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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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Travel Diary

Read Eileen’s travel diary and keep up with her travels. You might just pick up some ideas for your next family vacation!

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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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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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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A bike ride with grown kids to a unique distillery in Basalt CO


Impressive distillation equipment at Woody Creek Distillers
In summer, it’s all about bikers, runners, walkers. Many people opt to bike from the trailhead in Aspen about 10 miles as far as Woody Creek Tavern; today we opt to go another 10 miles to visit the new Woody Creek Distillery—where vodka is being made from potatoes grown in Woody Creek. more
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Cooking up a storm at a rental house in Snowmass Village CO


Chicken on the grill at the Portico Club house in Snowmass Village CO
I spent all day in the kitchen—on vacation. But maybe because it was my choice and maybe because it’s a spectacular kitchen at a Portico Club house overlooking the mountains in Snowmass, CO, I didn’t mind a bit. In fact, because the kitchen was so well equipped—and the house so spacious—we decided to host a barbeque for folks we know who live here and who always are hosting us when we visit. more
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A hike in the rain in the beautiful mountains near Aspen CO


Summer showers roll over the Maroon Bells near Aspen CO
Snowmass is a great family ski mountain—one of the biggest and best in the country, in fact. But a visit here—and to neighboring Aspen—is a treat any time of year. There’s hiking, biking (road biking and mountain biking), fly fishing, rafting… even a scenic helicopter tour. more
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