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guilt free grab 'n go snacks

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Summer is finally here, and that means one thing – road trip season! Whether you’re packing up the family SUV or hitting the highway solo, having the right snacks on hand is key for any great adventure.But let’s be real, when hanger strikes somewhere between Point A and Point B, it’s all too easy to reach for something ultra-processed and loaded with junk. But this mom is diabetic and trying to battle the perimenopause weight gain. This summer, ditch the drive-thru and get ready to snack smarter with these better-for-you munchies that’ll keep everybody happy and hunger at bay. Make sure to hit this road this summer with these guilt free grab ‘n go snacks!

Disclosure: I was provided samples of some of these products for review purposes but all opinions are my own. 

guilt free grab 'n go snacksPopadelics – The Crispy, Crunchy Mushroom Chip You Didn’t Know You Needed

Looking for a savory, crispy snack but want to skip the greasy potato chip gut bomb? Cue Popadelics – a mind-blowingly delicious mushroom crisp that’s 100% vegan, non-GMO, and way lighter than your average chip.Made with real shiitake mushrooms, these crunchy discs of umami deliciousness come in flavors like Trippin’ Truffle Parm, Twisted Thai Chili, and Rad Rosemary + Salt. They’re so tasty, you’d never guess they’re actually good for you!

Fresh Fruit

For our family, nothing beats fresh fruit. Whether it is orange slices, chilled apples, watermelon drizzled in balsamic or mixed with mint and lemon, we are all about fruit. But if you want a super easy, tasty treat, I’m currently obsessed with fresh red grapes, bathed in lime juice, sprinkled with strawberry jello packet and dusted with sugar ( I know, the sugar is not great but it is so freaking delicious.) Then, put it in the freezer and enjoy in about an hour. They are just as tasty fresh from the cooler on a road trip.

guilt free grab 'n go snacksFrooze Balls – The Juicebox Reincarnated as a Chewy, Fruity Treat

Kids and kids-at-heart are going to go bananas for Frooze Balls. Think of them as the grown-up, portable version of your favorite juicebox from childhood – only way better.These apple-based fruit snacks are soft, chewy, and bursting with real fruit flavor in Apple, Strawberry and Orange varieties. They’ve got all the nostalgic goodness you crave, minus the artificial junk. Plus, they’re made with 6 simple ingredients or less!guilt free grab 'n go snacksOlyra Foods – Soft, Ancient Grain Breakfast Biscuits for Any Time of Day


While they may be billed as breakfast biscuits, there’s no rule that says you can’t enjoy Olyra Foods’ pillowy-soft baked goods as a snack! Made with nutrient-rich ancient Greek grains and real fruit, these tasty treats are the healthy fig newton of your road trip dreams.Not only are they organic, non-GMO, high in fiber and low in sugar, but Olyra Foods’ biscuits have been crafted from a generations-old family recipe. They are so yummy, even your pickiest toddler or tween will approve. 

Ritz Toasted Chips in Sweet Habanero

I am seriously addicted. But they are seriously delicious and bonus, they are toasted not fried. However, don’t mindlessly eat an entire bag like I did one night. You will certainly not feel great after doing so. Just remember, everything in moderation. 

guilt free grab 'n go snacksThe Only Bean – A Crunchy, Protein-Packed Edamame Chip to Satisfy

Edamame just got a serious upgrade with The Only Bean’s crazy-crispy (and crazy-addictive) edamame bean snacks. These light-as-air crispy puffs are bursting with plant-based protein and fiber to keep you fueled.Better yet, The Only Bean’s snacks are gluten-free, vegan, and literally made with just one ingredient – edamame! Go ahead and binge on salty, savory Sea Salt, lip-tingling Sriracha, or both. We don’t judge.guilt free grab 'n go snacks

Else Else Nutrition

Else Nutrition just launched the first Plant-Based ready to drink kid’s protein solution that tastes incredibly delicious, like nothing else on the market! Kids love the taste (even picky eaters!) and parents approve of the nutrition-packed benefits. Not going to lie, I LOVE the chocolate shakes myself. It’s also perfect for my CSID teenager. Creating a healthier and happier future starts early in a child’s development. Explore the new whole food kids’ protein drinks truly “shaking up” the industry for the better. 

Our favorite guilt free grab ‘n go snacks for our road trips

So, there you have it- a stash of road-ready bites that’ll turn your road trip snack game upside down in the best possible way. From mushroom crisps to fresh fruit to ancient grain soft-bakes and beyond, these munchies prove that eating well on the go is anything but boring.

Pack them for your next adventure and get ready to snack happy from point A to your ultimate summer destination. Your taste buds ( and your road trip partners) will thank you later! What’s your favorite road trip snack?


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Tiana's Bayou Adventure Opens June 28 at Walt Disney World

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Y’all Ready for This Splash-tastic New Adventure? Listen up, princesses and Disney adults, alike! The clock is ticking, and we’re just DAYS away from one of Disney’s most wildly anticipated new attractions dropping into the Magic Kingdom; Tiana’s Bayou Adventure!

Is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Coming in 2024?

On January 22, 2023, the iconic Splash Mountain ride closed for royal renovations. But no fear, on June 28, 2024 the iconic ride will reSPLURGE anew as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This is a musical, heart-pounding celebration of the first Black Disney princess, Tiana herself! Have I mentioned that she is my favorite princess, with Merida, Rapunzel and Moana coming in a close second. Who am I kidding, I love all of the Disney princesses. I just happen tp identify with some more than others.

And if this news doesn’t instantly flood your heart with nostalgic Disney magic and pure HYPE, we might need to revoke your mom card. Because let’s be honest – what’s more iconic than a strong, determined heroine who didn’t just dream it, but DID IT? Tiana built her entire life from the ground up through hard work, grit and an unshakeable belief in herself. Bring on the Black Girl magic because I am here for it!

She’s the Disney princess for today’s mamas hustling on a million different levels ( and especially those of us with ADHD) while still trying to keep our poise, grace and beignet powder properly applied, you feel me? Tiana understood the assignment.

Is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure the Same as Splash Mountain?

While Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is replacing Splash Mountain, it’s far from a simple rebrand. This new attraction picks up where the 2009 movie “The Princess and the Frog” ended, inviting guests to join Tiana, Naveen, and their friends on a new adventure. You’ll explore the bayou, discover the rich culture and spirit of New Orleans, and experience Tiana’s story of hard work, perseverance, and dreams coming true in a whole new way.

So get ready to be DAZZLED as you drop down into the lush, jazz-filled heart of New Orleans and join Miss Leading Lady herself on a brand new, musically delectable adventure.

Is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Going to Have a Drop?

The Iconic Drop That Had No Business Slapping That Hard Let’s start with the obvious – Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is keeping that surprising, serotonin-spiking 52-FOOT PLUMMET that made Splash Mountain an undisputed thrill ride queen.

Except this time around, you’re free-falling straight into the festivities as Tiana, Naveen, Louis and probably some dapper, lively critters get the band together for the Mardi Gras party of the century.

Just picture it: you’re bobbing along, shimmying through the bayou to some jammin’ zydeco when BAM – you get LAUNCHED over a modern day grand picture mill-esque showstopping scene starring the iconic princess herself. Then it’s “raining” as you splash down into the celebration, instantly becoming the life of Tiana’s party. WHY LAWD?! Sorta. It’s a water ride, after all. 

It’s taking the surprise element that shocking drop of Splash always delivered and leveling it UP with the festive, jaw-dropping pageantry only Disney could conceive. You’re about to be part of the show, baby!

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Opens June 28 at Walt Disney World

(Bennett Stoops, Photographer)

Everything to Know Before You Drop Into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

But That’s Not All, Folks… While Tiana herself will obviously be the emerald-studded guest of honor, the new ride is stuffed with surprises, scenery and characters that’ll have your family squealing from the front row.

There’s the whimsical aesthetic of Tiana’s bustling New Orleans restaurant-running life to admire as you float through. The zydeco funk soundtrack hitting from every mossy branch (we WILL get songs stuck in our heads, it’s happening). Then, maybe some fun, useful cooking tips from Mama Odie’s mouth herself ? Probably not,  but wouldn’t that be cool?

And we’re predicting there will be at LEAST one critter convention showstopper celebrating Naveen’s motley princess-charming crew where we finally get the 3D Louis the Gator experience we all secretly craved.

Speaking of, how stinking ADORABLE will it be to watch our little ( and big) kiddos’ eyes lite up as they finally see their beloved Tiana & Co. in the full flesh? My teen girls cannot wait and neither can I. The first time I met Tiana at Walt Disney World, I actually cried. I cried folks. Look, my soul is prepared to levitate at the first sight of my girls screaming “THERE SHE IS!” at their favorite Disney heroine like she’s the dang president or something.

TL;DR – it’s about to be an overstuffed Sammy of New Orleans-inspired delights, magic, and heartfelt life lessons that’ll sear your childhood into the footprint at the bottom of the ride. Just as a family Disney journey should be.

The Inspiration Behind the Ride

The Powerful Princess Story We Need But beyond the splashy thrills and Broadway-esque fanfare, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure gives us a much-needed beacon of inspiration we could all use more of. Especially today’s youth.

Tiana: The Ultimate Role Model

Unlike so many other Disney princesses, Tiana wasn’t born into wealth or royalty. She was a young woman from humble beginnings who rolled up her sleeves and DID. THE. WORK. to make her wildest dreams a reality. Who wouldn’t be inspired by her? She’s a “can do” attitude icon.

From working multiple jobs to bobbing for frog princes in the dead of night when opportunity knocked, Tiana showed that grit, perseverance and leading with your heart will always win out. Her story isn’t about tiaras or toxic tropes, it’s about manifesting the life you want through sweat, smarts and self-belief. #Preach

And in this world of overwhelming think pieces and thinkfluencer anxiety…that message feels more relevant and POWERFUL than ever, doesn’t it?

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Opens June 28 at Walt Disney World

(Olga Thompson, Photographer)

A Family-Friendly Adventure

With all the social media fluff, filtered fronts and princess fallacies being CRANKED into our daughters’ worldviews on a daily basis, I’m pretty dang stoked to usher them into this next iconic Disney era. One where a hard-working young queen who looks like them gets to take the well-deserved lead and center stage, while still jamming to absolute bops.

Get Ready to Drop Into the Magic

So Let’s Dive Right In to This New Adventure! The way I see it, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is more than just an adrenaline-pumping boat ride with jazz hands. It’s set to become yet another wildly inspiring, smile-insemintating, generational bonding experience – like only Disney can provide.

The New Orleans Connection

It’s an homage to New Orleans’ rich cultural ties and Black histories; a testament to the people who live and breathe NOLA. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a life primer on dreaming BIG, working harder, and becoming the main character you’re meant to be. And most importantly, it’s a reason for families everywhere to make more magical memories as we collectively slip-slide into summer.

So let’s get ready to make a splash, mamas! Don your cutest Tiana-approved seersucker and make those Walt Disney World vacation plans ASAP. Because this attraction isn’t just bringing thrills – it’s bringing a whole new paradigm of Disney fun. And it’s bringing empowerment along for the ride. Believe me,  you won’t want to miss it for the world.

Don’t miss out on the adventure! Book your tickets to Walt Disney World now and be among the first to experience Tiana’s Bayou Adventure on June 28, 2024. For tips on maximizing your Disney vacation, check out 10 Tips for Maximizing Your Walt Disney World Vacation for Free. Plus, learn how to make the most of your trip with How to Plus Up Your Walt Disney World Vacation for Free.

Remember, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure isn’t just a ride—it’s a journey into the heart of New Orleans. It’s  a celebration of dreams, perseverance, and the magic that happens when you believe in yourself. Share this post with fellow Disney fans and start planning your magical adventure today!

Book those vacay packages now! The bayou is calling, and it’s time to let the good times roll with Tiana taking the lead.

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Planning a Trip Your Teens Won't Whine About

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Hey Mamas (and Papas!), remember those pre-teen years when vacations meant building sandcastles and begging for ice cream? Those glorious spring breaks where everyone went with the flow? Sure, you had to carry an ass ton of extras to keep them entertained but in the end, it was absolutely worth it. Yeah, those days are officially over. Now, we’re facing a new foe: the dreaded planning a trip your teens won’t whine about and you might actually enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling with my teens (it’s my favorite thing to do) but life would be easier without the “cool, bruh.” 

The mere mention of a family trip can be met with eye rolls, dramatic sighs, and monosyllabic responses.  Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It happens to the best of us. My girls even refer to me as “cool” on occasion and I get all the eye rolls. Planning a trip that appeals to both your inner wanderlust and your teen’s ever-evolving interests can feel like navigating a minefield. But fear not, fellow travelers!  This mama is here to equip you with secret weapons to conquer the Teen Travel Whine and plan a trip EVERYONE will love. Yes, even that youngest, most entitled and champion “cool, bruh” one. 

Embrace the Collaboration (Without Losing Control)

First things first, ditch the “Surprise! We’re going to Disney!” tactic. Just kidding. Maybe for typical teens but my girls are die-hard Disney teens. We go every year and every year it’s.the.best.time.ever! Teens crave a sense of ownership, so ditch the dictator routine and turn trip planning into a collaborative mission. Dust off that dusty world map (or whip out your phone) and gather your little squad. Get their travel vibes flowing by browsing travel blogs, Instagram accounts, and travel magazines together.

Pro Tip: Let them dream big! Even if a trip to the Maldives is out of budget, exploring their wildest travel desires can spark inspiration for more realistic options.

Location, Location, Location:

Now, the fun part! Once you have a general idea of what kind of trip your teen is digging (beach bumming, city exploration, adventure junkie, etc.), start brainstorming destinations that cater to both your interests. Here are some Teen-Approved Hotspots:

  • Adventure Awaits! For the thrill-seekers, consider national parks like Yosemite or Yellowstone, where hiking, camping, and white-water rafting will have them screaming with excitement (in a good way!). If international travel is on the agenda, Costa Rica offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Ziplining through rainforests, horseback riding on volcanic beaches, and learning to surf – enough adrenaline to keep those teenage spirits soaring.
  • City Slickers Unite! Let your teen unleash their inner urban explorer in a vibrant city like New Orleans, overflowing with live music, historic sites, and mouthwatering food (beignets, anyone?). London, with its iconic landmarks, museums galore, and a thriving theater scene, is another fantastic option. Explore hidden alleyways, catch a West End show, and maybe even take a day trip to explore the magic of Harry Potter Studios.
  • Beach Bums Welcome! Who doesn’t love a relaxing beach getaway? But ditch the all-inclusive resorts and opt for a location with some personality. Tulum, Mexico, offers stunning beaches, ancient Mayan ruins to explore, and a bohemian vibe your teen will love. The Outer Banks in North Carolina boasts beautiful beaches, charming towns, and even wild horses to keep everyone entertained.

