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Chicago’s Biggest Book Fair Is Back July 23-26

Jul 9, 2015
The Newberry Book Fair on July 23-26, Chicago’s biggest annual used book binge, has something for every reader.

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Backyard Vacations

Want an old-fashioned family vacation? Think Maine


Maine is ideal for an old-fashioned family vacation with plenty of modern touches. Indulge your young foodies at Portland restaurants ( www.visitportland.com) or shop till you drop in Freeport, home of L.L. Bean and more than 200 retail outlets. Eat blueberry pancakes (the season starts in mid-July). Head out on an old-fashioned schooner for a few days, like we did one summer aboard the Isaac H. Evans, where we ate our fill of fresh lobster on a deserted island, or explore Acadia National Park and hike some of the famous Appalachian Trail. more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


History and Science for all at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum


The scientists are mostly under the age of 10. Welcome to the new “Treasures of the Earth” exhibition here at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, launched in partnership with the National Geographic Society and world-renowned archaeologists, at the largest children’s museum in the country, which draws well over a million visitors a year to Indy. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | 4 Comments


Despite the critics, Broadway is booming with family entertainment


How much would you pay for a memory? I was thinking about that looking around at the parents, grandparents and hoards of young children—especially little boys—at the Foxwoods Theater on Broadway where Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, the most expensive production ever mounted and one fraught with problems and delays, has recently opened. more
Backyard Vacations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


Early American history comes alive in and around Philadelphia


The Continental Army. Here in the heart of historic Philadelphia on a steamy summer day, we’ve time traveled back to the heady days of the American Revolution, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the making of Betsy Ross’ famous flag sewn at the request of General George Washington — all right where it all happened — thanks to 30 terrific costumed “History Makers,” as well as 40 first-rate storytellers from the nonprofit Historic Philadelphia organization . more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | 1 Comment


Five budget-minded tips for celebrating the Fourth of July


Which party are you going to? Across the country on July 4th weekend, everyone will be slurping ice cream cones, waving flags and having a good time -- hopefully. If you want to do more than attend — or host — a BBQ in your backyard, you certainly have your pick. Here are five picks guaranteed to please without busting the budget more
Backyard Vacations, Eileen's Blog, Getting There, Lodging | comments


In Freeport Maine, a restauranteur who gets it about kids and nutrition


What sets this place apart is his philosophy that I wish other restaurant owners and chefs would embrace. Rather than limiting kids to a kids menu, he offers smaller portions of just about everything on the menu – from calamari to filet mignon and Scottish salmon — at a reduced price. more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | 2 Comments


Maine’s Hidden Pond resort is designed for 21st Century families


Hidden Pond is just 16 spacious cottages spread over 60 wooded acres a mile from Kennebunkport’s famous Goose Rocks Beach that’s open just from May to October. It’s a place where kids can tool around on bikes, go for a hike, do cannon balls in the pool and gather around the fire pit for s’mores and even take an outdoor shower in the cottages or pick vegetables or herbs in the gardens more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


Three Days in Maine — Day One on a Lobster Boat


We learn from our affable captain Dave Coleman that Maine provides the world with 75 per cent of its lobsters and that licensed lobstermen work very, very hard—with each one having about 800 traps and checking on about 150 a day. We see how much work it is for Dave to haul in just the one trap andcheck the lobsters for size. more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


On the road again — exploring America in a Recreational Vehicle


RVing may not be for die hard backpackers like my grown kids, but it’s still a great way to get kids outdoors and get some R&R. You don’t have to worry about what to do when it rains either. Sure gas prices are high, but some families park their RV in one spot rather than touring the region. What a great way to explore one part of the state or one national park, returning to the camp ground in the evening where you’ll find congenial neighbors, activities, Wi-Fi in many places and even swimming pools. more
Backyard Vacations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Getting There, Lodging, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


Among East Coast cities, Baltimore is sometimes an afterthought — WRONG!


Sometimes in our rush to take the kids to see major museums and historic sites, we skip smaller cities like Baltimore — ideally located 40 minutes north of Washington, D.C., and 90 minutes south of Philadelphia — that are not only easily navigable (even free buses) but can be easier on our wallets. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | 2 Comments





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