Kidventurous http://kidventurous.com Making Family Travel an Adventure Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:31:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest http://kidventurous.com/kids-love-great-pumpkin-fest/ http://kidventurous.com/kids-love-great-pumpkin-fest/#respond Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:31:42 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10323 My kids, especially my two younger ones, are not much for zombies and skeletons. So, of course, we loved that Kings Dominion’s Great Pumpkin Fest near Richmond, VA is all about painting pumpkins, costume parades, trick-or-treating and interactive shows. We had the opportunity to check out the second annual Great Pumpkin Fest over the weekend and we were not disappointed. […]

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Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin FestMy kids, especially my two younger ones, are not much for zombies and skeletons. So, of course, we loved that Kings Dominion’s Great Pumpkin Fest near Richmond, VA is all about painting pumpkins, costume parades, trick-or-treating and interactive shows.

We had the opportunity to check out the second annual Great Pumpkin Fest over the weekend and we were not disappointed. Operating on Saturdays and Sundays through October 30 in the Planet Snoopy section of the park, there was plenty to do and all of our favorite Peanuts Gang characters were in on the fun.

Kings Dominion is part of the Cedar Fair family, so the Great Pumpkin Fest is taking place at several other parks as well, including Cedar Point in Ohio and Valleyfair in Minnesota. Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California is also hosting scare-free weekend celebrations, but as Knott’s Spooky Farm.

Get the kids in the car and head to Kings Dominion for the Great Pumpkin Fest. Not that your kids will need much convincing, but here are 10 reasons to love Kings Dominion during the Halloween season. Have fun. 

1. Paint Your Own Pumpkins. Little ones (up to 54” tall) can head to Sally’s Pumpkin Painting Patch to paint their own mini pumpkins (one per child). Consider doing this activity last unless you can put your pumpkin in a stroller or you want to carry around a wet, freshly painted pumpkin.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

2. Trick-or-Treat Prizes. When you pick up your map at the Great Pumpkin Fest headquarters, little ones will also get a plastic treat bag. At each of the stops kids can pick out a Halloween-themed prizes, like paddleball sets, crayons, notepads and snap bracelets. No candy, just fun toys.

3. Cute Baby Animals. Who doesn’t love a petting zoo with baby animals? At Woodstock’s Barnyard Pals, there are bunnies, alpacas, sheep and miniature horses. You can buy a cup of food for only $1 and there’s plenty of hand sanitizer when you get all of your pets in.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

4. Costume Parade. Twice-daily, your kids can walk alongside Peanuts Gang characters in a parade around the Planet Snoopy area of Kings Dominion. At 1:50 and 4:50, be ready to party with the Peanuts Gang as they all show up in their favorite Halloween costumes.

5. Halloween-Themed Rides. I love it when theme parks switch up the names of rides to coincide with the season. There were a few of those at Kings Dominion, including the Great Pumpkin Coaster and Van Pelt Derby, which lets kids ride around a track on miniature tractors.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

6. Shorter Ride Lines. While not Halloween-related, one great reason to the take the kids to the Great Pumpkin Fest, and to Kings Dominion in the fall, is that the lines for rides are shorter than in the summer. Even better, the weather is cooler, which is nice when plans have you outside all day. 

7. Scarecrow Stage. Have a seat on a bale of hay for live shows that take place three times a day. On Saturdays, look for potions and magic with Mad Science. On Sundays, you’ll find snakes and lizards at Reptile Adventure. In between shows, they play It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

8. Playing in Soapy Foam. Be sure to head to Pigpen’s People Washer, which is essentially a 20’ x 20’ area of soapy foam. Kids and adults loved this one. Where else can you just run around in soap bubbles as if you’re in a giant bubble bath? Um, nowhere.

9. Character Meet & Greets. Of course, there are character meet and greets every day at Kings Dominion, but  now the Peanuts characters are dressed up for the season. We saw Linus dressed up like a scarecrow and Sally dressed up as a fairy. They were always roaming the park, so there were lots of good photo opps.

Why You & Your Kids Will Love the Great Pumpkin Fest

10. Peanuts Playhouse. While the musical shows take place throughout the year, it’s still fun to sit for a spell and watch “Charlie Brown’s Happy Campers” and “Schroeder’s Sing-Along” at the Peanuts Playhouse. Live shows take place four times each day.

The Great Pumpkin Fest is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5 pm at Kings Dominion. Note that the park opens before noon and closes after 5 pm if you want more time at the park since there’s a lot more to do outside of Planet Snoopy.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand. I have been compensated for my participation. However, all opinions are my own.

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10 Things You Should Know About Niagara Falls http://kidventurous.com/10-things-you-should-know-about-niagara-falls/ http://kidventurous.com/10-things-you-should-know-about-niagara-falls/#respond Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:57:03 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10310 I’d been eager to go to Niagara Falls for some time. I don’t exactly know why. It’s just one of those places I had stuck in mind. I meant to road trip up to Niagara Falls with the kids over the summer, but just ran out of time. You know how that goes. So, the school year started and Niagara […]

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I’d been eager to go to Niagara Falls for some time. I don’t exactly know why. It’s just one of those places I had stuck in mind. I meant to road trip up to Niagara Falls with the kids over the summer, but just ran out of time. You know how that goes.

So, the school year started and Niagara Falls was still stuck in my head, so I bought two plane tickets for a long weekend away, just me and my middle daughter, Kate. Since I have four kids, I try to go get away with just one or two of them from time to time. It’s tough when all four are clamoring for my attention at the same time.

10 Things You Should Know About Niagara Falls

I learned a lot about the Niagara Falls area in the three days, so if you’re thinking about a trip, here are 10 things you should know about Niagara Falls.

1. There are Actually Three Waterfalls. There isn’t just one waterfall called “Niagara Falls.” There are three: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls. You can see all three from the Observation Tower at Niagara Falls State Park on the U.S. side, but you’ll enjoy the best views from the Canada side (in my opinion, at least).

2. It’s a Must to Take in the Views from Up Above. I’d never been in a helicopter before, so I was eager to see what the falls looked like from 2,000 feet up in the sky. Totally worth it. I’ll admit that my stomach dropped when we first lifted off, but then it was all about the views. Thank you, Rainbow Air. 🙂

10 Things You Should Know About Niagara Falls

3. There’s Not Much Free Wi-Fi on the Canada Side. I didn’t purchase a data plan from AT&T, so we had to rely on free wi-fi to go Pokemon hunting, and it was very hard to find. We could only connect to the Clifton Hill free wi-fi network, which got us a couple of blocks. There wasn’t even free wi-fi in Starbucks.

4. You’ll Want to Buy the Niagara USA Discovery Pass. When we visit a new city, I often pick up a multi-attraction pass to save money and the Niagara USA Discovery Pass is a great deal. It’s $45/adult and $34/child and it gives you access to five popular attractions, including Maid of the Mist and the Niagara Aquarium.

10 Things You Should Know About Niagara Falls

5. Be Ready to Pay a Toll When You Cross the Border. If you’re walking between the U.S. and Canada, you’ll need to pay a $.50/person toll on the Canada side to cross the bridge (there are change machines). If you cross the bridge by car, you’ll pay $3.50 on the U.S. side in order to cross. 

6. You Will Get Wet. Whether you ride into Horseshoe Falls on the Maid of the Mist or you explore Niagara’s Cave of the Winds, you will get wet, like really wet (fortunately, they give you ponchos). Even just a walk to Horseshoe Falls on the Canada side will leave you drenched from the mist coming off the falls.

10 Things You Should Know About Niagara Falls

7. You’ll Thank Me for Suggesting the Niagara Scenic Trolley. Niagara Falls State Park is pretty big with lots of attractions and paths to walk around and see the falls from various angles. Fortunately, the Niagara Scenic Trolley runs regularly through the park. It’s only a couple dollars per day, but totally worth it when you find yourself out at Three Sisters Islands at the far end of the park.

8. The Niagara Power Vista is a Must-Go. We probably could have spent all day at the Niagara Power Vista. It’s a free attraction that re-opened over the summer and there are loads of hands-on STEM-related activities. Kate loved the touch screen table where she made multiple power grids, as well as the 4-D movie.

10 Things You Should Know About Niagara Falls

9. It’s Worth a Side Trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Billed as one of Canada’s prettiest towns, take a side trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake (20-40 mins away, depending on the wait at the border). Known more for its wineries, it’s worth a stop for lunch, a stroll and an ice cream cone from Cow’s. 

10. The Canada Side is the “Fun” Side. If you’re looking for arcade games, candy stores, wax museums, miniature golf and fast food restaurants, you’ll find it all on the Canada side at Clifton Hill, including the 175-foot Niagara SkyWheel. There’s even a Fun Pass to save money when you go. 

10 Things You Should Know About Niagara Falls

Also, as a side note, once you’ve gone back and forth across the border seven or eight times, the agents pretty much stop asking you questions. Our last time back into the U.S. the border agent simply asked us where we were from and let us go, though mind you, we were a couple of low-risk travelers. 🙂

Disclaimer: My daughter and I were guests of Niagara USA while in Niagara Falls. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

10 Things You Should Know About Niagara Falls

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How to Spend the Day at Crater Lake National Park http://kidventurous.com/how-spend-day-crater-lake-national-park/ http://kidventurous.com/how-spend-day-crater-lake-national-park/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:26:44 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10303 If you’ve never been to Crater Lake National Park, add it to your bucket list, like right now. The kids and I spent a half-day there last summer on our way to Bend, Oregon. I wish we could have spent more time at this national park. One look out into that blue, blue water and you’ll understand why. So incredible. […]

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How to Spend the Day at Crater Lake National ParkIf you’ve never been to Crater Lake National Park, add it to your bucket list, like right now. The kids and I spent a half-day there last summer on our way to Bend, Oregon. I wish we could have spent more time at this national park. One look out into that blue, blue water and you’ll understand why. So incredible.

Crater Lake is not a very large national park, but there are a surprising number of ways to enjoy all that is so great about this park. Here are a few of my must-do recommendations:

1. Take in the Views from Rim Drive. If you’re entering Crater Lake National Park from the south like we did, make a quick stop at the Steel Visitor Center to chat up a park ranger, then start out east along the 33-mile Rim Drive. It will take between one and three hours to drive the loop, depending on how many stops you make to soak in the views.

How to Spend the Day at Crater Lake National Park

2. Stamp Your Passport. Getting stamps in my Passport to Your National Parks is always my favorite part of a national park visit. Keep your eye open for cancellation stamps at every visitor center. You’ll also want to buy the official park sticker to add to your passport.

3. Earn a Junior Ranger Badge. Between July and early-September, kids can take part in a 20-minute ranger-led activity during which they’ll learn all about Crater Lake. Just for participating in the program, every child will earn a patch. This program takes place three times each day at the Rim Visitor Center.

How to Spend the Day at Crater Lake National Park

4. Go for a Hike. There are a number of easy hikes at Crater Lake National Park, including the Castle Crest and Lady of the Woods trails, both of which are near the south entrance to the park. Another good one is the Discovery Point trail, which takes you along the rim of Crater Lake on the west side. There are also ranger-led hikes in the every afternoon at 2 pm during peak season.

5. Take the Wizard Island Cruise. We missed this, but my friend, Jeff at Out with the Kids, told me that the Wizard Island Cruise is an absolute must-do and that you must book way in advance. You’ll cruise 45 minutes to Wizard Island, which sits in Crater Lake, then you have three hours to explore on foot, even climb to the summit of Wizard Island, if you like. Next time, for sure.

How to Spend the Day at Crater Lake National Park

6. Take Lots of Photos. It’s okay, take as many photos as you like. I easily took dozens of photos of Crater Lake, some with my kids, some without my kids. Every view seemed better than the last and worthy of a photo. It’s incredible to look back at the photos and think that we were there. So amazing.

If you want to go swimming, know that the water is very cold. You can also only go swimming at Cleetwood Cove and Wizard Island. It may be worth a try if you also opt to take the cruise out to Wizard Island and have the time to jump in the water, which by the way, is incredibly clear.

I already can’t wait to go back. If you go, let me know what you think about Crater Lake National Park.

How to Spend the Day at Crater Lake National Park

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Visiting Gulf County, Florida with Kids (+ Giveaway) http://kidventurous.com/visiting-gulf-county-florida-kids-50-giveaway/ http://kidventurous.com/visiting-gulf-county-florida-kids-50-giveaway/#respond Mon, 29 Aug 2016 17:46:10 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10290 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gulf County Florida. All opinions are 100% mine. We love to take the kids to Florida. It’s an easy flight from where we live (just outside Washington, DC) and there’s so much to do, especially when it starts to cool up north. Even in November, you can go shelling […]

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gulf County Florida. All opinions are 100% mine.

We love to take the kids to Florida. It’s an easy flight from where we live (just outside Washington, DC) and there’s so much to do, especially when it starts to cool up north. Even in November, you can go shelling on the beaches, get out on the water for kayaking or ride bikes, especially in Gulf County, which is located in the panhandle of Florida, near Panama City.

I recently had the chance to check out the GCFL Adventure Guide. I love all that you can do outdoors as a family in Gulf County, like hiking the Bayview Nature Trail at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park and kayaking at Indian Pass Lagoon. These are all great activities to enjoy during prime season (September-May). Or, simply go to escape for a few days and soak in the great weather and culture. 

