Update: Should A Mom Like Me Have A Threesome?

I’d like to thank Jenny for reaching out to me this morning and giving me great advice on how to encourage my husband to try having a threesome with me and another woman at least once.

-Picture of Jenny Above-

Jenny has a great blog as well, and after she saw the article I published on my blog yesterday she contacted me and told me exactly what I had to do if I wanted to make my husband feel comfortable about having sex with me and another woman at the same time.

Well I did exactly what she recommended and I’m very excited to say that my husband has agreed to having a threesome with me and another woman!

-Picture of Jenny From One of Her Swinger Parties-

Jenny’s blog is amazing and I encourage everyone to check it out!

Click here to see how amazing Jenny’s blog is!

Below is the article I published yesterday so you know what I’m referring:

“Is It Okay For A Mom Like Me To Have Threesomes or Test The Swinger Lifestyle?”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 111.jpg

Sorry for posting such an explicit picture of myself here, but this whole “social distancing” thing has been driving me so crazy with boredom that I asked my hubby this morning to take a few sexy pics of me and I think they turned out pretty great.

But the reason why I’m writing this article is because I would like some advice from all of my wonderful readers, or from anyone that stumbles upon my blog.

I want to start testing out threesomes with my husband and other women, and possibly try swinging, but I’ve never had this conversation with my husband.

I don’t want to have sex with other men at all, but I think I’d really enjoy having a threesome with my husband and another woman but I just don’t know how to bring it up to him, and funny enough he’s actually sitting next to me on our couch as I write this….here I am telling the whole world that I want to have a threesome but haven’t yet found the right way to let my husband know.

I’m just too nervous to ask him if he’d be okay if I called up the girl who does my eyelash extensions tonight and have a threesome with her. This girl is super cute and always tells me how sexy my husband is, and when I asked her last week if she’d be interested in having a threesome with me and my husband she said “yes”.

Another thing that concerns me is that I’m a mom, and I’m struggling with my feelings in regards to sex because I don’t know if a mother should be inviting women over to sleep with her and her husband. I’m just so darn confused…I think this whole staying inside for the past 3 weeks because of the Coronavirus is causing me to think about things like this more than usual.

I can’t ask my sisters or friends for any advice because I know they’ll judge me (that’s the main reason why they don’t even know my blog exists), so if anyone reading can let me know how I should go about asking my husband to have a threesome with me and the girl that applies my eyelash extensions I’d really appreciate it.

My husband does know about my blog, but he only reads it when I let him know about a new article I’ve published, so I’m not worried about him reading this post…but maybe telling him to read this article would be a great way to start the conversation?

I really welcome anyone’s advice, and I’d seriously appreciate it.

I hope everyone reading this is staying safe from the Coronavirus!

Is It Okay For A Mom Like Me To Have Threesomes or Test The Swinger Lifestyle?

Sorry for posting such an explicit picture of myself here, but this whole “social distancing” thing has been driving me so crazy with boredom that I asked my hubby this morning to take a few sexy pics of me and I think they turned out pretty great.

But the reason why I’m writing this article is because I would like some advice from all of my wonderful readers, or from anyone that stumbles upon my blog.

I want to start testing out threesomes with my husband and other women, and possibly try swinging, but I’ve never had this conversation with my husband.

I don’t want to have sex with other men at all, but I think I’d really enjoy having a threesome with my husband and another woman but I just don’t know how to bring it up to him, and funny enough he’s actually sitting next to me on our couch as I write this….here I am telling the whole world that I want to have a threesome but haven’t yet found the right way to let my husband know.

I’m just too nervous to ask him if he’d be okay if I called up the girl who does my eyelash extensions tonight and have a threesome with her. This girl is super cute and always tells me how sexy my husband is, and when I asked her last week if she’d be interested in having a threesome with me and my husband she said “yes”.

Another thing that concerns me is that I’m a mom, and I’m struggling with my feelings in regards to sex because I don’t know if a mother should be inviting women over to sleep with her and her husband. I’m just so darn confused…I think this whole staying inside for the past 3 weeks because of the Coronavirus is causing me to think about things like this more than usual.

I can’t ask my sisters or friends for any advice because I know they’ll judge me (that’s the main reason why they don’t even know my blog exists), so if anyone reading can let me know how I should go about asking my husband to have a threesome with me and the girl that applies my eyelash extensions I’d really appreciate it.

My husband does know about my blog, but he only reads it when I let him know about a new article I’ve published, so I’m not worried about him reading this post…but maybe telling him to read this article would be a great way to start the conversation?

I really welcome anyone’s advice, and I’d seriously appreciate it.

I hope everyone reading this is staying safe from the Coronavirus!

Get Invited to an Upcoming Swinger's Party in Your State!

I met a woman last week that hosts swingers parties all over the USA, and she asked me if I could write something for her on my blog letting people know that she’s looking to invite new men and women to attend these swinger parties.

So if anyone reading this would like to attend a swinger’s party in your city then this is your chance!

Click here if you want to get invited to a swinger’s party!

I haven’t attended a swinger’s party before, but I really want to, so hopefully my husband will be okay with us testing out the swinger lifestyle at one of her parties.

Sexy 2020 New Year’s Resolutions for Busy Moms!

Just because I’m a busy mom doesn’t mean that I can’t also be sexy…in fact being sexy is an important ingredient in every relationship, and I suggest all of us busy moms try and keep the relationship with our partner as sexy as possible by agreeing to these sexy resolutions below in 2020…


  1. Act out your partner’s wildest fantasy, and yours too. It will make for many nights of new experiences in the bedroom.

  1. Make sex a top priority in your relationship. Even when your schedule seems it won’t allow it — find the time. It will make facing the “busy mom” week ahead and the other stressors in your life that much easier.

  1. Do not make up excuses! I forgot to shave. I have a slight headache. It’s been a long day. The kids tired me out. I’m so tired…….Do these excuses sound familiar? Although they may be valid, that doesn’t mean a little love-making can’t be the cure.

  1. Set the Stage for Love! Set the mood more often. Here’s a handy checklist to have around: Candles, body oil, pleasure toys, and a sultry playlist.

  1. Compliment your man! For example, tell him how great he made you feel, and that he “hit all the right spots”! Trust me, a little compliment goes a long way! The goal is to let your man know that you still appreciate him even though it seems like the kids take up most of your time.

  1. Show off your sexy side every day! Ladies buy some sexy new lingerie and wear them to bed a few nights per week. Even if you don’t “get it on” you’ll look super sexy in your sleep!

  1. Be More Spontaneous! Give him tender kisses whenever the mood strikes. He’ll love your spontaneity and will be thankful that you’re still thinking of him even though he knows how busy your day is with the kids.

  1. Let loose! Up the excitement factor in your sex life by making “play dates” with your lover. Sex is meant to be fun and rewarding. Have a naughty food fight in the kitchen, give each other pet names, or to really switch it up, have sex somewhere in your home you never have before.

  1. Try Something New In The Bedroom! Maybe add in a toy, or multiple toys and just see what happens. Maybe you decide it’s not for you, or maybe you love it, but you’ll never know unless you try!

  1. Finally, Speak Up More in 2020 about what you want in the bedroom. If you want your man to do things to you that he has never done before then tell him what you want him to do.

Let’s make sure that in 2020 we remember that busy moms like us are still extremely sexy women!

20 Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for Moms in 2020

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I’m as guilty as the next mom of being a teensy bit overambitious. (And honestly, I’m not even sure it’s possible to learn Italian, get a bikini body, and pay off a lifetime of debt in twelve short months anyway.) Rather than setting myself up to fail by January 3, this year I’m going to beat the system by striving for goals that are actually doable.


  1. “I will drink less wine.” Notice I didn’t say less than who/what.

  1. “I will cultivate patience.” Cultivating takes time, people. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  1. “I will stop making impossible New Year’s resolutions.” See #4.

  1. “I will work on reducing stress.” Impossible New Year’s resolutions stress me out.

  1. “I will save money.” Not buying that new car I want will save us 50 grand! You’re welcome, dear.

  1. “If I pin it, I will make it.” [deletes all pins and closes Pinterest account]

  1. “I will drink more water.” You can’t make coffee without water, right?

  1. “I will put on workout clothes twice a week.” It’s not a guarantee I’ll go, but it is a necessary first step.

  1. “I will go to bed earlier.” Honey, put the kids to bed, wouldja?

  1. “I will stop wasting so much time on Facebook.” Instagram is better anyway.

  1. “I will not let the kids talk me into getting another dog.” PLEASE SEND BACKUP.

  1. “I will not sweat the small stuff.” Just don’t try to tell me that anything involving my kids, my job, or my hair is small stuff.

  1. “I will try to maintain my current weight.” Beats gaining!

  1. “I will stop catering to my children’s bottomless list of food whims.” I’m not being selfish; I’m building better eaters.

  1. “I will try something new every week.” (I’ll also try to make sure that something isn’t a new type of wine more than 50 percent of the time.)

  1. “I will read more.” Considering the last book I finished was in 2011, this shouldn’t be too hard.

  1. “I will stop saving fortune cookie fortunes.” But they’ll still come true, right?

  1. “I will be kinder to myself.” This should come in handy after I gain weight and console myself with a wine-and-Facebook bender.

  1. “I will strive for balance.” I’m actually not even sure what this means, but it doesn’t sound particularly daunting, so there you go.

  1. “I will practice more yoga.” I’ll just be over here corpsing if anyone needs me.

Please let me know what you’re Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for 2020 will be!

Intimacy For Parents isn’t EASY AT ALL! But It’s Important!

As a mother of 3 young children I know how difficult it is making time for intimacy with my husband. But intimacy is very important for all marriages, so you have to make time for “sexy” time with your partner no matter what.

Here are a few things that I recommend parents of small children can to so they can to keep the flame in their marriage burning!


-Morning Quickie-

Fast and quick is better than nothing at all, No matter how tired you are in the morning get up 20 minutes earlier than usual and get intimate with your husband or wife.


-Date Night-

Hire a babysitter once per week, even if only for an hour.


-Shower Together-

For one, your’re saving money on the water bill, and second, even if you don’t make love in the shower, just being in thatclose of proximity to each other can make you and your partner feel close, emotionally as well as literally.


-Say Sorry And Thank You to Each Other-

Little kids can make you tired and frustrated. But don’t take out your frustration on your partner, but if you do just apologize.


-Make Love 3 Times Per Week-

No matter how busy you are, and no matter how tired you are, you must make love with your husband or wife at least 3 times per week!


Thank you for reading, and please share any suggestions on how parents of small children can make time for each other in intimate ways in the comments section!

Love,

Nikki

Most Expensive Children’s Toys On Earth

So here I am just minding my own business trying to search for toys that I’m going to be buying my kids for Christmas, and I discovered that some toys are a LOT more expensive than the toys that my kids will be getting under the Christmas tree this year.

-Here Are The 6 Most Expensive Children’s Toys On Earth-


Number Six: Diamond Pacifier – $17,000.

This diamond pacifier includes a whopping 278 diamonds on it. It is also made from 14k white gold. Just think – have you ever put something worth $17,000 in your mouth? How about your baby’s? Exactly. This definitely won’t be pacifying your bank account.


Number Five: Hot Wheel Diamond-Encrusted Car – $140,000.

For Hot Wheel’s 40th anniversary, they released this car. Fun! But at what price? Costing an entire $140,000, we’re not sure anyone would actually want to play with this. Just go ahead and buy an actual car.


Number Four: Sapphire-Eyed Teddy Bear – $200,000.

There were only 41 of these precious teddy bears ever made, although that still doesn’t justify its price tag of $200,000. These bears have two sapphires for eyes, and their mouths are made of gold.


Number Three: Stefano Canturi Barbie – $302,500.

The most expensive Barbie ever made is this one, designed by Stefano Canturi. Her necklace is made of real diamonds; too bad it would fit better as a toe ring than a necklace.


Number Two: Golden Monopoly – $2,000,000.

The most expensive Monopoly set ever made will set you back more than most people make in a lifetime. The dice alone of this completely gold set are worth $10,000.


Number One: Astolat Dollhouse Castle – $8,500,000.

Finally, the most expensive children’s toy ever made is the Astolat Dollhouse Castle. Though it may look small in the photo above, this “castle” is no small feat; it took 13 years to build and has 29 rooms, each with their own intricate designs. The grand piano alone in one of the rooms costs $7,000.

Most Expensive Children’s Birthday Parties

Holy moly I was just doing some research on the most expensive children’s items, and I cam across the most expensive children’s birthday parties, and this just might blow your mind out of your face when you see how much money some parents have spent on their children’s birthday parties.

When I was a kid I was lucky if I got a cake and a $50 gift card to the Justice clothing store…wait until you see what I posted below!!!!!

-Here Are The Most Expensive Children’s Birthday Parties To Date-


-Suri Cruises’ 2nd Birthday Party Cost $100,000-

Most of us can’t even remember our second birthday and Suri, now 7, probably didn’t either, but Katie Holmes and then hubby, Tom Cruise spent $100,000 for hers. The couple dished out $17,000 on fresh flowers, $45,000 on catering from Wolfgang Puck, and filled the room with 1,000 butterflies. The cake alone cost a whopping $5,000 and they spent $230 at Little Sprinkles bakery in Los Angeles just on cupcakes. Suri Cruise had another over-the-top bash for her fifth birthday party with a budget of over $20,000! This girl seriously gets it all. Pre-split, TomKat hired professional actors to dress up as favorite children’s characters, and had a load of animals, including giraffes and elephants to entertain her guests. Who needs a stuffed animal as a birthday gift when you can play with the real thing at your birthday party?!


-Taylor Armstrong’s $60,000 Tea Party-

Taylor Armstrong of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills went all out for her daughter’s fourth birthday party. The $60,000 party, planned by Dana Wilkey, known for her lavish celebrity-driven events, was held at the Houdini mansion in the Laurel Canyon area. It was a tea party fit for a queen complete with floating teapots holding flowers, a ridiculous teacake and cupcakes on amazing china.


-The Beckham’s $187,000 Birthday Playhouse-

To celebrate their son Brooklyn’s 6th birthday, David and Victoria Beckham spent $187,000 on a custom-built playhouse (just a playhouse, not a real house). Get this, there is already a separate play castle located on the Beckham’s estate. In some parts of the world that can buy a legit house. Music at a birthday party is one thing, and live music is another thing. Having the extremely popular boy band The Wanted perform is on a completely different level. The Beckham’s middle son, Romeo, had just that at his 10th birthday bash. The Wanted met all Romeo’s pals and posed for photos. Now how could you even put a price on that (or just a meager $125,000)? The Beckham’s have gotten into the habit of holding lavish parties for their children. There was no exception for baby Harper’s first birthday. They spent over $100,000 on the super girlie celebration, including pink cuddly toys, pony rides, cupcakes and even pink rabbits roaming around. Rabbits don’t even come in that color!


-Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s $200,000 Jungle Island Party-

Let’s face it, if we could have any celebrities for parents, we’d probably opt for music sensations Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Lucky for Blue Ivy, they are her parents;so lucky that for her second birthday, the two megastars rented a wildlife park/botanical garden called Jungle Island, in Miami, Fla. If they spent $200,000 on her first birthday, you could only imagine how much they dropped for her second.


-Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani’s $15,000 Backyard Bash-

Many of us have probably had a birthday or two at home, just not a $15,000 birthday. In 2010, Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani dished out $15,000 for their son Kingston’s fourth birthday party at their home.. Kate Beckinsale, David and Victoria Beckham, and their kids were among the 100 guests who gorged on burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, fries, tacos, quesadillas, cotton candy, and a sumptuous birthday cake. They arranged activities like face painting, a bouncy castle, superhero characters, balloon art, actual birds, and more. Sounds better than the “havewayless” backyard bash.


-Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s $20,000 Princess Party-

Princess themed parties will never be played-out, especially when you have an infinite budget like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt do. The Jolie-Pitts did it up for their daughter Zahara’s princess-themed birthday party. There is no telling what princessy things you can get with $20,000. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie also organized $7,000 a luxury river cruise on the Seine in France for Pax’s seventh birthday. What a cultured little lad. Good thing balloons and cake made an appearance or we would forget the birthday was for a kid.


-Puff Daddy’s Outrageous Birthday Celebrations-

Puff Daddy’s (or P. Diddy) younger son, Christian, got an over-the-top trip to Vegas for his 12th birthday. He and his friends traveled in style in a black tour van for a three-day birthdaypalooza, seeing the sights and chowing down on a custom cake as tall as the birthday boy. , Puffy’s other son Justin was gifted a $360,000 Maybach for his 16th birthday, and that was just the beginning. Justin’s party featured performances by famous artists Nicki Minaj, Fabolous, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, G-Dep and Trey Songz. Money knows no bounds, clearly.

The Absolute BEST Jobs for Working Mom

Previously I wrote an article that explained working moms and the careers that make working moms the happiest. But in my research to discovery which jobs/careers make working moms happy, I also discovered that there are 15 jobs that might be the best careers for working moms.

Here are the 15 Best Jobs/Careers for Working Moms (based on my research)


-Accountant or Auditor

Annual Salary: $69,350

Accountants and auditors, who ensure the accuracy of financial records while preparing them for clients, have stable careers, making them a good choice for working moms. These positions also have high earning potential. According to the BLS, the career is fast-growing, meaning the demand for people skilled in this industry is high.


-Bookkeeper-

Annual Salary: $39,240

Professionals who are good with math and numbers can find solid work balancing the accounts of employers and clients. There are often busy and less busy times for these professionals, depending on where their businesses are in the financial cycle.

Many bookkeeping jobs will enable you to work from home at least for part of the time, making the profession a flexible career choice for working moms.


-Dental Hygienist-

Annual Salary: $74,070

Cleaning teeth and preparing patients for the dentist are some of the duties with which dental hygienists are tasked. Many hygienists work part-time, allowing them to earn a high salary while balancing home, personal, and childcare needs.


-Elementary School Teacher-

Annual Salary: $56,900

It stands to reason that mothers like children, and working as an elementary school teacher enables you to spend your working hours being around them. It is also a great career for working moms because you’ll have similar hours as your kids, with the same or roughly the same vacations and time off. (Of course, many teachers work when school is over but can often do so from home.)


-Event Planner-

Annual Salary: $48,290

Many event planners can work with vendors, coordinate details, and facilitate other aspects of events from home. While they may need to meet with clients and others, as well as travel for the events themselves, they often have a large hand in setting their own schedules.


-Grant Writer-

Annual Salary: Unsure, but could be well into the 6-figures

Grant writing requires strong writing, research, and organizational skills. It also demands great attention to detail, since writers must put together winning proposals for clients and ensure that all the information is accurate and presented well. Many granter writers work from home, and many work for several clients on a freelance basis.


-Health Care Worker-

Annual Salary: Varies according to specialty

Health care workers can often find positions in a variety of fields, many of which can be high-paying. Working in facilities such as nursing homes, physical therapy offices, and others also offer varying degrees of flexibility. Many positions are also in high-demand and growing fields, increasing the likelihood that you will find a job.

Keep in mind that many health care workers are required to have certain degrees, licenses, and/or certifications, so it’s a good idea to look into the steps you’ll need to take to become a health care professional in your chosen niche.


-High School Teacher-

Annual Salary: $59,170

As with elementary school teachers, high school teachers often have time off in the summers, which allows them to enjoy time with their children and families. In contrast to their colleagues working with younger children, high school teachers focus on teaching specific disciplines and can expect to earn somewhat higher salaries, although this varies depending on many factors, including the school, state and district, highest degree earned, and others.


-Human Resources Specialist-

Annual Salary: $60,350

Many HR managers, recruiters, and other professionals in the field don’t need to work overtime and can often take vacations and holidays, enabling them to spend time with their families. Plus, the job requires strong communication, empathy, and other skills aligned with those you will need to exercise as a parent.


-Photographer-

Annual Salary: $32,490

Photographers have the opportunity to exercise their creative talents while often setting their own schedules. Many photographers work on a freelance basis, enabling them to take on events and clients as they desire.


-Real Estate Agent or Broker-

Annual Salary: $47,880 (accounts for both brokers and agents)

Real estate agents and brokers both assist prospective home renters and buyers with finding, acquiring, and selling properties. Brokers must be licensed and manage their own businesses, while agents are sales representatives who work on behalf of a broker. In order to obtain a real estate license, you will need to investigate and meet the education requirements of your state. Texas, for example, requires 210 hours of education, while Rhode Island only requires 45.

Agents and brokers often enjoy flexible hours and set their own schedules, although they may need to be on call during non-working hours, including nights and weekends.


-Sales Representative-

Annual Salary: $60,340

The roles of sales reps can vary greatly depending on the field and industry, as can the earning potential. Some work can generally be done from home, while other work may require travel. These positions often come with the potential for large bonuses and are ideal for people who are good at interacting with and influencing others.


-Sonographer-

Annual Salary: $65,620

Working with ultrasound technology, diagnostic medical sonographers create images of body organs and tissues, a crucial step and diagnosis—as well as finding out whether an expectant mother is carrying a boy or a girl. Not only is this a lucrative position for working moms, but it enables them to meet and work with fellow mothers.


-Fitness Trainer or Instructor-

Annual Salary: $39,210

If you have a passion for fitness and wellness, considering making it a career. Some fitness trainers can even teach students and clients from home if they have the space. Instructors have greater earning potential and can teach classes through gyms and other fitness centers, generally setting their own hours.


-Web Developer-

Annual Salary: $67,990

Requiring an eye for detail and strong technical skills, web developers build websites, write code, monitor aspects of sites such as web traffic, add content, and more for clients. This job often enables working moms to work remotely, depending on their employer. Some web developers also work on a freelance basis for multiple clients, which can afford them flexibility.


Again, these are the jobs/careers that I found while doing research, so if you think that I missed something please let me know in the comments and I will do my best to get this list updated as quickly as possible!

Thank you again for reading!

Love,

Nikki

Happiest Jobs for Busy Moms

Hey if you’re a mom, and if you have to work, then you really should consider getting into a career where you will be happy doing your job each day.

Let’s face it, as moms we just want to be with our kids at home, or volunteering at our kids school, or being there for them at their sporting events or practice.

But many of us, me included, have to work, so let’s all take a minute to think of a career that would make us happy if we have to be away from our children.

I did my research, and I found out what the top 10 “happiest” careers are for working moms, so if you’re in need of a job, then you might want to take some note.


-THE TOP 10 HAPPIEST CAREERS FOR WORKING MOMS-


-Pharmacist-

According to online professional community CareerBliss, pharmaceutical positions are the happiest jobs for working moms. The occupation got top marks for work-life balance, good management and excellent benefits. Among the site’s users, the average pharmacist salary was $103,662.


-Biotech-

The second-happiest jobs for working mothers were in biotech, a field that is beginning to attract greater numbers of women. According to CareerBliss, an R&D scientist earns an average $74,917 annually. Moms were happy in these jobs because of the flexibility and growth opportunities and because they felt pride


-Admin/Clerical-

The average salary range of administrative workers is $35,000 to $50,000, with titles like executive assistant, office manager and administrative assistant. Moms cited flexibility and good relationships with senior management as the reason for their happiness in these jobs.


-Accounting-

Compensation and growth opportunities were highly praised by these working moms. Accounting positions are also well-paying jobs with predictable hours and expectations. The average controller earns $82,000 per year.


-Telecommunications-

Working moms in this field cited pride in company and work-life balance as the factors that made this the fourth-happiest. A network integration manager earns an average of $100,000 each year.


-Human Resources-

Not only is this now a female-dominated field, human resources managers are among the best-paid women in the nation.


-Strategy/Planning-

If you’re a working mom entering a strategy or planning job, plan on a happy office environment. This position allows workers to flex their intellectual and creative muscles, while also maintaining the balance they need to parent young children.


-Business Development-

With working moms ranking this as one of the happiest, the increasing number of women attaining business degrees now should consider the field a well-paying and blissful career path.


-QA/Quality-

ControlWith predictable hours and flexible schedules, working mothers gave these jobs high marks for contentment and career satisfaction.


-Information Technology-

The technology and engineering sector is quickly growing. These jobs offer great benefits, big paychecks and feature a narrow gender wage gap.


If you’re a working mom that that has a career that makes her happy I would love for you to let me know what career you have that makes you happy in the comments section so that I can update this article!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love,

Nikki

Divorce and Kids – Should My Friend Stay with Her Husband

My friend just called me and told me that she found out that her husband has been having an affair, and she is extremely devastated.

She said she wants to get a divorce, but she has 4 yound children, ages 12, 10, 7, and 4, so going through a divorce could have huge complications due to the effect it could have on their kids.

Should my friend stay with her husband and try to work it out at least until all of their kids are at least 18 years of age?

I found the below article about how divorce could effect children, if anyone has any advice please let me know. I really don;t want my friend’s children to have horrible childhoods.

Here is that article:


-Is Divorce Bad for Children?-

You have probably witnessed many friends, family members, neighbors, or co-workers stay in toxic marriages for the sake of their children. After all, studies have shown that the effects of divorce tend to stick with children through adulthood. Many have unresolved anger issues toward their parents. Some are unable to have normal relationships because of what they experienced in their childhood.

Is divorce really all that bad for children? The answer is not clear-cut. In short, it depends. It depends on how the parents deal with the divorce. Divorce can be amicable or it can be downright nasty. Some parents focus on being the best parent ever and helping their kids as much as possible through the transition, while others spend all their time and energy on getting revenge on the other partner.

This begs the question: Is it better for kids to stay in a bad marriage or should the parents call it quits and divorce? Experts say that a good divorce is better for kids than a bad marriage. If you choose to stay married to your partner despite a lack of happiness, you are raising your children in an angry, resentful, and possibly even violent household. You are teaching your children that it is acceptable for partners to be disrespectful to each other. You are allowing emotional and possibly even physical abuse to happen in front of them. You are teaching them that nobody deserves to be happy, and that stress and misery are to be expected in a relationship.

It is no wonder that children have trouble coping. Some are unable to form healthy relationships once they reach adulthood because they were forced to grow up in an angry household. Some children even wish their parents would divorce so they could be happy for once. Kids are not stupid. While no divorce is without its challenges, children often come to realize that divorce is for the best.

The stress of parents constantly fighting takes it toll on children. Kids are insecure in many ways and when they constantly see their parents fighting, it makes them worry. What will happen to the family? Do my parents love me? Am I to blame? Fighting also affects the relationship between the parent and child. When a parent is stressed out, he or she might distance him or herself from the children. This could lead to a lack of affection, causing kids to feel even more insecure.

Constant fighting between parents can lead to emotional damage in children. Children can develop anxiety and depression. They may start to have behavioral problems and act out in school. Also, children learn what they see, so if they notice that their parents call each other names and yell and scream, they are likely to engage in the same unhealthy fighting techniques.

That is not to say that children will experience no effects from their parents divorcing. When parents split up, everything changes. Sometimes children get to stay in the family home. In other cases, they are forced to move. They may end up spending most of their time with one parent, while seeing the other parent on weekends. They may be shuffled from one house to another, which can be stressful. Children thrive on routine, and life after divorce can be anything but normal.

-What Parents can Do-

There are many factors that can determine how well a child will do after divorce, but parents play a huge role. Both parties still have to co-parent after the divorce is finalized, and this is where things get complicated. There are likely to be ill feelings toward each other. The parents continue to fight with each other or they fail to communicate altogether. Many parents put their children in the middle of the conflict and this can have devastating consequences. Children often feel as though they are left to fend for themselves.

Parents can help children transition from a married family to a divorced family through emotional support and by being a good influence. Children are often more affected by a divorce than the parents, so it is a parent’s job to ease this emotional pain and help them along. Parents should monitor their children and look for any behavioral problems and other changes.

Some children are naturally easygoing and better able to cope with change. This type of personality will help them as they get older. Life changes and things will not always go their way. Divorce is just one of those things over which children have no control. While it can be difficult, most children are resilient and will bounce back eventually. Those who are struggling may need a little extra help, and this is where the parents come in.

Article was found here:
http://unhappymarriage.info/is-divorce-bad-for-children/


Please share your thoughts in the comments section because I really need to help out my friend.

Love,

Nikki

Busy Moms Need To Find Time To Stay Fit! Do 20,000 Steps Per Day!

It’s no secret that developing a sustainable workout schedule can be quite a challenge for a busy mom.

Taking care of 3 kids, working, running a household, putting out fires – figurative or literal – takes lots of effort and time.

Add to this the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, and we’re often left wondering where to find time to sit on the couch for more than five minutes – let alone get half an hour for a decent workout.

I’ve always stuffed my day-to-day schedule to the brim, but ever since my daughter was born almost four years ago, I often feel like I hardly get a chance to catch my breath between all of my daily to-do’s.

Yet I knew from the early days of becoming a mom that I was going to find time to exercise, no matter how hard it was going to be. It took me about 3 months to figure out my postpartum fitness routine and start working out regularly.

Now that another year has almost passed and a lot of things have changed, I feel like another entry is needed in my diary of a fit mommy.


-Here’s My Workout Schedule-

I hope my workout schedule will be helpful for other busy moms!

As a busy mom, I needed to figure out a workout schedule that I could sustain long-term.

In my search of workout tips for busy moms, I browsed through various fitness mom blogs. Most ideas for workouts for moms with young children were targeted towards either full-time working moms or stay-at-home moms, but my situation was a combination of both and thus more complicated.

Challenges I Was Working Around……


– I was at home with a toddler who wanted to have all attention focused on herself – that meant, forget about ever finishing that set of reps.


– Short days and long nights during the cold time of the year – I didn’t feel comfortable going for a run when it was dark outside, yet that’s the only time my husband was home from work, and able to watch the kids and get them to bed on time.


– I didn’t have an opportunity to go to the gym – my local gym doesn’t have childcare, and I didn’t have any friends or relatives willing to watch kids while I was at the gym.


– My kid-free time also happened to be the time I worked or did whatever needed to be done around the house. Devoting an hour of that time to exercise meant taking longer to finish my projects, making less money, and/or having a messier house.


– I had a less than optimal sleep schedule.


—–MY GOAL——

I was trying to come up with an exercise schedule of lifting weights and running 3-4 times a week. Each workout session needed to be fairly short (ideally, letting me exercise and take a shower afterwards all within an hour). Also, my busy mom workout schedule needed to be sustainable – I didn’t want to burn out within a few weeks.

In addition to this, I wanted to make sure I enjoyed doing my workouts. After all, life is too short to engage in activities we dread.


—–HOW I GOT THERE—–

My exhaustion from little sleep and otherwise busy days kept me from making any kind of big fitness plans. Those two workouts a week were just enough to let me consider myself a “fitness mom”.

I didn’t care much for running either, especially when the winter arrived. Even though cold weather isn’t much of a deterrent for outdoor running here in the Northwestern Washington state (our temperatures rarely go past freezing), short days and long nights meant that running in the evening after my husband got back home from work was out of the question.

So I just said, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH NO MORE EXCUSES!

I get up 2 hours earlier and I walk 10,000 steps, then when the kids go to bed I go out in my backyard and walk another 10,000 steps….

So now I walk 20,000 steps per day and have never stopped!

I could have just told ya my secret at the beginning of this article, but the journey is the fun part right!

Please take a moment and share with me in the comments section and fitness tips that you know of that can really help busy moms stay in shape!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love,

Nikki

Christmas 2019 – Most Popular Kids Toys!

If you have little monsters like I do, which I have 3 of them, and I love them very much, but when it comes to Christmas it means that I have to buy a LOT of different types of gifts for three different age groups.

I have been doing my research for the most popular toys this season, because kids do want the most popular toys under the Christmas tree, and I thought I’d share with all of you mommies, and daddies, out there to save you some time!

So get ready to make your Christmas lists…..because here are the most popular kids toys for Christmas 2019!


-The Number 1 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Fisher-Price Linkimals Smooth Moves Sloth!

This fun toy does it all! The Fisher-Price Linkimals Smooth Moves Sloth gets your baby moving and learning with exciting lights, music, songs, and groovy dance moves. Press the buttons on the sloth’s feet to hear all about numbers, colors and more, as the sloth claps its hands and bobs its head. This toy introduces your baby to counting, colors, opposites, and the alphabet.

Manufacturer recommended age: 9 months-4 years


-The Number 2 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Baby Shark Official Dancing Doll!

Baby Shark doo doo! Bring the Baby Shark family into your home in a super soft and cuddly way with this fun Baby Shark Dancing Doll. Watch him dance to the popular song and make sounds by tapping on his head or clapping. Call his name ‘Baby Shark’ for fun reactions!

Manufacturer recommended age: 2+ years


-The Number 3 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

LeapFrog Smart Sizzlin’ BBQ Grill!

Have a toddler who likes to pretend cook or grill? 👨🏻‍🍳 This LeapFrog Smart Sizzlin’ BBQ Grill makes the perfect gift! Kids can place food pieces on the skewer and listen as it recognizes the food and its color. They can also turn the number dial to learn numbers (coungint 1-10) and hear if the grill is set too hot or open and close the grill lid and listen to cooking sounds.

Manufacturer recommended age: 2-5 years


-The Number 4 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Skyrocket Blume Dolls!

Blume dolls come hidden inside flower pots just waiting to bloom – all they need is a litle bit of water! 🌷 Each Blume doll features unique, over-the-top hairstyles and outfits that can be interchanged with other dolls. The flower pot comes packed with 10+ surprises that include fashion shoes, a sticker sheet, and a mini friend, as well as a secret playset.

Manufacturer recommended age: 3+ years


-The Number 5 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Disney Toy Story 4 Walking Buzz Lightyear!

To infinity and beyond! This Toy Story 4 Walking Buzz Lightyear comes to life with lights, sounds, and signature action moves. Kids will love his animated effects as he walks forward, backward, and speaks lines like “Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!”

Manufacturer recommended age: 3+ years


-The Number 6 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Kindi Kids Snack Time Friends Dolls!

Meet four of the brightest and bubbly friends who are ready to share your child’s journey through kindergarten! The Kindi Kids will show kids how much fun being at kindergarten can be. Each doll has big glittery eyes, bobbling heads, brushable hair, clothes, shoes, and interactive accessories!

Manufacturer recommended age: 3+ years


-The Number 7 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

CuteTitos Mystery Stuffed Animals!

CuteTitos are adorable, stuffed animals wrapped and hidden in a burrito blanket ready to be unrolled and discovered! They come uniquely wrapped in a large mystery bag and kids can unwrap them to discover their new cutest pet. CuteTitos come in 12 collectible styles and each pet comes with a burrito blanket and collector card with additional information about each pet.

Manufacturer recommended age: 3+ years


-The Number 8 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Barbie Dreamplane Playset!

The Barbie Dreamplane is ready to help imaginations take off to anywhere! 🛩 Kids can push it on its wheels to taxi on the ground or open up the top and side to reveal the inside and play out the ride. Realistic touches, like reclining seats, working overhead compartments and a snack cart with removable trays, are the ticket to role-play fun!

Manufacturer recommended age: 3+ years


-The Number 9 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Pets Alive Boppi the Booty Shakin’ Llama!

Boppi the Booty Shakin’ Llama! by Pets Alive dances like nobody else and will get the whole family up dancing and laughing! With three fun songs to dance to, plus robotic booty shakin’ and head spinning motions, Boppi is hilarious and provides great fun for family and friends.

Manufacturer recommended age: 3+ years


-The Number 10 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Playskool Mr. Potato Head Movin’ Lips!

Who knows what Mr. Potato Head will say or sing next? Just attach his mouth and press the buttons – his lips synchronize to wacky songs and some really funny phrases! This toy features over 40 phrases and four parodies to popular songs, including “lips are movie” by Meghan Trainor.

Manufacturer recommended age: 3+ years


-The Number 11 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Paw Patrol 2-in-1 Mighty Jet Command Center!

This 2-in-1 deluxe team vehicle transforms from jet into a mobile command center for the Paw Patrol! On land, lift the handle on the jet to switch into mobile command headquarters. With room for all the Mighty Pups and one Deluxe Mighty Vehicle (both sold separately), the pups can get ready for fun adventures inside.

Manufacturer recommended age: 3-5+ years


-The Number 12 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot!

With the Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot, preschoolers enter different codes to control their robot’s movements. This interactive learning toy comes to life with lights and phrases, offering coding challenges that teach about early math concepts, colors, shapes, and more.

Manufacturer recommended age: 3-6+ years


-The Number 13 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

FurReal Cubby, The Curious Bear!

Fur Real Cubby is a plush companion for kids who excitedly takes part in all their adventures, and snuggle next to them at the end of day. Cubby is a curious young Cub, and is eager to be picked up and held (he hugs you back!), play peek-a-boo, and even dance from time to time. So cute!

Manufacturer recommended age: 4+ years


-The Number 14 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

OranguTwang Kids Game!

In this fun OranguTwang game, kids take turns hanging fruit and jungle friends on the orangutan, but watch out! At some point, he’ll be holding too much and he’ll spring up and send the fruit and friends flying! How much can you hang before he goes twaaang?!

Manufacturer recommended age: 4+ years


-The Number 15 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Candylocks Scented Collectible Surprise Doll!

These dolls are deliciously sweet! 🍬 With 15″ of colorful cotton candy-inspired hair wrapped around each doll, it’s a surprise who is hidden inside every pack! Open up the cotton candy cone packaging and unravel the doll’s hair to reveal which Candylocks doll is inside. There are over 20 Candylocks dolls to collect, each with a different scent, yummy name, and theme.

Manufacturer recommended age: 4+ years


-The Number 16 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Learning Resources Coding Critters1

These playful puppy pets bring early STEM concepts to preschool learning through 100% screen-free coding. Kids code along with their new pets’ storybook adventure, and help the brave Ranger and mischievous zip have a playtime they’ll never forget!

Manufacturer recommended age: 4+ years


-The Number 17 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Shopkins Real Littles Lil’ Shopper Pack!

Shopkins Real Littles ‘Lil Shopper Packs feature some of the same brands you find in the supermarkets – just in mini form! Stock the shelves with some of your favorite brands such as Kellogg’s, Welch’s, Pringles, and more. Each Lil’ Shopper pack comes with eight of the cutest mini packs and eight Shopkins inside!

Manufacturer recommended age: 5+ years


-The Number 18 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

WowWee Buttheads Interactive Farting Figurines!

Oh my…what will they think of next!? Buttheads figurines are a ghastly group who love to let it rip. There are three different ways to play: pull their finger for gross farting noises; prank your friends and family; or challenge your friends to a fart battle. Each Butthead has their own signature fart sounds.

Manufacturer recommended age: 5+ years


-The Number 19 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

WowWee Fingerlings Narwhals!

Meet the new Fingerlings Narwhals! These adorable unicorns of the sea can surf air waves with the new magic motion sensors. They also have a special mood horn that will light up different colors in reaction to interaction. When you pet them, Narwhals will flap their tails and blink their eyes to tell you how they’re feeling. They will also give you magical kisses that get bigger and louder the longer you press their faces to your cheek. So cute!

Manufacturer recommended age: 5-15+ years


-The Number 20 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Treasure X Aliens – Dissection Kit with Slime!

What kid doesn’t love playing with slime and aliens? With this Treasure X Aliens kit, kids can dissect the alien and watch the ooze seep out! Once the skin and rib cage are removed, kids can use the included X-tool to help pull out the alien stomach contents which includes a Treasure Hunter figurine, weapon, gut critter and treasure! Afterwards, the ooze can be stored in the container provided.

Manufacturer recommended age: 5+ years


-The Number 21 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Hatching Toothless Interactive Baby Dragon!

Now kids can hatch and train their very own baby dragon from the How to Train Your Dragon movie! With light-up eyes, interactive movements, and sounds, this Hatching Toothless Interactive Baby Dragon comes alive, even while he’s still inside his egg. Once he’s hatched, kids will be able to train him how to fly and plasma blast, feed him, and play games together.

Manufacturer recommended age: 5+ years


-The Number 22 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Wildluvs Juno My Baby Elephant!

Using her peanut and mouse accessories, kids can teach Juno the baby elephant special tricks and even play games together! Feed her the included peanut and she may eat it or throw it; give her her toy mouse and she may swing it around as she sings songs to it! With your help, Juno will learn how to eat peanuts, bow, play music with her trunk, play peek-a-boo, dance and more!

Manufacturer recommended age: 5+ years


-The Number 23 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Lucky Fortune Blind Collectible Bracelets!

The future looks sweet with the all-new Lucky Fortune collectible bracelets from WowWee. Each package contains a fortune cookie shaped bracelet holder with a surprise Lucky Fortune charm bracelet and matching paper fortune. Crack it open to see what the future has in store for you! There are 4 levels of rarity: Lucky, Very Lucky, Very Very Lucky, and Ultra Lucky!

Manufacturer recommended age: 6+ years


-The Number 24 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Sphero 2 Ring Specdrums!

Sphero Specdrums are app-enabled musical rings that make the world your instrument by turning colors into sounds. Connect to the spectrum mix app and tap on anything – your clothes, drawings, or the included playing pad – to create and mix any sounds, beats, and loops that all play through your mobile device!

Manufacturer recommended age: 6+ years


-The Number 25 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

L.O.L. Surprise! 2-in-1 Glamper Fashion Camper!

This large 2-in-1 Glamper Fashion Camper is the first vehicle for L.O.L. Suprise dolls! It includes over 55 surprises to unbox, more than 10 hangout areas (such as bunk beds, light up pool and slide, fashion runway, BBQ patio, and D.J. Booth), and it even comes with one exclusive doll. It fits dolls of all sizes, including L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. fashion dolls and opens up to 2′ tall and 3′ wide.

Manufacturer recommended age: 6+ years


-The Number 26 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Owleez Flying Owl!

Spin Master’s Owleez is an interactive nurturing toy that kids can care for and also teach to fly – similar to a helicopter or drone! You can also care for it by feeding it toy berries, petting it, rocking it to sleep, and more. And the more you practice flying with Owleez, the further he can go!

Manufacturer recommended age: 6-8 years


-The Number 27 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

Artie 3000 The Coding Robot!

Meet Artie 3000! With Artie, kids can learn to code and draw with steam-style robotics to create a visual masterpiece. Just drag and drop the code and watch Artie draw the designs! Choose from pre-loaded games like Tic-Tac-Toe or test out new codes to design your own game.

Manufacturer recommended age: 7+ years


-The Number 28 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

My Robotic Pet Tumbling Hedgehog!

This toy is great for young engineers! This Hedgehog STEM experiment kit includes 172 pieces where kids can assemble a real robot that looks like a cute hedgehog. It has a built-in sound sensor and is programmed to react to claps. Clap once, and the hedgehog curls up into a ball and rolls over one time. Clap multiple times, and it will roll again and again, tumbling once for each clap!

Manufacturer recommended age: 7+ years


-The Number 29 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

LEGO Hidden Side Building Kits!

LEGO Hidden Side building kits feature a new and unique play experience that combines the creative play of LEGO construction bricks with a continuously updated augmented reality game app. Download the Hidden Side mobile app and scan the LEGO model with a phone to make it come alive. Kids can find clues in the model and solve mysteries in the app. How fun is that!?

Manufacturer recommended age: 7+ years


-The Number 30 Most Popular Kids Toy for Christmas 2019-

NERF Fortnite SP-L Elite Dart Blaster!

Kids still love playing Fortnite and NERF guns are always popular, so why not?! Just attach the barrel for distance targeting or remove the barrel when you need a more compact look for smaller play areas or when you need to move fast and stay mobile. The Fortnite SP-L blaster has an internal clip with a 3-dart capacity, so you can load three darts in a row before it’s time to reload.

Manufacturer recommended age: 8+ years


Well I really hope this helps everyone that needs help deciding which gifts to get those speacial kids in your lives this holiday season!

Love,

Nikki

Target or Walmart: Which Do You Prefer?

Okay, I have to admit it, I’m a Target mom! I love Target, I love Target, and I really love Target.

Target has more space between aisles than Walmart does, and Target doesn’t have a big old McDonalds right at the entrance; when my kids see those golden arches that’s all that they want from the minute we get into Walmart until we leave.

Target has a small food court, and a Starbucks in most where I love, but the little food area doesn’t scream “french fries” at my kids when they see it…they actually never ask for any food whatsoever when we go to Target.

Now Walmart does seem to be a tad less expensive in my city, but I do believe that Walmart is less expensive throughout the country, but I could be mistaken because I really don’t know.

-Here are a few more reasons why I love Target more than Walmart-


-Service-

It’s a tie!

Okay, I do have to start out by saying that both Target and Walmart have very wonderful employees. At each store when I ask for help I feel that I am taken very good care of.

So yes, Target employees are wonderful and Walmart employees are also wonderful!


-Quality-

Point goes to Target!

Want something that’s cheaply made, will last a year and cheap – but is trendy, with strong colors and flair? Go to Target.

Want something that’s cheaply made, will last a month and cheap – with weak colors then go to Walmart.


-Lighting-

Point goes to Target!

Target seems as is they use different light bulbs than Walmarts use. It could just be my eyes, but Targets seems to be brighter and Walmarts slightly dimmer.


-Layout-

Point goes to Target!

There is no question that the arrangement of goods at Target is much more pleasing to the eye than at Walmart. None at all. The lighting is better, the goods are arranged in fetching displays. The aisles gleam, the wares call your name in soft, glimmering tones.


-Check-out Lanes-

Point goes to Target!

Target staff just seems to really get customers checked out extremely fast.


-Clothes-

Point goes to Target!

Target has fun clothes. They’ve got ASL shirts, “Kind is Cool” and their clearance racks always have good stuff.


-Food-

Point goes to Target!

I already explained above.


-Prices-

Point goes to Walmart!

As I mentioned above, Walmart does seem to be less expensive than Target, maybe not by much, but Walmart does get this point.


-Carts-

Point goes to Target!

Target has switched to plastic carts that are delicious to roll around. Smooth like silk, they glide all over the place.

Walmart, on the other hand, has archaic carts that cling to one another like terrified bits of velcro….and I cab always find at least one or two sad McDonald’s french fries squished somewhere in the cart.


So if I add up my score it looks like Target wins 7 – 1

Please let me know which store you prefer shopping at Target or Walmart, and let me know why. Us moms have got to stick together, so the more information we can share with one another the better!

Thank you for reading!

Love,

Nikki

iPhone’s For Kids: What’s the Perfect Age To Give Your Kid a Smartphone?

Honestly, I’d rather let my 2 year use a iPhone at 2 then when she’s 12. I mean think of all the social media anxiety that comes with being a teen nowadays…plus think of all the teens that pressure each other to test nude to one another.

Teens with smartphones really worry me more than kids between the ages of 5 and 10 having an iPhone.

I know there are a lot of safety features and apps you can place on smartphones to help protect your children, but let’s be real, teens are way smarter than parents, and teens share all of their “hacks”, so if parents think that they really know what is going on with what their teens are doing with their smartphones, then you better think again.

Trust me, the Instagram and Snapchat accounts that your kids have, you know the ones that they let you follow them on, well those are their “family” accounts. Your teen has more than one Instagram and Snapchat account, and the ones that you don’t know about are the ones that they don’t want you to know about for a reason.

Anyway, back to the question that I posted in the title of this article: What’s the Perfect Age To Give Your Kid a Smartphone?”

The decision to give a child a cell phone, and at what age, is a personal one for each parent. Nationally, the average age at which kids get a phone of their own is 10.3 years. One thing experts agree on is that later is better. Once you open the door, it can be very difficult to close.

I get that. I’m learning about kids and device addiction the hard way. My 8-year-old niece is attached to her iPad at a level that I think is unhealthy. My siste admits that she regrets allowing her to own a tablet at such a young age, but the iPad did play the part of a good “babysitter” at times.

Society and marketing is what really places pressure upon parents to get their kids smartphones at such young ages, and most times kids are not ready for such a powerful tool.

In my opinion, the best way to decide whether it’s time to give your child a phone is to break down the factors that go into that decision and weigh the pros against the cons in the context of your own family’s needs. Know what you’re getting into, from both a functional and a social perspective.

Smartphone addiction is a thing, and the Internet can be a dangerous place. Some parents opt to start their kids with a dumb phone – one that doesn’t give access to web pages, social media sites, streaming sites and so on. Phone calls only.

Plenty of other parents go straight to a smartphone, which has some of its own advantages. GPS tracking tells you where the phone is, and that can give some parents a level of comfort. Plus, iPhones and Androids alike can be locked down with various parental controls.


-Set limits on your child’s cell phone-

As the parent, it’s up to you to set clear limits, make them known, and enforce them.

Decide in advance what the consequences will be for broken phone rules, and follow through.


-On and off hours-

Cell phones have the potential to interfere with bedtime, and even to disrupt your child’s sleep during the night.

Phones can be a serious distraction during the school day, and they can prevent your child from focusing on responsibilities at home in the evenings. Consider an app or parental control that allows you to shut off the device at certain times.

Phone time takes away from face-to-face time and can interfere with family relationships. That can be true for phone users of any age. Consider the culture you want to nurture in your home.


-Behind the wheel-

Once your child is a teen, you’ll face the clear and well-documented dangers of using phones while driving. Texting, posting and phone conversations have all been shown to cause people to drive as if they’re drunk. One-third of all accidents are caused by drivers using a phone to text or call. Teens can figure out pretty quickly how to disable “driving mode” on their phones.

The best way to ensure compliance is to enforce the no-phone rule behind the wheel with 100 percent consistency for a long time before you let the child drive with the phone but without you.


-Social media-

Social media platforms and other apps that are accessible from a phone, including when mom and dad aren’t around to supervise, are breeding grounds for digital aggression, cyberbullying, hate, and the pressure to live up to our perception of others’ lives as portrayed on social media.

Keep your child off social media platforms that are designed for adults until they are old enough to meet the age requirement. Once they get there, you’ve got a whole new parenting issue to research.

And as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, your kids will have more than one account for every social media platform that they are using. So just know that, and just know that there really isn’t anything you’ll be able to do about it.


-Texting and sexting-

Here’s a news flash you really won’t want to read. An author who surveyed more than 70,000 children found that sexting began, on average, in the fifth grade. Pornography consumption began at age 8.

Wait, WTF?

Yes. Kids are taking, sharing or viewing images that qualify as pornographic, using a smartphone as the tool. This is a cultural reality, and you might come to regret it if you assume that your child won’t get wrapped up in it in some way. He might never view or send an inappropriate image, but since there is a chance that inappropriate content may become available to him, your job is to head off that content or be prepared to respond if it appears.


-The reason to give your kid a phone-

Before you offer your child a phone of her own, make sure there’s a reason to do so other than the joy you feel any time you give her something she really loves. It may be a matter of delayed gratification for both of you, but stand firm until the time is right for your family.

Many families love being able to reach each other any time.

But the places your child goes may have a no-phones rule so you might not achieve your communications goal anyway.

When you really break it down, potential drawbacks to giving your child a cell phone can be greater than the potential benefits. Give your child a cell phone when your justification is compelling enough to outweigh the benefit of waiting even longer.


Please share any advice about this subject with me in the comments section!

And thank you so much for reading, and please follow my blog!

The Best Family Christmas Movies

It’s hard to find movies that adults and children can both enjoy. I sometime fall asleep while watching the movies that my kids want to watch over, and over, and over, and over again…if I have to watch Frozen one more time I might go crazy….But I think I’ve found a few Christmas movies that the whole family can watch together. Please check out my list and then share your comments with me what you would put on this list and what would you take off.


The Polar Express (2004)

Voices of Tom Hanks, Leslie Zemeckis, Peter Scolari
Truth? Sometimes movie adaptations of books are just meh. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this bedtime favorite-turned-animated classic about a young boy who takes a fantastical train ride to the North Pole.

What Parents Like: Watching this sweet story on the small screen gives you all the warm-and-fuzzies of the book—without having to do all the voices.

What Kids Like: Seeing Santa’s spectacular workshop should put to rest any nagging is-he-real questions your kiddo has—at least for one more year.


It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

I admit, this holiday go-to film starts dark—down-on-his-luck dad George Bailey wishes aloud that he were never born—but ends on a life-affirming note, thanks to the help of bumbling angel Clarence Oddbody.

What Parents Like: Turn on this black-and-white classic to help remind your wish list-making fam that there’s more to the season than just getting new stuff.

What Kids Like: The positive message resonates and inspires older kiddos, and we’re betting there won’t be a dry eye in the house when George Bailey’s daughter, Zuzu, announces that every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.


The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf’s Story (2011)

Voices of Leslie Bellair, Brendan Dooling, Evie Eikhoff

Chippy lands in the home of a boy who is skeptical of both Christmas magic and Santa. So the delightful newbie elf enlists the help of his friends and—yup, you guessed it—the guy in the red suit to show just how wonderful this time of year can be.

What Parents Like: Predictable? Sure. Sweet? Absolutely. This mini movie focuses on the joy of the season and is just the thing to watch after a long day of fighting mall traffic.

What Kids Like: After scouring the house every morning to see where their own elf is hiding, your kiddos will relish seeing an animated version come to life on screen. Plus, at 23 minutes long, it’s short enough to keep younger ones’ attention.


Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (2009)

Voices of Frank Welker, Jeff Bennett, Rino Romano

It’s George’s first Christmas, and the Man with the Yellow Hat is determined to give him the best holiday ever. Of course, that doesn’t mean the season is without its fair share of hijinks, especially when a curious monkey is involved!

What Parents Like: Think you’re having a tough time deciphering your kid’s wish list? At least you’re not the Man with the Yellow Hat, who spends all of Christmas Eve trying to figure out what his monkey really wants for Christmas.

What Kids Like: George is at his most adorable experiencing Christmas traditions—like baking cookies, choosing a tree and singing carols—for the very first time.


Jingle All the Way (1996)

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson

Before he became the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger played a workaholic dad on a mission to snap up the very last Turbo-Man action figure in town. And no one—not even Sinbad or Santa Claus—can get in his way.

What Parents Like: Even if you’ve never tussled in a store aisle over the season’s hottest toy (yet!), you can appreciate a busy dad’s desperation to win at Christmas.

What Kids Like: What kid doesn’t enjoy watching a grown-up make a complete fool of himself? If the physical comedy doesn’t get your tweens laughing, the corny-but-funny jokes certainly will.


A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Voices of Peter Robbins, Tracy Stratford, Christopher Shea

Charlie Brown is down in the dumps. Lucy’s remedy? Direct the school Christmas pageant. Along the way Schroeder plays Fur Elise, Sally pens a letter to Santa, and Linus recites the Gospel story of the baby Jesus’ birth: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy!”

What Parents Like: The first Peanuts TV special is a classic for the way it touches upon the material and the spiritual. When Charlie Brown lugs home the scrawniest tree, it becomes a branch-laden metaphor for holiday hope and cheer.

What Kids Like: The kids are all right. As Sally writes to Santa, “Please note the size and color of each item, and send as many as possible. If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself: Just send money.”


A Christmas Story (1983)

Cast: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Scott Schwartz

All Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is a BB gun—to be precise, a Daisy Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. He is obsessed with it but meets opposition and disbelief from the adults, who lecture: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Even a visit to Santa’s lap leaves him stammering. Sometimes Christmas can be the most surreal season of them all.

What Parents Like: The situations are very real and very funny. Ralphie’s parents are endearingly human and flawed. When Christmas dinner goes to the dogs, the family dines at a Chinese restaurant.

What Kids Like: The movie captures both the absurdity and wistfulness of childhood, when snowsuits resembled straitjackets and triple-dog dares led to somebody’s tongue getting stuck to the flagpole.


Elf (2003)

Cast: Will Ferrell, Bob Newhart, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel

After crawling into Santa’s sack, Buddy is raised by elves. Accident-prone and freakishly tall, he leaves the North Pole and sets out to look for his birth father in New York City. It doesn’t take long for him to find his dad — on Santa’s naughty list.

What Parents Like: The action is never too cloying or sweet, thanks to Will Ferrell’s innocent elf-child, who is sweet, hyper and excitable. He confronts the fake department store Santa by yelling, “You sit on a throne of lies!”

What Kids Like: Children will love the sight of a very tall man jumping up and down and giddily running around like a little kid. Ferrell blankets the world in Christmas decorations, goes for extra spins in the revolving door, and eats way too much sugar and candy.


Frosty, Grinch and Rudolph (1964, 1969, 1966)

Voices of Burl Ives, Jimmy Durante, Boris Karloff

The arrival of this trio of TV specials every year is comparable to the coming of the Three Wise Men. A magician’s hat blows away and lands on top of a snowman, bringing Frosty to life. After being rejected by the other reindeer for his glowing nose, Rudolph saves Christmas by allowing Santa to deliver presents during a blizzard. And Dr. Seuss draws a gimlet-eyed thief with the perfect cover: pretending to be Santa.

What Parents Like: It’s your differences that make you unique. In the right circumstances, outcasts and misfits like Rudolph, Frosty and even the Grinch can become heroes.

What Kids Like: Miracles happen. Rudolph saves the day, Frosty shows he has the white stuff, and even the smallest child will understand the transformation that takes place when the Grinch faces the tiny, innocent Cindy Lou Who.


Home Alone (1990)

Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O’Hara, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern

When the youngest child in a large family gets left behind at home, he eats too much junk food and single-handedly defends his house against robbers. What could have been a nightmare—being forgotten by your family—turns into an adventure with slapstick farce.

What Parents Like: Oh, the clamor, the din, the confusion, and the mad rush that signifies the holidays. Admit it, it could happen. You could forget a few important details, like one of your kids.

What Kids Like: Kevin’s ingenuity saves the day and puts the baddies away. Culkin is an impish delight, as he hatches booby traps and scatters toy trucks across the floor to trip up Pesci and Stern.


The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2 (1994, 2002)

Cast: Tim Allen, Eric Lloyd

A single dad must pick up the reins when he startles Santa off the roof—and accidentally kills him. Reading the fine print of the job description and following the manual is no easy task. It takes a lot of work to make the world jolly.

What Parents Like: Allen fills out the red suit nicely, making the transformation from harried single dad to harried Santa completely believable. Parents will relate to the white hairs and weight that Allen gains during the holiday season.

What Kids Like: What child hasn’t felt neglected by stressed-out and working parents during the holidays?


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Voices of Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara

Christmas gets a wicked makeover when Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, crashes neighboring Christmastown. The haunting result is a fantastical brew of stop-motion animation and delightfully ghoulish surprises. Among the gifts director Tim Burton bears: skeletal reindeer, a sacked Santa, and a tree-eating snake.

What Parents Like: You’ll appreciate the naughtiness it takes to deliver such a subversive take on such a cheery time of year.

What Kids Like: The movie is a visual feast of quirky details, backed up by Danny Elfman’s dark musical score.


Please let me know which of the above Christmas movies you’d watch with your family, and which one you would leave off the list!

Love,

Nikki

Is Being Called a “MILF” A Bad Thing?

Wow, some 40 year old guy who saw me buying groceries at Target this afternoon called me a “MILF”.

This is not a joke. I was in line waiting to check-out and this guy in front me tells whoever he’s talking to on the phone, “you got to hit up Target during the day, so many hot MILFs, one is directly behind me”.

WTF creep!? I wanted to tell him off, but again, I think he was paying me a compliment. I’m just a little conflicted as to how I feel about being called a “MILF”.

First off, I’m only 27 years old, and when I think of the word “MILF” I think of an older woman in her late 30s or early 40s….but regardless, I think calling a woman a “MILF” is kind rude.

I think I first heard the word “MILF” when I was 7 years old when I was watch that movie American Pie with my older brother. First, no 7 year old should ever watch American Pie, I would just pass out if my children ever watched a raunchy R-rated movie like American Pie before they were 18 years old.

Anyways, I first heard the term “MILF” when I was 7, and for those of you that don’t know what “MILF” stands for “MILF” is short for “Mom I’d Like To F*ck.”

Today “MILF” is splattered on mugs, shirts, books, and other paraphernalia. The reasons you should never call a mom a MILF are greater in number than the term’s popularity, though, and should be taken into account anytime someone decides to describe a mother in relation to how much they want to have sex with her. You know, because gross.

While some women take pride in being dubbed a MILF, I take issue with the term for reasons other than how damn disrespectful it is. While it’s demeaning and rude to be referred to in such a way, it’s also wrong on so many levels. Don’t get me wrong, I love feeling sexy and desirable. I enjoy turning heads and my ego could use a few more compliments. MILF isn’t a complement, though. In fact. MILF is misogynistic. The term reminds me of teenage boys drooling over each other’s gorgeous moms. It does not scream “you’re beautiful,” it screams “you’re doable and I’m horny.” And, furthermore, the words of teenage boys isn’t where grown women should be searching for validations. (That should come from within, but that’s a separate issue.)

So if you’re a man that finds himself in the check-out line at Target, don’t call mothers MILFs. It’s not nice and it’s offensive. If you want to pay a woman a compliment, there are thousands of other ways. If you can’t figure out what else to call a woman aside from MILF, then maybe you can do some soul searching? That could be good for everyone involved.

Maybe I’m being a prude.

Please let me know your thoughts on this topic my sharing them in the comments sections!

Love,

Nikki

Top 10 Reasons That I LOVE Being a MOM

As we enter into the month of December, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to be a mom to three wonderful children. I’m only 27 years old, and a lot of women my age haven’t had their first kid yet, and here I am with 3 beautiful little monsters that I couldn’t imagine living without

To me, the month of December signifies warmth, beauty, and best of all, the holiday season! It is the perfect time of year for all mothers to take inventory of their life and realize how lucky that they are. The relationship that a woman has with her mom molds her into becoming the mother that she is today.

I am so incredibly lucky to be the mom to 3 of the most amazing children in the world! I shall always be grateful for the love, support, and guidance that my mother has given to me. It has made me the mother that I am today!


Here are just 10 out of the 1,000,000 reasons why I love being a mommy….


-Reason #1 Why I Love Being a Mom-

Being a positive role model for your child is so important. Our kids want to be just like us! That is the greatest compliment in the world!


-Reason #2 Why I Love Being a Mom-

Having the power to inspire your children to become confident, thoughtful, brave, and caring individuals is the most important job in the world!


-Reason #3 Why I Love Being a Mom-

Realizing that your hug is the reason that your child’s fears and tears get wiped away instantly, truly makes you realize how important the love for your child really is.


-Reason #4 Why I Love Being a Mom-

Watching your children’s accomplishments both big and small gives you such pride! Their first words, first steps onto the school bus, learning how to read, first sleepover, scoring a basket for their team, or dancing in their dance recital, I am constantly astonished at how quickly they grow up before my eyes. It all happens so quickly. Make sure to cherish each special moment!


-Reason #5 Why I Love Being a Mom-

Waking up each day and getting that morning snuggle is the absolute best feeling in the world! I never want that special time to go away!


-Reason #6 Why I Love Being a Mom-

No matter what is going on in your life with family, friends, or work, you can come home to your children and know that you always have each other. It is an unconditional bond that you can count on.


-Reason #7 Why I Love Being a Mom-

It is the little things… like when you see yourself through your child’s eyes. I can’t count the number of times my husband turns to me when he’s with my daughter and says…”She’s you”!


-Reason #8 Why I Love Being a Mom-

Going through agonizing labor for hours and bringing a baby into the world is an experience that no one can comprehend until they have done it! The feeling of being solely responsible for bringing another life into the world is the most important event in a woman’s life.


-Reason #9 Why I Love Being a Mom-

Being a mom is not always easy, but it is the one job which you know that you can NEVER quit. Even when you hit some bumps along the way, you know that your children are counting on you. That is what keeps you going!


-Reason #10 Why I Love Being a Mom-

A mommy is a mommy FOREVER! Even when you become a mom yourself, you will always turn to your mom when you need her and know she is ALWAYS there no matter what!


If you’re a mommy, or a daddy, I would love for you to share with me what your TOP reasons are as to why you love being a mommy or a daddy to your children.

Please email me directly and I will do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible!

Love,

Nikki

Best Things To Do in Maine For The Whole Family!

If you live in Maine and have kids, or planning a trip to Maine with your kids, then these are the best things to in the state of Maine that the whole family will enjoy doing together!

Population of Maine: 1,342,097

A few facts about the state of Maine that your family should know that will help prepare you for your trip:


In Wilton there’s a cannery that imports and cans only dandelion greens.


Maine is the only state in the United States whose name has one syllable.


Maine is the only state in the United States whose name has one syllable.


The White Mountain National Forest covers nearly 800,000 acres, the forest covers a landscape ranging from hardwood forests to the largest alpine area east of the Rocky Mountains


Approximately 40 millions pounds (nearly 90 percent) of the nation’s lobster supply is caught off the coast of Maine.


And here are the best things to do in Maine that the whole family will enjoy…..


On the shores of the Kennebec River is the small coastal town of Bath. It is home to the modern, kid-friendly Maine Maritime Museum. Here, kids can see how a lighthouse works, play on a ship-themed playground, or learn about the history of the preserved shipyard from friendly volunteers.

A large metal sculpture shows exactly how big the wooden sailing ship Wyoming, constructed on site, actually was a century ago. A diorama shows several large wooden schooners being constructed at the shipyard in the early 20th century. The Maine Maritime Museum even has various kid-friendly cruises available that tour the Kennebec River daily during the summer season.

Located in the heart of downtown Bangor, the Maine Discovery Museum offers youngsters the opportunity to participate in messy art projects, get creative with recyclable materials, become science detectives, and so much more. Made up of more than 60 interactive exhibits, aspects of Maine are woven into the experience, giving kids the opportunity to explore concepts such as state’s ecosystem and get familiar with its literary world.

If you’re in the Portland area, there are three floors of activities waiting for you at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. From the market to the auto repair shop, explore the interconnected services of a kid-sized town, and board an outdoor pirate ship for imaginative adventures on the high sea.


From lobster macaroni and cheese to lobster rolls, there’s one thing that you’re likely to find on almost every menu in Maine – lobster! Never eaten fresh lobster before? New Englanders assured me that it was easy to go buy my own lobster and cook it.

If you’re not quite that adventurous, look for a resort or restaurant that holds a traditional New England lobster bake, like Sebasco Harbor Resort. At a traditional New England lobster bake, lobster is cooked with clams, potatoes, and corn over a fire with seaweed. Of course, you might also need to find a native New Englander to help you figure out how to eat your lobster. Fortunately, most restaurants serving whole lobster are understanding and will gladly show you how.

Are your kids unsure about giving lobster a try? A unique experience available in many of Maine’s popular vacation destinations is go out on a lobster boat and experience the daily routines of a Maine lobsterman. Whether hauling traps is your thing or your aim is to learn to tell hardshells, shedders, shorts, culls, and keepers apart, several outfitters offer an unforgettable opportunity for your family to participate in bringing the ocean to your dinner plate. After spending a couple hours with a lobsterman, maybe they’ll be willing to give lobster a try.


Intended to protect the Penobscot River Valley from a British naval attack, Fort Knox is one of the best preserved military fortifications in New England. Built between 1844 and 1869, while border disputes between Maine and New Brunswick flared tensions with the British, the fort never saw any actual fighting. Take your young ones on an exploration of the fort’s passageways and rooms and encourage them to engage in their own imaginary military exercises.

About an hour’s drive from Penobscot near Augusta, you’ll find Old Fort Western. The oldest surviving wooden fort in the area, Benedict Arnold used it as a staging point for his assault on Quebec during the American Revolution.

The Kennebec River has also seen it’s share of history. If you’re visiting Popham Beach, be sure to take the short drive down to the mouth of the Kennebec River to Fort Popham. At Fort Popham you’ll find a parking area, more wide sandy beaches, and a bit of a history lesson about this fort built during the Civil War.

Looking for more places to visit in Maine to experience history with your family? Be sure to ride the steam locomotive at the Boothbay Railway Village in Boothbay Harbor.


It’s not difficult to find a beautiful view along the coast of Maine. It seems that each of Maine’s coastal towns has their own walking path alongside the water. Dramatic views and crisp ocean air are the main attractions of Marginal Way, the fenced in walking path that winds its way along the rocky shores from the quaint village of Perkins Cove to Ogunquit Beach.

Thirty memorial benches dot this walk so there are many places to sit and admire the view. Several small beaches provide just enough space for a few families to enjoy the clear water on a sunny day. Don’t miss out on the scenic drive south from Ogunquit on Shore Road through Cape Neddick to York Beach.

The charming town of Camden along the shores of Penobscot Bay offers pathways and bridges lined with flowers as well as charming shops and seafood restaurants. For an even better view, go to Camden Hills State Park just outside of town. Families can either drive or walk to the top of Mount Battie. At the top, families will find one of the best views in Maine overlooking Camden and the islands dotting Penobscot Bay. To the north you might even be able to spot Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park or Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, in Baxter State Park.


There is no better way to experience the coast of Maine than to get out on the water. Most coastal towns and fishing villages offer tours for families looking to cruise the harbor. In Portland families can hop on the Mailboat Run of the Casco Bay Lines and ride the route traveled by the working boats carrying passengers, mail and freight to the islands of the Casco Bay.

My favorite way to experience Maine is paddling a kayak past fishing villages and around the tiny coastal islands. In a kayak, families can watch sea birds and ducks swimming in the water and osprey soaring above.

Looking for a place to kayak in Maine? Consider Sebasco Harbor Resort on Casco Bay about an hour north of Portland. Imagine dropping your younger kids off at camp at 9am, then enjoying a couple hours quietly kayaking past fishing villages on the bay. There’s even a historic island to paddle around. If you have teens, they might even be willing to paddle board with you! Like many other resorts and hotels on the coast of Maine, Sebasco Harbor Resort also offers daily, family-friendly cruises around the nearby islands.


More than five dozen lighthouses keep watch over Maine’s rugged coastline. While some are still operational and not open to the public, many offer opportunities to experience life watching over vessels along the often unpredictable sea.

One of the most photographed lighthouses in Maine is the Portland Head Lighthouse, located at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. This lighthouse is still operated by the Coast Guard and therefore not open for tours. However, an adjacent museum allows visitors to inspect various lens used in lighthouses. There are trails and picnic areas to enjoy at Fort Williams Park. It is also a prime spot for watching ships from all sorts of international locations enter Portland Harbor.

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse is perched on the easternmost tip of the United States, this light house is often the first object in the country to be touched by the rising sun’s rays. Famously painted in distinctive red and white stripes, this 49-foot tall structure is part of Quoddy Head State Park.


There’s so much more to Maine than its coastline. Families visiting Maine must head inland to its rivers, lakes, and mountains to fully experience everything that the United States’most northeastern state has to offer. For the adventurous, the Kennebec River Valley is a truly unique and beautiful destination.

Northern Outdoors is the place to go to experience the adventurous side of Maine in any season. From snowmobiling in the winter to whitewater rafting in the summer, the thrills of Maine’s Kennebec Valley create the most memorable family vacation memories.

Starting at about age 10, children can raft the Class III-IV section of the Kennebec River with Northern Outdoors. There is a river float available for families with younger children. My son and I rafted the Kennebec in the summer rain. The hillsides covered with trees could not have been more vibrantly green. The water on the Kennebec is released from a dam at a certain predictable volume each day. So each day on the river equally thrilling and refreshing even in the middle of summer.


The coastline of Southern Maine is dotted with a variety of soft, sandy beaches and gentle surf. From York Beach in the south to Acadia’s Sand Beach in the north, there are all sorts of sandy beaches to enjoy in Maine.

Parents of small tots love Mother’s Beach in Kennebunk. The small beach is located in a sheltered cove and features shallow pools of water created by the tide. Among the offerings that draw young families are a playground on the beach, on-duty lifeguards and its location, a short walk from town.

York also has a beautiful stretch of coastline consisting of several villages: York Village, York Harbor, Cape Neddick, and York Beach. Visitors to York Beach area enjoy fabulous views including that of the Nubble Lighthouse just offshore. A playground, a pavilion for enjoying summer concerts, basketball courts and more are just a short walk from the sandy shores. The area also boasts a candy store that has become a beloved summer tradition. The Golden Rod has been churning out homemade saltwater taffy for more than 115 years. Families love watching the taffy makers stretch sweet treats in the big picture windows.


Yes, Maine is beautiful in the summertime. Families can take the short hike to Moxie Falls, one of the the tallest waterfall in New England, then wander upstream a bit to find a swimming hole to enjoy. Or, drive the gravel road out to Grand Falls for a short hike and a swim in the river. Be sure to be on the lookout for moose. US-201 through The Forks is often referred to as “Moose Alley.”

In the fall, there is no better place for leaf peeping than Moosehead Lake and Baxter State Park. There are plenty of peaceful places for hiking and fishing in Maine’s mountain. Can’t seem to find that elusive moose? Take a moose safari on the lake either first thing in the morning or at dusk to spot all sorts of Maine wildlife.

Want to experience winter in Maine? There are many snowmobile trails crisscrossing Maine’s wilderness. Or, head to Sugarloaf Mountain for skiing. During the winter, families enjoy the 1,000 acres of developed ski and snow terrain to snowshoe, ski, and snowboard at Sugarloaf Mountain.


Visitors come to Acadia National Park to hike its granite peaks, bike its historic carriage roads, stroll along the shores Jordan Pond, and hear Thunder Hole roar. Acadia National Park is one of the best family-friendly New England vacation destinations for good reason- there is so much to do on Mount Desert Island!

Families can take whale watching tours out of Bar Harbor to spot humpback whales. Or, children can explore the rocky coast at low tide to find crabs and other sea life. All generations of the family can eat a meal together on the lawn at Jordan Pond House enjoying the tasty popovers with blueberry jam.

Looking for more places to visit in Maine’s Acadia National Park? Check out the Best Things to Do in Acadia National Park with Kids.

Many thanks to Kristine Dworkin who researched and wrote the original version of this article in 2012.

Best Things To Do in Maryland For The Whole Family!

If you live in Maryland and have kids, or planning a trip to Maryland with your kids, then these are the best things to in the state of Maryland that the whole family will enjoy doing together!

Population of Maryland: 6,062,917

A few facts about the state of Maryland that your family should know that will help prepare you for your trip:


The United States Naval Academy was founded on October 10, 1845 at Annapolis.


In 1830 the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company built the first railroad station in Baltimore.


During revolutionary times Rockville was known as Hungerford’s Tavern the name of its most familiar landmark. One of the first calls to freedom from British rule was heard at the tavern in 1774.


The Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is considered a masterpiece and one of the finest 19th century buildings in the world. The basilica is the first cathedral in the United States. Baltimore represents the first Roman Catholic diocese.


Fort Meade near Laurel became a base because a train engineer delivering soldiers to Meade knew only one Meade, the one in Maryland. He was not aware of Fort Meade, Florida. The confusion happened so often a second base was built in Maryland in an attempt to avoid the confusion.


And here are the best things to do in Maryland that the whole family will enjoy…..


A visit to Maryland’s state capital gives families the opportunity to learn about the early history of the United States. The elegant Maryland State House in Annapolis served as the nation’s First Peacetime Capitol building for almost a year in 1783-1784. During that time, General George Washington resigned his commission as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Today visitors can view the current house and senate chambers as well the historic ones at this Maryland attraction.

If you’re in the mood to visit more of Maryland’s most historic buildings after a self-guided tour of the Maryland State House, walk over to the William Paca House or the United States Naval Academy. Kids love checking out the model dorm rooms at the Naval Academy and viewing the ship models in the academy’s museum. The United States Naval Academy is certainly one of the most inspiring places to visit in Maryland, and it’s the reason why Annapolis is often referred to as “America’s sailing capital.” Once you’ve had your fill of history, head to one of Annapolis’ many family-friendly restaurants.


While Maryland certainly has its share of suburban neighborhoods, much of the state’s landscape is dominated by rich farmland. There are many places to visit in Maryland that have U-pick farms. If your family is driving Hwy 70, take a quick detour and pick some cherries or blueberries at Larriland Farm. Making the drive from Washington D.C. out to Harper’s Ferry? Take the scenic route and stop at Homestead Farms for apple picking on your way. If your family is driving Hwy 270, take a five-minute detour to Butler’s Orchard to pick my very favorite fresh fruit, black raspberries. It’s a great place to visit in Maryland with kids during the summer season.

Fruit is not the only farm-fresh food that families should drive out of their way to sample in Maryland. There are several creameries that are also worth a scenic drive to visit. South Mountain Creamery is a family favorite. Families can arrive in the afternoon to buy a bite of ice cream and stay to feed a bottle of milk to the baby calves. It’s also great family fun to eat some ice cream next to the sunflower field at Rocky Point Creamery just outside of Point of Rocks.


Nearly every kindergarten-age child in the United States can recognize a photograph of a bald eagle. But, how many can say that they’ve spotted one out in the wild? If you’re looking to go bird watching in the Mid-Atlantic region, look no further than the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is the ideal destination for a somewhat educational and very relaxing getaway. The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is only a short 30-minute drive from the fabulous, family-friendly Hyatt Chesapeake Bay Resort. It also neighbors the new Harriet Tubman National Historic Site.

My son and I have spotted a few bald eagles closer to Washington D.C. too. On a free mid-afternoon boat cruise on the Patuxent River from the Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Prince George’s County, our boat was greeted by a bald eagle soaring down the river.


Western Maryland is the place to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh mountain air. Families can rent a cabin or spend a week camping during the summer months in the Deep Creek Lake area of Garrett County. Swallow Falls State Park is one of the best places to visit in Maryland for a family hike. The hike into the falls is simple enough for adventurous tots and takes less than an hour. Kids also love swimming in the cold waters of Tolliver Falls, the final waterfall on the trail. In the winter months, families can ski at Maryland’s only ski resort, Wisp Resort just north of Deep Creek Lake.

There is no shortage of opportunities for hiking in Western Maryland with kids. For families with older children, there are approximately 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the state of Maryland. Maryland’s most popular day hikes on the Appalachian Trail both begin in its state parks. Families can hike to Annapolis Rock from Hwy 40 just outside of South Mountain State Park. Hikers are rewarded with amazing views once they reach the top.


Maryland has nearly seven thousand miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay. It’s no surprise that the state’s history, livelihood, and industry are closely tied to the bay. Venturing out of urban and suburban Maryland towards the shores of the bay, families find several maritime museums. Maritime museums are popular Maryland attractions for all ages. These museums tell the story of the Chesapeake Bay watermen who have made a living off of harvesting oysters and catching blue crab.


Many of the larger cities in the Mid-Atlantic region can boast of their impressive science, art and history museums. However, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor neighborhood is unique in that it includes the Port Discovery children’s museum, the National Aquarium, and the Maryland Science Center. All three of these world-class museums are within walking distance of the city’s beautifully revitalized harbor.

If that’s not enough to keep your family busy, the harbor is also home to four historic ships. Baltimore Water Taxi also docks right next to the USS Constellation and can take families to the historic Fells Point neighborhood to catch a kid-friendly Urban Pirates cruise or across the harbor to the American Visionary Arts Museum.


Maryland has only about thirty miles of sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. This short coastline boasts both a boardwalk with amusement park rides and one of the nation’s ten protected national seashores. In Ocean City, families can stay beachside in one of the dozens of hotels or hundreds of rental properties available within sight of the sand. With water parks, amusement parks, and miniature golf available at several locations on the island, kids can get their thrills even when they tire of the saltwater and sunshine. After spending a few days splashing at Jolly Rogers Splash Mountain Waterpark and screaming on their amusement park rides in between visits to the beach, Ocean City easily gets my kids’ vote as one of their favorite places to visit in Maryland.

Less than an hour’s drive from the boardwalk crowds is Assateague State Park and Assateague Island National Seashore. Families can get away from it all and camp on the beach. However, they might have to share their campsite with the wild Chincoteague ponies that make their home on the island.


The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park stretches from Georgetown in Washington D.C. all the way to Cumberland in Western Maryland. It might be my favorite Maryland attraction and the state’s best-kept secret. Hiking the Billy Goat Trail, which traverses the rocky cliffs of the Potomac Gorge just upriver from Washington D.C., is one of my children’s favorite things to do in Maryland. They love to climb the rocks while I enjoy taking in the view of the Potomac River rushing by. However, families don’t have to hike miles of strenuous trail in order to get the perfect view. The view of Great Falls from Olmstead Island is just an easy 10-15 minute walk along the towpath and a boardwalk from the Great Falls Visitor Center.

With 184.5 miles of canal, visitors don’t have to battle the traffic of suburban Maryland in order to experience one of the top Maryland attractions. The Cumberland Visitor Center terminus of the canal is full of educational displays describing the procedure for bringing the canal boats through the many locks along the canal. Another of my favorite stops along the canal is in Brunswick, just a short drive from Harpers Ferry. There is a small, free visitor center on the first floor of the Brunswick Heritage Museum. If your family stops in Brunswick, make sure to eat at one of my favorite Maryland coffee shops, Beans in the Belfry. This classic, small-town church has been converted to a restaurant complete with stain glass windows, toys for the tots and the most amazing desserts.


Crab cakes, steamed crab, soft shell crab, crab soup, and the list goes on and on. There’s a reason that Maryland is known for its crab. Approximately 50 percent of the country’s blue crab harvest comes from Maryland. The blue crab is even Maryland’s official “State Crustacean.” Families visiting Maryland should give crab a try whether trying the seafood platter featuring crab cakes at the Phillips Crab House in Ocean City or cracking their own steamed crab at Bo Brooks in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood.

The Eastern Shore is one of the best places to visit in Maryland for crab. Just ask the locals anywhere along the Chesapeake’s Eastern or Western shore for a local recommendation. When visiting the Chesapeake Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, the locals recommended the crab soup at the nearby Chesapeake Landing Seafood Restaurant. It was very tasty with huge chunks of crab meat.


There are more than fifteen parks run by the National Park Service where kids can become a Junior Ranger in Maryland. One Maryland attraction that families should make sure to put on their itinerary is Fort McHenry. Fort McHenry is the place where the US flag was seen by Francis Scott Key the morning after the Battle of Baltimore. Of course, Francis Scott Key then went on to pen the poem that eventually became the United States National Anthem. The video shown at the Fort McHenry visitor center is one of my favorites in all of U.S. national park system. It is appropriate for all ages and should not be missed. For McHenry is one of the most educational places in Maryland to visit with the family

If you take a moment to look at a Civil War era map that includes the infamous Mason-Dixon Line resting between Maryland and Pennsylvania, you’ll quickly see why so many Maryland attractions are Civil War battlefields and historic sites. There are visitor centers and Junior Ranger programs at both Monocracy National Battlefield and Antietam National Battlefield. Our children are fortunate that these historic sites have been preserved and that park rangers are available to provide educational programs so that we all can learn from our country’s past.

Do your kids love the Junior Ranger Program as much as mine do? There are so many places to visit in Maryland with kids where they can complete the Junior Ranger program. Here’s a guide to Places to Become a Junior Ranger Near Washington DC.

Best Things To Do in Kentucky For The Whole Family!

If you live in Kentucky and have kids, or planning a trip to Kentucky with your kids, then these are the best things to in the state of Kentucky that the whole family will enjoy doing together!

Population of Kentucky: 4,484,047

A few facts about the state of Kentucky that your family should know that will help prepare you for your trip:


The town of Murray is home to the Boy Scouts of America Scouting Museum located on the campus of Murray State University.


The town of Murray is home to the Boy Scouts of America Scouting Museum located on the campus of Murray State University.


In 1774 Harrodstown (now Harrodsburg) was established as the first permanent settlement in the Kentucky region. It was named after James Harrod who led a team of area surveyors.


The first Miss America from Kentucky is Heather Renee French. She was crowned September 18, 1999.


Kentucky is the state where both Abraham Lincoln, President of the Union, and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, were born. They were born less than one hundred miles and one year apart.


And here are the best things to do in Kentucky that the whole family will enjoy…..


What are Hot Brown and Derby Pie? I’m glad you asked because I had no idea myself. When I was cooking up ideas for this article I was told you won’t find these dishes outside of Kentucky and you must give them a try. The Hot Brown, an open-faced sandwich dish of turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce, originated at the Brown Hotel in Louisville in the early 1900’s, and this is still the place you want to enjoy this meal! Derby pie, a chocolate nut pie, was created more than 50 years ago as the specialty pastry at the Melrose Inn. The recipe took a long time to create and has been kept top secret. One may try but never succeed at duplicating the original! Pie lovers can be enjoy a slice of the original distributed by Kern’s Kitchen at restaurants across Kentucky such as The Old Spaghetti Factory, Mammoth Cave Hotel, and Lotsa Pasta.


Federal Hill Mansion, affectionately known as “My Old Kentucky Home,” was made famous by Stephen Foster’s ballad which went on to become Kentucky’s state song. The home was originally part of a plantation where Stephen Foster’s uncle resided. This famous landmark represents Kentucky on the back of the quarter. The mansion is located in My Old Kentucky Home State Park where visitors can not only tour Federal Hill but also take in a show at the outdoor theater, browse local crafts at the gift shop, play a game of tennis, go birding, or spend the night camping.

While in the area, explore the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater, the fourth largest Civil War Museum in the country. If you are looking for something a little different and don’t mind a splurge, take a ride aboard the Kentucky Dinner Train. You will embark on a scenic train ride while being served a delicious dinner or lunch.


Harrodsburg, KY was settled in 1774; it was the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. It remains a small town rich in history and offers families plenty to do. The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill takes guests back in time as you explore this living history village. Costumed interpreters will impart their knowledge of the Shakers and provide demonstrations of crafts and trades of the times. While there, be sure to take a river cruise aboard the Dixie Belle Riverboat. At Old Fort Harrod State Park visitors can visit a replica of the fort James Harrod built in 1775. From April through October, costumed interpreters demonstrate pioneer crafts. For families looking to have some old-fashioned fun, pull into the Twin Hills Drive-In and watch a movie on the big screen. For a real throw back, visit Dedman Drug Store on Main Street and pull up a seat at the original soda counter.


Kentucky has some large and beautiful lakes to explore. What better way to do that than by actually staying on the lake? A houseboat can offer you all the comforts of home along with the beautiful scenery and serenity found on the water. Boats come in different sizes, feature different amenities ranging from basic to luxury, and guests will be provided with all the information on how to operate the houseboat upon boarding. Families will be able to cruise by day and find a cozy little cove to anchor in at night. For convenience, guests may want to consider renting a personal water craft to go ashore for site seeing or necessities without having to dock. Dale Hollow Lake is a large, picturesque lake located in South-Central Kentucky on the Tennessee border. While aboard your house boat enjoy fishing, swimming, and water sports, or dock and explore the shores. Lake Cumberland State Dock rents houseboats on Lake Cumberland which offers 1,200 miles of shoreline, beautiful waterfalls, and secret coves. Green River Lake features some of the best bass, muskie and crappie fishing amid the clear waters.


Cumberland Falls, located in Cumberland Falls State Park, is known as the Niagra Falls of the South. This beautiful water fall is 68 feet tall by 125 feet wide and offers a look at a stunning and rare moonbow visible during the full moon. Aside from the beauty of the falls, there is plenty for families to do within the park. There are over 17 miles of trails to hike and explore, a pool to swim in, picnic areas with grills and playgrounds, tennis courts, stables with horseback riding, and fishing in the Cumberland River. For the adventurous outdoor lover, book a rafting trip! For those wishing to extend their stay, overnight accommodations can be arranged at the campground or book a room in the Dupont Lodge.


Do you know where the famous president Abraham Lincoln was born? Right here in Kentucky. You and your family can visit Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace and learn more about him and the area where he grew up. Children of today will be amazed at how small the cabin is compared to the homes we live in today. Take in the video presentation at the visitor center, visit the spring where his family drew there water, and visit Lincoln’s childhood home in Knob Creek. These sites are located in a national park so be sure to check out the Ranger Programs, hiking trails, and picnic areas.


The Kentucky Horse Park is the largest tourist attraction in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. It is owned and operated by the state of Kentucky and dedicates itself to sharing its love of horses through live presentations, rides, movies, shows, and special events. Take a horse drawn trolley tour and learn some history of the park. For a more in depth tour, visitors can sign up for a van farm tour and get a behind the scenes tour of the facility. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at riding, here is your chance. Visitors can embark on a trail ride or, for the youngest of visitors, a pony ride. Beautiful sculptures adorn the park appealing to both horse and art lovers alike. In addition, you can learn more about the history of the horse by visiting the International Museum of the Horse.


Horse racing has a long and rich history in Kentucky, dating back to the late 1700’s. I’ve been told by a Kentucky insider that a trip to Churchill Downs or Keeneland is worth the visit, even if it isn’t a race day. Historic Churchill Downs opened in 1875 and is home to the famous Kentucky Derby. The racetrack features Family Fun Day each Sunday during the Spring Race Meet. Kid’s activities occur in the Paddock Pavilion and include story time, a walking tour through the garden to visit the resident miniature pony, bingo, and more. Located on the front steps of this historic spot is the Kentucky Derby Museum. Here, visitors can explore two levels of exhibits and take a Historic Walking Tour of Churchill Downs. Additional tours are available that offer looks behind the scenes and at the barns.

Keeneland Thoroughbred Racing is another racetrack that offers visitors a great experience. Their race season is in April and October. On race days they invite you to arrive early to take in the morning workouts. During race season visitors can also enjoy their Saturday Morning Breakfast With The Works program. They are open all year for self-guided tours and breakfast at the Track Kitchen. Stop by to browse their gift shop or visit the library.


Every request I made on family friendly activities in Kentucky led me to one place: Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Bats are produced seven days a week in the factory and guests have the opportunity to take a guided tour to see the process. You will even go home with your own miniature version! Catch the short film The Heart of the Game and visit the galleries and exhibits where visitors will explore all sorts of memorabilia including the Louisville Slugger used by Joe DiMaggio during his 56 game hitting streak. Guests mingle with life-like sculptures of some of baseball’s greats such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Derek Jeter and kids will enjoy climbing all over the 17 ton Glove Sculpture. You can even step into a batting cage and try out your swing! Outside, as you stroll down Main Street, discover the Walk of Fame featuring some of baseball’s best players. Each player honored has a bronze cast of the Louisville Slugger bat they used and a home plate featuring their career stats. After you are done exploring here, be sure to take in a game at Louisville Slugger Field.


Mammoth Cave National Park offers plenty to do for the nature enthusiast. One of the highlights here is embarking on a cave tour. Many different tours are available varying in length, difficulty, and areas covered: there is a tour for everyone! The Frozen Niagra Tour is perfect for small children and those who can’t walk very far, while the Trog tour is a kids only tour for those ages 8-12 years. There is plenty to do above ground as well. If you like to camp, there are three campgrounds to choose from as well as backcountry camping available. If pitching a tent isn’t your thing then be sure to look into Mammoth Cave Hotel. Along the rivers there are many recreational opportunities including fishing, canoeing, or take a ferry ride. There are miles upon miles of trails to explore on foot, bike, or horseback. Don’t forget to check out the Ranger programs!

Best Things To Do in Louisiana For The Whole Family!

If you live in Louisiana and have kids, or planning a trip to Louisiana with your kids, then these are the best things to in the state of Louisiana that the whole family will enjoy doing together!

Population of Louisiana: 4,652,581

A few facts about the state of Louisiana that your family should know that will help prepare you for your trip:


The world famous “Mardi Gras” is celebrated in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is an ancient custom that originated in southern Europe. It celebrates food and fun just before the 40 days of Lent: a Catholic time of prayer and sacrifice.


Louisiana was named in honor of King Louis XIV.


Louisiana is the only state in the union that does not have counties. Its political subdivisions are called parishes.


Louisiana is the only state with a large population of Cajuns, descendants of the Acadians who were driven out of Canada in the 1700s because they wouldn’t pledge allegiance to the King of England.


Metairie is home to the longest bridge over water in the world, the Lake Pontchartrain causeway. The causeway connects Metairie with St. Tammany Parish on the North Shore. The causeway is 24 miles long.


And here are the best things to do in Louisiana that the whole family will enjoy…..


Louisiana is home to more than 115 bird watching sites. This means visitors can see a huge variety of species that are native to the state. For those who are all in on for a birding adventure, the America’s Wetland Birding Trail cuts through 22 Louisiana parishes (counties).

If you have limited birding time however, there are places to see a select few native bird types. Lake Fausee Pointe State Park is a perfect spot to listen for the sweet call of the Prothonotary Warbler or watch for Little Blue Herons nest and feed in the park’s swamp, lake, and trees.

At the Cypress Island Preserve, throngs of Great Egrets and Roseate Spoonbills nest in the protected habitat of cypress-tupelo swamp and bottomland hardwood forest. Keep your eyes out for alligators as well!

Louisiana is sometimes referred to as the Pelican State. At the Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, you’ll see the reason for that nickname. Brown Pelicans are among the species often spotted in this refuge on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. A nature boardwalk makes it easy to search out jays, wrens, rub-throated hummingbirds, gulls, and more.


A collection of sugar sand beaches in southwest Louisiana, the Cajun Riviera spans from Holly Beach in Cameron Parish to Cypremort Beach in Vermillion Parish.

Whether your plan includes fishing, crabbing, sunbathing, or seashell collecting, you’re in for an experience like no other. The Gulf waters are warm. It’s also common for campers to pull their vehicles right up on the beach. So, imagine your family gathered around a moonlit campfire cooking the day’s catch or enjoying a seasonal Crawfish boil under the stars.

Be warned though, services out this way are almost nonexistent. This is because a pair of hurricanes wiped out much of the area and rebuilding has been slow and costly. While this is an excursion made for adventurous families, the payoff for your kids is a bounty of nature’s treasures to enjoy.

Shell collecting at Mae’s Beach can yield an abundance of lovely shards as well as whole shells. You can also add driftwood, moon snails, and sea beans to your trove if you take your treasure hunting onto the Creole Nature Trail. There are 26 miles of beach paradise to scour on the 180-mile long trail. Drivable coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico are treated as byways so standard rules of the road apply.

Once you tire of seafood, head to the Southwestern Louisiana Boudin Trail. It’s about an hour inland toward Lake Charles. Boudin is a combination of cooked rice, pork, liver, onions, green pepper, and seasonings like salt, pepper, and garlic powder. This mixture is put through a meat grinder, then stuffed into a sausage casing, and steamed. More than 20 boudin masters showcase their particular spin on the recipe along this unique trail.


Shreveport-Bossier is often referred to as Louisiana’s Other Side. It could be argued though that this label was meant to be more than a geographical definition. A colorful mix of Cajun and Texan attributes, Shreveport-Bossier represents another aspect of the state’s personality. The area is famous for riverboat casinos and venues that pair Texas steak with spicy crawfish, but it also boasts some wonderfully fun and educational opportunities for families.

Take the Sci-Port Louisiana Science Center for instance. It has almost 300 exhibits designed to provide visitors of all ages with hands-on learning experiences in math, science, and space.

Regional history and culture are subjects of the exhibits, frescos, and murals in the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum. Be sure to check out the 22 detailed dioramas depicting Depression and Post-Depression era aspects of Louisiana’s agriculture, economy, technology, and natural resources.

Then there’s the Spring Street Historical Museum, housed in one of the oldest buildings in the downtown area it seems like a time travel portal. Vintage clothing, toys, firearms, and swords are among the large collection of artifacts displayed. There’s also a complete Victorian parlor that will give you a nice peek into the late 1800’s.

Looking for something more adventurous after all that educational input? Then get the family over to the Gators and Friends Alligator Park and Exotic Zoo. This is no ordinary zoo — visitors can hold and feed the gators here! There’s also an exotic petting zoo that includes miniature horses, kangaroos, a camel, and so much more! You can even zip line right over the park’s residents!


Louisiana is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream! All 22 state parks offer a combination of tent-camping, cabin rentals, and RV sites. Many even feature bayou-side camping.

Visitors can paddle their way around the park from their cabin’s front doors at Poverty Point Reservoir State Park. They can also enjoy boating, fishing, camping, hiking, or quietly watching for area wildlife. Cypremort Point State Park grants visitors boat access to the Gulf of Mexico. However, Cypress Black Bayou offers nature trails and a petting zoo.

There’s a fishing paradise awaiting those headed to Grand Isle where the Tarpon Rodeo attracts thousands of fishing competitors each year. Canoeing in Chemin-a-Haut State Park will give one the feeling of being walled in by a gallery of cypress trees. Visitors at Tickfaw State Park can stroll through four ecosystems over a mile of boardwalks and experience the sights and sounds of swamp life.


Acadiana is the heart of French Louisiana. It’s also a cultural enclave born of the enduring spirit of the Cajun and Creole people. Trace the history of these two vibrant and colorful groups by visiting the Acadian Village, which covers the daily life, music, and food of the area’s early Cajuns. There’s also Vermilionville, a living history experience allowing visitors to walk through the lives of early settlers.

Dance halls are a big deal in Acadiana so, when the accordions and fiddles come out, all ages participate in the fun. La Pousserie is a fine example of rural Louisiana’s classic dance hall scene. In operation since 1955, many claim that the crowded dance floor also vibrates. Now this could be due to its low ceilings and hardwood floors but I wouldn’t rule out the two-stepping, foot stomping moves of the patrons.

Prejean’s and Randol’s Restaurants marry live Zydeco and Cajun music with a flavorful Southern fare. Just try to refrain from dancing once the music starts up! It’s impossible to sit still!

During the daylight hours, your kids will enjoy the hands-on learning experiences at Children’s Museum of Acadiana. Another not to be missed destination is the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. Stretching across 14 parishes, it is one of the most culturally rich and ecologically varied regions in the country.


Swamp tours are a great way to see Louisiana’s alligator population in its natural setting. The state’s wetlands may seem a little haunting and dangerous but they yield unforgettable experiences. Most swamp guides possess a slew of colorful tales as well as the daring to lure gators to the boat using marshmallows and chicken pieces as bait.

Cajun Pride Swamp Tours conducts multiple daily tours. The boat sightings are so common to the animals that consequently, they respond to the captain’s call.

At Bayou Pierre Alligator Park, visitors enjoy a sampling of gator cuisine after a tour along with photo opportunities that include touching the gators.

Just a half hour outside of New Orleans, guided tours through the lush swamps of Honey Island offer an education about the ecology of the area as well as the residents living in them. Kids can even try a gator dog at the gift shop before or after the tour.

If the swamp is not your scene there’s another way for your kids to get an up-close gator experience. At the Insta-Gator Ranch and Hatchery, kids can play with baby alligators in a touch pool or hold an egg in their hands and watch it hatch!


The New Orleans Jazz music scene spills onto the city’s streets. It’s been said that a decent musician can find numerous ways to make a living in this city, hence the city’s nickname “the Big Easy.” You don’t have to go far into the French Quarter to find musicians in action. They often play right there on the street. New Orleans is where Jazz was born after all, so why not?


Believe it or not though, there are places to introduce kids to jazz. Preservation Hall is THE family-friendly venue for enjoying classic New Orleans jazz. All ages are welcome to the three nightly performances.

New Orleans has two parks dedicated to jazz. New Orleans Musical Legends Park celebrates icons like Fats Domino and Irma Thomas. Live Jazz Music starts daily at 10:00 am until 10:00 pm. Surprisingly, this cultural haven is located amidst the hijinks of Bourbon Street. There’s also New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park where even the rangers perform!

Another great way to experience traditional Jazz is by attending a Sunday brunch. The Palm Court Jazz Café is a longtime gathering spot for New Orleans music and food enthusiasts. The Court of Two Sisters offers a daily jazz brunch. Families can also book lunch and dinner jazz cruises on Steamboat Natchez.


Everything seems to have a festival dedicated to it in Louisiana. There’s an event for you no matter what you wish to celebrate! So embrace two-stepping to the funky rhythms at the Cajun-Zydeco Festival. Don’t worry, no one is going to judge you for cheering on jump contest participants at the Frog Festival.

Sample gator inspired dishes (Newsflash: the rumor is true, gator meat does taste just like chicken!) at you guessed it, the Alligator Festival. Give into Mudbug Madness. Embrace NOLA music and culture at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, or head to the French Quarter Festival. It should also be noted that the aforementioned events only scratch the surface of the breadth of festivals produced in Louisiana!

Everyone knows about the granddaddy of all festivals. Yes, I’m talking about Mardi Gras! What you may not know is that Mardi Gras while raucously fun is also family-friendly! Families tend to picnic around St. Charles between Napoleon Avenue and Lee Circle. Many locals have ladders designed for the event to use as perches for the kids. You can either make your own or buy a seat at just about any hardware store in the area.

Parents, it’s also advised that you equip each child with a large bag for stowing all of the trinkets float riders toss along the parade route. Can I get a shout of, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!!?” (Let the good times roll!)


New Orleans has plenty of museums and family-friendly attractions to keep a curious family busy! There’s the Voo Doo Museum for instance. While it may sound creepy to some, kids love the offbeat exhibits explaining how this African religion came to New Orleans.

Now, we’ve all heard the declaration that “the south will rise again!” but how much do you know about the period behind that phrase? Louisiana’s Civil War Museum houses one of the largest repositories of Confederacy-related artifacts in the country. The American experience during WWII is highlighted at The National World War II Museum and delivered in a way to help all ages understand the sacrifice made by our military.

At the Louisiana Children’s Museum, your kiddos can pretend to pilot a tugboat on the Mississippi, anchor the news, go rock climbing, and participate in a myriad of adventures!

Did you know that New Orleans is home to one of the nation’s top-ranked zoos? The Audubon Zoo offers terrific opportunities to see exotic animals, reptiles, and even some rare animals. Among the favorite and famous residents here are elephants Jean and Panya, a Komodo dragon, and two California transplants — white tiger brothers named King Rex and King Zulu. On hot days the Cool Zoo, a wet and wild splash park, is a great place to hang out.


From the romance of the French Quarter to the grand mansions of the Garden District, New Orleans undoubtedly exudes charm. Shop the French Community Market for unique treasures. Take a carriage ride to historic Jackson Square to see the Cabildo, a noteworthy spot because its where the Louisiana Purchase was signed.

Be sure to visit the St. Louis Cathedral while you’re there! It’s the oldest U.S. cathedral still in use. The adjacent Presbytere has an elaborate collection of Mardi Gras artifacts.

Then discover why food is so rooted in the city’s culture and traditions by dining on classic Louisiana cuisine at K-Paul’s. The legendary fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House is also a treat. Craving something sweet? Get some beignets at the world-famous Café Du Monde!

The Tremé neighborhood is home to one of New Orleans’ most famous cities of the dead, as the above ground cemeteries are called. St. Louis Cemetery #1 is the final resting place of civil rights activist Homer Plessy and Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.

Grab some sandwiches at Mother’s or Cochon Butcher and head to City Park. There are great family-friendly adventures to be found among its moss-draped oaks and lily ponds.

Kids can experiment with shape, and concept at The New Orleans Museum of Art. In Storyland, 20 beloved characters fairytale characters come to life, the creations of the city’s top Mardi Gras float makers. If a picnic isn’t a part of your family’s park experience, head to Mr. B’s Bistro for some Creole-style fare.

Plantation Country is a short drive from New Orleans. Visit the perfectly restored antebellum mansions along the Mississippi River. Rumor has it they aren’t just filled with antiques, many be haunted.