Taking the Kids is your information resource for family, multi-generational and group travel. We have reports on thousands of family-friendly destinations including unique resorts, lodges, hotels, camps, theme parks, cruises and more. Creator Eileen Ogintz is a nationally syndicated travel columnist and the author of more than a dozen books.

Our Seasonal Travel Guides bring you the best ideas for vacations or getaways – Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring – plus Best Holiday Light Views and our Annual Cruise Guide

51 Great Ideas for Your Best Family Summer Vacation

Let the sun shine this year as we present 51 of the best summer family vacation ideas after two seasons of pandemic.

Spring Break Ideas to Meet Every Family’s Wish List

The Omicron variant might make family travel more complicated this spring, but it’s not an insurmountable obstacle!

Taking the Kids Annual Family Cruise Guide

Cruising with kids is back for 2022 with stringent health protocols, including vaccine and testing requirements — but not without controversy.

Best Family Getaways to Light Your Winter

Considering the best winter family getaways this season? The pandemic will again require us to make choices about where to travel or if, how to travel and when

Holiday Lights: Our Annual Guide to the Best and Brightest

This roundup of the top holiday displays across America compiled with The Family Travel Forum is your guide you to the best and brightest public events in 2020

Fun in the Snow: Our annual family ski guide

See how easy it is to book a value winter vacation that is safe and  guaranteed to please everyone… most of the time anyway.

21 Fabulous Fall Getaways for 2021

Let’s celebrate by planning a fall family getaway. We can safely head outdoors for fun. That means apple picking, pumpkin picking, corn mazes and hayrides.

The Best Virtual Family Vacation Ideas – while we practice social distancing

We hope you will use our virtual travel guide to make your life easier during this difficult period. Pardon the cliche, but we ARE all in this togethe

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Three Incredible Destinations in Belize

Belize should be on your family summer vacation idea list – beaches, jungles, history, culture, everyone speaks English and $ accepted by all

This is the year to cruise to Alaska

Calving glaciers, bears, eagles, and just-caught salmon and halibut. Welcome aboard your cruise to Alaska!

It’s safe to cruise again. Time to re-book!

Here’s the good news. We can sail safely on a cruise ship—even with young kids!

Dude Ranches: A Different Kind of All-Inclusive Resort

You can relax without worrying about planning, cooking, cleaning or entertaining the kids at an all-inclusive dude ranch resort.

WINTER GETAWAYS STILL A TOP PRIORITY; DOMESTIC TRAVEL DOMINATES

Allianz Partners reveals the findings of its first International Vacation Confidence Index, which surveyed 9,000 people across the EU and USA

Escape This Winter or Spring to a Family Dude Ranch

Choosing a vacation destination this winter or spring is a lot more complicated this Pandemic year than just deciding where to go. Think Dude Ranch!

Utah’s Alta Lodge Welcomes Generations of Skiers with Free Kids Programs

Alta Lodge has long hosted generations of skiers on family ski vacations in Utah. Family time on and off the slopes is at the core of who we are.

Cure Your Wanderlust on a Grand Canyon Rafting Trip This Fall

If your wanderlust is stronger than ever and you have some flexibility in your schedule, there may be no better time for a Grand Canyon rafting adventure than now.

Maine State Parks – perfect places for outdoor winter fun

Maine State Parks are perfect places for outdoor winter fun for families, whatever your ages or ability at winter sports.

Free entertainment nightly for the Holidays: Snowflake Lane, Bellevue WA

Free is good—actually really, really good during the always expensive holiday season. That—and the terrific nightly entertainment—is why Snowflake Lane is so popular in Bellevue, WA.

How travel insurance can help in emergencies large and small

Getting stuck without your clothes, laptop and phone charger pales compared to a medical emergency away from home. In either event, travel insurance certainly can alleviate the stress of the situation.

Fort Lauderdale Family Fun

Fort Lauderdale averages 246 sunny days a year? That there is plenty to do beyond the beach? And no worries if you don’t have snorkel gear or boogie boards

Family Destinations Where the Food Enhances the Sights

It isn’t always easy for parents traveling with children to find food options at popular destinations that cater to everyone’s taste. Sodexo changes that.

Include Travel Insurance in Your Summer Vacation Plans

As any parent knows, when kids are involved, unforeseen circumstances can materialize at the drop of a hat. Illness can sideline the entire family, resulting in financial losses such as costs for airfare, tickets to attractions and other non-refundable deposits.

Eileen’s weekly family travel columns “Taking the Kids” have been syndicated national in newspapers and websites since 1991

So much to see in Washington D.C.

Welcome to America’s front yard!  We’re talking, of course, about The National Mall in Washington, D.C. Consider that The National Mall...

It’s easy to travel more sustainably

Who really needs clean towels and sheets every day on vacation? Ditto for super-long showers. It’s not hard to travel more sustainably.

Best Gifts For Moms Traveling Again

What do traveling moms really want? They’ll tell you time together with their families. Grandmas, especially, are eager to make memories.

Get out and smell the wildflowers this season

Wildflowers come in many colors. Whether you are hiking, biking, camping or visiting a city, the coming months are a great time to see them

What The End Of Masks On Planes Means For Families

Families flying with small children are rightly confused over this week’s lifting of the federal transportation Covid-19 masking mandate.

Understanding Autism and celebrating differences

Who hasn’t had a travel nightmare? The worst I’ve heard is angry passengers booing as you try to calm a child on the autism spectrum.

Touring Athens like a local

As we begin to travel again, many of us want to travel differently — connecting more with locals like we did in Athens last year

Where the kids can blast off without leaving Earth

Very few of us can afford to be space tourists. But we’ve got more opportunities than ever to explore from Earth and to see what’s ahead for future space tourists.

Celebrating women when you travel this spring

As you plan your spring and summer trips, consider noting women’s contributions wherever and however you travel, especially with kids

Planning a road trip as gas prices reach record highs

Just as we feel safe planning for spring and summer trips, gas prices reach record highs. And they may get higher despite crude oil prices dropping at the moment, AAA says

Should you splurge on travel this spring and summer?

Especially during the pandemic, families have been seeking private enclaves, often within resort settings with resort amenities

Eight reasons to visit Ireland this year

Ireland just announced that it will be extending the festivities for a four-day-long weekend this year, as part of a big “thank you” to frontline workers and everyone else for enduring the COVID-19 pandemic

Slope Side Lodging for families, pooches too

Where would you go for an après ski treat? A snow beach or ice bar? S’mores made at a fire pit overlooking river ice floes. Perhaps a sleigh ride dinner.

Taking the kids on spring break safely

Especially this year, consider getting outdoors for spring break. The more time you can spend outdoors, the safer you’ll be.

How to explore the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad wasn’t underground nor was it a railroad. There were no tickets, guides or maps. It consisted of secret routes

How to chase your own Olympic gold in the USA

Here’s where you can take the kids and try an Olympic sport at Olympic venues in the United States, perhaps even getting the chance to meet former Olympians

Making time for romance on vacation

We step off our bungalow porch to the sand where beach chairs and hammocks await, we eat local dishes on an open terrace and enjoy nature-inspired spa treatments in a unique setting

Yellowstone (and other national parks) in winter

Bison certainly won’t be the only animals you will see on a winter visit to Yellowstone, the nation’s first national park celebrating its 150th birthday

How to have a safe and sane winter family vacation

Is a family vacation worth it this winter? For once, I’m not talking about how much it would cost or the hassle factor.

Kid-friendly California wine country this winter

Kids living and visiting Sonoma, California, never knew Antonia and Frank Bartholomew, but they owe them a big thank you.

Meeting locals the best way to explore

One visit to Athens won’t cut it. “You’ve got to come back for a second visit,” says Spyros Kagkas. I might say the same about experiencing New York, San Francisco, or Paris

Want to cruise again? Vaccinations are the ticket

Even with the new Omicron variant wreaking havoc with international travel, cruise executives believe their ships couldn’t be doing more to protect their guests and crew

Wishing for snow? Pray to Ullr

Some “experts” even suggest that the Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere is the spray from Ullr’s skis

Memories of South Africa Before Omicron

Since the news broke that the first cases of the Omicron variant had been found in South Africa, I’ve been thinking more about the people we met on that trip

Sustainable gifts for your favorite travelers

This holiday season, show how you are paying attention. Yes, you can donate in their name to a favorite nonprofit

The latest news and trends from the world of family travel.

The Curious Theatre in Denver

Live performances are springing back to life after two years and in Denver it’s great to have this “gutsy” little theater down the street

How road trippers can cope with high gas prices

We are all dealing with the impact of high gas prices and will have to adjust. Here’s how families can still vacation this spring and summer.

