Eileen Ogintz

Award-Winning Author, TakingtheKids.com

Award-winning author Eileen Ogintz is a leading national family travel expert whose syndicated column Taking the Kids is the most widely distributed column in the country on family travel. She has also created www.TakingtheKids.com which helps families to make the most of their vacations together.

Ogintz is the author of more than a dozen family travel books, the most recent, the series of Kid's Guides to Boston, NYC, Orlando, and Washington, DC from Globe Pequot Press that are available in bookstores and online.

Ogintz contributes regular segments to foxnews.com and often consults on family travel issues. Ogintz is often quoted in major publications such as USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times as well as parenting and women's magazines on family travel. She has appeared on dozens of local and television programs talking about family travel and often speaks at conferences about the best ways to market to 21st century families.

The complete kid's travel companion

The Kid's Guides

These pocket-sized guides are for kids ages 6-12 and chock full of tips from kids in the know on where to go, where to eat, what to see and where to get the best souvenirs. Fun facts, games and quizzes offer entertainment for the whole family - whether exploring a new city while on vacation or having an adventure in their own backyard.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE KID'S GUIDES FLYER (.pdf)

Kids Clubs - Do They Have A Future At Resorts And On Cruises?
September 22, 2016
The Driscolls' vacation every year with extended family at a family-centric resort or on a cruise line known for morning-till-night supervised kids' activities. But the five kids - all eight and under - rarely take part in organized kids' programs. "The cousins entertain each other," said Anna Driscoll, playing in a resort pool with the family. The North Carolina mom adds, "When we're with Nana, she wants to be with the kids."
In Albuquerque: An Historic Inn And Organic Farm
March 30, 2016
Check out the peacocks! Smell the lavender! Tonight we're at the family-owned Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm in Albuquerque, which was established in 1934. There are 22 rooms with wood burning fireplaces, original artwork, carved ceiling beams and products made with the farm's lavender. (Love the bath wash!) By next year it will have 50 rooms, a new restaurant, bakery and bar. The popular farm shop will be triple its current size.
New Mexico - Land of Enchanted Cuisine
March 29, 2016
Red or green? That's what everyone asks you in New Mexico restaurants. Translation: The story goes that a waitress at the popular breakfast and lunch place on Santa Fe's Plaza, Tia Sophia's, got tired of the question so she'd just ask people if they wanted both - Christmas! Now that term is widely used all over New Mexico but Tia Sophia owner Nick Maryol, who took the poplar eatery over from his dad, swears the story is true.
Green Chile Cheeseburger and Bubbling Hot Springs - New Mexico Tour
March 28, 2016
It's a risk as well as an adventure - stopping for a green chile cheeseburger lunch (a New Mexico specialty) at a grocery store/gas station along the state's Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail. We were at Bodes General Store (established 1919 but long before that was a post office, stage coach stop and jail as well as a store) in the tiny (under 600 people - one person per square mile) town of Abiquiu which incidentally is where Georgia O'Keefe famously lived very simply.
Taking the Kids -- an important history lesson through baseball in Kansas City
November 2, 2015
They were among the best baseball players in the United States, traveling cross-country to play the game they loved before cheering fans. But they were often forced to sleep on their bus and eat peanut butter crackers. "They could fill up the ballpark but couldn't get a meal or a place to stay from the same fans that had just cheered them," said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
A Haunting Visit To An Elementary School in Hiroshima
September 17, 2015
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. The school was less than 400 yards (slightly more than three football fields) from the epicenter. So close, Amber explained, that "the injured were brought here and many died here. Some are buried under our playground." More than 411 children and teachers died.
Why all-inclusives are great for kids
May 15, 2015
New Yorker Angela Manna's family typically wouldn't choose an all-inclusive resort, but suddenly she's seen the light. "It's great," she acknowledged. "Everything is so effortless." Her family, including a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old, were relaxing at the beachfront Now Amber resort in Puerto Vallarta for a family wedding. The kids could eat whenever and whatever they wanted, join organized activities, or not, and dad wasn't grumbling about the extra charges that are inevitable at other resorts every time the kids want a boogie board, a smoothie or a snack.
Our Very Best Summer Vacation Ideas
May 8, 2015
We know everyone's schedule is jam-packed and every vacation day - every vacation minute - really counts. That's why we've partnered with Family Travel Forum to come up with the best 2015 family summer vacation ideas. These ideas will help you take the kids - and the grandkids and any other kids in your lives - and give all of you the best bang for your vacation buck and, more importantly, create lifetime memories.
A memorable feast of mangrove-grilled Snapper - last day in Mexico
May 7, 2015
The town of San Blas in the Riviera Nayarit region of Mexico's Pacific Coast has more than 20 miles of beaches. We started our beach day at El Borrego where Mexican families sit in the shade under thatched talapas while the kids splash in the warm, water. We sip coconut water—right from a fresh coconut just off the tree, and when we're done, they cut it for us and we eat it Mexican style with lime and salt. Delicious!
Family Vacation IOU: A Mother's Day Gift Guaranteed To Please
May 7, 2015
No Mother's Day candy, please! Honestly, do you know a mom who isn't trying to shed a few pounds? (Me included!) This Mother's Day, give the moms in your life something they will really appreciate. My friend, Nancy Schretter, managing editor of Family Travel Network calls it "Me Time for Moms with a Bow."
A Bird-Watchers Paradise on Mexico's Pacific Coast
May 6, 2015
How many birds can you count? Different species of birds... on a good day, 120 species, says our naturalist guide Francisco Nombre, who happens to hold Mexico's title this year for seeing the most different species in a 24 hour period.
On The Riviera Nayarit Along Mexico's Pacific Coast
May 5, 2015
Thirteen year-old Win Cooper has been busy trying archery, playing ping pong and water polo. "I like that there is so much to do and I don't have to go with my parents," he said. His two younger sisters, meanwhile, are happy to spend all day in and out the pool and getting ice cream any time they like. "Even for breakfast," said nine year old Ruby.
Day 3 - Dolphins and Art Galleries in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
May 4, 2015
Meet the cutest sisters you have ever seen. Quetzalla is two and Barlaam is three and-a-half and their antics certainly will keep you laughing. They are among the seven dolphins at Puerto Vallarta's most popular family attraction: Dolphin Discovery Aquaventuras Park.
Day Two - A Tour Around The All-Inclusive of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
May 3, 2015
Puerto Vallarta is known for its galleries and its food but it is probably known more as a cruise ship stop and for those visiting the all-inclusive resorts. We're staying at Now Amber that is designed for families - check out the swim up suites where families can play just outside their rooms!
Three Days in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Day One Taco Tour!
May 1, 2015
Who knew? Who knew tacos aren't typically served with crispy stand-up tortillas or smothered in cheese or that a freshly made tortilla topped with some specially prepared meat could taste so delicious? Ricardo Lopez - they call him LOBO - is our guide on a Vallarta Food Tour, which is a company started by American Lindsay Prime.
'Taking the Kids,' for Nearly 20 Years
April 28, 2015
Family travel blogs may be ubiquitous today, but the subject of family travel was relatively virgin terrain when the journalist Eileen Ogintz, then on the staff of The Chicago Tribune, took her first assignment on the subject in 1987.
New Coasters Arrive To Thrill - Or Scare - Your Family Senseless!
April 2, 2015
Love them or hate them?Maybe your family is divided on the subject of roller coasters; my family has been for as long as I can remember. From the time they were just tall enough, two of my kids couldn't wait to ride the fastest, biggest coasters in the park; the third preferred other attractions. Me too, especially since I screamed so loud on one coaster that I not only embarrassed my kids, but also lost my voice.
Spring Break Ideas To Meet Every Family's Wish List
January 28, 2015
Does your gang wants to ride roller coasters all day? Maybe you want to join the grandparents on a cruise. Could your idea of a perfect Spring Break getaway be cheering on your favorite baseball players at Spring Training games in Florida or Arizona? Spring break is a terrific time to get away. Spring break clearly has moved beyond bikinis and beer kegs as growing number of families find it the ideal time to get away together.
Kids' Guide to Washington, D.C.
