Popular Travel Gifts

populartravelgifts

I always struggle with what gifts to purchase for our family and friends when on a trip. After opening my parents’ cupboard to be greeted with an inordinate amount of travel mugs we had given to them, I decided we really needed to branch out. Wandering around, trying to find the perfect gifts, and then ending up buying something in the airport just wasn’t working for my Type A personality any longer. So, I felt a good list was in order (naturally). Oh, and this isn’t researched; these are just gifts that are popular on my list. 

1.) A coffee mug. I know! I just said that was the entire reason for this list. However, my husband’s family collects the Starbuck’s mugs (and uses them). And, since we are generally in a Starbuck’s at some point in our trips (have I mentioned we love a good chain?), it is just a given. (And, as an aside, I also love when my in-laws bring us a good Starbuck’s mug as a gift. Having some uniformity of mugs, but still including the fun of choosing which one to use goes over well with me.)

2.) Soaps, Lotions, and Candles. Obviously, I don’t just go buy a pump of Jergens (although, that might be just a little funny). We were recently in the Rocky Mountains, and, as such, bought some Rocky Mountain Soap products as gifts.

3.) Consumable Products specific to the region you are visiting. While in Canada, we purchased some Canadian maple syrup (with a maple leaf on it, of course) as gifts for everyone. Any sort of consumable relevant to the region you are visiting would make a great gift. It kind of takes the pressure off of the gift receivers. They don’t have to worry about where to place a non-consumable gift or remember to wear your I LOVE NYC shirt the next time they see you. My parents always bring us a rum cake from their spring trip, and I can tell you, we look forward to it every single time.

4.) An item purchased when the receiver is there. Okay, this obviously warrants further explanation. Last fall, we went apple picking with our large-ish family (my parents-in-law, my parents, my brother-in-law’s parents, two sisters-in-law and their husbands, my kids; you get the picture). It was a beautiful day. One of the stops was a super-cute shop in a barn. It had quite a good representation of Fixer-Upper- esq products. Knowing my style, one of my sisters-in-law purchased a wood block M decoration for our home. I love it! It not only works perfectly on our mantle, but every time that I look at it, I am reminded of a gorgeous fall day with our family.

5.) Coasters. This is going to shock you, given my earlier admission to being Type A, but I love a good coaster. I really just think you can’t go wrong giving a gift of a coaster. Clearly, it should match the interests of the person to whom you are gifting it. My other sister-in-law gave us a set of coasters from Charlevoix on one occasion and a set of coasters with the Michigan mitten on them a different time because, well, she knows that I love Michigan and I love coasters. Win-win.

There you have it. My quirky love of coasters and coffee mugs, and, hopefully, some tips for the next time you are looking for a gift while traveling.

populartravelgifts

*Please note that I may be compensated through the above links.

Versatile Travel Accessories

 

Mackinaw Road- Dawson bag

There are a few things that are ALWAYS with me on my trips. Well… a lot of things are with me on trips but this is the fun stuff… Who doesn’t love some fun accessories? And, the fact that these can serve several purposes makes them that much better.

#1 Travel Accessory: I just purchased the Dawson oversize shopper from Sole Society, and it is already my favorite. It has been with me on two trips in three weeks. It can be used to hold a laptop and work-related items or even more important things like a Captain Barnacles figure, Smarties, and kids’ fleeces and hats.

http://www.solesociety.com/dawson-brown.html

#2 Travel Accessory: Inside the Sole Society bag, I always bring my Stella and Dot versatile purse, which holds my wallet, passport, phone, etc. I like this purse because it is so interchangeable. I can use it as a cross body bag if I don’t need to bring my big bag for the day or I can use it as a clutch if I have a fancier dinner.

https://www.stelladot.com/shop/en_us/p/bags/versatile-bags/the-waverly-petite-slate-grey-perf-brushed-metallic

