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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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Families & Groups

Take your kids and check out all the new rides at a theme park this summer


The River Rush ride at Dollywood
You’ll have your pick of thrills — wet and dry — this summer when nearly 200 new rides and attractions open at more than 80 theme parks, water parks, family fun centers, zoos, aquariums and museums in the United States and Canada, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. more
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Aboard the new Norwegian Breakaway — plenty to keep kids entertained


Norwegian Breakaway inside the kids club
If you’re on board the new Norwegian Breakaway, you—and baby—and grandma might all be joining in special “Guppies’ activities—maybe finger painting with special paints or using chalk or crayons made out of vegetables. "We want those younger families whose kids aren’t in school,” said CEO Kevin Sheehan –especially during times of year when there aren’t school breaks. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Families & Groups, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , | comments


Two days on the new Norwegian Breakway – a ship made for New York


Norwegian Breakaway walking the plank
That this ship is home-ported in New York is such a big deal that Mayor Bloomberg was on hand for the christening. “New York is the number one cruise capitol in the Northeast,” he said welcoming 587,000 passengers in 2012—growing 32 per cent just in one year. “Breakaway will add to those numbers and it will be our pleasure to show them the greatest city in the world,” he said more
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Blending honeymooners, families and all generations on Antigua


Kids romping on the calm beach at Curtain Bluff
Talk about kid vacation heaven — Caribbean style. “They really cater to the kids here at Curtain Bluff observes Dr. Tania Spenlinhauer, here in Antigua from Maine with her husband and three kids, including Brady, for her sister’s wedding at the resort. That the small (just 72 rooms) all-inclusive resort offered so much for the six young grandchildren was a big factor in why the family opted to gather here, they said. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Weekly Column | , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Baltimore is a great place for families to learn history


Cannons that returned fire on British Ships at Fort McHenry in War of 1812
Today people consider the War of 1812 “the forgotten war” but visiting the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is a good place to earn about it. Wherever you go in Baltimore, the kids are bound to learn something—maybe without even realizing they’re getting a history lessons. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Families learn more than just Civil War history in Richmond VA


Covered boat from River District Canal Cruises in Richmond VA
On Richmond’s Emancipation and Civil War Day held the first weekend of April, I joined hundreds of visitors to take advantage of the open doors of the historical sites and honor the important event in American history. more
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All-included bounty and excitement from the deep blue sea off Antigua


My second place Mahi Mahi
Today we’re back at Curtain Bluff and I’ve decided to take the 6:30 a.m. deep sea fishing charter. The best thing about Curtain Bluff, other than the beauty and just about every other thing, is that it is all-inclusive, so the fishing (along with Scuba, snorkeling, water-skiing and other activities) is part of the price. more
Beach Vacations, Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary | , , , , , | comments


Southern Cal’s beach towns — great places to take your kids


Yoga on the beach in Santa Monica CA
Kids who visit Los Angeles, especially tweens and teens, want to hit the beach and the beach towns are guaranteed to please — no town more so than Santa Monica with its world-famous pier, which has been drawing visitors since it was built in 1908 — the first pleasure pier on the West Coast. more
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Families enjoy the all-inclusive activities at Curtain Bluff on Antigua


Beautiful bougainvillea abounds at Curtain Bluff on Antiqua
Rod McCrea likes that Curtain Bluff is not only considerably less expensive in summer but that the all inclusive nature of the property means he not only knows exactly what he is spending but that all of his kids and grandkids can do what they like–tennis and sailing, deep sea fishing and snorkel trips, not to mention all the fruit smoothies the kids can drink—or that their parents will allow them to mix up with the bartenders. more
Beach Vacations, Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary | , , , , , , | comments


Back to our honeymoon spot, three grown kids later


View of the surf beach from out room at Curtain Bluff on Antigua
Thirty years later, our room overlooks that same windswept beach. As I think about the three kids we did have—and the adventures we shared with them—I’m struck by how this 72-room all-inclusive resort is emblematic of how family travel has changed in the past three decades. more
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