Jan 252017
 

My family almost always stays close to home during the February vacation.  I would be devastated if any travel plans we made got disrupted because of snow, so we definitely prefer staycations. My family and I recently got to experience a stay at the Element Boston Seaport and it’s the perfect location for a Boston staycation. It’s located right in the heart of Boston’s thriving Seaport District and there are tons of family-friendly attractions within walking distance of the hotel. As far as I am concerned that is a big selling point when I am looking for a place to stay with my family.

The Element Boston Seaport was built to be green from the ground up, guestrooms are spacious, stylish, sustainable and designed for comfort, providing guests with space to live their life while away from home.


Continue reading »

Jan 242017
 

We have a few school vacations coming up and if your kids are anything like my son, they are always “bored”.  The unfortunate thing is that most of us are not independently wealthy, so we sometimes must get creative with finding things to entertain them.  Cue the Mr. Potato Head statues located throughout Rhode Island. Rhode Island is the home of Hasbro and Mr. Potato head.  In 2000, the state decided that they needed to boost tourism and chose Mr. Potato Head as their “travel ambassador”.  The result was a whole lot of 6-foot fiberglass statues (some reports say 37, others say it was closer to 45) decorated buy artists and placed around the state.  They were met with mixed reactions and now, 17 years later, there are only a handful left in the state.  Rumor has it that there is one in Virginia and a few others are owned privately.  One was even for sale on EBay for a mere $5,000, but I digress.

On one of those days where the kids are bored and you need something inexpensive to do, take a Potato Head adventure; the only cost is the price of gas.  There is a total of 8 left in RI.  A friend and I   searched them out over the course of several trips and much research.  I have taken all of that away for you.  We truly made it an adventure, finding them and taking selfies with each.  I have them listed in no particular order. Continue reading »

Jan 222017
 

I recently visited Key West for the first time and I immediately fell in love.  Let me start by saying that Key West was not what I expected.  I went down there thinking it was going to be a quaint little island like Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard, but boy, I could not have been more wrong – in a good way, though. Key West is a a hoppin’ place and my husband, Christian, and I were surprised at first about how much to see and do there was there. We were in Key West over Thanksgiving week and were pleasantly surprised that basically everything was open. We crammed a lot into the time we were there and I wanted to share some highlights with you today.

10 Things to do in Key West

1. Eat some key lime pie. Obviously.
Key lime pie is named after the small Key limes that are grown throughout the Florida Keys, so you can’t go to any of the Keys without having at least one piece of key lime pie.  Even if you don’t like key lime pie, you should still have some. I am pretty sure it’s mandatory. Continue reading »

Jan 182017
 

No matter what time of year you choose to visit Boston there are plenty of activities to entertain you during your visit. If you haven’t planned your trip just yet you might want to consider checking out some of these activities before you book! There are seasonal activities in Boston to suit any taste, some are perfect for a family outing while others would make a wonderful date night. I’d be the first to tell you that making more than one trip to Boston so you can take advantage of all these great seasonal activities is a great idea.

Spring
As with most places in the Northeast, Boston is in full bloom during the spring. Nothing says “get out and explore” quite like the crisp spring air. Warm sunny days invite you to get out and enjoy the beauty of springtime in Boston. These are some of the awesome activities you can enjoy during the spring in Boston.

  • The Boston Marathon: 3rd Monday of April
  • The Duckling Parade: Mother’s Day
  • Check out the fresh blooms in the Arnold Arboretum
  • Hop a ride on the Old Town Trolley
  • Freedom Trail walking tours will take you past 16 of the most historical sites in Boston
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a big deal in Boston…in case you didn’t know!
  • Boston International Film Festival: typically during mid April

Continue reading »

Jan 092017
 

One of the great things about modern travel is that there are endless options for accommodations. There are countless choices when deciding where to stay when traveling far and wide. You can stay in a hotel, at a campground, in your RV, at a bed and breakfast, or even in someone else’s home! The variety of and style of overnight accommodations has evolved over time and now there are options to suit everyone. If you are thinking about booking a stay at a bed and breakfast these are the pros and cons. Check them out before you book to see if you’d enjoy this type of stay!