It’s easy to get outdoors in Gulf County since access to fishing, snorkeling, diving and boating are no more than 15 minutes from any given point in the area. Between the Gulf of Mexico, St. Joseph Bay, the Gulf County Canal, the Chipola River and the Intracoastal Waterway, all of which are connected, there’s so much to do on the water and there are so many ways to connect with nature.

Another option is to look into the Gulf County Concierge Program. Simply enter your likes, whether horseback riding, camping or kite flying, and welcome center staff will quickly get back to you with ideas and activities you may enjoy in Gulf County. You can even set up a 20-minute session to finalize your itinerary before you get into town. Here are a few of my favorite adventures:

Enjoy a Gulf Sunset. After a fun, busy day, it’s nice to just relax and enjoy a beautiful Gulf sunset. Take in the sunset from Cape San Blas or Windmark Beach. Another idea, hop in a canoe or kayak and watch the sun set from the middle of St. Joseph Bay.

Kayak in St. Joseph Bay. Go on a guided eco-tour in a kayak with Happy Ours Kayak & Bike Outpost. Keep your eyes open for turtles as they come up for air. Some friendly turtles may even swim right up to your kayak to say hello.

Splash at a Different Beach Every Day. You may quickly find your favorite beach, but it’s a must to explore the various beaches in Gulf County. Go fishing at Indian Pass, try horseback riding on the beach at Cape Sand Blas or play with dogs on one of the many pet-friendly beaches.

If you like outdoor adventures, Gulf County is the place to explore as a family. Be sure to check out their Pinterest boards for plenty of inspiration and ideas before you go.

GIVEAWAY

If you’re ready to embark on your own adventures, whether in Gulf County or your own hometown, I hope you’ll enter to win a $50 AmEx gift card. Simply leave me a comment letting me know which of the adventures in the GCFL Adventure Guide you and your family would most enjoy taking part in and why.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. One winner, chosen at random from all eligible entries received, will receive a $50 AmEx gift card, and will be announced on or about 10 days after end of entry period.  Entrants may enter within 21 days of this post going live. Must be a resident of one of the 48 contiguous United States (excl. PR, HI, AK) the age of majority in his or her jurisdiction at time of entry. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Sweepstakes is sponsored by Gulf County.

Visit Sponsors Site

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Why You & Your Kids Will Love Sunny Hill Resort http://kidventurous.com/sunny-hill-resort-muststay-family-resort-catskills/ http://kidventurous.com/sunny-hill-resort-muststay-family-resort-catskills/#respond Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:00:16 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10275 I’d never even heard of Sunny Hill Resort in the Great Northern Catskills of New York before we pulled up the minivan to check in in mid-July. Lauded by Parents magazine readers as one of the 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts, I was eager to see what the hubbub was all about for myself. Sunny Hill Resort is a family-owned property […]

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I’d never even heard of Sunny Hill Resort in the Great Northern Catskills of New York before we pulled up the minivan to check in in mid-July. Lauded by Parents magazine readers as one of the 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts, I was eager to see what the hubbub was all about for myself.

Sunny Hill Resort is a family-owned property that’s been hosting families for nearly 100 years, and many of those families are from New York (mostly Long Island). Once we checked in, I took a walk around the property and easily 90% of the license plates were from New York. This could be why I’d never heard of Sunny Hill Resort. Maybe they’d been keeping this gem to themselves.

The kids playing shuffleboard one night after dinner.

The kids playing shuffleboard one night after dinner.

Truly, everyone I met at Sunny Hill had been coming to vacation at the resort for years and years. I met one guest who’d been coming every year for 25 years. I met another guest whose family vacations there with several other families the same week every summer. Every. Single. Summer. It’s just what they do.

If you’re looking for high-thread count linens and super-soft comforters, Sunny Hill is not for you. The accommodations are motel style and basic at best, but that’s definitely part of its charm. Each of the motel buildings are close to each other with kids constantly going here and there. The kids are having a blast. That’s why you go.

Meantime, groups of adults pull up chairs into circles to while away the time chatting and catching up with each other. They drink wine, they listen to music and they reminisce about their stay at Sunny Hill last summer while the kids play basketball, shuffleboard and volleyball. There are also several playgrounds, a swimming pool and a splash pad.

Paul definitely loved the swimming pool and the splash pad at Sunny Hill

Paul definitely loved the swimming pool and the splash pad at Sunny Hill.

