Family-Friendly Cities Your Kids Will Love

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As a mom that loves nothing more than seeing the world, I want to be able to show my kids as much of the world as possible. In a utopian world, I would love to hop around the globe with them in tow, jaws on the floor as we take in the sites of all 195 countries. Of course, right now, this remains a pipedream and leaves us wanderlust parents with the tricky decision of knowing where to prioritise.

For us, it has to be cities. It has to be exploring the gorgeous beating hearts across the world, where culture and diversity and history all come together like great oceans meeting. That’s where we want to start, by showing our kids the world’s most breathtaking metropolis’, starting with these kid-friendly cities:

  1. San Diego

Of all the places to start and end your day, nowhere is more special than the Omni San Diego Hotel in the downtown district; it has a heated rooftop pool, entertainment in every room and, best of all, a walkway to Petco Park, one of the most family-friendly baseball stadiums in the world. As for attractions to see, Balboa Park is must-pop-into-place and their legendary zoo with amazing parks and 14 museums should be on every list as well. Oh, and so should the New Children’s Museum, Air & Space Museum and SeaWorld.

  1. Paris

Once again, you could throw a dart at Paris and land in a nerve-janglingly beautiful hotel. However, or advice would be to stay in the Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel. A trip to Paris should be memorable, and this luxury hotel will certainly help you achieve that. What makes it such an amazing city, though, is the fact you can explore so many of the major attractions, parks and museums without having to travel too far – they’re all within walking distance. As for must-see spots, you have the Eiffel Tower, Cites Des Science, the Champ Elysees, the Catacombs and, just 45 minutes by train, Disneyland Paris.

  1. Portland

The heated pool at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower is what makes this the place to stay (not to mention the free breakfasts, that will make a light lunch a lot easier on the pocket). Moving onto what it is like as a city, though, it is about as relaxed and easygoing as anywhere on earth, which makes it perfect for those with toddlers or tinies. You have the Oregon Zoo, submarine tours at the Museum of Science and Industry, a planetarium, the Japanese gardens and, for dinner, some of the most mouth-watering eateries you can imagine (mmm hmmm, we’re talking about you Grilled Cheese Grill).

  1. Seville

If you want a rich cultural experience where everywhere you look throws up yet more colorful places for your eyes to gaze, then you need to board a flight to Seville in Spain. You can waltz around the Real Alcazar Palace feeling like royalty or get transported back centuries by taking in the Barrio Santa Cruz and introduce your kids to some of the most delicious foods anywhere on the planet, such as the local delicacy that is tapas.

Everyone Should Visit the Incredible Ice Castles in Colorado 

For the first time ever, Ice Castles are in Dillon, Colorado. Our family was so excited when we arrived and saw the ice sculptures for the first time. We were so curious what it would look like once we were inside. There are many areas to visit and two slides the kids loved going down over and over. We had so much fun taking pictures in the different viewing areas. This was a fantastic family adventure we would recommend for people of all ages. Check out their website icecastles.com to make your reservation today!

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens was Scary Family Fun!

Our family wanted to go to a special place to celebrate Halloween and we all agreed to go to Elitch Gardens in downtown Denver.  We always have a blast when we go there, but we have never been there during the Halloween season.  There theme this year was called Fright Fest!

It was so much fun to see our daughter dressed up in her costume, just like many other people attending the park and park employees dressed in scary costumes.  Our daughter really enjoyed the unique trick-or-treating she was able to do there.  The haunted house we visited was so scary our daughter almost started crying before we finished walking through it.  We all had such a great time and this event really put us in the Halloween mood this year.

#Fall Festivals Great for Families + $25 gc Target #GIVEAWAY!!!

Fall or Autumn is the time of the year when the weather is just right. Not too hot like summer yet not too cold like winter. It is just somewhere in between. In most places, it is also the time for harvest and when many fall festivals are being held. Every state has their own colorful activities for all ages and if you’re planning a family holiday getaway during this time, you should keep reading and take note of the dates.

Adirondack Balloon Festival – get to experience an awesome hot air balloon ride in Glens Falls, New York. They come in lively bright colors and riding them will give the chance to witness the breathtaking view of the Adirondacks. This year they are celebrating their 45th Anniversary, so make sure to plan for September 21-24 in your calendar for this event.

Cranberry Harvest Fest – the entire community of Wareham, Massachusetts is set to have this fest every 7th and 8th of October. Expect a colorful display of harvest, helicopters rides, cooking demonstrations and a whole lot more for the entire family.

Autumn at the Arboretum – if you’re a pumpkin lover, then this is the festival for you. You will be able to see an entire pumpkin village in Dallas, Texas, which is made up of more or less 75,000 pieces of pumpkins, squash and gourds. The festival will start from September 23 until November 22.

Coffee fall festival in Ohio – For all coffee lovers in and near Ohio, this would be the perfect place to be! Many great tasting coffee vendors gather to share their fresh coffee. This event is from Sept 30 to Oct. 3 and you will surely enjoy and pick the best brewed coffee for upcoming cold and wintery days. You can easily find out from HER Realtors page regarding events like this.

Oktoberfest Cincinnati – how can an Oktoberfest be left behind right? Cincinnati, Ohio will definitely sweep you off your feet as you will be able to experience their German Heritage. You will be able to taste authentic foods, hear music, great variety of beers and a lot more as they are being branded as the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the U.S.! If Ohio is too far from you, maybe your own area will have your own version as well.

Great news for all of my lovely readers! How would you like to win $25 gift cards from Target? It’s easy to enter, simply join this giveaway and you’ll get a chance to win $25 gift card from Target!

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U.S. Travel Destinations Your Family is Sure to Enjoy

Remember the days when you and your spouse would go on a leisurely vacation, spend hours by the pool and gaze into each other’s eyes over a nice quiet dinner? Now that you have kids, it may seem like you’ll never have those romantic vacations again; but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make lasting memories with little ones in tow. In fact, it can be a downright fun and exciting adventure that won’t soon be forgotten!

Here are some of the best travel destinations across the country to plan your next family vacation:

Orlando

Why? One word – Disney. It really is a magical place where adults get to be kids again. There is so much to see and do, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to do first. There is an endless selection of attractions, rides, restaurants and souvenir shops to keep you busy the entire time you’re there.

There are other sights as well, aside from the Disney Park, that are suitable for both adults and kids of all ages.

Sights you don’t want to miss: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, Epcot Center and Disney’s Blizzard Beach. Older kids will love Orlando’s Science Center.

Hollywood

Why? Where can you sightsee, shop in world-renowned fashion houses AND spot celebrities all in one day? Hollywood, that’s where! Not only does Hollywood offer great entertainment and night-life, it offers a great family vacation. Little ones and older kids alike will delight in all there is to see and do.

Sights you don’t want to miss: There are plenty of things to do in West Hollywood, such as the Halloween Carnaval, a free event that takes place on October 31st.

Stroll down the Sunset Strip where you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and even some wine tasting events.

There are plenty of museums to check out, as well as Universal Studios Hollywood, an attraction for kids and adults alike.

San Diego

Why? If you’re going to be in Hollywood, take the two-hour trip down to San Diego; you won’t regret it!

Sights you don’t want to miss: The world-famous San Diego Zoo is sure to delight everyone in your group. Home to more than 3,700 rare animals and species, it’s also home to more than 700,000 exotic plants.

For the Lego lovers in your family, a trip to Legoland California is a must. Plan on being here for the whole day!

SeaWorld San Diego is a popular attraction with both animals and plenty of rides for the thrill-seekers in your group!

Grand Canyon

Why? If you don’t want the hustle and bustle of the city, the Grand Canyon offers an excellent alternative. Ride along the Colorado River, marvel at the stars, or hike on the Bright Angel Trail.

Sights you don’t want to miss: Take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon for a unique look at Mother Nature’s finest; Desert View Drive offers breathtaking views of the canyon. There are many guided tours that take you along the edge of the Canyon for an up-close and personal look. For the very adventurous, walk the Grand Canyon Skywalk, with a glass floor, and views from 4,000 feet.

Washington, D.C.

Why? Because this city is fun AND educational! It’s estimated that the city sees more than 6 million visitors on business alone, but the capital city is also a popular family destination where kids can see their leaders in action. Aside from the obvious White House attraction, there are plenty of other museums and sites that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Sights you don’t want to miss: The National Air and Space Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the United States Holocaust Museum, and of course, the White House. Tours and sightseeing excursions can be booked online or in person.

Traveling with kids in tow can require a bit more advance planning and plenty of patience. But making memories as a family is priceless and you’ll treasure the memories for years to come.

Copper Mountain Witchcraft Event

Our family always looks forward to the fall season and Halloween. This year, we attended the Copper Mountain Witchcraft Event at the Copper Mountain Resort and we all had a great time! The drive there was gorgeous seeing the fresh snow on the mountain tops and the trees turning to fall colors. Our daughter, Rachel, was so excited to take her first hay ride and visit her first haunted house.

After we arrived at The Copper Mountain Resort, we walked into the festival and saw so much to do. Rachel wanted to find something that she could enjoy with other kids. She really had fun in the Bounce House playing and jumping around. She was dressed in her Wonder Woman costume for Halloween, so it was always easy to find her when she was bouncing around from side to side. After that, we had fun with the Apple Launch trying to get those apples in the target, my hubby won that contest of course. Then, Rachel said she was ready for the Haunted House. We really didn’t expect much, but we were really surprised! They really did an excellent job designing and setting up several areas and rooms that were so scary for Rachel and even for me I will admit. My hubby and I agreed this was one of the best Haunted Houses we have even seen!

