DECEMBER 2, 2017 SATURDAY 2:30 PM - MOTHER NATURE ON BOARD FOR BIG FUN!
Today is a great day for outdoor fun! The weather is perfect, and we're off and running soon. But first...
The FIREWORKS AT GREENFIELD VILLAGE were awesome last night! A bit short, yes, at 12 minutes on the dot...BUT...
There's some new display shells again. There was a GIANT MULTI-COLORED SMILEY FACE that went off twice, and another we've never seen before: It was as if TWO GREEN BOXES appeared in the sky, and then expanded out before vanishing. HOW DID THEY DO THAT?
In fact, how do they always seem to have new shell designs with different shapes and color schemes every year?
I read an article years ago that explained it.
The Chinese have always been masters of the art of fireworks design, going back many, many moons.
And they're sticklers for detail, keeping close track of every single shell design since Day One.
So every year, they just go back into the archives and pull out something that hasn't been produced for a few hundred years, or whatever...
And, VIOLA! A seemingly brand new twist appears every year. How's that for creative recycling?
That reminds us...when TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO started a HAUNT SWAParrangement starting with a haunt in NEW YORK...
Ah, memories...we'll never forget the after season haunt party TERRORTOWN hosted that we were invited to years ago...
They encouraged Michigan haunts to come too, and SLAUGHTERHOUSE and EREBUS showed up...think some people from SCREAM PARK in NILES too...
The party went fabulous, and the band was rockin' big time...and then...
DIASTER STRUCK! But...
MISTER HAUNTED HOUSE HIMSELF pulled off a real life rescue of the damsel in distress! (editor's note: for any newbies out there, Mr. Haunted House is Ed from Erebus)
He swooped into action, saving the hapless ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION from certain death and even worse, permanent banishment from the in crowd!
Okay, that's just silly writer's embellishment...here's what really happened:
We were MOVIN' AND A GROOVIN' LIKE DANCING FOOLS...finally it's time to go home...OH NO!
I lost my car keys, and Ed pulled out his flashlight and found them in short order. Way to go, buddy...thanks for saving our butts!
DECEMBER 1, 2017 FRIDAY 6 PM - THE BIG GUNS ON THE CHEAP
Tomorrow is another massive free event worth checking out in Detroit, as the 45th annual Noel Night takes over Woodward Avenue from 5 PM - 10 PM on Saturday December 2, 2017.
ART & MUSIC COLLIDE FOR ONE SPECTACULAR EVENING IN MIDTOWN DETROIT!
This one is a monster, with over 100 participating venues, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Public Library. All of them will open their doors to the public free of charge during this Cultural Center-wide holiday open house.
Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, family craft activities and performances by over 200 area music, theatre, and dance groups, and other special performances. Full details: www.noelnight.org or call (313) 420-6000
Here's another excellent list of area events, many of them free: www.OaklandCountyMoms.com/weekend-events-metro-detroit-2017-26719/
NOVEMBER 30, 2017 THURSDAY 4 PM - BIG FUN ON THE CHEAP!
It's no secret that many people in Michigan and Ohio are watching their budgets, but still want to have big fun!
It's also no secret that some of the best things in life are free, or next to it!
So with that in mind here's some "Serving Suggestions" to help on your way to BIG FUN ON THE CHEAP!
These are public events we've mentioned before, but some of you are probably new here...and they both start tomorrow so here we go:
CHRISTMAS IN IDA (Dec. 1 - 3, 2017) is the biggest event in this tiny city near MONROE, MICHIGAN and draws over 50,000 people each year! This long-running festival features FREE CONCERTS, A PARADE AND FIREWORKS. www.ChristmasInIda.com
There's a concert by Michigan Opera Theatre Children's Chorus on Friday night at 7 PM, then on Saturday at 5:15 PM it's the annual Country Music Concert before the fireworks and Parade Of Lights.
YUP, that's right...FIREWORKS, and we're talkin' the BIG ONES, but remember only on Saturday night before the parade.
The parade runs over 2 hours, and includes such great stuff as HOLIDAY HOUNDS ON PARADE with dogs decked out in their holiday best.
A SURE WINNER!
Highlights include: Most Adorable
. Smallest Pet- for the most petite
. Mammoth Pet- for the dog that most resembles a small car
. Best Vocal Performance
. Waggiest Tail-for the dog with the most enthusiastic tail end
The Holiday Hounds on Parade will choose a Prince and Princess who will be featured in the Parade of Lights and will ride in their own convertible.
This year's Saturday night concert headliner is country music heavyweight COLLIN RAYE. Hey, meet us there...we'll be the ones right in the middle of thousands of screaming fans!
OK... honestly I don't remember COLLIN RAYE, but my partner can sing every hit song of his with passion and precision! (editor's note: Not kidding, she has an EXCELLENT singing voice! Could easily be a KAROKE STAR, but hasn't the time or inclination.)
ZIOPTIS "BIG FUN ON-THE-CHEAP" TIP OF THE DAY #1
When you go to CHRISTMAS IN IDA you will be tempted by many fabulous portable food stands...we often go for the CAJUN FOOD which is incredible for sure...but a bit pricey so...
Be sure to also check out the food in the community building, adjacent to the concert area. Everything is like a buck or two...the HOMEMADE CHILI has become a GIANT FESTIVAL FAVORITE, and the desserts were ultra yummy too!
Also starting tomorrow (for an 18 night run) is HOLIDAY NIGHTS IN GREENFIELD VILLAGE at THE HENRY FORD IN DEARBORN. www.thehenryford.org
This event is 25 years plus running now with no signs of slowing down! It's like stepping into an old Christmas Card, with period costumes and authentic ambiance like no other and performances by the fabulous DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
To enter the event is a bit pricey, but you can enjoy two of the best things about this for free!
ZIOPTIS "BIG FUN ON-THE-CHEAP" TIP OF THE DAY #2
The show ends at 10 PM, with the sing-along going into the fireworks starting about 9:45 PM each night, so plan to arrive around 9:30 PM using the rear entrance of THE HENRY FORD off of Southfield freeway. Continue about 200-300 yards and park! Be sure to stop before you see the portable flood lights off to the right, and this puts you only a few hundred yards from the fireworks launch point, and you can clearly hear the PA SYSTEM right there to boot!
Right after the Grand Finale is over you can make a quick get-away re-tracing your path. VIOLA! You're the last to arrive, and first to leave with a minimum of hassle and, best of all, super close proximity to the fireworks for maximum possible impact!
DANGER! DANGER! RED ALERT!
We're being forced off-the-air again soon for an unknown period of time...RATS! But we will be back ASAP.
NOVEMBER 19, 2017 SUNDAY 8 PM - NOT JUST FOR HALLOWEEN ANYMORE
Big news from JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON...
After our yearly visit here, the owner/operator told us "I'm in the business of FUN! But we don't want it to end with Halloween, so..."
He then took us behind the scenes in another part of the building to show us a most amazing Christmas wonderland in the works. We instantly were transported back in time mentally to the DOWNTOWN DETROIT HUDSON'S DEPT. STORE XMAS DISPLAYS, if any of you remember that...
We can't wait to see the final result! Check this out: www.TheTownOfChristmas.com
RATS! We're going off-the-air again, while this computer goes back. We have another old XP computer to replace it, but we don't have the password and we're waiting to see if we can get it. Unbelieveable...it's been just one thing after another, trying to get the website back!
But we WILL back, as soon as possible...stand by...
NOVEMBER 18, 2017 SATURDAY 1 AM - GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Just updated: "Closed" where we list haunts that now R.I.P.!
The total now is 66...sigh...the list grows every year but that's okay because nothing lasts forever and there's also new haunts every year!
NOVEMBER 17, 2017 FRIDAY 11 PM - THE CAN NEARS THE EDGE...
We'll be spilling some really big beans soon!
It's about an off season event at a big time haunt you've probably been to.
This is major...stand by, my little monkeys!
NOVEMBER 16, 2017 THURSDAY 2 PM - SANTA FLIPS THE SWITCH!
Tonight is the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 WAYNE COUNTY LIGHTFEST, and we have it on good authority that SANTA CLAUS HIMSELF will appear to give stuff away and then flip the switch that turns on all the lights at once!
And there's FIREWORKS TOO!
It all starts at 6 PM tonight at Merriman Hollow right off the HINES DRIVE ENTRANCE AT MERRIMAN ROAD IN WESTLAND. Full details: www.waynecounty.com/departments/publicservices/parks/wayne-county-lightfes t.aspx
In the past, they've let everyone go through for free on this first night only!
Also, today is the GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT DAY in support of those trying to free themselves of tobacco addiction.
We know many who smoke, and we feel compelled to now share an important fact that we've already shared with them...
And this is something we guarantee the tobacco company does NOT want you to know!
(To see what it is, go to "News" and see the entry near the bottom of the page from November 6, 2014)
NOVEMBER 12, 2017 SUNDAY 11 PM - NOTHIN' BUT THE FACTS, MA'AM...
So much to tell you about the haunts we visited this year! Usually we post reviews as we go along, but sadly that wasn't an option this year.
To start with, here's a list of the haunts we visited this year:
1. CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE, FLINT
2. ST. LUCIFER'S, FLINT
3. 13 FEET UNDER, FLINT
4. HAUNTING IN THE HILLS, IRISH HILLS
5. JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD, JACKSON
6. ROTTEN MANOR, HOLLY
7. TERRORFIED FOREST & MANOR, PINCKNEY
8. SLAUGHTERHOUSE, FOWLERVILLE
9. HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION, WESTLAND
10. HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, INKSTER
11. WYANDOTTE JAYCEE'S KINDRED, WYANDOTTE
12. NIGHTSTALKERS, SAGINAW
13. GOREGROUNDS / HAUNTED ELEMENTARY, BRIDGEPORT
14. WILD WOODS OF TERROR, KOCHVILLE TWP.
15. PHANTOM FOREST HAYRIDE, GROSSE ILE
16. THE SCREAM MACHINE, TAYLOR
17. HOUSE OF DAMNATION, MAUMEE, OHIO
18. HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE ASYLUM OF HORRORS, MAUMEE, OHIO
19. KRAZY HILDA'S, YPSILANTI
20. NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD'S, YPSILANTI
21. THE HAUNT, GRAND RAPIDS
22. THE EDSON INCIDENT, BAY CITY
NOVEMBER 5, 2017 SUNDAY 2 AM - ATOMIC BOOM FINALE!
We had an incredible last night of haunting at EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY. This haunt is on a military vessel that's 418 feet long! More later...
NOVEMBER 4, 2017 SATURDAY 2 PM - THE FAT LADY SINGS
Tonight is your very last chance to go haunting this season!
But let's rewind now to the start of the season when we were forced off-the-air...happened to see an item on FOX TV 2 NEWS IN DETROIT about the triumphant return of STUART MacDONALD to ADRIAN for a 2 day stint with his new magic show!
WOW! We wanted badly to go to his show...we miss this guy so much, and what he brought to the haunt scene...but those pesky logistics got in the way...
Back to the TV article, it gets better...he did a mind-blowing trick, then came the announcement that STU would be on PENN & TELLER'S FOOL US TV SHOW in a few weeks.
We haven't seen the episode yet, but the operator of HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE did and was as happy as a pig in...uh, slop...to tell us that STUART MacDONALD DID INDEED FOOL PENN & TELLER on NATIONWIDE TV!
We always thought this guy was not too shabby...so Stuart, if you're out there...way to go, dude...and I don't care WHAT your relatives say about you, you're OKAY in our book. Just don't get a big head on us now because of all this bigtime hoopla and such! ;) haha
In case all this is Greek to you, in a nutshell STUART MacDONALD is a famed magician who created the now defunct THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN. (see "Closed" for more)
EAST COAST TV took Stuart away from us when THE HAUNTING suddenly shuttered without notice years ago, in a dramatic way befitting a master trickster.