Inventors highlight Outdoor Retailer Show

Four inventors were among those showcasing new products at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver this week

Get Outdoors: It’s the Safest Place to Vacation

The Covid-19 experts say we’re safest outdoors and can even take off our masks in most settings. So, you’re thinking, where can you take the kids safely for a winter or spring break that won’t bust the budget?

What’s your go-to holiday tradition?

Vaxxed and boostered, we are excited to see how the Mile High City lights up the holidays

Memories from our first Pandemic cruise

There were a lot of perfect moments aboard the Wind Star despite all the changes the pandemic had wrought

A Farm Dogs Trip to Downtown Boston

I got to chase rabbits around my uncle’s garden and even waded into his koi pond, though I was yelled at for doing so and felt very bad. Very very bad indeed

Cruising is back soon: What’s your pick?

Princess, Carnival, and Holland America will be sailing from Seattle to Alaska starting late July without any port stops in Canada,

JetBlue and the Terrible Day at JFK

What should have been a simple 3 ½ hour direct flight from JFK Airport in Queens, NY, to Montego Bay, Jamaica, turned into an all-day and night travel odyssey

Cruises Returning for Summer 2021

The US cruise industry is moving quickly to resume sailings with a flurry of announcements that some cruises to Alaska will resume in mid-Summer from Seattle

Back in the air but pandemic rules still apply

The United flight was packed, including with many kids and infants—not surprising that we were headed from Denver to Orlando in late April

Epic, Ikon? What’s with these dueling ski passes?

Wherever you want to ski and ride and whether you plan just one week a year or every weekend, passes are a far better deal. This season reservations were required

An Epic Family Antarctica Adventure

Antarctica is the world’s most remote and coveted destination and World Navigator is perfect for families to share a once-in-a-lifetime adventure

Exploring new places through food—from home

For many of us, exploring new places through food is a big part of why we like to travel–from farmers’ markets to local groceries, bakeries and restaurants

THE KID’S GUIDE TO CAMPING

Falcon Guides is proud to announce the release of THE KID’S GUIDE TO CAMPING (978-1-4930-57887, May 2021, paperback) By Eileen Ogintz

Working with Writers Per Hour, you will always get the best results

Read about our most recent travel experiences.

How to ease the Disney experience with small kids

How to make the Walt Disney experience easier with small kids – stay on property, get to the parks early, afternoon nap, return evening

Away from the crowds in Park City UT

PARK CITY, UT — Crunch…Crunch. Crunch… The only sound out here in the Uinta National Forest outside of Park City, Utah is our snowshoes on the snow.

Why a vacation rental is great for family trips

We are opting for a vacation rental because it offer a better value and a kitchen, especially important when traveling with young kids and extended family

Snow day in Denver? Head up to Vail

Ruby Gorden, 8, was having the best snow day ever. Denver schools closed for snow, so Ruby, her dad, and younger brother drove up to Vail to spend the day on the slopes

Wrong turn and comfort zone on Vail Mountain

By Eileen Ogintz Uh OH… We took a wrong turn on Vail Mountain, not hard to do on such a big ski area with some...

Vail’s perfect ski-in ski-out hotel

What’s the best part? We’re at the ski-in-ski-out Grand Hyatt Vail and guests—young and adult—have their faves about the hotel.

Cooking with a local master over an open hearth

Marco has been cooking at Chaa Creek for years and is working to become a master chef. He will be cooking at the Masters Golf Tournament in Georgia in April.

Chaa Creek: Wildly civilized romance in Belize

Romantic? You bet! This he Lodge at Chaa Creek on the Macal River about two hours east of Belize City. It bills itself as “Windly Civilized. The resort has an unlikely origin

Next Trip – Pack a Pound of School Supplies

Are you ready for a challenge before your trip to Belize? All you need to do is pack a pound less in your suitcase.

Two Belizean Spas – all about nature

The Naia Resort & Spa on the coast near Placencia and the Chaa Creek Lodge hilltop spa inland are all about relaxation and nature

Can’t see monkeys? Hear the howling!

