Boston Freedom Trail

Boston

When my husband had a business trip to Boston a few years back I decided to go with him.  I went to see Fenway, but my favorite part of Boston was the Boston Freedom Trail. If you are a baseball fan Fenway is a must do too.

 

The Boston Freedom Trail is free but  you can enhance the experience by participating in one of the Freedom Trail Foundations guided tours. They are 90 minutes walking tours led by a character from the era adult tickets are $12 and children are $6.50. This is a great way to learn a little history, but if your family does not want to join in on the tour you can walk the two mile, clearly marked trail alone and stop at the 16 historical sites along the way.

 Boston Freedom Trail

Here are some of my favorite spots. The site of the Boston Massacre was a cool place to stand and remember history. I also enjoyed the various cemeteries and churches along the trail.  My favorite church was Old North Church. Old North Church was the church used to tell Paul Revere if the British were coming. Another great spot is Bunker Hill Monument. The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 177. It was the first major battle of the Revolutionary War and predicted the character and outcome of the rest of the war. You can climb to the top of the tower (if you are up for a challenge) and check out the historic museum. The end of the Freedom Trail takes you to Boston’s National Historic Park. There you will find the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), which offers free tours by Navy members.  It gives you a chance to see the inside of this ship and what life was like aboard 200 years ago.

 

http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/freedom-trail/official-sites.shtml

Griffith Park in Santa Monica

Did you know one of the largest parks in the United States is located in Los Angeles? Griffith Park is located in the Santa Monica mountains and home to more than 56 miles of hiking trails, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Observatory, great views of LA and the Hollywood sign, and more.

 

 

Griffith Park

Griffith Park

On our last visit to Griffith Park we decided to check out the Griffith Observatory. There is a great museum located inside the observatory focused on science and discovery with interactive exhibits. And if you are interested in learning about this history of the Observatory there is a free 24-minute informative video in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater. Another great thing they have to offer is the Planetarium, with shows (fee) offered daily every 60 to 90 minutes. Unfortunately, for us, only the first show allows children under five to attend. To get a great view of the city (day or night) visitors are able to climb to the top of the Observatory. There you can check out the telescopes, which are open to the public each evening the skies are clear. The views of both Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign are stunning.
And if you are interested in hiking, there are a few trails that stem from the Observatory’s parking lot. The Charlie Turner Trailhead takes you to the top of Mt. Hollywood and can offer even better views of the city. There is not a lot of shade on these trails so make sure you plan ahead and bring plenty of water and sunscreen. We had a lot of fun at the Observatory and are looking forward to our next visit to see even more of what Griffith Park has to offer.

Celebrate Halloween at Disneyland

Disneyland is full of magic and adventure everyday, but did you know the park is transformed for Halloween? Here are some of the changes the Disneyland Park in California makes each year.

 Disneyland

1. Mickey’s Halloween Party: On select dates in September and October the park closes early for select guest for a Halloween party. A limited number of tickets are sold for each night, it is still pretty busy, but since people are waiting in line for candy, pictures with characters and rides, most of the lines are pretty short. The line for Haunted Mansion was the only line I saw with a wait time of more than 10 minutes. When you get in line for treat trails there are 3-5 booths to offer you sweets and treats. There are also two parades and a special Halloween fireworks display.

Disneyland
2. The Haunted Mansion is transformed to the Nightmare Before Christmas. Disney does a great job with keeping the old nostalgia of the Haunted Mansion while adding in the characters and music into this “new” ride. The change stays through the Christmas Season.

Halloween at Disneyland 4
3. Cinderella’s Castel is lite up with spooky colors and images. It is also center-stage for the fireworks display.
4. Space Mountain is given a spooky redo. I personally have not had a chance to ride this new version, but my friend said it is a great ride, with minor changes to make a twist on an already fun ride. The Small World ride is also given a spooky new design inside and out.

Disneyland
5. The Park is decked out with pumpkins, ghosts and other cool decorations. The main square on Main Street has a giant Mickey Pumpkin, great for pictures. There are also Mickey ghosts through out the park.
Disneyland sure knows how to make the park come alive for Halloween.

 

Check out more of Amanda’s adventures here.

Sedona – Hiking and Biking Spots

 

SedonaSedona

Sedona

 

Sedona is a place not like many others. Everywhere you looked there was a different mountain, valley or something to amaze you. I think this place would be the perfect vacation for anyone. If you are active there are hundreds of trails for hiking and mountain biking. If you are not active there are plenty of different trails that can be ridden in a jeep off-road and all over the city.

Here are a few things I recommend for you to do in Sedona. All free.

First, it is worth taking the drive to the ranger station South of Sedona to ensure you have the right pass and know what hikes you can do if you do not have the required National Park pass. There is a hike as you head back to Sedona where you can mountain bike or hike around a number of different landmarks. Stop at Courthouse Vista parking area out to see Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Another great stop is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The Chapel’s construction was completed in 1956. It is considered one of the 7 wonders of Arizona. Another great hiking and mountain biking spot is Soldier’s Pass.

My favorite hike was Broken Arrow to Chicken Point. It is a mile long hike. It was pretty moderate trail until you get about three quarters of a mile in. Then it got a little harder, but still what I would consider an easy hike. When we reached the view from Chicken Point it was breathtaking. It was probably the highlight of the trip for me. If you are not up for hiking there are jeeps that can take you to Chicken Point, but they are not free and you can’t stop and take in the view.

On your way to Sedona, don’t forget about taking a cruise on Route 66.

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Visiting Northern Kentucky? While in the area, you will want to get out and see the sites. Here is a list several popular activities that are either free or reasonably priced in the area.

The local area has an interesting history dating back to the early 1800′s. Nestled along the Ohio River, Northern Kentucky is the center of the “Tri-State” of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. A melting pot of cultures and lifestyles.

Ready to plan your visit? 

Since we all have to eat… 

The top 20 Restaurant list by Northern Kentucky Magazine would be the place to start. Northern Kentucky offers a wide variety of cuisine. If you leave the area hungry, it’s your own fault.

Places to go… Depending on whether you are traveling with children or off on a history jaunt, NKY is packed with so much history…mixed in with a little crazy fun!

World Peace Bell and Exhibit Center  ~ Newport, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Photo credit: World Peace Bell

The World Peace Bell is the world’s largest free swinging bell. It weighs 66,000 lbs., is 12 feet in diameter and 12 feet high. Its clapper alone weighs an amazing 6,878 pounds. The yoke in which it swings weighs an additional 16,512 pounds. This magnificent bell rings with a powerful, awe-inspiring, deep resonant tone that is truly a majestic symbol of freedom and peace. Bell swings and rings each day at noon.

Newport on the Levee  ~ Newport, KY

Newport on the Levee

Photo credit: Newport on the Levee

Activities include Dining, IMAX movies, Bowling, Shopping (they offer Visitor Incentive Coupons)

Newport Aquarium ~ Newport, KY

What To Do in Cincinnati - Newport Aquarium

Photo credit: Newport Aquarium

Voted the #1 Aquarium in the Country! Local hotels and Grocery stores offer discount coupons for admission. You can also arrange for group/school/scouting rates…contact them before visiting. For a super visit, schedule an overnight inside the aquarium.

Activities include Dining, Play area, Shopping, Penguin Encounter, and Ride the Ducks

Jane’s Saddlebag ~ Union, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Photo credit: Jane’s Saddlebag

Activities include: A natural amphitheater with a 1700 replica flatboat for guests to go through, a kids village with themed buildings, corn hole area and a petting zoo with tons of fury animals including new babies every year just waiting to greet you.

Jane’s Saddlebag has something for everyone in the family to enjoy; a visit to Jane’s will be a memorable one for your family for years to come.

City of Newport ~ Newport, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Photo credit: City of Newport

Founded in 1795, Newport provides an excellent mix of historic amenities and Contemporary development. The community’s riverfront area provides a striking view of the Cincinnati skyline and is host to premier attractions including the Newport Aquarium, Newport on the Levee, and the nearby World Peace Bell.

Newport is also home to the East Row Historic District and a revitalized, historic downtown filled with eclectic businesses

Benton Family Farms Walton, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Activities include: Milking the cows, Tending to the chicks, Shearing sheep and goats, Hayrides & working in the dirt, Working in the garden, Scavenger hunts & outdoor games, and Learning to fish & collecting plenty of worms.

Vent Haven Museum ~ Fort Mitchell, KY

Places to Visit in Northern KentuckyThe world’s only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism

Behringer Crawford Museum ~ Covington, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Credit: Behringer-Crawford Museum

The Behringer-Crawford Museum is a center for the collection, presentation, study and enjoyment of our natural, cultural, and visual and performing arts heritage of the Northern Kentucky Area.

Battery Hooper Park and Civil War Museum ~ Ft. Wright, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Credit: Battery Park

Accessible to most of the community, though small, the beautiful and shady, Battery Hooper Park has a variety of play things along with open spaces great for kids of all ages to run, climb and play, swings, sand box, picnic tables and benches, even a museum. Twice a year they hold civil war reenactments with a real camp set up all weekend and several kids activities. 1402 Highland Avenue, Ft. Wright, 41011

 

Big Bone Salt Lick Park ~ Union, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Credit: Big Bone State Park

Activities include: Basketball, Birding, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Horseshoes, Miniature Golf, Picnicking, Playgrounds, Swimming, and Tennis

 

Boone Woods ~ Burlington, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

 

Activities include: Basketball, Bocca Ball, Creekside Stage, Horseshoe Pits, Playgrounds, Tennis, Volleyball, and an old Fort to investigate

Cathedral  St Mary’s Bascilla    ~ Covington, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Building the Cathedral  began in 1894 and is largely unfinished even today, the Cathedral is a monument which speaks of the faith and determination of the Bishop and the community. It is an art and architectural monument to be treasured for centuries by people everywhere.

Dinsmore Homestead  ~ Burlington, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Credit: Dinsmore Homestead

 

The Dinsmore Homestead is a unique historic site where visitors can learn what rural life was like in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Nature enthusiasts enjoy the hiking trails developed in cooperation with the Kentucky Nature Conservancy and the Boone County Parks Department. It is a resource for students and scholars and an area where artists can sketch and paint. Those who enjoy antiques and historic interiors delight in touring the house that contains the original accumulated belongings of five generations of the Dinsmore family.

Erlanger Train Depot Park ~ Erlanger, KY

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

 

With a playground including a mini wood train for the kiddos to climb on and live trains with conductors who wave at them and more places to play, the Erlanger Train Depot Park is a must! This awesome park offers plenty to see and do with lots of room to run around and a covered picnic area. Crescent Avenue, Erlanger, 41018.

Creation Museum  ~ Petersburg, KY

 

Creation Museum

Photo Credit: Creation Museum

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Credit: Creation Museum

The  museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers. The serpent coils cunningly in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Majestic murals, great masterpieces brimming with pulsating colors and details, provide a backdrop for many of the settings.

They also have a petting zoo, picnic area and gardens you can visit without entrance fees. Bonus: Kids get in free in 2014!

Kentucky Speedway   ~ Sparta, KY (30 minutes)

Places to Visit in Northern Kentucky

Credit: Kentucky Speedway

Activities include: Nascar racing, tours, local acitivites such as field trips and carnivals. Camping is also available on grounds and in the area.

If you are looking for additional or different activities, check out MeetNKY or the NKY Tourism sites as they are updated each week by county. Another source specifically geared toward children is the HulaFrog site.

Simply Sherryl

 

Sherryl @ Simply Sherryl