NOVEMBER 3, 2017 FRIDAY 11 PM - AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT
It's been MURPHY'S LAW ON STEROIDS trying to get things back to normal with the website...something still seriously amiss and we don't dare trying to add new REVIEW tabs yet...so where to cram new stuff?
Oh lucky day!
Finally, something goes easy: there's an unused tab at the bottom called...duh..."Untitled". We'll use that...stand by my little monkeys...Zioptis will wave the magic wand, and give you what you want...what you crave...you can only get it right here...like when we spill some more beans soon andREVEAL STU SMITH'S NEW HAUNT LOCATION for next year...and it's closer than you might think!
For those of you that don't recognize the name STU SMITH...this guy is widely regarded as the premiere 3D ARTIST in the haunt genre, recognized worldwide for his artistic flair for many years starting with haunts like THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN...which brings up another story you gotta hear...coming next...and it involves NATIONWIDE TV COVERAGE...
NOVEMBER 3, 2017 FRIDAY 6 AM - HAPPY FRIDAY!
I can't believe it...the haunting is not over yet! We can't wait to check out the EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY aboard an old Vietnam era battle ship! NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE on the BOB-LO BOAT is long gone, but this looks like a BIG WINNER too...check this out: www.edsonincident.com
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP!
And there's other haunts open too this weekend; see the list in "What's Next."
Don't forget to tune back at the end of the year for a special report.
Plus, we'll be SPILLING THE BEANS about JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD before then. Trust us, this is going to be really big and super spectacular!
OCTOBER 31, 2017 TUESDAY 11 PM - WHEN THE PARTY'S OVER, TURN OUT THE LIGHTS
Wow, 230 pieces of candy went in a flash...and the wind died down so I brought out a fog machine after all...all the kids were super cute as usual...and THEN...this is so cool...
One of our trick or treaters had a costume that ESPECIALLY caught our eyes...check this out...her shirt and her jacket both said EREBUS!
pause...Hmmm...check this statement from the earlier 6 PM posting:
"In a way, I'm glad...not for the twisted foot of course...but to see the smiling faces on Superman and Superwoman and whoever else shows up..."
Anyway, back to the story...what a cool sight! I told her "Oh My God! I wanted SO bad to go to EREBUS tonight but my plans fell through." Then she says she worked there before...and it went somewhere like this...
"So I was supposed to go to EREBUS tonight, right? Okay, but I didn't make it and now I've got an EREBUS ACTOR RIGHT HERE instead? What are the chances of that! haha "You runnin' some PSYCHIC MUMBO JUMBO on me or somethin'?" haha (-: "What kind of monster did you play?" and so on...
It was a completely different Halloween than we envisioned...but looking back I wouldn't have it any other way! Sometimes when things go wrong, something else goes right instead... Not very often, but we'll take it!
OCTOBER 31, 2017 TUESDAY 6 PM - WHAT A DEAL...
I can't believe it! The Great Pumpkin is not smiling on us this Halloween...
So after a wild night in Grand Rapids last night, we were all set to finish off tonight at THE HAUNTED WINERY in FARMINGTON and EREBUS in PONTIAC.
My partner and I are in the best physical condition we've been in for years...she works out 3-4 days a week and I work out 6-7 days a week...we plowed through I don't even know how many haunts this year...thru forests and all kinds of tricky passages with moving floors and such...
Never did we have a single problem...UNTIL...this morning my partner woke up with her right leg asleep...nature calling...OH NO! She stumbled and landed with toes curled under on front...OUCH! Possibly a broken toe.
She's out of commission, so we're handing out candy tonight to the local youngsters. We set up an impromptu light show with black lights, strobes, and colored lights...too windy for fog machines though...but we'll be crankin' the TOD DOCKSTADER on the sound system to set the mood. More about TOD DOCKSTADER later...
In a way, I'm glad...not for the twisted foot of course...but to see the smiling faces on Superman and Superwoman and whoever else shows up.
So HAPPY HALLOWEEN to you and yours, and tune in soon for a full list of all the haunts we visited this year along with mini-reviews until we can re-do the website on a newer version (which will be no easy task...we already tried once).