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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





Volunteer & Service

Six days learning sustainability in San Francisco and Monterey


Ready to play dress up? If you stay in a kids’ suite at the Hotel Diva (www.hoteldiva.com) on Union Square, your little princess can do just that with sparkly shoes, a pink boa, jewelry and a drawer full of “gowns.” If you have a prince, he can play Wii among other things. Whimsical wall art suggests “Keep calm and eat a cupcake” Or “Keep Calm and Rock On.” more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | comments


At the Marine Mammal Center near San Francisco, little miracles happen every day


The 45 member staff and 800-plus volunteers here are responsible for rescuing some 800 animals a year—elephant seals, sea lions, harbor seals and the occasional whale or dolphin. People who spot a stranded or sick animal call (415-289-7325) and the staff mobilizes for a rescue. The center is responsible for 600 miles of Coast all the way from Mendocino south to San Luis Obispo, and since 1975 has rescued over 13,000 marine mammals more
Backyard Vacations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | comments


The Ice Age has come to Snowmass CO – literally!


One day last fall—Oct 14, 2010 to be precise—a bulldozer operator named Jesse Steele, working on the expansion of the Ziegler Reservoir for the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District, discovered a bone. But not just any bone—an Ice Age mammoth bone. That was just the beginning more
Destinations, Snow Vacations, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | 1 Comment


Seeing first-hand how snowsports can help improve a child’s life


These kids may look like any group of young snowboarders decked out in the latest Burton gear. “You can see them stand taller,” Heston said. But looks, as we know, can be deceiving. They can’t afford snow sports or the gear, much less bus fare to the mountain. In fact, some live in homeless shelters, others live in group homes more
Eileen's Blog, Snow Vacations, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | 1 Comment


When the grandparents lead the way on a family adventure


Upping the adventure quotient is exactly what a growing number of well-heeled and fit grandparents are doing to gather their far-flung progeny. They’re sailing in the British Virgin Islands, hiking in Yellowstone, exploring Costa Rican rain forests, bird-watching in the Galapagos Islands, heading to Africa on safari, fishing in Alaska and even studying marine biology in Virginia, typically picking up most of the tab more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | comments


Museums all over the country welcome you this holiday season


Remember the Children exhibit at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC
Wherever you find yourself this holiday season, make time to visit a museum — even if you take in just one exhibit. Museums are a great way to get the gang out of grandma’s house for a couple of hours, especially when it’s too cold to hit the local playground. And if you are a member of your local art, science or children’s museum, you may find that membership gets you in for free. more
Backyard Vacations, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | comments


Grabbing a Pre-Holiday Break


It’s not wishful thinking — even in this economy. All you need to do is gather the gang at a vacation destination rather than a relative’s house for the holidays. According to American Express, 40 percent of consumers plan to travel this holiday season, most of them staying in the United States. This year, AAA expects more of us to hit the roads and skies for Thanksgiving more
Backyard Vacations, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | comments


To the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park


We’re riding in a truck on a photo caravan into the heart of the large animal enclosures, which means, as we bump along, we get up close to not only the rhinos (Southern white, as well as greater one-horned) but also the giraffes (try feeding leaves to two giraffes at once!), Springbok, Cape buffalo, ostrich, Defassa Waterbuck, zebras and more. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | 3 Comments


DAY TWO — exploring botanicals and turtle nests


It turns out that of all the endangered species of plants in the United States, two thirds are from Hawaii, and this research effort is designed to help these plants once again flourish more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | comments


to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


We're at Hall of Human Origins, the newest exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, now celebrating its centennial year. (It's the most visited of the 19 Smithsonian museums with 7.4 million visitors last year!) It's the most visited museum in the country and has the most visited science museum in the world. It's easy to see why. Even kids who profess to "hate science" can't help but love this 21st-century museum. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service, Weekly Column | 1 Comment





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