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

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.

51 Great Ideas for Your Best Family Summer Vacation

Hard to believe, but this is Year 2 of the Covid Pandemic. We are all hoping for a somewhat more normal summer vacation! 51 Great Ideas!

Spring Break Ideas to Meet Every Family’s Wish List

Updated for 2020: Each year we join our colleagues at Family Travel Forum to recommend Spring Break getaways that are guaranteed to please, whether you’re planning a reunion of several generations, a wild time with a bunch of friends, or some “we” time with loved ones, we hope you’ll find this roundup of the top adventure, beach, resort, cruise, festival, city, historical and international short breaks a helpful starting point.

The Best Family Getaways to Light Your Winter

Welcome to our new directory of the best winter 2021 adventures. With an end to the pandemic in sight, see how easy it is to book the best value winter family getaway guaranteed to make lifelong memories

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

Taking the Kids Annual Family Cruise Guide

In 2020, you will find families cruising with kids in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and far-flung destinations like the Galapagos Islands. You can count on kids being seen and heard everywhere.

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

Holiday lights everywhere!

Let’s see where we can celebrate, whether we return to an annual tradition or make it an outing with relatives and friends you’ve been with over Thanksgiving

Grab a Black-Friday-Cyber Monday travel deal

Be ready to book when you see the deal you want as many offers have limited capacity. It’s never been more important to read the fine print

Kids, COVID-19 vaccines, and holiday gatherings

“It should be the new normal this holiday season … to ask for the vaccination status of hosts and invitees,” said Dr. Mobeen Rathore, an infectious disease expert

Goldeneye: muse, idyllic respite, more

Not a person, a place. Have you ever been somewhere that makes you consider upending your life to move there? Think Goldeneye in Jamaica

Are you ready a romantic getaway?

A romantic just-for-you dinner, a scented bubble bath for two, flower petals on your bed and someone to take care of your every need.

Eating your way through Disney World

Space-Ghetti, anyone? Maybe a Galactic Lobster Globe? All served up with bubbling or smoking atmospheric spirits and zero-proof cocktails

Walt Disney World turns 50 and celebrates big time

The next 18 months, there will be new experiences across Walt Disney World, including the chance to spend two nights aboard the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Exploring Hispanic heritage in October

The Hispanic population of the United States totals 60.6 million people, making it the largest ethnic group

On a cruise in Greece in the pandemic

How about traveling abroad during a pandemic, and then boarding a cruise ship, perhaps for the first time?

Halloween comes early at theme parks

Halloween is more than a month away but theme parks are already welcoming your little (and big) ghosts, ghouls and princesses.

17+ things for your next road trip

A first-aid kit for the time one of my kids fell into a cactus while hiking, a rain jacket in a downpour, miles from the trailhead…

Heading (safely) to a fall festival

If your summer vacation plans got derailed — yet again — take the kids to a fall festival a drivable distance from home

A tropical resort with something for everyone

We’ve just gotten off our horses on a white-sand beach after swimming with them and we’re real thirsty — yes, we were swimming with them

Are you ready to cruise again?

The CDC has lowered its health notice on cruise travel from Level 4 – avoid – to Level 3, which encourages travelers to get fully vaccinated before traveling

10 reasons to visit Maine

Maine is the number one producer of wild blueberries in the country, and you can certainly take your pick of how to eat them if you visit

On the newly opened Pikes Peak Cog Railway

It’s no wonder that the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, just reopened after a 4-year makeover, is hugely popular with families

A brand-new way to experience art

Anyone who has tried to interest and show kids Great Art knows they may not always respond the way you’d like, or even expect.

Returning to the (not always friendly) skies

No one — from airport shuttles to rental car companies to airlines – seems prepared, resulting in irritable employees and travelers

A different kind of Jamaican vacation

I don’t know which is better — the food, the view, or bragging rights to the Jamaica experience very few have.