We could hear the howler monkeys—boy could we hear them howl—on a jungle walk on the Monkey River near Placencia, Belize

Vacation with ease – in Belize

Conch carpaccio or shrimp fritters? We are having lunch on the terrace at Naia Resort and Spa on the Placencia Peninsula of Belize

A Farm Dog’s Trip to the Big Apple

When my parents told me we were taking a special trip into New York City — The Big Apple –I did a very big excite.

Coconut Bay St Lucia: Multi generational haven

Finding the right place to accommodate everyone in your clan – from the youngest to the oldest – can be a daunting task, but it’s well worth the effort

Gravity Haus: Hotels as part of community

Don’t you sometimes wish you could transport the parts of your community you love most—especially  on vacation?

Celebrating the Norse god ULLR in Breckenridge CO

By Eileen Ogintz Breckenridge, CO -- Let’s all give it up for ULLR!  It seems the entire town of Breckenridge CO...

The Perfect Day at Coco Cay

Five hundred staff live full time on Coco Cay in the Bahamas to make sure Royal Caribbean guests have that “Perfect Day”  

Why We Cruise: The Food Helps Explain

In seven days aboard Carnival’s new megaship Mardi Gras, it’s impossible to do (or eat) everything offered on board

Carnival Cruises: Primed for Kids’ Return

“I miss seeing all the happy kids. And happy kids make parents and grandparents happy,” said Christine Duffy, the president of Carnival Cruise Line 

On Carnival Mardi Gras: What Pandemic?

Besides their new grandbaby, Gary and Christine Posavad have a new love–Carnival’s new ship Mardi Gras.

Carnival Mardi Gras’ New Orleans vibe

It is the first sea day aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s new megaship Mardi Gras and it is harder than you might think deciding where to go for brunch

Back to the future: Carnival’s new Mardi Gras

13 ships—including the brand new flagship Carnival Mardi Gras—are sailing from 6 US ports. And that’s just four months into Carnival Cruise Line’s restart

Visiting SUMMIT One Vanderbilt in NYC

Connected to Grand Central Terminal, the new super skyscraper Summit One Vanderbilt has fantastic views of the metropolis

Don’t jump in the pool in the Tonga Room!

The indoor 75-foot Plunge Pool was a hit with locals and celebrities alike when it was opened at the historic Fairmont San Francisco in 1929

Biking or Hiking – Sonoma’s Got the Sites to See

Bike or hike? Sonoma Valley may have more than 100 wineries, but there are 13,000 acres of state and regional parks as well.

Second acts: a century in the making

Frank Bartholomew, a United Press war correspondent, handed Antonia a deed for a run down 500-acre ranch in Sonoma, CA and then returned to cover World War II

An Escape, a new country and finally, a winery

Sichel’s connection to the wine industry began long before her partners purchased Laurel Glen—even before she was born

Tasting wine and eating well in Sonoma County

I love Sonoma County with kids—all of the hiking, biking…the Redwood Trees…kayaking, pumpkin patches in fall, kid-friendly restaurants

A Fleet Week Taste of San Francisco

Anyone who travels knows a perfect—or near perfect—vacation day is rare. So I count us lucky on this warm, sunny blue-sky October Day in San Francisco

Star Wars or Marvel Superheroes?

I just returned from a preview of 2022 and this is what I discovered: Disney has you covered no matter what you like best…

Excel High School offers Online Middle School

Taking the Kids Web Stories

Summaries of our travels reviews, photos, more… easy to read on mobile devices. Under a minute!

Cool stuff we like and recommend for your travels

Great water sandals made from recyclables

Chaco sandals, long favorites for rafters, hikers and those kicking back somewhere sunny and warm are made from recyclable plastics

No-hassle road trip coffee

Here’s another way to travel sustainably — make a hot cup of specialty coffee as easily as a hot cup of tea. And help save the planet.

Small batch sauces for road trips

When we travel, we also like to cook or grill on the road. But provisioning can be difficult - we don't want to bring too much and have too much left over at the end of the trip. So next time, instead of a big bottle of BBQ sauce from the supermarket, it'll be a small...

The Athena jump starts your road trip

On your next road trip, you can recharge all your electronic devices — even jump-start your car in an emergency.

Fresh coffee guaranteed for your next trip

When you’re traveling and want a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, it’s a bummer when you can’t get a fresh cup.

Safe drinking water in a reusable bottle

An easy and cost-effective way families can travel more sustainably is by using a water purifier bottle instead of buying single use plastic bottles.

