The Song of Hiawatha at Minnehaha Falls Regional Park – Minneapolis, Minnesota – 05/25/2018

The Song of Hiawatha at Minnehaha Falls Regional Park Poet extraordinaire, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, gave us ‘The Song of Hiawatha’ in his legendary epic poem. Norwegian sculptor, Jacob Fjelde, captured the love of Hiawatha and Minnehaha in his renowned sculpture. Originally created for the Minnesota Building for the duration of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the statue of the couple is now situated in perpetuity atop Minnehaha Falls in Minnehaha Regional Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “Over wide and rushing riversIn his arms he bore the maiden;Light he thought her as a feather,As the plume upon his head-gear;Cleared the tangled pathway…

Ulla’s Bakery – Hands On Fun in the Family Playroom at the American Swedish Institute – Minneapolis, Minnesota – 05/24/2018

Visiting the American Swedish Institute is an absolute plethora of educational experiences for everyone in the family! From the opulence of the Turnblad Mansion, to the ever-changing selection of Special Exhibits… But, for the littlest members of your family, they can enjoy all kids of hands-on fun in the Family Playroom! Serve up yummy pretzels in Ulla’s Bageri, score some hockey goals, create artistic masterpieces, or carve to your heart’s content in the woodworker’s shop! Let your child’s creativity soar with these amazing themed activities, perfect for tiny hands and HUGE imaginations! Be sure to check out the Calendar of…

Hope Fest Classic Car Show and Kids’ Games – Jamestown, Tennessee – 05/06/2016

The Fentress Hope Foundation in Jamestown, Tennessee is a charitable organization that helps right in the heart of the local community. Hope Fest one of many local events they host for local families. The weekend schedule is jam-packed with a Car Show; kids’ games and inflatables; live music; entertainment; and so much more! Most of these shots are from the Car Show, and one of Ribby beating us all at Cornhole! Which, yes, I still refer to as the Bean Bag Toss!

Dancing in the Glen Miller Gardens at the Chattanooga Choo Choo – Chattanooga Tennessee – 04/22/2016

Chattanooga, Tennessee is another absolutely HOT Family-Friendly Destination! Hanging out at the Chattanooga Choo Choo is definitely one of the fun things on that list! You can check out the gorgeous historic train station; and then exit towards the back to enjoy the Glenn Miller Gardens, a myriad of manicured gardens, flowers, fountains, and, of course, the train cars on the tracks! The historic train cars can be rented as hotel rooms, and many are set up for an ideal romantic evening if you happen to be looking for a lovely date night experience. And the hotel itself offers less…

Historic Huntsville Depot – Huntsville, Alabama – 04/20/2016

Most kids LOVE trains! Mine always have! The Historic Huntsville Depot has an extensive collection of both indoor and outdoor exhibits through all eras of railroad history in and around the Alabama region. The Huntsville Depot was a passenger station until the late 1960’s. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this preserved historic facility offers great fun for all ages. Even the youngest kids will enjoy playing in the Little Toots play area! Historic Huntsville Depot is a unit within the Early Works Family of Museums, which also includes Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum, and The…

Earlyworks Children’s Museum – Huntsville, Alabama – 04/20/2016

Oh, what a fabulous way to spend an afternoon! Early Works Children’s Museum is a HUGE history museum, focused on the timeline of the State of Alabama, but geared specifically for kids! Hours upon hours worth of fascinating hands-on exhibits throughout a VERY well done series of rooms themed by historical era. Run an old-fashioned general store market, hear legends from the Story Tree, make music, dress up in period costumes, cook a meal over an open hearth… Spin cotton, board a wagon towards new discoveries, work on a flatboat… Immerse yourself in Black and African History, and honor the…

Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum – Huntsville, Alabama – 04/20/2016

Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum is a unit within the Early Works Family of Museums, which also includes Early Works Children’s Museum, and the Historic Huntsville Depot. All the units together can make a busy day of fun, or even a full and fabulous educational weekend getaway. One membership gets you admission to all 3 locations! I find this group of museums to be fairly unique in scope to have such a focus on history that is very specifically geared towards younger children. Sometimes history can feel dry, or boring, but not within the Early Works Family of Museums!…

Lora Blevins Farmstead – Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area – Oneida, Tennessee – 04/04/2016

A lovely day on the Lora Blevins Farmstead in the Bandy Creek region of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Click on any photo below to learn more about planning a trip to the Big South Fork Region! Located in Upper Middle Tennessee, the Big South Fork NRRA, a unit of the National Park Service, is one of the most beautiful mountain regions in all of the United States! Some of the most breath-taking scenery along hiking trails can be found here. Prettier than the Great Smoky Mountains, in my humble opinion, with none of the traffic!

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!

Junior Ranger Shenanigans at Mammoth Cave National Park – Mammoth Cave, Kentucky – 04/03/2016

Cave Tours are the big draw to Mammoth Cave National Park, in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. But, before or after you’ve done yours, make sure you spend some time relaxing, having fun, and letting the kids be kids! Working on a Junior Ranger Badge will have you exploring caves, trails, museum exhibits and the grounds… And in between making progress in their books, the kids were having a blast in the sunshine! These are the best moments in life. No rushing, no worries… Just the natural moments of joyful play, siblings loving one another, and LOADS of happy shenanigans! These ARE…

Playing on the Playground at Cumberland Mountain State Park – Crossville, Tennessee – 04/02/2016

After an early afternoon flying kites at Cumberland Mountain State Park’s Kite Day Event, we spent some time hanging out on their playground with some of our new friends. Cumberland Mountain State Park maintains a regular schedule of fun events throughout the year for families. It is also a lovely destination for camping, hiking, biking, and paddling. If you find yourself in or around the Crossville or Middle Tennessee area, be sure to check them out. Over the years, we’ve attended Easter Egg Hunts, Birds of Prey Shows, Kite Day, and more! It’s always a great time in a gorgeous…

Kite Day at Cumberland Mountain State Park – Crossville, Tennessee – 04/02/2016

I don’t believe any of us are particularly GOOD at flying kites, But we sure had a blast! In all honesty, we did better than we ever have with them! Cumberland Mountain State Park maintains a regular schedule of fun events throughout the year for families. It is also a great destination for camping, hiking, biking, and paddling. If you find yourself in or around the Crossville or Middle Tennessee area, be sure to check them out. Over the years, we’ve attended Easter Egg Hunts, Birds of Prey Shows, this Kite Day Event, and more! It’s always a great time…

Building a Driftwood Fort on the Banks of the Caney Fork River – Rock Island, Tennessee – 03/29/2016

After a busy day Exploring Rock Island State Park in Rock Island, Tennessee, we spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach, building a driftwood fort along the banks of the Caney Fork River! The kids gathered wood, constructed a fort, and then pretended to be a wild family; hunting their food, planting their gardens, cooking their meals, and tending to their daily homesteading duties. Some of my most precious moments as a mother are watching my kids engaged so deeply in creative, imaginative, cooperative play that lasts for hours! I love witnessing their imaginative wheels turning; listening to…

Silly Sibling Fun at Falls City Cotton Mill – Rock Island State Park – Rock Island, Tennessee – 03/29/2016

My little monkeys… They almost got the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Monkeys down pat! Sometimes you’ve just to stop and be silly! See Silly, Hear Silly, Speak Silly! Oh, and something about The Falls City Cotton Mill and the gorgeous waterfalls below! Check out ALL our adventures in Rock Island State Park in Rock Island, Tennessee! We’ve been working our way through the beautiful units of the Tennessee State Park System. Today’s adventures took us climbing, hiking, scrambling, waterfalling, and playing on the beach at Rock Island State Park in Rock Island, Tennessee! What a…

The Path to Spring Castle at Rock Island State Park – Rock Island, Tennessee – 03/29/2016

In the heart of Rock Island State Park, Spring Castle is a quaint little late 19th century-era structure, that remains today, looking quite magical, and even fairy-like, upon the hill on which it towers! Back in the day, it’s much more practical purpose likely consisted of providing refrigeration for the workers of the adjacent Falls City Cotton Mill. But, for now, it is, indeed, a majestic Fairy Castle deep in the enchanted woods! We’ve been working our way through the beautiful units of the Tennessee State Park System. Today’s adventures took us climbing, hiking, scrambling, waterfalling, and playing on the…

A Day Exploring Rock Island State Park – Rock Island, Tennessee – 03/29/2016

We’ve been working our way through the beautiful units of the Tennessee State Park System. Today’s adventures took us climbing, hiking, scrambling, waterfalling, and playing on the beach at Rock Island State Park in Rock Island, Tennessee! What a wonderful collection of adventures, and the kids had such a great time enjoying their hands-on fun in The Great Outdoors! I think we could all use a little more unstructured time outside, just playing, exploring, digging, building, pretending… Just living naturally…

Checking Out the New Playground at Pickett State Park – Jamestown, Tennessee – 03/12/2016

Tennessee is full of beautiful State Parks, and so many of them are very close to us. Pickett CCC Memorial State Park is right down the street, as a matter of fact! We’ve spent so much time here over the years. They recently added a new nature-themed play structure specifically for younger kids, and we had to check it out! I think it’s a hit! If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path, absolutely gorgeous getaway, take a look at all that Pickett State Park has to offer. Hiking, camping, paddling, fishing, and more, all in the beautiful forested highlands of…

Heart of the City Playground – Cookeville, Tennessee – 02/04/2016

One of our favorite day trips is heading to Cookeville, Tennessee to check out The Heart of the City Playground located in Dogwood Park! So many fun activities on all of the awesome equipment! Look at all the smiles! I often recommend that families traveling along Interstate 40, that are looking for a stop between Knoxville and Nashville, consider taking a leg-stretcher in Cookeville to let the kids burn some energy on The Heart of the City Playground! There’s also a great free history museum, the Cookeville History Museum. And the fun, also free Cookeville Depot Museum and Train. Cookeville,…

A Birthday at Biltmore Estate – Asheville, North Carolina – 01/09/2016

Trillian’s 12th Birthday was celebrated in grand historical style, spending the afternoon touring the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Biltmore has long been one of our favorite family destinations. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, as a matter of fact. I remember all the trips I’ve taken with my mom and my grandmother. We’ve been Biltmore Annual Pass Holders pretty consistently since I was about 15 or 16. Easter, Christmas, Birthdays… Many a family holiday event has been honored with an afternoon on the estate of America’s Largest Home!

Riverside Walk – Zion National Park – Springdale, Utah – 07/04/2012

In Zion National Park, the Riverside Walk offers a pleasant stroll along the Virgin River, as it meanders through jaw-dropping red sandstone cliffs… You can walk along easy, well-maintained paths; and at any point, the kids can play in the shallow, bubbling river that parallels the trail. The trail starts at the Temple of Sinawava, which is the last Shuttle Bus Stop at the end of the road into Zion Canyon. For about 2 miles, things remain easily accessible. If you want to continue farther into the Narrows, make sure you do your homework on that, and come prepared with…

Tundra Snowfield Hike – Rocky Mountain National Park – Grand Lake, Colorado – 06/30/2012

Looking for snow in June? The Rocky Mountains have you covered! If you make it all the way up to the Alpine Levels of Rocky Mountain National Park, you can enjoy the Tundra Snowfield Hike! Or, basically, just spend an afternoon playing in the snow! Snow isn’t just for summer when you’re over 11,000 feet above sea level! And check out the little Pika! He’s so adorable!

Alpine Tundra – Rocky Mountain National Park – Grand Lake, Colorado – 06/30/2012

Wow! 11,796 feet above sea level! It’s a whole different world in the higher elevations of Rocky Mountain National Park! Gone are the tall trees, lush grasses, and thick patches of flowers; and instead you have rocks, ice, moss, lichens, and other smaller, more fragile vegetation. Four miles East of the Continental Divide at Milner Pass, the Alpine Visitor Center is the highest elevation of a National Park Visitor Facility! Even in the middle of Summer, you can be frolicking in your tank tops, shorts, and flip flops in the lower altitudes; but as you climb, you’ll see snow everywhere!…

Berthoud Pass Along the Continental Divide – Arapaho National Forest – Berthoud Pass, Colorado – 06/30/2012

Deep in the Rocky Mountains, the Continental Divide passes through, effectively separating which rivers ultimately drain to the Atlantic in the East, or the Pacific in the West. Along this Divide, at 11,314 in elevation, the Berthoud Pass was the travelway of Pioneers from the early 1860’s onward. Today, an easily accessible parking area leads you to a sign marking the historical, geological, and hydrological significance of the area. If you are feeling adventurous, take a hike along the Berthoud Pass Trail! But, let me be the first to warn you, hiking at 11,300 feet in elevation is no simple…

Waterfall Scrambling at Berthoud Falls – Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests – Berthoud Falls, Colorado – 06/30/2012

Located along Highway 40, just north-ish of Empire, Colorado, and only about 8 miles off of Interstate 70, Berthoud Falls in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests is INCREDIBLE! An absolutely beautiful set of cascades, rolling down the rocky mountainside, and so easily accessible by all ages and abilities! Parking is just beneath the falls, and you really could spend some time hiking, scrambling, enjoying the flowers and leaves, and just taking in the absolute awe of Rocky Mountain Life at 9,800 feet elevation! Even if you are just passing through on Interstate 70, do yourself this favor! Take Exit 232, and…

Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Home of Winter the Dolphin – Clearwater, Florida – 4/30/2012

If you have seen the movie Dolphin Tale, you will recognize the Clearwater Marine Aquarium as the home of Winter the Dolphin. If you haven’t seen the movie, definitely check it out! Here are some fun shots from our visit to the CMA! We got to hang out with Winter, Panama, and Nicholas! Click on any photo below to learn more about Winter the Dolphin and the movie Dolphin Tale! Be sure to visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium if you are in the Clearwater, Florida area!

Virgin River Along the Temple of Sinawava and Riverside Walk Trails – Zion National Park – Springdale, Utah – 06/06/2010

No matter what adventures we get into while visiting Zion National Park, a day isn’t a day without spending time splashing and frolicking in the Virgin River! Because the best part of family adventure, is giving the kids a chance to be kids! We all want to DO as much as we can. But, don’t forget to laugh, and play, and relax, and ENJOY! These small moments are where the REAL memories are made!

Lower Emerald Pool Along the Emerald Pools Trail – Zion National Park – 06/06/2010

If you are looking for a kid-friendly hike in Zion National Park, there are so many to choose from! Across from the Zion Lodge at Shuttle Stop 5, you will find the start of the Emerald Pools Trail! The first part of this trail is paved and fairly easy, leading to the Lower Emerald Pool; thus making these falls a great hiking experience for all skill levels! From here, the trail also connects to the Kayenta, and Upper Emerald Pool Trails. If you are looking for more adventure, check them out as well! It’s on my Bucket List to traverse…

Emerald Pools Trail – Zion National Park – Springdale, Utah – 06/06/2010

Another lovely trail in Zion National Park that is great for parents with younger kids is the Emerald Pools Trail. There are multiple segments to this trail, so if you have members of your party that crave even more adventure, you can continue along the path to see even more grandeur! If you’ve got littles and a shorter adventure is what you seek, the Lower Emerald Pools make an excellent destination! Click on any photo or link to learn more!

Sweet, Sweet Family Fun at the Birthplace of Jell-O! Experience the Jell-O Gallery & Museum! – LeRoy, New York – 4/11/2010

The Birthplace of Jell-O!The Jell-O Museum and Gallery in LeRoy, New York! As unassuming as it might sound, LeRoy New York is the Birthplace of Jell-O! If you have time to swing through this quaint area, you can visit the Historic LeRoy House, as well as the Jell-O Museum and Gallery! We actually had an incredible time here, and really enjoyed both places! The Historic LeRoy House offers an intimate exploration of historical artifacts from the time-period; with plenty of hands-on activities for kids in the basement. Relax and enjoy, while the kids dress up and cook, bake, and clean…

LeRoy Historical Society’s Historic LeRoy House – LeRoy, New York – 04/11/2010

Historic LeRoy House in LeRoy, New York About an hour south of the Niagara Falls Region of New York, you’ll find the quaint little town of LeRoy, New York. As unassuming as it might sound, LeRoy is the home of Jell-O! If you have time to swing through, you can visit the Historic LeRoy House, as well as the Jell-O Museum and Gallery! We actually had a tremendous amount of fun exploring both places. The main levels of the home offer a glimpse into the cultural history of the time and area; and the basement beckons to the younger crowd…

Balloon Animals in Delaware Park – Buffalo, New York – 04/10/2010

Delaware Park in Buffalo, New York is a beautiful park property designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same renowned Landscape Designer responsible for creating Central Park in New York City, as well as the grounds of The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to being a legendary park, it’s FUN! The Buffalo Zoo is there, and, hey, you can never say no to balloon animals afterwards! Balloon Animals!

Bournes Beach on Lake Erie – Westfield, New York – 04/09/2010

It might be cold out, but we wanted to hit at least one sandy, beachy spot along the coast of Lake Erie! Bournes Beach in Westfield, New York, is just inside the New York / Pennsylvania border along I-90, as it hugs the Great Lakes. Quick and easy access from the interstate, it’s a lovely, natural coastline, covered in rocks, and scattered with driftwood of all shapes and sizes! And bonus, there’s a fun playground for the kids!

Explorium of Lexington – Lexington, Kentucky – 04/08/2010

Everyone knows that Reciprocal Memberships are awesome. You buy one membership from one museum location, and you get FREE or discounted museum admission to HUNDREDS of other participating locations! And that makes traveling to your destination more fun because you have so many things to do without breaking the bank! That’s what we call Maximizing YOUR Family’s Fun Efficiency! But another great perk of maintaining such memberships, is that it also gives you free or inexpensive places to stop along your route… It really breaks up a long drive to be able to spend a few hours in a kids’…

Hangin’ with Big Boy – Cincinnati, Ohio – 02/23/2010

On the way to the Cincinnati Museum Center, we stopped for a quick bite to eat at the iconic Big Boy! The restaurant chain has been around since the late 1960’s, but you sure don’t see them very often anymore! Check out the existing Big Boy Locations HERE! And the Big Boy Menu! To learn more about Cincinnati, click on any photo below! For our Cincinnati QUIKLIST, check out attractions, dining, and lodging HERE! For other things to do in Ohio, click THIS LINK! And, lastly, if you’d like to check out Our Family’s Adventures in Ohio, RIDE WITH US…

Climbing and Swinging on Avery Island – Avery Island, Louisiana – 02/15/2010

Obviously, the big attraction on Avery Island is the TABASCO® Factory Tour, but there is a GREAT family-sized swing, and loads of awesome trees to climb! Grab some goodies out of TABASCO® Restaurant 1868 and make a picnic out of it! Relax and stay a while! Seriously! Look at how much fun they are having!

A Little Wet Fun in the Gulf of Mexico – Holly Beach, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

We’ve never really been much for swimming in the open water. And, on a day like today, February in the Gulf of Mexico, it was a little too cool for bathing suit weather even for people who do enjoy a little salt water swimming. But that doesn’t mean you can’t run, jump, splash, and play the day away in the gentle rolling tides! Nothing says FUN like a soggy, sticky, sandy, salty mess! And Holly Beach was an awesome place to do just that!