Pros of Staying in a Bed and Breakfast:

Let’s be honest, I don’t always like to start with the positives but let’s mix it up a little today!

Activities:
There are TONS of activities happening in house at most bed and breakfast locations. They schedule fun crafting, cooking, touring, and even little trips. Usually the activity levels at a bed and breakfast will depend on the owner but typically speaking there are lots of things to do when staying in a bed and breakfast. Continue reading »

Dec 132016
 

I am sure lots of people find Key West strange during the day, but after the sun goes down it’s a whole different story. Key West is actually referred to by many as Key Weird. If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that ghost stories are right up my alley, so Christian and I weren’t leaving Key West without going on a ghost tour.  The two of us took the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour when we were in Savannah last year and loved it, so when I saw that there was one in Key West, too, it was a no brainer that we needed to take the tour.

On the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour, or as they call it – the trolley of the doomed, we heard several stories that were more than just weird. Our Ghost Host, Benjamin, was awesome. He told us lots of stories about Key West’s dark side.  He told tales of deathly love, tragic endings, scores to settle, wrongs to right and ghastly folks.  Some of the stories were so strange it was almost hard to believe they are true. Continue reading »

Nov 142016
 

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Traveling in NYC with your family can be an experience of a lifetime…until it’s time to feed everyone. You can end up spending a small fortune on food that you kids won’t even pretend to enjoy, yet alone eat. Instead of arriving and feeling totally overwhelmed, check out some of these family friendly restaurants in NYC. They’re sure to help you enjoy not just the sights and sounds of the city but also the tastes!

Beacon
25 W. 56th Street
Beacon is awesome because the open fire grill can be viewed from the restaurant, their food is awesome for adults but they also serve kiddie fare (and in a hurry). Little ones can color to their hearts desire while ordering from their own special menu and heads up, kids under 9 eat for FREE. This is all well and good but the best part is that you don’t have to suffer and eat French fries and pizza too. You can have a completely adult meal that you will LOVE while your kids also get to eat something fun, in an awesome location that is interesting and appealing.

Arties Deli
2290 Broadway, Near 83rd Street
Arties Deli is new on the food scene in NYC but it’s great for the family nonetheless. Pickles and bread come out fast and early to keep everyone sated until the meals arrive and they have tons of kid friendly food like fries, burgers, chicken fingers, and hot dogs! Everyone will have fun and be able to relax in this family friendly atmosphere while also getting a meal they will enjoy! Continue reading »

Nov 042016
 

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As you know, I recently spent three wonderful days in Bradenton Florida.  It was my first time in the area and while I was there, my days were packed with fun activities and lots of great food.

Full disclosure: I don’t like seafood.  I know, I know….

I am one of the few people from New England that doesn’t and when I arrived in the area and saw that my itinerary was full of dining reservations at seafood restaurants, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find something that I was able to eat. Thankfully, that was not the case at all. The group that I was with dined at three restaurants known for great seafood, but all of them served non-seafood items for people like me. Phew.

Today I want to tell you about some of the highlights at all three of them so that if you are planning a visit to the Bradenton area, you can plan a meal at one of these fantastic eateries.

1. Pier 22

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Dining at Pier 22 is truly unique waterfront dining experience. Continue reading »

Nov 012016
 

As you know, I recently had the chance to stay on Anna Maria Island, Florida. If you missed my list of great things to do in the area, be sure to check it out here. While I was on the island, I stayed (with three fellow bloggers) in this beautiful house, named Malibu Beach from Anna Maria Vacations.

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Anna Maria Vacations is a truly a unique rental company.  They specialize in only the finest vacation rentals and their properties are carefully hand selected in order to provide their guests with the upscale vacation experience they desire. All of their properties are diligently maintained on a weekly basis with emphasis put on each unit being kept in peak condition. From luxury Gulf beachfront homes to beach condos to bay waterfront homes to many exquisite inland homes just a few minutes stroll to the beach – Anna Maria Vacations will help you find the property that best serves your needs. Continue reading »

Oct 302016
 

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If you follow me on Instagram you already know that I recently visited the Bradenton, Florida area for the first time. During my time there, I stayed on Anna Maria Island with three fellow bloggers (yes, just like The Real World) in this beautiful house from Anna Maria Vacations.

