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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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Passports with Purpose

Families & Groups

What to do when it rains on your family’s long-awaited vacation

Guests Strike Up Fun at Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Sometimes when the weather interferes with your plans, it’s best to move on to Plan B. Rain has sent us racing to the nearest B-and-B when we were camping in New Hampshire. (A hot shower never felt so good!) We literally flew to Oahu when the forecast was better there than the continued wet weather we were experiencing on Kauai. more
Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Lodging, Weekly Column | , , , , , , | comments

Water sports, bike riding and bringing home the lobsters in Maine

Andy (L) and Enesi (R) learning the basic of standup paddleboarding in Kennebunkport ME
Food, of course, is a big part of vacation and that’s certainly the case in Maine famous for its no-frills lobster “shacks” where you can get lobster rolls—lobster salad sandwiches typically served on a hot dog bun to restaurants in Portland, about 20 miles from here, known for serving food that have just come from local farms. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , | comments

Teaching a kid to fish with a “Wicked Tuna” star in Kennebunkport ME

Enesi with his first fish caught ever off Kennebunkport ME
“Sometimes the girls have more patience,” acknowledges Capt Bruce Hebert, known for his stint on the National Geographic Channel's Wicked Tuna reality show but here in Kennebunkport for his Libreti Rose II fishing charters that cater to families and is named for his wife and three daughters—Lisa, Brie, Tiara and Rose. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , , , , | comments

Visiting kids should not leave the Bahamas without meeting the local kids

Abaco Beach Resort Bahamas Buddy Program
Wherever you go this summer, encourage your kids to chat up local kids, join a pick-up soccer game in a city park or play in a playground or on the beach. They’ll go home with an entirely different perspective. I met these Bahamian kids at the Abaco Beach Resort where they’ve signed on to be Bahamas Buddies more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | , , , , , | comments

Three days in the Kennebunks (ME) over the Fourth of July holiday

Kids revving up for the fireworks on Colony Beach in Kennebunkport ME
It’s July 4th night and everyone is in vacation mode after a long day on the beach with teens setting off sparklers, parents nursing a beer or a glass of wine and everyone, for the moment, feeling all is well in the world, especially here in Maine where locals have been welcoming vacationers for generations—including the Bush family. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , , | comments

A summer day well spent at Denver’s Elitch Gardens

The Ferris Wheel at Elitch Gardens
A day at a theme park like Elitch Gardens is about more than having fun, we discover. It’s about facing disappointment when we lose at an arcade game and it rains when we want sun. It’s about riding that first thrill ride and recognizing when it may be too much thrill for a little girl (or a grown up). more
Backyard Vacations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups | , , , , , , | comments

A weekend visit to Nantucket island, once the whaling capital of the world

Sign commemorating Nantucket as a center of world commerce
This small island -- just 14 miles East to West and 3.5 miles north to south -- is so pretty with its weathered gray shingle houses, roses climbing white picket fences and cobblestone streets in Nantucket town. There are more than 800 pre-Civil War houses on the island, which shares the name with a county and a town -- the only place in the country that all three have the same name. more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lady Liberty is reopening July 4 after cleanup from Hurricane Sandy

Lady Liberty
Wow! Even the most jaded teen or tween can’t help but be impressed gazing up at The Statue of Liberty, reopening July 4 for the first time since Liberty Island was seriously damaged and closed last fall in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Weekly Column | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Activities for kids abound in Detroit, Michigan

Mural at Eastern Market
Detroit has plenty of kid-friendly activities too! If you or your kids are history buffs, the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are perfect destinations. The Ford Museum has an impressive collection of artifacts, including the first Mustang ever made, the car in which JFK was assassinated, the chair Lincoln was seated in when he was shot, and the bus that Rosa Parks rode. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Travel Diary | , , , , | comments

Two days discovering Michigan

Peony Gardens at Nichols Arboretum
Ann Arbor is full of wonderful and unique food. The day opened at Zola, originally started as a small Turkish gem, which still sticks to its roots. Usually, I love sticking to my roots, treating myself to blintz and crepes for breakfast, but the waiter convinced me to try an artichoke omelet with plenty of veggies and hearty flavor. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Travel Diary | , , , , | 2 Comments


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