All meals are included at Sunny Hill and you’ll be greeted by the same servers at each meal. Even better, the staff remembers what you like, so whether you ask for extra bread or a pitcher of iced tea at one meal, you can bet it will be on your table the next night before you even think to ask.

To announce the start of each meal, the staff lets one of the children ring the bell outside, and yup, kids get to the bell early for that honor. At each meal, we found that there were plenty of options for each of the kids and loved the fact that they “never say no to requests for seconds and thirds.” 🙂

While there are loads of activities to take part in during the day, from golf clinics to face painting to yoga classes, it’s the evening activities that are one of the main reasons you book a stay at Sunny Hill Resort. Climb to the top of the climbing wall, sit back and listen to live music, and of course ride all the “Just for Fun” rides, a real highlight of Sunny Hill Resort.

Don't leave Sunny Hill without trying out all the "Just for Fun" rides.

Don’t leave Sunny Hill without trying out all the “Just for Fun” rides.

Okay, so what exactly are “Just for Fun” rides? I’ve never seen this anywhere I’ve ever stayed before and it was so much fun. The resort sets up lines each night for five or six different “Just for Fun” ride, whether a Bumble Bee car, a vintage fire engine, a Humvee or a monster truck.

Be warned that if you ride the monster truck (let’s be honest, you can’t not go for a ride on the monster truck), it will get bumpy, like really bumpy. Everybody rides. Everybody has a blast. It was a real highlight of the stay, for sure. My kids and I still laugh about our outrageously bumpy monster truck ride.

Most families that stay at Sunny Hill Resort come in on Saturday and depart the following Saturday, making the Friday night lake party an absolute must-go. We were there just two nights and I was so glad that we were there on Friday night. The resort provides free hot dogs, beer, sodas, ice cream, live music, and of course, “Just for Fun” rides. And then, there was the fantastic fireworks show at the lake.

The monster truck was easily the most popular of all the "Just for Fun" rides at Sunny Hill.

The monster truck was easily the most popular of all the “Just for Fun” rides at Sunny Hill.

I can already tell that I need to go back next summer and bring some of my extended family, though I will say that the guests were so friendly I felt like I adopted an extended family while at the resort. However, it may have been that I was a novelty given I was from Virginia and did not have a Long Island accent. 🙂

Disclaimer: I was hosted by Sunny Hill Resort during my stay. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

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10 Cool Places to Get Your LEGO Fix http://kidventurous.com/10-cool-places-get-lego-fix/ http://kidventurous.com/10-cool-places-get-lego-fix/#respond Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:00:17 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10214 Does your family adore LEGO? If so, you may be looking for themed amusement parks and other attractions that you may be able to enjoy. While some of these attractions are available for you to enjoy year-round, others are traveling exhibits and expos. Here are 10 cool places to get your LEGO fix: 1. LEGOLAND Florida: At this amusement park, […]

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Adobe Spark (29)Does your family adore LEGO? If so, you may be looking for themed amusement parks and other attractions that you may be able to enjoy. While some of these attractions are available for you to enjoy year-round, others are traveling exhibits and expos.

Here are 10 cool places to get your LEGO fix:

1. LEGOLAND Florida: At this amusement park, you’ll find plenty of LEGO-themed worlds, rides, and attractions for people of all ages. While it’s always a great time to visit LEGOLAND Florida, you may want to consider planning a family vacation in 2017. The park recently unveiled its plans to add a beach retreat and a new world called Ninjago, which is based on a martial arts-themed LEGO set. Be sure to check out the waterpark and consider a stay at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, which has themed rooms.  

2. LEGOLAND California: Just like at LEGOLAND Florida, you’ll find a number of themed worlds, rides, and attractions for people of all ages. In addition to a place to spend the night, the amusement park, and waterpark, LEGOLAND California also offers an aquarium.

3. LEGOLAND Discovery Center: With several locations throughout the United States, these indoor playgrounds offer 4D cinema shows, rides, creative workshops, LEGO MINILAND, and more.  

4. Americana Roadshow: This exhibit, which travels to different malls throughout the country, displays large models of well-known landmarks built entirely from LEGO bricks. Find the nearest mall where the exhibit will be held near you!

5. The Art of the Brick: This traveling must-see exhibit has been found in various cities, including Seattle, WA and Myrtle Beach, SC. Though there are currently no dates scheduled, there may be future dates in the future. This exhibit has been the first to turn LEGO bricks into a form of artwork.

