Showcase of Citrus Album Six: Giant Monster Truck Super Swamp Safari! – Clermont, Florida – 05/06/2021

Climb aboard a behemoth open-air monster truck for a birds-eye view of orange groves, blueberry bushes, farms, fields, swamplands, and more! Take in the sights and sounds of wild animals, magnificent birds, exotic species, and domesticated farm animals. This approximately hour-long Monster Truck Super Swamp Safari is something EVERYONE in the family will love! Sure, rollercoasters are fun… But, include time in your Orlando-Area Theme Park Itinerary to travel the road less taken! In GIANT Monster Truck Style! Real Florida awaits your family at Showcase of Citrus in Clermont, Florida, just outside of Orlando! Read more about our full day…

Animal Tracks of Florida’s Wildlife Exhibit at the I-75 Welcome Center – Jennings, Florida – 05/05/2021

Sometimes you can find educational things in the most unlikely of places! Make a pit stop to use the facilities at the Interstate 75 Welcome Center, and you can learn about the tracks made by animals that live in Florida! What will you see on YOUR trip? Click on any photo to learn more about wildlife! CLICK HERE to find FUN Things to Do With Your Family in Florida!

Chattahoochee Riverwalk / Historic 14th Street Bridge / Phenix City Riverwalk – Columbus, Georgia / Phenix City, Alabama – 05/05/2021

The Chattahoochee Riverwalk is a 15 mile long river front park that traverses the scenic and historic Columbus, Georgia waterfront. On the Alabama side of the river, you will find the Phenix City Riverwalk, which offers an equally scenic 1.2 mile trail hugging the western shore of the Chattahoochee. Connecting the two, is a recently restored section of the Historic 14th Street Bridge. Originally designed and constructed in the early 1830’s by Horace King, a well-known American architect and former slave, the bridge was destroyed by floods in the late 1830’s. It was rebuilt by King, and then destroyed again…

Great Science Ideas – Owl Pellet Dissection Lab Activity!

Are you interested in an Owl Pellet Dissection Project for your family, classroom, or homeschool group? Kids carefully loosen bits of undigested material from a sterilized owl “pellet” and identify the specimens with a handy chart! Check out a few of these options below! Be sure to explore recommended suggestions to make sure you get the best deal on the right size packs of pellets and supplies such as tweezers, magnifying glasses, and charts for your group! They range from individual pellets for about $3 each, to small group packs from $25-$50, all the way up to large bulk packs…

Hustle and Bustle on Santa Monica Pier – Santa Monica, California – 12/07/2019

With the hustle and bustle along the iconic Santa Monica Pier, you never know what you’re going to find! One thing is for sure, as America’s Greatest Pleasure Pier, you WILL find FUN!

Santa Monica State Beach at the Santa Monica Pier – Santa Monica, California – 12/07/2019

At the end of Route 66, you’ll find the bustling Pacific Beach area of Santa Monica, California! The iconic Santa Monica Pier, surrounded by the sandy stretches of Santa Monica State Beach. The Pacific Ocean before you is surprisingly natural, in contrast to the steady population just beyond. I imagine on a sunny day, the beach would be pretty busy… But, on this cool, overcast winter day, the natural areas were quite lovely, with iconic Americana situated atop the Santa Monica Pier just to our left!

Destination: Pacific Ocean! – Santa Monica, California – 12/07/2019

Mountains are gorgeous, and cities are fun… But there will always be something alluringly surreal about the call of the Pacific Ocean! Overcast skies, the crashing of the waves, the cries of the seagulls… Cool, moist, briny air… Sand beneath your toes, water lapping at your heels… Marine life in its vast entirety, beckoning to you from their home!

Trumpeter Swans and Sandhill Cranes of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge – Zimmerman, Minnesota – 05/31/2018

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge – Zimmerman, Minnesota Trumpeter Swans and Sandhill Cranes are two incredibly beautiful avian species that consider the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge their home for part of each year. Each bird has a history of being threatened or endangered due to habitat loss and being overhunted. Thankfully the Sandhill Crane populations have stabilized and starting to increase. And the Trumpeter Swans, in most places, are considered to be a rehabilitated population! We are grateful for our National Wildlife Refuges, which not only protect lands for vulnerable species, but allow families like us to experience such AWESOME creatures…

NPS: Great River Road Visitor Center at Freedom Park – Two National Park Units in One! Mississippi National River and Recreation Area / St. Croix National Scenic Riverway – Prescott, Wisconsin – 05/29/2018

Great River Road Visitor Center at Freedom Park – Prescott, Wisconsin Located at the confluence of the St. Croix River with the Mississippi River in Prescott, Wisconsin, this The Great River Road Visitor Center will tick, not one, but TWO National Parks off your list! Learn about the geography and human history of each river, as well as the wildlife that call this lush area home! Lots of Junior Ranger fun can be found here as well! Ask about (OR download via these handy links!) St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Junior Ranger ProgramLet’s Go Fishing! Junior Ranger Angler ProgramMississippi National…

A Sherburne Sunset With the Sandhill Cranes – Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge – Zimmerman, Minnesota – 05/27/2018

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge – Zimmerman, Minnesota An evening cruise along the Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge just outside of Zimmerman, Minnesota. A Sherburne Sunset With the Sandhill Cranes… Check Out Our SPGFAN Zimmerman, Minnesota QUIKLIST! For ALL the Things to Do in Minnesota, CLICK HERE! See Everything Our Family Has Done in Minnesota! Read More About the National Wildlife Refuge Blue Goose Passport Program! Click HERE or on Any Photo Belowfor Beautiful Nature Journals!

An Evening Cruise Along the Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive – Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge – Zimmerman, Minnesota – 05/27/2018

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge – Zimmerman, Minnesota An evening cruise along the Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge just outside of Zimmerman, Minnesota. A Sherburne Sunset With the Sandhill Cranes… Check Out Our SPGFAN Zimmerman, Minnesota QUIKLIST! For ALL the Things to Do in Minnesota, CLICK HERE! See Everything Our Family Has Done in Minnesota! Read More About the National Wildlife Refuge Blue Goose Passport Program! Click HERE or on Any Photo Belowfor Beautiful Nature Journals!

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center (Now Indiana Dunes National Park) – Porter, Indiana – 05/16/2018

We’ve been through several areas of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore prior to this trip, but this marks the first chance we’ve had to get into this National Park Visitor Center. We added stamps to our books, grabbed our Junior Ranger Booklets, and enjoyed some of the birding and wildlife exhibits and activities. *As of February 2019, Indiana Dunes has officially graduated to a National Park from its previous National Lakeshore designation! National Park Collector’s Edition Stamp Book

Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge – Gautier, Mississippi – 09/27/2017

I think my phone ate some of my photos from our afternoon adventure into the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, but luckily the gators didn’t eat us! We’re working hard to collect our stamps for our National Wildlife Refuge Blue Goose Passport Program Stamp Book, and we ALWAYS love checking out the wildlife wherever we may be traveling! Here, you can see all kinds of swamp life, including alligators, snakes, fish, birds, and of course, the Sandhill Cranes! It’s a quick stop off of Interstate 10 if you are passing through Southern Mississippi, perhaps on your way to or…

Bandy Creek Loop Trail – Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area – Oneida, Tennessee – 04/04/2016

A beautiful Spring Day calls for a lovely hike in the woods! We hit up the Bandy Creek Loop in the Big South Fork NRRA between Jamestown and Oneida, Tennessee. Lots of unique birds and insects, as well as colorful wildflowers were also making their way out into the warm and pleasant sunlight! Check out this adorable grouse! And an even cuter tiny human!

American Eagle Foundation: Birds of Prey Event – Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area Crossville Visitor Center – Crossville, Tennessee – 03/14/2015

The American Eagle Foundation out of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is an education, advocacy, and support group that works tirelessly to protect Bald Eagles and other Birds of Prey. They maintain a permanent exhibit of majestic, but unreleasable birds at Dollywood Theme Park, also located in Pigeon Forge. Any day you are at Dollywood, you can visit these stunning birds at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. From March to October, AEF host an informative and interactive performance at Dollywood known as the Wings of America Birds of Prey Show. On this particular day, these passionate avian heroes descended upon the Big South Fork…

Autumn in Cades Cove – Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Townsend, Tennessee – 10/26/2012