#3 Travel Accessory: Another Stella and Dot winner in my book is the Pave Triangle Ear Jacket that can be worn 6 ways. Not that you really save all that much packing room with this, but you are almost guaranteed an earring for whatever occasion may present itself on your travels.

https://www.stelladot.com/shop/en_us/p/pave-triangle-ear-jacket-gold

#4 Travel Accessory: My last Stella and Dot plug~ I promise I am not a Stylist. Again, I like this necklace for its versatility. I also love that it eliminates the need to pack several necklaces that will inevitably get tangled.

https://www.stelladot.com/shop/en_us/p/jewelry/necklaces/necklaces-all/zoe-lariat-necklace-gold

#5 Travel Accessory: I also am loving some Matisse taupe booties that I purchased from Nordstrom Rack last year. I don’t have a link to them, but found these that will be next on my list of footwear to purchase. If you have a favorite bootie that is also comfortable, you really can’t go wrong bringing them along. I’m a huge fan of one boot that can be worn with both dresses and jeans.

*Please note that I may be compensated through some of the above links.

 

 

Wandering in NYC

Wandering in NYC

I had never been to New York City in the springtime, so I decided to come along for a long weekend with my husband. He had been there several years back for the US Open and I had been as a teenager for some shopping and all of the historic sites, so we were really just up for wandering. Some random wandering. And some wandering with a purpose… Mostly, pure randomness, though, because that is what we do best…

Wandering in NYC

Central Park- It is the place to be on a Sunday afternoon. Absolutely Gorgeous. There are so many blooms, and it just feels romantic to be walking around the famous park in the springtime.

Wandering in NYC

Finding Neverland- Next, wander over the the Red Staircase and purchase some tickets to Finding Neverland. I can’t say enough good things about this performance. My husband was such a good sport as I obsessed over the Red Staircase and going to a show. I could tell it really wasn’t his thing, but he came along anyway. And loved it! Thank you, Finding Neverland, for making my husband into a Broadway fan. The theater is quaint and any seat is a good seat. The tickets were reasonable. The story was amazing (basically, about how the story of Peter Pan came to be). There may have even been some Cheers jokes thrown in (Kelsey Grammar was one of the main actors when we saw it), which boded well with us.

Wandering in NYC

NYU- If you have a chance to wander down to the campus of NYU, the town homes and architecture are beautiful. Washington Square was entertaining with street performers and people watching. If you are in the area, it is a nice place to grab a coffee to go and take in the scenery.

Wandering in NYC

Fig and Olive- And if you happen to be in the meatpacking district, this restaurant had a trendy but sophisticated vibe to it. The food, drink, and service were all top notch. We were feeling pretty with it. We later, of course, found out that the restaurant is a chain (why do we always find the chains?!). But, still, it obviously doesn’t feel like a chain and is worth the visit wherever you end up staying in the city.

Wandering in NYC

The Waldorf Astoria- Speaking of where you might stay, the Waldorf Astoria was a great location for us. It was an easy walk to 5th Avenue, Central Park, Broadway, and Times Square. We were treated very well. The brunch in the morning is well worth the cost. Who knew I actually do love eggs benedict?

Wandering in NYC

St. Patrick’s Cathedral- Being my father’s daughter, we really couldn’t do a trip without any historic destinations, so we stopped in at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We were in NYC during Easter weekend (yes, we are the good parents who leave their children on a holiday weekend) and just walking through St. Patrick’s Cathedral during the Good Friday service was a moving and spiritual experience.

Wandering in NYC

Last one, I promise! While you are in the area, you might as well wander over to Rockefeller Plaza to watch some ice skating (depending on the season), check out the flags, or (again) just people watch. It feels especially magical at night with all of the lights.

And that was our wander-ful (sometime, I just can’t help myself) weekend in NYC.

Wandering in NYC

A Few Hours in Saugatuck

Autumn in Saugatuck

There are seriously so many cute stores in downtown Saugatuck, Michigan, that it was difficult to make a short-list (because, of course, I have a list). Nonetheless, here are my suggestions if you only have a  few hours. Autumn is the perfect time to go for a stroll in this cute and artsy village.  It is considerably easier to find a parking spot and, well, the picture above demonstrates the pure beauty of it all. One word to the wise, Saugatuck truly is on its own time, so just because a store opens at 10am one day, doesn’t necessarily mean it will open at 10am the next day (because some days, we all just need that extra cup of coffee).

Saugatuck Uncommon GroundsSpeaking of which, after parking, head to Uncommon Coffee Roasters, because no Saturday morning stroll is complete without that cup of coffee in hand. Also, if you brought the kids and decide to head to my next suggestion, you will need the caffeine.

Saugatuck Toy Store

The Teeny Tiny Toy Store is a must with children. As the name suggests, it is, well, tiny. Nonetheless, there are oh-so-many good toys in the store that you will likely finish your grande vanilla latte and your children will still be finding new toys that they absolutely need.

Saugatuck Landsharks

And then, to make your husband happy, you could head across the street to Landsharks to get geared up for sporting events, ski trips, Michigan souvenir shirts (my favorite!), etc, etc.

Saugatuck Playground

Now, by this point, your children, okay fine, my children, will likely be bouncing off the walls (quite literally), so you can just walk a short block to the village park, deposit them there with your husband, and continue on your merry shopping way. Warning, there is a scary snake/worm at the entrance. While a little disconcerting at first, the snake/worm will grow on you and you will find yourself taking pictures of your children climbing it.

Saugatuck Brass AnchorThe Brass Anchor Co. is my new favorite shoppe in Saugatuck. The clothes are trendy yet classic, the mugs and framed prints make me giggle, the home decor is just my style, and I can easily find a gift for any host.

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Because you may just end up spending too much time at The Brass Anchor, you may just quickly want to pop into Wine Sellers of Saugatuck on your way back to the park to pick up a bottle or ten. There is quite a bit to choose from and also fun wine accessories. If you have more time, other wine options could include either the Tabor Hill or Fenn Valley wine tasting rooms.

Saugatuck PhilsFinally, after dragging your children from the playground, end your day at Phil’s. And get a burger. I do not typically order burgers when dining out, but I almost always order a burger from Phil’s because it is, in my opinion, by far the best burger in West Michigan. Oh, and if you become a regular, you may just get your name on the marque for your birthday or anniversary or graduation… You just never know.

 

Saugatuck is such a great village in winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Brace yourself for more Saugatuck posts because I’ve only scratched the surface and most definitely will have even more suggestions and unsolicited advice.

Michigan Blueberry Muffins

Michigan Blueberry Muffins

If you have lived in Michigan or visited Michigan or are thinking about traveling to Michigan, come in mid-to-late July and Early August. Not only is the weather typically gorgeous, but the blueberries are plentiful and divine. Rarely do blueberries make it into a pie or muffins or smoothie at our house… they are just that good. However, my son (also known as The Captain) and I needed an activity as well as a little snack to bring to a playdate, so we decided to make some muffins. We used Ina Garten’s recipe for Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins from her Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook as a jumping off point but then changed some things based on our tastes and, honestly, what we had in the house. (You can find her original recipe here.) Even my daughter (aka, The Princess) had one after school and said “just smell this!” To me, from my not-at-all-interested-in-baking-or-eating daughter, this was a HUGE compliment. So, here you have it folks, my travel-to-Michigan-in-late-summer-inspired plug. (If there is no way you can make it to Michigan for blueberry season (please, please try though!), I’m sure any blueberry will work just fine.)

What to Do: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin tin with paper liners.

In a mixer, mix 12 tbsp of room-temperature butter with 1 1/2 cups of sugar for about 5 minutes. Mix in 3 eggs, 2 tsp of almond extract, 1/4 cup of milk, and 1 cup of Siggis vanilla yogurt. Then add 2 1/2 cups of flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp of salt until just mixed. Add 2 cups of Michigan blueberries and gently (gently, gently) stir in the blueberries with a spatula. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. Using this recipe, we were able to make about 15 muffins.

Growing and Decorating with Jasmine

decorating-with-jasmine-2

 

Hello there!

Just a quick little back story. My mother-in-law has always had Jasmine plants in her home. She has grown all of her children a Jasmine plant for their homes. It is really quite beautiful and symbolic. She has grown each of our plants from her own.

Our Jasmine plant is healthy. Very healthy. It grows and grows and grows. I prune and prune and prune. And by “prune,” I mean, I randomly cut branches off of it so it doesn’t look so massive. It is a lot of work for my non-green thumb. It spends a lot of time outside in the summer where it can catch some rainfall and sun and adds to the greenery on our patio. I read that Jasmine is a good purifying plant, so I bought a ceramic pot at a local greenhouse and brought the plant inside as the weather became cooler. But where to put it?

Just another quick aside:  I want to like the look of plants inside so badly.  We live in a house built in the 1920s, so it can use a little purification every now and then. I also want to remember to water the plants and take good care of them. I don’t. As such, having house plants is super intimidating for me.

Anyway, I brought the plant in the house and strategically placed it in our living room in the back by our bookshelves but also where it could get some light from the door going out to the backyard. And basically ignored it.

Then, one night, I fell in love. I was sitting on the couch, typing away. Trying to make this blog a go. And it smelled like someone had lit a candle behind me. Or maybe even sprayed some exotic perfume. Except it wasn’t a candle or perfume. It was Mother Nature. It was my Jasmine plant. It was perfection. It transported me to somewhere tropical, relaxing in a garden filled with this sweet scent. Oh, the elusiveness of it all.

 

decorating-with-jasmine

If you are thinking about adding plants to your decor, these would be my inexpert-gardener-decorator tips:

  1. Choose a plant that requires little maintenance.
  2. Choose a plant that needs less light to give you more flexibility with where you are able to place it.
  3. If you are unsure about the look of house plants, stick the plant toward the outer edges of your room and maybe not even in full view.
  4. Place the plants strategically throughout your house. Don’t overcrowd just one room with plants.
  5. If you have pets, research whether or not the plants are poisonous to the animals.
  6. Choose a plant you will enjoy. I truly love my Jasmine plant and the sweet scent it releases when it blooms. It makes all the watering and cutting truly worth it.

Banff: Something for Everyone

 

Lake Louise

I have to admit, before last fall, I had no idea Banff even existed. I thought we would just go to check it off of our Places We’ve Been list. Little did I know, it quickly rose to the very top of my Favorite Places list (have I mentioned that I love a good list?) and we were already planning our Next Trip Back before we reached the airport. There truly is something for everyone in Banff. As I have mentioned, we will likely never qualify as outdoor adventurers. However, if you do meet the qualifications, there will plenty for you do in Banff. If, on the other hand, your resume does not include rock climbing or kayaking, you will have an equally amazing time. When we were there, age ranges in Banff included babies to 85-year old grandparents. I’ll say it  again… There is something for everyone in Banff. So what did we do? See below.