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Anna Maria Island, Florida is a seven-mile strip of beautiful white-sand beaches that lies between the turquoise Gulf of Mexico and the bay. The island is so quaint and cozy and it truly makes you feel as though you have taken a step back in time because of all of the “old” Florida charm.

On AMI (Anna Maria Island), you won’t find any high rise condos or fast food joints. Instead you’ll find a wonderful selection of local eateries and everything from quaint cottages to deluxe beach houses by the sea. Honestly, you need never leave the island to find fun and relaxation.  From watching the sunset while dining at many of the water front restaurants on the island to shopping in some of the wonderful specialty shops to good old fashioned people watching – there is something for everyone on Anna Maria Island. Continue reading »

Oct 182016
 

must-see-tourist-attractions-in-boston

As with most historic cities in the US, Boston has a rich background and with that comes TONS of tourist attractions. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, the area played an integral role in our nation’s history and there are landmarks EVERYWHERE that celebrate this rich and amazing history. Unless you are coming to stay or for a very extended visit, you’ll need to prioritize your must see tourist attractions in Boston. There are some things that you just have to experience while you are visiting Boston. In case you are not as familiar with Boston as I am here is a list to help!

Sports Fans Must See Tourist Attractions in Boston

If you are a sports fans these are the places you will NOT want to miss when you are visiting Boston. Along with being home to some of the best teams that call Boston home, these locations are beautiful works of architecture and some even have historical cred of their own!

  • Fenway Park: Home of the Boston Red Sox
  • TD Garden: Home of the Bruins and the Celtics

If you can’t catch a game while you are in town I highly recommend that you swing by anyway just to take in the awesome and massive feel of these locations! Continue reading »

Oct 092016
 

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If you are local to New England, surely you’ve been to – or at least heard of the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo.  It’s an annual tradition for our family to attend as well as thousands of others each year. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out because it’s really something to see.  The Jack O’Lantern Spectacular is a nighttime display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns all along the zoo’s beautiful Wetlands Trail, with well over 100 of the pumpkins carved into veritable works of art. There’s something magical about so many illuminated jack o’lanterns on display as you walk along the trail. This year The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is presented by Citizens Bank and it runs from October 6 – November 6, 2016.

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Last week I had a chance to preview the Jack O’Lantern Spectacular before it opened to the public and not only that, I was able to go behind the scenes and see some of the action.  I saw the area where the pumpkins are carved and learned how they store the completed jack o’lanterns in a temperature controlled box truck until they are ready to be put on display. Continue reading »

Sep 272016
 

off-the-beaten-path-spots-in-boston

Like most historical cities in the United States, Boston has a rich and expansive history. There are more historic buildings and locations in Boston than you could see in just one day. Instead of killing yourself trying to take in all the usual tourist spots, check out these off the beaten path spots in Boston. There’s something for everyone, they’re all unique, and while you might not learn quite as much I’m sure you’ll have just as much fun (if not more)!

Check out Bodega
6 Clearway St, Boston, MA 02115

It might look like a dingey bodega straight from the streets of NYC but head to the back, watch the Snapple machine slide out of the way and BOOM! Your jaw will drop. It reveals an awesome shoe store. Even if you don’t need shoes it’s a pretty awesome place to browse and the thrill of a 007-esque entrance is worth the visit, in my opinion!

Play with Lasers at Danger!Awesome
Cambridge, Massachusetts

There are different events for different days and you should plan accordingly but you can actually cut stuff…with lasers. It’s pretty amazing and totally fun for the adventurer or even the science enthusiast. Continue reading »

Sep 202016
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MagicalFamilyFirsts #CollectiveBias

What To Pack For a Day at One of the Disney Water Parks

We are major Disney fanatics in our house.  We seriously love all things Disney and every year our family visits Walt Disney World in Orlando. Actually we just got back from our 2016 Walt Disney World vacation about two weeks ago.  I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I definitely know my way around the parks.  Normally when we go to Walt Disney World, we get the Park Hopper ticket which allows us to go in and out of the 4 parks, but doesn’t include the two water parks. This year we got the Water Parks and More option, so we were able to go to the water parks as well. The “more” part of the Water Parks and More option included mini golf.  Our family took advantage of the “more” this year as well, but really enjoyed our time at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, too.

