you have anyone in the area, who could purchase these items for you, so you & the children will be ready, when you get off the plane? Love to shop, mabie, I could help. MOM of 4 daughter's, 5 grandkids, native from Canton, lived in TX for 5 yr. when children only 2 then were young. If you need any help, pl. let me know. Best of luck to you, the kids are going to love it, & hopefully you & your husband too.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.W.

answers from Detroit on

Kids will need warm coats, snow pants, boots and hats and gloves. They will go outside almost everyday at school. You can check craigs list...but by Dec a lot of that stuff will be on clearance here too.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.P.

answers from Kalamazoo on

You have received a lot of good advice here, but I want to stress the importance of good boots and gloves. You will want to go outside in the snow to play sometimes or you will go absolutely nuts staying in the house (and of course your boy will want to check out the snow!) Make sure the boots are warm and the snow pants are a little longish and come well over the top of the boots to keep the snow out (nothing worse than having snow in your boots!). When they bend their legs and crawl in the snow the snow pants will come up and if they are too short he (and therefore you) will be miserable. Also, get multiple pairs of good snow gloves - they absolutely need to be warm and waterproof. Best Wishes!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.L.

answers from Detroit on

The basics, dressing in layers is the most important so you can take of layers if you get too warm inside, it is important to use if at all possibl to use all natural fabrics keep you the warmest, ie: cotton for tshirts, long sleeve shirts, long underwear, under wool or cotton sweaters, wool coats. Long underwear usually only if you are going to stay outside for a long time. Jeans work great only because they usually are heavier and are made of cotton. If you want to go skiing, ice-skating, sleding, or just to make a snow fort or people. for the children you there are great genlty used clothing stores called The Children's Orchard, or Once Upon a Child. Mittens keep hands warmer than gloves, attach the mittens to each other with a long string and pull through the coat. Scarfs and hats, but I have found that a hood on coat when my girls became 4 was better. A good pair of boots for the adults and maybe the three year old. I found that I carried my children when they were small and rarely did they go in the snow. The PTSO also has a thrift store that are great options for cost. You might even try craig's list and put in Ann Arbor to look for winter clothers and coats.

You will find that area has alot of great things to do that are free of charge or cost very little, it is a great place full of fun and culture.

Welcome there is lots to put in here. Let me know if I can give you any more tips.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from Detroit on

Instead of waiting till you get up here to get winter stuff... Try craigs list. If you know someone in the area you could have stuff shipped to their houseand have them store it until you arrive...

Also... Most salvation armys, although cheaper than full price are in my opinion still pricy. Try waiting till november or december and check out the online clearence sales of walmart, childrens place, target, etc.

In Howell there is an outlet mall that has one of the FEW childrens place stores that will actually clearence their stuff. Check it out for things when you get up here...

Maybe even set up a "drop shipment" with the post office. Not sure if thats what they actually call it. Its when something is shipped somewhere for you and they hold it until you pick it up. (there may be limitations on length of time)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.F.

answers from Detroit on

Welcome!

We recently moved BACK to MI from KY after 6 years. I forgot how cold it can get!!! We are always on a budget so hopefully I can help here. It'll be long so bare with me. I may repeat myself too...sorry if I do!

Make sure you ALL have warm boots and socks. The kids will need snow pants if you plan to go sledding (you too if you don't want to get wet)...ask new neighbors for the best hills. You'll need heavy coats too along with the obvious hats, gloves, and scarves. I like the waterproof gloves to play in the snow. Other's will get wet and hands will get cold. Sometimes I'll layer the cloth gloves inside the waterproof for extra warmth. Waterproof coats are a must if playing in the snow.

It can get bitter here in the winter and my youngest daughter gets chapped cheeks. If she's out in the cold for a minute with bare cheeks she gets really red and chapped. I like to use a face stick. Aveeno is the only one I have found at grocery stores. It just keeps the skin protected when the kids are outside and helps to heal skin if it's already chapped.

CHAPSTICK! Can't stress that one enough. Apply often. Pretty much any brand will do. I'll even use vaselene if I can't find lip balm.