Mackinaw Road- BanffFairmont at Banff Springs: If you never left the hotel, you would still love Banff from the Fairmont. Who wouldn’t love staying in a castle with fabulous service, mineral pools, a spa, people walking the hallways in their white hotel robes, restaurants overlooking mountains and streams? There is a good amount of shopping and restaurants on the hotel grounds. Walk down a short trail to the Waldhaus to sit on the deck for a drink and appetizer.Get a savory Indian dinner while over looking the mountains at Indian Summer (which was a pop-up restaurant for the summer/early fall season), get (another) drink on the patio surrounded by pink and purple flowers with the mountains on 3 sides of you and the castle on the fourth. Mackinaw Road- BanffDowntown Banff: Should you decide that you would like to venture out (and you really should… even if you thought you would just read your book and catch up on some Fixer Upper and maybe get back some of that sleep you lost when you had insomniac infants in the house,you really, really should leave the hotel),  downtown Banff again has something for everyone. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, ranging from Greek to Irish to Chinese; fancier dining to breweries and coffee shops. There are plenty of tourist shops but also places where you could pick something up if you forgot it at home or if the weather took a sudden turn (e.g., Lululemon, Lole, Patagonia, North Face). We found maple syrup to bring home, as well as Rocky Mountain soaps, and hilariously adorable pajamas for the kids from Little Blue House by Hatley. We even picked up some Banff Starbuck’s mugs for those in our family who are collectors. Mackinaw Road- Banff
Road Trip-
Go to Lake Louise. Just do it. I can’t imagine you would regret it. Ever. Mackinaw Road- BanffIt was so breathtaking that my eyes welled up. And this was on a rainy, 45 degree day. You can rent a canoe and row to the middle of the lake, or simply take a walk on the trail by the lake. Or, if you are more adventurous, hike the trails into the woods by the lake. Or, just take a lot of pictures. So many pictures that you need to give your camera to the person you came with because you just can’t seem to stop clicking. It is easy to see why this could very well be the most photographed lake in the world. Finish up with lunch or a drink at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on one end of the lake. (And, if you have enough energy and time, head to Lake Lorraine. It is at the top of my list for next time.) Mackinaw Road- Banff

Mackinaw Road- BanffHike- Again, just do it. You likely won’t regret it. You may not run up the mountain. You may ask the concierge for the trail on which you are least likely to see any wildlife and what to do should you see, say, a bear. You may not be an outdoor adventurer. And it may take you half a day to get up the mountain. But it is worth it. The views are stunning and just breathing in the mountain air and seeing nature (minus said wildlife) make every step worth it. Next time, we will be even more adventurous and hike up the mountain with the gondola going back down. Because, there will absolutely be a next time.

In the meantime, here are some random things to consider when planning your trip to Banff:

Incidentals-

  1. When we go back, we will try to shoot for early September/late August. When we were there in mid-September for 4 days, the temperature fluctuated between 40 degrees and 80 degrees.
  2. Bring running/hiking gear (and other outfits, of course). This is such an outdoor community that even if you don’t run/hike, you could still just wear your athletic wear around (you know, just in case inspiration strikes). You could even check into your hotel services regarding gear. At the Fairmont, they had a program with Reebok, and you could rent hiking clothes/shoes. You will likely also want to bring warmer athletic-ish jackets/fleeces, at least one with a hood. Maybe bring one nicer outfit like a knit dress or jeans and a nice top. And a sweater. Just because, in my opinion, you can never be too prepared for cold weather. (If you are going when the weather is warmer or if you plan to check out the hot springs or mineral pool, bring a swimsuit. Obviously.)
  3. If you are the kind of person who needs to know/be on top of things, you may want to review exchange rates, kilometer vs miles, and Celsius verser Fahrenheit.
  4. Rent a car with GPS built in. It made the trip from the airport and the day trip to Lake Louise so much easier.
  5. Research altitude sickness if you are coming from an almost-sea level departure city into Banff. 

Oh, Banff, I can’t wait to visit you again!

*Please note that I may be compensated through the above links.

 

A Long Weekend in Northern Michigan

 

Mackinaw Road- MI water

Just look at this view! THIS is why I love Michigan. And this is just not even touching on all of the cute, gorgeous towns along the way (I’ll save that for next time) or the MANY activities we did not get too (more on that in a bit).

Mackinaw Road- Spanglish

Traverse City is a great town~ the downtown is nice, the food is delicious, and the views are spectacular. We had a voucher to use at The Grand Traverse Resort, so we decided to head up that way for a night… only to find out that our very close friends were also headed that way. Major bonus! We all had someone to play with~ always a good thing. Here are some places we hit up on this trip.

