When we were planning our trip to Amish Country, Indiana, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that touring a real, working Amish farm was an option. I definitely wanted to sign up for that. An Amish man named Kenny offers buggy rides as well as farm tours. We met him in downtown Shipshewana where he picked us up in a buggy.
He then drove us through town and out into the country. It was a scenic and relaxing ride accompanied by the clip clop of horse hooves.
Although most Amish people do not want to be […]
I love South Dakota’s Black Hills region for all of its natural beauty, and not only is there gorgeous scenery above ground; there’s even more to be discovered below ground. As with most national parks, the place to start is the visitor center.
One word of caution: the park’s website warns you not to trust your GPS to find the visitor center. The website has a map and directions. I am one of those people who tends to trust my GPS too much, and it has gotten me into trouble more than once, so I wanted to point that […]
It would be hard to find a family who hasn’t been touched by Hallmark Cards in some way. I mean, who hasn’t ever received or sent a Hallmark card, watched a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, or colored with a Crayola crayon (one of Hallmark’s subsidiaries)? So, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that this family owned company has developed the area surrounding their corporate headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, into a family friendly travel destination. Crown Center is an 85-acre complex with hotels, restaurants, theaters, shops, and attractions.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit Crown Center three times: […]
A must-see on any trip to Bend, Oregon, is the High Desert Museum. This is one of those museums that has a little bit of everything, and is perfect for families.
The museum is a combination of a history museum, art museum, zoo, living history museum, and park. That may sound chaotic, but all the exhibits are tied together with a common theme: the High Desert, a region that covers parts of eight states and British Columbia. The museum is both fun and educational. Many thanks to the museum for providing us complimentary admission so that I could research […]
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an immensely popular attraction in California and is frequently named one of the best aquariums in the country. My husband and I had been there two or three other times, but before we had kids, so we very much looked forward to going back there with the kids. Our first impression when we got there was, “Wow, this is CROWDED!” So my first tip is to consider the timing of your visit. If you have preschool aged or younger children, I would highly recommend planning your visit during the school year.
The first exhibit we […]
The next stop on our 3-day tour of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was Seney National Wildlife Refuge which was established in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a haven for migrating waterfowl.
Our first stop was the Visitor Center where we were very impressed with the kid-friendly exhibits. A Touch Table beckons kids to feel animal pelts, compare animal skulls, and pet stuffed animals.
A sand table allows kids to explore what different animal prints look like. Kids can make different prints with wooden blocks that they press into the sand. This is a terrific hands-on activity […]
On our second day in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula we started our morning at Oswald’s Bear Ranch. To be quite candid about it, this was the big reason we went to the U.P. Here’s how it happened: I came home from the Midwest Travel Writers Association conference with lots of brochures and told my kids to look them over to see what places interested them. My older daughter, who was 12 at the time, took one look at a picture of a girl with a bear and wrote “We must do this” in the brochure. I believe in following kids’ interests […]
So, you want to meet some wolves. The logical place to go is southern Indiana, right? Right!
Wolf Creek Habitat was established in 2000 by Terry and Kathy Baudendistel when they established their first pack of wolf-dog hybrids. They were motivated by the knowledge that so many were being put down because many people couldn’t handle them as pets. They built the rescue facility on their property in Brookville, Indiana. By 2003 they had decided to focus only on pure wolves and after five years, they opened their doors to the public. Wolf Creek Habitat is currently home to […]
We’ve been to many historical villages and living history museums over the years, but I think that the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill has been our favorite. Calling their village “pleasant” was accurate, but perhaps also showed the Shakers’ tendency toward humility. A feeling of serenity permeates the village.
The Shakers first came to America in 1774 and settled in New England. In fact, there is still an active Shaker community living in Sabbathday Lake, Maine. The Shakers practice communal living, celibacy, and worship that involves dancing and shaking, which is how they got their nickname. The Shakers established […]
We had the opportunity to visit Jenkinson’s Aquarium on our visit to Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, last summer. Despite having been told it was a must-see, I had rather low expectations. After all, we had just visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore a few days earlier, so the bar was set high. How could Jenkinson’s live up to that? I’m happy to say we were very pleasantly surprised and would easily recommend a visit to Jenkinson’s.
My son said he thought Jenkinson’s Aquarium was like the major aquariums he’d been to, except shrunk down. There were many different kinds […]