The air will be dry so you will need plenty of lotion. Even the kids. Again...anything will do as long as you are applying it daily...sometimes more than once a day. Drink plenty of water as well to keep skin hydrated. Otherwise you run the risk of itchy, cracked, scaly, ashy skin. Like a gator!

A humidifier can be a great help to keep air moist in the home...it will feel much colder if the air is dry...I know because we went without one last year...big mistake!!! We were renting an apartment and the windows were drafty. Spent all winter in a blanket!

Static guard will be your best friend. Because of the dry air you will collect all kinds of static resulting in electric shock every time you touch metal or another person. Seriously...I have whitnessed an actual BOLT come from my finger. Does not feel good. That reminds me...when pumping gas in this dry air be sure to "shock" yourself by touching your car before you touch the pump. Try your best to keep one hand on the car at all times...this will help you avoid charging the gas pump and causing a fire. It's happened...look it up. Also...reguarding the static guard, spray it on everything...hats, gloves, coats, car seats, blankets, anything that collects static. I like to spray a bit on my hairbrush to avoid flyaways. Your skirt, pants, shirts etc. will stick to you and other things. If you are wearing a sweater over a T-shirt be careful when taking off that sweatshirt in front of people. I once had an unfortunate experience where my t-shirt came up along with my sweatshirt giving everyone a show. Luckily I was among friends and it was just plain funny. But you can see how this could have gone in a whole different direction!

I don't know about shopping in Ann Arbor however if there is a Walmart shop there. Usually they have the best prices and if you don't plan on needing this stuff for too long you won't need that expensive tripple stitched down jacket at the mall. I purchased a great winter jacket, boots, and snowpants at Walmart last year for my oldest daughter and she loves them. All of it is still in great shape and will be used this year as well. We also purchased two sleds for $4 a piece too. Not bad! Get them early though because once it snows...they are hard to find. Target isn't too bad either but can be a tad more expensive. You can also look for mom-to-mom sales or resale shops. I've never been (i'm too lazy) but I know plenty of people who have found all kinds of great items for next to nothing.

I don't care for the look of turtle necks so we don't wear them around our house. I just make sure the kids are well bundled with their coat, hat, and scarf to cover their neck. Long sleeves are usually a must for kids because they get cold quicker. For me...I get hot fast so I like to wear layers or a 3/4 length sleeve shirt. If you find your kids get hot fast too...again layers are always a good idea. I'll usually do long sleeve under short sleeve but that's just because I like the way it looks. If my kids get hot they can take off the long sleeve or the short one. Whichever one they want.

Jeans and sweats are perfect. You may want to get one or two pairs of long underware for everyone. Last year we had EXTREMELY cold temperetures. I just would throw on a pair of tight running pants under my jeans (because that's what I had). My hubby would wear his pj pants under his pants, and my kids would wear their pj pants too. They have a few pairs that taper at the end so they were perfect.

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there is plenty I missed! If I remember I'll update for you.

Good luck this winter! Hope you have fun!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from Detroit on

We have Mom-to-Mom sales here in Michigan and they are great resource. I know that all states don't have them. Their website is mom2momlist.com and they are moms selling their kids clothes to other moms. I have found great deals at them (like boots for $1 or $2). The stuff is nicer than what you would find at a garage sale and cheaper than resale shops. You might want to get your kids enough to get by-a couple pairs of jeans, a couple of sweatshirt or sweaters, and a winter coat, hat, scarf, mittens, and boots and buy the rest at mom-to-mom sales. That way, you wouldn't spend a fortune. Good luck on your move.

L.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.D.

answers from Detroit on

HI C.! Welcome to freezing michigan. One advice is that you will need to dress WARM.

Check out all of the mom-2-mom sales in your new area. A warm coat will make all of the difference between being miserable and being able to adjust to the cold. It took me 3 years to figure that out. I was so miserable until I discovered a down coat.

Also, mittens, boots, and hats are a must. Get 2 pair, because you will lose at least 1 mitten a season, and usually you dont figure that out until you are leaving to go somewhere! haha.
I usually get snow suits for outdoors or at least ski pants for the kids, because they need to be out at times and besides that its fun to play in the snow.

Again, mom2mom sales are your best bet, as most of the items are gently used and very low cost. Second choice would be TJ MAXX or another discount store.

GOOD LUCK IN YOUR MOVE!

D.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.L.

answers from Detroit on

Second hand stores, garage sales and/or moms to moms sales are good, inexpensive sources for clothes. However, the latter two are getting less frequent as we go into the winter months. Perhaps a friend or relative of yours can check things out this month. You may have to buy the winter coats from a retail store here but we have so many stores with a wide range of pricing and good sales. For the next year, you will have time to purchase the items you need at the aforementioned places rather inexpensively. Winters in Michigan can be both fun and frustrating. Kids love the snow. Join a church when you are here or some other organization. Perhaps they will have clothes to share. I used to do that with our "southern visitors."

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.W.

answers from Jackson on

There are several excellent second hand stores in Ann Arbor where you can get like new winter gear for the kids for quite cheap. I found a full snow suit with tags still attached last year for $5! I bought boots for all three of my kids last year for less than $15 (which is usually the cost of 1 new pair)

As for what you'll need. I keep my kids winter wardrobes pretty small We layer a lot so they don't have an entire wardrobe change from one season to the next. for Winter I add 3-4 long sleeved Tees or Turtlenecks (plain colors so we can layer under fun t-shirts from summer-fall) 2 sets of long underwear (one for layering under school/nice clothes if needed one old hand-me-down or slightly too small pair for playing in the snow in) 2 sweaters, 2-4 cardigans or zip up hoodies or sweat shirts, and a weeks worth of Jeans/Cords. (This ends up being about a weeks worth of clothes with a couple extra shirts just in case) And of course Winter Coats, snow pants (bibs), boots, mittens, and hats.

ETA Forgot to mention...FLEECE! Fleecey footed jammies are a MUST for little kids up here in the winter esp. if they aren't used to chilly nights, Flannel Sheets are also very nice and comfy in the winter and will help keep everyone toasty at night.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.P.

answers from Detroit on

Well, the bright side is that Michigan has 4 beautiful seasons and since your move is short term, it will most likely be a wonderful experience for your family. Despite having been raised here, I have lived in tropical climates and can honestly tell you that Michigan winters can be hard on the spirits. There are a few good things and December is actually quite magical with Christmas music and holiday lights, hearty family meals, hot chocolate and cuddling up with the family. There is nothing like that first snow and for your kids it will be really fun to get out there and play in it. January, February and March are the months that get hard. And to get to your questions... the basics are going to be jeans, long sleeve shirts, turtle necks and definitely some good outer wear--winter coats/snow pants/ boots/gloves. A pair of long johns or long underwear can also come in handy for particularly cold days. As your children are not school age, that means there are not going to be outside waiting for buses,etc. The worst is usually getting all bundled up to get in the car and then you don't' want to crank the heat cause you're afraid they'll be sweating. Everything takes longer, just getting ready to go out. And seems like you spend your time toting around hats/coats/ boots as everywhere and everything is heated. Those are actually the more annoying things. When its really cold, you will find everyone just stays inside and its almost a relief with no pressure to do yardwork or go anywhere. If its a really hard winter, there will be days in which you get cabin fever and will want to get out and do something. Ann Arbor has a great children's science center/museum and I would get acquainted with the Recreation department,etc. Before you know it (or start thinking you just can't take anymore!), spring starts showing signs and you will see that there is nothing as joyful as springtime in the North! Our souls are jumping for joy and we truly treasure the warmer months.
As for dressing your kids with a frugal budget....
You may want to check our the mom2mom website that organizes and advertises all the local mom2mom sales. A great opportunity to buy gentle used clothing at a fraction of the cost--perfect for finding your winter items. Even Craigslist is a good way to find kids winter gear from people who just about give it away. Otherwise, winter clothes and items can actually run pretty cheap---Especially the second week in January, you won't believe the clearance prices on all winter wear (and we are just getting into winter at that time!)--i distinctly remember shopping at Old Navy in January and felt like i had just won a shopping spree buying lined jeans, fleece shirts, sweaters-- for $2 and $3 apiece. The good thing is that no matter where you live your kids are outgrowing clothes each year. Winter clothes are not particularly more expensive. Target, Kohls, TJ max, Marshalls are my personal recommendations. Don't stress too much about it. Just bring any long sleeve shirts or pants you have and you'll just have to add a few of the other basics.
geesh, i just about wrote a book for you! I wish you and your family the best. Michigan truly is a beautiful state and Ann Arbor is a wonderful city. You are also close to Detroit and there are some wonderful things to do there as well. Take time to see the state and get out and do things --that's the secret to enjoying our state. And be sure to take plenty of pictures documenting each of the seasons. You might actually miss them when you are gone!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.R.