Mackinaw Road- Fairy Trails

Spanglish and The Fairy Trails: We met up at Spanglish, a restaurant in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons; this place has an interesting history. It used to be the Traverse City State Hospital and before that it was the Northern Michigan Asylum. The Village has been renovated and is just a really neat place to visit with various shops, restaurants, and beautiful grounds. Anyway, back to Spanglish, I don’t know if it was having to keep kids happy in a car all morning or that is was later in the lunch hour, but I was hungry. The tostada I ordered was tasty. Fueled up and ready to go, the nine of us headed out to the Fairy Trails in search of fairy houses. The kids were thoroughly entertained and needed constant reminders to stick by the parents~ hiking is in a favorite activity amongst this crew! After our somewhat chilly trek, we headed inside to get some hot chocolate and warm up.

Mackinaw Road- Bonobo

Bonobo and Jolly Pumpkin: Bonobo winery on the Old Mission Peninsula is a must. The views are spectacular and the kids (and adults) were completely entertained with the Scrabble tiles provided. (Side note: An adults-only trip on the wine trail on the Old Mission Peninsula would be another really fun trip to TC. Next time.) Jolly Pumpkin was next on our list for dinner. It didn’t disappoint. The Jolly Pumpkin is a staple on all of our trips to TC. Any restaurant that brings warm potato chips and aioli to the table is bound to be a winner in my book.

Mackinaw Road- TumbleweedsMackinaw Road- Dylan's Candy Bar

The Grand Traverse Resort: We often stay here in May for a conference, so this wasn’t our first stay. It is a great resort complete with a spa, pool with a slide, tennis courts, golf course, workout facility, etc, etc. This resort is great because if one adult is with the children while the other is, say, working, the other adult is able to entertain the kids within the hotel grounds. Tumbleweeds, complete with all the good Melissa and Doug toys, is a favorite of ours. They even have a toy kitchen, fake food, and puzzles out for the kids to try. I typically stop for a coffee and then take the kids to the store. Another favorite is Dylan’s Candy Bar. So.Many.Yummy.Choices. Mud Pie is also a fun kids and home store located within the hotel.

Mackinaw Road- Mackinaw Bridge

The next day, the four of us headed even farther up north on our own to Mackinaw City to catch the ferry to Mackinaw Island. Just a little word to the wise.. if you are going in the fall, bring your hats and mittens. It can get cold on the boat ride over. When we got off the ferry, we were greeted by a cute downtown complete with all kinds of fudge shops and horse-drawn carriages. Because cars are not allowed on the island, people get around mostly by foot, bike, or carriage (note: it may take some time to get used to the smells that come with this). We walked the few blocks up to The Grand (all luggage from the ferry is delivered to your hotel). It was quite stately and there is so much history behind it that I’m not going to even try to go into it in this post. I am, however, committed to watching Somewhere in Time, which was filmed on the island. Below are some brief descriptions of what we did on this trip. We already have our list for next time.

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The Grand Hotel: If you are staying at The Grand Hotel with children, they have a great green space out front (by the pool) that includes croquet, bocce ball, and bean bag toss~ all great activities for the kids. They also have two game rooms in the hotel- one with more teenage-geared games and one with a cute picnic table with board games, paper, and crayons/markers/colored pencils for the younger ones.Mackinaw Road- The GrandI also attempted both breakfast and dinner with my two kids. They actually did quite well and made it through the 5 course meal! It is quite an experience to dine in the main room. If you are staying at The Grand, don’t skip it. And be sure to bring your Proper Attire.Mackinaw Road- The Grand

Biking: Rent a bike to ride around the island. There are several places to stop for a picnic and many different plaques to read about the history of the island. My 6-year old was able to ride her own bike and my 3-year old was happy on a tandem bike. The views were breathtaking, and it is always good when our kids are able to move as part of the activity. If you are on the island without children or with older kids, you can choose to bike on the trails that are a bit more hilly.

 img_0647Mackinaw Road- MI bike ride

Mackinaw Road- Bike Ride

Downtown: Plan to spend an hour or so (depending on how much you like to shop) downtown. Sample the fudge and pick some up for all of your loved ones back home. There are also some historic buildings and churches downtown or close to the downtown that you may want to check out. We are talking 1800’s brand of history.

Well- that’s it! Our 3 day trip to Northern Michigan.

Mackinaw Road- MI swing

6 Kid-Friendly, Rainy Day Activities in Boston

 

6-kid-friendly-rainy-day-activities-in-boston

 

Cheers!!!

Mackinaw Road Cheers

The crew and I made it to Boston. We were so excited to see the sights and walk the city… And then it got cloudy…and sprinkled…and rained. The Freedom Trail and all that goes with it was out. The Duck Tours were possible but not probable for us. Whale watching seemed considerably less desirable. Wandering down Boylston and Newbury Streets was unlikely. So, here is the list of 6 things we did in Boston with our children on our rainy day(s) trip.

Mackinaw Road- Quincy Market

Quincy Market– an indoor market full of really good food options, including food you can purchase to go and then sit in the center dome to eat. There are also a few restaurants in the marketplace, including Cheers… you know, just in case you are feeling especially touristy (as we usually are). Also surrounding the marketplace are different clothing and retail stores.

Mackinaw Road-Boston Public Gardens

Public Garden– When it is nice and in season, you are able to ride the pedal-propelled Swan boats. Unfortunately, we were not “in season.” However, the children thought it was fun to find the island from the book, Make Way for the Ducklings, as well as climbing all over the statues of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings. If it isn’t raining, it is also fun to walk up Beacon Hill just across from the garden. (Side Note: Click on the link above to purchase the book from Amazon before your trip. Disclosure: I may get an advertising reward but I really would have recommended the book regardless.)

Mackinaw Road- Curious George

World’s Only Curious George Store– If you do brave the elements and take the T   (subway) to Harvard Square, be sure to check out The World’s Only Curious George Store. Although somewhat small, it is packed with all the things kids love. These storeowners know what kids like. And, while in the neighborhood, be sure to check out Russell House Tavern. The ambiance and food are beautiful!

(Just a quick aside…Remember how I mentioned the T a while back? Well, I have a tip. Children 11 years old and under ride the T for free when accompanied by an adult with up to 2 children per adult. We were told this after buying 2 round-trip tickets for our children. Lesson leaned.)

Mackinaw Road- Children's Museum

Boston Children’s Museum– I cannot say enough good things about the Boston Children’s Museum. I remembered it being amazing as a child. And, believe me, as an adult with my own children, it was equally amazing. You may even want to go here on a sunny day! Children learn about the arts, science, and culture all while having fun. There are even prompt cards at some exhibits for parents about things to look for, questions to ask your children, and conversations to listen for from your children. We spent 4 hours at the museum and could have stayed longer. There is even a large lunchroom if you bring your own lunch or you can walk through a small area to Au Bon Pain, eat, and then re-enter the museum. If you are looking for a deal, check out their website. When we were there, admission on Friday nights was only $1. Also, if you go for the last hour they are open on any other day, admission is discounted by half.

Mackinaw Road- New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium Again, this is great on a rainy day because you can spend a good portion of the day here. There are also in-and-out privileges, so you are able to leave to grab a bite to eat (there is a Legal Seafood very near to the front entrance of the museum that is kid friendly) if don’t feel like eating in-house, and then head back for more fun with the sea. Our children’s favorite exhibits were the hands-on exhibits. We literally had to drag them away from these exhibits. There is also a huge tank in the center of the museum that spans four stories containing various sea creatures. The penguins were a lively bunch on the day we visited and another favorite attraction. A final tip is to leave your stroller at the free stroller check-in counter. The Aquarium can be quite crowded, especially on a rainy day, so if you don’t absolutely need your stroller, leave it. It will make navigating the four floors easier.

And, there you have it, 6 Kid-Friendly, Rainy Day Activities in Boston.

*Please note that I may be compensated through some of the above links.