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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

San Diego’s “Kids Free Month” draws the family travelers


Kids stay eat and play free at Paradise Point Resort San Diego
This month, kids can get into SeaWorld free in San Diego, Calif. Kids can also get into LEGOLAND, the San Diego Zoo, more than 30 San Diego museums and even ride free on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner (typically one child with each adult paid admission). That’s no small thing more
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Twelve sites To See in Washington, D.C., During the Shutdown


Kids learning about George Washington at Mount Vernon
Of course it’s disappointing if you were planning to visit a national park or Washington, D.C., during the government shutdown, which has closed top attractions, including the 19 Smithsonian Museums, the National Zoo and the National Mall. It’s even more disappointing to all those who rely on the tourism industry in Washington, D.C. more
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10 ways to kick-start family Halloween outings during October


Vampires stalk potential victims at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Kids don’t have to wait until Halloween to don their costumes and collect treats — not when every place from museums to aquariums to zoos to theme parks are celebrating Halloween the entire month of October with haunted houses, spooky corn mazes, special shows and as many treats as parents will permit. Orlando alone offers more than 80 Halloween events in the six weeks leading up to Halloween and showcases Halloween happenings all throughout October. more
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Families flock to aquariums in the fall for fun and learning


The octopus exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium
Fall is a great time to visit an aquarium — and go on a whale watch with your kids, whether you have a day off from school, are enjoying a weekend getaway or a reprieve during a college tour trip. Some aquariums also offer sleepovers and behind-the-scenes tours for marine life aficionados. Aquariums are a place to learn about the creatures who live deep in the sea and along the shore in far-flung destinations more
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Ten ways for families to celebrate fall in the Midwest


Celebrate everything trains at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Il
I spent a few days in Rockford recently for a travel writers’ conference — Travel Media Showcase -- and it gave me the chance to catch up with folks from across the Midwest. Chatting with them made me realize — once again — how much smaller Midwestern cities and towns have to offer families. more
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Fun for families on the rivers and lakes in Wisconsin’s north woods


Kayaking the Namekogan
I’ve kayaked before, but never with the intention of following a historic route. In early August, I ventured out on a 20 mile kayak trip along the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway in Northwest Wisconsin along the Minnesota border. more
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Universal Studios Hollywood through the eyes of our veteran 11-year-old correspondent


Ethan and transformers crew
If you go to Universal Studios in Hollywood, do like we did and get a Front of the Line pass, also referred to as a “Gate A” pass. These passes are really cool because they helped us to save time because it lets you skip to the front of the line for anything in the park. With the pass, we also had reserved seating at the shows like WaterWorld (a really cool action-packed stunt show with people on motorboats and JetSki’s. more
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Travel Writers conference showcases the best of the Midwest in autumn


Triceratops on display in Rockford IL
Being in Rockford for a travel writers conference—Travel Media Showcase-- and talking to a lot of people from Midwest cities and States—Peoria and St. Paul, the Quad Cities in Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa, Fort Wayne and Kansas City—made me realize once again how much the Midwest has to offer families. more
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10 tips to survive taking your first child to college


Washington U faculty and students help freshmen settle in
You’ll be spending the Long Goodbye shuttling back and forth to stores crowded with other freshmen parents for “essentials” you didn’t bring from home. In our case, that included a tool kit needed to loft the beds in my daughter Mel’s dorm room so the girls had more floor space. more
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Pick your Brain at the MIT Museum


Looking for a mind-boggling experience on a rainy day? The MIT Museum is just the place to visit. Tucked away at 265 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, this nifty museum offers a closer look at the technological wonders of science and engineering. more
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