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Taking the Kids: Where holiday lights build family traditions

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Maybe it's snow-tubing or racing down an ice slide in Grapevine, Texas.

So what if the snow isn't real. Those who visit the "Christmas Capital of Texas" don't care, not with more than 1,400 holiday events -- beginning November 12.

For many families, ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Montana has outdoor fun all year 'round

Travel / Taking The Kids /

What's up, Gertrude? We were a lot more interested in her than she was in us, I'm afraid. Gertrude was one of the 1,800-pound bison we encountered on a snowshoe trek around Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park one cold winter day.

I love Yellowstone in winter -- no crowds, lots of animals and...Read more

Taking the Kids: Off to Seattle

Travel / Taking The Kids /

See if the kids can name an everyday product that was invented in Seattle.

Seattle, of course, has long been home to innovators -- everyone from Bill Gates to Jeff Bezos, who started Amazon, to Bill Boeing. Costco started in Seattle, so did Starbucks...Read more

Taking the Kids: An important history lesson through baseball in Kansas City

Travel / Taking The Kids /

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," ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Saving Money and Having More Fun By Booking Your Own Cruise Excursions

Travel / Taking The Kids /

In the historic Sicilian town of Taormina, Aldo Valerio greets us like friends he hasn't seen in a long while, with effusive hugs and kisses.

But we're strangers who've only corresponded a few times via email. Valerio, along with his wife, runs a tour company called Secret Italia ( ...Read more

Taking the Kids: To Lake Placid and a resort that gets it right for families

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Lynne Kylish has struck gold. Not literally, but Kylish, the mom of three from New Jersey, thinks her family found vacation nirvana at the Whiteface Lodge ( in Lake Placid, N.Y., ( And for a busy family looking to ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Staying in a Real Castle

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Reed Hunt, 5, was skeptical. Sure he'd seen plenty of castles in Disney movies and had read stories where castles figured in the plot, but real castles? He didn't think they existed.

That's when his mom Erica decided to bring Reed and his older brother Will to ...Read more

Taking the Kids: A Colorado resort that's no longer hard to reach

Travel / Taking The Kids /

The bike rack at the Telluride gondola is full with snow-dusted bikes, as well as a stroller or two. No wonder. Tiny Telluride is a popular place. Nestled in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, the mountain range has the highest concentration of 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks in North America. That means much of the historic town -- at 8...Read more

Taking the Kids: To the Statue of Liberty

Travel / Taking The Kids /

What a view! We're standing atop the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty -- about halfway up the 305-foot, 1-inch climb to the crown -- looking out at the New York City skyline.

Even the jaded high school boys I'm chaperoning can't help but be impressed. "You don't realize how big it really is until you're here," said Christopher Morales, 15.

...Read more

Taking the Kids: Touring Paris, and other cities, with those who live there

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Forget the ubiquitous and delicious French macarons. "Parisians are very keen on eclairs now," said Edouard Morhange, as he ushers us into a shop called L'Atelier de L'eclair on the rue Bachaumont where all they sell are delectable eclairs -- strawberry, caramel, chocolate...

Morhange, who lives nearby and is on the board of the Paris Greeter (...Read more

Taking the Kids: Eating Healthier on the Road

Travel / Taking The Kids /

I'm so tired of hotels and resorts touting kids-eat-free programs limited to traditional kids menus. Do we want to encourage children to eat a steady diet of mac and cheese, chicken fingers, hot dogs and fries? Do kids, once they are in kindergarten, even want that? Not the kids I know who love sushi and steak. Not their parents either.

Kim ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Getting out of the car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Are you a windshield tourist? That's what they call the many visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park who simply traverse the park's famous 30-plus mile Newfound Gap Road through the park and don't get out of the car much, if at all...Read more

Taking the Kids: Visiting a Bookstore While Traveling

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Read any good books lately? I'm thinking the kind of book that will enhance a travel experience for you and your kids, whatever their ages.

I know a lot of kids don't even read "real" books anymore. Everyone is all about interactive books kids can read on tablets with all sorts of fun features. But there's still something to be said for ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Sampling Orlando's changing restaurant scene during Magical Dining Month

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Forget the latest theme park attractions. How about a farm tour or cooking lesson on your next trip to Orlando?

OK, maybe not, though Grande Lakes Orlando, home to the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott, does both and JW Marriott Executive Chef Jadan Sheive points to the popularity of the resort's new ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Trying falconry, the ancient sport of kings

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Hello, Autumn! No, not the season, though we are less than a month away from my favorite season, but Autumn the beautiful, slightly over two pounds Harris Hawk, who lands on my gloved arm. She's actually named Fomhar (Gaelic for autumn).

We are at Ireland’s School of Falconry -- the oldest in the country ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Enjoying a Windstar cruise

Travel / Taking The Kids /

I can't stop thinking about Beverly Unger. I met the spry 91-year-old grandmother from Victoria, Canada, a few weeks ago. She was cruising with her 17-year-old grandson in Ireland and Britain, touring historic sites, picturesque ports, churches and more, navigating tenders in bumpy seas. I hope I've got half her stamina when I'm her age!

"When ...Read more

Taking the Kids: Taking a big bite out of the Big Apple

Travel / Taking The Kids /

New York, of course, is always tops on tweens and teens lists of wanna-go places. In fact, according to NYC tourism officials, a record-breaking 17.2 million family visitors with kids under 18 visited New York last year.

If you have a few days before school starts, it turns out August is a good time. Sure it may be hot, but with business ...Read more

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