Tag: travel

A BTDT mom’s guide to surviving sleepaway camp (you, not the kids!) | Spawned episode 79

Today on Spawned, guest host Stacie Billis joins Liz for a great chat that should put all you first-time sleepaway camp parents — or future sleepaway camp parents — at ease. Well, mostly. Tune in for tips like when to know your kid is ready for camp, how to decide if camp is right for you, a few sleepaway camp packing tips to help make things easier, what to do if your child has food allergies, care package ideas the whole bunk will love — and even tips for getting kids to write those letters they should be writing...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

The wackiest, coolest summer camps for kids. Can we go too?

Summer camps have changed a lot since we were kids. No offense to good ol’ Camp Starfire and the many, many lanyards we made there, but the options for our kids are wildly creative, expertly thought-out, and — sometimes — curiously specific. Circus camp? Spy camp? Zombie survival camp? Check, check, and OMG check. With a list like this, your kids are sure to be happy campers — so much so, maybe they’ll forget to pretend to be homesick. But, before you pack your kids up and ship them off to, say, stunt double training (yes, really), be sure to vet each of these camps yourself....

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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....

Read More

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....

Read More

4 amazing beauty wipes you didn’t know could do the job of messier products

There’s no denying to new parents that a bottomless stash of diaper wipes is essential in every way. But what’s awesome is how many beauty wipes are available for adults too, taking the place of messier products you might own to make our busy lives on-the-go a whole lot easier. I’m a wipes fan, but I’m awfully picky when it comes to ingredients. To earn a place in my own purse — and on my body — a wipe has to be non-toxic, gentle, and do a heck of a job, whatever its job. Whether you’re in the car, on an airplane, or sweating through your...

Read More

16 seriously amazing beauty stocking stuffers, beyond nail polish and hand cream.

If you’ve got a stylish woman in your life, I’ve got some really fantastic ideas for you for beauty stocking stuffers. My checklist: They have to be practical, useful, affordable (well, relatively) and yet still totally fun to receive. Maybe things she would love but would never get for herself? In other words, sorry store-brand dental floss. You may be practical, but you’re not making the list. So here are 16 of my own favorite beauty stocking stuffers that include practical tools and special little beauty indulgences, most of which are fixtures in my own handbag and medicine cabinet. They’re guaranteed to...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

The Favela Art Project: bettering the lives of kids in Rio through art

During this summer’s Olympic coverage, we all enjoyed seeing beautiful images of fun, lively Rio, and its gorgeous beaches, but there was one major aspect of the city that wasn’t broadcast — the favelas, or slums, which populate Rio and rarely sees electricity, proper sanitation, or a reliable police force. But one woman has been working to transform the favelas for a very long time. Artist, TED talk speaker, and former favela inhabitant Mariluce María has launched the Favela Art Project to provide art education to children living in poverty and make tangible changes in their day to day lives. The group has been painting over violent symbols and graffiti,...

Read More

6 driving distractions people without kids will never understand

Whether you’re hitting the road for Labor Day weekend, or you’re back in the saddle as your kids’ own personal Uber driver, we parents know that driving with kids in the car comes with its own special challenges. Let’s just say it can be… tough.* So I had so much fun putting together this video depicting 6 driving distractions that people without kids will never understand on behalf of our sponsor  ZEISS Better Vision. They make the DriveSafe eyeglass lenses that actually help you see more clearly — especially when you’re driving — so you can be sure to focus on all the other distractions. Like those...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest