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

Avoid jet lag and stay well during holiday travel

With the holiday travel season gearing up, families can be concerned with staying well while traveling. The news channels report a variety of concerns about specific illnesses. While some specific concerns may be heightened unnecessarily, some health concerns are realistic. Staying well during holiday travel is a priority for families. Here are a few thoughts that could help your family while traveling.

Stay well while traveling

Stay well while traveling

While not an illness, jet lag can cause problems during family travels. The tired, lethargic feeling can lead into a general unwell feeling. Fighting jet lag isn’t that difficult.

According to experts, moisture loss is the number one cause of jet lag. Did you know the following fact? In the US, the average relative humidity in the morning is around 78%, which humidity on a commercial aircraft falls between 10-15%. To put this concept in perspective, the average humidity of the Sahara desert is 25%, which is 10% more than it is on a plane. The environment on an airplane can worse symptoms of jet lag.

Knowing these facts, travelers can adapt to the situation in several ways. First, travelers are encouraged to stay hydrated while traveling. Drinking plenty of water or water soluble foods can keep a person’s system in optimum levels. Even with increased hydration, travelers can lose moisture. Every time a person breathes, she loses moisture on an exhale. Low humidity levels in a person can dry nasal passages, which can affect the immune system and put a person at greater susceptibility for infection.

While parents may not want to use a personal mask while traveling, these devices can help combat pollution and viruses. If you are traveling on a plane, consider increasing the airflow around yourself. A strong, steady stream of air between yourself and other passengers can carry airborne particles away from you.

A simple option to decrease the spread of germs is to wipe all surfaces with an antibacterial wipe. From seats to trays, every surface can carry germs. Reducing the germs on surfaces can decrease the spread to yourself. If your family is traveling this holiday season, a plan to combat jet lag and stay well during the time away from home can be key to a successful trip. Whether you increase your vitamin intake or take other precautions, the important factor is to understand the environment and the impact it has on your health.

Do you have any travel tips on staying well and/or combating jet lag?? Share your thoughts in the comments section. cristine-vm-signature

Kings Dominion Halloween Fun!

Kings Dominion

Dinosaurs Alive at Kings Dominion

We had a blast yesterday at Kings Dominion! The weather was perfect, the park was not crowded, and the Halloween decorations were awesome! With two young boys we just had to walk through the Dinosaurs Alive Exhibit. Tickets are really inexpensive making this a nice extra activity while you are at the park. We had been through Dinosaurs Alive before but this time we were so thrilled to see that many of the dinosaurs were dressed in Halloween costumes. My boys just loved seeing the giant dinosaurs dressed as clowns, witches, ninjas, and even a cow. The costumes were clever and well done. On Saturdays and Sundays through Nov 2nd your little ghosts and goblins can trick or treat their way through the Dinosaurs Alive attraction. Be sure to check out all the other Halloween activities for children here. Activities include a petting zoo, corn maze, and our personal favorite a foam pit.

Planet Snoopy

It has been at least a year maybe two years since we had been to Kings Dominion and I have to say I was very impressed with all the new rides they have added to the children’s section Planet Snoopy aka Planet Spooky during the Halloween season. It was great before but now it is really awesome! It is always hard for us since our boys are 4 and 9 to keep them both happy at an amusement park but Kings Dominion has solved that problem for us with all the family friendly rides and attractions. There are over 20 rides in the Planet Snoopy section of the park.   Some of our favorite rides in Planet Snoopy are Lucy’s Tugboat, Snoopy’s Junction, and the Linus Launcher. Our absolute favorite rides were the two junior roller coasters, The Great Pumpkin Coaster and the Woodstock Express. These two coasters are super fun and a terrific way to build confidence and excitement in young riders as they gather the courage to ride some of the bigger coasters. After riding the Wooodstock Express my nine year old was ready to try some bigger rides.

Kings Dominion

Family Fun at Kings Dominion

So onto bigger rides we went! If you are looking for a good transition from kiddie roller coasters to the big guys then look no further. The Avalanche at Kings Dominion is perfect. It is such a smooth ride and so much fun that your children will be ready to ride some bigger coasters in no time. Little ones as short as 40 inches can ride with a parent which really made my four year old feel like a big kid. This ride is like riding a bobsled, fast and fun without the ice. This ride continues to be a family favorite. You gotta make sure you don’t miss it though as it is tucked away towards the back of the park so add it to your must do list before heading to the park. Check out the park map here. Outside of Planet Snoopy, our top 5 favorite family rides are the Avalanche, the Bad Apple, The Flying Eagles, the Scrambler, and the Shenendoah Lumber Company.

Kings Dominion

Halloween Haunt

I would be remiss if I did not talk about the roller coasters. I have ridden every coaster in the park and have to say that my favorite is the Anaconda. I am hoping that the next time we go to the park that my 9 yr old son will be brave enough to ride it with me. I am very proud to say that yesterday he did ride some pretty big roller coasters from a 9 yr old perspective. After building his confidence on the Woodstock Express and Avalanche, he decided to tackle the Rebel Yell and then proceeded to ride on every wooden coaster in the park including the Grizzly and the Hurler.

Kings Dominion

The last thing I would like to share with you is the seriously scary side of Kings Dominion during the Halloween season. Perfect for a date night or a mom’s night out, after dark the park is not for the feint of heart. Prepare to be scared! With live performances, seven scare zones, and 9 horrifying mazes you are guaranteed a night of frightful fun! This is also your chance to be a kid again and ride all the roller coasters! Get ready to scream!

Disclosure: Our tickets to Kings Dominion were provided courtesy of Kings Dominion Youth Program but all opinions are my own.

Cruising on Route 66

On our way to Sedona, Arizona we stopped in Williams to take the Grand Canyon Railway’s train to the Grand Canyon. Since, we live in Los Angeles it is an easy one day drive. We took I-40 to get there and drove near Route 66. I had remembered the train from my childhood when my parents took my sister and I.

Route 66
As we drove along I-40 there wasn’t a lot to see. The miles added up and we drove through areas that reminded us of Radiator Springs from Cars. And like so many of the people in the Cars movie do we drove right by all the little towns. Never stopping to see what was on the old historic Route 66.

We arrived in Williams, Arizona, the last town I-40 bypassed in October of 1984, and after checking in to our hotel decided to go to town for dinner and check out the Historic Route 66. The neon signs still light up the night sky on that historic road. There was a diner, a small mom and pop restaurant and other stores lined the street. Historical markers let you know where you were (Route 66). It was like going back in time. A small little oasis in the middle of the desert. It made me reminisce about what the little town looked like in it heyday.

Route 66
The next day we got up early and headed to Grand Canyon Railroad Station in downtown Williams. We could not wait for the train’s departure and after shoot out and we heard the all aboard. We made our way to our train car and settled in.

Read more about Airman2Mom train ride to the Grand Canyon from Williams here.