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an intriguing human history that has left its mark on the beautiful land. In addition to being preserved as a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the area of Cades Cove is also designated as a United Nations World Heritage Site, and an International Biosphere Reserve. There is no better place to immerse yourself into this significantly historic scenery than by driving the 11 mile one-way auto loop through Cades Cove, on the western side of the park, just outside of Townsend, Tennessee. Here, amongst the stunning natural features of the…

Hiking the Weeping Rock Trail – Zion National Park – Springdale, Utah – 07/04/2012

Weeping Rock is a lovely trail, with a magnificent destination! It is definitely a trail that I highly recommend to families visiting Zion National Park with kids of any age. It is uphill on the way to Weeping Rock, but it’s not unbearable. And then, it’s all downhill on the way back! But, the unique rock formation; the hanging gardens of moss and greenery; and the wildlife and wildflowers along the way, are well worth the time and effort! I also highly recommend the Emerald Pools Trail, and any length of distance you are up for on the Virgin River…

Sunset on the Great Salt Lake – Bridger Bay at Antelope Island State Park – Syracuse, Utah – 07/01/2012

The reflective properties of the heavily salinated water of the Great Salt Lake make for some FABULOUS sunset views and photos! This truly is one of the more stunning spots I have ever watched the sun sink into the horizon below. Do you try to catch sunrises and sunsets on your vacations? The other-worldly ambiance of watching such a brilliantly hued celestial event right before your very eyes is the stuff of which family memories are made! And sunsets at Antelope Island State Park are some of the most magical, indeed! Check out ALL of Our Adventures on Antelope Island!…

Rock Scrambling Along Lady Finger Point Trail – Antelope Island State Park – Syracuse, Utah – 07/01/2012

Even to the day you are reading this post, rock scrambling along Lady Finger Point Trail at Antelope Island State Park remains one of our favorite things we have ever done together as a family. My kids absolutely LOVED every second of climbing, scrambling, scooting, and hiking through these fun rock formations along the coast of the Great Salt Lake. If your kids love to rock climb, consider a trip to Antelope Island State Park, and take some time to play along the Lady Finger Point Trail! I hope you love it as much as my crew did! Lady Finger…

Arriving on Antelope Island for a Day of Fun! – Syracuse, Utah – 07/01/2012

If you’ll be in Northern Utah, in or near the Salt Lake City vicinity, Antelope Island State Park is a MUST! Grand vistas of the Utah landscape await your family! A beautiful visitor center offers a fun Antelope Island Junior Ranger Program from the Utah State Park System. And, once you set off to explore, you will find hiking, rock scrambling, the beaches of the Great Salt Lake, Bison herds, and other unique local wildlife! If you’ll be visiting multiple Utah State Parks, which I’d highly encourage you to consider, I’d recommend the purchase of a Utah State Park Annual…

Topeka Zoological Park – Topeka, Kansas – 06/29/2012

The Topeka Zoo in Gage Park is a small, but well-designed zoo that offers easily viewable animal enclosures. Topeka Zoo offers FREE or discounted admission with the AZA Reciprocal Program! It makes a great pit stop when passing through on Interstate 70. The city of Topeka makes a WONDERFUL family destination if you fancy a longer stay!

University of Kansas Natural History Museum – Lawrence, Kansas – 06/29/2012

The Natural History Museum, situated in a gorgeous building on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, is an extremely well-done set of exhibits, encompassing many disciplines of science. From habitat dioramas, to microbiology, to halls of preserved animal specimens; and so much more! If your kids love science and natural history, this is a GREAT destination for your family! Spend an hour, or spend a day! There is something here for everyone! And, best of all, the UK Natural History Museum is on the ASTC Passport List offering FREE admission to ASTC Reciprocal Members! How cool is…

Gone Fishin'! – Dry Tortugas National Park – Dry Tortugas, Florida – 09/12/2011

Spending our days frolicking in the clear waters and exploring the marinelife was definitely the collectively preferred way to enjoy our time here! If you are brave enough to venture out, lots of unique corals and bright, colorful fish can be viewed around the submerged areas of the fort walls. But, you don’t even have to venture too far from shore to enjoy countless species of fish of all sizes, and other aquatic life! Observing several different levels of the marine food chain in action was fascinating. All those poor little fish, swimming in their school for safety in numbers,…

Night Sounds of the Swamp – Everglades National Park – Homestead, Florida – 09/03/2011

As the sun begins to lower in the sky, the swamps come alive! Frogs, insects, birds… And who knows what else! All filling the air with song! And alligators, calling to one another, with deep bellowing grunts! Everglades National Park

A Day in the Everglades – Everglades National Park – Homestead, Florida – 09/03/2011

The Everglades National Park boasts an unimaginable quantity of wildlife! Turkey vultures, black vultures, birds of prey, shore birds, song birds and more! As well as snakes, anoles, alligators, and the list goes on! We even saw the coolest snails! And, wow, those Golden Orb Spiders are a sight to behold… Unless, of course, you are terrified of spiders! And, in that case, my apologies!

Aquarium of Niagara – Niagara Falls, New York – 04/10/2010

We really adored the plethora of interactive experiences we found at the Aquarium of Niagara! We loved the place so much we bought Annual Membership Passes and plan to come back as often as we can! Be sure to check out the Daily Schedules to participate in feedings, live presentations, performances, educational talks, and more! And there are so many beautiful species of fish, corals, anemones, seahorses, penguins, marine mammals, and amphibians to learn about and enjoy!

Let Marine Biology Come Alive! Get Up Close and Personal with Marinelife at the Newport Aquarium – Newport, Kentucky – 02/22/2010

What a collection of Marinelife! Fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, mammals, birds, and so much more! Jellyfish, sea stars, penguins, frogs, crabs, sharks, gila monsters, and even alligators! All under one roof at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, just on the other side of the Ohio River at Cincinnati, OH! Countless species, all easily viewable, reside here in the Newport Aquarium. This facility offers such a variety of hands-on learning opportunities and many ways to interactively engage with the multitude of animals that call this place home! Touch tanks, bird feedings, animal meet-and-greets, and other activities allow kids to truly…

Lake Martin Swamp Tour with Bryan Champagne – Breaux Bridge, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

We’ve taken a lot of Swamp Tours in our time. Among the swamp tours more readily available, Bryan Champagne of Champagne’s Swamp Tours would definitely be ranked the highest. Bryan was fantastic with the kids. He engaged them with a lot of wonderful, wise, and witty dialogue, and then allowed them a lot of hands-on interaction with different plants, grasses, trees, reeds, seeds, and even a baby alligator! There are multiple tour companies and guides from which to choose in this area. And there are lots of locations in the Southern Louisiana region that offer commercial tour packages. But, we…

On the Shores of Lake Martin – Breaux Bridge, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

Lake Martin is such a gorgeous area. Teeming with spirited animals, gorgeous birds, and a plethora of plant life! It was a cool day, but we let the kiddos enjoy the fresh air before boarding the boat for our Swamp Tour with Bryan Champagne!

Driving the Creole Nature Trail All American Road – Grand Chenier, Louisiana into Sabine, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

Most of Louisiana Highway 82 along the Gulf of Mexico is part of the Creole Nature Trail. Driving it makes for some grand adventures through prime bird and alligator habitat. Lots of shore birds, pelicans, gulls, egrets, herons, and even the occasional spoonbill if you keep your eyes peeled! The closer you get to Texas, you might even start seeing fields of Long Horn Cattle! It’s also a fun little route, because there are multiple free ferry crossings that take you across the larger rivers. Don’t forget to stop at Holly Beach for a fun afternoon, also known as La…

Hangin’ with Grandma and Grandpa – Oviedo, Florida – 01/19/2010

Hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa down in Florida! Click on any photo for gift ideas for the Grandparents in YOUR life!

Cruickshank Trail on the Blackpoint Wildlife Drive – Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge – Titusville, Florida – 1/18/2010

We spent the day hiking with good friends on the Cruikshank Trail along the Blackpoint Wildlife Drive! We saw thousands of birds and tons of alligators! Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Titusville, Florida

Blackpoint Wildlife Trail – Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge – Titusville, Florida – 01/18/2010

Click on any photo to learn more about Florida Coastal Birds and Wildlife! You can see so many different species driving through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida!