Family Travel Hub

Star Light Star Bright… Family Travel and Hotel Ratings

Let’s talk hotels and stars, shall we? I read a lot of guides and websites that rate hotels by this system (or something similar). while traveling as an adult, I find this system efficient and pretty easy to use but when kids are involved…. well that’s a totally different family travel rating system!

For example, Great Wolfe Lodge ( found in Virginia among other places) deserved an F. F for Family! Take all your rugrats ! This place is a convention center for the little ones! It has everything including a magical scavenger hunt and an indoor water park. Consider GWL your one stop kid friendly get away extravaganza.

Now let’s think about the average hotel. We all know that we want a clean, moderately priced family hotel that serves a particular purpose and this is basically the type of hotel that any good guide book or website is going to recommend anyway, right? I mean who in their right mind is going to recommend a dump?! So let’s change it up and view our rating system differently!

To continue, hotels that have a B rating, work hard to provide the basics. There will be portable cribs but don’t expect Disney themed rooms. An establishment can have grade if a C for convenience (close to an airport for example) not much is offered at the hotel but you get what you need easily. How about D for destination? This hotel may not have a playroom but it does a great job of connecting you with the local area. Perhaps the hotel offers bike rentals or can set you up with tickets to a local show. Family Friendly Fabulous!

So how about this hotel I recently stayed in? The Martins Chateau du Lac gets a family travel rating of B. Not many kids in the hotel but they are willing to point out a few things in the area to do!

Chateau Du Lac : a family hotel? Maybe...

Join us at TGC for lots more travel talk about family friendly hotels, how things are changing in this industry and how you can enjoy it!

Family Travel Hub, Travel Dreaming

Travel to the library? Oh, yes!!!

Admit it, you haven’t thought about it in a long time. It’s been hectic and there was just no way to fit it into your all too busy schedule. Then, the whole Corona Virus thing brought everything to a standstill. Between dance class and self-quarantine, there is just no room in your schedule for yet another activity anyway. I know, I know! Me too! But the reality is that your local library offers so much more than just a good book selection. There are so many more activities and opportunities at community libraries than we even realize! So, in order to support all those hard working, book loving librarians out there during National Love Your Librarian Month, here is my best pitch to get you in those doors! Let’s travel to the library!

I recently looked at the August schedule for our local library and I was so impressed with the amazing array of events and activities that they are offering. There was everything from science to tax prep. I even saw YOGA! I don’t know about you but yoga may have been my favorite thing on the schedule! Yoga at the library! Seriously?! Absolutely. Libraries are so much more than the books that they keep. Monthly book clubs for adults and weekly story times for kids of all types and ages are just the start of how innovative this underused resource is.

There’s more….

Lots of libraries are involved with programs that incorporate and support STEM initiatives. They provide spaces for people to gather for all kinds of community interests and there is ALWAYS a reading incentive program. (That’s right, they are not just in the summer!) Looking for a class on sign language for babies? Check. How about a veteran’s book group? Yup. Like gardening? Yep, they meet once a month too! The library even offers a class called Pizza and Picasso! I’m in!

Two great resources for getting your kids ready to go to the library are “Between The Lions” (younger) and “Reading Rainbow” (older)- both products of PBS and both available in some way through YouTube. Together, they do a wonderful job of making the library exciting and interesting.

Library Lowdown

As for the global citizen, let me direct you right to the non-fiction stacks. The section you are looking for is all the way at the end. According to Mr. Dewey, you can travel the world in the 900’s. Specifically, section 910 is full of travel and geography. (Did you see my last post on maps?) and just next door in section 914, you will find a bit more about genealogy. That’s right! There is no better place to get started then at the library! Now, hop right on over to fiction and pick up a great European mystery or a Tokyo love story. So, c’mon! What are you waiting for?! Make the time and visit your local library now. Better yet! Make one of these fascinating libraries a bucket list stop on your next travel adventure:

New York Public Library

Located on iconic 5th Avenue, there is no better library in the world, hands down. Check out events and storytimes here.

The London Library

Located in historic St. James’ Square, check out the amazing collection and seriously good events on their calendar here.

The Chicago Library: The Harold Washington Library Center

Located on State Street, check out all of the cool STEM activities that are offered here.

The Central Branch Library of Kansas City

Located in downtown on 10th Street, the library is worth the visit just to see the outside. Check out their events here.

So, let’s travel to the library and discover a new place to find adventures right in your own neighborhood. The library can take you anywhere! Like this and want to see more? Join us at TGC!

Family Travel Hub

8 Kid Friendly Museums To Explore Now

Lookie No Touchie

The world offers us the ultimate education through its unbelievably packed museums. As adults we worship the artistry of the Sistine chapel, marvel at Mona Lisa’s smile, stand in awe as we take in the breadth of fort McHenry’s star spangled banner. How do you, on the other hand, guide younger ones through rooms of treasure and priceless artifacts without setting off the security alarms? The answer is two fold: first, try to choose kid friendly museums. There are some pretty fabulous choices out there.

The National Museum of Scotland
Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Opting for the Grand Dames

Secondly, if you do choose one of the classics like the Vatican or the Louvre, prep them with the facts and translate that into some ownership. Kids will connect with art and history if they can connect some dots. Try familiarizing kids with that wonderful art by ensuring they have opportunities to see it. Books are the best way to start. Then, create some stories of your own about art so there is a reference point when your young mind sees it in person.

Once you decide on a museum, check out their website to see if they offer any kid friendly activities. For example, when visiting the HMS Britannia in Edinburgh, kids can keep a close eye out for stuffed corgis hiding all over the ship. Very clever! Additionally, The Louvre has an entire section of their website dedicated to helping kids understand art.

Probably the most important way to connect kids with art is to help them understand why something is impressive. The power to understand wow is an important tool to unlocking a true interest in art, history and the museums that house them.

Where We Went: Kid Friendly Museums

Kid Friendly Museums Map