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Great November Getaways for NJ Teachers’ Convention School Break

Getaways for NJ Teachers' Convention | mid-hudson valley family travel

Guess what New Jersey parents? Your kids are about to have a 4-day weekend! November 9 – 12 is the NJEA Convention, aka the NJ Teachers’ Convention, when all public schools are closed while teachers attend a professional development conference in Atlantic City. Why not take advantage of the break and plan a getaway with the family?

The good news is that the crowds are usually thin, and prices low, for this long weekend in many destinations since only New Jersey public schools have off. (Which is not to say there are no crowds. At Disney World these November dates are called “New Jersey Week,” and the theme parks — and flights to Orlando, and actually Florida in general — are packed! And if you ask your kids, they’d probably like to avoid seeing their teachers in Atlantic City….)

Ready to take a break? Here are some great getaway options for NJ Teachers’ Convention School Break:

Continue reading “Great November Getaways for NJ Teachers’ Convention School Break”

Water Parks, Weekend Away

Family Water Fun at Camelback Resort’s Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark

Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark at Camelback Resort Lodge | family travel

Hold on to your inner tube, things are about to get exciting! Thirteen thrilling water slides, seven pools, a huge indoor/outdoor hot tub, a lazy river, cool wave pool, and a balmy year-round 84°­ temperature are just some of the epic adventures you’ll find at Aquatopia, a 125,000-square-foot indoor waterpark at Camelback Lodge in the Poconos.

My husband and I took our Gilmore Girls (who are now 9 and 12) for an overnight trip to Camelback Lodge to say goodbye to summer with a splash. We checked out all the sleek slide and pool action and all had a blast! Here’s the inside scoop on why Aquatopia is now one of our new favorite family indoor getaways:

Continue reading “Family Water Fun at Camelback Resort’s Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark”

Day Trips, Staycation, All I Ever Wanted, Water Parks

Wild Water Adventures at Dutch Springs Aquapark in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Dutch Springs Aqua Park Bethlehem, Pennsylvania | family travel

Just when I thought I knew every beach, watering hole, waterpark, and pool in the tri-state area, I was introduced to what may be my new favorite family outdoor day trip: Dutch Springs in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The “Aquapark” is a deep, cool, clean natural spring-fed swimming hole filled with massive rafts and water slides in a well-patrolled swimming area. Another part of this ancient limestone quarry is the premier diving center in the area. (If you’re SCUBA certified, or getting your certification, this is wet-suit fun park, with a submerged school bus and helicopter among the treasures deep down below.) Continue reading “Wild Water Adventures at Dutch Springs Aquapark in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania”

Day Trips, Far Flung Adventures, Hot Fun in the Summertime, New York New York a Helluva Town, Travel Tips, Reviews, & Giveaways, Water Parks, Weekend Away

Need Vacation Inspiration? Let Pokémon Go Inspire Your Next Family Trip

Pokémon Go
Pikachu gets ready to bungee jump in New Zealand. (Photo Courtesy of Tourism New Zealand

Ever since the launch of Pokémon Go in early July, your kids have most likely been wandering around the local park with their eyes on their mobile device, trying to catch “rare” Pokémon, all the while trying to convince you of the wonderful benefits (We’re outside! We’re getting exercise!) of the digital phenomenon. We feel you. But instead of fighting the viral location-based game, we’re trying to embrace it, by adding on some Poké-fun to our next vacation.

From Arizona to New Zealand, it turns out, Pikachu and friends are showing up in family-friendly hotels and resorts all around the world (not to mention the parks and shops near them). While we’re not saying to plan a family vacation based solely on capturing an elusive Magnemite, you might just become the coolest parent ever if you just happen to mention there’s a Meowth hanging in the lobby of your Orlando hotel.

Here a few spots around the country who have mapped out their Poké guests. Happy hunting!

Continue reading “Need Vacation Inspiration? Let Pokémon Go Inspire Your Next Family Trip”

Day Trips, Water Parks

Day Trip: Sahara Sam’s Oasis Water Park

sahara sam's

Sahara Sam’s Oasis is an indoor and outdoor year-round water park in West Berlin, NJ, just 30 minutes from Philadelphia and about 1.5 hours from the Montclair, NJ area.  After a recent visit, we discovered it makes a really fun Day Trip destination, equally good for sunny summer days, or rainy cool ones, due to its wide array of fun water amusements..

Continue reading “Day Trip: Sahara Sam’s Oasis Water Park”

Day Trips, Water Parks, Weekend Away

Lions, and Elephants, and Water Slides, Oh My! The Inside Scoop on Kalahari Water Park


Kalahari Water Park

Picture this: You’re going on a safari, but instead of searching out wild animals, you’re exploring 100,000 square feet of indoor waterpark to discover the fastest, wettest, wildest water slides in the Tri-State area. If this sounds like your idea of a great family adventure, you’re not alone. I’ve been to Africa multiple times, but I received more questions about my trip to Kalahari Water Park in the Poconos than I ever have about my overseas trips; everyone wants the inside scoop on getting wet.

Continue reading “Lions, and Elephants, and Water Slides, Oh My! The Inside Scoop on Kalahari Water Park”

Water Parks, Weekend Away

Get Ready to Get Wet: The Inside Scoop on Great Wolf Lodge


great wolf lodge

A 60,000 sq foot indoor waterpark. Wolf ears. Pizza `round the clock. Two floors of buzzing, zapping, magic wand casting interactive games. An animatronic northern woods. Not to mention a kids salon, indoor mini golf and 10 pin bowling, and an arcade worthy of a pinball wizard. This, my friends, is Great Wolf Lodge. Continue reading “Get Ready to Get Wet: The Inside Scoop on Great Wolf Lodge”