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Heather AKA Epiphany Alone

We're taking our on-break-from-pre-k 4-year old and our 10-month old to Hersey, PA, which will be only a little bit warmer than Central Jersey, but a not-too-expensive destination with a chocolate museum, a zoo, and a hotel with an indoor pool and mini golf.


I did Savannah with my daughter when she was 2 months and again when she was 9 months and had a great time both trips. The city is great for walking and has big squares with benches for when the kids need a break or the baby needs to nurse. Tybee Island is beautiful and the beach is great (we never got in the water). I can’t wait to take her back! Right now the weather is beautiful (in my opinion) because it's warm enuogh for a t-shirt but cool enough to keep you from sweating, unlike...

Florida (where I live). As far as D*isney goes, we have only tried E*pcot. She was 12 months for that one and loved walking around the world showcase. We felt that E*pcot was better for an infant/toddler since it was less crowded than the M*agic K*ingdom and she is much more interested in culture than cartoons (heh). The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends was the big hit (she loved the aquariums inside) along with Spaceship Earth. But the best part was just walking around and letting her wear herself out. There are enough rides to keep older kids entertained but it isn’t too much for infants/toddlers who tend to get over stimulated. Plus there is always enough space for your stroller. We had a great time.

We’re taking her to the beach (to swim, etc) for the first time at the end of the month (she’ll be 15 months) and I’m terrified. Even with all the sunscreen in the world and a UV swimming set I’m afraid her fair skin is going to burn like crazy…


Forgot to mention in Orlando: the Orlando Science Center is great! (www.osc.org) My daughter loved it at 10 months and we keep going back. She loves flowers and we're looking forward to taking her to Leu Gardens in April. (www.leugardens.org) The Ripley's Museum on I-drive is pretty cool but we haven't tried taking her there yet. (www.ripleysorlando.com)


Although I never took children there, my husband and I spent a few days in Cape May, New Jersey in July of 2003. We had a wonderful time, but Cape May also struck me as a family vacation paradise. The beach is gorgeous and very clean - no cigarette butts in the sand or anything. A sand cleaner thing cleans it all up every evening. There are game rooms on the boardwalk, boogie board rentals, and places to rent family bikes. I haven't been there since 2003, but if it hasn't changed and you want a low-key beachy vacation, I recommend it.


Don't know where in the northeast you are, but if you might consider Baltimore/DC. It's not that much warmer than, say, Boston, but there should be flowers starting to pop out soon. It's very inexpensive to get to, and there is so much to do in both cities. In Baltimore's Inner Harbor there's one of the best Aquariums I've been to, a Science Museum, a Train Museum (oldest roundhouse in the country and a big hit with my boy), a ship and a submarine you can tour. You could also take a commuter train from downtown Baltimore into downtown DC and hit the free Smithsonian museums (the new Museum of the American Indian is really nice, as is the Air and Space Museum). Walk around the Mall, see the skyline. And if you are feeling adventurous, you could rent a car and drive to Annapolis, MD, which is a cute town to walk around in.


Do you stay at a resort in PR? Can you (or anyone else) give some recommendations?

I live in Tennessee, and I know that Gatlinburg/Great Smoky Mountains is a big draw for folks. Now, Gatlinburg is about as tacky as they come, but in early March, we have got our daffodils out and the bartlett pear trees are starting to bloom. You can rent a cabin in the smokies for a pretty reasonable rate, probably less than $100 a day, and have a fireplace and jacuzzi at your fingertips. The restaurants are very family friendly. And there is always the park, which is free! For older kids, there is DollyWood in all its glory.


I don't know if the rules are different because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, but if you're thinking about going out of the country, look into the new passport rules. People around here are showing up at the airport and finding they can't travel to Mexico anymore because they don't have passports for their kids.


Cape may is nice, but it's still pretty cold in south jersey right now... And if it isn't chilly at the shore on the first week of April, it's probably because it will be raining. :) But come to the Jersey shore in the summer. It's nice!

I loved PR When I went (sans kids). It's very low key and lodgings are pretty inexpensive, but food tends to be more... so it's kind of a break even. I didn't stay at a resort, but I'm sure they must exist. Don't miss the Phosphorescent bay!!! (although maybe not with an 11 month old)

I would say DC too.. plenty for everyone and all the attractions are pretty much free... It is warmer than say, Boston, but frankly not that much warmer. But by April it should be pretty nice. I love DC to visit!

Unfortunately all my vacationing took me to the west coast.


you can check sites like this one http://www.child.com/child/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/child/story/data/1142900206404.xml
by googling child friendly resorts that offer child proof rooms and babysitting ... i remember looking at this one frazzled day and thinking LETS GO ... we have yet to go.

AND, anywhere is probably great if you can bring along a childless friend/sister/mother etc for some hands free time.

Happy Trails.


On the west coast, everybody seems to rave about San Diego for kids--the zoo, lego land, the beach...


We stayed with family friends, not at a resort, so I unfortunately have no reccomendations.

Christine, really important point about the passport!


We just returned from a great trip to Mexico with our 11 month old. We live on the west coast, so it's a pretty easy direct flight, but I'm sure you can get good flights from the east coast too (maybe the Yucatan is closer to you).
We went an hour north of Puerto Vallarta to a great, laid back, small resort called Costa Azul www.costaazul.com
Right on the beach, nice pool, relaxed and away from the tourist hoardes and we could sit by the pool with our baby monitor while he napped -- heaven!
There were families from the US all over - everyone we talked to raved about taking kids to Mexico. Plus, the culture is very kid-friendly. Folks were constantly oohing and awing over our baby - smiling and flirting with him and wanting to hold him.

Good point about the passports. Any child (no matter how young) traveling by plane to Mexico or Canada must now have a passport. They are expensive (like $80) but last for five years. Here's more info: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html
A note -- the child has to go to a to a passport issuing site with both parents (or with documentation from the other parent). It's kind of a hassle, but I see the logic in not allowing you to get a passport for a child without the other parents' knowledge.


We went to Puerto Rico this time last year, when I was pregnant, and stayed at the Copamarina (www.copamarina.com). We talked to several families with toddlers and infants who were loving it, as did we. Gorgeous beach, plus a couple pools, plenty of grass to run around on... it was paradise. AND we got a direct flight from Boston, which would be even more important with the little ones. I would go again, with my daughter, in a heartbeat.


FYI: traveling to and from Puerto Rico is much like traveling between the 50 states, therefore, no passport is necessary. However it's always best to check since they keep changing the rules. I just shelled out the money for a passport for my 5 month old to go to Canada with us only to hear them out 2 days later that the relaxed the new rules and she doesn't need one!! You can pre-fill out everything on-line (link in a previous comment), that helps speed it up, but getting a passport photo of a squirmy 5MO was interesting!

Also, I highly recommend Hilton Head Island for a kid-friendly trip. I've been there several times with my niece and nephew and in a few weeks will be going with our daughter for the first time. There are tons of condo rentals so there's lots of room to spread out. The beach is fantastic, there's lots to do, great parks, etc. and the drive isn't too bad from the NE/midwest. That said, EVERYONE from the NE/midwest goes there for spring break so booking lodging could be problematic.


We took Jack to Puerto Rico when he was 10 months old and we had a great time. VERY kid-friendly, as Moxie said.


Charleston,S.C. There's lots for adults to do and see downtown. Great family restaurants all over the place. A zillion beaches to choose from. A fabulous aquarium. Boat rides, standard beach stuff. Reasonably priced in April and sure to have great weather by then. Just a thought.


We just got back from a trip to San Diego/La Jolla (stayed at the La Valencia, which I would NOT recommend for kids, but WOULD recommend for anyone without kids who wants a killer resort). I think it would be an excellent place for people with children because of the close proximity to Sea World, the SD Zoo, the SD Wild Animal Park, LegoLand, Balboa Park and the beach.

Of course, it is So. Cal., so expect it to be very expensive.


I'm so excited that someone mentioned my city of Baltimore! I think a Baltimore-Washington Corridor vacation would be fun. The weather is always a gamble this time of year, but this coming week, it's going to be in the 60s.

The Inner Harbor in Baltimore is very child-friendly (but also chain city as far as restaurants go). The Science Center is fun, and the aquarium is wonderful. Port Discovery is a children's museum at the harbor. The Museum of Industry is a lot more interesting than it sounds, although I don't know what children would think of it. You can take the water taxi to Ft. McHenry and Federal Hill.

If you were to decide to come to Baltimore, feel free to email me. I can give you some insider tips, such as where the gorgeous tulip garden is and the decent child-friendly restaurants, so that you're not limited to the harbor.

As someone else mentioned, the zoo and museums in DC are free, and the Mall offers lots of space for children to run around. Unfortunately, the children's museum is closed right now while they get ready to open the newer, better version.


Charleston is a beautiful city. There are a lot of historical sections, and April has perfect temps (70's in the day, 50's at night). There are a lot of pretty beaches too. It's also close to Savannah if you wanted to drive on down!

I'd stay away from Myrtle Beach. Too rednecky for me :)


OK, one of the Jessicas who posted about Charleston has got to be the Jessica we're visiting there in April! We are so excited for the beach with the 3-year-olds!


We just returned from a great vacation on Eleuthera. It is one of the family islands in the Bahamas and WOW talk about a tropical paradise. We rented a house right on the beach (1200/week for a 3 bedroom) and had other family/friends come with us. It was amazing. We live in Massachusetts so we flew out of boston. A 3 hour flight and then a 20 min. island hop flight and someone met us at the airport with our rental car. We have a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 month old so that was a mangable flight time. Also JetBlue flies out of boston with cheap flights into Nassau. We dream of going back to the same place every year. The link to the house we rented is www.bahamabreezevilla.com. I highly recommend it!


Canada is a great place for vacations with kids. We've been going there since our daughter was three, and some family-friendly places we've been are the Gulf Islands, Motreal, Nelson, and Banff.

San Diego, as has already been mentioned, is a great family-friendly place to go as is the Santa Fe, NM area.


So we watch Sesame Street most every day and everyday I watch the Beaches commercial at the end with awe and envy. Has anyone ever doen something like that? We haven't been on a vacation yet, but I'm starting to think about it....

Tim Ludwig

These are wonderful suggestions and I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Our site, www.parentography.com, which recently launched, provides ratings and reviews written by other parents about family-friendly excursions and vacations all over the United States. Many of the places mentioned in previous posts have been reviewed on our site, so if you'd like to read more about these locations, come and pay us a visit. It is totally free and you don't need to register to read the reviews!

Then, once you're back, it would be great if you'd come and share your experiences with our readers so that we can all benefit from the collective traveling wisdom of everyone!


We are taking our 13 month old to Mackinac Island, Michigan this summer. We haven't been there before but it seems very kid-friendly. This is probably a better vacation for younger kids who don't need a lot of attractions but really just want to run around and explore. And this is DEFINITELY a summer vacation spot (it rarely gets above 75 degrees in the summer and is mostly closed in the winter). Most of the lodging is the bed-and-breakfast type and offer great morning buffets (which will be good for picky eaters). There are lots of pretty parks and cafes. Mackinac also has 2 butterfly gardens, a lilac festival, a fudge festival (they are famous for the fudge they make on the island), and the famous Grand Hotel. They DO NOT allow ANY cars on the island, you have to take the ferry over. But the hotels and B&Bs are all a short walk from the ferry and they offer horse drawn carriages and trolley rides and bike rentals.


St. George Island just off the coast of the Florida panhandle is a wonderful family spot. It is such a small island that teens and those without kids want more to do and go to Panama City. St George Island has about seven restaurants, one grocery, one liquor store, three or four souvenir shops, and ice cream shop and a place to rent bikes or a "surrey with the fringe on top". Did I mention the white sand for endless sandcastles and walks? That's all I need when I'm vacationing with my kids!


We're headed to this resort in PR in July to help celebrate my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary. There will be 6 adults and 4 kids in the group. We hear great things about it. And (at least so far), no passports are required: http://www.westinriomar.com/home.html


We just went to Chattanooga, TN and it was great. There's a children's museum appropriate for young toddlers on up to upper school age, an aquarium, and some nice areas in town for walking - by the river, in the gallery district, or at the park near the river. Add in a hotel with indoor pool (or the Choo-Choo - an old train converted to a hotel), and you've got fun for the whole family.

Marketing Mommy

We've taken our daughter to Akumal, Mexico twice--once at 13 months and again at 25 months old. We can fly into Cancun quickly and cheaply from Chicago and then drive south about an hour or so.

Akumal is very relaxed and friendly to small children. Most of the accommodations are condo rentals right on the beach. Lots of multi-generational families sharing a 2 or 3 bedroom condo, saving on meals by cooking, and spending time exploring the beach, cenotes and caves. There are pricey eco-parks and some bird sanctuaries for day trips, but we were happy to hang out on the beach and build sandcastles all day.

Jen H.

Don't come to Canada until about May, later if you're wanting really warm weather! But for a great family summer vacation, I must recommend Prince Edward Island on the East Coast. It's inexpensive, very family-friendly, very safe and very beautiful. Nice beaches, great culture and loads of stuff to do. July and August are the best and busiest times there, but the weather is most trustworthy then. It rarely gets too hot, just nice and warm and pleasant. My husband's family has a cottage there and we got married there almost five years ago. If anyone's ever interested in more info about, feel free to email me.


We live in Upstate, SC and we took a trip to Atlanta with our ten month old in tow.
The new Georgia Aquarium is FANTASTIC and I highly suggest either buying your tickets online or getting there first thing in the morning because it sells out QUICK!
Our little one had a blast, if you go during a weekday (when the traffic is at its lightest) there is plenty of room for the tots to walk up to the floor to ceiling tanks, stroll around, and do some free roaming.
It's really clean and nice and we just loved it!

We might be heading to Charleston, SC for our spring break. It'll be the first time at the beach for baby (who is now 13 months). We know it's a HUGE bar town (b/c DH went to college there) so we're gonna try to avoid any activities when it gets dark.

However, for some delicious eats, if you're headed to Charleston, I HIGHLY suggest the Hoagie Haven. Get the 'Bob'. Buffalo Sandwhich goodness. Mmmmmmmmm.


Ooo Sarah - I worked on Mackinac Island for a summer when I was a student. It's where I developed my lifelong affection for easy cheeze and Jimmy Buffet (pleasures not available in europe!) I think it'd be a great place to take little kids - lots of green space for running around in, and no cars. Lots of horses though. My 18 month daughter would probably make a bee line for the (many) piles of manure, but if you can avoid that - you'll have a great time. I remember it being very hot for quite a lot of the summer (80s-90s - hot for me, I'm british!). But there's usually a nice breeze..

For any european readers, I really recommend Spain. Very family friendly, great weather, good food, lots to do. We took our daughter (then 14 months and toddling) to Malaga and Granada in November and it was fabulous.

This year we're off to Barcelona (which I've heard is great for little kids), seville, cordoba (for fiera!) and madrid. All by train from London via Paris (see seat61.com for amazing info on travelling by train - focuses on travel to/from the UK, but covers the whole world).

I've heard great things about PR for kids - suspect that would be rather easier than Spain for you!

Wherever you decide to go - have a great time.



Don't know about where to go, but to get there, take a train!!! Took then 3 yr old son and 11 mo. old daughter on 36 hour trek from Chicago to Whitefish, Montana in '03. Relaxing trip, room to roam, don't have to stop the car to BF, and can sleep whenever. Best way to travel with kids, barnone!


I can't begin to tell you how great our vacation was at Club Med Sandpiper in Florida. We have a five y.o. and a 2 y.o. and we all had a blast. My five year old stayed most of the day with the kid's club and she LOVED it, our little one spent a lot of time with us in the wading pool but we also had the option to put him in a group with other kids his age. The highlight for my daughter was the circus school and she learned how to go on a trapeze. I never thought I would enjoy an all-inclusive vacation but they really had it dialed. All the way down to supplying strollers, changing tables and high chairs. My husband and I were able to go sailing and spend a little time alone. I can't say enough about it...


Check out this website: WeJustGotBack.com (http://www.wejustgotback.com) It's full of travel advice for parents with kids, and reviews are written to address all the things you need to know for kids in all age groups. They review Club Med Sandpiper and many other resorts that are geared for toddlers and preschoolers.


we took our grandchild to beaches she was 4 loved the time with elmo staff was wonderful we loved it so much we have returned 3 times now they treat us like family seems all the staff knows us my name and our favorite things ournow 5 year old can not wait to go back would highly recomed over long lines at disney at the beaches resort she bakes cookies with cookie monster while we relax by the pool it doesnt get better than that came home relaxed and happy


Hey! Anyone on this blog been to the Caribbean on an escorts resort?


My husband and I are planning our family vacation for the summer of 2009. We have a son who is 17 months right now, so he will be around 2 1/2 by next summer. We are thinking of going to a nice beach but don't know which would be the best choice. Keeping in mind that we have a toddler, we want to find a place that is very kid friendly and relaxed, but that still has some attractions for us. We don't want to end up at a beach where it's party time all the time. Any suggestions?


We took our 1 year old and 3 year old to Sesame Place in Lancaster PA. It was so perfect and so much fun. Perfect place for young kids. We are planning another trip back this year!


We looked at going to Sesame Place in April but it is seasonal and doesn't open until the first weekend in May. Now we are looking for somewhere else to go with our 18 month old (will be 21 months when we go). We went to Seattle with her last April and had a great time. The weather was a little cold but we only had one day of rain. The zoo, the aquarium, the science museum, and Pike Place were all fun for her. They also had a great children's museum. She loved feeding the gulls and the pigeons at Pike Place.

St. Maarten Village

Can't suggest a place because i was searching too.
I need that kind of place to for my baby.


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You are a good writer! I’m so glad someone like you have the time, efforts and dedication writing, for this kind of article...Thanks for updating me...


For a fun cheap family vacation, St. Louis, MO is great. The zoo is great and it is free. Grant's Farm is a smaller version of a zoo. It is also free it just costs to park and they have a great children's museum called The Magic House. We did this trip last year with an almost 4 year old and almost 2 year old twins and everyone had a great time.

Caribbean vacations

Actually, any place is good for a toddler. It's just on the guidance of the parents. You have to look on your children.


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That is a great spot. Really fit for a vacation.

Deirdre G

Jordan 8

Count your age with friends but not with years. Good luck to you!!


Are you eager to secure funds for that dream project of yours?

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We cannot always build the future for our youth , but we can build our youth for the future .


The new year is already knocking at the door, let it will bring only happiness and joy.


You write well will be waiting for your new publications.

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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