With many families faced with helping their children with remote learning or home schooling due to the pandemic, Ludington's favorite attractions are offering fun virtual ways to learn. Plus, here is a list of other wonderful virtual entertainment ideas.
Ludington’s cultural attractions like Historic White Pine Village, Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Sandcastles Children's Museum and Mason County District Library and have assembled a number of online/remote education resources – from lesson plans about Michigan lighthouses, to virtual history hunts, to do-at-home craft projects. Some items to check out: · Mason County Historical Society, who manages Historic White Pine Village and the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, provides a bevy of online resources and interactive experiences on its virtual education page, including Historical Photo Detective, Mason Memories Essay, Virtual History Hunts, Outdoor Scavenger Hunts and Journaling Ideas.
· Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPLKA) lighthouse education – SPLKA’s education committee of former university professors, a former school superintendent and six teachers assembled a variety of educational resources that meet 2020 Michigan Educational Standards, including Big Sable Lighthouse Educational Packet, The Properties of the Light, Lighthouse presentation plus related handout, video of author Pamela Cameron reading her book "Sport Ship Dog of the Great Lakes," and virtual tour of Big Sable Point Light
· Sandcastles Children’s Museum at home – From do-at-home craft projects and Wacky Wednesday Science, to virtual puppet shows and concerts, Sandcastles offers online activities to keep kids busy at home. Check the Sandcastles Facebook page for free weekly events. The museum also has a YouTube channel; subscribe and get instant access to tutorials and musical performances.
· Mason County District Library – The library offers a virtual stories on its Facebook page such as Babytime Mondays with songs and rhyme reading, and Storytime Tuesdays through Thursdays with music, rhythm, dance, and a story (focusing on STEM Storytimes the first week of the month). It also features Fun Family Craft Fridays where the library packs a craft bag you can pick up on Fridays that requires parent-child interaction for fun times as a family.
· Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA) “Workshops in a Box" – The LACA converted its usual in-person art workshops to “workshops in a box” to do from home. In addition to holiday-themed boxes like Ceramic Holiday Ornaments and Santa’s Workshop, LACA offers a collage box, clay mug box, clay vase box, EZ mug box, and a “chaotic fish” box. Each box includes materials and supplies to complete the project plus instructions and a link to an online tutorial. Pottery projects need to be returned to LACA to be fired. Boxes cost between $15 and $50 and are available for pick up at the LACA three business days after purchase.
Online concerts/entertainment - When families need a break from studying, Ludington attractions also have created online entertainment options as well, such as: · Big Sable Point Lighthouse Virtual Escape Room – and an adult version is coming soon!
· West Shore Community College “Living Room Series” – The Performing Arts Series kicked off with a new format, where ticket holders attend livestream performances of favorite regional and national artists from the comfort of their living room.
· Ludington Area Center for the Arts “Home for the Holidays” Concert, Dec. 11, 6 p.m. – The art center hosts its 6th annual Home for the Holidays concert as a virtual performance streaming on its website and Facebook page via YouTube. The program will feature live local musicians, plus a special reading for the family from the Mason County District Library.
· Virtual New Year’s Eve Party, Dec. 31 – While this will be the first time in more than a decade that Ludington will NOT host its New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, Ludington will host a Virtual New Year’s Event live on Facebook to include music, live interviews, highlights of 2020, and content submitted for a “Bye Bye 2020” video contest. Anyone who loves Ludington is encouraged to create and submit a short video in one of four categories, which will be played throughout the show. Top submittals will win Downtown Gift Certificates, donated by the event sponsor, the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Winners will be announced during the event, and the first-place video will be shown at 11:59 p.m. to count down to 2021.
In-person remote learning opps – If you decide to venture to Ludington, there are ways to learn safely in person while social distancing. Try these remote, self-guided tours: · Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) Inside|Out program, downtown through November 2021. See Van Gogh and Whistler painting reproductions up close and in nature in Ludington, one of six northern Michigan communities participating in the DIA’s Inside|Out program that brings reproductions from its permanent art collection of 65,000 works to outdoor venues throughout Michigan. Partnering with the Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA), this program features eight pieces on a walkable route throughout downtown Ludington, with venues listed on a walking map on the LACA’s website.
· Mason County Cultural Tours – Six self-guided cultural trails – Agriculture, Barn Quilt, Lumber Heritage, Music Heritage, Maritime and Sculpture – offer audio narration via smart phone about Mason County’s rich history. Visitors can navigate these tours from the privacy of their vehicles, or listen to the narratives from home while learning about Mason County’s heritage. Some tours, such as the Maritime Heritage and Sculpture Trails, are walkable.
In-person socially distant holiday events — Ludington also offers some in-person holiday events that are socially distant: · Deck the Halls: Mason County Holiday Decorating Contest, Dec. 1-27. This new holiday event invites all county residents and businesses to participate and light up the area in anticipation of the Christmas season. Visit the event page here for a map of decorations and to vote on your favorite.
· Festival of Wreaths Dec. 5-12, Ludington Area Center for the Arts. 20 artists have created holiday wreaths that will be displayed in the art center’s performance hall lobby gallery and will be sold via an online silent auction during that time period. More information will be released at ludingtonartscenter.org and Facebook soon.
· Downtown Cookie Walk Dec. 12, 1-5 p.m., downtown Ludington. Visit participating locations and pick up one cookie at each business to take home two dozen cookies. This year, each cookie will be individually wrapped in recyclable bags, and participants will collect cookies in a Downtown Ludington tote bag. Tickets are $20 each, with 100 sold. Purchase tickets here and pick up your tote and maps from FiveStar Real Estate (513 S James St.) Dec. 12 between 12:45 and 2 p.m.
For more on the happenings in Ludington, visit pureludington.com