Before we looked for something to eat and they had a lot of choices, we decided to take Rachel on her first hay ride. She really enjoyed the ride up up the mountain and had fun hanging out with the other kids on the ride. Our whole family really had so much fun at The Copper Mountain Witchcraft Event that we are looking forward to going again next year!

#TexasdeBrazil will be your favorite restaurant, incredible food & amazing service!

We wanted to go somewhere special for my birthday dinner, so we made a reservation at our favorite restaurant, Texas de Brazil.

It’s always a memorable evening when we enjoy the unique and amazing dining experience they create with their best salad you will ever see and the carvers who bring you their savory meats right to your table.

For me, it’s a challenge to save room for the incredible selection of meats after I visited the salad bar that included salmon, sushi, shrimp salad and lobster bisque. My hubby and daughter really enjoyed the salad bar, too. My hubby loved the fresh salad, green olives, cheeses and breads. It truly is the freshest salad bar with the best selection I’ve ever seen.

Then, we started to enjoy and savor the amazing and tasty meats their carvers brought to our table that included: Filet Mignon, BBQ ribs, pork loin, lamb chops, bacon wrapped chicken and sausage.  Also, the side items such as garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas which is my favorite and brazilian cheese bread are all really very good.

You really need to bring your best appetite with you when you visit the Texas de Brazil because the salad bar and meat carvers offer you such a great selection. Also, the service provided by our waiter, the meat carvers and the general manager is first rate. We really appreciate the complimentary dinner they provided our family in exchange for this review.

Our Summer Family Adventure at Copper Mountain Resort

Our family had a BLAST at the Copper Mountain Resort since we had their summer activity pass. They have so many activities to do that any family would have a great time. We started with the Go Karts since it was located where we parked.

My hubby drove our nine year old daughter, Rachel, in a Go Kart and I was driving in my own Go Kart. We had so much fun ‘racing’ each other around the track lap after lap.

After that, we took our Rachel to the Zip Line that goes over a small lake. This was her favorite activity even though she also really had fun on the rock-climbing wall, the Bumper Boats, Hydrobike and the Bungee jumping that is secured to the ground. Also, we really enjoyed riding the chairlift up the mountain to see incredible views and to take some fantastic pictures. Our family adventure at Copper Mountain truly was a memorable time for all of us.

Family visit to @elitchgardens amusement park

Our daughter was so excited to visit Elitch Gardens because she is nine years old and is tall enough to enjoy some bigger rides. She really likes roller coasters and kept asking who will go with her on the rides. After we arrived, she found a roller coaster she wanted to ride called the Mind Eraser. It looked really fast and so I volunteered my hubby to go with her. After the ride, they looked really excited and my hubby said his legs were a little wobbly because the ride was so exhilarating. Later, I enjoyed some rides with her and we all had a blast! This is such a great amusement park for families and people of all ages.

Family Days Out Could Be The Way Out Of Vacation Stress

No one can deny that traveling with children can be a lot of fun. Nothing beats that excited look on their faces as the plane lands, and they spot their first palm tree. But, there’s also no getting around the fact that taking children abroad can be stressful. You have to keep them amused and deal with their moaning about the heat. Oh, and then there’s the price of food and board. By the end of your time away, you’ll feel more exhausted than you did before you left!

If your time abroad stresses you out more than a day at the office, it might be time to change tack. Instead of jetting away, why not spend your next family break close to home? Days out are an amazing way to enjoy your time together. Of course, as with a holiday, a successful day out does involve some planning. That’s why we’ve put together a sure fire list for a hassle free experience.

Find The Best Places To Go

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At the start of your break, sit down and plan out where you would all like to go. The chances are that there will be some disagreements here. But, granting everyone a suggestion each is an easy way to reach a compromise. If you’re used to going abroad, you may not have any real idea about what’s available. So, take a look at local kid friendly activities to give you some ideas.  Look together, and write down a list of everything that appeals. Then, narrow that list down to fit into your vacation time. Try to keep driving distances in mind here. There’s nothing to stop you choosing activities further afield, but remember that traveling time cuts into your day!

Keeping The Kids Amused In The Car

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Nothing’s worse than the constant drone of ‘Are we there yet?’ when your kids are bored in the car. The downside of day trips is that there will be a fair amount of travel involved. When you go on vacation, you only have to travel there and back. If you’re doing a week or more of day trips, the car hours will soon add up. So, you need to keep your kids from groaning. If they’re bored, they’ll moan and bicker, and will probably be uncooperative when you get where you’re going. Think about easy ways to keep them happy. It may be worth buying them a treat for each day. Something small, like a coloring book, cd, or magazine, is sure to keep them amused for at least a little while.

Take Your Lunch

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During a day trip, time is of the essence. By the time you reach your destinations, you’ll probably only have a few hours in which to enjoy yourselves. You don’t want to waste an hour or two of that time trying to find somewhere for lunch. Instead, take food with you. Picnics are always fun, or you could keep some sandwiches in your bag to eat on the go!