Activities: It’s All About the Experiences

Okay, you’ve nailed the destination. Now, let’s make sure there’s enough action to keep everyone from getting bored (especially those with short attention spans cough teenagers cough).

Pro Tip:  Remember, vacations are about creating lasting memories, so prioritize experiences over souvenirs.

Here are some ideas to keep your teens engaged:

  • Food Tours: Turn mealtimes into mini-adventures with a food tour that explores the local cuisine. From chowing down on tacos in Mexico City to sampling dim sum in Hong Kong, these tours offer a delicious way to experience a new culture.
  • Get Creative: Does your teen have an artistic soul? Seek out workshops or classes that allow them to learn a new skill like pottery making, glass blowing, or graffiti art. This is a fantastic way to create a unique souvenir and a fun memory.
  • Volunteer for a Cause: Looking for a way to give back on your trip? Look into volunteer opportunities with local organizations. This could be anything from helping to build a school in a developing country to working at an animal shelter. Not only is it a rewarding experience, but it allows your teen to connect with the local community on a deeper level.

Don’t Forget the “Me Time” Factor

Remember, a vacation is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable for EVERYONE, including yourself!

Pro Tip: Factor in “me-time” for everyone. Let your teens explore their own interests for a few hours, whether it’s browsing vintage shops or catching a movie. You can head to a museum, get a massage, or simply relax on a beach lounger with a good book.

This isn’t about abandoning your teens on a deserted island (tempting as it may sound sometimes!), but rather creating opportunities for everyone to recharge and pursue their individual interests.

Here are some ideas to create that “me-time” magic:

  • Teen Time: Negotiate a few hours where your teens can explore the city (or beach, or wherever you are) on their own. This could involve browsing vintage shops, catching a local band’s gig, or simply hanging out with friends they may have made on the trip.
  • Adult Adventures: Schedule an activity just for you! Whether it’s a solo museum visit, a relaxing spa treatment, or enjoying a quiet coffee at a local cafe, this dedicated “me-time” allows you to unwind and recharge.

Embrace the Unexpected

Travel is all about creating memories, and sometimes the best ones are the ones you don’t plan. Leave some room for spontaneity on your trip!

Here are some ways to embrace the unexpected:

  • Get Lost (Safely): Instead of sticking rigidly to your itinerary, allow some time to wander and explore. You might stumble upon a hidden gem of a restaurant, a charming local market, or a quirky street performance – these unexpected finds can become the highlights of your trip.
  • Be Open to New Experiences: Don’t shy away from trying something new, even if it’s outside your comfort zone. Whether it’s trying a local dish you can’t pronounce, taking a salsa dancing lesson, or going on a spontaneous hike, embracing new experiences can create lasting memories and stories to tell for years to come.
  • Go with the Flow: Things don’t always go according to plan, especially when traveling. Flights might get delayed, museums might be closed, or the weather might not cooperate. Instead of getting stressed, take a deep breath and roll with the punches. These unexpected hiccups can actually lead to some hilarious stories down the road.
  • The Loss Of Items: It can be tough if you lose things when you’re on your trip. Nobody likes it but it happens nonetheless. Instead of getting stressed out and panicked about it, remember that there’s always a solution. Where there’s a will, there is always a way. If you lose your phone, look for it, track it, see where it is. If you’re like me ( ADHD brain) backtrack and you will find it, even if it take a while. If you lose your travel money card, see if someone back home can do a money transfer to Mexico or wherever you are until you get back. There are always solutions, try not to panic.

**Remember, Mamas (and Papas, too), a successful family vacation isn’t about achieving Instagram-perfect moments. It’s about creating shared experiences, fostering connection, and making memories that will last a lifetime.  So ditch the stress, embrace the chaos, and get ready to have the best family vacation ever!

Bonus Tip:  Don’t forget to document your adventures! Encourage your teens to take photos, capture videos, and jot down their thoughts in a travel journal.  These little mementos will be precious treasures you can all look back on and reminisce about long after the tan lines fade.

Now, go forth and plan that epic trip your whole family (even the teens!) will be raving about!**

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The Traveler's Code: Are you a Traveler or a Tourist? , travel, tourism

TEstimated reading time: 4 minutes

Ah, the eternal conundrum of travel – are you a free-spirited traveler or an itinerary-tethered tourist? Me, I like to immerse myself in the sights, sounds, culture and people of where I am traveling. I am a traveler. For me, it’s more than just a matter of labels; it’s a mindset that shapes the very fabric of your journey. Let’s embark on a quest to unravel the mysteries of the traveler-tourist duality and discover how your chosen path transforms the entire tapestry of your adventure. In the travelers code, are you a traveler or a tourist?

Decoding the Labels

First things first, what distinguishes a traveler from a tourist? Well, it’s not about the number of countries stamped in your passport or the hours spent wandering through historical landmarks. It’s a travel state of mind, a philosophy of exploration.

The Tourist:

Picture this – meticulously planned itineraries, guided tours, and a checklist of must-see attractions. Tourists crave the comfort of predictability, relying on familiar routines and iconic sights. They’re armed with guidebooks, maps, and perhaps a pocket translator, ensuring every moment is accounted for. My husband, the Big Guy, is most definitely a tourist. 

The Traveler:

Now, shift your focus to the wanderers, the drifters, the seekers of the offbeat. Travelers thrive on spontaneity, eschewing rigid plans for the thrill of the unknown. They savor the local flavors, embrace serendipitous encounters, and believe that the journey itself is the destination. I am definitely a traveler, and so are our girls, so we are super grateful that the Big Guy takes on the roll of the cruise director on our trips so that we can be more spontaneous. Its easy when we know that he always has our back.

The Mindset Manifesto

1. Seek or Snap:

  • Tourist: Armed with selfie sticks and posed grins, tourists aim for the perfect shot, a visual checklist of conquests. For them, memories are captured in pixels, curated for the envy of social media followers.
  • Traveler: The traveler’s lens captures moments, not postcards. It’s about experiencing the golden hour in a bustling market, feeling the pulse of a city, and letting the essence of a place seep into the soul. The camera is a companion, not a barrier.

2. Path vs. Purpose:

  • Tourist: Following the well-trodden path, tourists stick to the tried-and-tested routes. Their purpose is to cover ground efficiently, ticking off landmarks like items on a shopping list.
  • Traveler: The road less taken beckons the traveler. It’s about embracing detours, getting lost, and stumbling upon hidden gems. The purpose is not just to see but to absorb, to connect with the heartbeat of a locale.

3. Cuisine Conundrum:

  • Tourist: Safe bets and familiar chains dominate the tourist’s culinary journey. They’re more likely to stick to what they know, reluctant to venture into the uncharted territory of local delicacies.
  • Traveler: Food is a gateway to culture for the discerning traveler. From street stalls to hole-in-the-wall eateries, they crave authenticity, savoring the flavors that define a region. Culinary exploration is an adventure in itself.

The Transformative Power of Choice

Now that we’ve dissected the traveler-tourist spectrum, how does this choice shape your travel experience? Let’s delve into the profound impact of embracing one persona over the other.

1. Depth of Connection:

  • Tourist: Surface-level interactions characterize the tourist experience. Engagements with locals are transactional – guided tours, brief exchanges, and fleeting moments devoid of depth.
  • Traveler: The traveler fosters meaningful connections. Conversations with locals become narratives, and chance encounters evolve into shared stories. It’s not just about observing; it’s about becoming a part of the tapestry.

2. Memorabilia vs. Memories:

  • Tourist: Fridge magnets, keychains, and souvenirs encapsulate the tourist’s journey. These mementos are tangible reminders of places visited, but often lack the emotional resonance of true memories.
  • Traveler: Memories are the traveler’s most cherished souvenirs. Each experience etches itself into the traveler’s consciousness – the laughter shared with locals, the challenges overcome, and the unexpected beauty discovered off the beaten path.

3. Flexibility and Adaptability:

  • Tourist: Rigidity defines the tourist’s schedule. Unexpected closures, weather disruptions, or spontaneous invitations can derail the planned agenda, causing frustration.
  • Traveler: Flexibility is the traveler’s ally. Adapting to unforeseen circumstances is not a setback but an opportunity for adventure. The ability to pivot seamlessly adds an element of thrill to the journey.

Embracing the Hybrid: Travelist

In the grand tapestry of travel, is there room for a harmonious blend of both worlds? Indeed, enter the ‘travelist’ – a savvy explorer who combines the structure of a tourist with the spirit of a traveler.

A travelist plans with purpose, choosing destinations that resonate with personal interests but allows for serendipity. They appreciate the convenience of guided tours while relishing the freedom to wander off course. The travelist savors local delicacies but doesn’t shy away from the occasional familiar comfort.

Closing Thoughts: Choose Your Adventure

As you stand at the crossroads of traveler and tourist, remember – there’s no right or wrong way to explore. The essence lies in the journey itself, shaped by the choices you make and the mindset you carry. Whether you’re a meticulous tourist, a free-spirited traveler, or a harmonious travelist, the world awaits your unique perspective.

What’s your travel philosophy? Are you set on a predefined course or ready to let the wind guide you? As you embark on your next adventure, remember – the magic is not just in the destination; it’s in the transformative dance between the traveler and the world.

More Travel posts:

Things to do in Banff with Teens

Top hings to do in Boston

Things to do in New Orleans

Why Every Family should GoRVing

If you enjoyed this post, please like, comment and subscribe! XOXO

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Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

We’ve been visiting Boston with our girls every summer since they were littles. Nevertheless, there is just something so fun and conducive to making lifelong memories as a family about New England. Over the years, it has become our home away from home. If you’re planning travel with teenagers to Boston, there are plenty of exciting places to visit and activities to enjoy.

Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

For a wicked good time, here are the top 15 places to visit including must-do, must-see and must-eat ( actually coming in the next post too many to mention here) places to check out with your teenagers while in Boston:

1. Fenway Park: If you’re in Boston during baseball season, catch a Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park, one of the oldest and most iconic ballparks in the United States. The energetic atmosphere and passionate fans make it an unforgettable experience. It’s like a rock concert but with more peanuts and hot dogs and, finally, they’ll know why everyone gets so hyped and starts singing when “Sweet Caroline” starts playing.


Faneuil hall, freedom trail, historical Boston, Boston, family travel, fun, New England, family travel, things to do in Boston, Massachusetts

2. Freedom Trail: I know it might sound boring but I promise it’s cool. I’ve taken my girls multiple times and we still discover new and cool stuff. Take a walk along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile trail that passes by 16 historically significant sites. It’s a great way for teenagers to learn about Boston’s rich history and the American Revolution with a side of cool old graveyards,


3. Museum of Science: Explore the Museum of Science, which offers interactive exhibits on various scientific subjects. From the planetarium and IMAX theater to the hands-on exhibits, there’s something to engage teenagers of all interests. Seriously, who can resist getting all hands on with interactive exhibits. Feels like Bill Nye the Science guy and Netflix had a baby.


4. New England Aquarium: Visit the New England Aquarium and discover marine life from around the world. Teenagers can enjoy watching penguins, sea turtles, and other fascinating creatures, as well as experience the Giant Ocean Tank. If. you really want to make it an experience to remember, I would highly recommend taking a whale watching tour.whale, Boston harbor cruises, whale watching, New England, family travel, things to do in Boston, Massachusetts

5. Boston Common and Public Garden: Spend time at Boston Common, the oldest public park in the United States, and the adjacent Public Garden. Take a swan boat ride, have a picnic, or simply relax in the green spaces and make sure to see the “Embrace” bronze sculpture memorial to MLK. It is stunning and a fun photo op for the gram.

Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

6. Boston Harbor Islands: Take a ferry to the Boston Harbor Islands, a group of picturesque islands offering hiking trails, beaches, and opportunities for kayaking or paddleboarding. Spectacle Island and Georges Island are particularly popular choices.


7. Skywalk Observatory: Head to the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center for breathtaking views of Boston’s skyline. It provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the city, allowing teenagers to appreciate the city’s beauty from above. These views are unbeatable and definitely social media worthy. Your teens will love it.


8. Museum of Fine Arts: Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an extensive collection of artwork from different cultures and time periods. It’s a great opportunity for teenagers to explore diverse artistic expressions.


9. Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum: Experience a unique historical reenactment at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Teenagers can participate in the interactive exhibits, throw tea overboard ( and you know how much their angsty asses love to rebel), and learn about the events leading to the American Revolution.


10. Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall: Visit Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, bustling marketplaces in the heart of Boston. Teenagers can enjoy shopping, sampling various cuisines, and watching street performers in this vibrant area. Hungry? Obviously, because teenagers always are, food is sport at Quincy Hall. There’s lobster rolls, pastries and all the clam chowder your teen foodies could ever imagine or hope for.


11. Duck tour: Undeniably, they are a bit silly but they are a great way to explore Boston. Jump on this amphibious vehicle and check out everything bean town has to offer, including the river. Oh yes, this Boston safari will put your teens in just enough imagined danger to keep things exciting. No, they are not actually in danger but that’s not the way they’ll tell it to their friends back home.


12. Charles River Esplanade: There’s nothing like a cool summer or fall stroll on the esplanade. Hang by the river while playing frisbee, people-watching while taking in breathtaking views of the Boston skyline. It is instagram and TikTok heaven.


Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

13. Shopping: Newbury Street, downtown crossing, Prudential center and Copley place, oh my! Boston is one of our favorite places to shop. They have something for everyone and if you have girl, like I do, shopping (and eating) are two things we can definitely agree on from Saks to Gucci to Free People and Primark, this is some of the best shopping you and your teenagers will do. May I suggest, if you are not extremely wealthy, hit up Primark first. Great fast-fashion from a European brand but with Target prices. It’s the first place my girls want to hit as soon as we arrive. You’ll thank me later.

Best Things to Do in Boston with Teens and Tweens, things to do in Boston, Boston Commons, Georgetown Cupcakes, Signature swings

14. The Swing Park at the Signature: This is such a fun thing to do for people of every age (honestly you could take your little kids or even your grandparents) but your teens will love this at night. We spent hours there, from sunset until it was dark out swinging on those glowing swings. The Lawn on D at the Signature also offers pickleball, lawn games and adult beverages.


15. Visit Harvard and Cambridge: Harvard is just a short drive away from downtown Boston and your teens will have a blast visiting the campus and soaking in all the ivy league vibes. The campus is gorgeous and why not plant that seed? Plus, Cambridge is full of fun little restaurants and shops to explore. My girls loved it.

Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

This is just a get started list of places to visit and things to do with teenagers in Boston.

If you’re looking for a great place to stay with teenagers that’s right in the middle of all the Boston energy and excitement, we’ve been staying at The Hyatt Regency Boston for over a decade. If you’ve followed along over the years on my instagram, you’ve seen the breathtaking views and know, that its in the heart of the downtown crossing area.

Just a stones throw away from Chinatown and easily walkable to almost anywhere your heart could want to go in Boston. However,  most importantly, the customer service and attention to their guests is what keeps us coming back every single year. We’ve tried other hotels but nothing compares to how we are treated at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Bonus: There is nothing quite like a comfortable bed to take a midday vacation nap on and the Hyatt always delivers. Thank you Hyatt for always be such gracious hosts.

Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston

While these attractions offer a mix of history, culture, outdoor adventures, and entertainment that will keep teenagers engaged and entertained during their visit to Boston. Time to unleash your teenagers on Boston and let them explore and soak in all the culture, history, shopping and delicious food that Boston has to offer.


What is your top place to visit or thing to do with your teenagers in Boston?

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Why Your Family should stay at the Hyatt Boston Regency, Top 15 Places to Visit in Boston, travel with teenagers, Things to Do with Teenagers in Boston, Avenue One Restaurant

Planning a family trip to Boston? Let me make it easy for you: book your stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston. This hotel is not just a place to sleep—it’s the launchpad for your family’s best vacation ever. From its unbeatable location to its family-friendly amenities, you’ll wonder why you ever considered staying anywhere else. And let’s not forget Avenue One Restaurant—convenient and delicious, it’s a game-changer for dining with kids and teens. And you know how serious we are about enjoying Boston with our teenage daughters. So, buckle up, because I’m about to tell you why the Hyatt Regency Boston is where your family needs to be.

Location, Location, Location!

Boston is a city rich in history, culture, and adventure, and the Hyatt Regency Boston puts you right in the heart of it all. Located in the vibrant downtown area, the hotel is within walking distance of some of the city’s top attractions. Think Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, and the Freedom Trail. Whether you want to explore the New England Aquarium, catch a game at Fenway Park, or shop on Newbury Street, you’re just steps away from the action.

When you stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston, you’re perfectly positioned to soak up all the sights and sounds of the city without the hassle of long commutes. No more whining from the backseat about when you’ll get there because guess what? You’re already there! Imagine stepping out of your hotel and being greeted by the vibrant buzz of Boston life, ready to dive into your adventure.

Spacious Rooms for Families

Traveling with kids and teens means you need space—lots of it. The Hyatt Regency Boston offers rooms and suites that are not only comfortable but spacious enough to accommodate your whole crew. Picture this: after a long day of sightseeing, the kids can crash on their own beds while you relax with a glass of wine, planning the next day’s adventures. Plus, with amenities like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and a mini-fridge, you’ve got everything you need to keep the whole family entertained and happy.

The rooms are designed with families in mind. Need a crib or a rollaway bed? Just ask. The hotel staff is more than accommodating, ensuring everyone in your family gets a good night’s sleep. And if you’re lucky enough to snag a suite, you’ll have even more room to spread out, with separate living areas perfect for those early morning cartoons or late-night movie marathons.

Family-Friendly Amenities

The Hyatt Regency Boston knows how to cater to families. They offer cribs and rollaway beds on request, making it easy to accommodate even the smallest travelers. The indoor heated pool is a hit with kids of all ages—perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring. And for parents, the 24-hour fitness center means you can sneak in a workout while the kids are still sleeping. They even offer babysitting services if you need a night out (hello, date night!).

Imagine the joy on your kids’ faces when they dive into the pool after a day of walking around the city. It’s these little extras that make a huge difference. The hotel also provides board games and activities for rainy days, ensuring that your kids are never bored, no matter the weather.

Avenue One Restaurant: Convenient and Delicious

Now, let’s talk food. Traveling with kids and teens can make meal times a bit of a challenge, but not at the Avenue One Restaurant. Conveniently located right in the hotel, it’s your go-to spot for a delicious and hassle-free dining experience.

Breakfast Bonanza

Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Avenue One. From fluffy pancakes to savory omelets, there’s something for everyone. And if your kids are anything like mine, the buffet will be a huge hit. It’s the perfect way to fuel up before a day of exploring Boston.

The breakfast buffet is a feast for the senses. Fresh fruit, pastries, yogurt, and a variety of cereals are all available. The coffee at Avenue One Restaurant is strong enough to wake even the sleepiest of parents, and the fresh juices are a hit with the kids and adults alike. Breakfast here isn’t just a meal; it’s an experience that sets the tone for the day ahead.

Lunch and Dinner Delights

Whether you’re in the mood for a light lunch or a full dinner, Avenue One has you covered. Their menu is packed with options that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Think juicy burgers, fresh salads, and mouth-watering seafood dishes. And let’s not forget the clam chowder—it’s a New England must-try. Plus, the starters menu is full of favorites like calamari, spinach and Artichoke dip and New England Crab cake, ensuring everyone leaves happy and full.

Avenue One takes the stress out of meal times. No more scouring Yelp for a family-friendly restaurant that won’t break the bank. You can enjoy a leisurely meal knowing that everyone will find something they love. And the service? Top-notch. The staff is attentive and great with kids, making dining a pleasant experience for the whole family.

Desserts to Die For

Don’t skip dessert! Avenue One’s dessert menu is nothing short of spectacular. From decadent Tiramisu to classic Boston cream pie, you’ll find the perfect sweet treat to end your meal. And if you’re celebrating a special occasion, let them know—they love to make your family’s dining experience extra memorable.

The desserts are the cherry on top of an already fantastic dining experience. Whether you’re indulging in a rich cheesecake or savoring a scoop of ice cream, you’ll leave the table with a smile on your face. And the best part? You don’t have to go far to get back to your room and relax.

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Exploring Boston Made Easy

One of the best things about staying at the Hyatt Regency Boston is how easy it makes exploring the city. The hotel offers easy access to transportation to popular attractions, so you can leave the car behind and enjoy the sights stress-free. Plus, with the MBTA (Boston’s public transit system) nearby, getting around the city is a breeze. No need to worry about navigating traffic or finding parking—just hop on the T and go!

The convenience of having the city at your doorstep can’t be overstated. Whether you’re taking a scenic walk through the Boston Public Garden or visiting the interactive exhibits at the Museum of Science or shopping and eating your way through Newbury Street, everything is within reach. The hotel concierge and front desk attendants can provide direction and guidance to help you plan your itinerary, ensuring you don’t miss out on any must-see attractions.

A Home Away from Home

What truly sets the Hyatt Regency Boston apart is the feeling of home it provides. The staff is incredibly welcoming and always ready to help with recommendations or special requests. From the moment you check in, you’ll feel like part of the family. And isn’t that what every family vacation needs? A place where you can relax, unwind, and truly enjoy your time together.

The hotel’s commitment to making you feel at home is evident in every detail. From the warm greetings at the front desk to the little touches in your room, like extra pillows and cozy blankets, you’ll feel pampered and cared for. It’s this level of service that turns a good vacation into a great one.

Book Your Family’s Stay Today!

Ready to make unforgettable memories in Boston? Book your stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston now and discover why it’s the perfect home base for your family’s adventure. And don’t forget to dine at Avenue One Restaurant—convenient, delicious, and a dining experience your family will love. Share this post with fellow travelers and start planning your trip today!

For more tips on family travel, check out  our travel content at The TRUTH about Motherhood, and let’s make your next family vacation the best one yet!


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RVing, solar panels, family vacation, travel

Have you been camping in an RV? We have and, like most, it is the best family adventure for making lasting memories. Whether you fell in love with camping during years of cross-country family trips in an RV or during the pandemic, once you’ve tried it, it’s likely that you’re hooked. If you’re planning to take several RV trips in 2023, finding the right products to improve your RV adventures should be a priority. Solar panels should be at the top of your agenda for consideration. Not only are they better for the planet, they are more budget friendly and efficient.

While solar panels are unlikely to stand out as the obvious choice, the truth is that their impact will be huge. Here’s why:

Solar Panels Pay for Themselves

There is a long list of tech gadgets that can improve your campaign adventures. However, solar panels stand out from most because they will pay for themselves in the long run. By harvesting solar energy, you will use less energy from the grid. In turn, this can save you a few dollars for each day that you’re away. Over time, this will add up.

Better still, solar panel technology has progressed greatly in recent times. Modern units require very little care or maintenance and will last for many years. Whether you plan to enjoy multiple weekends away each year or limit your trips to a single annual adventure doesn’t matter. The solar panels will make a sound investment in the long run.

In some cases, you may be able to completely avoid the site fees for electricity usage.

They Allow You to Truly Explore The Great Outdoors

When embarking on an RV adventure or camping trip, you will inevitably need to use a host of appliances and gadgets and they’ll all need to be powered. Unfortunately, even your standard portable power supplies will only last for a set amount of time. Consequently, then, you may find that you are restricted to where your adventures can take you. That can mean forgetting about some of those beautiful, remote destinations you’ve always wanted to visit.

Purchasing a powerful 200W solar panel will tear down this barrier. The ability to use the sun’s power to keep your power packs full of energy will allow you to travel to remote areas that do not have access to the grid. And you won’t be limited to spending just a single day in those locations. This opens the door to a host of new adventures.

As well as directly improving your adventures, it will deliver added peace of mind.

Solar Panels Provide a Backup Too

Even if you visit a campsite, what happens if there is a power outage? Your portable supplies will only last so long. And if charging opportunities become limited due to outside issues, you will find yourself fighting for energy. Frankly, it is an outcome that you’d rather avoid.

With solar panels, you will have a backup source of energy throughout your adventures. So, you can focus on enjoying your camping activities without fears regarding energy. It is a simple reward that will instantly take all future trips to the next level. You will also find that you return home feeling fully recharged, which is vital in today’s world.

In short, solar panels keep you prepared for every situation.

Solar Panels Help You Stay Green

There are many incentives to choose camping adventures over other vacation types. However, the ability to reconnect with nature and promote a greener lifestyle stands out as one of the most telling features. Solar panels naturally feed into this commitment and desire. It is another reason why they make a great purchase.

When you choose a portable unit, you can easily move them throughout the day to ensure maximum sunshine exposure. This helps you harvest more energy, which can be used during the daytime or stored for the evening. Either way, it will ensure that your adventures remain eco-friendly by reducing your reliance on the grid.

In turn, you should find that you become a happier camper too.

Solar Panels Can Be Used on Virtually All Adventures

With some RV additions or camping investments, you’ll find that their functions are limited. For example, boating equipment will only be useful when you visit a body of water. Similarly, you may find that some climate control features are only required for half of the year. Solar panels can be used all year round.

While the solar harvesting capabilities will be reduced on cloudy days, the winter months do not put an end to their benefits. In fact, most solar panels are more efficient in temperatures under 25 degrees centigrade. Although, it should be noted that they will continue to aid your portable power supplies during the height of summer too.

If you’re looking for an investment that enhances all RV adventures, this is it.

They Will Help You Stand Out

When planning your camping adventures, you should always focus on your needs first. As long as you enjoy the trips and feel safe at all times, your trips will be a guaranteed success. Still, solar panels do make a big statement that cannot go unnoticed by your neighbors or other campers. It is a cool additional incentive.

The solar panels let others know that you have invested in protecting the planet. Have enhanced the comfort of your adventures. And are serious about your camping and outdoor exploits. You will feel an added sense of satisfaction during your trips. In turn, this can encourage you to enjoy more frequent adventures throughout 2023 and beyond.

There are several additional products that can underline this, but solar panels are the best.

Their Benefits Aren’t Limited to Camping Adventures

When buying solar panels for your RV, you will primarily focus on the benefits for your camping trips. However, you may find that they can be used in your daily home life too.

Your solar panels could be used to help power some of your garden appliances or run the summer house. Even if it doesn’t cover the entire energy usage, you will see a noticeable improvement. It will translate to increased financial savings and environmental benefits. If you actively want to adopt a greener lifestyle, this can be a hugely positive step.

So, even if you do not plan to take the RV out for a few months, now is the time to buy.

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Camping trips are a lot of fun without technology. But if you can bring the right tools with you, you can make it even more enjoyable and avoid some of the downsides of the experience. 

We’re not saying that you need to be scrolling through TikTok on your smartphone while you’re away. But we are saying that some technology is welcome. Unless, of course, you like returning to the stone age every so often. 

But what technology, specifically, are we talking about? Let’s take a look. 

The Month-Long Lantern

19th-century lanterns that burned whale oil could last a week. But, today, you can buy LED versions that will keep your tent supplied with light for a whole month before you need to charge them. 

Keeping a fire lit is also dangerous and time-consuming, particularly if you bring it inside your tent. LED lamps powered by regular cells reduce risks dramatically and won’t burn your tent down around you. 

Waterproof Speakers

Waterproof speakers are another option, and something you should bring with you if you love the great outdoors. These connect to your devices via Bluetooth or pick up radio signals if they have a receiver inside. 

Waterproof speakers are practical and compact. Manufacturers use one of two technologies to make them waterproof. Either they create rubber seals around the chassis, preventing any water from getting inside. Or they coat all of the sensitive electronics inside with a hydrophobic substance that repels water and prevents short circuits. 

Camping speakers are also extremely robust. Manufacturers make them to take a lot of abuse. You can leave them on the floor and they should be okay, even if there is a lot of moisture on the ground. 

External Battery Packs

Some people leave all their devices at home when they go camping. But these intrepid individuals are a rare breed in this day and age. Most people want to bring equipment with them so they can communicate safely with family and friends. 

Unfortunately, most smartphones and tablets only last a day, if that. Therefore, more people than ever before are choosing external battery packs. These handy devices usually contain enough energy for three or four days of consistent phone use. You just plug them into your device via USB and they’ll continue to charge it all night. 

Note, though, that charging isn’t as quick as mains socket charging. Therefore, you’ll need to plug them in early the night before if you want your battery to be 100 percent by the following morning. 

Bicycle Gyro Chargers

Solar panel chargers are okay, but they need to be large to provide all the energy your devices need. Unfortunately, the average modern smartphone uses way more energy than a small, one-square-foot array can generate on an average day. 

Therefore, many happy campers are turning to bicycle gyro chargers. These fit to the front wheel and generate energy based on inputs from your body. Over time, this method charges your battery, letting you use it for all your devices in the evening. 

Bicycle gyro chargers, though, require you to do a lot of pedaling. Therefore, they are a good option if you are cycling all day, but a bad one otherwise. 

Small Headphones

Taking headphones with you on camp isn’t exactly a necessity. Therefore, you can file this one under your “creature comforts” list. 

Headphones make camping more enjoyable by letting you listen to music and audiobooks in peace. It can also blank out unwanted noise. Not everyone enjoys the sound of crickets, owls, and their partner snoring next to them. Therefore, using headphones to block out noise is a great strategy. 

Bluetooth Thermometer

Ordinary thermometers are a sensible addition to any camping trip. You can use them to test the internal temperature of meat and avoid food poisoning. 

The problem with regular thermometers is you need to be up close to operate them. You can’t prod meat remotely. 

However, with Bluetooth-equipped devices, you can. 

The way these systems work is pretty cool. You place the body of the device safely away from the cooking food and then stick the heatproof electrode in the meat via an extension cord. The main unit will then transmit temperature information to your phone in real-time, so you can see when your sausages are warming up. Then, when they are at the perfect temperature, you can flip them over and go back to your seat. It’s a miracle. 

Long-Lasting flashlights

If the 30-day lantern wasn’t quite the right tool for you, then a long-life flashlight might be. These devices use LED bulbs and can put out significantly more light than standard torches. 

Interestingly, most recommend you use non-rechargeable AAA batteries. That’s because these contain the highest amount of charge of any battery, even more than lithium-ion. 

Fitness Tracker

Taking a fitness tracker with you on your next camping trip is another cool idea. Remember, outdoors, you’ll be covering some serious ground and getting much more physical activity than usual. With a smartwatch, you can see how many miles you’ve walked, ran, cycled, or kayaked. You can also view how many calories you’ve burned. 

Both Apple and Samsung make great smartwatches that offer practically all the features you need. They record your routes so you can see where you’ve been, and provide you with helpful information, like the UV index, so you know if you need to cover up. 

Android users, though, tend to have the most options. Fitbit, for instance, has many fitness-related features. You can also review your health data to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs. 

Fitness trackers also show you whether you’re getting enough sleep on camp. They can tell you how deep your sleep was and whether you need to take it easy today or not. 

Crank Hand Charger

Crank hand chargers are a great alternative for anyone who needs to charge a battery quickly and can’t afford to wait for a solar charger. Hand crank chargers transform the chemical energy in your body into chemical energy in batteries. You lose weight and the battery gains charge to power all your devices, including your phones. 

Remember, even if you have a solar charger, the sun doesn’t shine at night. Furthermore, if you’re camping in the winter, it can be difficult to get enough hours of sunlight to collect all the energy you need. Hand crank chargers can make up the deficit. 

Don’t get a plastic one. Look for a large one made of metal, capable of supplying enough energy to your battery pack. 

Action Camera

You might also want to consider investing in an action camera. These may serve you better than regular camping cameras. 

Why? Simple: manufacturers make action cameras specifically to take action shots, the type of photos you’re more likely to take while camping. 

Action cameras do this by taking many pictures in a row and then blending them together until they are sharp. They also take videos at a high frame rate so they look smooth, regardless of the on-camera action. 

You can also voice-activate them which is great when you’re hiking. Just place the device on a rock, pose and then tell it to take a picture. No more timers. No more fiddling around. 

Satellite Communicators

The latest mobile phones have emergency satellite communication built into them. Unfortunately, though, these systems only work in limited geographic regions at the moment, such as North America and Europe.

Fortunately, you can get bespoke satellite communicators from third-party brands that work anywhere. For these, you’ll need to pay a small amount for the device itself and then pay an ongoing subscription for satellite coverage. Once you’re set-up, you can make satellite calls from anywhere, just in case you get into trouble. 

Naturally, satellite communicators aren’t necessary if you’re just staying on a campsite in a developed area. However, they do come in handy if you’re going out into the wilderness for weeks with no one else to call for help if you get into trouble. 


Camping and drones go hand-in-hand these days. Devices, like the Mini 3, make it easy to take fantastic shots and provide a real context in all your environments. 

Drones can follow you automatically these days while you cycle and hike. Most have flight times of around 15 minutes, but they can last longer than this under the right conditions.

You can also bring spare batteries with you. If your drone comes back down to earth, you just swap the old one out for a new one. 

Camping and technology are bedfellows. And if you think about it, that’s always been the case. Modern sleeping bags are packed with advanced material technologies, yet everyone takes them for granted. 

The same is true of camping stoves. Companies put massive investments into these products to make them more convenient than traditional fires. 

Now, though, the technology campers use is becoming more conspicuous. Expect this trend to continue as more people want to spend time in nature but take their creature comforts with them. 

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Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

I’m a Chicago girl and there is nothing I love more than sharing my hometown with my daughters. I love taking my children to visit my family and introducing them to the city I love. It’s nice because while I’m figuring out all the best things to do in Chicago with teens and kids, I get to play tourist.

Chicago is one of my favorite cities but when you live somewhere you never play tourist because you.live.there. When you’re young, you’re like no way, I’m not wasting my time because you think you’ll always be there. Everything tourists come to Chicago to see, we saw on field trips a zillion times with school. You couldn’t pay us enough to go willingly.

READ ALSO: Chicago Ten Things to do Before You Die

But then you grow up and you realize OMG, all of these amazing museums, art galleries, Planetariums, Zoos, Aquariums and theaters were right here and I took it all for granted. You realize that there are amazing things to do, food to eat and different cultures all around and you took it all for granted. But no more.

Of course, it is winter, and your first instinct is to be indoors feeling comfy in your best wool slippers or under a warm blanket. However, sometimes this can take you away from all the fun you can have in Chicago. As long as you are protected from the frigid weather, there are many things to see and experience. Chicago has so much in store for you and the family.

Here is a list of things to do in Chicago during the Winter months

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The Museum of Science and Industry

During the winter months, November through January, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light is displayed. Explore rich holiday traditions from around the globe while creating your own traditions with loved ones in Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light.

It began in 1942 with a single tree. Today, the Museum’s beloved annual celebration features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. On the weekends, you can also enjoy live holiday performances. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that brings a whole world of holiday joy under one roof.

READ ALSO: Spring Break Make It Yourself at MSI

This has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. This year, I took my parents and my daughters and it was truly magical. My only piece of advice, it is very busy over the holiday break between Christmas and New Year.

Also, if you are going during a busy season or when a popular exhibit is at the museum, be sure to get tickets for the exhibits that you want to see. There are some free exhibits that are very popular and so tickets are given on first come first serve basis, plot your plan and get your tickets as soon as you get there so you don’t miss anything.

Free admission days: The Museum of Science and Industry is free for Illinois residents with valid ID on the following dates in 2019: January 7–10, 14–17, 21–24, 28–31, February 4–7, 11–14, 19–21, 25–28

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Shedd Aquarium

If you are looking for a leisurely day to spend with children of all ages, the Shedd Aquarium is perfect. You are inside from the elements, whether it be the sweltering heat of the summer or the brutal cold of Chicago winters, and children (and adults alike) love the serene beauty that surrounds you.

Discover Aquatic Animals from around the World. You can purchase tickets online and save time. Encounter Penguins. Meet Beluga Whales. Award Winning Exhibits. Hands-On Activities. Watch Shark Feedings. Shows: Shark Feeding Tour, Behind-the-Scenes Tour, Beluga Encounter, Penguin Encounter. Our favorite was the Dolphin show and the Beluga Whales. It’s a great day of exciting aquatic fun.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

Don’t forget about the free admission days.  Check the shed aquarium page free admissions page at a later day. Check back frequently because it’s a great deal.

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Field Museum

Who can forget the iconic shots of Kevin Bacon in She’s Having a Baby at the Field Museum? If your child or teen is into history at all, Field Museum is the place to visit. Even if they aren’t, I think the Field Museum could convince them to be. The Field Museum fuels a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture. It’s where real science, dinosaurs, and world-class exhibits inspire fun for all. My girls and nephew loved the mummies exhibit, Sue the T-Rex and Maximo the Titanosaur.

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There are Free Admission Days, which are free basic admission for Illinois residents with proof of residency. Discounted passes are available in person and cannot be purchased online in advance.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, located in Millennium Park, is a hub for summertime festivals like Lollapalooza, the Blues Festival, and Taste of Chicago but it’s really a great place to visit during the winter months as well. There are many pieces to be adored and to give your family something to think about Wood’s American Gothic, Matisse’s Bathers By a River, Monet’s Water Lilies, Rivera’s Weaver and even Renoir’s Two Sisters. There are O’Keefe, Toulouse-Lautrec and Warhols. All these I remember seeing as a child. But even among the Dali and Van Goghs, the piece I love the most is Picasso’s The Old Guitarist. Those artworks are probably only allowed to be shipped and prepped by top-notch art handlers to safeguard their authenticity. Having a place to go and share these pieces with my daughters, feels a little bit like going to church at the Sistine Chapel. We are overcome with awe and wonder. The art Institute is a must-visit when you’re in Chicago.

Just like all the other amazing museums in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago has free admission days.

Adler Planetarium

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and a premier resource for inspiring the next generation of space explorers and bonus, it is right next door to the Shedd Aquarium so you can make a day of it with the kids. If your child is interested in astronomy or space in general, how it works, what’s out there, or just connecting the constellations in the night sky, they will love the Adler Planetarium.

Countless galaxies, unfathomable distances, exploding stars, diamond planets, black holes, there’s no way around it, space is freaking awesome! Come learn more at the Adler Planetarium during our Illinois Resident Discount Days—where Illinois residents receive FREE General Admission to the museum. General Admission provides access to all exhibitions and experiences (excluding the historic Atwood Sphere Experience and sky shows.*)

Navy Pier

If you’ve never been to Navy Pier, make sure to visit on your next trip to Chicago. Originally completed in 1916 as part of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago, Navy Pier is an iconic city landmark inspiring discovery and wonder. Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million visitors have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. As Navy Pier enters its second century, the venue is evolving into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.

There is so much to do at Navy Pier. There are restaurants, art, shopping, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and even rides. Navy Pier is home to one of Chicago’s most iconic attractions: the magnificent Centennial Wheel, offering soaring views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. And let’s not forget about the Pepsi Wave Swinger, carousel and more. Honestly, there is so much to do…just add teens and an instant good time.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travelNavy Pier’s mission is to be a world-class public place that celebrates and showcases the vitality of Chicago and provides for the enjoyment of Chicago-area residents and visitors year-round. My girls love it and I’m sure that your kids will too. Did I mention that there is Garrett’s popcorn in the Pier and a Harry Careys?

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Medieval Times Schaumburg

If you’ve never been to a Medieval Times, you are missing out. I always wanted to go but never made the drive as I said, when you live in Chicago, you don’t do touristy things). A couple of years ago, I found myself at a work event with my family and guess where we ended up? Medieval Times. We loved it so much, this past holiday season when I was home visiting my parents, we took them to Medieval times in Schaumburg (just north of the city) and they loved it and so did my kids.

For the first time in Medieval Times 35-year history, a woman is in charge. All hail Queen Dona Maria Isabella. Enjoy an electrifying show featuring heroic knights on spirited horses displaying the astounding athletic feats and thrilling swordplay that have become hallmarks of this unique entertainment experience. Enjoy a “hands-on” feast as the dynamic performance unfolds before you. A sweeping musical score and brilliant lights provide a fabulous backdrop for this spellbinding experience that blurs the boundary between fairy tale and spectacle!

Yes, there is a blue knight and a red knight and you eat with your hands but so is everybody else and it was magical and splendid and I can’t wait to go again. There is a 2-hour medieval jousting tournament, 6 competing knights with real weapons, beautiful horses and a live flight of the royal falcon. Medieval Times is like nothing else you’ve ever experienced.

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel

Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler planetarium, art institute of chciago, broadway on Chicago, navy pier, chicago shakespeare theater, Things to do with teens and kids in Chicago, Things to do with teens in Chicago, Chicago, Things to do in Chicago, travel to Chicago, travel with teens, teens, family travel, broadway in chicagoBroadway in Chicago

If you love the theater, Broadway in Chicago is the place to be. Hamilton, anyone? The theater district is vibrant and located within walking distance of so many great restaurants and entertainment opportunities, including the Joffrey ballet. There is no shortage of things to see and places to be while experiencing Broadway on Chicago. There is a constant assortment of plays and musicals to see on the stage, something for everyone, even the most discerning critics.

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There are so many more things, these are just a few and the list gets longer during the warmer months. What is your favorite thing to do, see and eat in Chicago? The best part is that all of these places are great for just adults too.

READ ALSO: The Aladdin Experience Things to do in Chicago, Joffrey Ballet, The Nutcracker

The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker

As you all know, the ballet has a special place in my heart because my girls are ballerinas. The Nutcracker has always and will forever be a huge part of our holiday tradition. The girls have never seen it live from the audience because, for as long as they can remember, they have danced in it. Our local production is known to be one of the best in the country but we’ve always wanted to see the Joffrey’s, one of the premier dance companies in the world today, production. This year it’s on the list. The Joffrey Ballet’s critically-acclaimed reimagined classic, The Nutcracker by Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, returns to celebrate the magic of the holiday season. Wheeldon’s American tale relocates Marie and her immigrant family to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, where Marie embarks on a whirlwind adventure with the Nutcracker Prince.

Things to do in Chicago, Joffrey Ballet, The NutcrackerThe Joffrey Ballet performs The Nutcracker from Saturday, December 3rd through Sunday, December 27, 2022.

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What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago with teens or kids?

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Taking the kids to experience the great outdoors is a normal part of childhood. It also happens to be a great opportunity to unplug and bond while making everlasting memories. Even in today’s world, when we love to be indoors and staring at screens, kids still love to be up and using their energy. We visit beautiful national parks, have camping trips, and even go on hikes through forests and beautiful vistas – being in nature together is a different kind of time together. It’s a more engaged and care-free way to enjoy one another.

But kids today can find the great outdoors to be a little less stimulating than what they’re used to. Our kids are used to instant satisfaction, easability and many options at all times. As you can imagine, walking around a national park might appear, at first glance, to be boring but if they are there immersed without all the distraction of technology, it can become quite awe inspiring. Even if you love being outside, your kids might disagree, and you’ve got to try and meet them halfway. Here are some great ways to make hikes more fun for anyone under the age of 15. 

Pack ‘Adventure’ Gear

Curating a love for the outdoors takes a bit of effort, but according to people like Matthias O’Meara, all it takes is a demonstration of passion for the kids to follow along. And one of the best ways to show that passion is to pack dress up items for your kids to make good use of. 

Any number of items can go in your bag. Old world adventuring hats and coats, like you’d see in movies like Indiana Jones, as well as a compass or a treasure map to follow. Simply put, if it’s something fun that makes the outdoors seem like the great adventure it really is, the kids will love to get involved! 

Pack Plenty of Snacks

Kids love to snack at all times, no matter what age they are. So when you’re trying to get them interested in the great outdoors, make sure you’ve packed something tasty to try along the way. Plus, who doesn’t love a snack when you’re miles away from the nearest shop? 

Trail mix is usually the go-to, but snacks with a higher sugar content can work in small doses, as well. Help them keep their energy up, make sure they can’t complain about being tired and hungry, and they’ll keep pace with you just fine along the way. 

Make a Game of the Trail

There are plenty of games to play when you’re out hiking, and all it takes is some imagination. Thankfully, kids have got that in droves! A lot of parents like to do scavenger hunts with the little ones – if you know the trail already, you can ask them to bring back twigs and leaves and even bugs. 

But if this is a new place, you can play tried and tested games like I-Spy to pass the time. You can also play more involved games, such as ‘what could be at the end of the trail?’, and then ask them to come up with creatures they might find. You could even just give them a ball to bounce along the path, which they can run along with when they need to catch up with you. 

Hiking can be fun, and you’ve just got to show the kids how to make it so!

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