January 12, 2015
What would he think of us now? As we celebrate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Black History Month in February and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the march to Selma in March - commemorated in the new much-lauded film - that led to the passage later that same year of the Voting Rights Act, we might ask: What would King and all of those who fought for Civil Rights think?
Taking the Kids -- and visiting Mantua, a hidden Italian gem
January 9, 2015
After all, I'm staying in a palace -- the Palazzo Castiglioni, which dates back to the Renaissance, located right across the piazza from the 500-room Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, Italy. Where? That was my reaction when Kit Burns, whose company Doorways specializes in booking villa vacations to Italy, suggested we spend a few days in the palazzo that has been owned by the same family since the Renaissance, in a city just 40 minutes from Verona. (If you know your Shakespeare, you'll know this is where Romeo came to buy the poison.)
Kids' Guide to San Francisco
January 7, 2015
Dim sum anyone? There's likely no better place than San Francisco's Chinatown -- the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, the oldest in North America and one of the city's top tourist attractions -- to sample those delectable bite-sized dumplings and other foods served in steamer baskets, though some locals say they now prefer the less touristy restaurants on Clement Street.
The Kids' Guide to Boston
December 14, 2014
Ready to party? Grab the kids and head to Boston for New Year's Eve. Boston has the oldest and biggest family First Night kid-free celebration in the country, lasting 11 hours and complete with fireworks, parade, music, huge ice sculptures and even an all-day Puppet Festival. Let's not forget, it's alcohol-free!
Take a walk on the wild side in the Cotswolds
December 8, 2014
Ready for a nice country walk for 100 miles or so? The famous Cotswolds Way in Britain is 102 miles, actually, through rolling fields, past villages that couldn't evoke Old England any more than if you were on a film set. Think thatched roofs, winding country lanes, ancient stone cottages, huge manor houses. We stayed in one that's now the Ellenborough Park Hotel-and even Sudeley Castle that once was home to royalty.
Taking the Kids -- to the World War II Museum
November 6, 2014
What are your 14 year olds up to? Jack Lucas was in the Marines. Yes, he'd lied about his age to join during World War II, but just three years later he won the Congressional Medal of Honor for using his own body to shield three members of his squad from two grenades during the Iwo Jima campaign, nearly getting killed when one exploded.
Best places to go when the leaves change
October 9, 2014
Leaf peeping is so old school. These days there's a lot more to do than just look at the trees. Get out and play, and afterwards, celebrate how much fun you've had with a local brew or spirit and delicious meal—farm to table, of course. Here are 10 places guaranteed to please this fall.
Best foodie and brew fall festivals
September 25, 2014
The fall means sampling brews and brats at the many Ocktober fests around the country. But maybe you want to learn to dance the polka, try your skill carrying your wife through an obstacle course (really!) or join a pie eating contest. All you have to do is head to a fall festival somewhere.
Kids Discovering
September 16, 2014
Forget a wig. Real spies know there are a lot better ways to disguise your looks-like putting cheek pads in your mouth to change the shape of your appearance. At the Imperial War Museum in London, kids gave a thumbs up to the Horrible Histories Spies exhibit. "Horrible Histories" is a very popular British kids' TV series; This interactive exhibit enables kids to set out on their own secret mission, create their own disguises, even find out how "exploding" rats were used to sabotage German factories-all the while learning the integral role spies played in World War II.
When the Kids Aren't in School Yet This Fall, Get Out and Play
September 11, 2014
For once, be glad you're toting a stroller and safety seat. When everyone else has headed back to school, you can head off on vacation with your toddlers and preschoolers. Congratulate yourselves for avoiding the summer crowds and grabbing a great deal in the process. Invite grandma and grandpa along. Just don't expect them to baby sit every night! Invite friends or family with kids of a similar age and you can split child-care chores - and expenses.
Fourteen Great Ideas For A Full Family Vacation Or Getaway
September 2, 2014
Just because summer's over, doesn't mean the fun is over. There's no better time than fall to get away with a few days to savor our kids, laugh with our girlfriends and make time for romance with our mates. As the First Lady explains in my exclusive interview, it's great to get outdoors-and get active-with the kids whenever you can. Here's what I wrote about all the fun you can have in fall. We joined forced with Family Travel Forum to come up with the best fall getaways.