Inspired by sardines and great for outdoors

Inspiration often strikes when you’re looking for something else. Ask the inventors of Freshe Meals. In this case it was sardines.

Staying hydrated on the slopes

When you’re on the slopes, truly enjoying a Blue Bird ski day, the last thing you want is to stop for a drink of water. Camelbak has solutions for you.

Non-toxic baby bath products from Hand Over Heart

As a new mom of a 12-week-old baby boy, I try to create a non-toxic environment in my home by using safe and natural products. From nursery furniture to toiletries, I have frequently found “greenwashing” in baby products.

Sustainable, comfortable from Royal Robbins

I love it when travel clothes are  comfortable, versatile  and sustainable so I can brag about how I care about the planet.

Hoka delivers in a comfy sneaker

We wore out last sneakers during long walks during the Pandemic, when our gym was closed for nearly a year. For back-to-workouts, we needed new gear

MUST-HAVE HATS

I was surprised by all the choices from Coolibar and Colorado-based Wallaroo Hat Company, a woman-owned business.

Packing Light

Now that I’ve discovered Royal Robbins, a company that makes versatile, ethically produced travel wear, I may cure my bad packing habit

Walking on a cloud

Have you ever made the mistake of going sightseeing in uncomfortable footwear?

Kurobuta Pork On the Go

Great to take camping or to vacation rentals! Family-owned and operated, True Story Foods is bringing Kurobuta Pork to the masses.

The Stella Falone Story

If you are looking for a Father’s Day gift—or a gift for yourself—consider a Stella Falone cutting board, sustainably made and connected to music!

Tangy Sauces Made with No Sugar

Abe Kamarck, a former Navy helicopter pilot and MBA, was distressed that the ketchup and BBQ sauce his four kids were eating had too much sugar.

Convenient Libations On the Road Trip

On a camping or road trip, you might be the only one who wants a glass of wine or a certain cocktail. You don’t want to bring along multiple glass bottles.

Yeti’s new Roadie 24 Hard Cooler

For shorter trips, like a day at a nearby state park, the new Yeti Roadie 24 Hard Cooler ($199.99) gets the job done and saves a lot of space in the car.

Cool new travel shirts from Royal Robbins

Cool, dry, comfortable – that’s what you need for the summer road trip, hike, or day on the beach. These men’s short sleeves from Royal Robbins meet the need.

A new place or travel experience to think about every day

Bronx Zoo Bison Join Osage Nation Herd in Oklahoma

Three male and three female Bronx Zoo-born American bison have been transferred to the Osage Nation in Pawhuska OK

Tips for Keeping Kids Active and Healthy

No matter what the weather brings, playing outside is good for kids. Doctors and scientists offer tips for keeping kids active outdoors

World Turtle Day International Event May 23

The American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) is “shellebrating” its 22nd international World Turtle Day on May 23 with events worldwide.

34th Annual Fleet Week NYC starts May 26

NYC’s Intrepid Museum will celebrate the 34th annual Fleet Week, May 26–May 30, with a week of activities and events

Meow Wolf plans two Texas locations

US-based arts and entertainment company Meow Wolf plans to open two new permanent exhibitions in Grapevine and Houston, Texas.

World’s First LEGO Ferrari Build and Race Attraction

:LEGOLAND California Resort is officially opening the world’s first LEGO Ferrari Build and Race interactive attraction.

Get in touch with academic essay writing service – CustomWritings – with a team of academic experts.

Eileen has published a veritable libary of Kids Guides to American Cities, national parks – the latest on camping!

Latest book - May 2021 - Kids Guide to Camping

The Best of Taking the Kids

We share our best family travel experiences over the recent years, international and domestic, at sea and in the mountains – every continent!

Second acts: a century in the making

Frank Bartholomew, a United Press war correspondent, handed Antonia a deed for a run down 500-acre ranch in Sonoma, CA and then returned to cover World War II

Apex day 2 – A woman following her dreams

Fragedaki is an engaging teacher as she instructs us on how to make spinach pie, tzatziki (a cucumber yogurt sauce), and stuffed tomatoes and peppers

Jamaican Food at Its Best: Star San

Award-winning and well-known Jamaican Chef Brian Lumley is showing us how to make coconut curry shrimp and just-caught fish—lionfish, parrot fish, snapper

The White Stallion Ranch experience

If you thought a dude ranch was just about horses, think again—even a historic one like the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, owned by the True family for decades

A unique Colorado experience

Only the huge stone fireplace is left of the Nanny’s Cabin and Camp Vigil is the kid-friendly Ranch at Emerald Valley, part of the historic Broadmoor Resort

Here’s to new culinary adventures!

