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Honor our Veterans in Washington DC

October 30, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Veteran’s Day in Washington D.C. can be one of the most meaningful and memorable experiences for families traveling during that time. The day, reminds us all to pay our respects to fallen soldiers and to those who have served our country. The nation’s capital offers a number of memorials, museums and events that make Veteran’s day all the more impactful for the whole family. If you’re headed to Washington D.C. for this special day, here are a few ways to honor our veterans while in town.

The National Museum of American History

For those staying in Washington D.C. over Veteran’s Day, you can spend some time at the National Museum of American History. A fine place to begin Veteran’s Day with the family, the museum summarizes the history of America’s military from the French and Indian Wars to present-day conflicts. In addition to chronicling the world events involving our soldiers, the museum details the ways in which wars have come to define American history. Exhibitions include remarkable artifacts such as George Washington’s sword and the chairs that Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant used during the surrender ceremony at the Appomattox Court House.

The Concert for Valor on the National Mall

If you truly want to celebrate Veteran’s Day in Washington D.C., think about attending the Concert for Valor on the National Mall. The free concert honors American military service men and women with pop concerts. With the goal of raising awareness for veteran service organizations, the concert brings in big names in music, with past hosting acts including Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, The Black Keys and Carrie Underwood. 

American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

Are you looking for other Veteran’s Day activities? You may want to head to the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. The memorial is the newest in D.C. and lends visitors the chance to honor some of America’s bravest. The memorial features a star-shaped fountain with a constant ceremonial flame. You can find the latest memorial near the Botanic Garden.

Arlington National Cemetery

Many Veteran’s Day events occur at Arlington National Cemetery. Even if you aren’t in D.C. on the actual day, a visit to the national military cemetery can be a meaningful experience. Recently celebrating its 150th year, Arlington National Cemetery provides a look at the true costs of war. Visitors can roam the historic park and see notable sites such as the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, the John F. Kennedy Gravesite and the Memorial Arboretum.

This year, you can honor our veterans in Washington D.C. by visiting memorials, museums or merely taking some time to ponder those stars and stripes. If you can be in our nation’s capital for the special day, or if you’re traveling during this time to D.C., these memorials, museums and cemeteries can provide the whole family with a well rounded, moving tribute and picture of national sacrifice.

Watch the Final Pitch in These Cities

October 25, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Baseball fans rejoice! The most exciting time of the year is here… the World Series is the few weeks that every true fan lives for each year. And if you're an honest baseball aficionado (or even just friends with one!) you've probably already started planning where to watch this year's big World Series games. But this year, why not go for more than just a game on TV? Have you thought of planning a trip to tour some of the best baseball cities in the country? We've tried to make the job a little easier by narrowing down the list with these three must-see stadiums. If you’re the kind of fan who would plan a vacation solely in honor of America’s favorite pastime, book that hotel room now and hit the road!

Yankee Stadium in New York
In this case, we've saved the best for first! New York's Yankee Stadium is one of the most beautiful baseball stadiums in the country. Whether you're an avid baseball fan or just on a family vacation in New York, a visit or a guided tour at the famed Yankee Stadium has something for everyone. And after you get your fill of the stadium, a favorite hot spot is The Yankee Tavern — a classic joint in the Bronx that, while decorated with the baseball team's paraphernalia, is celebrated for making a mean cocktail. And for those who aren't the biggest fans of baseball? Don't worry, the city offers plenty of other options once your favorite fan gets their fill of dugouts and bases.

Angels Stadium in California
If you’re hanging out on the Golden Coast, be sure to check out the Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California. Nicknamed "The Big A," the set of the hit film "Angels in the Outfield" has a seating capacity of nearly 46,000. It's also known for the many historic moments in baseball that took place there: you and your family will be able to stand in the same place where Nolan Jackson struck out nine Red Sox players in a row and where Reggie Jackson hit his 500th home run.

Fenway Park in Boston
Last but in no means least is the iconic Fenway Park stadium in Boston, Massachusetts. One of the best baseball stadiums to visit in America, the stadium, which is now over a hundred years old, has seen some of the greatest plays, most incredible home runs and stellar historic wins (and losses!) of all time on its sprawling field. Home to the Boston Red Sox, you can take a seat in the famous "Lone Red Seat," which was created to honor the longest home run ever hit at the stadium by Ted Williams in 1946.

Whether you're a baseball fan who has collected cards and jerseys for decades, or are just looking to brush up on your knowledge of the game, a trip to New York, Anaheim or Boston will put you up close and personal with some of the most beautiful and iconic baseball stadiums in the country. Check this one off your bucket list and plan to your trip today. 

Craft Beer in Milwaukee, WI

October 21, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

You can’t visit Milwaukee without partaking in its craft beer scene. The state, known as a hotspot for mega breweries has also fully embraced the craft beer movement. Milwaukee celebrates craft beer each October with the Wisconsin Craft Beer Festival. The event brings some of the best beer and breweries to the downtown Harley Davidson Museum from October 23rd through the 24th. From tastings to teaching events, the festival has become a hot spot destination and why many head to Milwaukee in the fall. If you’re considering making the trip to the Wisconsin Craft Beer Festival, or if you just happen to be visiting town in general, be sure to check out these Milwaukee breweries.

Sprecher Brewing Company

For those who stay in Milwaukee for a few nights, you have the chance to try several breweries. Sprecher Brewing Company should definitely be on your list with its old world brewing traditions and Milwaukee German heritage. The brewery offers tours to showcase how Sprecher is reviving brewing techniques and traditions. In addition to the tours, you can sip on Sprecher’s brews in a Munich style beer garden which has up to 20 beers and 10 sodas on tap. Sprecher Brewing Company has become known for its Black Bavarian, ranked as one of the best beers in America.

Milwaukee Brewing Company

If you want to sample true Milwaukee craft beer, you can begin your tasting education at Milwaukee Brewing Company. Located downtown, this brewery takes pride in using the best local ingredients to produce their brews. What started as the Milwaukee Ale House has turned into the Milwaukee Brewing Company, and over the course of the company’s history, they have produced over 300 unique seasonal flavors. Brewery tours are offered Fridays and Saturdays and include samples of year round staple flavors and current seasonal offerings. Their tour differs from others with the “Beer in Hand” motto — when you take this tour, you don’t have to wait for the end to order a tasty frosty brew, as samples are served throughout the entire tour.

Lakefront Brewery

As part of the long list of things to do in Milwaukee, you’ll often find a Lakefront Brewery tour as a must-do. Frequently hailed as one of the best brewery tours in the nation, Lakefront Brewery gives tour goers a beer upon arrival. The progressive, award-winning brewery was the first beer company to bottle fruit beer since prohibition. Lakefront Brewery also claims to have produced the first certified gluten free beer in the nation. Started in 1987, the microbrewery has become a Milwaukee River landmark.

October brings fall temperatures and perhaps an urge to sample craft beer. Milwaukee is the perfect spot to taste some of the best brews in the nation. If you can’t decide when to visit, the Wisconsin Craft Beer Festival might sway you to head into town toward the end of the month when many of Milwaukee’s and the country’s best breweries share their popular and sometimes rare beer creations. 

Best Bakeries in the US

October 14, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Each and every October 14th, those with a sweet tooth rejoice at the fact that it is at long last National Dessert Day. While you don’t need an official day to celebrate dessert, it’s the perfect excuse to seek out some of the best bakeries in the country and enjoy their decadent creations. Don’t tell your dentist but these bakeries will make your sweet tooth sing.

Bredenbeck’s Bakery in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill

For travelers staying in Philadelphia, you can make your way to one of the city’s oldest and most acclaimed bakeries, Bredenbeck’s Bakery. Located in the city’s historic Chestnut Hill neighborhood, Bredenbeck’s has been a Philadelphia tradition since 1889. All of the bakery’s pies, pastries, cakes and cookies are made in house, which also includes an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Be sure to get a few extra treats to take back to your hotel room - you can keep them fresh in your room’s kitchenette, ready to enjoy throughout your trip, if you can resist them that long.

Levain Bakery in New York City’s Upper West Side

Perched in New York City’s Upper West Side, Levain Bakery frequently makes its way on to lists of best bakeries in America. Founded in 1994 by two friends, Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes, Levain Bakery has become known for its rustic breads and perhaps most importantly, its famous 6-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie. Aside from this to-die-for cookie, you can also sample the many other baked in house cookies such as the dark chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and the dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie.

Tartine Bakery in Northern California’s San Francisco

If you’re heading to San Francisco, you won’t want to skip a stop at one of the country’s best bakeries, Tartine Bakery. Meaning, “Buttered bread,” the bakery was started by award winning chefs, Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, in 2002. Tartine Bakery has garnered a reputation for serving up delectable breads in a number of flavors and styles along with its wealth of pastries. Sink your teeth into éclairs, Devil’s food cake and lemon cream tarts and you’ll believe you are in heaven instead of San Francisco. In true California farm-to-table culinary style, the bakery uses organic flour and sugar and brings in fresh local eggs.

Sugar Bakeshop in Charming Charleston, South Carolina

Set in Charleston, South Carolina, Sugar Bakeshop has made a name for itself with its small batch cookies and treats. Started by two New York City architects-turned-bakers, Sugar Bakeshop was founded with the goal of opening up a small batch neighborhood bakeshop. And it does not disappoint. Sugar Bakeshop offers homemade goodies that might remind you of the special treats that were always waiting in grandma’s kitchen.

Floriole Café and Bakery in the Lincoln Park Neighborhood of Chicago

Chicago might be known for its deep-dish pizza, but those with a sweet tooth rejoice over Floriole Café and Bakery. The establishment started as a local farmers’ market tent and quickly received a more permanent location in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Visitors and locals flock to Floriole Café and Bakery for its rustic French pastries like authentic pain au chocolat and colorful macarons. In addition you can feast on the bakery’s melt-in-your-mouth croissants and the delicious peanut butter and jelly cookie.

It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. Celebrating National Dessert Day can be a daunting task with all of the bakeries across the country to choose from on October 14th. However, these famous bakeries from San Francisco to Philadelphia are sure-fire bets at satisfying your sweet tooth on this ever-important holiday. 

The Biggest and Best Breast Cancer Awareness Events Across the US

October 8, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

For survivors, loved ones lost and for women as a whole, October represents the time to acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout the month of October, you can find breast cancer awareness events across the country and worldwide. The annual campaign aims to increase awareness of the second most common type of cancer in women. In addition, these events are targeted at encouraging women to learn the early stages of detection. If you want to show your support, here are three of the biggest and best events taking place in October across the US.

Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure 

In terms of breast cancer awareness events, the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure is the world’s largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer. Across the country and the world, groups and individuals take part in the series of 5K runs and fitness walks. What started in 1983 as one race with 800 people in Dallas has now grown to a global series of races featuring over a million participants. You can attend the original Race For the Cure in Dallas on October 17th in Northpark Center. 

Making Strides of Boston

Making Strides of Boston is one of the many breast cancer awareness walks in October and part of the largest network of events in the nation, connecting nearly 300 communities. If you’re visiting Boston and have snagged an amazing hotel group rate for you and your friends, you can sign up to participate in the walk. The event celebrates survivorship and honors those who have lost their fight with breast cancer. The 2 to 5 mile walk takes place in central Boston and features live entertainment on the stage of the Hatch. Making Strides of Boston kicks off on October 4th at 8AM.

Treasure Chests 5K — Tampa, Florida

Held in Tampa, Florida, football fans will find a breast cancer awareness event right up their alley, or field rather. Organized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, the Treasure Chests 5K takes place on October 11th at the Raymond James Stadium. The event benefits breast cancer research and patient services, but this is not your average 5K. The first 500 to register for the event are invited to take part in an actual NFL game! The early birds will be invited onto the field as part of the halftime show, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both football fans and those looking to raising awareness for the disease.

Partaking in a breast cancer awareness event can be a powerful experience for survivors, supporters and for those honoring loved ones who have lost their battle. All across the nation in October, you won’t be hard pressed to find an event dedicated to breast cancer awareness. Any of these three events are reason enough for you to travel to be a part of them and stand with others looking to raise awareness.

Halloween Party for the Whole Family

October 5, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

While Halloween is overwhelmingly deemed a “holiday for kids,” it’s somewhat ironic that the parties geared toward the candy-filled dress-up day often aren’t always catered to families and the little ones. Some events across the country can be downright scary for your kids, and parents seem to find it increasingly difficult to find a family friendly Halloween event. Luckily for families with small children, Louisville, Kentucky hosts the World’s Largest Halloween Party. More merry than scary, the event takes place at the Louisville Zoo. With trick-or-treating, costumed characters and plenty of storybook scenes that come to life, this Halloween event is one the whole family can appreciate. Here’s your complete guide to attending this special Halloween party everyone in the family will enjoy.

Who’s it For?

If you aren’t sure if you should grab a hotel in Louisville just yet, rest assured that the Louisville Zoo’s Halloween Party remains one of the best events for families in town and nationwide. Mostly for kids 11 and under, the event boasts of being a not-so-scary Halloween party. Parents don’t have to worry about the little ones becoming too spooked, as all of the activities and events at the party are completely G-rated and intended for the enjoyment of children.

What’s the Trick-or-Treating Like?

Available for those 11 and under, trick-or-treating at the Louisville Zoo event features a number of themed areas. Rather than worrying about spooky neighborhood yard displays, you can be assured your kids will enjoy trick-or-treating and many storybook scenes including a Winter Wonderland area, a yellow brick road to the Land of Oz, Super Hero City and Toyland.

Are There Rides?

If you’re looking for different Halloween ideas for the family, you can take advantage of the several rides. The zoo’s Halloween Party offers a number of rides and attractions including the Warthog Express Train, a 20-minute ride, the “Mary”-Go-Round and Handimals, where artists help turn children’s handprints into any desired animal. In addition, kids can also add to their costume with awesome face painting.

What Animals Can I See?

Aside from the Halloween attractions, you can typically also view some of the zoo’s night owls, and if you’re lucky, some other animals will also stay up late for your enjoyment. Most likely, you’ll be able to see some wolves, jaguars, bongos, rhinos and giraffes. In addition, the zoo’s Herpaquarium remains open during the event so you can see some truly creepy and crawly Halloween-esque creatures, if you dare…

When, Where and What Time?

While most family friendly Halloween ideas take place just on Halloween, Louisville Zoo’s Halloween Party spans across several dates during the month of October. The event runs from:

  • October 2nd through the 4th,
  • 8th through the 11th,
  • 15th through the 18th,
  • 22 through the 25th, and
  • 29th through the 30th.

The party begins at 5PM with the last entrance at 8:30PM. The Louisville Zoo is just 15 minutes from downtown Louisville. Ticket options can be found on the Louisville Zoo website.

If you’re looking for a Halloween party for kids this year, your options can be surprisingly be limited. Luckily for families, Louisville has a kid-safe Halloween event that everyone can enjoy throughout October.

Must-Visit Pumpkin Patches in the US Final

October 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

As the summer fades and the season changes to fall, there seems to be a fair amount of orange lying around. A favorite fall activity for families around the country is visiting a local pumpkin patch. The whole family can tromp around, paying careful attention to select the perfect pumpkin, sipping warm apple cider, and, if you’re lucky, snacking on some hot, fresh, apple cider donuts. However, some pumpkin patches in the country are much more than just a few pumpkins and some hay in a parking lot. All across the country, you can find pumpkin patches with numerous  activities and acres upon acres of pumpkins to pick. Be sure to add these must-visit pumpkin patches to your fall travel list.

Media, PA — Linvilla Orchards

If you’re looking for one of the best pumpkin patches on the east coast, Linvilla Orchards  may very well be it. Each September and October, the orchards open Pumpkinland, an event that brings more than 100 tons of pumpkins on display along with a jack-o-lantern exhibit and costume parade. In addition to the pumpkin patch, Linvilla Orchards hosts live entertainment, hayrides and face painting, just to name a few activities. A family tradition for generations, Pumpkinland also features a straw bale maze composed of over 300 giant straw bales. Linvilla Orchards is located in Media, Pennsylvania and if you’ve snagged a hot hotel deal in Philadelphia, you are just 30 minutes from Linvilla Orchards.

Morton, IL — Ackerman Farms

Perched in Morton, Illinois, just southeast of Peoria, Ackerman Farms is one of America’s long-standing farms and pumpkin patches. The 160-acre farm has been in the Ackerman family for six generations and counting. The town of Morton claims to be the pumpkin capital of the world, growing the majority of pumpkins in the nation. It comes as no surprise that Ackerman Farms offers plenty of pumpkin themed events during the autumn months such as the Morton Pumpkin Festival, a pumpkin patch festival with plenty of opportunities to pick pumpkins, pumpkin-decorating contests, corn mazes and hay rides.

Dixon, CA — Cool Patch Pumpkins

Settled in Dixon, California, Cool Patch Pumpkins lives up to its name, with acres of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes. In fact, the pumpkin patch farm grows tens of thousands of pumpkins, surmounting to around 50 different varieties. However, the farm is mostly known for its mazes. One of Cool Patch Pumpkin’s mazes proudly boasts the title of being the world’s largest corn maze. After you have picked your pumpkin or tried the corn mazes, don’t miss going to the farm for the Scarecrow Contest which features hay rides and a pumpkin patch cannon.

Roaming through hay-covered fields in search of the perfect pumpkin has become an autumn tradition. Families can all enjoy getting outside in the crisp fall air and selecting their pumpkin for the season. If you want to dial up the pumpkin patch notch, these top patches across the country won’t disappoint. From the world’s largest corn mazes to live entertainment and hay rides, picking out a pumpkin has become so much more than just that.