Kidventurous http://kidventurous.com Making Family Travel an Adventure Wed, 29 Jun 2016 02:25:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 Top 10 Things to Do as a Family in New Jersey http://kidventurous.com/top-10-things-family-new-jersey/ http://kidventurous.com/top-10-things-family-new-jersey/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:17:32 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10169 There is more to the Garden State than just the Jersey Shore (although that’s fun, too). Whether you are here for the summer, just passing through, or calling New Jersey home, you’ll be happy to know that there are many great things to do as a family. We’re going to explore a few of them. Here are our picks of the […]

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PicMonkey CollageThere is more to the Garden State than just the Jersey Shore (although that’s fun, too). Whether you are here for the summer, just passing through, or calling New Jersey home, you’ll be happy to know that there are many great things to do as a family. We’re going to explore a few of them. Here are our picks of the top 10 things to do as a family in New Jersey:

1. Liberty Science Center – What’s better for parents than a place where fun and learning come together? Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum in Liberty State Park, Jersey City. They have the world’s largest IMAX Dome and a 3D science theater. You will find fun, changing exhibits like the Dino Dog, Animal Encounter, and Touch Tank. They have traveling exhibits and even camps. There’s something for every age and even if you’ve been before, there’s something new to see each visit.

2. Six Flags Great Adventure – Six Flags Great Adventure is an amusement park in Jackson. Look for loads of family rides that you can enjoy with your school-age children, as well as rides for the younger ones. You’ll also find exciting coasters and rides for the thrill-seekers in your family. It has 11 themed areas and three of them are specifically designed for young children.

3. Historic Village of Allaire – Found in New Jersey’s Allaire State Park, you’ll find a land that time has frozen. It’s a beautiful living history museum that shows you firsthand what this early 19th century industrial community was like. There are also regular events so check their calendar to see what’s happening when you plan to visit.

4. Battleship New Jersey – Located in Camden, this is a museum and memorial open for tours, events, and even overnight stays. Have you ever wanted to spend the night on a battleship? This is a popular overnight trip for cub scouts and your kids are sure to love it, too. Learn about America’s Most Decorated Battleship and experience it for yourself.

5. Cape May/Wildwood – There is so much to see and do in Wildwood, it’s hard to list it all. There’s the beaches and the boardwalk, the free pier rides, beachfront water parks and more. Sometimes referred to as “The Wildwoods” because it is actually three cities – Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and North Wildwood – there is something to see and do, day and night. There are dance clubs, sports bars, water activities, and over 100 rides and attractions at three different amusement piers. You can go jet skiing, parasailing, wave running, or surfing.

6. Sandy Hook Lighthouse – Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. Built in 1764, it’s found about 1 ½ nautical miles from the tip of Sandy Hook. Admission for tours is free and it’s definitely something to put on your bucket list.

7. Jersey Shore Pirates – Kids of all ages will love this place but bonus points if your child is a fan of pirates. You literally get to be a pirate for a day. You can fire water cannons, search for sunken treasure, battle enemy pirates, and of course, dress like a pirate. It’s $20 per person for 3 years and older, and $12 for 2 and under. You will make memories that last a lifetime.

8. Wild West City – If you want to experience what life would have been like in the Wild West, they’ve got you covered here at Wild West City. For more than 60 years, they’ve been giving a Wild West experience to visitors at this western heritage theme park. Attractions include a stroll down Main Street 1880, a Stagecoach Ride, Pony Rides (kids only), a Train Ride and much more. You can even go panning for gold.

9. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – Most children love the weird and quirky and Ripley’s is packed with that. You can visit their Odditorium and find a spider made of scissors and knives, a roulette table made of jellybeans, and many more things that will astound you. They also have a laser maze challenge and other changing attractions, depending on when you visit. There’s over 12,000 square feet of cool stuff to see in more than 14 themed galleries.

10. Long Beach Island – New Jersey has a lot of beaches but Long Beach Island is considered one of the best. Called simply LBI by the locals, this is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches you will find in the Garden State. The 18-mile-long island has small shore towns and a variety of things to see and do, including Fantasy Island Amusement Park (a great stop for families).

So there you have it, a list of ten great things your family can do in New Jersey. What will you do first?

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Best Packing Tips for Your Summer Family Vacation http://kidventurous.com/travel-tips-packing-luggage-trip/ http://kidventurous.com/travel-tips-packing-luggage-trip/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:49:27 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=9665 When you’re getting ready to leave town, there are plenty of things that may concern you, like how you’re getting to your destination, whether your tickets are booked correctly and if the good weather will hold up. One thing that often gets overlooked is packing. Packing is a necessary evil of having the travel bug. While your kids may think […]

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suitcases2When you’re getting ready to leave town, there are plenty of things that may concern you, like how you’re getting to your destination, whether your tickets are booked correctly and if the good weather will hold up. One thing that often gets overlooked is packing. Packing is a necessary evil of having the travel bug.