answers from Detroit on

I would look for a good used winter coat for your son (and matching snow pants if you can -- they are probably going to be required if he goes to any kind of preschool), cheap mittens/hat, and a couple good pairs of jeans/cords/khakis, and a few sweaters. He can probably wear the t-shirts from his Florida wardrobe, just layer a sweater with them and always the coat in the winter. Snow boots are another thing to get used if you can find them, otherwise a good pair of sneakers will be ok.
For the one year old, if she is still in her baby car seat, you can layer blankets over her. If she is in a sitting-up car seat, you will want a good used coat for her too. Then its layers too -- pants, tshirt, sweater. I loved one-piece sweater outfits on my 1 year old last winter.
Not to be a drama queen, but sometimes it is so cold just getting your kids from the house to the car, its like little daggers stabbing you.
Kid coats are never worn out in one season, so I think they are a great item to buy used (or on clearance the year before). Ebay, craigslist, yard sales, mom to mom sales, thrift stores, secondhand stores, are all good places to watch. I would rather buy a used name brand one than a cheap new one.
Don't forget flu shots.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.G.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.! I moved to Northville (about 15 min east of Ann Arbor)from Nashville a little over a year ago so I feel your pain :) Aside from the clothing, I would like to add that you should think about signing up with a snow plow company. We didn't last year and so regret it. Shoveling 12 inches of snow off your driveway after you have been out of town a week is no fun! If you need a newcomer's perspective send me a message. I will be glad to help!
M.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,

You have recieved many ideas. I would pretty much agreewith all of them. Mom to mom sales are fantastic!! You can just check out their website and find the sale nearest to you. They pretty much go on every weekend. Check out local resale shops. I believe there is a Childrens Orchard in Ann Arbor.
As for looking at getting into a home based business. I'm a MaryKay consultant and love it! You plan your own schedule, work it as much or as little as you want, you can earn cars, cash, trips and much more. It allows you to meet lots of interesting woman. I know you have alot going on with trying to move and getting settled in, if you would like to hear more about the MaryKay opprtunity please feel free to contact me @ [email protected]____.com or ###-###-####
Good Luck in your move!

C. M.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Detroit on

Go to mom2mom.list it is a great resource to find budget friendly clothes.

Outer wear, get winter coats (I prefer with hoods). Knit gloves/mittens are fine, but when you play in the snow they get soaked so it is best to either have plenty (they are not expensive) or try waterproof gloves/mittens. Hat, even if, coat has hood. Especially at these young ages try to find something that covers their ears and (me) preferably ties on. Scarf to cover nose and mouth - that air is cold and typically dry. Snow pants get the bib overall type (and black so both boy and girl can wear it) so when snow does go up their coats, and it will, they will be warm and dry. There is an alternative to that and it is a one piece snow suit and they are great too. Try boots on with a few layers of thicker socks not the thin ones. Layering is very important!! Careful with tons of layers and traveling in a car (any great distance) it can get too warm.

Try the winter sports they are wonderful and fun just dress appropriately and everyone will have a blast!!!! Ann Arbor is a very nice area and has lots of stuff to do.

Turtlenecks are great keep them solid if you want them to be unisex. Heavy Corduroy is good. fleece is great, footie pajamas sometimes we put socks on then the pj's to keep our feet warm. Layering is good inside too.

