Unforgettable Teen Vacation Trips

Summer can be a trying time for parents and kids alike, and teens are often the most difficult to entertain. Being seen with family is bad enough, but being dragged on vacation to another boring site-seeing trip when they could be doing anything else is totally bogus.

It doesn’t have to be that way!  Here are several attractions within a day’s drive that are sure to get a nod from even the grumpiest teen (and their school-aged siblings):

Rustic Rides Farm, Block Island: Ride horses on wooded trails or on the beach at sunset, just like in the movies. Is there anything better?

New York: There are so many things to do in New York City they can’t be listed, from Broadway to the Ninja Restaurant to a hundred movie sets (you can tour them). For something indoors, try Ripley’s Believe It or Not, with fun facts and crazy but true tales to delight children and adults alike. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is like attending a cocktail party with the stars – and you can stand next to them for photos as long as you don’t touch. Something quieter? Try the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image – Sesame Street, Muppets, and Henson’s larger works like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Avoid New York City like the plague? Try Howe Caverns – let out your inner Indiana Jones, explore the labyrinth of caves and take a boat ride through a dark and bat-infested cave – if you dare.

Philadelphia: Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence too much like school? Then check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art – see the statue of Rocky Balboa, run the steps, and explore the amazing collection of armor and swords, some dating back to the Vikings – as well as some cool art. If your kids are High-School aged, make sure to stop at the Mutter Museum of the Philadelphia College of Surgeons, one of the premiere collections of medical oddities this side of Ripleys – the Soap Lady, the Wall of Skulls, and drawers of weird things people have swallowed. Probably not best for younger kids. And you’re only an hour from the Ripley’s Museum on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, where you can match the street names to the Monopoly board and try – just try – to walk through the spinning tunnel.

Washington DC:  DC is second only to New York in attractions, but many of them are free! White House tours are free, but it can take years to get tickets. The Smithsonian holds something for everyone, but the sheer size needs days to see more than one building, and may overwhelm smaller children. While the docents are proud of their knowledge, kids only need about 15 minutes at Ford’s Theater – they came, they saw, Lincoln died. The Mall is a cool place you see on TV and in the movies, but in summer the Mall and Arlington can be brutally hot (every time I try to go there, it’s 100 degrees), and it’s still just something to stare at. The place to take your kids (12 and up) is the International Spy Museum. Not only does it have all the cool spy paraphernalia, but the one thing you can’t miss is the interactive hands-on exhibit. You (and your group) become the spies in a real-time adventure, searching for clues, deciphering radio broadcasts, interviewing suspects, and fleeing the scene to be “rescued” by helicopter from a roof top. It is over-the-top live-action fun for the entire family that they will never forget.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to make memories with your teens (anywhere from Ogunquit Beaches [3 hours] to Philly [3.5 hours] can be done as day trips if need be), so get out there and try something new!

                   

               

            

Linda reads : All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey

The Kowalski family has owned and operated the Northern Star Lodge in Whitford, Maine for four generations.  The current generation includes five siblings.  Josh is the youngest and only one left living at the Lodge.  All his siblings have found other interests and occupations that do not include the running, upkeep, maintenance and all the work that it takes to run the Lodge.  Josh feels he is being forced to give up his own dreams of exploring a life outside of Maine and the Lodge.  When the family discovers just how upset he is with being stuck at the Lodge, they try to find a way that Josh will be able to leave and fulfill his dreams – even if it means selling the Lodge.

Katie Davis is the daughter of the Lodge’s live-in housekeeper, Rose.  Katie grew up with the family and feels like she’s another sibling to them.  She owns a barber shop in town.  Secretly, she has always been in love with Josh, but he thinks of her as a sister – until late one night when she walks into the kitchen in her pajamas.  Suddenly, Josh is not seeing a “sister”.

Everyone in the family and in town can see that Josh and Katie are meant to be together, but Josh can’t see what’s right in front of him.  It was fun to watch Josh stumble along when he realizes he’s in love with his “best friend”.  Suddenly Josh’s vision of leaving Maine becomes clouded by his feelings for Katie.  She is committed to staying in Whitford and has no desire to leave.  Josh feels guilty about leaving her and the Lodge and you can really feel his dilemma.  The author does an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing what’s going to happen.

There’s a sweet side story between the housekeeper, Rose and her late husband’s best friend Andy.  The other Kowalski siblings’ stories are also entertaining and the various townspeople of Whitford, Maine add another layer of interest.

Shannon Stacey has the winning formula for contemporary romances.  Her stories are witty, charming, filled with emotion and fun to read!

This is book 6 of The Kowalski Family series.  The books do not have to be read in order. Learn about the rest of the Kowalski clan in the previous 5 books:

1.  Exclusively Yours

2.  Undeniably Yours

3.  Yours to Keep

4.  All He Ever Needed

5.  All He Ever Desired