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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

Finding fish and frogs on Lake Yellowstone


We were camping in a wilderness site on Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park and had spent the morning kayaking, stopping in a meadow full of wildflowers to fish, fly a kite and catch frogs. The wildflowers were gorgeous-- purple (lupine), blue (columbine), yellow (buttercups), red (Indian Paint Brush) and white (Elk Thistle. And the kite was certainly fun, brought along by our intrepid Austin Lehman Adventure guides Matty Kirkland and Katie Gugliotta, who also brought a football to toss and gave Ethan and six-year-old Hannah some lessons in rock-skipping. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


Seeing the sights without the crowds at Yellowstone National Park


Certainly we could tour Yellowstone on our own but Austin Lehman has been guiding families in the vast park for 25 years and this is an opportunity to get away from the hordes of tourists (up more than 10 per cent last year from 2009 with 3.6 million visitors) and experience the park with those who know it well. Sadly, the majority of visitors don’t get more than a quarter of a mile from the road when there are thousands of hiking trails in the park. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics | comments


Ziplining and other adventures at Big Sky and the Gallatin Canyon


Ten seconds of sheer terror or the most fun you’ve ever had. It’s all a matter of perspective. We’re at Big Sky Mountain Resort in Big Sky Montana at the edge of the first Zip line of the morning. Did I mention I’m supposed to fly across 425 feet—60 feet above the mountain tops at 25 miles per hour? No sweat says my young cousins nine-year-old Ethan Sitzman and his six-year-old sister Hannah, who are geared up, like I am, with safety harness, helmet and carabineers that will attach us to the cables. I’m told they are so strong they could hold the weight of a small car but I’m still nervous. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 2 Comments


A day at Mystic Seaport and Aquarium with two Fresh Air Fund boys


It’s easy to see why Juno the Beluga is a star here at Mystic Aquarium as well as a YouTube sensation— “dancing” to a Mariachi Band. He’s a growing boy, just like Jason and Enesi, the two 12-year-old boys who have left New York’s inner city, courtesy of the Fresh Air Fund to spend a week with us. We wanted to show the boys a place they’d never been and somewhere quintessentially New England, since they are spending 10 days in Connecticut, and what better place than Mystic? more
Backyard Vacations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Travel Topics | comments


A guided trip through Montana and the Yellowstone — no better way to travel


This is the first morning of our guided trip to Montana and Yellowstone, arranged by Montana-based Austin Lehman Adventures, which has been guiding visitors to Yellowstone and beyond for more than two decades—several hundred families a year. The company sends adventurous families around the world but Yellowstone remains their signature trip and the Museum of the Rockies is a great place to start. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Getting There, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 2 Comments


How to combat your family’s nature deficit


The next time you’re thinking about hiring a private soccer coach, more violin lessons or a new video game, take the kids for a walk in the woods instead. Inject a little nature on your next vacation too, even if you’re heading to New York City (how about a long walk through Central Park?) or Orlando (get up close and personal with the manatees, or go fishing). You’ll all be the better for it. ... more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | 1 Comment


Learning about wildlife and photography in the Arctic Ocean


A polar bear sighting (we’ll see 16 before the week is out), a whale (two enormous blue whales swam and played right by the ship), sea birds (imagine thousands nesting on high cliffs) or walrus (60 of the huge creatures weighing a ton or more lolling right in front of us on a beach) are all reason enough jump out of bed, bolt from lunch, forgo a shower or get off the ship’s treadmill. It’s why the 145 guests have paid thousands of dollars and traveled thousands of miles to cruise through ice. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | comments


History and adventure abound at Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills


So where can you see the guy with the 20-foot long nose? Here’s a hint: Conceived as a tourist gimmick and celebrating its 70th birthday, it’s recognized around the world as a symbol of the United States and democracy. The answer, of course, is Mount Rushmore, which literally will give the kids an in-your-face history lesson they won’t forget. more
Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


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


Kayaking at the Top of the World — last day aboard the Explorer


We are in bright yellow inflatable kayaks steering with foot pedals (I feel kind of like I’m on bumper cars cruising around the fjord, the ship in the distance, crew watching us from zodiacs. As safety is always a concern here, we are given signalers to wear around our neck—should we tip over. But the kayaks are steady and the water so calm. It is only 32 degrees but with the sun shining, it feels much warmer. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | 1 Comment





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