Things to Do in New York City with Toddlers

I love New York, New York! Ever since my first visit there when I was in middle school until now, NYC has been and will always be my favorite city to visit. Since Caroline was born, I have been there three times (she is now four), so about once a year since she was a baby. My favorite time to visit NYC is late fall because of the fall colors and the magic of the holiday season popping up everywhere.

Traveling to a big city with children no matter their age can be stressful, but to my surprise, New York City is very kid friendly. Read my post on tips for traveling to big cities with small children.

There is so much to do in NYC but no everything is manageable with small children. Here is a list of things I recommend doing when you visit the Big Apple with your little apple.

Central Park: This is a no-brainer. A huge park in the big city — what toddler or kid would not enjoy that. Central Park is very kid friendly. You can take a nice stroll and enjoy the city views, ride the carousel, watch people, play with remote controlled boats, or enjoy one of the many playgrounds.

Central Park Zoo: If you plan on visiting Central Park I recommend making a day of it and visiting the Zoo. It is small so you won’t need a full day there but when you finish you can explore more of Central Park. When at the Zoo, don’t forget to visit the Children’s Zoo where you can pet and feed goats.

Manhattan Children’s Museum: I was surprised at how small this museum is but thought it was very well done. They have a few stories of interactive things to do with young children. There also is a section with an indoor playground and a mock Oval Office. It’s a great spot for a photo op. The museum is set in a more residential area but has lots of places to eat and even a cute children’s shoe store around the corner worth checking out.

Bryant Park: This is a fun place to visit and have lunch, but if you are there during the holiday season they have an awesome Christmas Market with great food trucks, a candy store and of course, Christmas lights set up.

9/11 Memorial Park: I would not recommend bringing toddlers or preschoolers to the museum. It is just not the right place for rambunctious kids but the 9/11 Memorial is beautiful and the surrounding area is perfect for walking (or running) around. We visited the Memorial then walked around the financial district on the waterfront path and it was beautiful.

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Battery Park and Lady Liberty: We recommend visiting this park. It is historic but sometimes crowded and touristy. We have done it both ways: once taking Caroline to see Lady Liberty and one time just enjoying the view and waterfront park. If you do want to go to Lady Liberty arrive early to beat the crowds. There is not much to do on the boat or island other than taking pictures so keep that in mind when visiting with children.

Rockefeller Center: If you are looking for traditional NYC adventures take your kiddos to Rockefeller Center and let them peek into the windows of all the nicely decorated shops, and pop in the Lego shop for a visit. If they are old enough they can ice skate. I also love the view from the top of the Rock, but if you know your children can’t wait in line for long just skip it and come back the next time you have an adults-only getaway to the city. If you want you can walk over to Times Square but to be honest there is not much to do there for young children and the crowds are maddening, so unless you absolutely have to see it skip Times Square with toddlers.

Children’s History Museum: We had a blast here and would recommend it to anyone with kids 2.5 and up. There are lots of things to do for preschool aged kids and big kids alike. Caroline loved it but did not understand all the interactive things they had since it is for all ages. It is also located in a very pretty part of town. If you are visiting now through Jan. 27, you can see the special Harry Potter Exhibit!

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New York Transit Museum: Kids love this place! They can play in an old Subway Car and for some reason, transit-themed museums are always a hit with preschoolers.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum: If you want to experience the Brooklyn Bridge, make a day of it. Visit the Bridge, but be cautious with little ones because it is a working bridge so lots of walkers, cyclists, and runners around. Then stop off at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for some interactive learning fun!

Coney Island: If you are visiting in the summer months enjoy a New York classic! There is so much to do and see here for all ages. It is quite the experience for adults and children alike.

High Line: If you the weather’s good and you want a place your toddler can toddle more freely, check out this beautiful urban walkway! It is a must see one-of-a-kind place and isn’t quite as busy as most outdoor spaces in NYC, so a great place to take a stroll with your kiddos.

Children’s Museum of Art: Another great interactive experience for children in NYC. This is a great spot for fun photos of your kiddos. So, if you are looking for another great indoor activity this place is worth checking out.

This list could go on and on because there is just so much to do in a big city like New York City, with lots of museums and parks, great food and entertainment. However, these are some of our favorites and are a good start, especially for your first visit to the Big Apple with your kids.

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5 Kid Friendly Things To Do Washington DC – Fall 2018

If you’re planning a weekend getaway with kids then Washington DC should be high on your bucket list. Home to some of the best museums in the country, historical parks and monuments and of course it’s a great place to teach kids about the political past of the United States. It becomes something else in Fall, the auburn colors are breathtaking, there are plenty of indoor activities if it’s wet and there are always loads of seasonal activities like pumpkin or apple picking to take part in. Here are my five favorite things to do in Washington DC this Fall with kids.

1. See All The Smithsonian Museums

With so many to choose from, you could easily spend your whole weekend museum hopping. The good news is that most of them are within walking distance to each other and they’re all absolutely free to visit. If you only have a couple of days, I would tick of the top few.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Home to so many recognizable exhibits and characters, this is where you’ll find the Hope Diamond, an awesome dinosaur exhibit (what kids don’t like dinosaurs?!), the popular Dum Dum (an Easter Island Head made famous by the Night at the Museum movies), and of course Henry the elephant, the first thing you’ll see when you arrive. The museum has lots of hands-on and interactive exhibits and staff members are happy to answer any questions you or the kids may have.

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The Smithsonian National Museum of Air and Space.

This Museum blew me away, I didn’t expect my daughter to find it so interesting but she threw herself into the interactive science experiments and Space exhibits. You will not want to miss the 1903 Wright Flyer, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia and an actual piece of moon rock. If you can spare the time, try to attend one of the child friendly physics lectures, your kids will learn more in half an hour than a whole week of science lessons at school.

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 Hirshhorn Modern Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden

I love this gallery, whilst probably not top of your list when visiting Washington with kids, it’s a great place to tone the excitement down a little and soak in some modern culture. The exhibits are colorful enough to keep most kids engaged and the Belief and Doubt installation by Barbara Kruger is worth it for the inspirational quotes alone.

2. The Washington DC’s Monuments

The National Mall is probably one of the best places to photograph the gorgeous Autumnal Colors of the city and is also home to some of the most important monuments in the Country. At one end you’ll find the instantly recognizable Washington Monument standing majestically over the reflecting pool, at the other is the humbling Lincoln Memorial, a fantastic place to teach kids about American History but also respect and kindness in general.  It’s Americas most visited National Park for a good reason.

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3. White House

Beautiful just to see from the outdoors but if you plan ahead you can take an organized tour of the White House, home to many political scandals and successes and somewhere all kids will find fascinating.

In order to secure your slot, you’ll need to contact your Member of Congress at least 21 days before your visit. If you’re not from the US, you’ll need to contact your embassy in Washington DC.

From the end of November, you’ll also be able to visit the National Christmas tree, there’s nothing better to get you in a festive mood.

4. Take a trip to Georgetown.

My favorite family-friendly district in Washington DC is Georgetown and the Washington Harbour right on the waterfront of the Potomac River.

From mid-November the dancing fountains are transformed into the biggest ice rink in DC with twinkling snowflake lights and regular skating lessons and cartoon Sundays for kids. There are also plenty of restaurants in the area for when your energy levels take a dip.

5. National Zoo

Finally, something all kids are bound to love (and another FREE activity to keep the parents happy) is a visit to see the animals at the Smithsonian Zoo. It’s slightly out of the city center but easy to get to by train, UBER or car.

In addition to a mind-blowing array of native and foreign creatures, think pandas, elephants and big cats, the Zoo holds loads of family friendly events such as Boo at the Zoo for Halloween, Zoolights from the end of November and sleepover nights for the brave amongst you.

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Where to stay in Washington DC with kids

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, I highly recommend the Watergate Hotel, not only is it full of intrigue and gossip, something the kids will love, it manages to look stunning with a real sense of humor.

There’s a gorgeous pool, to wind down after a long day of exploring and it’s within walking distance to Foggy Bottom metro station, making it the perfect home from which to explore Washington DC with kids.

Contributing Writer: Karen Quinn

IMG_1599Karen is a family travel blogger and shares her stories over at Are We There Yet Kids
about adventuring around the world with her seven year old daughter Piper. They love finding great value activities, places to stay and family-friendly restaurants all over the world and are always happiest either on or planning their next vacation.

You can also get social with Karen:

 

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8 Tips For Traveling to a Big City with young children.

Visiting big cities can be intimidating at times but so much fun with your kiddos. Here are some tips for parents traveling to big cities with preschool aged children. Hopefully, these tips will help you enjoy the journey more and allow you to venture past your comfort zone to places like New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, London, Paris, or whatever big city you might have on your family bucket list.

  1. Bring a lightweight foldable stroller: There are lots of reasons for this but the #1 reason is public transportation. If you plan on taking the Subway (and you should) you will need a stroller you can fold up quickly, and carry while carrying small children. Some people might skip the stroller, but I would not advise that since you will be doing a lot of walking. Baby carriers are nice but keeping a baby or toddler in one all day is close to impossible from my experience.
  2. Plan ahead: Make sure you plan what sites you are seeing upon arrival. Map out the mode of transportation you’ll be taking so you don’t waste time figuring it out when you get there.
  3. Use Uber Family: If you plan on taking a taxi or other car service consider Uber Family. They come with a car seat for toddlers and are safer than no car seat. Make sure you research the car seat laws as well before you go so you are prepared.
  4. Bring a good backpack: Bringing a good backpack is better than bringing a side bag or purse. It will fit more but also will be easier when carrying children or strollers. You can fit all the necessities like, diapers wipes, snacks, your wallet and a change of clothes.
  5. Be ready to wander: When traveling in general you need to be prepared to wander and get lost. Make sure you are set for the day when you leave your hotel because who knows where the day might lead you. Relax and go with the flow. If things don’t go as planned, then be ready to figure out something else to do.
  6. Bring a soft wearable baby carrier: If you have a soft baby carrier, like a Baby K’Tan, bring it to stuff in your backpack. This is in case you need to “wear” your baby or toddler around for a bit. It’s helpful on public transportation, or if baby needs to nap and viewing the city activity from her stroller is too distracting.
  7. Bring a mobile phone charger: This is for more than one reason. One, you will be taking lots more photos on your phone so the battery will likely go down quicker. Two, you might get lost or use google more than normal and don’t want to get caught with a dead battery in the city.
  8. Get a hotel in a more residential area: If visiting a city, finding a hotel away for the hustle and bustle can be better with small children. Less noise at night and more family-friendly dining nearby. There are also normally tons of parks in the city around residential areas and it is nice to have somewhere to take the kids to play nearby.

Safe travels, and don’t forget — traveling with kids is possible and fun! Take a deep breath and enjoy the special family time. You and your children will learn so much and the memories will last a lifetime.

Tips for traveling to a big city with toddlers

Bring Your Kids​ to the College Football Hall of Fame!

When preparing to visit the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame recently, I’ll be honest. As a mother of two girls and a moderate sports fan, I was not expecting much.

I couldn’t have been more wrong about what my experience would be like and I highly recommend anyone with preschoolers, or kids of any age for that matter, visit if you are in the Atlanta area.

The Museum itself sits right downtown off Centennial Park, next to all the well-known spots like the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke. You can’t miss the entrance because it’s in the shape of a giant football and has a huge LED screen. The location is beautiful for a picnic after your time spent inside. There also are several playgrounds nearby for the kids to run off some energy before or after your visit. I recommend visiting on a day with good weather so you can take advantage of the parks and outside areas. Not to mention there are great views of the City of Atlanta, so it’s a great spot for photos!

Here is why the College Football Hall of Fame is GREAT for children (and adults) of all ages!

The Wall of Helmets: When you walk into the Museum there is a three-story wall of college football helmets! When you buy your ticket, they give each visitor a tag that is registered at the entrance. When you register your tag, you select your favorite college. As you do so, the helmet representing your college will light up on the wall. It is super cool and fun for the kiddos to find the helmet. Just the sheer visual of the giant wall of helmets is exciting and entertaining.

Indoor practice field: On the first floor of the museum, they have a fun interactive practice field set up. They also stream live games in there and have tailgates and a bar set up for the adults. You can practice your field goal kicks or show off your best touchdown dance. There is something for everybody in this space.

Interactive EVERYTHING: The exhibits are upstairs and when I say interactive, I mean interactive and personalized. Your team, the one you selected when you registered your bag, is connected to your bag so as you experience the museum, they pull the stats and info from your school throughout the experience. You can even sing your fight song and have it recorded and connected to your account so when you get home you can look back at all the fun stuff you did that day. Sensory Friendly.

Lots of things to see: The exhibits themselves are very visual and fun for kids to view. So, younger kids can still enjoy them even if they can’t read the information provided. Caroline thought the old-school tailgate set up was super cool!

Time spent: You can spend the day or just a few hours here and you will get something out of it! With younger kids you might only need 2-3 hours to get your money’s worth, but if you have a group of older kids or adults you could literally spend the entire day experiencing all the fun displays, and participating in the interactive things they have throughout the museum. We spent a few hours in the museum and afterward took a walk in the park to the playground.

Fun Photo Ops: Because it is so interactive it is also a super fun place to take photos of your kiddos! So, bring a camera (or your cell phone) and be ready to snap some cute pics of your “littles.”

The College Football Hall of Fame is a spot you want to visit if you are looking for things to do in Atlanta with kids. So add it to your list of things to do the next time you are planning a day downtown! We can’t wait to go back and bring Daddy; he will LOVE this place.

12 Atlanta Events to Kick off the 2018 Holiday Season!

Looking for family-friendly events around the Atlanta area to kick off your holiday season? Here is a list of twelve events and holiday tree lightings going on around town that are guaranteed to put you in a holly jolly mood.

1. Light the Station 2018 — Atlantic Station– Nov. 17, 1- 8 p.m.; lighting at 7:45 p.m.

Don’t miss the season’s biggest event as we officially kick off the holidays with Light the Station!  This year’s event will be held in a new location on WINTER WONDER LANE – just off Market Street and adjacent to Dillard’s. Enjoy the Atlanta Christkindl Market also opening on Nov. 17!

For more info: Light the Station

2. The Lighting of Avalon —Nov. 18, from 1-8 p.m. Tree Lighting at 7 p.m.

A celebration for the season you won’t want to miss! Get in the holiday spirit with festive music and free activities for the whole family. From the annual opening of Avalon on Ice to the magnificent tree lighting, and an appearance from Jolly Old Saint Nick himself, there’s something exciting for all to enjoy.

For more info: Lighting of Avalon

3. Avalon On Ice —Nov. 18– Dec. 21

‘Tis the season to lace up your skates and glide into the holiday spirit at Avalon on Ice.  The Rockefeller-inspired ice skating rink is open Nov. 18, 2018 through Jan. 21, 2019.

For more info:Avlon On Ice

4. Marietta Square Christmas Tree Lighting —Nov. 30, 4-8 p.m.; Tree Lighting at 6 p.m.

Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for the kick-off to the holiday season in charming Marietta Square. Festivities start at 4:00 pm in Glover Park in Historic Marietta Square. Local choruses will perform Christmas carols on the main stage. Santa will light the giant Christmas tree at 6 pm.

For more info: Marietta Square Tree Lighting 

5. Children’s Christmas Parade —Dec. 1, Peachtree & 11th Street at 10:30 a.m.

The Children’s Christmas Parade will step off at Peachtree Street and 16th Street and end at Peachtree Street and 5th Street. Watch as Midtown Atlanta is transformed into Santa Claus Lane with the sights and sounds of the season. Your kids will love this Atlanta tradition and enjoy the large floats and performances in the parade. It is the largest of its kind in the Southeast! Can’t make it to Peachtree Street? You can tune in to WSB-TV Channel 2 to view the Children’s Christmas Parade live.

For more info: Atlanta Children’s Christmas Parade

6. Season of Celebration – Light the Night City of Alpharetta —Dec. 1, 4-8 p.m.

Enjoy the charm of the holiday season at the lighting of the Christmas tree and other holiday festivities in Alpharetta.

For more info: Season of Celebration 

7. Rudolph and the Center for Puppetry Arts —Nov. 15 through Dec. 30.

Enjoy a classic story told a classic way at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  Your ticket will include the performance of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™, a Create-A-Puppet Workshop™ your children can build and perform with their very own King Moonracer™ Rod Puppet, and admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum.

For more info: Putter Show Rudolf

8. Candlelight Nights at the Atlanta History Center —Dec. 15 and Dec. 22, from 5:30-8 p.m.

Santa Claus will welcome kids, and families can enjoy the Holiday Market filled with local crafts and artists’ creations. Visit each of the three historic houses to experience how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the Civil War era (Smith Family Farm), the 1930’s (Swan House) and pioneer days (Wood Family Cabin). Timeless holiday music will resonate, and interpreters will bring characters from the pages of history to life at these historic abodes, each handsomely dressed in period holiday decorations and featuring activities of the season.

For more info: Candlelight Nights

9. Winter Wonderland at the Fernbank —Nov. 16 through Jan. 6

Visit the Fernbank Museum and enjoy holiday décor, sparkling trees showcasing celebrations around the world in the enchanting Winter Wonderland exhibition. Their displays recognize the diversity of celebrations, holidays, traditions and events from around the world. So, come to enjoy the Museum, the decorations, and the holiday cheer!

For more info: Winter Wonderland 

10. Garden Lights and Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden —Nov. 17- Jan. 6

Each year the Garden adds something new to its botanical-inspired light display. The wonderland goes throughout the 20-acre Midtown attraction. Enjoy the always beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden adorned in holiday cheer.

For more info: Atlanta Botanical

11. Christmas at Callanwolde —Nov. 23 to Dec. 9. Daily from 12-8 p.m. (Closed Nov. 29 for the Callanwolde Holiday Gala.)

Christmas at Callanwolde has been an Atlanta holiday tradition for 40 years, and begins with the Christmas at Callanwolde Designer Show House, a 27,000-square-foot historic mansion decorated by Atlanta’s top interior and floral designers. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a self-guided tour of the mansion and enjoy elaborately decorated holiday displays, an artists’ market, and other holiday themed activities for the entire family. See the website for daily activities and events and bring a new toy for donation to Toys for Tots.

For more info: Callanwolde

12. Holiday Lights of Hope 2018 – Woodstock —Dec. 7-23, 6-9 p.m.

Family light show that befits the Anna Crawford Children’s Center. The event includes an awesome walk-through light display featuring more than TWO MILLION LIGHTS, along with entertainment for families with kids of all ages. I’ve also heard the Santa there is great for pictures!

For more info: Holiday Lights

There are so many great events going on in the Atlanta area for the 2018 Christmas Holiday season! Make sure to check back for more Atlanta family friend holiday events on the blog!

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Why Tampa Should be Your Next Family Vacation destination

Why the Tampa Bay Area Should be your Next Florida Family Vacation Destination

When visiting Florida, most people think of Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, and Miami first. Orlando is known for its theme parks and the others are known for their beautiful beaches. However, when planning a family vacation there is one place in Florida that has something for everyone and that’s Tampa. There is literally something for everybody whether it is the beach, theme parks, waterparks, shopping, museums — the list goes on.

The Tampa Bay Area is my favorite part of Florida by far and here is why.

The Beaches: Tampa is near some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida like Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Indian Rocks, Honeymoon Island … the list goes on! You can pick the type of beach experience you want and there is a beach nearby to fit those standards.EllaBeachTent

Pirates: Yes, I said Pirates! Tampa has a deep-rooted tradition of celebrating the city’s mythic pirate invasion at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest. The great thing about Gasparilla is there is an entire separate weekend parade and celebration just for children and families. The next one will be on January 19, 2019. The adult celebration is on January 26, and if you can get away from the kids and have an “adults only” get away, the family-friendly weekend is the perfect opportunity! After all, what kid (or adult) doesn’t enjoy beautiful bay views, nice weather and dressing up like a pirate for the day?

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More info: Gasparilla 2018

Glazer Children’s Museum: This recently renovated children’s museum is a must see. It sits downtown on the beautiful Hillsborough River next to the Tampa Museum of Art. This interactive children’s museum is one of the most well-done museums of its kind. There is literally something for all ages. My four-year-old daughter could play in the same spot that her baby sister could. While you’re down there, check out the Art Museum, the beautiful Tampa University of Tampa campus, and the River Walk that features parks and restaurants along the river.

More info: Glazer Museum

The Florida Aquarium: Located in the beautiful Channel District, the Florida Aquarium is worth a stop when visiting Tampa. The venue is beautiful, fun and engaging for all ages. They even have an outdoor restaurant with a view of the channel and an outdoor water splash pad for kids. So if you go, plan to stay all day and enjoy the indoor exhibits and shows, then relax and watch your kids play as you enjoy a cold beverage with a view.

Pro Tip: Since they have a splash pad and water play area make sure to bring swimsuits or a change of clothes for your kiddos.

More info: Florida Aquarium

Sparkman Wharf: Formerly know as Channelside is located on the Ybor and Garrison channels is Channelside (or Channel District), a vibrant and fun place to spend the afternoon. You can watch huge cruise ships set sail and enjoy some great food and shopping. They even have a bowling alley and IMAX theater if you are looking for more fun activities for the family. You can ride a water bike or rent a regular bike, take a Segway city tour or one of the many local boat rides, and more. Just steps away from the Florida Aquarium and Tampa Bay History Center, Sparkman Wharf has it all.

More info: Sparkman Wharf

Busch Gardens: You don’t need to fight the crowds in Orlando to experience a Florida theme park. Tampa is home to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island (Waterpark) and on my recent visit, I learned they have fun for all ages! The great thing about Busch Gardens is they not only have the thrilling roller coasters, but they have interactive and educational animal exhibits. At one point in our visit, there was a tiger pacing over our heads, seriously! The other great part is in the Florida heat you need time to cool off and unlike Disney, Busch Gardens provides several opportunities to cool off in fun splash pads designed for adults and children.

Read more: I Was So Wrong About Bush Gardens!

More info: Busch Gardens Tampa

ZooTampa at Lowry Park: The zoo in Tampa is one of the best I have ever visited! We love it so much we got an annual pass and we live in Atlanta, Ga.  ZooTampa at Lowry Park has something for everybody. They even have a new water log ride to help cool you and your family off on a hot day, and several splash areas for the kiddos. Read more about our experience at Zoo Tampa here: Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park

More info: Zoo Tampa

The Dali Museum: If you are in the Tampa Bay Area, taking a drive over to St. Petersburg is a must. Whether you stay there a night or two or drive over or the day you need to check out the Dali Museum. It is a fun experience and who doesn’t love looking at the wonderful artwork of Salvador Dali? While you are there don’t forget to take a selfie and family photo with the big Dali mustache!

More info: The Dali

Ybor City: This historic neighborhood in Tampa, founded in 1880 by Cuban immigrant Jose Marti, once was home to many cigar manufacturers. Now Ybor is home to shops, restaurants, and other local business but is worth the visit. Make sure you plan your time there at a mealtime so you can enjoy the wonderful food available. Whether it is brunch at Hamburger Mary’s or dinner at The Columbian you will love all the charm and history Ybor has to offer. But you can still get a traditional hand-rolled cigar at Tabanero Cigar Factory on 7th Avenue.

More info: Ybor City

Ballast Point Park: This hidden gem sits where Bayshore Boulevard becomes Interbay Boulevard in South Tampa. It borders Hillsborough Bay and you can enjoy the water views on the fishing pier and nature walk during your visit. They have a great playground and splash pad. The entryway is lined with old oak trees and across from the entrance to the park is Perennial Farm Stables, on the Tampa Yacht Club & Country Club property and open to the public.

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More info: Ballast Point

Great Shopping: Tampa is home to The International Plaza, Hyde Park and the New Prime Outlets, Wiregrass, Westshore Plaza and more. So, if you are looking to kill some time shopping on your trip they have what you are looking for whether that’s upscale, indoors, outdoor or boutique. Not only is the shopping great but there are also tons of amazing restaurants for the foodie in your family to enjoy.

Less Crowded: Overall the Tampa Bay Area is far less crowded than other tourist spots in Florida, making it more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone in the family.

There is so much entertainment diversity for all ages in Tampa and literally, this list could go on and on. So, if you are looking for a new Florida spot or just something different than your typical family beach vacation make sure to add Tampa to your 2018-2019 family travel plans.

Cabbage Patch Babyland General Hospital: Making Magical Memories

Nostalgic best describes how our recent visit to the Cabbage Patch Babyland General Hospital was for me personally. As a kid, my family visited the original location and I still remember watching a Cabbage Patch baby being born out of the magical cabbage tree! I was a tad confused then, but it was a magical and exciting place to be!

And it STILL is a magical place to be. The new location opened in 2007 and sits on a beautiful lot with mountain views. Outside, the property looks like an old southern mansion and has huge white cabbage patch statues throughout the grounds. When you walk in they have you sign in as a visitor just like you would visiting a baby in the hospital. In the main lobby, they take you through the history of the Cabbage patch doll and even have a giant cabbage you can sit in to take your picture.

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You walk down a hall with the nurseries and rooms set up like hospital rooms into a large room that has the magical cabbage tree inside. My four-year-old daughter LOVED it! She was so entranced by the cabbage baby being born and all the fun things inside to see. She spent her time going around looking at all the dolls they have set out around the store.To me, it was just a very nice and BIG doll store, but to her, it was a magical place, and that’s all that matters.

If you are driving into the mountains or visiting Helen, GA, AND you have girls, visiting Babyland General Hospital is worth it. We somehow managed to visit without buying a single thing – another bit of magic in and of itself! However, they have several different price ranges of dolls and some other small toys you can purchase if you’re not looking to spend $80- $250 on a Cabbage Patch one-of-a-kid doll.

Some tips if you are planning to stop in:

  • Around the holidays, they decorate the building making it an even more magical and exciting experience for the kids.
  • Make sure to bring your camera for the many photo ops they have throughout the experience.
  • Plan on spending at least an hour there so you can look around snap photos and “witness” a “baby” being born.