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!



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.

Best Things To Do in Minnesota For The Whole Family!

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

Population of Minnesota: 5,655,925

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

Minneapolis is home to the oldest continuously running theater (Old Log Theater) and the largest dinner theater (Chanhassan Dinner Theater) in the country.

The original name of the settlement that became St. Paul was Pig’s Eye. Named for the French-Canadian whiskey trader, Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant, who had led squatters to the settlement.

The world’s largest pelican stands at the base of the Mill Pond dam on the Pelican River, right in downtown Pelican Rapids. The 15 1/2 feet tall concrete statue was built in 1957.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country.

Minneapolis’ famed skyway system connecting 52 blocks (nearly five miles) of downtown makes it possible to live, eat, work and shop without going outside.

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

Mall Of America – Bloomington, Minnesota

Como Zoo – Saint Paul, Minnesota

Minnesota Zoo – Applevalley, Minnesota

Nickelodeon Universe – Bloomington, Minnesota

Minnesota Children’s Museum – Saint Paul, Minnesota

Minnesota State Fair – Saint Paul, Minnesota

Science Museum Of Minnesota – Saint Paul, Minnesota

Sealife Minnesota Aquarium – Bloomington, Minnesota

Valleyfair – Shakopee, Minnesota

Mill City Museum – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnehaha Falls – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Best Things To Do in Michigan For The Whole Family!

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

Population of Michigan: 10,020,472

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

Detroit is known as the car capital of the world.

Alpena is the home of the world’s largest cement plant.

Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore.

Michigan ranks first in state boat registrations.

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

Climb to the Top of a Lighthouse for Family Fun in Michigan with Kids!

Visit Detroit, a Big City with Heart!

Explore Family-Friendly Towns with Big Personality!

Learn about the “Motors” of our Country in Motor City at the Henry Ford Museum!

Head to Traverse City – The Cherry Capital of the World!

Michigan has a rich history of immigrant settlements. As a result, it also has quite a few small towns steeped in culture from places such as Holland, Germany, and Finland. The Old Dutch attractions found in Holland, Michigan are always fun and family-friendly.

Explore Nelis’ Dutch Village for hands-on learning. Then, go to the Windmill Island Gardens to climb to the top of DeZwaan, the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the U.S. Next, make sure to catch the highlight of Holland’s Dutch celebration, which begins in early May at the Tulip Time Festival. You’ll find parades, concerts, Dutch food, dancing, and tons of cultural displays through town.

With all the water in Michigan, you’ll find a beautiful assortment of beaches and sand dunes. Your family can bury their toes and build sand castles on the shores of Lake Michigan all while you admire a view of the lake. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore includes a breathtaking 64-mile curve of beaches, coves, islands, and dunes worthy of exploration on Lake Michigan.

First, families can hike the dunes on the Cottonwood Trail. It is not as steep as the popular Dunes Trail. Kids will love taking off their shoes and hiking barefoot when the sand is not too hot. Be aware that if you or your children run down a sand dune, you’ll have to climb back up to the top.

Next, visit Michigan’s #1 state park, Grand Haven State Park, to take in the beach that has been voted one of the “best secret beaches on earth” by Travel & Leisure Magazine. While you’re there, be sure to visit the unique Musical Fountain.

Finally, near Sawyer, Michigan, Warren Dunes State Park provides another beautiful stretch of sand dunes that rise 260 feet above the lake for hiking or settling in to relax at the water’s edge.

Many Americans don’t realize that the state of Michigan is divided into two parts where the Mackinac Bridge connects the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula (U.P.). Though the U.P. has nearly 1/3 of the land of Michigan, just 3% of the population lives here. What that means for locals and visitors is mile after mile of unspoiled natural beauty! Wilderness, secluded beaches, amazing rock formations, and over 324 waterfalls make Northern Michigan a natural playground for a family getaway.

The hub of the U.P. resides in the family-friendly town of Marquette. It is not only a beautiful port town on Lake Superior with numerous summer festivals, but it also has parks, restaurants, and the U.P.’s only children’s museum. Marquette is the perfect launching point for exploration of the “wild side” of Michigan!

It’s no secret that Mackinac Island one of those perfect Michigan vacation destinations. It is no surprise that this is one of our favorite places to visit in Michigan. Mackinac Island rightfully earns its place in every Michigan travel guide. Take a 30-minute ferry to the island from either Mackinaw City on the south side of the Mackinac Bridge or St. Ignace the U.P. Then prepare to travel back in time as you explore the island by horse-drawn carriage, bicycle, or on foot. There are no cars allowed on the island!

