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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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Weekly Column

Taking the Kids Weekly Column for planning a family vacation. Search tips for a family vacations and find family friendly vacation ideas.

San Diego’s “Kids Free Month” draws the family travelers


Kids stay eat and play free at Paradise Point Resort San Diego
This month, kids can get into SeaWorld free in San Diego, Calif. Kids can also get into LEGOLAND, the San Diego Zoo, more than 30 San Diego museums and even ride free on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner (typically one child with each adult paid admission). That’s no small thing more
Backyard Vacations, Beach Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Weekly Column | , , , , , | comments


Twelve sites To See in Washington, D.C., During the Shutdown


Kids learning about George Washington at Mount Vernon
Of course it’s disappointing if you were planning to visit a national park or Washington, D.C., during the government shutdown, which has closed top attractions, including the 19 Smithsonian Museums, the National Zoo and the National Mall. It’s even more disappointing to all those who rely on the tourism industry in Washington, D.C. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Weekly Column | , , , , | comments


10 ways to kick-start family Halloween outings during October


Vampires stalk potential victims at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Kids don’t have to wait until Halloween to don their costumes and collect treats — not when every place from museums to aquariums to zoos to theme parks are celebrating Halloween the entire month of October with haunted houses, spooky corn mazes, special shows and as many treats as parents will permit. Orlando alone offers more than 80 Halloween events in the six weeks leading up to Halloween and showcases Halloween happenings all throughout October. more
Backyard Vacations, Families & Groups, Weekly Column | , , , , , , | comments


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


Families flock to aquariums in the fall for fun and learning


The octopus exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium
Fall is a great time to visit an aquarium — and go on a whale watch with your kids, whether you have a day off from school, are enjoying a weekend getaway or a reprieve during a college tour trip. Some aquariums also offer sleepovers and behind-the-scenes tours for marine life aficionados. Aquariums are a place to learn about the creatures who live deep in the sea and along the shore in far-flung destinations more
Backyard Vacations, Families & Groups, 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
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Weekly Column | , , , , , , , | comments


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


Reaching out and touching a penguin at Sea World Orlando


The Rockhopper Penguin
The adults are busy catching up while the kids swim and play, but this isn’t any waterfront playground on a late summer day. This is a unique playground for penguins — “Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins” — the largest expansion ever at SeaWorld Orlando. more
Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Weekly Column | , , , , , , , | comments


To Lake Placid and a resort that gets it right for families


Navigating the pines at The Wild Center
I like to see a resort get it right and, I think, the Whiteface Lodge does. The 94-suite resort is spread out over 40 acres reminiscent of the historic “camps” of the Adirondacks with rough-hewn logs, big stone fireplaces, oversized leather furniture and whimsical décor evoking the outdoors. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Weekly Column | , , , , , , | comments





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