Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Kids Love Travel Series

One of my favorite travel book collections is the Kids Love Travel series, which was written by a family traveling and discovering different travel destinations for kid-friendliness. They give very helpful recommendations on navigating more popular tourist destinations as well as providing some information on often overlooked travel gems for families. I have the Ohio book and have used it extensively- I did not even know a few of the places existed. There are more than a dozen books available, and I have found many at our local library. It has been an invaluable resource for helping to plan our family travel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DisneyWorld Planning Websites

Oh, the Disney vacation! So many things to do, places to eat, new attractions, characters to meet and shows to see. Everyone has an opinion on their favorite park, ride, or restaurant. It can seem a bit overwhelming when trying to plan and decide what the best options are for the ages of your children and what everyone is interested in doing. Not to mention the exact science of figuring out when the best time to visit each park would be as well as the least crowded times to visit attractions within each park. Moms will usually attest that they loved how much their children loved the Disney experience, but will also admit that it was utterly exhausting to figure out logistics, eating and shuttling everyone from ride to ride in order to get the most of out of every day.
Being on the Type A side myself, I used several blogs and websites to help fine tune a tentative game plan for each day so we at least knew where we were going and had a basic idea of the things we wanted to see and do and the best times for those things. Of course, there is something to be said for spontaneity, but a Disney trip really does require some pre-planning to keep everyone happy and things running smoothly.
Two things that I feel helped out greatly:
1) We had the Disney meal plan, which I think is terrific and cut down on the time it always takes most families to make an eating decision. Since the table service was already reserved ahead of time, we just showed up and enjoyed our meal without waiting. The quick service meals were also fairly easy to decide upon as they all have many of the same meal choices.
2) Even though we did not go at a busy time of year, we still got fast passes for some of the bigger rides. Why wait in line with little ones, even if it is only 20-30 minutes when you can come back and use your fast pass and get on in 5 minutes?
So, here are some well-established blogs/websites about Disney travel that I hope will be helpful for anyone planning a Disney trip.  This one has a great restaurant guide and transportation planner that will tell you how long different modes of transportation will take to get you from one Disney site to another.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Road Trip Games for Kids

I found this excellent blog post with lots of road trip car games. These are great and a nice alternative to watching DVD after DVD on long trips.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Destination Activity List- Part 1

I have been compiling places to go in the southwest and central Ohio region that would be fun and educational destinations to take your kids. Here is the first part of the list. I have tried to give an estimate of the cost of each place. I hope this is helpful for your family.

Fun Places to Take the Kids in Southwest/Central Ohio
$- under $8 per person
$$- $8-15 per person
$$$- over $15 per person

1.Carriage Hill Metropark- Huber Heights  Free
2.Wegerzyn Metropark- Dayton  Free
3. Aullwood Nature Center- Dayton   $
4. Aullwood Farm- Dayton  $
4. Brukner Nature Center-Troy  $
5.Charleston Falls- Tipp City  Free
6. Vandalia Rec Center Pool- Vandalia  $
7. Troy Pool- Troy  $
8. Tipp City Pool- Tipp City  $
9. Youngs Jersey Dairy- Yellow Springs   $
10.Johnson Farm- Piqua  $
11.Idle Hour Ranch- Troy  $$
12.Heaven’s Corner- West Alexandria  $$
13.Air Force Museum- Dayton  Free
14. John Bryan State Park- Yellow Springs  Free
15.Boonshoft Museum- Dayton  $
16. Dayton Art Institute- Dayton   $
17. Carillon Park- Dayton  $
18.Sunwatch Indian Village- Dayton  $
19.Cox Arboretum- Centerville  Free
20.Rave Movies- Beavercreek   Free on certain days/times
21. Cinemark Movies Piqua-  $
22.Area Library Reading Clubs
23.Kids Bowl Free Centers
24.Cincinnati Zoo- $$
25. Kings Island- $$$
26. Coney Island/Sunlite Pool- $$$
27. Glenwood Gardens/Highland Discovery Garden- Cincinnati   $
28. Sharon Woods/Heritage Village- Sharonville   $
29. Parky’s Farm/Parky’s Ark- Cincinnati   $
30. Huber Heights Aquatic Center-  $

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One-Night Trips with Kids (minibook)

A one-night trip can be just what you need for a little relaxation without going too far from home or breaking the bank for an elaborate vacation. Living in the Midwest, we are very fortunate to have many great tourist areas within an easy driving distance.
I created the One-Night Trips with Kids ebook to offer some fun, family options for a quick mini-vacation. There are 6 one-night trips included in this ebook and I am currently working on a longer version with about 25-30 one-night trips. Stay tuned!