Likely because we are stuck at home, I’ve been thinking about once-in-a-lifetime outdoor meals we’ve enjoyed on vacation.

Weather can’t spoil a trip to remember down the Grand Canyon

Finally! Five hours after we were scheduled to leave, the helicopters started to fly again, taking two or three passengers at a time rather than four because of the conditions

A hike to remember: North Rim of the Grand Canyon

After a five-mile hike, we’re sitting on a rock taking in the panoramic view from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park: Hoodoo you think you’re feeling?

Hoodoos actually have eroded out of cliffs, forming thin walls of rock called fins.Isn’t nature amazing?! Here at Bryce Canyon we are at the top of what is famously called “The Grand Staircase”

Three generations, 75 years: The Averill family and Flathead Lake Ranch

Flathead Lake Lodge is much more than a lodge – it’s a ranch, farm and acre upon acre of wilderness and lakefront.

Bear jam in Grand Teton National Park – for a very good reason

Meet Grizzly #399, perhaps the most famous bear in North America not only because of her advanced age (24) but her fertility (she has had seven litters—20 cubs. This year’s quadruplets, Smith said, account for only two percent of Grizzly Bear litters.

Taking the Kids — on different kind of trip to Alaska

You can’t get much more remote — or farther away from cruise crowds than at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, which opened 10 years ago — the first and only lodge in the national park and accessible only by a four-hour boat trip from Seward

To a special Jamaican villa

The experience, of course, is entirely different, as I discovered. Think being on a mega cruise ship with morning-till-night activities vs. your own private yacht with a staff to cater to every whim

Seeing San Antonio like local families

At the state-of-the-art Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, where you can step inside a cast of an Alamosaurus footprint at The Dino Lab. What’s different from other dinosaur exhibits? This one is focused on ancient creatures that called Texas home, including ancient fish, turtle and, yes, a full-size Tyrannosaurus rex.

To a galaxy far, far away

Kevin Gerber isn’t even a “Star Wars” fan, but he had happily just spent $100 to build a droid with his 5-year-old son at Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’s Droid Depot

San Antonio has a new kind of “Pearl”

Pearl is the new go-to area of San Antonio – a 22 acre mixed use space for housing, shopping, dining, a year-round farmer’s market, riverside amphitheater and the third campus of the Culinary Institute of America

Tips from kids finishing their first cruise

On this “day at sea,” the kids put off playing a game in Club Mariner to impart some wisdom for kids whose parents and grandparents may be planning a cruise

To Robben Island, a Relic of South Africa’s Apartheid Regime

Nelson Mandela would have turned 101 this year, at a time when South Africa has been rocked by political corruption and still fraught with the ills that Apartheid wrought

This could be one of the best seasons ever for river rafting in Colorado – we know!

We just spend five days and four nights on the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument with the premier river rafting outfitter OARS. Take a look at some of our photos

A historic Army post transformed — San Francisco’s Presidio

Welcome to San Francisco’s Presidio — nearly 1,500 acres transformed from a bustling army post to a national park, the largest national park in an urban area, drawing 7.5 million visitors a year

World-class snow sculptures draw crowds from all around to Breckenridge CO

Young Colorado art critics were among the thousands who came to Breckenridge to see the results of the work of 16 teams from around the world that came to this historic mountain town to create enormous snow sculptures

On a safari planned for more than seeing amazing wildlife

The Madikwe Game Reserve borders Botswana to the north and is home to the famous “Big Five.” Before breakfast one morning, we’d seen four of them — lions, elephants, Cape buffalo and white rhino

Eating your way through Italy

Food has become increasingly important to traveling families as kids have expanded their palates by first watching the Food Network and then trying new foods on vacation. I can’t think of a better way to experience a new culture than through food or a better place than Italy where it won’t take any coaxing to convince kids to “eat local.”

Little Taste of Italy – Part 2

Little Taste of Italy Part II starts at the Umbria Region farmhouse (viaumbria.com) in Canarra with tours of Perugia, Spello, Assissi and Gubbo, then moves to Bologna and Parma, where we observed the making of Parmaggiano Reggiano cheese.

A Little Taste of Italy – Part 1

A Little Taste of Italy – October 2018 – Pt 1 – Starts in Milano with tour of Verona and Valpolicella Wine Region, followed by 6-day Uniworld River Cruise aboard the River Countess. Excursions to Ferrara, Padua, Chiccogia and Turano, with lots of time to explore Venice.

A big lesson in tolerance and humanity — Assisi Italy

Today, six million people a year visit Assisi, a hillside medieval town of 25,000 in Umbria, making it the second most visited religious site in Italy after Rome

At the Crested Butte Chili and Beer Festival, It’s Not About Winning or Losing

For my husband and daughter, it proved a fun shared experience—choosing the recipe, shopping for ingredients, and then two evenings cooking in our VRBO rental

Trooper’s Big Adventure Becoming a Mountain Dog in Breckenridge, CO

A first Gondola ride up a mountain is exciting for anyone—dogs included. And when Trooper gets to the base of Peak 8 on Breckenridge mountain, she is officially a mountain dog!

Taking the Kids — to Berlin

There’s no better place to see reconciliation at work that than in Berlin where the Berlin Wall, as of last month, has been down longer than it was up

Spending New Year’s with the whales in Antarctica

Everyone is busy getting ready for the black-tie New Year’s Eve bash. Here in Antarctica, it’s a giant penguin party, of course. Whales are invited too

Our special place — Curtain Bluff Resort on Antigua

“This is our special place,” said Gwen Larder. I get it. We honeymooned here 35 years ago and have returned 5 times. Curtain Bluff is our special place too.

Biking in the rain along the Danube in Austria

It is pouring, raining so hard that we’re getting soaked despite good rain gear. Did I mention we are on bikes riding alongside the Danube River in Austria?

Taking the Kids — to family reunion central

As fun as Colorado is in the summer, there’s something more important going on here at the YMCA of the Rockies. “It’s eating and joking around with all of our cousins.”

To Antarctica, South Georgia and Falklands – a trip of a lifetime even for kids

We walked amid thousands of penguins (we saw five species) not bothered by our presence and fur seals who were. The huge elephant seals ignored us, as did the humpback whales we watched from zodiacs.

South Georgia Island: home of the Oakum Boys

they’re juvenile King Penguins, also known as “Oakum Boys,” who still have a fluffy coat of downy brown feathers and they’re pecking at their moms to feed them

Taking the kids to Germany’s famous Christmas markets

Germany has the most holiday markets in Europe, drawing tourists from around the world, though you’ll also find them a popular holiday tradition in neighboring Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia.

At Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado – on a different kind of snow vacation

I wondered when I planned this trip if my gang of grown kids, who love nothing more than tearing down those steep slopes, would like a more laid-back holiday — at least for a few days on a week-long winter trip to Colorado. I needn’t have worried.

Why Cuba? History and reconciliation and the recipe for Cuban life

Cuba: “a dose of World War II rationing, a pinch of Soviet era austerity, the family values of South America, the educational values of the US and the loquaciousness of the Irish.”

TO CUBA ON THE FIRST AMERICAN SHIP TO SAIL HERE IN NEARLY 60 YEARS

I’ve learned first hand that encouraging kids to be global citizens, to be comfortable outside their own comfort zones, helps them navigate unfamiliar and difficult turf in their lives as they grow up.

Confronting Germany’s dark history: how the mighty had fallen

As I kept thinking about all of those architectural monstrosities that we saw on our tour of Nuremberg, I reminded myself of that photo I saw in Berlin of the Nazis crouching in fear at war’s end. How the mighty have fallen, I thought.

The sights, sounds and scents of Tokyo, Japan

It is eight in the morning and we are a few blocks from the hotel at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan’ largest. More than 15,000 people work here; international tourists line up in the early hours of the morning for the chance to watch the famous fish auctions,

A haunting visit to an elementary school in Hiroshima

I’ve got chills as Amber Whaley, 12, and her friend Miko Uno, 11, lead us into their elementary school’s basement. This was all that was all that remained of the Honkawa Elementary School when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima 70 years ago this past August 6.

Shopping in Tokyo’s ‘Kitchentown’

There’s shop after shop of kitchen wares—ceramic sake cups, wooden bowls for miso soup, colorful bowls for rice, all varieties of chop sticks and of course hand-made Japanese knives that will be engraved on the spot with your name in Japanese. And everything is a bargain!

