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Travel

8 Wonderful Reasons to Visit Paris with Kids

Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

We took our kids to Paris in 2016 as part of our 30-day trip to Europe that coincided with our daughter’s “I Do Take Two” – she and her husband had a small ceremony in the states with her U.S. family, then had a big, beautiful wedding in Nottingham with our son-in-law’s family. Since we were going anyway, we decided to visit some of our favorite places – Berlin and Wiesbaden, Brussels, and of course, Paris. We only had a few days, so hit the hot spots – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and paid homage to Jim Morrison at Pere Lachaise.

But if you have more time to visit (we’re definitely planning to go back), here are 8 wonderful reasons to visit Paris with your kids.

1. The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont Playground – A giant-sized playground-cum-landscaped park, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is full of streams for playing and has a pavilion on the top of a hill. The gigantic place also offers an alcove with a waterfall gushing out of it and a breathtaking view atop a suspension bridge above the water.

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Kids are sure to love the place, what with donkey rides and funfair events encircling the main pond. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a unique, green area certainly worth a casual family stroll.

Numerous birds share the space, such as black-headed gulls, moorhens, and mallards, which enjoy its heights and also the lakewater’s freshness. If you’re traveling to Paris anytime between autumn and spring, you’re sure to spot the long-tailed songbird jerking.

2. The Ménagerie  Zoo – Lying in the heart of the Jardin des Plantes, the nation’s most significant botanical garden, the Ménagerie Zoo is home to plenty of big cats including snow leopards, and red pandas and is exceptionally child-friendly. Easily accessible, the zoo also has orangutans, kangaroos, snakes, a 100-year-old turtle, and a variety of birds including vultures, ostriches, and flamingos.

Inside this living book of diverse wildlife, you’re sure to experience tenderness during your encounters with animals, letting you reconnect with nature. These unforgettable moments also make kids aware of the vital need to protect and preserve biodiversity. You can also take guided tours to understand common and rare types of animal behavior.

Younger kids will enjoy themselves at a petting zoo here, full of farm animals, while the older ones can spend quality time at the Microzoo, zooming in on tiny organisms.

3. The Jardin d’Acclimatation Amusement Park – A huge success with kids, the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a 19-hectare amusement park is best to visit during summer. Packed with kids’ attractions like pony rides and puppet shows, the park also houses a livestock farm and an aviary.

The Jardin d’Acclimatation features 4 fabulous roller-coasters, flying chairs and 18 hectares to stroll on. Summers offer kids ample scope to chill out with water-themed rides.

While the “Enchanted House” entertains toddlers, radio-controlled boats and mini-golf areas fascinate the older kids. What’s more, the park has, in its vicinity, a mini train with pushchairs running right up to its entrance.

4. The Grévin Wax Museum – Offering a wacky yet useful experience of French civilization, the Grévin Wax Museum houses more than 300 wax shapes. The figures include those of historical characters like Napoleon, political figures like Obama and singing superstars like Celine Dion. What’s more, kids could have their pictures clicked by the side of waxworks of these celebrities!

Image by Iva Balk from Pixabay

The fascinating museum takes kids through the history of France via its numerous waxworks. On the museum tour, you will also get to learn the detailed process of making the wax figures.

Last but not least the Grévin Wax Museum boasts an incredibly opulent marble staircase leading up to an equally exuberant hall of mirrors throwing light from every angle. Under dimmed lights, the hall creates eye-catching optical illusions of a temple, mysterious forest and a palace made of gold.

5. Disneyland – With a French-speaking Mickey Mouse and making a perfect fairytale family vacation destination, Disneyland Paris is full of classic attractions, entertainment events, and street processions.

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Your magical tour of Disneyland covers two parks, namely, Parc Disneyland and Parc Walt Disney Studios, Disney Entertainment Village, and countless restaurants. At Disneyland, kids can meet all Disney characters including Goofy and Captain Hook.

The little ones can enjoy themselves at Fantasyland that brings Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to life, while the older kids can indulge in adventure rides like the “Star Tours” where they need to dodge objects and fly at full speed for destroying the Death Star.

Don’t miss out on “The Pirates of the Caribbean”, the most popular family ride in Parc Disneyland, where spooky pirates will attack you.

Disneyland offers a unique experience in autumn due to Halloween as well as Christmas celebrations.

6. Aquarium de Paris – Situated opposite the iconic Eiffel Tower and brimming with interesting collections of marine life, Aquarium de Paris offers an extraordinary experience for kids as well as adults.

With approximately sixty tanks and ponds where you’ll find more than 7000 sea creatures, all from the French waters, seek out clownfish, the favorite aquarium pets, the poisonous puffers, and the endangered species of stingrays.

What’s more, the aquarium with its glass walls touching the floor caters to even toddlers as they’re able to see inside without you having to pick them up.

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Kids will love, in particular, the shark tunnel, the dwelling of twenty-four toothy sharks as well as the petting pond where they can fondle warm and friendly sturgeon fish as they thrust their long funnel-shaped noses outside the water.

7. Parc de la Villette Playground – A 55-hectares playground located in northern Paris, and full of slides and jungle gym-style, fun-filled activities the Parc de la Villette is a full-fledged, kid-friendly attraction. Children will find plenty of games as well as carnival rides to spend any additional time while relishing cotton candies.

Watch your kids shooting down Chinese dragon slides as you experience the beauty of this urban delight. Red-colored pavilions dotting the playground serve as huge climbing frames and also as a kids’ art center.

Summertime attracts large crowds to a film festival held on the lawns, in the open air.  Parc de la Villette has 10 themed gardens having reminiscent names like the “Garden of Mirrors”, “The Garden of Mists”, and “The Garden of Acrobatics”.

8. The Cat Cafe – “Le Café des Chats” – The first cat cafe in Paris offering a relaxed ambiance for you and the kids to savor your coffee and pastries while being around cats, Le Café des Chats is home to a dozen, beautiful cats.

The two-story cafe serves as a stable shelter for abandoned cats, thus contributing to animal welfare. With plenty of comfortable sofas and a large variety of pastries on the menu, kids will have a memorable time here, while gently interacting with the cats.

Children can also learn about the cats’ different personalities by reading a card about every individual cat, displayed near the tables. This way children will surely get to know the cats better while enjoying watching them play around the place.           

Bonus tip: Be sure to get a scratch-off map of the world so that once back home, you can add Paris to your travel memories.

Categories
Parenting Travel

8 Travel Accessories Every Traveler Must Have in 2020

Traveling is fun, but some accessories make it even better. While you should always try to travel light, you should also pack smart. The things you carry should increase your safety and add convenience. Traveling is more comfortable when you have the travel accessories with you. 

With all the technology and design advancements, there is no reason to undergo travel hardships in 2020. Here’s our top 8 travel accessories every traveler must have in 2020.

International power adapter

We love our gadgets, don’t we? However, devices are more than fun objects. We require the gadgets to show us our way and to increase our safety during our travels. It is disappointing and frustrating if we carry a charger to another country and we can’t plug it in. 

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Different countries have different power rules and the sockets may vary. An international power adapter is a convenient accessory. It ensures that you can connect your gadgets to a power source wherever you are.

Travel door alarm

This one is a brilliant invention. When you travel and rent places to stay, there are always keys to other people. You do not know who can access your room using the keys. The locks may or may not be secure. Travel door alarms alert the occupant about an attempt to intrude. These help keep you safe in unknown destinations. They are inexpensive and compact, therefore easily portable. You can now sleep in peace anywhere. The alarm is placed around the doorknob and rings when someone tries to enter your room. Reassure your safety with these compact, portable travel door alarms.

Camera lens for phones/tablets

All of us love to take travel pictures. The clearer they are, the better. Some of us want to preserve the memories of what we see. Some of us love posting travel pictures on social media with hashtags.

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We want to share our travel experiences with family and friends. We want to show them evidence that we saw something or did something particular. The camera lenses for smartphones or tablets enable us to take quality pictures. We can go back home and show off the pictures. It provides you with ample opportunities to photograph what you love. You can get these printed and frame too.

Laundry soap sheets

In the past, we have had face wash sheets. There are additions to that line in the form of laundry, shaving and body wash versions. The most interesting one is the laundry soap sheet. Once you add this sheet to water, it dissolves and produces sufficient lather. You can wash your clothes anywhere. There is no need to carry extra clothes anymore. Pack a few clothes and tuck this sheet pack in. Your clothes will be clean and will smell fantastic anywhere, anytime. You never have to worry about smelly clothes or extra luggage anymore. 

Backpack with solar panels

These are great for travelers who love to go hiking or trekking. It is such an innovative and useful design. It is sheer genius. Once you have one of these, you can rest assured you won’t ever be caught outside with a low battery or a drained gadget. The solar panels are usually detachable. Travelers can charge multiple devices. As long as the sun shines, you will have a constant power source. You don’t have to worry about charging devices even in a remote place. 

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Smart carry-on suitcase

Some accessories are so amazing that you won’t believe unless you see them. A smart suitcase is one such ingenious accessory. It comes with an in-built GPS which helps you locate it. Never lose your luggage or look for it at the airport ever again. 

These also have a no-lift built-in scale. You can weight it through an app! No more struggling to weigh a heavy suitcase. Remote digital lock guarantees you peace of mind wherever you are. If all those features weren’t reasons enough to get this suitcase, it also allows you to charge your devices. If there was an award for an ideal suitcase, this is the one that would receive it.

Water bottle with a built-in pill organizer

This one ensures that you have no excuse whatsoever for being dehydrated or missing your medicines. Your medicines and water travel with you with this compact and sleek water bottle. It is not only functional but also looks uber-stylish. Taking your medications never looked this cool before. It might just remind you to take your pills on time. Never be dehydrated or miss your dose ever again. These are compact enough to be carried in a purse or a hoodie. 

Packing cubes

Take your packing to the next level with the packing cubes. You can save space in your bag and even pack more stuff. These help keep your things organized on your travels. Repacking at the end of your tour also becomes easier because of these. 

This is by no means a complete list of all the amazing new travel accessories out there. But, it gives you an idea of what is possible and what is out there. If you notice, most of these are multifunctional accessories. They cater to varied needs. This is the mantra for travel accessories in 2020. Multifunctional accessories ensure that you travel light but always travel right. 

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Choose the perfect accessories for yourself, pack and you are good to go. These travel accessories will guarantee a good time on your travels. Choose accessories wisely and have a great time. 

For the time after your travel, it is a great idea to get a  scratch off map of the world. This map allows you to scratch off places that you have visited. You can display it on the wall for your family and friends to see. This kind of map keeps the joy of traveling alive long after you have reached home. Use it to plan your next adventure!

Categories
Travel

15 Travel Tips for Flying Alone with Young Children

Going out of town for the first time as a single parent?  Probably thinking it will be the worst flight ever.

We’ve done our research, prepared for the nightmare ahead of us, and put together the best list we could for flying alone with young children.

Below are 15 tips and age-based checklists to properly prepare you for traveling with a young child, both domestic and internationally.

Flying Alone with Young Children Under the Age of 2

Tip #1: Just because children under 2 fly for free (on your lap) does not mean it’s the best route to go.  Buy a seat, bring a pillow.

Tip #2: Check your stroller at the gate so that you have it until you board the plane and right when you get off the plane.

Tip #3: Bring food.  Bring milk.  Bring water. Bring tons of food and drink. As you go through security, you’ll simply need to have liquids stored separately in a clear plastic bag.

Tip #4: Magnesium or cold chamomile tea helps with teething by calming the nerves.

Tip #5: Bring your car seat, strap it in the airplane seat, let your little one sleep.

Checklist

  • Diapers
  • Baby Wipes
  • Blanket
  • Change(s) of clothes
  • Pacifiers
  • Toys
  • Plenty of snacks and bottles.
  • Extra zip-lock bag for soiled clothes.
  • Stroller
  • Milk, juice, and formula for a baby are exempt from the three-ounce liquid rule.
  • Car Seat

Tip #6: Make sure your baby chews on a pacifier or toddler chew gum during takeoff to help reduce pressure in the ears.

Traveling Alone with Children Ages 2 to 5

Tip #7: Inform the airline ahead of time about any allergies. Typically they’ll not serve nuts if there is a tree nut or peanut allergy on board.

Tip #8: If you’re traveling out of the country, you should get travel insurance as your primary health insurance doesn’t cover you or your dependents medically while abroad.

Tip #9: You should book for a row in the back of the plane to minimize attention. Usually, there are restrooms in the back, and your toddler can stretch.

Tip #10: Always book a direct flight as getting back onto a plane can add to the frustration or better yet, humiliation.

Tip #11: Some would say to pre-board before everyone else onto the plane. I disagree. The least amount of time on the plane the better.

Tip #12: Some airports have play areas for kids to get energy out prior to the flight.  Let your kids run the long walkways if the airport is empty.

Tip #13: If your child still takes a nap, flights during this time may help them sleep. If you can do a late-night flight, that may help too.

Book a window seat so the child can lean against the wall to sleep.

Tip #14: Download the GoGo Air app before your flight. Not all flights have entertainment provided. This app applies to most if not all airlines. Just in case the plane doesn’t have TV on the back of the seat, you can always access movies, shows, and games on your phone on this app for free.

Tip #15: Ask a flight attendant if they have wings to pin on their clothes to make them the child feel like they’re part of the flight crew.

Follow these tips, and you should be good to go on your next flight out!


About the Author:

Shawn Plummer is an insurance expert training advisors for over 10 years, a parent of a feisty little girl, and blogs for The Traveling Parent and The Annuity Expert.

Categories
Making Memories Travel

Sharing Quebec and History

14 years ago when I went with my Alfred University French class on a spring break trip to Quebec City and Montreal, arriving in Quebec City was a magical experience. It was like being transported to old world Europe. I’d been to Europe on my honeymoon, but Quebec was magical for me. My ancestors had helped to found the area; two of my ancestors were Filles du Roi (women from France selected by the king to help settle the province and grow the population), and my 5x-great- grandfather Nicolas Roussin, was one of the 20 founding colonists of L’Ange Gardien, a small village north of Quebec City that was settled in 1603.

So coming to Quebec was like coming home.

Today, I finally had the opportunity to share the experience with my kids and husband. We wandered the old port area, talked about how much snow was still there despite it being April, listened to the church bells ring out, and ate at a lovely bistro with a view of the Chateau de Frotenac and the statue of Champlain.

It was so much fun to share with my family. I realized that my ancestors were made of heartier stock than I am, to be able to live and survive in such a snowy, cold climate.

We spent the afternoon sharing a movie, cooked dinner in, and enjoyed the time together.

Tomorrow, we head to Montreal,  our home away from home.

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Making Memories Travel

Perfect Imperfection

I am in Quebec City, a place I have not been for 14 years, since taking a trip with my French class. It was quite significant that I was able to go on that trip, as a non-traditional student with five kids at home. It remains one of the best memories of my time at Alfred University.

It was that same trip where I fell in love with Montreal, and I’ve taken my family back to that city a dozen times or more. But Quebec City is a longer drive from home – 9 hours – so we’ve never come up. The one time we came close, when I was off traipsing through graveyards buried in snow to find my ancestors, we couldn’t figure out how to get in.

So I’m here. In an AirBnB in a quiet neighborhood in Quebec City, the heart of Europe in North America.

And from yesterday’s tears comes today’s near-perfection. The drive was uneventful and quite lovely. We’d stayed in Watertown the night before so that today’s drive would be more manageable, so we were only 5-1/2 hours on the road.

We listened to great music. We talked. We dozed (not Dave, who was driving). We stopped for lunch and discovered a fun little place in Drummondville called Scores that has the best chicken sandwiches.  You could feel the tension draining from all of us.

We navigated into the city with no trouble and found our place and parking with no trouble. After getting settled in we discovered that the IGA was just 490 meters away, so we walked over, bought some ice, cheese, croissants, chocolatines, and of course, some Quebon (the best chocolate milk in the world). As we were walking back to the place, we decided it would be more fun to eat in, so Dave and Anika walked back, grabbed the sausages we’d been salivating over, some salad, and a still-warm baguette.

We sat together at the table, talking about anything and everything. It was a perfect moment, one I will cherish.

After dinner, we listened to music and played SkipBo. And we talked more.

This is one of those rare days where everything felt right. I went to bed happy, hoping this is sign of things to come on this adventure.

Categories
Travel

First-Day Travel Tears

It’s day one of our spring break trip. I’m going on about 5 hours of sleep,  for about the 400th day in a row.

Last night, Dave and I were in Buffalo for the Nick Mason concert. We drove home this morning – a 2-1/2 hour drive,  finished packing, and picked up our daughter early from school for the start of our 9- day road trip.

I love road trips, and we’ve made several – cross country twice, up the California coast, up the eastern seaboard – but this time, we’re doing something new and visiting Quebec City, Montreal, and Toronto.

I’ve only been to Quebec City once, and my memories of the place are all good. But the pressure is on to share that with the family. It’s a very much self-induced pressure to create the perfect experience.

So I got the confirmation from my AirBnB tonight and it’s not the walking distance it appeared to be from old town (unless a 40-minute walk down one highway and across another is your idea of a nice walk). We like going into a new place, being walking distance from the stuff we want to do, and having the ability to walk wherever we go.

Between the surprise of the location (not the host’s fault … just my misunderstanding of how Quebec City is laid out), the fact that I’m tired, and the worry that my daughter (who has been burning the candle at both ends) actually has bronchitis and not just a cold – well, our first night hit a small speed bump. As in me sitting on the bed crying quietly because I felt like I’d ruined the trip.

Yep. Even a seasoned and experienced road tripper who makes lists in her sleep and plans everything (we have a suitcase with toilet paper and extra toiletries just in case our AirBnBs don’t have what they say they do. It’s one of those things we learned the hard way) can hit a wall of exhaustion and lose it.

It’s just not a fun thing to do when you’re trapped in a small hotel room with 3 other people.

But my tears are dried, I’ve found a parking garage we can drive to that will get us where we need to be tomorrow, and for now, I can just relax.

Dave has You’ve Got Mail playing. Kids are having a snack. Things are getting settled.

And tomorrow is a new day.

Categories
Home and Hearth Travel

I Wasn’t Meant to be a Homeowner

Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

It’s a bill of goods we all get sold. Home ownership is the height of the American dream. Once you own a home you have security and a place to call your own. You’ve made it.

Well, I own a very beautiful home that has provided my family with wonderful memories and space to grow in. It’s a 200-year old home originally built by a former mayor of our town who went on to be a New York senator. I have loved the home since the first time I visited Bath, New York, and bought it sight-unseen when it went on the market while we were living in Idaho and knew we would be moving back.

But I don’t like owning a home.

It’s a beautiful home with a wide, majestic entryway, 12-foot tall ceilings, and enough space that even the three generations of us currently living here have plenty of space.

There are so many responsibilities that come with home ownership that I just don’t like. Like yard work. The 1/3-acre lot is great for the kids and grandkids to run around in, but it’s also so much mowing and so many weeds. And the perimeter half-mile of sidewalk has to be shoveled so often thanks to our New York winters.

But more than just the upkeep, owning a home means having to stay in the same place. As someone who has moved 25 times in 48 years, I get a little antsy when I’m in the same place for too long. We’ve owned this home since April 2008, and other than renting it out for the two-year Utah nightmare experiment, we’ve lived in this house. I do love it. I love the space, the layout, the front porch, the lilacs I planted that bloom so well every year…but I don’t like being in the same place for so long. We’ve been back since December 2015 and I’m feeling tied down.

Our youngest child will be leaving for college; our daughter and her husband and two kids are eventually going to find their way to England – and then what? Keep being stuck in this great big beautiful house in this tiny little town that doesn’t even have a bowling alley or movie theater?

I can’t see that being the right future for me or my husband. For one thing, if the grandkids are in England, you can bet I am going to want to be there as often as possible. And traveling full-time has a lot appeal, even if we stop here and there for months at a time to do some in-depth exploring.

This home has been good to us and for our family, but it’s time to be brave and let go of home ownership.

Anyone looking to buy a house?

Categories
Travel

How to Get from Point A to Point B with Young Kids

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Not every kiddo is a great traveler, and some road trips will be more successful than others. There are too many variables to predict how travel will go with young children, but sometimes travel can’t be helped. You might be moving, traveling for work, or on your way to visit family. Whether your children love the journey is to be determined, but there are steps you can take to make it easier on everyone.

Overpack.

I say this with a bit of sarcasm, because my husband always tells me I’m way over-prepared. But there have been some moments where I was glad that I considered the what-ifs and packed accordingly. Did I know my toddler was going to shove her socks into her mouth, soaking them in the parked car while I was trying to feed the baby in the front seat? No. No I did not. Good thing I had extra socks packed for my toddler, something I normally reserve for the infant who likes to lose socks. (He had three extra pairs.) Bring snacks and then bring an extra snack. Bring extra water. You never know what you’ll need.

If it’s a long journey, consider packing an extra outfit for yourself, too. I’ve had a baby puke all over me and was glad I had brought a change of clothes for all involved. It would’ve sucked to wear a puke-stained shirt the rest of the ride.

Start with nothing.

The only thing we hand our children at the beginning of any long journey is a stuffed animal or treasured doll to hold. That’s it. We rely on the passing scenery and music to entertain our children for as long as possible. You don’t want to bring out the big guns until absolutely necessary, and you’d be surprised how fascinated kids are by the world around them.

Bring favorites.

When the kids finally get bored, have some of their favorite car-friendly items on hand. Books are great for car rides, and even our toddler is happy with a teether to fidget with as they sit. Stickers are easy to have in the car as well, but don’t be surprised to find stickers all over the seat for a bit.

Keep trying.

Not every child is going to love the car. Not every child is going to be capable of withstanding the car seat for extended periods of time. Keep trying. Do short trips until you figure out what they’re capable of and extend the ride even for just a few minutes. It will come in handy those times when you do have to hit the road unexpectedly, and you’ll have a child better prepared for travel.

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Keeping Marriage Strong Love Raising Healthy Kids Travel

Keeping Marriage Strong: Couple Getaways

Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

I am always talking about the next road trip and the importance of family vacations, but escaping alone with your spouse, whether for a simple overnight or a few days, is just as important.

It’s not just good for you and your spouse; it’s important for the health and well-being of the entire family. Getting away together lets you remember the reasons you fell in love in the first place – the love that built your family! And being away gives your kids a chance to appreciate what they might be taking for granted.

Family vacations are so important,  creating memories and experiences that bond you. But you may find the mini-vacations that you and your spouse take together are just as fulfilling.

I really believe these little escapes we make keep our love healthy and strong. And they don’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Dave and I have done everything from spend a week together in Montreal to cook dinner at home, call it an early night, and have a romantic “getaway” in our bedroom. The kids play along and don’t disturb us for the night.

When you take time to be a couple and enjoy time with just the two of you, you come back refreshed and ready to be better parents.

Categories
Travel

Creative Entertainment Ideas that Don’t Cost Too Much

Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

I love to travel. So far this year, I’ve stayed in 80 hotels nights, and that’s without a 30-day road trip. But vacations cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to plan and pack for. Since this is our year to curtail travel, save money, and scale back (to afford the next trip), we’re having to find creative entertainment ideas that don’t cost too much. Luckily, there is plenty to do locally, no matter where you live.

Museums

We like to go to museums wherever we travel, but the ones close to home are fabulous, too – from the world-famous Corning Museum of Glass to the small but fascinating Rockwell Museum. Just a little over an hour in any direction brings more fun. My favorite museum in the world, the Strong Museum of Play, is 78 miles from me. The other direction takes us to Ithaca, where you’ll find Sciencenter, a hands-on discover center for all ages. The greatest part of all of these museums is the cost. Compared to other activities (like movies) it’s an inexpensive way to spend a day.

Board Games

Some things don’t take any money at all to do. Parker and I love playing Scrabble. The kids will spend hours on a game of Monopoly. And I introduced them to a childhood favorite, Mille Bornes. We also play Words with Friends together.

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Movies

Especially in the winter, we love to go to movies or watch movies on streaming services like Vudu and Netflix. We go to a lot of movies, but to make it cost-effective, we have the Regal Crown Card and save all of our points for free movies, go to matinees, and skip the popcorn. More often than not, though, we wait for the movie to come to streaming, buy it for less than the cost of two tickets if we think we’ll watch it more than once (like Star Trek and Marvel), and Dave makes popcorn at home.

Mini Golf

This time of year, mini golf is normally off the table since there’s a foot of snow on the ground. One of our favorite fair-weather activities is going to Harris Hill, a local family entertainment area up in the hills that has barbecues and an amusement park for little kids and a great mini golf course. But now, mini golf can be a year-round thing because the mall in Rochester has glow-in-the-dark mini golf.

When you live in a place like Bath, New York, you have to do some driving to do anything – the nearest mall is 32.9 miles away; the nearest metropolis is 83.7 miles away. But if you live in a village larger than 5,641 people with a median age younger than 44, there is probably even more fun things to do near you.

Yes, I’d rather be traveling….but when the weather is bad and the money is gone, these creative entertainment ideas don’t cost too much.