Madison, Wisconsin

Oct
01

We visited the Ohlbrich Botanical Gardens in the morning. We toured the Bolz Conservatory first and the kids really enjoyed it. There were tons of beautiful trees, flowers, and plants to look at. There were some canaries and quails running around and there were giant koi swimming in the little ponds. Once we finished checking out the indoor gardens, we headed outside. It was SO hot that day! We toured most of the garden and then happened upon the Rose Garden, which had a giant fountain in it. We were melting hot, so we let the kids get their feet wet. That turned into an epic water fight and before we knew it, we were all drenched. But at least we were cooled off and happy!

kids visiting Bolz conservatory
Bolz Conservatory at Ohlbrich Gardens
boy visiting the botanical gardens
girl looking at pretty flowers at the garden in Madison
outdoor gardens at Ohlbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison Wisconsin
Thai Garden at Ohlbrich Gardens
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Tennessee Aquarium and Other Chattanooga Water Adventures

Oct
01

My two young boys and I packed the car and headed two hours north of Atlanta, GA to Chattanooga, TN.  This small Tennessee town is non-stop kid action, from the aquarium to the zoo! Our mission on this particular visit was water-based.  We visited the Tennessee Aquarium and watched a shark-themed IMAX movie.  We stayed at the city’s only 4-diamond hotel, which includes a gem of a pool, and then visited Coolidge Park, complete with water fountain fun and a carousel. Finally, we ended our trip with a walk over the Tennessee River on the world’s longest pedestrian bridge.

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Western Australia Road Trip

Oct
01

The number one out of Perth headed south looks a lot like the wilds of Arizona, and occasionally like the north loop around Chicago, with the highway divided around the commuter rail down the center. Of course the gum trees and the left hand drive separate the experience from the midwestern states, as does the fresh hibiscus laying on the dashboard. Yellow sandy soil dotted with bleached barked scrub and foliage in every shade of dusty green line the highway with buildings thinning out the further we move from the city. Perth is the most isolated city on the planet. It’s closer to Jakarta, Indonesia than it is to it’s own capital city of Canberra. It’s a little island of civilization on the extreme west of Australia.

Western Australia Road Trip
Boranup Campsite
Green's Pool
Coastal Western Australia
Hamelin Bay Rays
Beach Art
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Indianapolis With Kids

Sep
26

We are lucky enough to have Grandparents who live in Indianapolis, and two of our children were born there. It’s a place we return to at least once a year to catch up with family. It’s also one of those “hidden gems” in the midwest. Indiana isn’t usually on any tourist itinerary for the USA, but it’s a fantastic place to see the “real America.” It’s also home to some really fantastic activities for kids that shouldn’t be missed!

Racing museum
Jan's Village Pizza
Connor Prairie
Indy Speedway Hall of Fame
Indy Speedway Hall of Fame with friends
Race Cars
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Wildlife Art in Wyoming: Not Your Average Museum

Sep
22

Just outside the city of Jackson, Wyoming, not far from Grand Teton National Park lies a museum you might be tempted to pass up for fear it would not be a kid-firendly experience.  But we can assure you the National Museum of Wildlife Art is a worthwile stop for families. 

raven painting realism
moose sculpture
putting on a play in the Discovery Gallery
kids can create their own wildlife art!
the Sculpture Trail
dress up theatre in the Children's Gallery
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Highlights of a Ten-Day Walking Tour in Paris, France

Sep
20

Although Paris is known for its clean and efficient underground Metro service, I wanted to really get a sense of the city by walking through its streets with my daughter. I planned to visit destinations mainly along the Seine River, as I knew it would take no more than an hour to reach any of the sites on our itinerary (except for Sacred Coeur and Chez Gladines, which, being relatively far away from the river, were the only places on which we relied on the Metro to reach). Starting in the morning and often not stopping until the evening, we strolled through the city as the flaneurs in the 19th century once did, allowing ourselves to get lost on a regular basis, stopping to ask for directions from strangers, and just generally getting to know Paris in a more intimate way than if we had relied on taxis and the Metro. While we visited -quite literally- hundreds of cafes, restaurants, shops, street sellers, monuments and museums, below I've listed only our top thirteen favorite culinary, cultural, and educational highlights of our trip. 

Notre Dame Cathedral
Visiting the Louvre
Checking out the locks on a bridge over the Seine
View from the Eiffel Tower
Children playing in Tuileries Garden
Halfway up the Eiffel Tower!
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Exploring the 19th Century Wonders of Prospect Heights and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York

Sep
16

When most families visit New York, they make a beeline for Manhattan. While Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Central Park should definitely be on a visitor’s travel itinerary, Brooklyn, known as Manhattan’s “Big Sister,” has countless notable and important destinations and is, I think, well worth exploring. As the biggest of five New York City boroughs, however, one might wonder where to begin! I believe that the area around Prospect Park, developed in the 19th century around the time of the Civil War, is particularly steeped in history, and boasts a museum, public museum and natural spaces on par with any found in Manhattan. I visit this area regularly with my daughter and friends on both sunny and rainy days, and am never left wanting. Prospect Heights and the bordering Prospect Park delight young and old family members alike while allowing teens to boast to their friends back home, “I went to Brooklyn!”

Sea lion at Prospect Zoo
My daughter and a friend at Prospect Park
Big Field in Prospect Park
Cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Prospect Heights
We made a new friend in Prospect Heights!
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The Grand Canyon: a Grand Experience for the Family

Sep
13

The Grand Canyon is one of those places everyone should see in their lifetime.  When we first visited, our children were too young to hike to the bottom so we planned a return trip this spring with a two-night stay at the Bright Angel Campground at the bottom of the canyon. While the distance may seem overwhelming to a family, we found that good planning and allowing plenty of time made for an experience our kids will never forget. 

the Bright Angel trailhead
along the trail to the bottom
about halfway down and everyone is still having fun!
lunch at our campsite in Bright Angel
photographing plants along the river
a view from the Colorado River, at the canyon floor
Posted By Jenni Keiter read more

Merida, Mexico: The White City

Sep
12

Welcome to Merida, the White City. Merida is an excellent example of the combination of modern Mexico and the history of a beautiful colonial city. Francisco de Montejo founded Merida in 1542. When the Spaniards arrived here this was a thriving Mayan metropolis called Tho. After they conquered the city they totally dismantled all of the buildings and pyramids and used the stones as the foundations for the Cathedral of San Idelfonso. This is the oldest Cathedral on the American continent and was built in 1556. 

Murals: Palacio de Gobierno
Murals: Palacio de Gobierno
Mercado: Fish
Mercado: Head
Zocalo: Night Party
Chichen-itza
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Sydney, Australia: Culture & Adventure for families

Sep
04

Sydney, Australia, is one of those cities that captivates her visitors and begs them to stay longer, explore further, do more, and fall in love. We knew that four days would only be enough to scratch the surface; nonetheless, we jumped in with both feet and made the most of every moment. If you’re strategic about your planning and you stay in a central location, you’ll be amazed at how much you can pack into your days.

BridgeClimb Sydney
Bondi-Coogee Beach walk
Bondi Beach
Bondi-Coogee Beach Walk
Dinner in The Rocks: Ezra eats kangaroo!
Holiday Inn Old Sydney Room detail
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