While your kids may think space is unlimited and that they can take every toy they’d like, the fact is that you need to prioritize packing to ensure everything fits with room to spare, like for souvenirs. Take a look at some smart and easy tips to pack for your next vacation.

1. Pack each outfit, folded and in a gallon zip top-style bag. This helps keep clothes organized and folded, which saves time. If something doesn’t fit into a bag, chances are, it is a bit more than most travel requires.

2. Pack one extra outfit per person that you keep in your carry-on if you are traveling on a plane or in a car. This prevents the need to unpack for someone to change due to a spill or other mishap. Keep this in a gallon bag as well.

3. Compartmentalize your suitcase or bag. By keeping each person’s clothes in the zip top bags, you can then stack them neatly in each area, all the way to the top of the suitcase. By giving each person a section of a suitcase, it’s easier to then stack the clean clothes in drawers when you arrive in your hotel room.

4. In the suitcase, use the compartmentalized areas between the stacks to add in your extras, keeping things as balanced as possible. If items aren’t distributed equally by weight, items may shift and undo your folding.

5. Keep extra shoes to a minimum. If you must take extra shoes, then wear the heavy shoes and pack one pair of light shoes that can be worn for all other occasions (e.g., dining in a nice restaurant). Always pack shoes in bags so that dirt doesn’t transfer from place to place.

6. Utilize travel size soaps and minimize toiletries. I’m serious here – you really can do a few days without your entire beauty regimen. It saves space, time and money when traveling.

7. If you’re taking a trip that’s less than a week and on a plane, keep stick to carry-on luggage only. This saves time and money, as well as makes things easier. This may mean having adults wear the same pants twice, but if you alternate and air out, it absolutely can be done.

8. Pack an inexpensive pop-up hamper for dirty clothes. This is the most genius thing I’ve started doing. I used to keep a plastic bag for dirty clothes, but the pop-up hamper enables the clothes to air out a bit when traveling (read: less smelly). When we’re packing up to go home, I simply put two plastic shopping bags around the clothes and they’re ready to wash when we get home.

9. Let each child carry a backpack of fun stuff that they choose to bring. More importantly, let them carry their own backpack. By handing the control to them, they can choose what they want most (that’s not too heavy). For the younger crowd, ask them to wear the full backpack around the house before you venture out to make sure they can carry it on their own.

10. When repacking to head home, if you’re short on space, rolling dirty clothes rather than stuffing them can help save space as well.

Final word of advice for packing

11. Don’t overdo the shopping souvenirs, no matter where you are. Chances are, you’ll likely wear the showcase shirt once or twice more, the stuffed animals will be loved a bit and then head to the donation bin. Worse, more often than not, you end up with no room for your stuff to get home. After all, folded clothes travel much more compactly than dirty wrinkled, clothes!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Global Panorama 

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Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Georgia http://kidventurous.com/top-10-things-kids-georgia/ http://kidventurous.com/top-10-things-kids-georgia/#respond Thu, 16 Jun 2016 21:11:37 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=9663 Georgia Peaches, Southern Belles, professional baseball and sunshine. What first comes to mind for you when you think of the State of Georgia? With nearly 10 million people, Georgia is the US’ 8th most populous state, so they are bound to have fun things for families to do there! We’ve come up with a list of 10 things to do with kids while […]

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GeorgiaGeorgia Peaches, Southern Belles, professional baseball and sunshine. What first comes to mind for you when you think of the State of Georgia? With nearly 10 million people, Georgia is the US’ 8th most populous state, so they are bound to have fun things for families to do there! We’ve come up with a list of 10 things to do with kids while visiting Georgia.

1. For those who love racing, or if you have a family member who loves fast cars, then definitely visit Atlanta’s Porsche test tracks.

2. From Red Top Mountain State Park to the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can experience nature at its finest. If you’re visiting in the summer, keep hydrated; it can be extremely hot! At the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can choose from rustic to a more modern adventure, with everything from zip lines to pontoon boating. There is a ton of fun to be had.

3. A visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore is a must do for anyone travelling south down I-95. This detour is where culture and history meet. Be sure to check ferry times before you plan your trip to this 9,800 acres of wilderness.

4. You can’t miss a visit to the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. You can try popular drinks from around the world and enjoy an entire day of fun in a place that is definitely an American icon.

5. Visit small town Georgia, enjoy the wilderness, but also have fun. Helen, GA, for example, is located on the Chattahoochee River and is full of outdoor adventure, and you’ll find plenty to do year-round. It’s also designed to look just like a Bavarian Alpine village. Adorable.

6. Have fun in Savannah’s Victorian District where you’ll find 50 blocks of national treasures. From stained glass to whimsical gingerbread house themed-trims, you’re bound to have fun people watching, taking it slow, and maybe having some peach ice cream as you enjoy the architecture of Savannah.

7. Don’t miss your chance to see historical tourism with a variety of Civil War reenactments. You can find them throughout the state and many have stories from a variety of viewpoints. You’ll find yourself learning something new with each visit.

8. Don’t miss out on Georgia Peaches, Vidalia Onions, and of course, good southern home cooking. Go off the diet for a meal or three and enjoy grits, Fried Chicken, cobblers and greens. If you want to counter those calories, then just make sure you include some of the outdoor activities we have listed here.

9. Learn about the birth place of Civil Rights at the MLK Jr National Historic Site in Atlanta. Learn about the historical significance of civil rights and equality, but about the struggle for peace around the US and the world. If you happen to visit at the right time, there is an annual camp out that takes place on the grounds and is something many families look forward to participating in each year.

10. You can’t visit Georgia without having fun in the water and sun. From water parks and splash pads to the ocean and streams, you’re never far from fun in Georgia. Summer Saves, Six Flags White Water, Splash in the Boro are just a few of the water parks available, and of course, don’t forget the 100 miles of Atlantic coast line that is available as well.

Georgia, whether it is your home, or just a stop over as you head south, has loads of fun for the family. While the state can be driven through in a matter of hours, take some time to slow down and relax and enjoy what Georgia has to offer.

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The Scoop on Travel Medical Insurance (& My Father’s Heart Attack) http://kidventurous.com/scoop-travel-medical-insurance-fathers-heart-attack/ http://kidventurous.com/scoop-travel-medical-insurance-fathers-heart-attack/#respond Mon, 13 Jun 2016 14:27:36 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10148 I’ve traveled abroad with my kids several times, including twice on my own with two of my young daughters. I never gave travel medical insurance much thought until my father had a heart attack less than two weeks ago. My dad is in his early-70s. He eats well. He exercises regularly (my dad ran a 5K race with me and […]

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medex postI’ve traveled abroad with my kids several times, including twice on my own with two of my young daughters. I never gave travel medical insurance much thought until my father had a heart attack less than two weeks ago.

My dad is in his early-70s. He eats well. He exercises regularly (my dad ran a 5K race with me and my 8 y.o. daughter last month). He does everything right. Then my father has a “massive” heart attack.

My father is on the road to recovery, but he and my step-mother were just in Asia less than six months ago on an organized tour of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. What if my dad had had a heart attack there? Would they have been able to find a qualified doctor or hospital? Would they have been able to communicate effectively with second-language English speakers?

It’s still scary to think about, so I found it quite timely when UnitedHealthcare Global reached out to me about talking to my readers about travel medical insurance. Here are five things you should know about travel insurance when you are traveling out of the country.

1. It can help you quickly find local medical care. When dealing with an entirely different healthcare system outside the U.S. it can be reassuring to know that you have easy access to an emergency response team that can help you quickly identify a doctor wherever you are with credentials that have been verified. 

2. It can help you manage medical costs. Many doctors and hospitals outside the U.S. require payment up front before starting medical treatment. But what if the cost is more than you have or more than the limit on your credit card? With travel insurance, you may have a deductible to help manage up-front costs.

3. It can help you get home in an emergency. Travel medical insurance can provide assistance in evaluating your medical needs, identifying the best way to get home, make travel arrangements for your family and help set up appropriate care for when you return home.

4. It can help with non-medical problems. The emergency response team can even help with non-medical problems, like lost or stolen passports and referrals if you need legal help, while abroad. It’s nice to have someone on your side when navigating an entirely different country.

5. It can help safeguard your trip. Beyond medical situations, travel insurance can also provide coverage for lost baggage, trip cancellation or trip interruption if you require help in these situations.

A basic travel medical policy costs just a few dollars a day for a seven-day vacation. This was actually much less than I expected. I’m traveling to Canada (Quebec) on my own with my kids in a few weeks. I’m already planning to add on a travel medical policy, just in case.

For more, check out MEDEX international travel insurance plans from UnitedHealthcare Global that provide from $50K-$500K in coverage of medical expenses. They offer a variety of plans, as well as options for lost luggage coverage, trip cancellation and more.

It was fortunate that my father had his heart attack while stateside rather than during his vacation in Asia, but it’s worth reviewing some of these case studies from MEDEX to get a feel for how travel medical insurance can help in real-life situations, such as a stroke or even when civil unrest requires quick evacuation of travelers.

Travel insurance plans can be purchased from MEDEX of United Healthcare Global. Unfortunately, these plans are not available to residents of Washington or New York.

Disclaimer: I was compensated by UnitedHealthcare Global for this article on travel medical insurance. However, all opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own.

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Top Kids Safety Items to Have When You Travel http://kidventurous.com/top-kids-safety-items-travel/ http://kidventurous.com/top-kids-safety-items-travel/#respond Fri, 03 Jun 2016 12:00:03 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=9680 We look forward to mixing up our days when we travel. There are fewer hours spent doing the dishes and more hours spent engaging as a family. However, the days leading up to a vacation can be busy. It always seems like there’s so much to do to plan for the “just in case.” Keeping kids safe when we travel […]

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sunglasses girl2We look forward to mixing up our days when we travel. There are fewer hours spent doing the dishes and more hours spent engaging as a family. However, the days leading up to a vacation can be busy. It always seems like there’s so much to do to plan for the “just in case.”

Keeping kids safe when we travel can be a top concern among busy moms and dads. To help mitigate the worry and concern, we’ve come up with a list of top kids safety items that you must have when you travel.

1. An appropriate car seat or booster seat. If you’re traveling across state lines it is important that you know the various laws. Many states require babies under age two to be rear facing and kids between age 5-8 to be seated in a booster seat.

2. First aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes and tweezers, as well as items like burn ointment and medication. Having a travel first aid kit on hand can help you clean up any boo-boos that may get you down when on vacation.

3. If you’re on a road trip, portable jumper cables. They now make jumper cables that come “charged” so you don’t need to find a stranger and ask for a jump. I know we want to be trusting, but honestly, we’re writing about safety right now. 🙂

4. Life vest or “Puddle Jumper.” If you’re doing a summer road trip there’s a good chance you’ll come across water. Just in case you want to let the kids get their feet wet (or more), keep a life vest with you for any non-swimmers. 

5. A back-up cell phone. Keep your old phone with you and charged. U.S. law requires that all phones must connect to emergency services (911) even if they aren’t on a contract or “have minutes” remaining. Keep the old phone turned off and in your glove box “for emergencies.”

6. A KidGPS Tracker. When in crowded areas, a KidGPS Tracker is a must. It’s a wearable device that can help you locate your child if you get separated. Some include panic alerts that the child can press as well.

7. If you have a young child it may be advantageous to invest in an ergonomic baby/toddler carrier. Keep your child within arms’ reach and still keep your arms free.

8. If your child is a bit of a runner, consider a safety harness if you’ll be travelling to a very crowded area and babywearing isn’t an option. They have some that are also backpacks, which can be useful for carrying your toddler’s water and a few snacks.

9. If you have a stroller, then a stroller wrist strap can help prevent a stroller from rolling away, especially if you’re seeing the sights in a hilly city, like San Francisco.

10. Sunshades – both sunglasses and UV blocking devices for the vehicle. Also, don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen with a high SPF for best sun safety.

11. Before you head out on your trip, sign your child up for a Safety Town class. Safety Town teaches your kids about safety, has your family set up a “code word” if someone were to try to tell them to come along and coaches through various safety situations that families may encounter when travelling and at home.

12. A booster seat for restaurants. Unfortunately, many restaurants do not provide booster seats and it can be dangerous for toddlers to be in a regular chair without being strapped in. These are easily foldable. Just make sure that it attaches to a seat and secures your child into the booster.

13. Back-up water bottle as well as a water filter. In case you get stranded, hydration is one of the most important issues. When hiking or camping, having a water filter or a straw that filters river or lake water can be beneficial if you were to become stranded or lost.

When it comes to travel, you want the time to be fun. Being prepared with a variety of safety devices and plans can help ensure that you’re focused on having fun instead of those “just in case” events. If something potentially unsafe occurs, you’ll already be prepared and will know just what to do.

Photo Credit: Kayla Sawyer

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15 Free Things to Do with Kids in Toronto http://kidventurous.com/15-free-kids-toronto/ http://kidventurous.com/15-free-kids-toronto/#respond Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:00:19 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=9670 Are you headed to Toronto? First, don’t forget to bring your passport if you’re coming from the U.S. Next, don’t forget to find ways to cut costs on your getaway. One way to save money is to do as many free things as possible, assuming that they interest you and your family, of course. Take a look at 15 fun, […]

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toronto park2Are you headed to Toronto? First, don’t forget to bring your passport if you’re coming from the U.S. Next, don’t forget to find ways to cut costs on your getaway. One way to save money is to do as many free things as possible, assuming that they interest you and your family, of course. Take a look at 15 fun, fantastic and free things to do in Toronto. Have fun. 🙂

1. Just off Highway 401, you’ll find tons of free things to do at Yonge-Dundas Square. Every day there are free things to do, like free concerts, movies and live entertainment, even free wi-fi. There’s always something going on at the Square.

