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Tag Results: Museums
Specifically, why haven’t more parents – who easily identify the San Diego Zoo as their main reason to visit San Diego – made a pilgrimage to Ohio’s largest city to see what’s widely considered one of the best zoos and aquariums in the country? Well, if you don’t have good answers to these questions, winter is a swell time to discover that the Columbus Zoo and its neighboring sights could be just the ticket for your family’s winter break. Read more
If for the rest of its days the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is known foremost as the home of Winter – a dolphin fitted with a life-saving prosthetic tail after losing her real one to a crab trap – the aquarium would likely be okay with that.
I’m guessing that, not only because the aquarium’s website is a testament to Winter (it’s seewinter.com), but also because Dolphin Tale, the hit movie released in September and based on Winter’s story, is inspiring droves of family vacationers to visit the aquarium to meet the miracle dolphin, learn about the technology behind her new tail, and see sets from the film firsthand. Read more
This week’s family vacation post was inspired by the opening sentence of our swell Orlando Travel Guide: “There’s more to Orlando than Mickey Mouse.” True enough, but the problem is, many families visiting the city for the first or even the fourth time are still not taking the time to find that out.
The pressure not to find out is enormous. During your first visit to Orlando you and your family will likely visit some but not all of the Walt Disney World parks. On subsequent trips you might knock off some of Universal, take in delightful Aquatica, spend an afternoon at SeaWorld, or revisit the parts of Disney you rushed through or skipped the last time.
Meanwhile, the Orlando tourism bureau, like any parent who loves all its children equally, shrewdly embraces Disney and the other theme parks as the city’s crown jewels, all the while wishing that you would take the other parts of its fair city out for a cup of coffee and get to know them.
Well, the time might be now.
The other day my daughter and I were in a neighborhood toy store that had aggressively beefed up its selection of costumes and scary accessories for Halloween. And for some reason I felt the need to point out that beyond late October, we could walk into that store the rest of year and still find good, spooky stuff.
The same holds true for some great destinations. If what’s clogging my inbox is any indication, attractions and hotels nationwide are preparing to roll out over-the-top ghoulish events and shows and candy-laden amenities (if I see “spooktacular” in an e-mail subject line one more time I will simply freak). But the simple truth is, many of us families won’t be traveling on Halloween and will miss all of the seasonal, scary fun in those places. Which is why if you have a hankering for the spooktacular the rest of the year, it helps to know about a few year-round scary sights for kids.
Last week the family vacation blog was clued in about seven cities with favorable fall hotel rates, a gift to parents with the luxury of traveling at will with non-school age kids. I don’t have that luxury, but if I did, my first choice hands down would be Denver.
Not only is Denver’s average daily hotel rate 10 percent lower than it was last fall, but prices tend to drop anyway immediately after the city’s summer high season. If you’re looking for a little luxe for less, check out our top-rated Denver hotel, Brown Palace, running such deals as the Kids in the City package (promo code MKTCKC) from $229 per night, including breakfast for two daily as well as a $15 per night room credit.
For nearly a decade my family and I have been visiting Mystic, CT because it’s perfectly halfway between NYC and Cape Cod. Our routine is to stop for lunch, peek at the water, and be on our way. It wasn’t until last week that we discovered what might happen if we gave Mystic a promotion from pit stop to getaway.
Sure enough, it’s worth making the circuit of the Mystic Seaport, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, and Mystic Aquarium, if only because they’re family-friendly sites within a couple miles of each other. But since we had already been to more seaports, nature centers, and aquariums than we’d care to remember, what was special about Mystic?
Here are the moments that stayed with us days after we returned home.
Minutes after leaving our Union Square hotel my family managed to stumble across the only Disney Store in San Francisco. Did we really need to fly to one of the greatest cities in the world to visit a chain store? Of course not.
But what if I told you Disney ran a museum crackling with Disney magic, including rare film clips and artifacts you won’t find in any retail store? You really would have to fly to San Francisco for that and head to the Presidio’s under-hyped Walt Disney Family Museum, a three-building, 77,000 square foot space that opened in Fall 2009.
One goal of the museum is to focus on Walt Disney himself. According to his eldest daughter, museum co-founder Diane Disney Miller, “My father has one of the most well-known names around the world, but as the Disney ‘brand’ has grown, the man has become lost,” so parents in particular as well as older kids might find the museum’s audio interviews and conversations with Disney co-workers enlightening.
Upping the ante for the younger set are exhibits on the making of the game-changing Snow White animated film as well as the development of the Disney theme parks. Kids of all attention spans will also delight in the more than 200 monitors rolling clips from movies and shorts, including some Walt Disney home movies never before seen by the public.
Should you want to build a family vacation around a pilgrimage to the museum and such neighboring points of interest as Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge, three Union Square-area boutique hotels in the Joie de Vivre group, the Galleria Park, Hotel Rex, and Hotel Adagio, will be using four museum admission tickets as the centerpiece of their summer family getaway package.
Among the other package inclusions are three tickets to whatever movie is playing at the museum, a bottle of vino from a Bay Area winery, and a philanthropic touch: for every night of your stay at one of the hotels, five dollars will be donated to the Art for Life Foundation, which coordinates art programs for kids in hospitals recovering from surgery or illness.
The deal, which starts at $219 per night, is good for travel through September 5, 2011; a seven-day advance purchase is required and some blackout dates may apply. As of this writing, the hotel’s websites had not posted details of the deal, so inquire by phone at the respective hotels about the “Joy of Family” package.
For general trip-planning information, see our San Francisco Travel Guide, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more.
How do you turn an awesome Boston family vacation into a “wicked” awesome one? The answer may be “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a deal running through September 10 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.
Starting at $259, the deal includes a room for four with a standard king or two-double beds, as well as four tickets (a $48 value) to the Boston Children’s Museum, where you’re encouraged to see The Wizard of Oz Children’s Educational Exhibit, a traveling show that, like the package, is only around town through September 10.
The deal celebrates the 70th anniversary of the “Wizard of Oz,” which premiered on August 15, 1939. If you’ve already done the math, you’ll realize that this year we’re actually skipping toward the 72nd anniversary of the film’s release. No matter. In the spirit of the museum’s explanation that its Oz exhibit helps to “continue the celebration” of the 70th anniversary, what’s a year here or there, especially when there’s a deal involved?
You can’t turn around these days without bumping into some sort of “Where to Travel in 2011” roundup and a recent list issued by Lonely Planet included the interesting reminder that Colorado Territory is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year.
If both your Latin and multiplication are rusty, that’s sesqui or 1.5 times 100, meaning it’s been 150 years since a bunch of out-of-towners showed up for the Gold Rush, a good 15 years before President Grant made Colorado a state.
Why the book report? Well, I thought you might want to have some fun facts handy for irritating your kids in case you all decide to hit the Colorado slopes over the coming weeks. And why would you do that? For starters, you’ll get an instant $100 off any three-night or longer flight and hotel vacation package at Travelocity if you use the code COLORADO100 at checkout before March 30, 2011; you’ll need to travel by June 30. Also look for sales of up to 50 percent off at various Colorado hotels.
While the JW Marriott just barely misses the number one spot in ShermansTravel.com’s current Houston hotel rankings, the property is easily the top pick for families this fall with a package running through the end of the year with rates starting at $189 a night. Two grownups will not only dine at the breakfast buffet free for each day of their stay (kids under 12 eat as well as stay free, too) but will also get free adult admissions to the Children’s Museum of Houston (www.cmhouston.org), one of the better hands-on kids museums anywhere. Being as you’re in a state that makes lots of buildings and energy, two popular exhibits here focus on construction and hydropower. Not as expected are two new interactive areas that’ll give the kids glimpses of what life is like in Hangzhou, China and Oaxaca, Mexico. Read more
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