Home & Leisure



Taking the Kids: The National Museum of Play

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Impossible, I thought, as I hung up the phone. I was a young Chicago Tribune reporter and had just fielded a call about a new doll company in Wisconsin that was touting expensive historic dolls to little girls and their parents.

That will never fly, I told colleagues. No story here. Boy was I wrong. Not only did homeandleisure/travel/takingthekids/s-2139470">Read more

Around the World: In Aruba, “Bon Bini” Means Welcome, and They Mean It!

Travel / Around the World /

Oranjestad, Aruba – Every Tuesday evening, this charming Caribbean island town welcomes tourists with its weekly Bon Bini Festival, a spectacular display of song, dance and crafts, presented at gather at Fort Zoutman in celebration of the island's unique cultural heritage.

“Bon bini” means welcome in Papiamento, Aruba’...Read more

The lessons of Verdun

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I -- "the war to end all wars," which cost an estimated 40 million lives. While there are no more survivors to tell us their stories, WWI sights and memorials scattered across Europe do their best to keep the devastation from fading from memory.

Perhaps the most ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Michael Pugliese and Prem Singh

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

After meeting in acting class, Michael Pugliese and Prem Singh decided to create roles for themselves that they'd be proud to portray on screen. So like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck did before them, the Canadians wrote their own screenplay and looked for backers for what would become "Tiger." They won the interest of Mickey Rourke, who agreed to ...Read more

Taking the Kids: On the college tour circuit

Travel / Taking The Kids /

The campus tour hadn't even started when my daughter gave the university a thumbs-down.

"Too flat," my mountain-loving girl declared as we trekked across the campus on a crisp fall day. This was the Midwest, after all, I reminded her. And we had flown halfway around the country to visit. "Sorry," she said. "Besides, everyone seems too intense."...Read more

German cuisine is a treat for travelers

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Eating in Germany is a big part of the fun of traveling there. Ingredients are wonderful (especially if you eat with the season), traditions are prized, "modern German cuisine" is giving old dishes tasty and entertaining new twists, and small, creative foodie places are thriving in every city. And here's even more good news: Eating well in ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Lay

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Musician/producer Lay is celebrating his recent 27th birthday with the release of his latest solo album, "NAMANANA." Born Yixing Zhang in Hunan, the EXO star recorded each song, including his self-produced single, "Give Me a Chance" -- in both English and Mandarin. A workaholic who says he's happiest when he's busy, he made his solo United ...Read more

Taking the Kids -- Happy Halloween -- all month long!

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Got everyone's costume ready?

Sure Halloween is weeks away but celebrations are going full steam across the country.

No longer a one-day affair, Halloween has morphed into one of the year's biggest holidays, with families taking off to experience haunted houses, spooky festivals and gruesome gourmet delights. ...Read more

Nature and romance in Italy's Lakes District

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Northern Italy's seductively beautiful lakes district -- in the shadow of the Alps -- seems heaven-sent for communing with nature. Though just an hour north of Milan, this area feels a world away from the business and bustle of Italy's second city.

In this romantic region, wistful 19th-century villas are overgrown with old vines that seem to ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Jackson Rathbone

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

As "Twilight" celebrates the 10th anniversary of its theatrical release this year, Jackson Rathbone -- who portrayed broody vampire Jasper Hale -- is busy. He is one of the stars of the film "Heart, Baby!" and has a new single out, "Young and Tragic." Born in Asia, the actor-musician says he traveled so much as a child that he feels "only at ...Read more

Taking the Kids: What's in your bag of tricks for outdoor fun?

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Got your bag of tricks ready? Not for Halloween but for getting everyone to put down their devices and head outdoors.

There's no better time than autumn to get outdoors and get away, whether you have a day, a weekend or a week. The climate is ideal; there is the right ratio of visitors to locals and grandparents can savor their ...Read more

House calls: Inside the homes of Europe's top artists

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

As a traveler, I find myself visiting the homes of lots of dead people. Some are over the top (Louis XIV's Versailles near Paris); some are haunting (Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam); others inspire you to write a poem (William Wordsworth's Dove Cottage in England's Lake District).

Many of my favorites are the home studios of artists -- ...Read more

Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Kari Byron

Travel / Celebrity Travel /

Best known for her work on "Mythbusters," "Positive Energy" and "White Rabbit Project," Kari Byron is also the author of "Crash Test Girl: An Unlikely Experiment in Using the Scientific Method to Answer Life's Toughest Questions" (HarperCollins). After moving to San Francisco for college, she never left. "My San Francisco love affair has lasted ...Read more

Taking the Kids: When a vacation rental is more than a place to sleep

Travel / Taking The Kids /

Twenty-five pounds of brisket ... dried ancho chiles ... assorted other spices, five pounds of bacon... Not your typical shopping list for a long weekend at a vacation rental.

But this weekend at the we had rented in Crested Butte, Colorado, wasn'...Read more

Book smart when looking for lodging in Europe

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

I used to travel with absolutely no hotel reservations. Europe 30 years ago was relatively ramshackle, things were cheaper and because fewer people could afford to travel for fun, there was much less competition for budget rooms. I could make decisions on the go, show up in a new town and improvise my accommodations. But the tourism boom and ...Read more