By Amy Suski
The older the kids get the harder it is to hold their attention on a family trip, so we decided to do something radical. Over spring break, instead of heading to the beach we hopped on the "Sushi Express", a Japan Airlines direct flight from Boston to Tokyo, known for flying freshly caught tuna from New England coastal fisherman to the famed Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. Without question, it was one of the best family trips we've ever experienced. From the amazing food experiences, the bright city lights, and the grace and hospitality of the people, Japan had us at Konnichiwa.
Cool Thing #1: The ultra-modern and super comfortable Dreamliner flight took just 13 hours. I'm not sure I'd try that with a toddler, but our teens were more than happy to plug into a lazy day of eating, sleeping, and watching movies. Plus, flying over the Arctic Circle was very cool!
Cool Thing #2: The best way to get from the airport into Tokyo is the Narita Express (NEX). If you purchase a Japan Rail Pass in advance of your trip online (which I highly recommend if you are traveling to any other cities outside of Tokyo) this train is included. A Japan Rail pass will give you access to the famed bullet trains, which we used to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto and Kyoto to Nara. Tip: when validating your pass, take the time to make seat reservations. Reservations are free and will save the anxiety of trying to find seats together while boarding.
Cool Thing #3: Nothing says "hey, we're not in Kansas anymore" than fish and pickled vegetables for breakfast. Surprisingly, the kids were eager to dive into their traditional Japanese breakfast, even after discovering that the little orange crunchy things had eyes.
Cool Thing #4: If you've seen films like Lost in Translation or The Tokyo Project you'll definitely want to try the so-called "Shibuya Scramble" for yourself, where thousands of people and cars cross the same web of intersecting streets in synchronous time under the glare of millions of pixelated lights. While there, be sure to visit the famous dog statue of Hachiko. After his owner died, the loyal dog continued to wait for his owner's return outside the train station every day for the rest of his life. Tip: The best aerial view of the intersection is from the second floor of the Starbucks.
by Micaela Williamson
Last summer, I interviewed the owners of ZavaZone for a magazine article. I couldn't wait to bring my kids to check this place out. Life happened. Little toddler brothers happened. We just didn't get around to visiting. I was recently thrilled when my 8 year old was invited to a birthday party at ZavaZone Sterling. This place lived up to it's great reputation and more!
Calling all little engine fans! DAY OUT WITH THOMAS is coming to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore from April 27 - 29 & May 4 - 6, 2018. This fun filled day includes a 25 minute train ride behind Thomas the Tank Engine™, all day admission to the B&O Railroad Museum, live entertainment, themed activities and programs. Some of the fun things at DAY OUT WITH THOMAS include:
by Micaela Williamson
UPDATED: This post contains new and previously published information from Kid Trips.
Repeat after me, "History is FUN!" Yes, you heard that right. If your memories of history include memorizing timelines and writing definitions in composition notebooks, then it's time to create new memories. The perfect place for hands-on history is the historic triangle of Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. Here, history truly comes to life. We've written about this area in the past, and as our children grow and change, it's a place that we keep coming back to learn more.
We especially love the immersive historical environments of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (read our previous post here) and Jamestown Settlement.
by Denise Stern
Did you know the White House is the only private residence of a head of state that is open and free of charge to the general public? Not only is a White House tour educational and full of history, it is truly a tour of the People’s House! Here are 5 tips to make your tour a breeze:
by Micaela Williamson
One of our favorite children's museums in the U.S. is Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore. With so many hands-on exhibits and sensory opportunities, kids are sure to have a blast. Here's what's coming to museum this spring:
It's time to spark your child's creativity! A new show, PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC, is premiering on PBS KIDS on Monday, February 19, 2018. The animated show is based on the popular best-selling Pinkalicious book series by Victoria Kann and encourages kids to engage in self-expression through music, dance and visual arts.
PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC follows the adventures of Pinkalicious and her brother, Peter, as they explore the town of Pinkville with their neighborhood friends. Pinkalicious is an artist at heart and has a unique perspective on the world. She's also not afraid to express herself--though sometimes she needs a little help from her friends. Each episode includes two 11-minute stories featuring Pinkalicious, Peter and their friends, and one live-action interstitial. The interstitials will feature real-life kids creating art, as well as profiles of professional artists.
My daughter really wanted a Mermaid Pillow for Christmas but I dropped the ball and didn't order one in time. Happily, I was redeemed by the arrival of the Love pillow this week. Since she opened it up she can't keep her hands off it. The removable cover has a velvety side that is huggably soft. On the other side, sequins flip with the brush of a finger or a hand to reveal whatever shimmery pink and silver design you want to create.
Being familiar with kids with sensory issues, I am especially impressed by this pillow's ability to engage kids in calming, tactile play. This special purpose hasn't been lost on the company...in fact they have donated pillows to children in hospitals and have designed a special pillow to benefit Autism Speaks (see pick #5 below). Whether used as a calming comfort pillow, inspiring decorative pillow, teaching tool, or an entertaining travel pillow, the reversible sequins beg to be played with.
Now that its close to Valentine's Day, this pillow would be a perfect gift, especially if you are trying to downplay candy and screens. In addition to the Love design there are gift sets in a variety of themes like mermaids, fairies, sharks, and more. Our top gift picks are:
Watch Mickey and Minnie and 25 of your favorite Disney stars live on stage at Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic, at the Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax, VA on Sunday. February 25, 2018. The show will be filled with all the unforgettable moments and magic that you expect from Disney. See the Fairy Godmother transform Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful ball gown; the Toy Story gang defy the dimensions of Andy’s toy box; and the dazzling stage debut of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider as they rise amidst the floating lanterns. With special appearances by Snow White, Tinker Bell and Aladdin’s Genie, you never know who might join in the fun.
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018
Ticket Prices: $60 VIP, $35, and $25
Additional fees may apply. Ticket prices based on market demand and subject to change.
3 Easy Ways to Purchase Tickets:
1. At the Eagle Bank Arena box office
2. Visit www.ticketmaster.com
3. Call 800-745-3000
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Kid Trips' blogs profile fun events and cool family-friendly venues. We focus on regional and national family travel articles.
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