Tag: family travel

At last, we’ve found a convertible infant car seat and stroller in one. A good one. A really good one.

My weekday stress point is double parking the car outside the elementary school to run, car seat in hand no less, while I pick up my oldest. It’s close enough that it’s not worth getting out the stroller but as each day passes, that car seat gets heavier and more awkward to tote up to the school doors. Just one of those mildly annoying parenting growing pains, that we’ve all lived with, but we don’t have to. Meet the Doona system, a car seat that transforms in to a smooth riding compact stroller with one click. Yes, that really is a car seat and stroller in one....

Read More

Our favorite Tea Collection spring/summer clothing for kids: Exploring the colors and patterns of India without a passport

From Eat, Pray, Love to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, we’ve been enamored with the colors and textures of India for a while now. And now Tea Collection (we just can’t quit you, Tea!)  has us obsessing once again with their spring/summer collection of brightly-colored, durable, intricately-patterned boys and girls clothing inspired by Jaipur, India. So we are so so happy to welcome them as  sponsor, especially since we can safely say that everyone on the Cool Mom Picks team has had our kids in head-to-toe Tea from their very early days.   – Don’t miss an outrageously amazing family travel giveaway...

Read More

13 really smart tips for ensuring a great Disney World vacation with a baby.

Thanks to a Disney-fanatic grandmother, we’ve just returned from our fourth trip to Disney World since my kids were born. And yes, I know we are lucky! However while it is indeed a magical place, there are definitely some challenges if you’re thinking about taking a Disney World vacation with a baby. There isn’t much time to relax and recharge your batteries in the parks, and there are a lot of long days and complaints about tired feet. But with the right planning, I’ve found it can still be a whole lot of fun. I’ve now taken two Disney World trips with babies and...

Read More

An activity book to inspire creativity. (It’s also teaching our kids geography, but shhh.)

So, a couple years ago I predicted that my kids would still be flipping through the book Maps by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński—and I was right. The pages are well-loved, and it’s still displayed prominently on our coffee table. So recently we’ve added  the MAPS Activity Book to our collection, and my kids are equally entertained by this coloring and activity book that lets them get creative about geography and world cultures. This oversized coloring book has tear-out pages about the size of a place mat. And that’s one way I use it–keeping the kids busy while I cook dinner. Or unpack the...

Read More

11 of our very favorite travel toys and books for kids to help make those miles pass quickly

If Spring Break or Easter has you heading out by plane, train, or automobile, you may be wondering how to keep your kids happily occupied beyond the iPad, as you travel from Point A to Point B. And since we all know how hard it is to hear “are we there yet?” for the 200th time, I’ve pulled together 11 of the most portable, fun, and quiet travel toys for kids that we can all vouch help make the miles whiz by. CMP is an rstyle affiliate   Related: Road trip help for families: Tons of sanity savers, tips and our favorite essential products    Magnetic Toys I...

Read More

5 of our favorite tech picks of the week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed!   1. Because Pluto will always be a planet to us. 2. Here are 8 smart ways to make your phone less distracting without having to completely turn it off. 3. We love finding fun, affordable geeky jewelry. As in, under $15 affordable. 4. Don’t miss these 6 awesome travel apps that will save you money on your next trip. 5. Liz shares 9 excellent tips for working parents that will help make the transition back after having your baby...

Read More

The new lightweight Baby Jogger travel system gives you a lot of bang for those already stretched bucks

Ah, the umbrella stroller, one of the most important pieces of parenting gear you will own. Yes, even more than a wipes warmer. (Kidding. Don’t get a wipes warmer.) In round one of parenting, our umbrella stroller took a real beating as we threw our baby in there for practically every outing. So imagine my glee in our discovery that, just in time for my second child, the trusted Baby Jogger brand is out with a new umbrella stroller that pairs with a car seat to make a very affordable, attractive, lightweight Baby Jogger Travel system that isn’t quite so taxing on my already tired arms....

Read More

The Lugabug child travel chair: A brilliant alternative to the ride-on suitcase for children.

Traveling with kids to fun places is almost always worth the schlep it takes to get there. But trying to rush through a crowded airport with a child or two in tow can put a damper on our enthusiasm quicker than you can say They moved our gate where? For a while, there have been a few cool ride-on suitcase options for kids, like the trunki, but now there’s what may be the smartest one of all. Frequent flyer families need to check out Lugabug, which makes carting your kids through an airport as easy as rolling your luggage. Mainly...

Read More

The Happy Mat that saved mealtimes

My toddler seeks out new ways daily to make mealtimes all stress and all mess. Food on the floor, “non-slip” mat thrown in the air, liquids everywhere–you name it, he’s done it. It’s more than the OCD in me can handle some days–okay, most days–and it raises the question: do happy mealtimes really exist? Well, I have good news, my fellow neat freaks. It’s called the Happy Mat, made by a company called ezpz. (Get it? Easy-Peasy?) Created by Lindsey Laurain, a mom of three young boys who I know understands messy mealtimes, the sturdy, high quality silicone mat truly suctions to...

Read More

For MLK Day, a whole new twist on a day of service just for kids.

We love finding service opportunities for kids and families as a way to get kids excited about public service and volunteering early. So I was so delighted to learn that the wonderful NYC is My Backyard camp, which my own girls attended a couple summers back, is hosting a Martin Luther King Day community service camp on Monday, January 19, as a way of honoring Dr. King’s legacy. With schools out of session to commemorate the holiday in New York (I am actually disappointed to learn that this still isn’t recognized nationwide; so, go NYC!), it gives kids an opportunity to participate in community service projects, compile supplies for...

Read More

12 of the coolest baby gifts, gadgets, and gear of the year: Editors’ Best of 2014

Shopping for baby gifts might just be among our favorite kind of shopping to do, and we’ve featured no shortage of amazing baby gift ideas on our site this year. (If we do say so ourselves). After much consideration, deliberation, and debate, we’ve narrowed it down to the very coolest, all of which we would have loved to receive ourselves when our little ones were born. Here, our picks for 12 of the best new baby gifts of 2014. That will be just as cool to give to some lucky parents in 2015.   This is post is part of of our annual series of Editors...

Read More

5 of our favorite cool tech picks you don’t want to miss this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular cool tech picks from Cool Mom Tech this past week. Enjoy!   1. Such an awesome gift for the budding little coder in your life. 2. Turn your favorite photos into postage stamps. How cool! 3. 14 of the coolest gifts for photographers, though we’d love every single one and we’re not even photographers. 4. A very cool gift for the fitness lover in your life (or anyone who prefers headbands over hats). 5. A fun app for kids to pop onto your smart phone or tablet...

Read More

Family road trip tips: Tons of sanity-savers, tricks, and essential products to keep the back seat under control and save your vacation.

A lot of us are heading out for family vacations this month, and while a lot of parents consider a long car road trip with the kids the seventh circle of hell, I like to think of it as…a character building experience. But as tired as I get of hearing, “How much longer?” I’m sure it’s less fun for my kids, who are squished together in the back seat on a seemingly endless journey. When we took a 16-hour road trip (each way) with a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old, I had plenty of time to discover what works and what doesn’t. And after talking...

Read More

2 cool new coloring books to inspire creativity in older kids

I never think we can have enough coloring books around the house–or stashed in the travel bags for road trips and plane rides. As much as I love handing my kids plain sheets of paper for open-ended creativity, there’s something about coloring in the lines and having a jumping-off point for coloring that’s still really engaging for them. So I love that there are two new coloring books out for older kids too, that make really thoughtful, affordable gifts under $10. Especially because both were written by independent artists we know and love.   Coloring Animal Mandalas, by Wendy Piersall is a pretty awesome take on...

Read More

Macaroni and Cruise: A totally different kind of family cruise featuring some of our favorite bands

If you’re looking for a family gift this holiday that blows a lot of ideas out of the water, I’ve got one to float by you: a cruise. We did it a couple of years ago, and the kids were thrilled when they realized that the box full of sunscreen, snorkels, and travel brochures meant that they’d be hitting the high seas later in the year. Kristen and Liz have checked out the Disney Cruises with their families. But now there’s one more and it’s not like Disney at all. This year’s gift vacation hit for me is the new Macaroni and Cruise family vacation, a four-night...

Read More

Kid-friendly Chicago activities: The best museum exhibits for kids

This year my husband and I loaded everyone up (even the grandparents) for a long weekend over fall break, and flew to Chicago, one of my very favorite cities, in search of some awesome kid-friendly activities. Our focus: checking out all the must-see exhibits for kids at Chicago museums. Lest you think that New York and DC are the only big museum cities in the US, know that Chicago has a ton of awesome options. In fact, it was a lot to tackle, especially with three children in tow, but I’ve survived to tell you it can be done–as long as you embrace the idea...

Read More

Organic Slammers are a slam dunk. Yeah, I went there. (Sorry.)

Let me start by saying that I have to make four school lunches every night of the week, so if there’s anything to make the whole lunch packing process easier–and of course, healthier–I am willing to try it. That is how I ended up with a new BFF (best food friend) Organic Slammers. We’re already big squeezy fans in my house, as we call them, and GoGo SqueeZ applesauce and squeezable yogurt tubes are regular fixtures in my kids’ lunchboxes. So it wasn’t a huge stretch for us to try Organic Slammers. They combine a lot of our favorites only with more nutrients, because they include fruit and...

Read More

Kid and Coe helps you find family vacation rentals right out of a magazine

A week after our summer vacation rental, I still couldn’t get the musty smell of the house out of my clothes. I also couldn’t forget the splintery deck, scary spiral stairs, and tangle of electrical wires that stressed me out as much as it enticed my three- and six-year-old boys. While we’ve covered sites like Airbnb and Home Away as great options for finding family vacation rentals, now there’s one more – Kid & Coe. This new site is made just for family vacation rentals, and they all look like they came out of a shelter magazine.   While the site isn’t as feature-rich as the...

Read More

ToGoKins: Little cloth napkins with a big impact

My kids’ backpacks are filled to bursting every morning as they leave for school, with books, lunch, snacks, and whatever else they can find to cram in there, it seems. Adding something else to that haul might seem ludicrous, but I love the environmental aspect of sending them off with cloth napkins like ToGoKins. Those of you who are crafty might be able to make them yourself,  but for me, it would be June before I pull out my sewing machine and actually do it. So this little Etsy shop is a great resource. Their adorable little cloth napkins are just that. Little. (And...

Read More

Best affordable jogging stroller? Reader Q + A

Hi Cool Mom Picks. Any recommendations on the best affordable jogging stroller that’s ideally lightweight, compact and versatile? -Pamela J.   Hi Pamela, Though I will admit right off the bat that I am not a jogger, I have reviewed my share of jogging strollers and I have a few recommendations for the best ones that ought to give you a good start when looking. There’s one catch, though: Affordable and jogging stroller usually aren’t two phrases seen together. The best jogging strollers are definitely the priciest options, but they’re also the ones that last, which means you should have no trouble finding gently...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest