A Cultural Tour of New York City


Just back from a month-long trip to Peru, my daughter and I were looking to do a few fun and exciting weeks in New York City before the schoolyear began. A huge, global city, New York is home to hundreds of different cuisines, and has neighborhoods upon neighborhoods that house various cultures and ethnic groups. We were yearning to explore different tastes and ideas, and therefore, the day after we returned, we went to Chinatown to take a look around, and I spent a day on a food tour, and then the two of us visited all sorts of museums and destinations in Manhattan for the next few days. 

Hot chocolate at Vosges
Rose entrance at the American Museum of Natural History
Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the Egypt area of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Central Park
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Go Climb a Rock in Joshua Tree National Park


Rock climbing is not a sport most people associate with children, but have you ever met a kid who did not enjoy scrambling to the top of a boulder or cliff to take in the view or simply feel great about being up so high?  Joshua Tree National Park in southern California is a fantastic place for your kids to get a real desert high.

A classic Joshua Tree
one of the best rocks for climbers
a family portrait on a natural bridge
coming down from a 100 foot route
our daughter, working her way up the wall
family portrait after conquering the boulder maze
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Zion National Park


Zion National Park in Utah is one of the most popular destinations in the southwestern US, and with good reason.  The beauty of the high desert with its red rocks, sheer canyon walls, towering sandstone formations, and the tranquil Virgin River leaves visitors stunned.  Plan to spend at least one week here, but if you can spare two weeks you will enjoy your visit even more.

Hiking to Angels Landing
along the Observation Point trail
at the summit of Angels Landing
ravens in a tree at the Temple of Sinawava formation
all suited up for a day hiking The Narrows
The Narrows
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Wall Drug, South Dakota


We left Rapid City early in the morning and made our way East toward the Badlands. Our first stop was Wall Drug. I remember visiting Wall, ND with Josh on our honeymoon. We passed through late at night, so nothing was open. The only thing I really remember is seeing the giant dinosaur by the road. Well, it turns out that Wall Drug is a first class tourist trap!

wall drug, the famous drug store in Wall South Dakota
chapel inside Wall Drug
kids playing arcade games at Wall Drug tourist trap
kids picking out rocks to buy at a souvenir shop
fun in a covered wagon
girl playing in a covered wagon at Wall Drug
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Yellowstone National Park


The world's first national park, Yellowstone, offers families all the rugged beauty of the American West in a setting that will captivate young and old alike.  Geysers, hot springs, abundant wildlife, and a diverse landscape all come together for a vacation your kids will talk about for years to come.  With all the park has to offer, you will want to spend a full week here!  We stayed for ten days and did not run out of great things to do.

Minerva Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs
the boardwalk at Mammoth Hot Springs
geyser basin
enjoying the drama of an Old Faithful eruption
interactive exhibits at the Visitor Education Center
the next predicted eruption will take place...
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Rapid City, South Dakota


We visited Rapid City, South Dakota this past July and we were amazed at just how much there was to do there! We're usually pretty nomadic when we travel, staying in one place for only a day at a time. This trip was different though. Our first night in Rapid City, we decided to camp at the Rapid City KOA. We've only been camping as a family a handful of times, but I have to say, staying at a KOA is a MUST with kids! They really take care of everything for you. I booked our campsite online as we drove into Rapid City that night and when we pulled in to check in, they had all the paperwork prepared and we had no hassles.

boy looking at turtles at Reptile Gardens
awesome birds at Reptile Gardens in South Dakota
kids looking at the animals in the Dome
boy looking at a giant snake at Reptile Gardens
kids looking at an alligator
giant alligator at Reptile Gardens in South Dakota
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Two weeks along the seashore in Narragansett, Rhode Island


I was born and raised in the state of Rhode Island, but now only have the chance to return every couple of years for vacations. This coastal state bordered by Massachussets and Connecticut not only boasts being the smallest state in the union, but is recognized for epitomizing New England beaches, seafood and ambiance. On this particular trip, my daughter and I stayed for two weeks in the town of Narragansett to soak in the sun and take long walks along our favorite family-friendly beach and see wildlife. If you're looking for a relaxing vacation far away from the city, this is just the spot.

Sand Hill Cove Beach
A lobster about to go into the pot from Champlins!
Enjoying ice cream and watching the fishing boats come in
Enjoying a traditional New England dinner at our beach house (rented through Durkin Realty)
Bird at Galilee Bird Santuary
Another great meal at Aunt Carrie's!
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Badlands, South Dakota


I wasn’t prepared for just how incredibly gorgeous it was! I almost think it was cooler than the Grand Canyon (don’t hate me!). We entered the park at the Pinnacles Entrance and headed West on Sage Creek Rim Rd to visit the Prairie Dog Town. It was dirt road the whole way there, so even though it was a short distance, it took awhile to get there. We saw a few prairie dogs popping up out of their holes (apparently they come out more in the evening).

girl running in the open fields at the Badlands
mom and daughter looking out at the Badlands
family trip to the Badlands in South Dakota
guy on a cliff visiting the Badlands National Park
family having a picnic lunch in the Badlands
kids climbing on rocks
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Martin Guitar Factory: Free Fun With Kids


It’s a bad idea to introduce your teenagers to Martin Guitars. The obvious difference in feel and playability opens their eyes in a very expensive way. The Martin Guitar Factory is an incredible blend of new technology and old craftsmanship. They’ve been making guitars here, in Nazareth, PA, since 1883 and the company is still owned by the original Martin family. The factory tour is free and well worth the drive out of your way if you’re in the general vicinity.

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Three days in Keystone, South Dakota


On our summer road trip, we visited South Dakota and spent several days in the Rapid City/Keystone area. There's not a lot to do in South Dakota with kids unless you're in this area and they sure made it a good tourist trap! There were so many things to see and do in Keystone! 

alpine slides in Keystone South Dakota
things to do in Keystone South Dakota alpine slides
honk the horn at Big Time Pizza
best pizza in South Dakota at Big Time Pizza
Mt Rushmore view from the binoculars
kids visiting national landmark Mt Rushmore
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