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Since we stay on Disney property, we don’t rent a car and rely on Disney’s bus transportation to get us where we wanted to go.  Since it takes time to get from our resort to where we’re going, I like to be prepared with everything I need for the day and that especially goes for one of the water parks. Continue reading »

Sep 122016
 

Hear ye, hear ye!  It’s that time of year again.  For two months every fall, you can travel back in time at King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA.  Spread out over 80 acres of woods, King Richard’s Faire is the place to be if you want to fully immerse yourself into a day in the life of someone back in the 1500’s.

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**Disclosure:  My family and I received complimentary admission to King Richard’s Faire in order to tell you about our experience there.  All opinions are strictly my own and we not influenced in any way.

If you’ve never been to a renaissance festival, you’re missing out on a chance to travel back in time to the 16th century.  They make for a seriously good time.

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King Richard’s Faire is very family friendly. There are many rides and performances throughout the day that are offered to entertain any and all age groups. From face painting to carnival rides to the beer garden, King Richard’s Faire does their best to keep everybody happy.  For my family, it’s the overall atmosphere that keeps us going back time and time again.  It’s a fun and light-hearted way to spend some quality time with your family. Continue reading »

Sep 072016
 

10 Family Activities that Won’t Break the Bank in NYC

Let’s face it, traveling to New York City is expensive just to get there, pay for a hotel, and provide basic meals. Just showing up, sleeping, and eating a few meals is not really an exciting trip. Instead of stressing about having a fun trip that completely blows your budget here are 10 ideas for family activities that won’t break the bank for the next time you are in NYC! Like any place, NYC has families that are always looking for activities and travelers can often take advantage of these kinds of activities as well! Sitting in the hotel or roaming around aimlessly are no longer your only options for a frugal family trip to New York City!

1. Let’s Go to the Zoo
This is a big one which is why it is number one! There two different zoo locations in NYC that are actually free or donation only on Wednesdays! You can visit the Bronx Zoo and you simply make a donation! The Staten Island Zoo is also free on Wednesdays from 2-4:45pm! Check out one or both to save some cash and see some exciting animals while you are visiting NYC!

2. Botanical Gardens
The Brooklyn Botanic garden is free during the week from November first through February twenty eighth! The New York botanical Garden is free on Wednesdays from 10-6pm and Saturdays from 9-10am! These are two great locations for the whole family to explore and take a walking tour without having to worry about spending any of your vacation budget!

3. Children’s Museums
Both the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan are free on certain days! For Brooklyn it is Thursdays from 2-6pm and in Manhattan it is the first Friday of every month from 5-8pm. This is a great way to enrich any trip to NYC without having to spend any money. You will all get to enjoy the sights and sounds but they require none of your vacation budget! Continue reading »

Aug 292016
 

Best Family Food Spots in Washington DC

Traveling is always fun but it can be stressful to find places in an unfamiliar city to feed your family. Not only is it stressful to find good food that your family will enjoy it can also be ridiculously overpriced! Fear not, I’ve rounded up some reasonably priced eats in Washington DC that will be sure to please the whole family. These are the Best Family Food Spots in Washington DC so you can plan your trip without worrying about how to feed everyone without breaking the bank!

One of the best ways to find food places nearby is by using your smartphone or specific apps to locate local cuisine with good ratings and low prices. If you are a planner you can always search ahead using online resources as well! These are some of the most highly rated restaurants in Washington DC that are also inexpensive. I love when I can find great food that is also affordable because feeding a big family on a budget while on vacation can be difficult!

1. Crepaway: 2001 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Is an awesome place to get some delicious dessert! Who doesn’t love dessert! It’s inexpensive and highly rated and everyone can get flavors that they love. This is an awesome alternative to ice cream stops or other dessert places for a sweet treat while exploring the city!

2. Wiseguy NY Pizza: 300 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Pizza is always a great option when feeding a family on vacation. Wiseguy NY Pizza is highly rated with 4.5 of 5 stars and it’s an inexpensive option that everyone can enjoy. I love that you can customize, get different things, everyone feels like they’re getting their own choice without blowing our entire food budget! Great for a family meal or pick up to take back to the hotel! Continue reading »

Aug 072016
 

Fun For the Whole Family at the Brand New Water Park at the Cape Codder in Hyannis

Last week my oldest son turned 12. TWELVE!  I’m honestly not sure when that happened, but in any case I can personally attest to the fact that the “tween” thing is real.  He’s not quite a teen yet, but definitely he has all the attitude & sassiness of one.  He’s also apparently too cool to do “kid” stuff anymore, which has created a bit of a challenge for me to keep him entertained (and off those pesky electronics) this summer. Both of my boys have August birthdays and I always plan a day of fun for them on their special days and this year I was really scrambling to come up with something that my oldest would like.

Then it came to me – I would take them to the brand new water park at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis.  If you’ve been around here for a while, you may remember that my family stayed there about 18 months ago and the boys really enjoyed the indoor wave pool (if you need a refresher, here is the post).  I had heard that the Cape Codder was expanding and creating an amazing water park and when I found out that they had just opened on Friday July 30th, I knew that it was where I was going to take my kids for my oldest’s birthday. My oldest loves to swim and I knew a day at the water park would be right up his alley.

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The Wave Pool, which was already there, is approximately 10,000 square feet and the expansion is an additional 20,000 square feet – you  you can only imagine how excited both my boys were when I told them that’s where we were going! It’s the only one of its kind on Cape Cod and has so much fun to offer! Continue reading »

Jul 192016
 

Tips for Traveling to Washington DC with Kids

Like any trip, traveling with children can be difficult if you are not prepared. Washington DC is a busy metropolitan area that has lots of tourist attractions but is also a busy city with hazards and pitfalls galore. Check out these tips for traveling to Washington DC with kids to make your next trip a smooth success!

Be Prepared…No, Be OVERLY Prepared
Nothing is worse than getting to your hotel room and realizing that you don’t have Mr. I Can’t Sleep Without Him Bear or Ms. Holy Cow I’m Going to Throw a Total Fit Blanket. Your child will be a nightmare without the things that they are attached to. Instead of fighting them when packing, make as many concessions as you can feasibly fit into the suitcase. Let them bring their favorite toys or blankets or games. If it will make them happy during their small amounts of down time, it’s a must, make room in that suitcase. Also, make sure you bring along extras of things that typically get dirty really quickly. If you have a messy eater, pack some extra shirts and that type of thing. They will be less stressed and so will you if you can just throw on another shirt and deal with the ketchup stain later!

DC2 Continue reading »

Jul 112016
 

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If you follow along with any of my social media channels, you already know that my husband, Christian, and I just got back from a trip to New York City. He originally booked the trip back in April and he had been planning on surprising me with it for my birthday (which fell during the trip), but I cracked him and ended up finding out about the trip shortly after he booked it, I think he was relieved, though, because out of the two of us I am the planner and he just comes along for the ride – so it works out well.

The two of us are not strangers to Manhattan by any means.  We go down several times a year, so we already got the big touristy things out of the way years ago. When we head down for a weekend now a days, I tend to look for more off the beaten path things for us to do. This time around, in addition to a couple of Broadway and Off Broadway shows, we ended up going on the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour from Ahoy New York Tours & Tasting.

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If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I have a love affair with food.  I seriously love to eat and love expanding my palate whenever possible which is why I was so excited to take this particular food tour.  I’ve been on food tours in my home city of Boston and really enjoyed them, but the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour from Ahoy was different from any of the other food tours I have ever been on. Their tour visits six different tasting locations in two unique ethnic NY neighborhoods and fuses the elements of history, culture, and food all in one. Continue reading »