A Family Outing For Late Summer Beauty In Northern Vermont
August 26, 2014
I'm stretched out with hot stones under my back and on top of the blanket feeling totally relaxed. AAH... an hour to myself. Thanks, Topnotch. I'm at the Topnotch Resort Spa, one of the largest in the quintessential New England mountain town of Stowe, Vt. where I'm indulging in the Little River Stone Massage, one of the expansive spa's signature treatments that uses hot stones, cold stones, massage and aromatherapy.
Taking the Kids -- to New Orleans, and beyond
August 22, 2014
Want a marshmallow? The 6-foot-long alligator, dubbed Otis by the locals, who's minus one foot and swimming alongside our boat certainly does. We're in the Honey Island Swamp in Slidell, Louisiana, on Louisiana's Northshore on the Pearl River Swamp Eco Tour. It's another world from New Orleans, though we are just 40 minutes from downtown, across Lake Pontchartrain.
New Orleans, Swamps, Plantations and Other Family Haunts in Louisiana
August 21, 2014
Want a marshmallow? The 6-foot-long alligator, dubbed Otis by the locals, who's minus one foot and swimming alongside our boat certainly does. We're in the Honey Island Swamp in Slidell, Louisiana, on Louisiana’s Northshore on the Pearl River Swamp Eco Tour. It's another world from New Orleans, though we are just 40 minutes from downtown, across Lake Pontchartrain.
Kids Cooking it up for Their Parents in New Orleans Hotel
August 18, 2014
Prime rib anyone? It's on the menu for Brunch, Lunch and dinner at the Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans in the heart of the French Quarter that incidentally has a terrific rooftop salt water pool - ideal after a day sightseeing. The Rib Room is famous for the giant rotisserie and prime rib and for their Sunday Jazz Brunch, when we're treated to the music of Sugar Bear & the Jazz Cats while we feast on shrimp creole over cream cheese grits, Freshly baked biscuits, an omelet with Prime Rib Debris and Eggs Sardou with Creamed Spinach, Artichoke hearts and blue crab. Yum!
Hello, Gator! On a Eco Swamp Tour in the Louisiana Bayous
August 17, 2014
The alligator certainly is. We're on a Pearl River Swamp Eco Tour in the Honey Island Swamp in Slidell on Louisiana's Northshore in St. Tammany Parish, about 40 minutes across Lake Pontchartrain from downtown New Orleans. Our guide, John Royen, who plays jazz piano on Bourbon Street at night, tells us the gators think the marshmallows are turtle eggs. We're relieved to hear they actually are good for their digestion. "I play with the alligators during the day and the lounge lizards at night," he jokes.
On a Culinary Tour of New Orleans with a Former History Teacher
August 15, 2014
So what's the mystery? We're in the so-called Mystery Dining Room at Antoine's in New Orleans, the famous restaurant that has been operated continuously by the same family since 1840, our first stop on a wonderful New Orleans Culinary History Tour through the French Quarter led by former history teacher Naif Shahady.
An Old-Fashioned Family Crab Boil in Lake Charles, LA
August 14, 2014
Ready to get your hands dirty? Then you are in for a treat. "The sweetest most succulent shell fish that you have ever eaten—more tender than lobster," promises longtime Lake Charles, LA caterer Marilyn Dawdy as she teaches me how to dig into a crab that's been cooked in a traditional Louisiana Fish Boil with shrimp, potatoes and corn. I'm at a Fais-Do-Do, A Cajun Dance party, at Travel Media Showcase and Dawdy, I learn, mid-lesson, is catering the big event for the conference in the Lake Charles Civic Center overlooking Lake Charles.
Farm-To-Table Familty Fun on Martha's Vineyard
August 14, 2014
Fava beans or green beans? What's on the lunch menu all depends on what’s ready for the kids to harvest. Yes, the kids. At the nonprofit Farm Institute on Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts, the local and vacationing kids who attend summer day camp here tend the expansive vegetable garden, gather eggs and care for the animals. Older kids may learn the art of composting and carpentry.