Historic Fort Mackinac allows visitors to experience the uniquely austere conditions the fort’s soldiers and families experienced in the 1800s. The view from the fort overlooking the city is one of the best in Michigan.

Of course, no trip to Mackinac Island is complete without enjoying their iconic, freshly-made fudge and strolling the streets of town with an ice cream cone! Make it a day trip. Or, better yet, overnight at one of the island’s historic hotels or B&B’s to fully experience its rich history.

There’s a good reason why Michigan is called the “Great Lakes State.” Lakes are unavoidable. Michigan has shoreline on four of the Great Lakes: Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. There are also thousands of smaller inland lakes scattered throughout the state. So, do as the locals and dive right in!

Take a glass-bottom boat tour to discover the shipwrecks in Lake Superior near Munising. Alternatively, head east from Munising on a boat tour of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, managed by the US National Park Service. These boat tours from Munising are the best way to see this beautiful, protected coastline. While there be sure to check out the layered colors of the sedimentary rock. They are unique and only truly visible on a boat cruise.

A bit further to the northeast on the border with Canada, the Soo Locks are a fascinating mechanical wonder connecting Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes. The locks can be explored by boat on the St. Marys River or from land in Sault Ste. Marie.

Marquette is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is the ideal stomping grounds for those looking for adventure as well as those looking for a tamer experience. No matter what your idea of fun is, Marquette is the perfect year-round destination. From kid-friendly winter activities like cross country skiing to classic summer fun. Marquette is an ideal first stop and launching-point to the greater U.P!

Best Things To Do in Mississippi For The Whole Family!

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

Population of Mississippi: 2,987,895

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

In 1963 the University of Mississippi Medical Center accomplished the world’s first human lung transplant and, on January 23, 1964, Dr. James D. Hardy performed the world’s first heart transplant surgery.

In 1902 while on a hunting expedition in Sharkey County, President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt refused to shoot a captured bear. This act resulted in the creation of the world-famous teddy bear.

The world’s largest shrimp is on display at the Old Spanish Fort Museum in Pascagoula.

The first bottle of Dr. Tichener’s Antiseptic was produced in Liberty.

In 1884 the concept of selling shoes in boxes in pairs (right foot and left foot) occurred in Vicksburg at Phil Gilbert’s Shoe Parlor on Washington Street.

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

Mississippi has lots of fun activities that are unusual and family-friendly at the same time. Does your family love Elvis? Tupelo is home to the Elvis Presley Birthplace Complex. Here you can see the home where Elvis was born, the church he attended as a child, and a museum full of lots of Elvis artifacts! Nearby is the Tupelo Automobile Museum, which houses over 100 classic and collectible vehicles, including one given as a gift by Elvis to a friend. In Starkville visit the Mississippi Modern Homestead Center, where visitors can experience a working model of a modern homestead, which includes bees, gardens, a greenhouse, chickens, and pigs. Enjoy a variety of classes at the Homestead Center on a range of topics including gardening, outdoor recreation skills, home arts and crafts, to name a few. For a really unique experience, how about heading to Biloxi and taking part in a Biloxi Shrimping Trip? This boat ride will educate guests about the shrimping industry of Mississippi, while learning about the marine life that the boat’s net pulls up from the water!

Just across the border from Louisiana, the INFINITY Science Center at John C. Stennis Space Center will blast families off into space with a bus tour of the rocket testing grounds and a huge museum dedicated to teaching all about space exploration through hands-on activities and exhibits. Big kids will love the motion and cockpit simulators and the walk-through International Space Station exhibit, while little ones will be entertained by a LEGO table and playground! For more down-to-earth science fun, head to Jackson, to find the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. This museum has been teaching families about science since it opened in 1932 and now includes over 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits, including a large aquarium, walking trails, fossils, animals, and more!

Mississippi has lots of ways for families to get out and enjoy nature together. The Natchez Trace Parkway runs through Mississippi (as well as Alabama and Tennessee) and gives families a chance to travel the same road used by Native Americans, settlers, and even U.S. presidents! It’s more than just a place to take a scenic drive; the Parkway has multiple places to stop and enjoy a hike, explore an archaeological dig, visit a prehistoric mound, or just take in breathtaking views. Visiting one of Mississippi’s State Parks is also a great way to enjoy nature. Trekaroo families especially enjoy Paul B. Johnson State Park, which has a beautiful lake and beach, camping, playgrounds, and lots of forest to explore.