Shells on the Gulf of Mexico – Holly Beach, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

Put your little scientists to work at the beach by searching for and collecting fun shells! Grouping, sorting, classifying! Building sand castles and decorating with the finest details! Imagination comes alive with PLAY! And the beach is one of the best places to engage with your natural environment! Talk about the animals that lived in those shells! Think about where they came from and how they got to that very beach! Touch them! Smell them! Admire their colors and textures! The list is endless! Click here, or on any photo, to learn more about shells!

Bubbles! – An Afternoon on the Cajun Riviera! – Holly Beach, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

Another GREAT idea for good, old-fashioned fun? BUBBLES! They’re not terribly expensive, or you can even make your own! Throw in a variety of bubble wands, or get creative on trying out different materials that might lead to some pretty unique bubbles! And, then, BLOW! How awesome are these HUGE bubbles floating above the Gulf of Mexico? We had SO much FUN today spending Valentine’s Day on Holly Beach!

Dig It! – An Afternoon on the Cajun Riviera! – Holly Beach, Louisiana – 02/14/2010

Holly Beach, Louisiana may not be the most developed beach along the Gulf… It certainly isn’t commercialized. But that’s the way we love it! We had the entire place to ourselves on this lovely Valentine’s Afternoon. And it just goes to show, give a kid a shovel and a bucket, and they’ll stay occupied for hours! Nothing better than watching the kids dig and play to their hearts’ content!

Mardi Gras! Krewe of Bonaparte Parade – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/13/2010

We viewed the Krewe of Bonaparte Parade from the University of Louisiana – Lafayette Campus. It was a bit more spirited. A bit more intoxicated an environment. All in all, still VERY Family Friendly… We just had a little more drunken competition for catching beads! But, one kid started the parade napping… And another one ended with a nap! So, maybe we weren’t on top of our game either! Check out ALL our Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Inspiration! And click on any photo for ideas to throw your own Mardi Gras Party!

Children’s Museum of Acadiana – Lafayette, Louisiana – 02/13/2010

When traveling with kids, incorporating Children’s Museums into your itinerary is a FABULOUS way to spend a morning or afternoon learning while playing! If you invest in a Reciprocal Children’s Museum membership program, you can even save 50% off admission costs to other participating museum locations! LEARN MORE HERE! Creative play, imaginative thinking, and a host of other skills in which kids can engage while playing with lots of new friends! We love the Children’s Museum of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, because it has so many unique areas to enjoy! A mini grocery store, pretend cafe and dessert bar, a…

Homeschool Co-Op – Crossville, Tennessee – 01/28/2010

When homeschoolers get together, all kinds of learning can happen! Our homeschool co-op classes this semester include Physical Education, LEGO Engineering, Play-Doh Building, World Cultures, Spanish, Dance, Group Games… And just hanging out with our friends!

Bowling Party! Crossville, Tennessee – 01/21/2010

Who says homeschoolers don’t have any fun? Alysia is actually a great bowler! And, I’m at least mediocre. But, hey, it’s all about having a great time!

Bubbles! – Macon, Georgia – 01/19/2010

It’s a LOOONG drive from Florida back to Tennessee, so we were just stopping to burn some steam before saddling back up again!

Haven Lake – Oviedo, Florida – 01/19/2010

Haven Lake in Oviedo, Florida is a private community lake, but we got to experience tons of Florida wildlife just the same! And the kids had a lot of fun playing, marching, and climbing trees!

Canaveral National Seashore – Titusville, Florida – 01/18/2010

Canaveral National Seashore is, hands down, our favorite Florida Atlantic Coast Beach. Anytime someone asks for a recommendation, this is my immediate suggestion. Clean, beautiful, natural, not-crowded…. For us, it doesn’t get much better! Let’s Play!

Dollywood Last Hurrah! – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee – 12/29/2009

Our last hurrah in Dollywood for the 2009 season! Interested in visiting Dollywood yourself? Visit the Dollywood Website for ALL the info you need! Interested in other Family-Friendly Attractions in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee? We’ve got that, too! Check it out!