6. Nature Connects: This traveling exhibit consists of 12 large LEGO sculptures. Almost 500,000 LEGO bricks went into the creation of Nature Connects, which features a hummingbird, trumpet flower, a family of deer, a tortoise, a dragonfly, and more.

7. BrickFair LEGO Expo: This expo will be held in several states. You and your children will have the chance to see various LEGO models and participate in fun games and races.

8. BrickUniverse: This expo, which travels from city to city, is a two-day show. It consists of many hands-on and interactive activities that can be enjoyed by LEGO fans of all ages.

9. Brick Fest Live: This traveling festival offers all sorts of fun for kids who love LEGO bricks to enjoy. It includes a Derby, a theater, LEGO models, and lots of other hands-on activities.

10. LEGO KidsFest: This festival, which travels to various cities, offers all sorts of hands-on activities, building experiences, and other sorts of entertainment. Though it’s a kid-oriented festival, the whole family is bound to enjoy it!

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6 Bargain Family Vacations in Canada http://kidventurous.com/6-bargain-family-vacations-canada/ http://kidventurous.com/6-bargain-family-vacations-canada/#respond Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:00:44 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10210 Are you looking to take a family vacation in Canada? Are you on a budget? Fortunately, there are a number of ways you and your family can have fun without spending tons of money! Here are six bargain family vacations in Canada that you may want to consider: 1. Go to Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls are a must-see if you’re […]

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Adobe Spark (24)Are you looking to take a family vacation in Canada? Are you on a budget? Fortunately, there are a number of ways you and your family can have fun without spending tons of money!

Here are six bargain family vacations in Canada that you may want to consider:

1. Go to Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls are a must-see if you’re planning a vacation in Canada. You’ll want to take a trip on the Maid of the Mist, where you will put on a poncho and go to the edge of the falls to experience the mist. You can also observe the falls from Journey Behind the Falls, which is an outdoor deck behind the falls. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to stay, you may want to consider Marriott on the Falls, where you can expect to spend $130 per night.

2. Visit a National Park.

Canada’s national parks have lots for every family to explore. You can enjoy the beauty of the mountains, go hiking, fishing, rafting, or biking. Glacier National Park and Banff National Park are both popular options. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to stay, consider YWCA Banff Hotel. Prices start at $112 a night for a family of four.

3. Take a Guided Fishing Trip.

If your family loves fishing, you may want to consider taking a guided fishing trip. Consider scheduling a guided fishing day trip or multi-day trip at Great River Fishing Adventures in British Columbia. Family fishing adventures can also be an ideal option. Not only will your family have the chance to fish, but your children will also get to learn more about boat safety and the environment. Nearby hotels offer bargain nightly rates.

4. Explore Quebec City.

Quebec City has lots to offer tourists. You can tour the countryside, visit Canyon Saint-Anne, or go on a helicopter tour. If you enjoy cruises, you can take a guided cruise, go on a dinner cruise, or take an evening sightseeing cruise. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to stay with rates as low as $186 a night, consider the Fairmont Le Chateau.

5. Horse Around at a Dude Ranch.

Taking a getaway to a dude ranch, like Three Bars Ranch in British Columbia, can make for a lot of fun if your family loves the great outdoors. There’s something for everyone at this ranch: hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, archery and sport shooting. The price of $1,920 per person for a week at Three Bars Ranch may seem hefty, but meals and activities are all inclusive.     

6. Celebrate a Sports Holiday.

If your family loves sports, you may want to visit Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary. There are lots of interactive galleries, such as Glide Gallery, which allows you to get a ski experience. Calgary is also home to the Flames hockey team and the Roughneck lacrosse team. For nightly rates of $95 and kid-friendly amenities, consider staying at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites Calgary West.   

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Top 10 Zoos to Visit this Summer http://kidventurous.com/top-10-zoos-visit-summer/ http://kidventurous.com/top-10-zoos-visit-summer/#respond Mon, 22 Aug 2016 12:00:15 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10208 Summer is one of the best times to visit the zoo. They are open for longer hours, they usually offer summer deals, and the weather is nice for walking around and enjoying it all. Zoos are also a great family activity because they are fun while also being educational. Let’s take a look at the top 10 zoos to visit […]

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Adobe Spark (22)Summer is one of the best times to visit the zoo. They are open for longer hours, they usually offer summer deals, and the weather is nice for walking around and enjoying it all. Zoos are also a great family activity because they are fun while also being educational.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 zoos to visit this summer:

1. National Zoo – There’s always a good reason to go to the National Zoo in DC, but this summer you will get the chance to see the new baby panda before he gets much older. The cub, Bei Bei, is available in the panda viewing house starting at 9 am daily, but whether you see him roaming around depends on the panda’s mood and the weather. They also have fun panda cams that allow you to see the pandas at any time.

2. Tulsa Zoo – When you visit the Tulsa Zoo in Oklahoma this summer, you’ll have the opportunity to see their latest addition: a baby jaguar cub! The cub was born in collaboration with the Jaguar Species Survival Plan.  

3. Bronx Zoo – If you want to see a lot of young animals, a trip to the Bronx Zoo may be just what you need! Several baby animals have recently been welcomed to the Bronx Zoo in New York. A baby American porcupine can be found at the Children’s Zoo, while you will be able to find a crane chick at the Northern Ponds. There are five western lowland gorillas who are all under the age of two at Bronx Zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest. 

4. Houston Zoo – If you love marine animals, you may want to visit the Houston Zoo in Texas. The zoo welcomed a baby California sea lion this past June. The pup, who is the first to be born at the zoo since 1994, is very active and loves to explore.

5. San Diego Zoo – Is seeing a baby koala on your to-do list? If so, it’s a great time to visit the San Diego Zoo, where a baby koala was born this past November. It finally came out of its mother’s pouch and made its first appearance this past June!

6. Como Park Zoo – If you visit Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota, you will get to view their newest addition – a baby zebra! The zebra, which was born on July 5th can be seen between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm in the Zebra and Kudu Exhibit. Proceeds will benefit the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

7. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – This Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington has plenty of animals to check out any time, but this summer there’s a new cute addition! Two Nigerian dwarf goats were recently born.

8. Montgomery Zoo – If you always loved the game hungry, hungry hippos, you may want to check out the Montgomery Zoo in Montgomery, Alabama. A male pygmy hippo was just born. Grab your cameras, because he is a record breaker: the baby hippo is the first male pygmy hippo to be born in a zoo.  

9. Milwaukee County Zoo – The Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin can make for a great trip this summer with two new additions! A male harbor seal pup was recently born. Like most seals, he was born with the ability to swim. A baby bonobo was also born this past spring.  

10. Dallas Zoo – If you love monkeys, now is a great time to check out the Dallas Zoo in Texas. A baby colobus monkey was born to the Primate Place this past June. Catch it before it grows up. The zoo says its pink face will slowly turn black, and its white fur will transition to black and white.

With so many baby animals being born throughout the country this past spring and summer, now is a better time than ever to plan that trip to the zoo you’ve been meaning to take!

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8 Fun Factory Tours Your Kids Will Love http://kidventurous.com/8-fun-factory-tours-kids-will-love/ http://kidventurous.com/8-fun-factory-tours-kids-will-love/#respond Fri, 19 Aug 2016 20:01:28 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10216 Are you looking for something fun to do with your child? Why not help them learn about manufacturing by taking a factory tour? Here are 8 fun factory tours your kids will love: 1. Harley Davidson Motor Company, Vehicle Operations – York, Pennsylvania  If your child has an interest in motorcycles, he or she is sure to love the Harley […]

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Adobe Spark (31) (1)Are you looking for something fun to do with your child? Why not help them learn about manufacturing by taking a factory tour? Here are 8 fun factory tours your kids will love:

1. Harley Davidson Motor Company, Vehicle Operations – York, Pennsylvania 

If your child has an interest in motorcycles, he or she is sure to love the Harley Davison Motor Company tour. The tour will give your child an idea of how the Softtail, Touring, CVO, and Trike models are made. You can take a free tour or a Steel Toe tour for $35 per person. Fully enclosed, low heeled shoes are required for a Harley Davidson tour. It’s best to avoid going on a Saturday as production does not take place. 

2. Herr’s Snack Factory Tour – Lancaster, Pennsylvania 

Your child can see Herr’s chips and other snack products being made at the Herr’s Snack Factory Tour. The tour will teach your kids little known facts, like how to determine if a potato is good for chipping and how tortilla chips are seasoned. The tours, which you will need to wear rubber soled shoes for, are offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

3. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory Tour – Waterbury, Vermont 


If your child loves Chunky Munky or Cherry Garcia, it may be worth considering a Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour. You and your child will get to learn more about the ice cream manufacturing process and will be offered free samples of your favorite flavors, as well as special flavors. Tours are free for children who are 12 and under and $3 for adults.

4. Crayola Experience – Easton, Pennsylvania 

While Crayola doesn’t allow you to go into the factory to witness crayon production firsthand, the Crayola Experience does teach kids how crayons are made and offers them a chance to color and play at the visitor center. Tickets are $9.75 for anyone over the age of two. 

5. Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory – Louisville, Kentucky


Any child who loves baseball will enjoy seeing how baseball bats are made at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. The tour costs $10 for adults, $5 for kids between the ages of 6-12, and is free for anyone younger. Included in the price is a miniature souvenir bat. 

6. Jelly Belly Factory Tour – Fairfield, California

Your child can see how jelly beans are produced if you go on a Jelly Belly Factory Tour, which includes a self-guided walk, interactive exhibits, a Jelly Belly Bean Art gallery, and free samples. You’ll also learn fun facts, like why a single jelly bean takes seven minutes to be produced. 

7. Hershey’s Chocolate Tour – Hershey, Pennsylvania 


What kid doesn’t love chocolate? On the Hershey’s Chocolate Tour your child will have the chance to learn more about the cocoa and dairy farms used in the manufacturing process and the animated barnyard cows that are the face of Hershey. You’ll also get to see a Hershey Kiss assembly line firsthand. Best of all, admission is free for everyone and includes free samples. 

8. The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory Tour – Burlington, Vermont 

If your child loves teddy bears, the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory Tour may be a fun experience. Learn more about how teddy bears are made and be sure to stop by the teddy bear shop before you leave. The cost of admission is $4 for children and adults over the age of 12 and $3 for seniors. 

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7 Secrets to Surviving a Long-Haul Flight with Kids http://kidventurous.com/7-secrets-surviving-long-haul-flight-kids/ http://kidventurous.com/7-secrets-surviving-long-haul-flight-kids/#respond Thu, 18 Aug 2016 14:30:01 +0000 http://kidventurous.com/?p=10212 Are you planning a long flight with your child? If so, you may be nervous about the possible outcomes. Don’t fret! There are a number of things you can do to ensure your trip goes more smoothly. Here are seven secrets to surviving a long-haul flight with kids: 1. Bring an activity bag. Your child is less likely to grow […]

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Adobe Spark (26)Are you planning a long flight with your child? If so, you may be nervous about the possible outcomes. Don’t fret! There are a number of things you can do to ensure your trip goes more smoothly. Here are seven secrets to surviving a long-haul flight with kids:

1. Bring an activity bag. Your child is less likely to grow bored or get cranky during your flight if you have plenty of things for them to do while you’re on the plane. Pack some of their favorite small toys, a coloring book and crayons, a notepad and pencils, and books for them to read. 

If you want to make the activity bag even more fun for your child, consider choosing a theme. If your child loves ladybugs, for example, you may want to opt for a ladybug themed activity bag. You could also plan the theme based on your trip. If you’re going to Walt Disney World, for example, consider packing a Mickey Mouse themed activity bag. The surprise will be fun for your child, which may make them focus less on the flight. 

2. Pack snacks for your child. Your child could grow hungry at any time, and it’s hard to say if the food that’s served on the plane is anything they will enjoy. Bringing some of their favorite snacks can help satisfy their hunger. Trail mix, energy bars, dried fruit, crackers, and fruit snacks can all be great options. 

3. Encourage your child to play games. Games can help keep children occupied, making them less likely to grow bored or cranky. Have them play I-Spy with things they see on the plane or on the ground below. 

4. Pack a comfort toy. If your child has apprehensions about flying, especially if it’s for the first time, it may be ideal to allow them to bring a comfort toy or blanket onto the plane. This may help ease some of their fears. 

5. Don’t plan anything for the next day. Your child is likely to experience jetlag after a long-haul flight. If your vacation allows, consider making the day after you arrive at your destination low-key. Consider just hanging out at the hotel pool or planning a trip to a museum rather than hitting the beach or amusement park, for example. Your child will enjoy the break, and it will help you avoid any temper tantrums or moods he or she may experience as a result of jet lag. 

6. Try to arrange a nighttime flight. Your child will be more likely to sleep through some of the flight if you plan it at his or her usual bedtime. By the time they wake up, you may have already arrived at your destination. 

7. Consider a stopover. If your flight is longer than 12 hours, arrange a stopover for at least one night. If you have the time, you could also stay for a few days and enjoy a second mini vacation while you’re at it. The stopover will help break the trip up and make it seem more bearable to your child. 

Traveling with children doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. By following a few of these travel secrets, you may find that your flight goes smoother than you expected.

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