Good luck in the transition and Michigan is great!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.K.

answers from Grand Rapids on

You've received a lot of great responses already. Here's a couple little suggestions from a native Michigander.

RE: kids coats, I've learned the ones that have removeable snap or zipper) hoods are very helpful when they are in carseats. It's nice to have the hood when they are playing outside and you can always layer with a hat inside and a hood both. But if you are just going from home to car to store, for example, the kids fit into their carseat better when they just have a coat and hat. Also, the ones that are fuzzy/fleece on the inside of the collar are nice because they feel warmer against the face when the collar is zipped all the way (to keep chin and nose/mouth warm).

RE: boots, it's important to find boots that have good traction, but keep your/their feet dry and warm. So many kid boots are cheaply made or just for looks and they aren't tall enough to keep the snow from falling in from the top. I've also learned the hard way: don't buy kids boots with zippers. Again, cheaply made and zipper will either break or be covered with ice and snow and won't work!

Be aware of seasonal depression. Michigan winters can be long and dark, with gray skies and not many sunny days. You can use full-spectrum light bulbs in rooms where you spend the most time and try to bundle up, play outside as much as possible, even if it's cloudy, being outside and being active will help a little.

Thinking of you with the wonderful opportunity to explore and experience a new, completely different locale with your family is exciting. Michigan has a great tourism website, michigan.org, to give you ideas of new areas to check out on the weekends. Their "Pure Michigan" ads voiced by Tim Allen are very well-done. In Ann Arbor, you can take advantage of the opportunites of living in a college town. A little drive from Ann Arbor, but good day trips I'd suggest Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn and the Huron/Clinton MetroParks system, especially Kensington MetroPark.

RE: fun on a tight budget, you could buy the Detroit Area Entertainment Book, full of coupons and savings. And look into "reciprical memberships" at area children's museums, zoos, etc. You could join at one as a "member" and receive free or discounted admission for a period of time at a list of other ones nationwide! (Would make a good holiday gift for your family from someone!) Research it online; some zoos, for ex, might have a lower membership cost, but still reciprocate with all the same zoos.

Best wishes and enjoy!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.B.

answers from Detroit on

We moved to suburban Detroit 3 years ago from Jacksonville FL so I understand what you will be going through. You will want a good winter jacket for each of you, along with boots, hats and mittens. Snow pants or snowsuits to me are optional unless you have a child who is going to want to play outside in the snow. In that situation, you will need snow pants as well. My recommendation, since you are going to be here for a short time, is to utilize a place like the Salvation Army. You can pick up used items that will definitely get you through the remainder of this winter right after you arrive. Then, next fall as your final winter approaches, you can decide how you want to go about getting your final round of "goods". You will also want to invest in a GOOD snow shovel. If you aren't into shoveling, you can always get a snow blower but we have been here for 3 years and survived without one just fine. A good shovel will save your back immensely and make the snow removal quicker and easier. You will also want to get All Season Tires on your car. We have not found Snow Tires to be necessary but southern tires do NOT cut it in winter weather up here. A good All Season Radial should do the trick just fine. You will need to leave an ice scraper and snow brush (sometimes you can find the combo brush/scraper) in each vehicle throughout winter as well. Sleds, skates, and other outdoor toys are optional of course. GOOD luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,
You have already received a lot of great advice, so I will try not to repeat too much. For me and my family, Fleece vests are my absolute favorite piece of clothing for the entire family; it is practical and will keep the core of you warm while allowing more freedom to move. Personally, I can't stand to be bundled up, and my daughter doesn't like it either (she is an exceptional warm kid...). If we are not going to be "playing" outside, I don't even wear my warmest coat and either does my daughter (she is almost 4). To sit in a car seat with a big bulky coat is not very comfy, so keep that in mind. As long as exposed skin is covered when it is below freezing, you should be fine (for me, mittens are warmer than gloves...and if my hands are warm, I am good). My husband had a mom who bundled him all the time and he ALWAYS hated it. Fleece footsie pj's for the kids are also my favorite. Believe it our not, she will only sleep with a very light fleece couch throw, even in the winter, so these PJ's I know help keep her warm without all that weight of blankets.
One final note, Ann Arbor is a great city and really family friendly. Winters can get depressing (esp Feb), but without them, the spring and summer wouldn't be quite as fun as it is. You will no doubt notice the "buzz" that takes place once the grass starts turning green again and people start wearing shorts when it is 50 degrees outside (haha). My favorite website to check out all of the free activities for children and families is arborweb.com
I hope you and your family have a great adventure!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.N.

answers from Detroit on

I've lived in Michigan all my life. One thing to know is that the weather is very unpredictable. Invest in a good winter coat. You can check resale shops for some really good bargains too. If you know someone in the area, maybe they can check out some places for some good bargains. Essentials would include a good coat, decent pair of boots, gloves/mittens, scarves, knit hats. Sweaters and long sleeved t-shirts work well together if you don't want to purchase turtlenecks. Sweatshirts work well too. My favorites have been my two polar fleece vests. I use them to layer with sweaters if it is really cold out. And, don't forget to get a some heavier weight socks and maybe some thermal underwear (long johns) for the family. You can even sleep in them if you want to. But, you may want slippers and flannel jammies too...lol. It will be quite a change for you but, there is nothing like snow at Christmas time! I think you'll enjoy it. If you are lucky you can find snowsuits for the kids as Mom2Mom sales, Goodwill, or other resale shops. Maybe even check out e-bay or other online sources...you never know what you can find. Your car should be have good snow tires, compact shovel, and ice scraper/snowbrush. And, make sure your car in winterized with the correct type of antifreeze, oil, etc... It's always good to keep a small blanket and emergency kit in the car too. A coffee can with a book of matches and jar candle in it can be indespensible if you break down. If you think your children would like to play in the snow, sand pails can easily be used for making things. But, you may want to get a sled too. Best of luck to you in your move.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

C.; the only thing i can think of to help you is to know that your blood will be alot thinner by the heat in florida, and then to come to michigan after living there a while, will make your first winter a cold one even if to us michiganders its a mild winter, so i would advise you to wear layers of clothing, like a turtle neck under your favorite shirt, or buy some long johns to go under your pants, and shirts, i also would like to say the coats made in florida are not warm enough usually for michigan winters, it might be best to get winter coats up here, but if you cant, then layer layer, scarfs are good to have, sometimes breathing in the cold is not comfortable on your lungs, so a scarf across the face, but its not too bad, drive slow, take your time , give yourself plenty of time to get out and scrape off the car, and to drive safely , warm up car before leaving, just so you dont freeze in the car, aahahah although your car can be used as an overflow like a fridge, things left in your car will freeze, so dont leave your eggs in there, or things that should not freeze dont use your car as a fridge or a freezer, ahaha hope you have a safe and wonderful trip , and welcome back! D. s

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.L.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,

First of all, welcome to MI (and especially to Ann Arbor). It's a great town (ok, I'm sort-of biased since I went to undergrad at the University of Michigan), very open-minded, great restaurants, stores, you will have a great time. You have to get coats, mittens, boots, snowpants, sweathers (the kids will grow out of this stuff anyway). A good store is Kohl's to pick up stuff like that and/or mom2mom sales (where moms are selling their used kids' clothes, they are a great find). Just discovered them myself last year. Just type in mom2mom sale and it should pull up. Those are great (even better than Kohl's b/c they are so inexpensive). Ann Arbor is in a valley, so it gets a bit more snow than where I live (southwestern Mi- burbs of Detroit).