A Weeklong Tour Of Norway's
June 27, 2014
BERGEN, Norway (Day 1 of 9) - Smoked whale anyone? My favorite way to combat jet lag: A good walk and some good eats. OK, maybe whale isn't to everyone’s taste but you can't get better fish than in Norway - especially salmon served smoked, marinated or simply broiled.
Six New Places For Families To Experience A Special July 4th
June 26, 2014
Bam! The crowd sitting on the stone walls and sprawled on the beach ooh and aah as the July Fourth fireworks go off over the water in Kennebunkport, Maine. "It's still got old-fashioned charm here," said Bostonian Liz Daily Ortega, vacationing with extended family, including her two kids, as she has since she was a kid.
Atlantis Resort Exceeds Teen's Expectations
June 25, 2014
NASSAU, Bahamas - Traveling all over the world with my family throughout my 17 years, I had never been to a resort quite like Atlantis. With so much to do and so little time, we had to decide in advance what we were going to do in order to maximize our time with as much excitement as our 3-day trip could hold.
Families Learn About Wild Animal Care At Busch Gardens In Tampa FL
June 24, 2014
TAMPA, FL (Day 1 of 2) - The crowd is waiting excitedly. No, not for a celebrity or the chance to ride the newest theme park coaster, though we are at Busch Gardens in Tampa where a new ride is about to debut. We're at Busch Gardens state of the art Animal Care Center where guests can watch the park's vets do surgeries (like repairing a Bald Eagle's broken wing), wellness exams and more as the park's vet team works to keep 1200 animals healthy. Injured or sick animals rescued from the wild are treated here, along with the gibbon that is coming today for a complete physical exam.
Kids Learn To Do Grownup Work At Tampa Attractions
June 23, 2014
The kids at the Glazer Children's Museum are busy navigating Tampa's port, piloting a cruise ship and digging for treasure on an island. Nearby, at the Lowry Park Zoo, they're oohing and aahing over the recovering manatees who have been brought here because they were injured and ogling a Florida panther. I love it when museums and zoos encourage kids to learn about their own communities-or the communities they are visiting.
How Families Can Get Great Deals In The Caribbean In Summer
June 19, 2014
Conch shell craft, or coconut palm weaving? At the kids club at The Somerset on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos, teacher Kaye-Ann Irving-Rigby runs a complimentary program for kids as young as three - even if there is just one child in house - where they'll do crafts with conch shells, weave coconut palms, read local stories and play with toys on the spectacular beach. Maybe they'll play beach volleyball, Irving-Rigby said.
Kids Treated Like VIPs at San Francisco Hotel
May 28, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO (Day 1 of 3) - Everyone likes being treated like VIPS-especially four year olds. "They left me cookies! Said Anaya Shah, 4, staying at the St. Regis San Francisco with her parents and younger sister. Even better, she held out twin plush bunnies the concierge had given her while Aanika, 1, showed off a pink toy. "Every time we walk by they give them something," said the girls' mom Ruhi Shah. The family is visiting San Francisco from Honolulu, she explained, and explained when traveling with the girls, they opt for a luxury hotel-even one like the St. Regis San Francisco in the heart of downtown that is one of the city's top business hotels, close to the Moscone convention Center and financial district.
Families Learn About Pandas and Environment at the San Diego Zoo
May 7, 2014
Ready to meet one of the world's youngest celebrities? No, we’re not talking about Prince George, though this cute nearly 2-year-old and the heir to the British throne do have some things in common. Like the prince, Xiao Liwu (sshyaoww lee woo), certainly likes to play and seems oblivious to the fans he’s got all over the world — fans who watch his antics via video updates and adorable photos.
Mother's Day Doesn't Have To Be Just Once A Year
May 1, 2014
For once, I got something I really wanted for Mother's Day - and it didn't involve anyone shopping for a gift I could do without. I'm spending a May weekend with two of my three kids. Maybe that doesn't sound like much but when your kids live far from home, it's a big deal. I'm flying to the West Coast to make it happen. As for the third one - he lives the closest, so I see him all the time.