2. If the timing is right, plan to attend a free opera with the Canadian Opera Company. From late-September through May, you can discover new and established artists and experience musical performances in an incredible variety of genres at no cost.

3. A visit to Toronto’s High Park will bring you to 400 acres of nature, fun and frolic. Don’t miss the many kids play areas, as well as dog walks, cafes and a pool (which also has free admission).

4. Toronto is home to a fun heritage walking tour where you can see a lot of great architecture and learn about the history of Toronto.

5. For the art-lover in you, check out the AGO, which has free admission on Wednesday evenings to their permanent collection.

Kids Travel Journal: My Trip to Toronto
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6. Allan Gardens, which is part of the Toronto Botanical Gardens, offers free admission. It is over 100 years old and has a garden-filled greenhouse that covers over 16,000 square feet.

7. Brush up on Islamic history and culture at the Aga Khan museum, which offers free Wednesday evening admission. Due to space constraints on free evenings, pass on the strollers for the visit if possible.

8. In the winter, there is free public skating available at various Toronto city rinks. Note that there is a fee for skate rental.

9. Frisbee golf is a fun family bonding activity. Located near Eglinton & Don Mills Blvds, the E.T. Seton Disc Golf Course is free to use. Just bring your own Frisbee.

10. If the weather has you looking for something to do indoors, visit one of three Lego Stores in Toronto and build. Just use your creativity and have fun. Play is always free, but set spending expectations with the kids before you head in. 🙂

11. Harbourfront Centre has tons of free events all summer long. From May to October, take a walk along the Queens Quay Promenade to Harbourfront Centre. Enjoy the free weekly music and film series or pick up your feet at the weekly social dance series. There are also multiple culture festivals during the summer.

12. The University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is for the book lover in you. If you love the smell of old books, this is your place.

13. Kids love mazes, so why not let them explore a real-life maze. Located near the Franklin Children’s Garden, the William Meany Maze is very popular with kids, as well as moms and dads, who can follow the paths and trees to find their way through the secret paths. It is open year round, but summer is a great time to visit for enjoying Toronto’s warm weather.

14. Nearly every weekend in summer there is a cultural festival in Toronto and almost all have free admission. From India Fest to Iranian Festival to Chinatown Festival and beyond, check Toronto.com to see which one is going on the weekend of your visit.

15. Far Enough Farm is on Centre Island and is home to 40+ species of farm animals and some exotic birds as well. It is a great place to take your children to see what farm life is like and more of Mother Nature as well. Alpacas or Norwegian Horses — which do you think your kids will find most exciting?

Have fun on your visit to Toronto, Canada’s most populous city. Near to Lake Ontario, there’s plenty to do in both nature and city life. So enjoy your visit without maxing out your credit card.

Photo Credit: evaingesl

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#FunSummer100: 100 Fun Things to Do this Summer http://kidventurous.com/funsummer100/ http://kidventurous.com/funsummer100/#respond Fri, 27 May 2016 16:46:52 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=9648 Well, I tried to do this four years ago, and kind of failed, so I’m going to try again this summer. I put together my own personal list of things I’d like to do, mostly with the kids, between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Some of the things on my list are based on my location (e.g., go […]

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FunSummer100Well, I tried to do this four years ago, and kind of failed, so I’m going to try again this summer. I put together my own personal list of things I’d like to do, mostly with the kids, between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.

Some of the things on my list are based on my location (e.g., go to the top of the Washington Monument), while others correlate with places we plan to visit this summer (e.g., taste maple syrup in Vermont). All are things I think would be fun to do with the kids or on my own, like run a half marathon.

I’ll track progress here and on Instagram with hashtag #FunSummer100. With every item we complete I’ll link to the photo here. If you’re planning your own summer fun challenge, let me know. I’d love to hear about what you have planned! 🙂

