Exploring Christmas markets in Belgium

For our upcoming European vacation on a budget, we researched Christmas markets in France, Italy, and Belgium. While the country is still on high alert as officials ensure safety following the Paris terrorist acts, sources from both Flanders and Visit Brussels say that as of this posting, Christmas markets in the area will proceed as planned. Here's what we learned about exploring Christmas … [Read more...]

Sanctuary One farm stay

The following review was submitted by Pit Stops for Kids grandmother Julie Hagstrom. Located on 55 acres in Oregon's beautiful Applegate valley, Sanctuary One was established in 2007 as the nation's first care farm. It provides a safe home to rescued farm animals and house pets. And that’s what makes its farm stay experience unique. Sanctuary One is a member of U.S. Farm Stay Association and … [Read more...]

Five budget travel hacks you thought you’d outgrown

You traveled extensively as a young adult, but now you’ve settled down with a job and kids. Think your budget travel days are behind you? Think again! The following budget travel hacks can still be implemented with kids in tow. All that’s needed is a little flexibility, nostalgia, and sense of adventure! 1. Take the bus or train: Train travel is admittedly less convenient in the US than many … [Read more...]

Visit Whidbey Island with kids: Exploring Coupeville

Whidbey Island may be small, but it's tall, as my sons have noted after a map study. When families come to visit Whidbey Island with kids, it's useful to stay in the center of the island, within easy access of attractions such as Deception Pass to the north, and the Clinton ferry landing to the south. The best home base: Coupeville. Coupeville WA is located within the boundaries of Ebey's … [Read more...]

Spokane family festivals: year-round family fun

Who says families need to go to Seattle or Portland to have a good time, see an up-and-coming band, or celebrate a quirky holiday? During the seven years we lived in Spokane, WA, we happily became family festival guinea pigs, trying out a little of everything. In the years since, here's what we deem worthy of a return visit. Spokane festivals worth the trip: Green Bluff Growers Apple … [Read more...]

Flayvors Ice Cream at Cook Farm

Flayvors Ice Cream at Cook Farm is made on-site, at a family dairy in Hadley, Massachusetts. Located in the heart of the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, the dairy and ice cream parlor are in good company; this region is well-known for its farm-to-fork efforts. What we love: driving up to the ice cream shop, families first see the actual barns and cows that contribute to their ice cream … [Read more...]

Vermont farm experience for kids: Retreat Farm

The Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, VT is a great stop for families of all ages. Its 450 acres include hiking trails, a petting farm, and even an artisanal cheese shop (cheddar, of course!). The farm was originally part of the Brattleboro Retreat, a private mental hospital built in the 1840’s. The Retreat Farm provided milk, meat, and vegetables for the hospital and even served as a mental health … [Read more...]

U pick apple farms: Historic Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest

Families visiting or living in the Twin Cities can get their autumn apple fix at Minnesota Harvest, one of the biggest u pick apple farms in the midwest. With more than 50 varieties of apples grown on the farm, families can certainly find their favorite, and enjoy a long growing season well into late autumn. If you want to make a day of it, add a horseback ride through Minnesota Harvest's … [Read more...]

Tougas Family Farm: U-Pick apple orchard

U Pick apple orchards Massachusetts: An autumn tradition for many families, Tougas Family Farm in Northboro, Massachusetts offers some of the best apple and peach picking in the Northeast, as well as family harvest activities and harvest baked goods for purchase, such as apple cider doughnuts, freshly baked pies, and cookies.   Plan your visit to coincide with the harvest you'd like … [Read more...]

A walk through Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market

The historic St. Lawrence Hall houses the St. Lawrence Market, a farmer's market nirvana teaming with the freshest local produce, fruits, berries, and homemade jams, syrups, and crafts. Families will also find stalls selling local meats, desserts and pastries, fresh sandwiches, and just about anything else you can imagine. The St. Lawrence Market is a great place to spend a rainy or cold day in … [Read more...]