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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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Day Three in Dallas – at the Zoo, Audubon Center, Presidential Library


Feeding a giraffe at Dallas Zoo
My favorite exhibits were the ones that allowed me to feed the animals. I loved the feel of the giraffe licking my hand as he munched on lettuce leaves. My daughter had tropical birds land on the top of her head and drink sweet nectar right out of her hand. more
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Day Two in Dallas — great places to take the kids for fun and learning


Arboretum in Dallas
There are a great many new options for families visiting Dallas - take the kids to the Perot Museum of Science and Nature, or the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure. And the new Klyde Warren Park with its sparkling new playground is one of the most vibrant urban spaces around. more
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Three days in Dallas and a visit to the family friendly Texas State Fair


New Big Tex at the Texas State Fair
The State Fair of Texas Downtown Parade in Dallas traditionally kicks off the annual state fair, which runs through October 20. Locals and tourists lined the streets to watch dozens of colorful floats, marching bands, drill teams and cheerleaders. more
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Getting your family outdoors with the help of the Appalachian Mountain Club


My family hiking the Appliachian Trail in New Hampshire in the rain 1997
The Appalachian Mountain Club is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the mountain huts — the oldest hut-to-hut network in the country. The AMC is even older. Founded in 1876, it’s the oldest conservation and outdoor recreation organization in the country with more than 100,000 members and supporters. Today, a big part of its mission is to encourage families to get outdoors. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Weekly Column | , , , | comments


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
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Weekly Column | , , , , | 1 Comment


Fall is a fine time to take the kids and family to see Colorado’s beauty


The Maroon Bells in fall foliage near Aspen
Fall, in fact, we discovered, is a terrific time to gather the grown gang in Colorado. The days are sunny — warm enough for stand-up paddle-boarding and kayaking — and the evenings crisp. There’s plenty to do, whether you want to browse in Aspen’s shops, peruse the Saturday farmer’s market, hike or bike or even attend a film festiva more
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Memories of a special birthday and hotel stay in Rome


With one night to stay in Rome, I didn’t want a hotel that was just a place to sleep. I didn’t want a hotel that was just convenient to the train station. I wanted a hotel that would be part of the experience. That’s why I chose the Grand Hotel de la Minerve that was a few steps from the Pantheon and a short walk to the Forum and Coliseum. more
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Nantucket Island is a great fall getaway destination when the crowds are gone


Kayak family at Jetties Beach on Nantucket Island
Thirty miles off the coast of Massachusetts, Nantucket is as famous for its more than 30 miles of bike trails around the island — you see adults and kids with bikes everywhere — as for its 80 miles of spectacular beaches. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Getting There, Lodging, Weekly Column | , , , , , , | comments


ACES in Aspen: a hidden gem for local and visiting families


Reggie with too cute baby bunny at Rockbottom Ranch ACES near Basalt CO
The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is celebrating its 45th anniversary and it is a great place to learn more about the spectacular environment here—and the creatures who call it home, whether you visit in summer, fall or winter. more
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Fly fishing near Aspen — it’s about the fishing not the catching


Mel Yemma with guide Trevor Clapper in the Roaring Fork River
“It’s about the experience,” says our guide Trevor Clapper from the Little Nell Adventure Shop, which offers trips that end in Basalt, about 20 miles downriver. Clapper says of everything people want to do in the summer or fall when they come to Aspen—off road jeep tours, guided hiking trips, white river rafting—fly fishing is the most popular. more
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