1. Go to a minor league baseball game.
2. Go to the top of the Washington Monument.
3. See fireworks.
4. Go fruit picking.
5. Go to a neighborhood carnival or festival.
6. Go camping in a tent.
7. Hike in a state park.
8. Add a new stamp to our national parks passport.
9. Get a new Junior Ranger badge.
10. Go tubing.
11. Complete the library summer reading program.
12. Go to an outdoor waterpark.
13. Eat dinner from a food truck.
14. Splash in a waterfall.
15. Make s’mores.
16. Attend an outdoor concert.
17. Take an ice cream factory tour.
18. Get milkshakes at a diner counter.
19. Go to a science center.
20. Take a family road trip.
21. See public art sculptures.
22. Go whitewater rafting.
23. Go to a botanical garden.
24. See the giant pandas at the National Zoo.
25. Go bowling.
26. Go to a state or county fair.
27. Watch a parade.
28. Go to a drive-in movie.
29. Visit neighborhood yard sales.
30. See a $1 movie.
31. Go stand-up paddleboarding.
32. Play mini golf.
33. Go to an aquarium.
34. Ride a carousel.
35. Ride a ferris wheel.
36. Make tie-dye t-shirts.
37. Build a sand castle.
38. Set up a backyard slip ‘n slide.
39. Create art with sidewalk chalk.
40. Take pictures in a photo booth.
41. Play Frisbee golf.
42. Go to a farmers market.
43. Try new donuts at a donut shop.
44. Go kayaking.
45. Try new cupcakes at a cupcake shop.
46. Go to Chuck E. Cheese’s.
47. Go to a new playground.
48. Go to a trampoline park.
49. Go indoor rock climbing.
50. Attend a children’s play.
51. Go on a train ride.
52. Go tidepooling.
53. Watch the planes take off at Gravelly Point.
54. Go to an aerial treetop adventure course.
55. Bake three new kinds of cookies.
56. Go to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence.
57. Go to the Postal Museum to see the new national parks exhibit.
58. Go to the White House Visitors Center.
59. Eat breakfast for dinner.
60. Have a picnic.
61. Go to a make-and-take workshop at Home Depot.
62. Make sand art.
63. Get frozen yogurt.
64. Try indoor skydiving.
65. Run a half marathon (well, this one is just for me)
66. Taste maple syrup in Vermont.
67. Take a staycation.
68. Get colorful pedicures.
69. Eat sno-cones.
70. Blow huge bubbles.
71. Take a painting class at Painting with a Twist.
72. Order a banana split.
73. Go out for Slurpees.
74. Wash the car as a family.
75. Go out for McFlurries.
76. Eat lobster in Maine.
77. Go swimming at the pool.
78. Go to the beach.
79. Collect seashells.
80. Go on a zipline.
81. Try Indian food.
82. Play a game of laser tag.
83. Eat Chinese food in Chinatown.
84. Go to a Canada Day celebration.
85. Try out a new restaurant.
86. Try German food.
87. Go to a petting farm.
88. Send a package to soldiers overseas.
89. Feed the ducks.
90. Play backyard badminton.
91. Make ice cream cone cupcakes.
92. Play Bingo.
93. Ride bikes.
94. Go to a Japanese steakhouse.
95. Visit a presidential site.
96. Grow and release butterflies.
97. Make our own popsicles.
98. Write a message in the sand.
99. Roll down a big hill.
100. Make root beer floats.

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Best Travel Gear for Family Road Trips http://kidventurous.com/best-travel-gear-for-family-road-trips/ http://kidventurous.com/best-travel-gear-for-family-road-trips/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 20:02:16 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=9465 If you’re a fan of the 1980s classic, National Lampoon’s Vacation, you know that when it comes to road trips, being prepared can make or break your road trip. To help you plan your road trip, we’ve come up with some tips to keep you rolling on down the road with as few hiccups as possible. Best Travel Gear for Family Road […]

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Best Travel Gear for Family Road TripsIf you’re a fan of the 1980s classic, National Lampoon’s Vacation, you know that when it comes to road trips, being prepared can make or break your road trip. To help you plan your road trip, we’ve come up with some tips to keep you rolling on down the road with as few hiccups as possible.

Best Travel Gear for Family Road Trips

Let’s assume here that you’re a family of four or five individuals, some young, maybe a tween or teen, and adult parents. This means your needs are all different and your expectations are even more diverse. But, space is also limited. Here are the must-have gear items for traveling with family on the road.

Personal entertainment devices. While phones are one thing, they are also needed for navigation. Opt for something that has a long battery life and plenty of entertainment that doesn’t require an internet connection.

Headphones. Yes! You need headphones for entertainment, but they can also stifle the noise made from other individuals while trying to get some shut-eye (just not for the driver of course).

Books. Yep, they are also personal entertainment, but they don’t require batteries, they make no noise and they’re reusable. Plus, if you need to lighten the load due to an increase in luggage (souvenir purchases) you can always leave them at the resort or hotel and the next traveler will enjoy the book. A Kindle is also a great option.

Baby Wipes. It doesn’t matter how old your children are, these are great for cleaning up just about any mess that comes along the way. They can also be handy when not everyone gets time in the shower. Just use them to do a quick wash up and go.

Energy Bars. These are an important item to have on stash because at any time someone could become hangry when it is an inconvenient time or place. There’s nothing worse than dealing with moody kids or adults while on the interstate in the middle of nowhere.

GPS Apps. Don’t rely on the in-built navigation to get you through traffic during rush hour in a new city. Look for apps which are user-sourced and are live updated with traffic, like Waze. You’ll need to know shortcuts when there’s an accident or bad traffic. By having a backup GPS already on your phone, you’ll save time and data when you need that alternate route that your default app is not finding.

Stain Stick. This is a lot more important that you’d think, and you only realize it after someone spills food on the “one nice outfit needed for the entire trip” By treating the stain right away you’re a step ahead of the game, and hopefully, a quick rinse back at the hotel of the stain-stick treated clothing will make the outfit ready for when it is needed.

Cash. I know this isn’t a device, but more than once I’ve run into a situation where, in small towns, the store we stopped at did not accept credit cards for small purchases. So to ensure you’re not in that situation when you just need to make a small purchase when using the restroom, keep cash on hand.

Mix Tape! Okay, not an actual mix tape, but a good playlist is a must. You may end up driving through an area of the country where the music options just aren’t your cup of tea (or coffee) and you’ll need to have something pre-set that most everyone agrees to listen to. So, keep a list of everyone’s favorite songs and mix them up.

Emergency Kit. You can buy a pre-packed roadside emergency kit online, it is a good idea to have that just in case. It’ll help you get back on the road quick, or at least keep you safe until help arrives.

First Aid Kit. On the same token, you need to remember the ol’ scout saying “always be prepared” and have those bandages and antiseptic wipes ready for an emergency.

Plastic Bags for Trash. Yes, your car is bound to become full of litter unless you make it a habit to empty the trash at each gas fill up or pit stop. Banana peels, wrappers and other debris is bound to pile up unless you have one set spot for trash in the vehicle.

When it comes to traveling, remember that the journey is part of the adventure. Don’t lose out on making memories just because you’re stuck in the car. Be prepared to have fun, sing songs, play roadside bingo and more. Be prepared with the right gear and also a positive attitude. Be sure to also check out this list of the Best Family Road Trip Games.

What do you feel is the best travel gear for family road trips?

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Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Missouri http://kidventurous.com/top-10-kids-missouri/ http://kidventurous.com/top-10-kids-missouri/#respond Thu, 19 May 2016 13:00:00 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=9471 Missouri may be known for the Gateway Arch, but the fact is, at 284 miles across and 308 miles north to south, Missouri has plenty to offer to those who live there and those just passing through. Here are 10 Things to Do with Kids in Missouri Let’s start with the things that are most iconic and also give you […]

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Things to Do With Kids in MissouriMissouri may be known for the Gateway Arch, but the fact is, at 284 miles across and 308 miles north to south, Missouri has plenty to offer to those who live there and those just passing through.

Here are 10 Things to Do with Kids in Missouri

Let’s start with the things that are most iconic and also give you some ideas of things to do that are a bit off the beaten path to make your time in Missouri fun with kids.

1. Of course, we need to start with the Gateway Arch. At 630 feet high, this symbol to westward mobility will definitely catch your eye when you realize just how tall and wide the arch actually is. Choose a journey to the top or just walk the area and be stunned by the arching stunning curves designed by architect Eero Saarinen.

2. Visit Silver Dollar City, near Branson. This is a fun theme park in the theme of the Old West and more. With 40+ rides, plenty of attractions and a variety of festivals, you’re bound to have fun there.

3. The Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis are some of the best. Whether you decide on a one-time visit to see what they offer or want to participate in one of their educational programs you’ll learn a lot, and will also get in touch with nature.

4. Named for Ulysses S. Grant, Grant’s Farm, located near St. Louis is a fun, active “farm” that’s a zoo full of fun. With over 1,000 species of animals you’ll see something new and some of your stand-by favorites as well. Be sure to ride the tram that winds around the former Busch Family estate.

5. Make a day out of a visit to central Missouri and the Lake of the Ozarks. The Lake of the Ozarks is a large reservoir created by enclosing of the Osage River in the northern part of the Ozarks in central Missouri. From above this “lake” looks like a serpent or maybe a dragon and is known as “The Magic Dragon.” Spend time fishing, hiking, trekking or just having fun as a family. There are plenty of parks within the area, as well as a dam that will catch a budding engineer’s eye for sure.

6. The Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal, Missouri is a great place for a family outing. No matter what the outdoor temperature is, the cave is always a stable 52 degrees. The cave is a great place to explore for all ages since there are no steps and there are smooth even walkways throughout the tour. There are several different lengths of tours available and there are fun activities for your kids to do such as panning for precious gemstones.

7. Have some little ones that love the zoo? The Kansas City Zoo offers all of the wonderful things that a zoo has to offer plus day camps and special programs that will keep your children entertained. Catch one of the special animal shows such as the Sea Lion Splash or take the Zebra Tram to make your visit even more magical.

