cavalletta's Passport
 

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Member since:
04 December 2008

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14 Icon_founder_title

Icon_pictureBeen to 680 Attractions
Icon_star504 Reviews
Icon_star1394 First to Review
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About Me & My Family

We're a globe trekking, fun-loving, bilingual family always planning our next adventure. From art museums to alpine skiing, we're ready for anything. We are USTA rated tennis players, professional artists and musicians, golfers, swimmers, skiiers, sailors, engineers, and more!
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, relaxed, simple, independent, energetic, spontaneous, sophisticated, easy_going, scheduled, artsy, social_butterfly
We Just Got Back From
The Longboat Key Club which is located on the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Paradise!
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Wherever we go next! Thanks to Trekaroo, I always have a great group of reviews to help me plan a fantastic vacation!
A Place We'd Love To Visit
During the winter, anywhere with snow and easy airport access. Golfing, tennis, spa, ski, and culinary resorts are ideal!
Favorite Vacation Memory
One of my favorite vacation memories was the first time my daughter saw snow at the Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. She's still talking about ski school years later! The Innisbrook Golf Resort and Indaba Spa near Tampa Bay, Florida. What an amazing experience! A home exchange holiday in France.
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Dangerous weather conditions, unexpected airport and security delays.
Websites I Like:
snowmamas.com tbparenting.com visitflorida.com condenast.com

cavalletta's Lists

Easter Egg Hunts and events in the Tampa Bay area

Hop along Florida's bunny trail to find Easter Egg Hunts and activities at a variety of venues across the Tampa Bay area.

Most of these events are geared for children of all ages. However, the Egg hunts are typically for children under 10 years young.

Please remember to bring your camera, your own Easter basket, wear your bonnet and remember your flashlight for one unique nighttime egg hunt...now get hopping!

These events can be found within an hour's drive in and around the Tampa Bay area.  

Please visit the websites to confirm details.

Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort - Palm Harbor
Hyde Park Village - Tampa
The Shops at Wiregrass - Wesley Chapel (Special Needs Egg Hunt)
Glazer Childrens Museum- Tampa
Lowry Park Zoo - Tampa
Highland Recreation Complex - Largo
Northdale Park - Tampa
Coachman Park - Clearwater
Suncoast Primate Sanctuary - Palm Harbor
HorsePower for Kids - Tampa
Florida Railroad Museum - Parrish
RE Olds Park - Oldsmar
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park - Homosassa
GT Bray Park - Bradenton
St. Armands Circle - Sarasota
Siesta Key Village - Sarasota
Nokomis Community Park - Nokomis
Sarasota Jungle Gardens - Sarasota
Florida Aquarium - downtown Tampa
Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) - Tampa
Hydro Harvest Farms - Ruskin
Straz Center for the Performing Arts - Tampa

1. Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort
Come to Innisbrook to savor a delicious Easter Sunday...
2. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Orangutan Egg Hunt Included with zoo admission.
3. Highland Recreation Complex
Bounce houses, carnival games, music, food and a...

Easter Egg Hunts and events near Savannah, Georgia

Hop along the bunny trail to find Easter Egg Hunts and activities at a variety of venues around Savannah, Georgia.   These programs are geared for children of all ages.  Please visit the event website to find more information on the egg hunts which are typically for children under 10 years young.  

Please remember to bring your own Easter basket, a camera and wear your bonnet!

1. Hull Park
Community Spring Carnival (corner of 55th Street and...
2. Stockade Storage
Get a picture with the Easter Bunny at this First...
3. Habersham YMCA

Easter Egg Hunts in Central Florida and South Florida

Hop along Florida's bunny trail to find Easter Egg Hunts and activities at a variety of venues in South and Central Florida.   These programs are geared for children of all ages.  Please visit the event website to find more information on the egg hunts which are typically for children under 10 years young.  

Please remember to bring your own Easter basket, a camera and wear your bonnet...it's hot!

Please double check event dates and times by visiting the websites before your visit.  Good luck!

1. Atlantis Dive Center
Snorkelers: Join the Easter bunny on a morning dive...
2. Miami Seaquarium
Included with admission. There will be egg hunts, an...
3. Miami Metrozoo
Great Egg Safari at the zoo! The event will feature...

Easter Egg Hunts across North Florida and Panhandle

Hop along Florida's bunny trail to find Easter Egg Hunts and activities at a variety of venues across the northern part (panhandle and beyond) of the state.  

Most of these events are geared for children of all ages but the egg hunts are typically for children under 10 years young.  Please check each individual website for additional details.

Please remember to bring your own Easter basket, a camera and wear your bonnet!

Please visit the websites to confirm details.

1. Eden Gardens State Park
Hunt for eggs on the gorgeous grounds at Eden Gardens...
2. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Egg Hunt at 9am (registration starting at 8am). $5...
3. Sam’s Fun City
Easter Eggstravaganza! Unlimited rides and special...

Easter Egg Hunts across Florida

Hop along Florida's bunny trail to find Easter Egg Hunts and activities at a variety of venues across the state.   These programs are geared for children of all ages.  Please visit the event website to find more information on the egg hunts which are typically for children under 10 years young.  

Please remember to bring your own Easter basket, a camera and wear your bonnet!

These listings have been updated for 2014 but please visit the websites to confirm details.

1. Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort
Savor a delicious Easter Sunday Brunch -- two...
2. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Orangutan Egg Hunt For something completely...
3. GT Bray Park
Free for everyone! Softball Fields Join Peter...

Christmas Tree Farms in Florida

Although there's plenty of sand in the Sunshine State, finding snow is a whole different story.  Fortunately, you can trek to these Florida tree farms to cut your own Christmas tree.  Please call the farms first to confirm hours, etc.  Be sure to post your experiences and photos on Trekaroo.  Happy Holidays!

1. Ergle Farms
Plenty of choose and cut trees. Located in Central...
2. Santa's Christmas Tree Forest Inc.

3. Unicorn Hill Farm
They have twine available for you to tie your tree to...

Holiday events around Tampa Bay, Florida

The weather outside is delightful!  These bay area attractions will add sparkle to your holiday season.  Pack up the family, remember to bring your camera but leave your winter coats at home.  This is family fun, Florida style.

1. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Wild Wonderland is a huge hit with the kiddos!...
2. Florida Aquarium
Enjoy Breakfast with Santa - please check the website...
3. Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)
The best gifts in the world are the ones that are...

Florida - Museums on Us - Bank of America / Merrill Lynch

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch account holders can participate in the "Museums on Us" program and receive free general admission to about 150 museums across the USA over the first full weekend of every month.   Please visit the museum websites to determine hours over holiday weekends.

The following list includes some of the participating museums located in Florida.
Please visit http://museums.bankofamerica.com/ for more information.

As always, please post your reviews on Trekaroo. We love to read about your family adventures!

1. Tampa Museum of Art

2. Museum of Fine Arts
The newly renovated Museum of Fine Arts in downtown...
3. The Museum of Science & History

Families Explore Science & Technology in Florida

Does your family like to learn about the science behind every day things?  Then plan a visit to any or all of these family friendly science, technology and history museums in Florida.  Be sure to tell them a Trekaroo sent you!  

Happy Discoveries!

1. Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)
IMAX theater, Outdoor Sky Trail Ropes Course,...
2. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Fabulous hands on exhibits. The manatee, turtle, and...
3. Tampa Bay Watch Marine Center
Hands on summer camps for kids.

Family friendly golf in Florida

Florida's fabulous golf courses are consistently ranked among the best in the United States.  Golfers of all skill levels can introduce their children to the sport at these family friendly resorts.  Not only are these golf courses on the PGA and LPGA tour circuits, these resorts also offer a great variety of family friendly activities off the greens.  

FORE!

1. Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort
Innisbrook offers a wide variety of leisure time...
2. Resort at Longboat Key Club
With 45 holes of golf on the Islandside and...
3. Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club
This family friendly beachfront resort is a great...

Mother's Day events and ideas in Florida

From an elegant brunch to swimming with dolphins, you are bound to find a wide variety of events any mother would love.  Read on to find out more about unique and memorable Mother's Day events across Florida.

1. The Circle at The Breakers Palm Beach
If your Mother appreciates the finest things in life,...
2. EPCOT - Disney
Venture to the second floor of the Living Seas Salon...
3. Busch Gardens Tampa
Celebrate at the Sesame Street Safari of Fun and...

Tampa Bay area activities for animal loving kids...

If you're in the Tampa Bay area, there are lots of wonderful animal adventures waiting for kids of all ages to discover.  Here are a few favorites:

2) Florida Aquarium - located in downtown Tampa, the building's architecture is as unique as the sea life inside.  The stingray touch tank and outdoor water play area are particularly popular with the younger kiddos.  Be sure to get a front row seat for the penguin promenade!

3) Clearwater Marine Aquarium - Teach your children about animal rehabilitation as you visit with Winter the dolphin.  She lost her tail after getting caught in a crab trap line but is doing well thanks to a prosthetic tail.  Discounted tickets are available online.

4) Big Cat Rescue - Children older than ten can visit anytime but if you have little ones, plan to visit on Saturday for a unique and age appropriate tour.  There are lots of lions, tigers and other exotic cats at this West Tampa hideaway sanctuary.

5) The Pier Aquarium - Located at the end of the Pier in downtown St. Petersburg, this small aquarium is full of educational murals detailing hurricanes, red tide, and fish communication stories and how they impact life on Tampa Bay's Gulf Coast.  Ideal for older kids, you can even feed pelicans outdoors after your visit.

1. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Just north of downtown, this local treasure allows...
2. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
This small aquarium is best known for their famous...
3. Big Cat Rescue
This nonprofit charity is dedicated to caring for...

Family friendly week on Daytona and Cocoa Beach, Florida

Located on Florida's Northern Atlantic Coast, Daytona and Cocoa Beaches offer a variety of family friendly attractions and beach front resorts ideally suited for any size family and budget. This list highlights just a few of the best family friendly resorts and activities.  

I've included my picks for must see area attractions.  Please comment on any places that you've discovered that can be added to this list.

Enjoy your stay!

1. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
On your first day, blast off into space history at...
2. Canaveral National Seashore at Apollo Beach
Make your second day a beach day! Explore the shore...
3. Ron Jon Surf Shop
Later that day, drive down the coast to the legendary...

Kid Friendly College Towns: Tallahassee, Florida

Located on Florida's panhandle, Tallahassee has a Southern charm that draws students from around the world.  FAMU and Florida State University (FSU) campuses are located in the heart of this Capitol City.  

1. Floridas Historic Capitol Building
2. New Capitol
3. Old Capitol

Kid Friendly College Towns: Tampa Bay, Florida

Tampa Bay is home to the University of South Florida Bulls, the eighth largest university in the United States of America , as well as the private, co-educational University of Tampa.  The sunshine, warm weather, and nearby beaches make Tampa one of the most desirable places to live and learn.  

If your planning a college campus visit to Tampa, take time to explore these nearby restaurants, attractions, and cultural gems.

1. Tampa International Airport
Getting to either USF or UT is easy when you fly into...
2. Busch Gardens Tampa
Located about five minutes south of the USF campus,...
3. Adventure Island
Located about five minutes south of USF, Adventure...

Family Friendly Spring Break Ideas for Tampa, Florida

Tampa Bay is well known as the home of the NFL Buccaneers, the NHL Lightning, the MLB  Rays and Spring Training home of the New York Yankees but there's so much more to this culturally diverse community than sports franchises.  

From the streets of Ybor City to the jungles of Lowry Park Zoo and Busch Gardens, this town is an ideal and affordable place for families to enjoy their Spring Break getaway.  

This list includes a variety of arts and cultural venues, science museums, parks, playgrounds, and a few historical treasures thrown in to balance it all.  

No matter where you go in Tampa, you'll find a family friendly place to play.  Enjoy your stay!

1. Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort
Located about 25 minutes from the Tampa International...
2. Glazer Children's Museum
This hands on museum is a lot of fun for kids under...
3. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
The zoo has a great collection of animals from around...