At The Tonga Room in SF, Fun Dining For Families
April 8, 2014
Mai Tai or Virgin Colada? No we're not in some tropical resort though we could be with the South Seas tiki décor, the lagoon that bisects the restaurant and the tropical rainstorms over the lagoon.
A New Way With Kids Menus at San Francisco's Exploratorium
April 7, 2014
There's no kids menu. No burgers, no fries, no mac and cheese. "People ask every day," says Clay Reynolds, the general manager of the SEAGLASS Restaurant on San Francisco's increasingly popular—and hip Embarcadero along San Francisco Bay that is home to a growing number of popular and innovative restaurants and a mecca for foodies.
Five Places For Your Kids To Get Up Close and Personal With Dinosaurs
April 3, 2014
The teenage boys couldn't resist posing for selfies with the stars of the show. It didn't matter that these stars were the famous dinosaur fossils at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. If you think kids outgrow dinosaurs by kindergarten, think again. "The dinosaurs were amazing. It is astounding that these creatures once roamed the Earth," said Khaliq Sanda, a high school senior.
Trip Advisor Survey: 75 Percent Include Kids In Travel Planning
April 2, 2014
My, have times changed! When I was a kid, my parents never asked me or my sister where we wanted to go, much less what we do when we got there. I don't remember letting my kids make family vacation decisions. In fact, I remember feeling that I was very forward thinking when I allowed my seven year old to plan a day of our trip to France - to visit Monet's famous gardens in Giverny. (She was enamored of a book about a little girl who visited the gardens. Here's what I wrote about that experience.)
Memories of Monet's Garden: Where a Little Girl (not Linnea) Led the Way
March 27, 2014
I can't stop smiling. I'm walking in Monet's famous gardens at Giverny on a sunny day, gardens with nearly 100,000 plants and a riot of colorful flowers, not to mention the famous lily pads immortalized in Monet's work. But I admit I'm not really thinking about what I'm seeing, or the masterpieces Claude Monet created here outside his home just 44 miles from Paris.
The Secret To Vacation Happiness - Ask The Kids To Help Planning!
March 20, 2014
Pity the California dad. He had spent a lot of money to take his wife and three daughters on an adventure trip to Costa Rica - idyllic remote eco lodges, nesting sea turtles, monkeys in the trees, butterfly gardens. As adventures went, it hit all the buttons for my 13-year-old niece and her pal - we were on that same trip from Thomson Family Adventures.
There's Plenty In Orlando For Even The Smallest Park Goers And Their Parents
March 5, 2014
There's no need to wait until kids are in elementary school to bring them to Orlando - not when every park has plenty to wow the littlest park goers and their parents, including big, interactive play areas designed just for them.
Taking The Kids Annual Family Cruise Guide
January 28, 2014
For family vacations or family reunions, or just to get away, cruising is increasingly popular for all generations. Whether you choose the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska or far-flung destinations like the Galapagos Islands and even the Arctic, you'll find all-inclusive deals and the advantage of packing and unpacking just once.
Spring Break Ideas To Meet Every Family's Wish List
January 13, 2014
Maybe your gang wants to ride roller coasters all day. Maybe you want to join the grandparents on a cruise. Maybe your idea of a perfect Spring Break getaway is cheering on your favorite baseball players at Spring Training games in Florida or Arizona. Whatever floats your family's boat - literally - spring break is a terrific time to get away. Spring break clearly has moved beyond bikinis and beer kegs as growing number of families find it the ideal time to get away together. And if you plan smart, you may even snare a bargain. You may find time to give back on vacation too.
Fun In The Snow - Your Guide To Family Vacations On The Ski Slopes And Beyond
November 29, 2013
Snow is falling in New England, the Rockies and Sierras; time to use our comprehensive guide to the top family ski resorts and introduce a loved one to snow sports this season. Humans were never meant to hibernate in winter. There’s too much fun to be had in the snow, whether you want to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, cross-country ski, sled, build snowmen or snow forts or make snow angels.
Ten Ways for Families to Celebrate Fall in the Midwest
September 12, 2013
Who knew the small city of Rockford, Ill., a little more than an hour from Chicago, is home to Jane, the most complete juvenile T-Rex (about 11 years old, scientists estimate) and Homer, the most complete adolescent Triceratops. He's seven feet tall and weighed more than two tons! You can visit them both at the Burpee Museum of Natural History (www.burpee.org).
Travel Writers Conference Showcases the Best of the Midwest in Autumn
August 25, 2013
Do you know why barns are painted red? It seems that farmers used to make their own paint from things like linseed oil and iron oxide when gave paint the red color and created a durable finish that protected the wooden barns. Now, it's a tradition. I learned that at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, IL where there is an entire area devoted to farming-from the chance to "milk" a cow (did you know dairy cows eat 90 pounds of food a day?), to smelling the scents of a farmyard (can you recognize manure? dirt? clover?).
Taking the Kids Cruise Guide 2013
June 12, 2013
Kids are everywhere-on cruise ships anyway-whether you are in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska or far flung destinations like the Galapagos Islands and even the Arctic. Welcome to our Taking the Kids Cruise Guide for 2013, researched and updated by our intrepid intern Becca Tash.
Families Can Enjoy Sailing and Racing on Island of Anguilla
May 19, 2013
Time to race? Sail racing is the island of Anguilla's national sport dating back to the early days of the 20th century when Anguillan men on their way back from working in sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic would race their schooners home. In fact, the unique design of the racing boats here evolved from fishing boats that would fish as much as 40 miles off shoe.
A Lot of Good News For Family Travelers From The First TMS
May 13, 2013
I love good news. And we heard a lot of it at our first-ever TMS Family Travel Summit in Orlando. Families are more upbeat about traveling as the economy continues to recover, though they are careful with what they spend.
The First Family Travel Summit: Family Travel is Big and Getting Bigger
May 7, 2013
What matters most to you when you travel with your kids? According to new research from MMGY Global, first reported by Peter Yesawich at the TMS Family Travel Summit in Orlando last weekend, the vast majority of family travelers want time to relax and unwind. They want to see new places (80 per cent) and they want to go somewhere that’s easy to get to (75 per cent.) But once they get there, supervised kids clubs aren’t important.
Can You EAR Me? It's a Special Year at Disney Parks
May 5, 2013
2013 is the Year of the Ear at Disney Parks with new limited release Disney Ear Hats available every month as part of Disney Parks' Limited Time Magic—special experiences designed to surprise and excite guests when they visit—including saving up to 30 per cent with the Monstrous Summer promotion available at Walt Disney World Resorts through mid June.
Cruise Lines Keep Innovating For Family Travel Market
April 28, 2013
Royal Caribbean wants you to know they've not only got your back but they'll guarantee you an experience like none other on board a ship. That's especially the case if you wait 18 months for the new Quantum of the Seas that will sail out of the New York area.
On Anguilla, A Couple Aim To Make A Caribbean Destination Affordable
April 21, 2013
The Ricketts want their little hotel and villa business to show people that Anguilla is not only for those who can afford five-star luxury. The hotel also serves as the island's unofficial cultural center. In fact, the restaurant is crowded the night we visit with locals and visitors alike for the weekly dance performance that tells the story of Anguilla.
Ann On Broadway - A Great Perspective On A Multi-Tasking Mom
April 14, 2013
I was thinking of how she had to juggle the needs of her kids with her work-as we all do. One minute she's cajoling a son-she had four kids-to come to a family get-together; the next she is deciding whether to grant a death row inmate a reprieve, under pressure from the Vatican and Mother Theresa.
Omni Introduces Teen Concierges For Visiting Families
April 7, 2013
Larissa Horn, e sophomore at NYU, wants to go into the hospitality business. She's a student at the University's famous hospitality school. But she's not just studying the industry. She's been tapped to be the special teen concierge at the Omni Berkshire Place in midtown Manhattan. And unlike other internships, she’s getting paid to do it.
10 Tips For Making Family Spring Travel More Fun
March 31, 2013
Some of you are just heading out on spring break. Some of you are there and are wondering why you left home. That's because traveling with kids is never easy. It's aggravating, stressful, expensive and wonderful. Keep reminding yourself that all the travel research shows that family vacations are responsible for the happiest memories we have—memories that last a lifetime.
A Ski Area In Vermont Owned and Operated by Skiers Who Grew Up On Its Slopes
March 23, 2013
It's easy to see why families are attracted to Bolton Valley-the low-key atmosphere reminiscent of when parents learned to ski in Vermont and the fact that lift tickets are about 20-30 percent less than at neighboring Stowe.
Survey Shows Kids Are Invested Heavily In Family Vacation Time
March 17, 2013
The majority of adults polled for a new U.S. Travel Association Family Vacation Survey said they were motivated to take family vacations by the desire to create positive memories for their children-fond memories like they have from the vacations they took as children as young as five. The majority noted that some of their favorite photos and videos are from family vacations.
TSA, Really?? Knives, Bats, Golf Clubs On Airplanes???
March 10, 2013
You can't bring a bottle of water onto an airplane. You might get stopped at security with a container of breast milk. But you can bring a baseball bat? And small knives? Come on TSA, which announced last week that these items will be allowed as carry-on beginning April 25. How about a little common sense?
Some Museums Are More Than Worth The Admission
March 10, 2013
Certainly you could spend all of your time in Washington, DC without paying to enter a museum—there are plenty of free ones to choose from. But two on our list are private and to the high school boys I'd taken to see the sites for the weekend they were worth the cost of admission.
How About A Bike Ride In The Dark In The Sonoran Desert?
March 3, 2013
It is pitch black and I am riding a bike through the Sonoran desert. Of course my bike has a light and I'm on a paved trail-a golf cart trail, actually at the expansive (some 1300 acres at the Boulders Resort in Scottsdale known for the distinctive giant boulders that look like snowmen made out of granite and have been here for millions of years.
Families Can Spread Out At Hotels In Orlando
February 24, 2013
These days, not only do we want more room to spread out (think two rooms, two bathrooms, two TVS) but we want the experience to be fun. And we don't want it to cost a bundle either. Did I mention that Disney has just unrolled free Wi-Fi at all of its resorts?
Carnival Needs To Step Up And Restore The Trust of Traveling Families
February 15, 2013
Carnival really needs to work hard in the days ahead to restore trust. That should start with a public explanation of how this happened and how it intends to prevent a recurrence. But instead, Carnival has so far offered only to refund passengers the cost of their cruise, is busing them home and initially offered them $500 each. That seems to fall short.
It's Okay Not To Take The Kids On Every Trip
February 10, 2013
When you are after an adult's getaway, you don't want a lot of kids around to either spoil your tranquility or make you feel guilty. If you wanted to be with kids, you would have brought your own.
Thinking Back on All the Great Family Times at the Beach
February 3, 2013
I wish I were at the beach. I'm guessing so do a lot of people right about now when it is freezing across the country. At least I can think about the fun times on the beach in recent months.
Mixing and Matching Different Tastes on the Ski Mountain
January 27, 2013
Even in the most terrific locales, nothing goes as planned. Someone gets sick (we've had lots of ear infections). Someone ends up in the ER (me, here three years ago after a bad fall). Someone has a meltdown. And someone just doesn't want to spend that much time with mom and dad.
Welcome the the Club Ladies - Wish There Were More of These in Ski Country
January 20, 2013
There are also plenty of women's clinics around the country designed for women to hone their skills, whether they are skiers or snowboarders. I wish every resort had a Ladies' Club like the one offered at Park City Mountain Resort. All it takes is 2 hours and $60.
Historical Events Converge This Week; Families Can Participate
January 13, 2013
There is no better time than the week we celebrate Martin Luther King Day and the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation to embrace teachable moments with kids about slavery-no more so than at the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington DC.
Repeat After Me:
January 6, 2013
I wish the travel industry would stop trying to convince us that if we only stay at this hotel, chose that cruise line or use a particular credit card, the kids won't bicker, rooms will be ready when we arrive without any delays, of course, and all will be wonderful every moment.
Eileen Ogintz
TMS Mamas and Papas
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