8. Did you know you can actually visit the home of infamous villain Jesse James? Yes! Located in St. Joseph, MO, The Patee House, also known as Patee House Museum, was completed in 1858 as a 140-room luxury hotel and now serves as a museum full of 1800s and “wild west” artifacts. While visiting the museum, be sure to see the house where outlaw Jesse James was shot and killed by fellow gang member Bob Ford on April 3, 1882. Exhibits include artifacts from Jesse’s grave, which is on site of the Patee Museum grounds.

9. Kansas City, Missouri is home to the National World War I museum called the Liberty Memorial. The Liberty Memorial Museum is home to the largest collection of World War I artifacts in the United States. The inscription on the museum says, “In Honor of Those Who Served in the World War in Defense of Liberty and our Country.” Since this was actually made BEFORE the Second World War, it really shows you how times have changed  and how war has altered the world.

10. While in or near St. Louis, visit the Saint Louis Science Center. From Dinosaurs and a Planetarium to Environment and Hamster Wheels, the science is hands-on fun. The Ecology and Environment Gallery is located on the lower level, while the first floor contains the Life Science Lab, a gift shop and a food court. Don’t miss the Energizer human hamster wheel that powers the Energizer Ball Machine (that is three stories high!). There is a bridge-tunnel that connects the main building to the Planetarium, where there is also Flight Gallery to keep you entertained along the way.

What are your favorite things to do with kids in Missouri?

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6 Ways to Stay Fit as a Family While on Vacation http://kidventurous.com/6-ways-stay-fit-family-vacation/ http://kidventurous.com/6-ways-stay-fit-family-vacation/#respond Fri, 13 May 2016 12:00:00 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=9467 Let’s be honest: It can be difficult to keep a workout schedule when traveling. And, it is even more difficult to meal plan while on vacation. So, let’s explore some ways to stay fit as a family while on vacation. When on vacation, it is important to recognize that you’re visiting someplace new, you’re not on vacation from the facts […]

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Stay Fit As a Family On VacationLet’s be honest: It can be difficult to keep a workout schedule when traveling. And, it is even more difficult to meal plan while on vacation. So, let’s explore some ways to stay fit as a family while on vacation.

When on vacation, it is important to recognize that you’re visiting someplace new, you’re not on vacation from the facts of life. Exercise and good food choices should not go by the wayside just because you’re away from home. These six ways to stay fit as a family while on vacation should help you stay on track on your next family trip.

6 Ways to Stay Fit as a Family While on Vacation

Family time is important – and when on vacation, you’re likely full of a checklist of things to do, people to see, and making sure you don’t end up using too many outfits early on in the trip. While you don’t have to Instagram your #fitfam to make the experience real (yes, life does happen even if it isn’t on social media), your body and health will know you’re working hard to stay fit.

1. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, in their Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,  it is their recommendation  of 60 minutes of physical aerobic activity daily for children ages 6-17 (there are no specifications for those five and under), and 30 minutes daily for adults ages 18-64. To get that in while on vacation, plan a picnic at the park and bring along a basketball. Spend some time shooting hoops and playing two-on-two basketball before having that picnic and exploring the nearby flora and fauna.

2. Headed to the beach or have access to a pool? Swim! Swimming can be a major calorie burner. According to research, a 155-pound person swimming freestyle at even a slow rate may burn almost 500 calories in an hour.

3. Make fruits and vegetables the main part of your breakfast especially if you have a standard hotel breakfast option. They are high in nutrients, including vitamins and fiber. Pass on the pastries and opt for the plain active-culture yogurt over the high fructose corn syrup/fake berry blends.

4. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is an important part of health and staying fit. While traveling, it is easy to say “yes” to carbonated beverages but they’re full of empty calories and deplete bones of minerals as well.

5. If your kids are young, let them play at the park and while you’re watching them you can get a full workout in too. It is easy to utilize the various play structures and your own body to get a good workout in at the park. Running around is easy, but you can also do arm dips using a park bench. do pull-ups on the monkey bars and leg lifts on a hanging bar. The ideas are endless and you really can get a full body workout at the kids park.

6. Plan a “cheat” day. Yes, really, that needs to be part of your fit vacation plans. Why? Otherwise, many people will choose to make an exception to your diet… and after that will become another exception, and another… And, in the end, you’ll end up making some really bad choices.

Instead, plan for the healthy breakfast, a reasonable lunch, and choose the best available choices at dinner, but also know that say “on Friday, we’ll do the full buffet” so that you know you’ll get your fix of the local cuisine and not feel deprived. This is important to enjoying your vacation but still keeping yourself in check.

Keep your family informed of the healthy vacation plans, especially if this is your first #fitfam vacation. Why? They may think that vacation means a free-for-all on food and relaxation all day long. You don’t want to burst their bubble and cause fights on vacation, so just let them know the plan, and work on getting their buy-in BEFORE you leave the house. Safe travels!

 

 

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