Tag: family travel

A fun board game for summer that our kids can’t stop playing.

Last week, my son and I visited the Innovator’s Fair here in Philadelphia and discovered our newest board game obsession: Maze Racers. It combines creativity and building with mazes in a super fun way. Let’s just say, we’re all addicted. Including me. Related: The best board games for summer travel.  The game comes with two magnetic boards, a bunch of small magnetized foam pieces in various shapes and sizes, and marbles. Using the pieces, each player creates their own maze (like a Labyrinth, if you ever played with those), then passes their board to their opponent. The goal is...

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The best family board games for summer travel…because good things come in small packages.

My family loves to play board games. I’m talking, big, involved, takes-three-hours-to-play board games. And what better time to play than when we’re on summer vacation? But, it can be tricky to travel with big boxes full of a zillion pieces. Luckily, we have found a few games we love that come in boxes small enough to easily toss in a backpack or tote bag. So, if you’re looking for some offline family fun that you can take with you, wherever you’re headed this summer, check out these 5 family board games for travel. In fact, these are the ones I’m packing for our trip...

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The coolest summer activity books for kids. Because, this summer, there will be no such thing as “I’m so booooored!”

As much as we’re looking forward to summer and all of the many kids’ activities that come with it, we have to say that it’s those long days of no activities that can be most stressful. That’s why we made this list of awesome summer activity books for kids — with these on hand, your kids will have approximately zero reasons to be bored. At top: Go Photo! by Alice Proujansky CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Made-for-summer crafts that will keep your kids creatively and happily occupied. Fill-Me-In by author/illustrator Moose Allain was on our list of best activity books for summer last year, and you can...

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2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable?

Every year, I take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s report on the best safe sunscreens for kids and babies. This list measures popular brands against the EWG’s standards, including everything from worrisome ingredients to false marketing claims. Not every top-ranked tube of lotion is the same value for the dollar, though, so I’ve broken down all 19 of their best safe sunscreens for kids by price per ounce. Because I’ll bet there are other parents like me, who want safe products for their kids but don’t feel the need to spend more money than necessary. Top photo: © Kate Etue for Cool Mom Picks...

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8 surprising rules about flying with children that every parent should know

If you’ve watched the news recently, you’ve probably heard a disconcerting story or two about air travel passengers — which can be all the more troubling when the story involves parents flying with young children who were subject to rules that no one knew, or worse, subject to rules made up on the spot. As a new mom, I poked around to get myself informed (and avoid becoming the subject of a viral YouTube clip, eek!), and found some really surprising rules about flying with children. I certainly didn’t know all of these, so I’m posting them here because you might not...

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5 really important automotive safety checks you should do yourself before getting on the road

Yes there are like so many holidays and official months, it can be hard to keep track. But one that makes a lot of sense to set a calendar alert for is National Car Care Month, which happens to be right now. You know how we all remember to change the batteries in our smoke alarms at the same time we change the clocks twice a year? Well, April is the perfect month each year to make sure your car is in safe running order before the summer travel season begins. That’s why we’re really glad to have a chance to talk...

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An irresistible collection of teeny, tiny, extraordinarily big family adventures

The brand new children’s book, Atlas of Miniature Adventures is the most charming, wonderful, travel-meets-trivia book. Author Emily Hawkins and illustrator Lucy Letherland sure know how get even the most cynical, “can’t we just stay on the couch and play video games?” couch potato excited to explore the world. (If only via Google.) The colorful, engaging pages take us across all 7 continents, with descriptions of fabulous adventures and natural treasures — but the catch is, they’re all in miniature. Irresistible! You’ll find short descriptions of diverse destinations, both natural and manmade, including the exquisite 1930 fairy castle dollhouse in Chicago’s Museum of...

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How to get free admission during National Park Week

If this gorgeous spring weather has you itching to get outside with your family, we’ve got the perfect excuse to head out to one of our national parks this weekend: it’s free! This year, the National Park Service turns 100 years old, and to celebrate, during National Park Week (April 16-24), admission at all national parks will be free. As in, totally free. For everyone. Whoo!   Related: 22 National Parks and Sites you can visit without hiking boots. Maybe even without a plane ticket. Of course, we’ve been motivated do whatever we can to support to the awesome National Parks program lately, as...

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5 fun travel toys for preschoolers who need to stay busy on long flights

I dreaded air travel when my girls were little. Between the two of them, I had a seat kicker, a non-napper, and an impatient whiner. Yeah, I was that parent. So I learned what works, and what doesn’t, to keep my little ones happy and occupied on long flights. Besides packing lots of snacks and lollipops, which helped with hunger pains and air pressure changes, I always brought along toys that were easy to use, not messy or awkward in small spaces, and ones with few parts to avoid missing pieces and ensuing tantrums.   Related: The handiest travel bag for parents? Found it. And...

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A Cabo resort for active families: Kiss a camel, swim with angels, or just relax.

Maybe back in your college days, you knew Cabo as the spring break destination or now you think of it as the place fancy people run off to, when they’re hosting fantasy destination weddings. Let me assure you, there’s more to it, especially if you’re thinking of family travel. Cabo is an amazingly beautiful place with so much to do that your family will run out of energy before you run out of options. With my own kids now official tweens at 8 and 10, our vacations have become a chance to get out and experience adventures — in other words, no more holding a baby...

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Grocery shopping with a baby? You’ve got to see this cool shopping cart hammock.

The logistics of shopping with a baby in tow can be challenging, to say the least. But this clever creation from Binxy Baby changes everything. I can hear parents everywhere rejoicing. Related: From the OMG files: The portable changing table that hangs from the bathroom stall door. Roll it up, and you can easily toss this shopping cart hammock in a diaper bag or tote. We haven’t tested this ourselves, but from the instructions online, it looks super easy to install onto a shopping cart and to secure your child into the hammock. What I think is so smart is that by using the safety strap,...

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3 cool ways to display travel photos that inspire you to take another trip soon

My husband and I recently spent two life-changing weeks in Seoul, South Korea, which means I have a zillion gorgeous photographs to show off to family and friends. On that 16-hour flight home, I spent some time scanning Pinterest and geeked out over these cool, creative ways to display travel photos. I can’t wait to get started on these projects. Once the jet lag passes. Related: The coolest travel journals for kids to help them remember every awesome moment As long as you have a steady hand with scissors, this travel photos map at Cut Craft Create (also shown at top) shouldn’t be too hard....

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How The National Park Service is letting families visit free!

I’m all about supporting our nation’s National Park Service in any way we can, especially because of the myriad ways they support us right back. So I’m thrilled to share the brilliant initiative to get even more kids to our National Parks and Monuments around the country: Every Kid in a Park. Created by President Obama to get more children excited about science, nature, and understanding the beauty and history of our nation, the program will grant your family totally free access (yes, free!) to all Federal lands and waters. Plus, you’ll get a massive discount on Amtrak tickets for kids if you’re training it there....

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Hilarious video from Naya Health: What if men could breastfeed? | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from Naya Health If you’ve ever struggled with pumping breast milk in a public restroom, or hid in a supply closet or stairwell as a co-worker walked in on you, you know how challenging (and uncomfortable) pumping in the workplace can be. That’s exactly why Naya Health has developed a smart breast pump that’s getting a ton of buzz for revolutionizing every aspect of pumping. And now, they’re getting a ton of buzz for their hilarious new video. Here, they answer the hypothetical question that so many breastfeeding women have laughed about to themselves: What if men were the ones who had to breastfeed? Where’s our...

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Cool holiday gift alert: 10 fabulous personalized keychains you won’t want to lose

Personalized gifts have always been one of our favorite ways to celebrate a loved one, because it turns whatever you’re giving into a special keepsake. Over the years, we’ve seen that personalized keychains are consistently one of our most popular gift ideas here on Cool Mom Picks because, honestly, they’re something pretty much anyone on your holiday list can use and appreciate. But the only thing better than finding a cool personalized keychain to give, is one that won’t ever be lost. Impossible, you say? Nope! Thanks to our sponsor Tile, a Bluetooth tracker that we’ve been recommending for ages now. It makes it super...

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9 terrific baby gift ideas to help baby (and mom) get more sleep | Baby Registry Essentials Guide

If there’s one thing we know that every new mom needs, it’s sleep. Lots of it. Lots and lots of it. So what better baby shower gift to consider than one aimed at getting her just what she needs? We are so excited to put together tons of recommendations in this next installment of our Baby Registry Essentials Guide series on behalf of our partner, Gugu Guru. It’s a free online baby registry that actually gives you custom product recommendations based on your taste and lifestyle, though when it comes to sleep, that’s something every single parent wants and needs. You’ll find all 9 of these smart gift...

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10 of the best Halloween events for kids around the country: From treats for littles to tricks for teens.

The leaves are crunchy, the air is crisp, the sky is blue, and your kids need to have fun in those adorable costumes too. So we’ve put together a list of we think are some of the best local Halloween events for kids all around the country. So mark your calendars for fun family time this Halloween season! And wow, do we wish some of these would come to our own own towns. Top: LEGOland via attractions magazine | Rogerio Barbosa 2011   Photo: philly.com The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place If you’ll be in the Pennsylvania area between now and October...

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How to plan an awesome long weekend with the kids in Asheville, NC

My favorite fall break destination with the kids is unquestionably Asheville, North Carolina. Even though it isn’t a kid-centric destination per se (no Mickey Mouse for miles), there’s still so many fun, family-friendly activities we can enjoy in the city and surrounding area. Plus, getting a chance to see the leaves change in the Appalachian Mountain region? Stunning. Asheville is kind of like a smaller, quainter little sister to Portland, Oregon. You’ll see hikers coming off the Appalachian Trail, art galleries on every corner, and even a few drum circles. I just love its slower pace and refreshing outlook, plus the cool, crisp mountain air is such a welcome...

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Web coolness: Lessons from Gene Wilder, a park bench for nursing moms, unicorn rainbow hair + more

Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too!   Thank you to Laura Begley Bloom of Forbes for this fantastic feature about the start and growth of Cool Mom Picks. We’re honored! So sad to hear about the passing of one of the comedic greats, and love Gretchen Rubin’s lesson in happiness learned from Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner. ( above image via Getty for ABC News) The ultimate Labor Day grilling + recipe roundup. Bye summer! Sniff.  Cannot stop watching this Kenzo perfume video by Spike Jonze. Cannot. Stop. Another must watch: Kristen’s...

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3 extremely cool world map decals to get kids excited about geography

If your family is anything like ours, you’re only now getting caught up on lost sleep from the Olympics. But in its wake, the games leave us all with a healthy dose of wanderlust and interest in oh, say…Tonga. For no apparent reason. So, we’ve decided to round up some of the coolest world map decals to help inspire your own burgeoning jet-setters who may have gotten excited about learning more about the countries of the world this summer. The graphics are so nice to look at, and some even include a ton of information to qualify them as educational. Decals for the win! Related: Peel-and-stick wallpaper:...

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