Family Friendly Spring Break Ideas for DFW & Grapevine, TX

Spending your family spring break in the Dallas/Fort Worth area will be a Texas sized adventure and oh so much fun for everyone in your family.

Go green and ride DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) to a variety of family friendly venues all around town.  Texas really is big so this easy to use mass transit system is an ideal choice.  

1. Omni Dallas
2. Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
3. Dallas Zoo

Family Friendly Spring Break Ideas for Birmingham, Alabama

Spending your family spring break in Birmingham, Alabama might seem like an odd choice but this hot spot has a lot of Southern charm just waiting to be explored.  

Golfers already know what makes Birmingham special to them - the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, rated Number One by Golf Digest.

In 2013, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.   Birmingham has an interesting story to tell.   Go "Alabama Wild" at the Birmingham Zoo or get your mind engaged at the McWane Science Center.  Take in a world class Alabama Symphony Orchestra concert or stroll through the galleries at the Birmingham Museum of Art followed by a delicious meal created by one of the city's award winning chefs.  

This town is full of history in the making.  Make it a part of yours!

1. Alabama Symphony Orchestra - Super POPS and Family Concerts
Our preschooler took us to a Family Concert conducted...
2. Birmingham Museum of Art
Our extended family had only a few hours to visit...
3. Birmingham Zoo

Family Friendly Spring Break Ideas for Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island, Georgia is known as Savannah's beach but it's so much more than that.  It's a great place for families to relax, explore, and unwind together.  Oh, the food is pretty delicious, too.  

There are so many special events throughout the year including Spring Break season.  Be sure to see what will be happening during your stay.  It might be a parade, food festival, or historical event at the Lighthouse or nearby Fort.  There's always something special happening on Tybee!

1. Tybee Beach Vacation Rentals
Feel like you are staying at your own private beach...
2. Tybee Island Light Station and Museum
Climb to the top of the light! The landings every 25...
3. Captain Mike's Dolphin Tours
We saw so many dolphin on our short trip! At the end...

Family Friendly Spring Break Ideas for Naples, Florida

Naples, Florida is a wonderful Spring Break destination for families of all ages.  There's so much to see and do together!  Thanks to incredible kids programs at area hotels, spending a few hours alone with your spouse is also possible.  It's a win win for everyone!  Book your stay to Naples, Florida today!

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
If you want to spend your Spring Break in a luxurious...
2. Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club
If you would like to kick back and relax Old Florida...
3. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
Staying at this property would be ideal for families...

Best places in Florida for kids who love pirates!

Florida's vast coastlines are ideal places to tell pirate stories.

In addition to those sandy shores, there are lots of places to bring your pirates.  Set sail for any of these pirate themed locales and get ready to ARGH!

1. Gasparilla Invasion
There's a special Children's Parade which is ideal...
2. Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise
This pirate cruise was great fun for our entire...
3. Gasparilla Parade of Pirates
This is the third largest parade in the USA! The...

Florida Celebrates National Trails Day - June 2, 2012

This Sunday, June 2, 2012, is National Trails Day!

There are several group hikes and paddling events scheduled in Florida. I'll be out on Sanibel Island at the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to enjoy guided hikes and loads of children's activities. For more information about this Sanibel Island treasure, please read the posts on Trekaroo at: http://www.trekaroo.com/activities/j-n-%E2%80%9Cding%E2%80%9D-darling-national-wildlife-refuge-sanibel-florida

Please visit www.americanhiking.org/ntd/events for an updated list of registered events across the USA.

Enjoy!

1. J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
From 9am-4pm, the whole family can go on paddling...
2. Manatee Springs State Park

It's Berry Season at U-Pick Farms in Florida

Our family likes to visit u-pick farms to harvest delicious berry treasures and we especially enjoy eating these tasty summer time treats.   Recently, we discovered u-pick and co-op farms around the Tampa area that offer a great variety of fruits and veggies year round!  

If you are searching for some educational, fun and productive outdoor adventures with your family, perhaps a visit to one of these U-pick farms would be a great place to explore.  

1. Ergle Farms
Currently, they have u-pick blackberries,...
2. Hydro Harvest Farms
Thanks to their unique hydroponic growing systems,...
3. Stafford's U-Pick Blueberries
Delicious blueberries! The season will end in late...

Summer Family Friendly Museum Exhibitions in Florida

Florida is home to some of the finest and most unique museum collections.  From classical to contemporary art, history, science and technology, there's a museum exhibit bound to entertain and educate you and your children this summer.  

This list features some this summer's exhibits which will only be on display for a limited time.    Please visit the museum websites for the most up to date exhibit times and prices.  

1. Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)
The exclusive Mummies of the World exhibition...
2. Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
LEGO lovers rejoice! The Art and Culture Center of...
3. Salvador Dali Museum
Breakfast with Dali for Families Saturday, May 5,...

Earth Day: Learn About Conservation in Tampa Bay, Florida

Tampa Bay is teeming with all sorts of environmental programs designed to educuate and inspire kids of all ages.  This list includes some of my family favorites.  

Enjoy!

1. Sweetwater Organic Farm
On Saturday, April 21 beginning at 11am, join in the...
2. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Home of movie star Winter the Dolphin! On Earth Day...
3. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Take the boat tour to see birds nesting in trees and...

Earth Day: Conservation on Florida's East Coast

Florida's Atlantic Coast, from the Keys north to Jacksonville, is teeming with all sorts of environmental organizations offering programs designed to educuate and inspire kids of all ages.  They offer special events including Earth Day activities as well as year round programs.  This list includes some of my family favorites.

Also, the Miami Wildlife Conservation Film Festival will be held from April 20 - 23, 2012.  For more information, please visit:  http://miamifilmmonth.com/filmFestivals/wildlife.html

1. Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Celebrate Turtle Fest on Saturday, April 21st! Kids...
2. Shark Valley Visitor Center - Everglades
Celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 21 from...
3. National Key Deer Refuge
This refuge is home to Florida's key deer.

Earth Day: Conservation in Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

Southwest Florida is teeming with all sorts of environmental programs designed to educuate and inspire kids of all ages.  These organizations offer special events including Earth Day activities as well as year round programs.  This list includes some of my family favorites.

Enjoy!

1. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
This rehabilitation and research lab will entertain...
2. Myakka River State Park
Walk along the tree tops on the suspended Canopy...
3. DeSoto National Memorial Park
Volunteer docents take visitors on a guided tour of...

Earth Day: Conservation in Fort Myers/Naples, Florida

Southwest Florida is teeming with all sorts of environmental programs designed to educuate and inspire kids of all ages.  They offer special events including Earth Day activities as well as year round programs.  This list includes some of my family favorites.  

Enjoy!

1. Everglades National Park Boat Tours
See nesting birds, dolphin and sometimes manatees in...
2. Gulf Coast Visitor's Center - Everglades National Park
Take a ranger led tour or attend a nature program to...
3. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
Unspoiled beaches with lots of shells.

Family friendly week on Tybee Island (Savannah), Georgia

Located on Georgia's Atlantic Coast about 20 miles east of Savannah, Tybee Island offers a variety of beach front resorts ideally suited for any family. This list highlights just a few of the best family friendly resorts and activities.

There's so much to see and do on Tybee that you'll never have to leave the island to have a fabulous week-long vacation.  I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained if you decide to leave the Atlantic waters for a while.  

Enjoy your stay!

1. Tybee Beach Vacation Rentals
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: You can rent a condo, home or...
2. Ocean Plaza Beach Resort
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Located on the beach and...
3. The VUE
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Located on the beach...

Family friendly week on Florida's Emerald Coast

Located on Florida's Northern Gulf Coast, the beaches of Panama City, Destin and Pensacola include a variety of beach front resorts ideally suited for any family. This list highlights just a few of the Emerald Coast's best family friendly resorts and activities.

There's so much to see and do at these resorts that you'll never have to leave the property to have a fabulous week-long vacation.  I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained if you decide to leave the calm, warm Gulf waters for a while.  

Enjoy your stay!

1. SEA WITCH MOTEL
BUDGET HOTEL CHOICE: Family owned and operated, this...
2. EDGEWATER BEACH RESORT
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Located on the beach, there...
3. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: Destin is an unspoiled paradise!

Family friendly week on Clearwater Beach, Florida

Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the beaches of Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Treasure Island include some of the most fabulous beach front resorts in the world. This list highlights just a few of Florida's best family friendly resorts and activities around Clearwater.  

There's so much to see and do at these resorts that you'll never have to leave the property to have a fabulous week-long vacation.  I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained if you decide to leave the calm, warm Gulf waters for a while.  

Enjoy your stay!

1. Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: We always enjoy staying at the...
2. Tradewinds Sandpiper Hotel and Suites
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Plenty of water sports and...
3. Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Daily shuttles to and from...

Family friendly week in Bradenton/Anna Maria Island, Florida

Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the beaches of Anna Maria Island and Bradenton Beach are casual, comfortable and ideal for families hoping to relax.   This list highlights just a few of this area's best family friendly resorts and activities.  

I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained if you decide to leave the calm, warm Gulf waters for a while.  

Enjoy your stay!

1. Hilton Longboat Key Beach Resort
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: Located on the beach, this...
2. Seaside Inn and Beach Resort
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Located beachfront, this small...
3. ECONO LODGE SURF SIDE
BUDGET HOTEL CHOICE: Clean, comfortable and...

Family friendly beach week in Fort Myers, Florida

Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the beaches of Fort Myers, Bonita Beach, Captiva and Sanibel Islands are casual, comfortable and ideal for families hoping to relax.   This list highlights just a few of this area's best family friendly resorts and activities.  

I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained if you decide to leave the calm, warm Gulf waters for a while.  

Remember to wear your sunscreen and enjoy your stay!

1. PINK SHELL BEACH RESORT AND SPA
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: This world famous resort is...
2. SANIBEL HARBOUR RESORT AND SPA
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: The spa at this resort is...
3. Holiday Inn Fort Myers Beach
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Located on the beach and...

Family friendly beach week in Sarasota, Florida

Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the beaches of Venice, Nokomis, Siesta, Lido and Longboat Keys are casual, comfortable and ideal for families hoping to relax.   This list highlights just a few of this area's best family friendly resorts and activities.  

I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained if you decide to leave the calm, warm Gulf waters for a while.  

Remember your sunscreen and enjoy your stay!

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: Located near downtown, the...
2. Holiday Inn Lido Beach, Sarasota
Located on Lido Key and a short walk to St. Armand's...
3. Hyatt Regency Sarasota
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Located near downtown and...

Family friendly beach week in Naples/Marco Island, Florida

Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the beaches of Marco Island, Everglades City and Naples are unspoiled places for families to relax.   This list highlights just a few of this area's best family friendly resorts and activities.  

If you decide to leave the beach to explore the city, I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained for a while.  Some of the day trips will take you far from your hotel so it's best to map out your trips in advance to make certain you can see as much as possible in a day.

Enjoy your stay!

1. Rod and Gun Club
BUDGET HOTEL CHOICE: Rustic charm and popular with...
2. Glades Haven Cozy Cabins
BUDGET HOTEL CHOICE: If your family likes to fish...
3. Residence Inn by Marriott Naples
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Large, spacious rooms with...

Family friendly beach week in Miami and the Florida Keys

Located at the southern tip of Florida, the beaches of Miami and the Florida Keys range from legendary hot spots to laid back leisurely places for families to relax.   This list highlights just a few of this area's best family friendly resorts and activities.  

If you decide to leave the beach to explore a bit, I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained but not too rushed.  Remember your sunscreen and enjoy your stay!

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, Miami
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: Fabulous place to pamper...
2. The Garden Hotel South Beach
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: If you want to experience the...
3. Crowne Plaza La Concha Key West
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: One of the most popular...

Family friendly beach week in the Palm Beaches, Florida

Stretched along the Atlantic Ocean from Boca Raton to Jupiter Beach, the Palm Beaches are popular with the rich and famous as well as families of all ages.  This list highlights just a few of this area's best family friendly resorts and activities.  The resorts offer year round specials which make staying at these luxurious resorts more affordable.

I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained if you decide to leave the beach for a while.  Since Palm Beach county is so large, I'd suggest visiting one attraction each day to cut down on time spend driving in the car.  

Remember your sunscreen and enjoy your stay!

1. Boca Raton Resort and Club - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: This historical. luxury hotel...
2. Boca Beach Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean,...
3. The Breakers
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: What an incredible place! The...

Family friendly beach week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Located in southeastern Florida on the Atlantic Ocean, the beaches of Fort Lauderdale were once well known as popular Spring Break destinations but are also ideal for families.   This list highlights just a few of this area's best family friendly resorts and activities.

If you decide to explore more than the beaches,  I've included area attractions that will keep you entertained for a while.  

Remember your sunscreen and enjoy your stay!

1. Hyatt Regency Pier 66
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: We stayed here years ago and...
2. Bahia Mar Ft. Lauderdale Beach- a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
LUXURY HOTEL CHOICE: We stayed here years ago and...
3. Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport and Cruiseport Hotel
MODERATE HOTEL CHOICE: Great place to stay if you are...

Florida's family friendly resorts off the beach

Although Florida boasts some of the most fabulous beach front resorts in the world, this list highlights just a few of Florida's best family friendly resorts off the beach.  There's so much to see and do at these resorts that you'll never have to leave the property to have a fabulous vacation.  There are many more amazing places to stay in Florida but these are some of my favorites.

Happy travels!

1. Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort
The fox squirrel walking 9-hole golf course is an...
2. Nickelodeon Suites Resort
This all suites hotel offers several daily slimings...
3. Boca Raton Resort and Club - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
This luxurious, historical hotel offers dive-in...

Florida Film Festivals!

Lights, camera and sunshine hit the silver screen at film festivals across Florida.  Here are a few of my favorites!

1. Mizner Park
April 12-19, 2012 For more information, visit...
2. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
April 13-22, 2012. For more information, please...

Spring Ski Specials - snow is falling!

Mammoth Mountain is still 100% OPEN!  They have plenty of SNOW and plan to stay open through Memorial Day, May 28! These incredible snow reports are making this another epic end to the ski season.  Please check here for the latest ski resort offerings, discounts and news.

Deals for Families at Mammoth -- Have a young baby too little for childcare but LOVE LOVE to hit the snow?  With a Parent Tag Team Ticket for $99, mom and dad can take turns with parental duty by allowing parents to SHARE a lift ticket for the day-- one parent stays with the little one while the other hits the slopes; swap back and forth as desired (Even bigger bargain- one single ticket is $89- so for just $10 more you can split a lift ticket!)
Additional deals include:
*$30 kids tickets (age 7-12)
* 6 & under ski FREE
* Mommy or Daddy and me:1 adult AND 1 child (7-12) combo ticket: $100 with 1 day advance purchase
* Senior with child combo ticket: $90

Check out more family ticket discounts at:
http://www.mammothmountain.com/MountainActivities/Tickets/FamilyDiscounts

Park City Mountain Resort is offering 35% off select lodging and multi-day lift tickets from now until April 15th.

Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah is offering a Family Adventure Special which is designed for families looking to maximize their mountain escape. In addition to luxury accommodations and lift tickets, families will receive a “Family Adventure Resort Credit” of up to $200 per night, based on room type.

Smuggler's Notch in Vermont is offering their SuperSaver Club Smugglers' Package rates beginning on March 16th through April 7th.  

At Sugar Bowl in Tahoe, Stay and Ski FREE for $199/night!  Sunday-Thursday double occupancy. Includes 2 Lift Tickets per room.  Also, Sugar Bowls' General Admission program allows pass holders to take a free group lesson of any skill level and / or use standard rental equipment for no charge whenever “GA” is in effect.  Check their website at http://www.sugarbowl.com/more for the lastest deals.

The ever popular Ski Salt Lake Super Pass is an easy, inexpensive way to experience Alta, Brighton, Snowbird or Solitude resorts through a single lift pass.  For more details, please visit http://www.visitsaltlake.com/superpass/

There are lots of deals for new skiers at some of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado.  For more information, visit http://www.snow.com/info/learntoski.aspx?cmpid=ET2570215&et_rid=186232064.

1. Alyeska Resort
A recent 30" snowfall makes this resort an ideal...
2. Alpine Meadows
Buy one get one free ski tickets when you purchase...
3. Heavenly Valley Ski Resort
Heavenly is offering 33 percent off President’s...

Target Tuesdays honored at these Florida museums

Held on the first Tuesday of each month, Target Tuesdays helps to make museums more accessible to all community members. Admissions during these special hours are normally at the reduced cost of $2 but is FREE for the months of January, February, March and April 2012.

Children must be accompanied by an adult and adults must be accompanied by a child.

1. Glazer Children's Museum
Hours: 2-7PM. Please call 813.443.FUN1 (3861) for...

Florida Spring Training a hit at Homewood Suites by Hilton

Spring Training kicked off in cities across Florida this weekend.  

When many fans travel to see their favorite MLB teams, Homewood Suites by Hilton is their spring training home away from home.  Homewood Suites offer all-suite accommodations with fully-equipped kitchens, a complimentary grocery shopping service, free Wi-Fi, breakfast and an evening reception.

If you're on the road this spring, Homewood Suites by Hilton has properties within 15 miles of 25 of the 30 major league teams’ spring training stadiums.  

1. Homewood Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista Orlando
Atlanta Braves: Champion Stadium, Lake Buena Vista at...
2. Homewood Suites by Hilton - Fort Myers
Boston Red Sox: JetBlue Park, Fort Myers
3. Homewood Suites by Hilton Sarasota
Baltimore Orioles: Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota and...

NanoDays Festival in Florida - March 24-April 1, 2012

Thanks to Utah's Destination Guroo, akeisel, for sharing the news about NanoDays!

"NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future. "

These Florida museums are just a few of the more than 200 museums across the U.S. hosting this event.  

Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium
Museum of Science & History
Miami Science Museum
South Florida Science Museum
Golisano Children's Museum of Naples

For more information, please visit: http://www.nisenet.org/nanodays

1. Imaginarium: Hands-On Museum and Aquarium
2. The Museum of Science & History
3. Miami Science Museum

NanoDays Festival in Tennessee - March 24-April 1, 2012

Thanks to Utah's Destination Guroo, akeisel, for sharing the news about NanoDays!

"NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future. "

These Tennessee museums are just a few of the more than 200 museums and schools across the U.S. hosting this event.  

Creative Discovery Museum
Pink Palace Museum
Memphis Zoo
Adventure Science Center

For more information, please visit: http://www.nisenet.org/nanodays

1. Creative Discovery Museum
2. Memphis Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium
3. Memphis Zoo

Special Events at Disney's Hollywood Studios Theme Park

See the movies come to life at the annual "Star Wars Weekends" at Disney's Hollywood Studios  which are held from mid-May through early June each year.  Come get autographs from Star Wars celebrities, duel with Darth Vader with your lightsaber (guests 12 and under please) and kick back at the end of the day with the Hyperspace Hoopla!  

If you're planning a holiday visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios, then you'll love The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America.  The impressive holiday light display is choreographed to festive holiday music.

Additional fees may apply for some events and activities.  Please visit the websites listed for more information.

1. Star Wars Weekends - Disney's Hollywood Studios
This annual event will be held from May 18-June 10,...
2. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights - Disney's HS
The magical light show is capped off with real...

Parades at Disney World Theme Parks

Everyone loves a parade!  The parades at the magical world of Disney are even more spectacular!  No matter the season, there's a wonderful parade on the calendar at these Walt Disney World theme parks.  

1. Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - Disney's Animal Kingdom
Colorful costumes from around the world will be a...
2. Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade - Disney's Animal Kingdom
The holidays come to life as costumed characters...
3. Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps - Disney's Epcot
You'll be inspired as you watch a piece of living...

Rides that offer FASTPASS at Disney's Magic Kingdom

FASTPASS is a free service that allows you and your family to maximize your time at Disney's Magic Kingdom.

Here's how FASTPASS works.  For each person requesting a FASTPASS, simply slide your ticket into the FASTPASS ticketing machine in front of the ride/attraction you wish to ride.  The machine will return your ticket with a receipt ride slip which indicates what time you can return to ride without having to wait in the line.  There is a separate line for FASTPASS ticket holders!  

If this all sounds confusing, just ask one of the Disney Cast Members to explain FASTPASS at the park.    You'll be glad that you did!

FASTPASS Rides offered at Disney's Magic Kingdom are:
•Space Mountain
•Splash Mountain
•Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
•Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
•Jungle Cruise
•The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
•Peter Pan's Flight

1. Space Mountain - Disney's Magic Kingdom
2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Disney's Magic Kingdom
This rollercoaster is one of my favorites for many...
3. Splash Mountain - Disney's Magic Kingdom

Arizona Spring Training a hit at Homewood Suites by Hilton

Spring Training kicked off in cities across Arizona this weekend.  

When many fans travel to see their favorite MLB teams, Homewood Suites by Hilton is their spring training home away from home.  Homewood Suites offer all-suite accommodations with fully-equipped kitchens, a complimentary grocery shopping service, free Wi-Fi, breakfast and an evening reception.

If you're on the road this spring, Homewood Suites by Hilton has properties within 15 miles of 25 of the 30 major league teams’ spring training stadiums.  

1. Homewood Suites by Hilton Phoenix North-Happy Valley
Milwaukee Brewers: Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix...
2. Homewood Suites by Hilton Phoenix/Scottsdale
Milwaukee Brewers: Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix...
3. Homewood Suites by Hilton Phoenix - Metro Center
Milwaukee Brewers: Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix...

Romantic Places and Events in Florida

If you're looking for an ideal romantic getaway in sunny Florida, then you've come to the right place!  This list includes some of the most romantic beach front properties and theme park events just right for two.

1. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Wild At Heart, a lighthearted look at love in the...
2. Resort at Longboat Key Club
The perfect getaway package is ideal for a romantic...
3. The Breakers
Special Valentine's Day menu offerings at The Flagler...

Family friendly Chinese New Year Celebrations across Florida

Celebrate the Chinese New Year as the Year of the Dragon debuts at a variety of family friendly events throughout Florida.  

On Monday, January 23rd 2012 at  5:30 pm, visit the Miami Childrens Museum and join the parade led by their very own dragon!

"Embrace China 2012" -  This Chinese New Year Celebration will be held in Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feburary 4th. Save $7 with promotion code "embrace" on event tickets on sale at http://www.coralspringscenterforthearts.com  

On Saturday and Sunday February 5th and 6th, the Orlando Tet Festival hosted by the Vietnamese Association of Central Florida will be held at the Central Florida Fairgrounds near Pine Hills and Colonial Drive.

Please visit the websites listed for the most up to date details.  

1. Downtown Dunedin
Friday January 20 from 7-8pm at Pioneer Park.
2. South Florida Museum
January 27 events include visual and audio exhibits...
3. Mandarin Oriental Miami
Beginning on January 23, there will be a six-week art...

Florida's Family Friendly New Year's Eve Celebrations

All across Florida, there are family friendly New Year's Eve celebrations.  Ring in the New Year, Florida style, at these attractions, theme parks, neighborhoods and concert halls.  Happy New Year!

1. The Magic Kingdom - Disney
There will be two fireworks shows on New Year's Eve....
2. Disney's Hollywood Studios
There will be two “Fantasmic” shows featuring...
3. EPCOT - Disney
There will be two showings of EPCOT'S famous...

Holiday events around Kissimmee and Orlando, Florida

The weather outside is delightful!  These central Florida attractions are all decked out for the holidays.  There are events for all price ranges and interests.  So, pack up the family, bring your cameras and leave your winter coats at home.  Come celebrate the holidays....Florida style!

1. The Magic Kingdom - Disney
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a special...
2. EPCOT - Disney
Holidays Around the World will be celebrated through...

“Homewood for the Holidays” promotion

If you're planning an out of town visit over the holidays, you might want to consider staying at one of nearly 300 Homewood Suites across the USA and Canada.   Homewood Suites is offering a "Homewood for the Holidays" promotion from now through January 2, 2012 and offers 15% off the best available weekend rates for Thursday through Sunday night stays.  This offer does require a minimum two night stay.  Our family has enjoyed the free daily breakfast and WiFi access as well as the separate living and bedroom areas.   Visit www.homewoodsuites.com for more information.

1. Homewood Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista Orlando
2. Homewood Suites by Hilton Miami Airport West
3. Homewood Suites by Hilton Gainesville

Florida's Famous Holiday Boat Parades

Boaters from all across Florida adorn their ships with twinkling holiday lights and festive decorations.  These holiday boat parades are a free, family friendly casual outdoor experience.  Remember to bring your folding chairs, blankets and hot chocolate!   Please visit the websites for best viewing area suggestions.  Happy Holidays!

1. Bayfront Park
Saturday December 10, 2011 - 6pm. This is...
2. The Pier
Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 6:10pm at the Pier...

Early Ski Season - it is snowing somewhere!

Hard to believe but the 2011-2012 ski season is well underway!  Several resorts across the country have opened for the season and many others are scheduled to open over the next few weeks.  If you want to hit the slopes this weekend, here's a partial list of where to go!

1. Arapahoe Basin
They've added a terrain park this season!
2. Breckenridge Ski Resort
Consistenly rated as one of the best overall resorts,...
3. Copper Mountain Ski Resort
New this season is the first ever jump line in their...

Innisbrook Golf Resort hosts Birdie Walk

If you're in the Tampa Bay area this weekend and looking for an outdoor family activity that everyone will enjoy, then plan to attend the 3rd Annual Legends Tour Championship at the beautiful Island Course at Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort.  The Legends Tour Open Championship will be held on Saturday and Sunday.  

Publix and Kraft Foods are co-sponsoring two new features this year.  First, the Healthy Living Expo will feature a select number of wellness and lifestyle vendors offering advice and samples from 8am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Set alongside the Island Course, fans can also take a "Birdie Walk" and visit various checkpoints for vendor samples.  Once they visit all of the checkpoints, fans can then redeem their passports for a free t-shirt at the Legends Tour merchandise tent.  The Birdie Walk is open from 10am-2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

To announce the partnership between the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida and the Legends Tour Open Championship, several Tampa Bay area girl scouts participated in a golf clinic with players from the LPGA at the Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor. Girls had the opportunity to learn about golfing basics, improved their game and asked questions of LPGA Legends Jan Stephenson and Dawn Coe-Jones.  The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is the official charity of the Legends Tour Open Championship and 100% of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.  Tickets can be purchased at the gate.  Children 17 and under and all military personnel with ID gain free entrance every day.

The weather is forecast to be wonderful this weekend so make plans now to get outside with your family!
For more information about the Legends Tour Open Championship, please visit http://www.thelegendstour.com/ and for more information about Innisbrook, visit http://www.innisbrookgolfresort.com/

1. Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort
The Island Course at Innisbrook has hosted the LPGA...

Spooky Sights and Sounds in Florida

As fall arrives, spooky festivals and fun can be found crawling all across the Sunshine State.  Whether you prefer to kick back and enjoy the fall colors with a festive country fair or get your heart racing at a spooky haunted house, there's something for you!  So, get ready for Halloween season...Florida style.

1. Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort
3rd Annual Innisbrook Haunted Hollow Friday,...
2. Ergle Farms
Visit Ergle Christmas Tree Farm's PUMPKIN PATCH!...
3. American Victory Ship
GHOSTS OF THE GREY LADY HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED...

Homewood Suites near Halloween thrills across the country

If you venture to Baltimore, Alexandria, Charlotte, Charleston or Sioux Falls this Halloween season, Homewood Suites in these communities are just a scream away from local ghost tour operators.  A visit to the Homewood Suites by Hilton would be a special Halloween treat for families looking for ghost tour thrills.  

In addition to their spacious suites and fully-equipped kitchens, Homewood Suites offers a free daily hot breakfast, evening dinner and drinks from Monday-Thursday as well as free Internet access.

1. Homewood Suites Sioux Falls
Cowboy Ghost Town will tell Old West tall tales with...
2. Homewood Suites by Hilton Charleston Airport/Conv Center
Bulldog Tours will lead a Ghost Walk through historic...
3. Homewood Suites by Hilton Charlotte Airport
Charlotte Ghost Tours make the Old South come alive!

13 Fall Festivals & Halloween events on Florida's west coast

Each year, these 13 West and Central Florida organizations present an amazing array of Halloween themed activities.  Here is our special and not so spooky list of our family favorites.

1. Hunsader Farms Annual Pumpkin Festival
Old fashioned family fun for all ages. Be sure to...
2. Dakin Dairy Farms Tour
Each fall, the farm creates a wonderful corn/hay...
3. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Zoo Boo, held on most evennings in October, is a...

Kid-Friendly Adventures in Sarasota

Located about an hour south of Tampa, Sarasota offers world-famous white sand beaches, shopping, arts and cultural events and oceanic adventures for families of all ages and interests.  This partial list of family-friendly fun is a great way to begin your Sarasota vacation.

1. John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
The main museum is free on Mondays. This impressive...
2. Ringling Museum of the Circus
Loaded with circus memorabilia, no visit to Sarasota...
3. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Sharks, rays, manatee, turtles, dolphin and so much...

Splishy Splashy Pads in the Tampa Bay area

With temperatures in the 70's throughout most of the year, Florida abounds with outdoor public splash pads.  The fountains are great for a few hours of family friendly fun.  Remember to wear your sunscreen!

1. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
There are two splash pads at the Lowry Park. One is...
2. RE Olds Park
This is one fantastic splash pad! There are loads of...
3. Florida Aquarium
The splash pad area is well padded for tiny toes!...

Stroller friendly walks in Sarasota/Bradenton, FL

Sarasota and Bradenton offer visitors amazing art collections in addition to picturesque natural wonders.  Listed below are a few of the best places to strap your kiddos in their strollers for a walk through some of Sarasota/Bradenton's most beautiful and stroller friendly places.

1. Sarasota Bay Walk
There are numerous large scale outdoor sculptures on...
2. St. Armands Circle
If your ideal stroll is past beautiful shops and...
3. John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
The Ringling Museum, free on Mondays, is an indoor...

Stroller friendly walks in Palm Beach, Florida

The weather in Palm Beach is ideal for an outdoor stroll!  Listed below are a few of the best places to strap your kiddos in their strollers for a walk through some of Palm Beach County's most beautiful places.

1. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
The paved circular path leads you past a variety of...
2. Lion Country Safari
After driving through the safari, you'll have a blast...
3. Mizner Park
If you prefer to shop as you stroll, this is the...

Stroller friendly walks in Tampa Bay, Florida

The Florida weather is ideal for an outdoor stroll!  Listed below are a few of the best places to strap your kiddos in their strollers for a walk on Tampa Bay's not so wild side.

1. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
This is one of the most popular places for new moms...
2. Hillsborough River State Park
Be sure to start at the vistor's center to preview...
3. Weedon Island Preserve
Be sure to start at the vistor's center to preview...

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day - September 24, 2011

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, museums across the USA will open their doors for free to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket.  Please visit www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday to sign up and print your tickets before visiting a museum.  Please note:  there is a two ticket per household limit.

This list represents just a few of the many museums in Florida that are currently participating in this program.   I hope that you enjoy your museum experience and write about it here on Trekaroo!

1. Bok Tower Gardens
2. Explorations V Childrens Museum
3. Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Tampa Bay's Awesome Playgrounds

With ideal weather nearly every day, getting outside to enjoy the many playgrounds and playspaces is a real treat across the Tampa Bay area.  This list includes a few of our family favorites.  Please remember to wear your sunscreen!  After all, this is the Sunshine State!

1. RE Olds Park
The best part about this park is the "Sprayground"...
2. Boyd Hill Nature Park
A small but scenic park with plenty of room to...
3. Coachman Park
Best known for outdoor concerts and festivals, this...

Florida's fireworks and 4th of July family fun

There are wonderful outdoor 4th of July family friendly festivities across Florida.  This list includes a wide variety of family favorites.  Please be sure to check the websites as schedules and weather delays are possible.  

1. Brevard Symphony Orchestra
This wonderful professional orchestra presents an...
2. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Members of the military with valid military ID and up...
3. Tampa Bay History Center
July 4, 10am- 8:30pm. Everyone can enjoy free...

Father's Day Fun in Florida

Looking for something interesting to do with your Daddy?  Then check out this list of fun and unusual ideas for spending time with dear old Dad!

Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World and to help you get out on the water to enjoy saltwater fishing with your family, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is waiving the salt-water license fees over Father's day weekend!  For more information, please visit http://www.myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/

1. Lion Country Safari
Take Dad on a wild four mile safari ride on Father's...
2. American Victory Ship
Tampa Ghost Watchers will host a special paranormal...
3. Florida Aquarium

Blue Star Museums in Florida - Honoring Military Families

The Blue Star Museums program will offer free museum admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day (May 30, 2011) through Labor Day (September 5, 2011).  More than 1,000 museums across America are participating.  This list includes some of the museums across Florida that are a part of the Blue Star program.

Visit the National Endowment for the Arts website at http://www.arts.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index2011.php?st=FL#list for a complete listing of Blue Star Museums participating this summer in each state.

1. Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
2. Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
3. Explorations V Childrens Museum

2011 - Kid Friendly Museum Exhibits in Florida

In addition to amazing permanent collections, these Florida museums are displaying temporary exhibits that are sure to please everyone in the family.   Some of these kid friendly museums will also be offering storytimes, crafting and hands on programs throughout the run of the exhibit.  Be sure to visit their websites to find out if special events are scheduled during your visit.  

1. Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)
My Bug World! Get a bug's eye view of the world as...
2. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
DinoQuest will feature life-like animatronic...
3. South Florida Museum
The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition "The...

Family friendly day trips around Tampa Bay, Florida

There are so many amazing natural wonders in and around the Tampa Bay area.  If your family wants to explore the great outdoors, Florida style, then venture to some of these family friendly favorites.

1) Fort DeSoto Park - Bring your bathing suits, sunscreen and sense of adventure. These beautiful beaches are always in the top ten in the world.  The calm surf, trees, playgrounds, fort ruins, pier, public restrooms and good parking make this beach area fun for any size family.

1. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Best visited during the winter, you can come eye to...
2. Crystal River Archaeological State Park
Glass bottom boat rides, clear spring water and...
3. Hillsborough River State Park
The educational visitor's center and miles of paved...

2011 - Easter Egg Hunts in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas

Hop along Florida's bunny trail to find Easter Egg Hunts and activities at a variety of venues across the Tampa Bay area.   Most of these events are geared for children of all ages.  However, the Egg hunts are typically for children under 10 years young.  

Please remember to bring your own Easter basket, wear your bonnet and remember your flashlight for one unique nighttime egg hunt...now get hopping!

These events can be found within an hour's drive in and around the Tampa Bay area.

1. Florida Aquarium
Saturday and Sunday April 16-17 and April 23-24 from...
2. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Friday, April 22 at 11am. For something completely...
3. Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)
Saturday, April 23 from 9am-6pm There will be an egg...

Must see kid friendly sites in the Tampa Bay area.

If you are a kid or a kid at heart, there is so much to explore in Tampa Bay's Gulf front community.  Pirates, pelicans and fun for everyone!

1. Busch Gardens Tampa
My four year old led the way as we explored the...
2. Lowry Park Zoological Garden
Feeding giraffe, riding a camel, spotting cheetah and...
3. Weeki Wachee Springs Waterpark
This is an old Florida classic theme park! I had...

Favorite kid-friendly restaurants in ____

Yes, they actually do like kids.

1. Boca Raton Resort and Club - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Serendipity 3 caters to kids of all ages. Their...

Our favorite places to stay

Free breakfasts?  I'm there.

1. Boca Beach Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Amazing ocean views, recently renovated and...

What we did on our last vacation to ____

Swam, shopped, helped people, skied, ate, skydived.

1. Boca Beach Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Pool hopped, ate amazing local Florida fish prepared...