Cruise follies, foibles, TMI, TLI and unexpected discoveries

No cruise is complete without its follies and unexpected discoveries.

Returning to Tokyo after 60 years revives old childhood memories

60 years ago my father, a U.S. Air Force officer, moved his growing family to Japan for four years. So when we had the opportunity to visit Tokyo this month, I naturally thought of my childhood and wondered if we could try to find some of my old haunts.

Families trying falconry, the sport of kings

We are at Ireland’s School of Falconry — the oldest in the country and home to more than 30 birds, including the always popular Dingle the owl. The school is located at Ashford Castle

On a multigenerational cruise with Windstar in Scotland

The 91-year-old had chosen the Windstar Star Legend, a 212-passenger ship for a cruise with her 17-year-old grandson— one of three yachts without the line’s famous sails that the company has recently acquired from Seabourn

The Miracle of Camp 60 – in the Orkney Islands north of Scotland

In the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland, our cruise excursion takes us to an unexpected place: The Italian Chapel at a former POW camp, also known as The Miracle of Camp 60.

Now this is a real pasta machine: in the charming village of Grazie

Day Six – at charming small restaurant La Locanda de le Grazie in the village of Grazie just a few miles outside the amazingly preserved undiscovered Renaissance city of Mantova (Mantua in English).

To Norway, the land of fjords, ‘Frozen’ and family fun

No, not the Splash Mountain in Walt Disney World or Disneyland, we’re actually in Norway touring the gorgeous fjords with Adventures by Disney where one waterfall is bigger and more awesome than the next

Memories of Monet’s Garden: where a little girl led the way

From the time we told Melanie we were going to France that summer, she insisted we must visit Monet’s Garden. It wasn’t that far-fetched an idea.

A visit to Lady Liberty and Ellis Island on a cold January day

Despite the blustery January weather, crowds of bundled-up tourists from around the world lined up to take the Statue Cruises ferry to Liberty Island, good-naturedly taking off belts and watches for the security screenings. The second stop would be historic Ellis Island

Two weeks in France visiting Paris, champagne country and Normandy via river cruise

Arriving in Paris jet-lagged, a quick trip to see Monet’s water lillies at the Musee de L’Orangerie was just the tonic. Armed with a Paris Pass, we didn’t have to wait in a long line for tickets.

Fulfilling a long-held dream: the hike from Crested Butte to Aspen

As I struggled to my feet, I smiled remembering all the times her dad and I were trying to avoid a meltdown

Remembering the long goodbyes as we took our kids to college

Two parents, five overweight bags and a college-bound daughter about to burst into tears. Talk about a stressful beginning to the Long Goodbye.

Cleared for takeoff — over the Alaska Range

Kantishna Air Taxi mostly flies visitors around the mountain, said our pilot Andy Young. “A plane in Alaska is like a car anywhere else,” he explained. “It is how we get around. There just aren’t any roads in a lot of the state.”

Kayaking at the Top of the World

We are in bright yellow inflatable kayaks steering with foot pedals (I feel kind of like I’m on bumper cars cruising around the fjord, the ship in the distance, crew watching us from zodiacs. As safety is always a concern here, we are given signalers to wear around our neck—should we tip over. But the kayaks are steady and the water so calm. It is only 32 degrees but with the sun shining, it feels much warmer.

The Galapagos Islands — not cheap, not luxurious, but oh the wildlife and the memories!

This wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice for an expensive vacation. There are no beach chairs or bars on these protected beaches, where tourists may only venture with a guide. But this is an adventure we’ll never forget, starting with those sea lions we spotted on San Cristobal Island, snoozing on rowboats as if they owned the place.

TIME TO GO FISHING AGAIN – to a great resort in Canada

Last summer, after many years away from the sport, son Matt and I decided it was time to go fishing again. We recruited our cousin-in-law Mike Sitzman and his dad John, who live in Golden, CO to join us. After some basic internet research we decided upon a spot in Canada’s Ontario Province – Garden Island Lodge

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with my daughter

Many people who lose 35 pounds would splurge on a new wardrobe. I opted for this adventure—one I could share with my daughter before she left for college. That was six years ago and I’ve traveled the world since. Still, our Kili Climb remains one of the most memorable trips we’ve ever taken.

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