Imagine being locked in a small room with your family or friends, knowing you only have one hour to work as a team to figure out how to escape. That’s the premise behind escape rooms, one of the latest trends in family entertainment which have cropped up all over the country. The themes vary, ranging from detective style mysteries and spy missions, to high school detention classrooms and mental institutions. Most rooms are typically recommended for ages 10 and up, although some are geared towards older teens due to the nature of the room.
If someone asked me to describe Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, I would say it reminds me of an east coast beach town without the beach! Think of a place with every attraction you can imagine for kids of all ages, a variety of lodging options, and plenty of restaurants and ice cream shops. Throw in a scenic mountain location just a short drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and you have a family-friendly vacation destination with something for everyone. Our road trip to Tennessee several years ago was inspired by my daughter's invitation to a school related conference in Nashville, and Pigeon Forge seemed like an ideal spot to explore before heading to Nashville. With the recent devastating Tennessee wildfires in the news, I thought it would be a good time to finally write a more detailed blog post about Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area.
Just a few short hours from Miami lies a place where palm trees sway in the breeze, restaurants and tiki bars line the water's edge, boats bob up and down in the blue-green water, and colorful signs are found at many of the local shops. It’s the Florida Keys, a chain of islands 120 miles long, that truly has something for everyone, with no passport required. Various family members had spent some time in the Keys over the years, but I had not, so we decided it was the perfect place for a tropical summer vacation. I’m excited to say that there were so many cool things to do, especially with teens, that we can’t wait to go back! Here are 10 things you should put on your Florida Keys vacation list.
New York City attracts visitors from all over the world, who come to see the magic of Broadway, the bright lights of Times Square, iconic tourist attractions and world class food and shopping. It has become a summer weekend getaway favorite for our teenagers, especially since we live close enough to drive. This summer we went with a special mission - to venture out of the city and explore nearby Brooklyn. And what better way to do that than with a pizza tour, specifically A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour. So many reasons you should try this tour, starting with the convenient pickup and drop off location in Manhattan. Read on to see why I think it’s the best, and if you still aren’t convinced, check out the hundreds of reviews on Trip Advisor!
Tucked in the middle of the Florida Keys on Duck Key, you’ll find the family-friendly Hawks Cay Resort. It was the perfect spot for our family to relax for four nights on the second half of our Florida Keys vacation. What makes this resort so special? How about 5 pools, a saltwater lagoon, access to water sports, walking/bike paths, and daily activities, along with the popular Dolphin Connection program. Here’s what you need to know to have a great stay at Hawks Cay, especially with older teens.
Vacationing in Key West Florida brings to mind warm sunshine, palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze, delicious seafood and a fun local atmosphere. But with a fascinating history dating back to Civil War times, and the reputation as one of America’s most haunted cities, there is another side of Key West unknown to many visitors. It’s the one that is best seen after dark, once the sun has set and the performers in Mallory Square have packed up for the night. Consider the Ghosts & Gravestones Tour the perfect family night, especially when you are vacationing with 3 teenagers! It’s recommended for kids 13 and up.
How would you spend 24 hours in Chicago? Most people would say it depends on the season. I recently had the chance to visit on my way to a family wedding in nearby Indiana, and with sunny skies and perfect temperatures, had an amazing day in the city. What’s not to love about Chicago in the summer? In our case, it was a girls trip, and my daughter, sister and I had enough time to enjoy deep dish pizza, the skyline reflected in “the Bean,” and spectacular views from several unique vantage points. Follow along as I recap 24 hours in Chicago through pictures.
Of all the cities we have visited as a family, I have to say that I was most excited when we planned our Pacific Northwest vacation. Maybe it was the allure of traveling to a part of the US that I had never been. The city has so much to offer, with a number of attractions that are especially appealing to tweens and teens. We didn’t get to do all of these on our trip, but #7 and #8 are definitely on my list for next time. Read on to learn about ten fun ideas for visiting Seattle with teens.
San Francisco is an awesome city for so many reasons. Not only does the city offer unique opportunities such as riding on cable cars and walking across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, there are plenty of nearby places you can visit in a day trip. We spent several days in San Francisco during a California road trip and loved every minute of it. Here are some suggestions for all ages if you have 3 days to spend in the San Francisco area.
Want to take a family road trip but not sure where to go or how to plan? In honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, I’ve pulled together road trips highlights from familyTravelsUSA, including visits to many national parks. There are plenty of options no matter where you live. We’ve taken several “fly/drive” road trips, flying to our initial destination, then renting a car to explore. These trips have focused on different regions of the US, such as the 4 Corners area of the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest. You might also consider mapping out a trip that covers destinations within a 3 or 4 hour drive from your home. As our kids got older, we started including more urban activities, visiting cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Looking back on our trips, it’s hard to pick a favorite, as they all hold special memories. Here are highlights of 6 trips, running in length from 4 days to 3 weeks, with links to the detailed posts containing suggested routes and activities. You can also visit the familyTravelsUSA Pinterest boards, filled with ideas and suggestions for topics including road trips, national parks, road food and much more. Summer is almost here, so start planning!