Northstar California with kids: a stay at Big Horn Lodge

As with any large Tahoe ski resort, families have many lodging options at California's Northstar-at-Tahoe, from rental homes to studio suites and condos, to hotel rooms. For our three-day weekend family getaway, we choose to stay in a luxury condo at Big Horn Lodge. Operated by Tahoe Mountain Lodging, Big Horn Lodge is located ideally in the heart of the Northstar Village. From our 5th floor … [Read more...]

Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum

As Northern California natives and Oregon residents, we're well-versed in Oregon Trail pioneering history, and specifically, the Donner Party. We've taken the kids to Sutter's Fort State Park in Sacramento, CA, where they first learned about the ill-fated party, and when we found ourselves on Interstate 80 at the beautiful Donner Summit during our Thanksgiving break travels, we just had to make a … [Read more...]

Sutter’s Fort State Historical Site

2701 L Street Sacramento, CA If you're passing through the Sacramento Valley on a road trip or family vacation and want to venture beyond the swinging saloon doors and adjustable bar stools of Old Town Sacramento, a visit to Sutter's Fort State Historical Site makes for a great pit stop. Note: Sutter's Fort has a Kidscore of 100. Learn more about Kidscore. Located downtown in the heart … [Read more...]

A Pit Stop a Day (Day 15): Westgate Park City Resort and Spa

On Day 15, we traveled down Hwy 89 from Grand Teton National Park to Park City, Utah to stay overnight at the Westgate Park City. The Westgate Park City is a beautiful resort nestled against the base of The Canyons ski resort about five minutes from downtown Park City. Winter is their peak season (no pun intended!), which makes it a great choice in the summer months to beat both high prices and … [Read more...]

Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa

3800 South Virginia Street Reno, NV On our long drive from Southern Oregon to Death Valley National Park, my family and I had the pleasure of  pit stopping' for one night at the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa in Reno, NV. We've made it a point to stay in Reno in the past, praising Reno's all-season outdoor recreation opportunities and increasingly evident family atmosphere, but this time, the … [Read more...]

Alameda Historical Museum

2324 Alameda Avenue Alameda, CA Sometimes, you need to find kid-friendly pit stops in the center of urban areas, too! Whether your destination is the San Francisco Bay Area or you're just passing through, The Alameda Historical Museum is a fun place to stop near the Oakland International Airport if your family is learning about Victorian history. Kids can learn about the past by touring living … [Read more...]

McKinley Park

601 Alhambra Boulevard Sacramento, CA Some of you may know this already, but the concept for Pitstops for Kids was born after a frustrating afternoon trying to find a nice park while driving through Sacramento, CA. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across this wonderful review at Tripping with Kids! McKinley Park was named Best Playground of 2009 in the Sacramento News and Review, … [Read more...]

John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort

1100 Nugget Avenue Sparks, NV As I disclose whenever compensated while reviewing a location, my family did enjoy a complementary stay at John Ascuaga's Nugget. We did, however, pay full price for all food and extras. This compensation came with no expectations or agreements for a positive review. Due to its night life and casino industry, it's easy to overlook Reno, Nevada as a family … [Read more...]

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom tips

1001 Fairgrounds Dr. Vallejo, CA Six Flags Discovery Kingdom may seem more like a destination than a pitstop, but given its location off I-80 and near the I-5 corridor between LA and Sacramento, it serves as a great overnight break from long-distance driving. We stopped on our way home to Oregon from Laguna Beach this past summer, staying one night at the Courtyard by Marriott Napa Valley … [Read more...]

Jelly Belly Factory Tour

1 Jelly Belly Lane Fairfield, CA What I seem to remember most about Jelly Belly's California factory is the absolutely horrendous tantrum my then-three-year-old (now seven-year-old) decided to throw somewhere between the sorting floor and the tasting room. And yet, despite the fact that mortal embarrassment is my first connotation with this attraction, it still makes my list of reviews. It's … [Read more...]