One of my strongest memories from middle/high school is driving in a bus for what seemed like days (probably about an hour) to go see Plymouth Rock. We’d been studying the pilgrims and were excited to see the spot, the very spot, where the first pilgrim set foot on America in 1620. We drove, we parked, we disembarked, we saw a large pavilion, we walked over, and there is was, a rock. I was shattered. I don’t know what exactly I expected of an attraction named “rock” but that certainly wasn’t it.
Today, I took the kids to “blog the rock.” A great opportunity to write about educational adventure with kids right? Over breakfast, Bill got out Wikipedia and I read a local brochure about the rock out loud. We devoured delicious pancakes and omelets as we learned about the following saga: Read more
We held a little contest to solicit feedback from readers. What tips or ideas from our book did you use and how did it work? We out together a fun family travel goody bag for each winner and shipped it … Read more
Dwellable has a great new look! What is Dwellable? A nifty app for finding rental houses all across the country.
This past winter, I was bored and waiting for my daughter to finish up at the physical therapist. I downloaded the Dwellable app (Sync!) and started looking for a getaway cabin (Search!). And, voila, I ended up in a hot tub (Soak!) at “The River Chalet”. Note: If you read that with a french accent, it sounds even better.
Dwellable was good then. Now, it’s new and improved. How? First off, it starts with calming waves. Now, I have to admit that I liked the crisp square pictures but there are just too many destinations for squares now! That’s the second big improvement, Dwellable now covers the whole USA. They seem to be adding new properties by the minute. In fact, I checked for houses on Cape Cod a few months ago and I checked again today. Lots of new houses just in West Yarmouth alone! Third, it’s still fast and maybe even faster. Unlike other phone apps where I can doze off while waiting for something to load, Dwellable zips along. It’s so fast, I can actually start searching for house rentals in line at the grocery store. Fourth, the houses are great! Staying in a house while traveling with kids can be easier and cheaper than staying in a hotel. Playing around on Dwellable helps make it happen. Read more
Vienna ist für kinder! Vienna, Austria boasts castles, boat rides, music history, gorgeous Hapsburg-yellow buildings, and fantastic parks. We lived in the 19th district of Vienna for six months in 2008 with two young kids and we fell in love. Many activities and museums are designed specifically für kinder (for children) and others are just naturally fun für kinder. Here are a few of our favorite hidden family hotspots. Read more
Manhattan can be an expensive and intimidating destination for anyone. It’s a great place to travel as a family but it’s challenging to get past the big tourist destinations and into the real city. Here’s a few of our recent finds to get you started! The Tenement Museum is a fantastic window into the history of New York City and into America in general. It should not be missed but you must get your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Visits to the museum are by guided tour and there are several unique packages to choose from. Most of the tours take place at 97 Orchard Street, a renovated tenement building with a basement and 5 floors, each housing a different window into history. The building once housed 2 shops and about 22 apartments, each only 325 sq ft and without plumbing or electricity. During a 70 year period centered on about the turn of the last century, approximately 7000 individuals and 30 different businesses were housed in this one building.
We took their newest tour, the “Shop Life” tour, on the bottom level and enjoyed an overview of life as a new immigrant to New York with emphasis on the wave of German immigrants from about 1860-1880. We learned through old photos, newspaper clippings, an interactive card game, visiting rooms, holding artifacts, and a high-tech smart board (you may be impressed by the high tech smart board but your child will likely be a lot less impressed as there are many in school classrooms across the country). The 90-minute experience gave us all a multi-faceted vision of what life was really like for the proprietors, John and his wife Caroline, as well as glimpses into the other businesses that once occupied the building including a kosher butcher, an undergarment factory, and an auction house. The finale was a video of a nearby contemporary local storeowner and wrapped up the tour with thoughtful style and a new perspective on modern NYC life. The tours are billed for kids aged 8 and up because they do involve listening, sitting, and not touching. There are also food-sampling tours, live actress Read more
We’re interested in what readers have taken from our book. What has worked and what hasn’t? So we’re hosting a little contest. Please tell us if you used an idea from the book or if you have something new to … Read more
Colonial Williamsburg has to be America’s quintessential educational family travel destination. It’s like Disney for the NPR-crowd. Kids have fun and think they are on vacation. Almost accidentally, they learn about American history by watching and interacting with characters in costume. We had a great time but found it challenging to get our arms around the entire experience. There is too much to do in a short visit and yet I’m not sure parents or kids are likely to enjoy more than a few days at a time. Based on our recent visit, here are a few insider tips to help your family have a blast.
Colonial Williamsburg might also be one of the most photogenic places on Earth. We hope you enjoy a small sample of the five zillion photos we took while visiting. Read more
Planning a visit to Seattle? Or do you live in Seattle and want to enjoy a downtown day with your kids? Our awesome photo scavenger hunt will keep your kids walking, happy, and engaged! Actually adults like it too. It’s just plain fun and helps anyone enjoy the details of our fabulous city.
The area covered by our scavenger hunt is the downtown core. Walk on 1st Avenue between Pike’s Place and Pioneer Square. As a round trip, you will want to come back along 3rd with short detours to see the library and the opera hall. End up at Westlake Center and take the monorail to Seattle Center. You’ll capture all the pictures within this route. You can get off at Seattle Center (no photos there – makes for a long day) or buy a round trip ticket in advance and just enjoy the ride. Read more