To Denver for the 2021All-Star Game

You don’t want to miss taking a selfie when you are exactly a mile high, 5,280 feet — on the 13th step of the west side of the State Capitol Building

Safely visiting the national parks

Rangers underscore that our national parks are not theme parks, that there are real dangers. It’s essential that you teach the kids that you must be careful

Reasons to brave Arizona’s summer heat

It’s worth braving the heat for the “you can only have them here” experiences: food and fantastic deals at resorts with expansive pools, spas and restaurants

Calling all cowboys and cowgirls

Russell True jokes that his mom thought her husband was crazy when he said in 1965 that he was done with his job in Denver and wanted to buy a ranch in Arizona

Celebrating Dads cooking prowess

Is the dad in your life suddenly waxing eloquent about camping trip meals? Has grandpa become an oenophile during the pandemic?

What’s ahead for summer

If you are thinking about renting an RV or a car, heading to popular national park lodges or camping, you need to book or you may be out of luck

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

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

BLACK FRIDAY/ CYBER MONDAY — 49 travel deals for 2021

With promising news on the vaccine front, this is an opportune time to book great travel deals for 2021. Black Friday/Cyber Monday (Nov. 27 & 30) traditionally offer some of the best deals of the year

Professional advice on Preparing for a Pandemic Holiday Season

Is it safe to even get together? What do we do if families aren’t on the same page about public health guidelines? How do we decide what is the right thing to do?

Overcoming physical disability and discrimination: The true stories of a new spy thriller

A new IFC movie, A Call to Spy, celebrates the accomplishments and bravery of the young women who were enlisted as spies by Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive during World War II

YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE A SUMMER JOB WILL LEAD

I last rafted the Grand Canyon 40 years ago on a trip where we paddled, following the guide’s shouted directions. I was glad for the opportunity to go again, confident that we could raft safely and stay healthy with Western River’s comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation plan

More masks everywhere – including Jackson Hole WY

Certainly, there is a lot to feel anxious about this summer whether you are at home or traveling with spikes in COVID-19 cases in many states. Locals in Wyoming, like elsewhere, say they are nervous seeing so many out of state license plates

Read about our most recent travel experiences.

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…

Apex- DAY 7 FAKE MEATBALLS?

This was the last day of our cruise on Celebrity’s newest ship Apex and we were trying to pack in as much time as possible

Apex Day 6 – Don’t rain on my parade!

Even with the less than perfect weather, there was plenty to do—more than 60 activities on the Celebrity Apex

Apex day 5 – The Pandemic Intrudes

The Captain made the announcement at cocktail hour: A vaccinated guest had tested positive for COVID-19

Apex Day 4 – What’s for dinner?

“What’s for Dinner?” can be a complicated question aboard the new Celebrity Apex with 10 restaurants to choose from.

Apex Day 3 – Learning the history of Rhodes

Today, the island of Rhodes, part of the Dodecanese islands, is home to over 120,000 people and pre-covid as many as four million visitors a year

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

Apex day 1: Pandemic cruise on a big ship

The Apex, the brand new ship in the Celebrity fleet, can hold nearly 3,000 passengers. But there are 1,100 on board and 936 crew from some 60 countries

Windstar Day 5 – What’s the best part?

Ask a group of people their favorite vacation experience—even if they have shared a ship for a week—and you will get a different answer from each person

Windstar Day 4: Santorini without crowds

The famed Greek Isle of Santorini is actually the eastern rim of a volcano caldera that has erupted many times through the ages

Windstar Day 3 – Food any way and all day

There’s no charge aboard the Wind Star sailing yacht for room service. But we also learn that we can have room service anywhere we like onboard.

Windstar Day 2 – Calling all night owls

If you are a night person, ou’ll love the Greek Island of Mykonos — AKA The Party Island of Greece — which is decidedly sleepy in the morning

Windstar Day One – Cruising through a pandemic in Greece

The Wind Star can accommodate 148 passengers in 73 staterooms and one larger suite. But it has typically been sailing with half that number since cruises resumed this summer

An Athens Authentic At-Home Greek Dinner

Before we arrived, we’d never met the couple yet they were hosting us for dinner—a dinner we would help prepare in their small kitchen

Mythology Made Easy in Athens

Imagine if you are a competitive Greek god or goddess of ancient mythology with a big ego, not to mention you’re immortal with many superpowers

A taste of Authenticity in Athens

On a first visit, Kagkas explains, tourists check off the must sees–The Acropolis, the Plaka, the museums, but they don’t experience Athens like a local

In Athens, a hotel goes over and above

When US hotels are struggling to get enough staff—and whose staff often don’t seem to care–it is nice to find a place that genuinely cares about its guests

Excel High School offers Online Middle School

Cool stuff we like and recommend for your travels

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.

Backpack with handy front shuttle pod

These days, some backpacks are much more than just a tote on your back. Take the new line of “swing out pouch” backpacks from Paxis.

Gear to motivate you to get out on the trail or road and move!

Spring is a great time to get off that couch and out onto the roads and trails to move! Check out some gear that will help you stay hydrated, safe, and comfortable on your next adventure.

Finding the right skis for all conditions – and skiing 30 years younger!

Volkl, is the largest manufacturer in Germany and has making high performance skis since 1923—some of the most technologically advanced skis in the world.

Can ski boots ever be comfortable? Answer: Yes

I couldn’t believe how comfortable I found my Dalbello boots when I first tried them out at Alta in Utah recently. My shins didn’t hurt at the end of the day

#ROADTRIPHACK: portable pillow

Whether you’re camping, RVing or staying elsewhere on your road trip, you’ll want a comfortable pillow—especially for the kids napping along the way.

The most comfortable travel PJs ever

Yup — the most comfortable PJs I’ve ever tried come from Sijo. a company that promises products backed by science without harmful chemicals or dyes

Trekking Poles for all seasons

I love it when gear transcends the weather—like my new trekking poles.

#BOLLEBEST Sunglasses

Let’s hear it for shades that look good, are light weight, protect your eyes and enhance your depth perception.

Nathan’s cool new dog harness and hydration pak

Inspired by Nathan race vests (for humans, the new Nathan K9 Series Dog Harness comes with breathable and comfortable material on the chest and back

Performance and safety in a woman’s ski helmet – Anon Nova MIPS

Ski helmets keep getting better and safer. The new Anon Nova MIPS women’s helmet from Burton proves the concept.

A new place or travel experience to think about every day

Six Flags Great Adventure Holidays Bright

Six Flags Great Adventure’s Holiday in the Park, will shine with millions of glittering lights, festive foods, new rides and holiday entertainment.

Mile High Holidays Return to Denver CO

Denver CO’s Mile High Holidays is back to get everyone in the spirit. This year will see the exciting comeback of Denver holiday favorites – many of which were modified or postponed in 2020

CHRISTMAS VILLAGE BACK IN BALTIMORE

Christmas Village will sail back into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in 2021 after being cancelled due to the pandemic last year

ORIGAMI TREE RETURNS TO NYC

An annual feature of the American Museum of Natural History, the delightfully-decorated Origami Holiday Tree is opening to the public throughout the season.

Winter in Philly’s Franklin Square

Historic Philadelphia, Inc.,announces new additions to the sparkling lights and winter magic in Franklin Square

Chihuly in the Sonoran Desert

Dale Chihuly returns to the Sonoran Desert with a stunning new exhibition at two of Arizona’s most iconic venues in the Scottsdale area

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!

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 for kids going on a cruise — 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.

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.

The Chick Flies the Coop

“This is going to be the first time truly putting my travel skills from growing up to the test but I know it is just the beginning,” my youngest daughter Mel wrote in the “thank you” note she left

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