Family Fun at the Wisconsin State Fair

The Wisconsin Fair

Every year, people head to the state fair to experience the rides, have fun as a family, and sample the deep fried food. When I recently read an article about the best state fairs in the country, Wisconsin’s was on the list. I have vivid memories of visiting the Arizona state fair with my parents when I was younger and I wanted my kids to have this experience. My husband was not a big fan when I proposed a trip to the fair, but he begrudgingly agreed to tag along when we visited last week. I think I won him over when I told him there would be Deep Fried Cookie Dough.

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25 Easy to Pack Travel Snacks

alpha-2In our family, there is meal time, and there is snack time, and it often feels more importance is given to the latter. We have found that nothing satisfies a child (or adult) on the verge of a meltdown more than a quality snack. Here are some of our favorite choices for snacks on the go. Some of these work best if you have a cooler and don’t have to deal with TSA, others work well with any mode of transportation. Hopefully, even the pickiest of eaters and most food allergy sufferers will find something to satisfy them on this list.

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12 Best Travel Apps to Take on Vacation

12 Travel AppsWhen I think back on my first trip abroad, I am amazed I even survived. There were no cell phones (we used calling cards), no e-mail (snail mail had to suffice), no fancy translators (I had to use phrasebooks and fancy hand signals to communicate), and I had to read paper maps! Travel today is delightful compared to twenty years ago, but we have become more dependent on technology as we travel the globe. I hate to think what would happen if we ever lost our phones on vacation, but I know the apps we have found help us on every step of our journey, and we would truly be lost without them!

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Best of Barcelona with Kids

Barcelona with Kids

Barcelona is a beautiful city to explore. From the quaint alleyways and narrow streets that are built for wandering, to the wide open promenade that winds along its beaches, Barcelona draws you in and beckons you with its magic. When we visited Barcelona with our children, we wanted to experience the city as locals, so we rented an apartment right in the heart of the city. We were centrally located in the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic), within walking distance to shops, restaurants, and the famous boulevard of Barcelona, “La Rambla”. We lived like the locals but hit all the tourist sights. Here are our favorites and ones we would recommend if you find yourself in this capital city of Catalonia.

Best Barcelona Sights to See with Kids

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Chicago’s Greatest Attractions for Families

Kids in Chicago

When our family moved to the Chicago area nine years ago, we were pleasantly surprised by the wealth of kid-friendly activities the city has to offer. Chicago almost feels like a city built with children’s entertainment in mind.From the Lincoln Park Zoo to the Museum of Science and Industry, the city offers destinations for children of all ages, which makes it a perfect destination for a family getaway.

Chicago is a city made for walking (except in the dead of winter). Gorgeous architecture abounds, but there is also a sparkling lakefront, a charming river, world class restaurants and endless shopping. These are the features that make the city attractive to adults, but children find the city appealing for many other reasons. In creating this post, I decided that my kids (ages 7, 9, and 11) would be the best ones to ask about their favorite Chicago attractions. Hopefully, their perspective will help guide you in choosing the sights you want to visit with your family.

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Packing Tips for Families

Family Packing Tips

Don’t Take More Than You Need!

Packing for a trip can be an overwhelming task, but when you add kids to the mix, the task becomes more daunting. With the addition of each child comes more clothes, toys in every shape and size, and the need for new packing strategies. As a parent you need to have a game plan in place. There are things you will need to do before you go, things you will have to pack in your suitcase, and things you will need on the plane. Here are our tips for managing the mounds of clothes, eliminating the extras, and saving space in your suitcase.

Before You Go

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Universal’s Islands of Adventures – The Other Orlando Theme Park

Islands of AdventureIf your kids love Harry Potter and super heroes more than princesses and cartoon characters, Universal’s Islands of Adventure could be the place for you. People often overlook this Orlando attraction, but it actually delivers on some things where Disney falls short. However, it does fail in some rather important areas, namely rides suitable for the little ones and a lack of food allergy awareness, which is a problem for our family.

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure is a theme park that is easy to manage in a day. There are seven “islands”:

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