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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.

Having a destination wedding when kids are part of the equation


Not only are destination weddings -- from Orlando (Disney does 1,500 a year) to the Caribbean to Hawaii to cruise ships -- more popular, they account for 16 percent of weddings every year, up 400 percent in the last decade -- but kids increasingly are part of the equation says Milli Martini Bratten, longtime editor-in-chief of Brides Magazine. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


To a national park this summer-one of the most budget-smart trips you can take


We screeched to a halt along the side of the road in Grand Teton National Park. Reggie, 8, was equally mesmerized but 3-year-old Melanie couldn't quite grasp that we were in the moose's house -- and it wasn't a zoo. I still smile years later when I think about the kids' excitement. Forget the Kodak moments. The chance to share something new together -- something you'd never see or do at home -- is what makes those indelible family vacation memories that last forever. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


Getting free gas, free golf, free s’mores and more this summer


Free gas anyone? Not quite. But the higher gas prices go -- and the more we rethink summer vacation plans as a result -- the more hotels, resorts, cities and towns across the country are rolling out the welcome mat with rebates and credits all designed to help fill your gas tank and ease the sticker shock that comes with it, as the price of gas climbs to $4.07 a gallon on average. That is $1.09 a gallon more than a year ago, according to AAA. more
Last Minute Deals, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


A hiking trip to Italy with a (mostly) grown daughter


We're hiking high above Positano along Italy's famous Amalfi Coast in the Lattari Mountains. This trail is less than three miles, but the elevation is steep and it's the toughest hike the Backroads hiking group, which includes by daughter Reggie and me, has attempted on this the fifth day of our trip. Reg is at the front of the pack; I'm in the back. more
Destinations, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | 3 Comments


EATING SMART AT DISNEY WORLD


For one thing, I didn't think the 3-year-old and her 5-year-old brother were misbehaving. True, a glass of milk got spilled and they were (somewhat) noisy and jumped around a bit, picking up crayons that had dropped on the floor. But so were a lot of the other kids at The Flying Fish, the noisy, bustling Orlando restaurant. more
Disney, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


To Sea World’s new Aquatica and other water parks this summer


There are 36 water slides, six rivers and lagoons, white sandy beaches and two terrific kids' water play areas. Let's not forget the animals -- Commerson's Dolphins (take the "Dolphin Plunge" down 250 feet of clear tubes, through their habitat), Macaws, and colorful African Cichlids, which, for the uninitiated, are colorful fish found in freshwater lakes and rivers in Africa, Central and South America, among other far-flung places.) more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


PACKING SMART FOR FLIGHTS THIS SUMMER


Starting June 15 - just when we're taking off on long-planned vacations -- American Airlines will charge us $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag on American Airlines, assuming you are flying domestically on a discounted ticket and are not a top-level frequent flier. (Southwest will still allow you to check two bags free.) more
Getting There, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


RECESSION-PROOFING YOUR SUMMER VACATION


Just as we're all planning summer getaways, gas prices go through the roof, the dollar is so weak against the British pound and the Euro that trips to Great Britain and Europe seem out of reach, and the pundits suggest the economy is going to get worse. And, as if to make us even more frustrated, this month airlines will begin charging you for checking a second bag. more
Last Minute Deals, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


TO UNIVERSAL ORLANDO


Welcome to Krustyland! Where we join the Simpsons -- yes those Springfield Simpsons of TV and movie fame -- in Krusty the Clown's crazy cartoon world, a theme park within a theme park. Talk about make-believe -- and incredible technology - as we're swept along, flying, bumping and crashing through the attractions, just opened at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando. more
Destinations, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


On a (relatively) stress-free vacation aboard the Disney Wonder


It's well past the kids' bedtime, but no one is nagging the preschoolers and kindergartners to brush their teeth and go to sleep. Instead, they're dressed to the nines (the girls anyway in full princess regalia) before heading to a poolside pirate party more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Disney, Families & Groups, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments





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