Also, read your byline about how you are looking for a legitimate home-based business. I used to be a psychotherapist and just like you, wanted to be home with my kids (son who turned 4 in June and my daughter who will be 2 1/2 yrs old next week). Now I have my own business with a company called Arbonne International. Have you heard of it? It's a 29 yr old Swiss health and wellness company. I have been using the products since before grad school (about 12 years now). If you are interested in taking a look, I can always email you my website and some samples if you like. Otherwise, have a great day! It will be fun for the kids to see snow. You will really enjoy Ann Arbor, it's a great town. Take care! Talkk to you soon. *C.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

y on earth would u do that? well, i live in michigan, so i can tell u, at that time, order from the LL Bean catalogue, but wait til november and get the kids sizes right, or go to Kohl's or Goodwill when u get up here. Easy to work in culinary, go to the milive.com website or mi.gov website and look around it for work tips. Apply online before you move there, and if possible transfer from the company you work with now. for clothes, u will need jeans, boots, winter boots, snowpants, and gloves/mittens. last winter it was 15 degrees most of the time. the gloves and boots have to really be able to keep your feet and hands warm in severe weather, they have to be leather gloves, not cloth. ski gloves are the best, and a fleece collar is good to wear to breathe the cold air in.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Detroit on

I know you're up to your eyeballs in winter dressing tips but I had 2 more things for you and then some basic info.

Mittens - They get lost easily and are a necessity for little hands in MI. You'll want to buy those little clips (a few bucks at Walmart, cheaper at a mom2mom sale. They attach the mittens to the snowsuit.

For your little lady, you'll have more fun outside if she can move in the snowsuit so keep that in mind when you're buying them.

For you to play outside with the kiddos, you'll want to get a good (usually down if you can find one on sale)warm coat and might want to consider ski pants. Makes it easier to make snow angels and be on your knees rolling snowballs.
Salvation Army resale stores up here are super nice, you can find those items there...

Winter driving -

Michiganders drive in snow like there isn't any snow on the road. If you creep along, we'll probably pass you but still, just creep along until you are comfortable driving in the snow. It's different.

Know about your car's break system. If you have anti-lock breaks and you discover ice, you just hit the breaks, DON'T pump them. You'll want to read up on that. Also, check out teh winter tips from AAA, at http://www.aaa.com/aaa/047/PDF/WinterTips.pdf

A friend who moved from another state also said that knowing about "Michigan Lefts" would have been very good to know before driving on our roads. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_left

About MI in general - You might just fall in love with Michigan. It's a beautiful state, filled with loving, kind people who live life at a somewhat busy pace (different from the South, I hear). The seasons will bless your socks off and sometimes you'll get to experience all 4 seasons in one day.

About Ann Arbor - For having to move somewhere for a short time, Ann Arbor was a great pick. Here are some websites that will help you find fun (and free/cheap) things to do with those kiddos on days when you want to adventure out...

Go City Kids, detroit area has a lot of Ann Arbor spots http://gocitykids.parentsconnect.com/region/detroit-mi-usa

Info from Ann Arbor Chamber of COmmerence re: relocation
http://www.a2gov.org/Pages/default.aspx (they have a book about Ann Arbor that they will send you)
http://www.annarborchamber.org/area_information/relocation/

The Ann Arbor science center would be a great gift suggestion for a relative to give your kiddos. It's a great and fun place that would be great to go to year round. Lots of preschool aged stuff there!

Also, Tripadvisor has a long list of info about Ann Arbor sights and sounds - http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g29556-Activities-...

I would also recommend, finding a mom's group, MOPS (Mothers of PReschoolers) have lots of meeting places/times in the Ann Arbor area. It gives you a once a week or every other week chance to get out of the house and socialize...www.mops.org

If you have any questions, let me know. I went to school in Arbor and lots of trips there all through life. Just shoot me an email!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.G.

answers from Detroit on

You can get great deals at mom to mom sales. They are sales in the metro detroit area (including Ann Arbor) at which moms sell their used goods to other moms. It sounds terrible but works out really well. Articles of clothing are generally fifty cents to a few dollars. I get lots of my son's clothes at these sales, especially winter coats and snowsuits. They also have toys and beds and cribs and things like that. The website is mom2momlist.com. Finally, take heart, I moved to metro detroit from miami in January. It was the coldest winter in years which was absolutely shocking but ultimately it has all been fine. Ann Arbor is a really wonderful place to live and raise a family. Try Zingerman's, take your kids to the Arb (the arboretum at the UM) and enjoy a wonderful city!

M.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches