Year in Review: Highlights of 2018

2018 was an exciting, adventure filled year for my family. We started a bit early by purchasing a new 2018 Chevy Equinox, and to date-exactly 54 weeks later- we have over 26,000 miles on the odometer. We’ve been as far west as Texas, as far south as Florida, and as far north as Maine. We’re explored over a dozen states, over twenty National Parks Service locations, over two dozen museums, two baseball parks (that brings our total count to 24 out of the 30 MLB parks), and created countless memories.

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Enjoying a New England Fall With Kids Without Looking at Leaves

I love that I grew up in New England, and recent travels have confirmed I will always be a New Englander. One of my favorite things about living in New England is the change in seasons, and there is (arguably) nothing more beautiful than fall in New England. However, I would argue that it takes a more “mature” desire to spend significant time looking at foliage. I don’t know too many toddlers, children, or teenagers who enjoy going for long drives in the country just to look at leaves. If your children are anything like mine, they like to do things, especially when the weather is still warm enough to be outside for extended periods of time.

Here is a list of some of my family’s favorite things to do in the Northeast during the fall and links to full, detailed blog post. Yes, you’ll still see plenty of beautiful foliage while traveling to these spots, but your children will be happily engaged, entertained, and energized:

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Dutchess County, New York

Dutchess County, located in southeastern New York, spans from Fishkill and Beacon to Rhinebeck and Red Hook covering (in total) thirty cities, towns, and villages. There are literally hundreds of ways to explore the area, but I thought I would share twelve ways families can enjoy all that Dutchess County has to offer together. The county borders western Connecticut and is about 90 minutes from Manhattan. Driving from the north end of Red Hook south to Beacon takes less than an hour, so you won't spend days in the car exploring the area.

Start your planning by checking out DutchessTourism.com, which is a well organized, well informed network of suggestions for eating, staying, and exploring the county.  They have a section dedicated to family fun and even have itineraries broken up in one, three, and five day stays (in additional to organizing suggestions for shopping, craft beer, spa, LGBT and other themed trips).

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FDR Presidential Library, Museum, and NHS, Hyde Park, New York

We just returned from a wonderful trip to Dutchess County, New York. Less than two hours from Manhattan, Dutchess County is filled with hundreds of ways to learn about American history, agriculture, and the arts. Check out dutchesstourism.com for advice, suggestions, itineraries, and maps. I'll have a full write up of our travels in two weeks.

Whenever we travel, we always check our National Parks Passport and our Presidential Library Passport to see if there are any locations near our destination. We hit a double when we found The Franklin D.  Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, both located on the same property in Hyde Park, New York. We love the National Park Service (read about why here) and our son is quickly becoming a presidential scholar, so we had to spend the morning exploring the complex. America’s first presidential library and museum was designed by FDR himself and opened to the public in 1941. The museum has over 400 collections, including 51,00 volumes and 150,000 photographs, negatives and audiovisual items, as well as plenty of research and meeting spaces.

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