Showing posts from January, 2016

Chicago Dining Cruises

365 Days of Fun: Day 7
(A series of 365 of our favorite spots from over two decades of travel in Midwest)

Because I'm from the Chicago area, I often write about travels elsewhere and sometimes neglect to emphasize the fabulous attractions in and around Chicago. One thing I always recommend to visitors to Chicago is to somehow see the city from the water. 

There are many boat tours you can take on the river and on the lake. There are architectural river tours where you can learn a lot about the history and architectural style of many famous landmarks in the Windy City. There are Wendella Sightseeing tours, which give a brief history as they make their way down along the river and out onto the lake (going through the locks is always a thrill!) There are speedboat tours out of Navy Pier on the Seadog for the thrill seekers. And there are a number of dinner cruises at Navy Pier where you can enjoy an upscale meal with dancing and spectacular views. These are my favorites - being a foodie…

Lincoln Amphitheatre

365 Days of Fun: Day 6
(A series of 365 of our favorite spots in our years of traveling as a family)

I love when we can take advantage of a sporting event, a concert or a show when we are traveling. One of the most memorable was a play - actually a musical if I remember correctly (it's been 6 years since we were there) - about Abraham Lincoln's life from his childhood to the end of his life as President of the United States called LINCOLN: Upon the Altar of Freedom. Seeing a production about Lincoln isn't that unusual. He's our country's most beloved and most celebrated president. What made this play stand out was the venue. It took place at the Lincoln Amphitheatre. Again, it's not unusual to be in a theatre named after Lincoln. There are tons of landmarks all over the country named after our 16th president - from schools to government buildings to streets. However, this one isn't just named for Lincoln. It's set in the forest at Lincoln State Park on …

Amish Acres

365 Days of Fun: Day 5
(A series of 365 of our favorite spots in our years of traveling as a family)

This is one to tuck away for a few months from now when the weather is warming. From the online calendar it looks as if they re-open for the season in March.

Some of our favorite travels as a family have been to Amish country and we first visited Arcola, Illinois when our oldest was just a tot. We had a favorite B & B in Arthur, Illinois that we visited several times and even brought my parents and my nephew there. Heart & Home it was called. After doing some searching online it appears that it no longer exists. It was run by a lovely couple. She was raised as a mennonite and they were wonderful hosts. Some of our earliest travel memories as a family were of sitting on the porch at that B & B in Arthur listening to the clop of horses on the brick streets on a warm summer night. There's something about spending time among the Amish that brings such a feeling of peace. Th…

Studebaker National Museum

365 Days of Fun: Day 4

In our travels over our 21 years as parents, there have been many auto museums on the itineraries. My husband is a big car lover and a fan of antique cars, in particular. The boys have followed suit and all have an interest in cars. So, if we are visiting a city where there's a car museum, you can bet we will be stopping by. 

One of the best ones we have been to is the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana. Our first visit to the museum was many years ago in an older, smaller location. The new location opened in 2005 adjacent to the Center for History. 

The museum covers the car maker's 114-year history from its beginnings as a blacksmith shop in 1852 to the last Timberline Turquoise Cruiser to come off the line in 1966. You'll find exhibits that chronicle the makes and models that were introduced over the years (including horse-drawn vehicles and electric cars) to the company's leaders to the effects on the automobile industry during…

Holiday World and Splashin' Safari

365 Days of Fun: Day 3

One of our most favorite places to visit is Santa Claus, Indiana - home of Holiday World. We first visited the area about 15 years ago and have been back several times since then. We love the drive down there, mostly along I-65, but then through peaceful, green landscapes with beautiful shades of blue as a backdrop.

Then as you round the bend from acres of green, you see roller coasters on the horizon. Holiday World is a magic place that has been thrilling visitors for decades. Over the years the park has expanded and every season you can look forward to something new - sometimes it's a new thrill ride, a new offering for the younger set or a new addition to the water park.

Admission covers both the theme park and the Splashin' Safari water park. This is a place where there is truly something for everyone from the littlest of visitors to the most seasoned - from the most adventurous to the biggest scaredy cat. Coasters galore or carousels and antique car…

Air Zoo

365 days of fun: Day 2

So, for 2016, I am aiming to share 365 attractions to visit in the Midwest. Here were are on day two and I was reminded of a place I visited several years ago, but that remains a favorite. Having a family of five boys, this was a spot that they LOVED - the Air Zoo, located near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

This place is so great because it covers so many different areas of flight - from military aviation to hot air ballooning to aerospace in a variety of different exhibits. Visitors can get up close to some of the world's most elite aircraft, including an SR-71B Blackbird Spy Plane, the F-14 Tomcat, best known for its role in Top Gun and a Curtiss P--40N Warhawk made famous by the Flying Tigers.

Through simulators and the Midwest's first 4D theatre, you can get a feel for operating a jet fighter or being in the middle of a WWII bombing mission.

In the Michigan Space Science Center, kids can be exposed to what it's like to be an astronaut in several interactive e…

Kenosha Public Museum

365 days of fun: Day 1

We're into a new year and I'm excited to share more spots to visit in 2016. I'm starting with a museum in one of my favorite cities to visit with the family - Kenosha, Wisconsin. It offers many attractions you'll find in larger cities - museums, festivals, family attractions, history, beaches, shopping and a killer lakefront. However, it offers the convenience and perks of a place that isn't bustling quite as much as a larger city - decreased traffic, smaller crowds, easy-to-find parking, FREE parking, reasonable prices. If you haven't paid Kenosha a visit, it's a place I definitely recommend in 2016, particularly if you have little dinosaur lovers in your family as they can explore exhibits at both the Kenosha Public Museum and Dinosaur Discovery Museum. 

One of the highlights of a visit to Kenosha is the Kenosha Public Museum, a city-run museum with a stunning view of Lake Michigan. The natural sciences and fine and decorative arts mu…

Introducing 365 Days of Fun

As we move into a new year, I, like many others am re-evaulting how I spend my time and making it a goal to do more of what I enjoy and what makes me happy. Two of those things are TRAVEL and FOOD. I've been writing for both for over 15 years now and have been blogging on both for several years. 
While I've been very active on the food blog, this travel blog doesn't see as much activity - and I'd like to change that. I love traveling with my family - both to places we have come to love and to places that are brand new to us. I'll plan to continue to blog about some of our travels in the upcoming year, but I'm also starting a new series on 365 of the places we have been and enjoyed that I think you should visit, too. So, look for a new place each day. I hope you'll enjoy learning about some of the spots we have loved visiting and consider visiting them yourself!