The Gulf Coast has lots of family-friendly fun including the Biloxi Visitor Center and Lighthouse. The free visitors center is full of art and exhibits detailing the history of the area and its industries, as well as a theater that shows films about the area and Hurricane Katrina. Head upstairs for great views of the Biloxi Lighthouse! If you’re adventurous and up for a good climb, tours of the historic 1848 Lighthouse are also available. Just outside Ocean Springs, you will find Davis Bayou Camp, part of the National Park Service’s Gulf Islands National Seashore where visitors can fish, hike, search for armadillos, camp, boat, or take part in one of the programs led by the Park Rangers. Ship Island is home to Fort Massachusetts, which is run by the National Park Service and is open for tours. In addition to the fort, Ship Island is a great place to swim, surf, watch birds, hike, or just enjoy the beach and beautiful waters of the Gulf.

Mississippi is a great place for time traveling, and the city of Natchez is a fantastic place to start your journey. Natchez is home to beautiful antebellum mansions that are open for tours and will help your family learn about Southern life before the Civil War. Go even further back in time with a visit to the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians to learn about the lives and homes of the original Native American occupants of the area. Another important part of Mississippi history is found in Clarksdale at the Delta Blues Museum. This museum is a great place to bring the family to learn about this uniquely American musical sound and how it developed in the area.

Have a budding artist on your hands? The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art located in Biloxi is a wonderful place to come to enjoy an eclectic collection of art. Although named after the local potter, George Ohr, much of the collection of the museum focuses on art by other artists. Don’t miss the unusual buildings by Frank Gehry on the campus of the museum, as well as the chance to visit a reconstruction of a home built by a former slave woman. Trekaroo families recommend this museum for adults and kids ages 10 and up. The Mississippi Museum of Art is the state’s largest museum and is found in the capital city of Jackson. This museum has a large collection of American art, including art by Mississippi artists. It’s also home to a variety of temporary exhibitions, so there’s always something new to see when visiting!

The Hattiesburg Zoo is a small zoo with over 80 species of animals to see, in addition to a train and carousel to ride. For a different animal encounter, head to the Center for Marine Education and Research. This is a destination that one Trekaroo family referred to as a “super fun place to learn about marine mammals and biology.” Reservations are required for visits since this is a working facility. During the visit, you’ll have the chance to meet a variety of marine animals. On a recent visit, a Trekaroo family saw an exotic bird, an alligator, sharks, and stingrays, and even got the chance to interact with a bottlenose dolphin! Another great place to see animals is the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. Learn about habitat preservation while also observing alligators, geese, bald eagles, deer, and fox in their natural habitats!

What would a family trip be without a visit to a great children’s museum? Mississippi is home to both the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center and the Mississippi Children’s Museum. The Mississippi Children’s Museum, located in Jackson, is a great place for kids to come both to play and also learn! Exhibits are focused on five topics: literacy, STEM, health and nutrition, cultural arts, and Mississippi Heritage. Fun and educational at the same time, what’s not to love? Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport is a favorite of Trekaroo families. They rave about the exhibits, both indoor and outdoor, and especially the two-story climbing structure, subdivision of playhouses, TV station, and train!

Jackson, Mississippi is the capital city and the home of many attractions discussed in other parts of this article like the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Mississippi Children’s Museum, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. But wait, there’s more! Did you know you can actually tour the home of the governor of Mississippi? Built in 1840, it has the distinction of being the second-oldest continually occupied governor’s mansion in the United States! Your family can also take a tour of the state capitol building to see where state laws are made. For some free fun in Jackson, head to the Old Capitol Museum to learn about state government history while you walk the halls where monumental legislative actions, such as the decision whether to secede from the United States, actually occurred.

If your family is interested in learning about the United States’ Civil War, Mississippi is a great place to visit! Visit Vicksburg National Military Park, the location of one of the turning points of the Civil War, and tour the battlefield or learn about ironclad gunboats at the USS Cairo Gunboat and Museum while you take part in the great Junior Ranger program at the visitor’s center! Vicksburg is also home to the Old Court House Museum, where families can check out memorabilia from the Civil War and other parts of American history, including a Teddy Bear from Teddy Roosevelt himself! Over in Biloxi, families will find Beauvoir, the home of the president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. This house withstood Hurricane Katrina and is full of antiques and artifacts from the time that the Davis family lived there.