We're walking past groves of soaring redwood "families," some with their innards carved out as the result of forest fires.
But we're not in a crowded national park. In fact, we've pretty much got the hiking trail to ourselves in Butano State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, midway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay and only a little more ...Read more
Let's hear it for dads! Grandpas, too! Sure moms may do a lot of the vacation heavy lifting -- planning (and worrying) that all will go well and everyone will have a fun time. But even if moms are the chief planners, as research suggests, dads do plenty of heaving lifting too -- starting with the suitcases and duffels. They're the ones playing ...Read more
Psst! Looking for a summer beach bargain? You know, somewhere with white sand beaches, clear blue water and plenty of activities to keep everyone happy -- paddle-boarding, giant sand castle building, boogie-boarding and snorkeling. Let's not forget kayaking.
Sure it's high season in places like Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the Outer Banks of North ...Read more
Gavrie Watkins is in vacation heaven. A huge Harry Potter fan, the 11-year-old joyfully traversed the cobblestone paths of Diagon Alley, Universal Studios' year-old addition to its "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" experience. Diagon Alley now is connected via the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade, which is located next door at Universal's homeandleisure/travel/takingthekids/s-1665192">Read more
Got the binoculars? Make it a contest to see how many different species of birds the kids can count. On a good day, you might see 120, says our naturalist guide Francisco Nombre, who just happens to hold Mexico's 2015 title for "The Big Day," seeing the most different species in a 24-hour period.
People come to homeandleisure/travel/takingthekids/s-1662353">Read more
New Yorker Angela Manna's family typically wouldn't choose an all-inclusive resort, but suddenly she's seen the light.
The HangmanDee Rose
When he is murdered, he is given demonic powers and escapes purgatory to go back to earth and avenge his death as The Hangman. However, unbeknown to him, a war has broken out between good and evil. He must choose a side. To either join the demon who gave him his powers and the legions of ...
How Many? How much? When? After "are we there yet?" the next questions, and unfortunately ones that last the entire vacation, have to do with souvenirs. And it doesn't matter if your kids are five or 15. They all want to know:
How many souvenirs can I get?
How much can I spend?
When can we shop? (Possibly the most asked question from older ...Read more
What could be more English then coming face to face with a snowy owl, exploring a "Lost in the Willows" maze, inspired by the classic children's tale "The Wind in the Willows," playing hide-and-seek in huge hedges and then climbing a haunted staircase at a centuries-old castle?
Let's not forget the kids' favorite at homeandleisure/travel/takingthekids/s-1642985">Read more
Who would have thought a big hole would wow the kids? Of course, it's not just any hole. The Grand Canyon is perhaps the most spectacular hole anywhere. It's a mile deep with 10 miles separating the South Rim, where we were, from the North Rim.
No wonder it attracts 5 million visitors a year, who ...Read more
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 ...Read more
What do you know about Thomas Jefferson?
"He wrote the Declaration of Independence!" one boy answered.
"He was the third president!" answered another.
"He was a nice man," said 5-year-old Hannah, who added that, "I really don't know anything about Jefferson."
Forty minutes later, Hannah and the kids, after a special family tour of homeandleisure/travel/takingthekids/s-1628114">Read more
It is pitch-black and I am riding a bike through the Sonoran desert in Arizona. Good thing my bike has a light and I'm on a paved trail -- a golf cart trail at the expansive (some 1,300 acres) Boulders Resort in Scottsdale, known for its distinctive giant boulders that look like granite snowmen. The ...Read more
The 6 year old was determined to set herself apart from her older brother and sister on vacation.
My youngest daughter, Mel, declared she was a "big girl" and could decide for herself what fun she would have in the snow that week in Crested Butte, Colorado. If her brother and sister were strutting...Read more