Free and Inexpensive Family-friendly Fun Near Washington, DC

Before you can head into the city, you’ll need to find a family-friendly home base for your traveling tribe. Don’t waste your time bouncing between hotel and online travel agency sites. Head over to vacationrenter.com to see all listings and get to planning your family adventure in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. You’ll find the best Vacation Rentals from all the top sites, all in one place. Continue reading Free and Inexpensive Family-friendly Fun Near Washington, DC

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN is an Epic Family Experience

This amazing aquarium was voted the #1 aquarium in the United States, and the reasons are very clear. It is awesome! There is an underwater tunnel the size of a football field, kid-sized tunnels and corners throughout the building, and tons of amazing underwater life to explore. Continue reading Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN is an Epic Family Experience

My TOTEM Story: My Journey to Travel

I’m a mom to three under the age of three, wife to the best man I’ve ever known, and travel writer dedicated to families with young children. If we can travel with three little ones, we know you can too, and I’m here to help. After 10 years of creating digital engagement strategies for corporations, politicians and non-profits, I decided to apply my passion to the people and places I love the most.

What three books or people have made the biggest impact in your life? Why?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – I graduated from Johns Hopkins University, and I’ve always had an obsession with all things Hopkins. This book is about medical research at Johns Hopkins, but most importantly, it is about an amazing woman and her family. They lived through racism, national division, suffering and a strange kind of triumph for mankind. It is intense, but it reminds me that we leave a legacy in one way or another, and I want to leave the right kind of legacy for my kids.

Eat. Pray. Love – I found this book during a really tough time in my life. We were going through our second year of infertility treatment, and I needed something uplifting. The main character packs her entire life away in a 10×10 storage unit, and heads out on a yearlong trip to Italy, India and Bali. Her journey teaches her to love herself again and to open her heart to loving others. It helped me the do the same things.

The Bible – it is the blueprint for my life and an unending source of strength and encouragement.

How has a struggle or low point in your life turned out to be a blessing in disguise?
My husband and I decided to start a family early on in our marriage, but things didn’t go according to plan. We endured two years and seven rounds of infertility treatment, a miscarriage, emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, and the hardest days, weeks, months and years of our lives. In the end, we were blessed with three amazing rainbow babies (twins via IVF and a our littlest was a miracle surprise!) that fill our lives with so much silliness and so many snuggles. It has been such a blessing to help other women dealing with the same struggles. It was so difficult to open up about our experiences, but when I did, I was surprised to find out I was surrounded by women dealing with the exact same things. They needed to talk, to cry, to ask why, and to connect in a way they couldn’t connect with their own friends and family. It is an honor to support these warriors in any way I can, and such a blessing in my own life.

When you get up in the morning, what gets you most excited?

I left my corporate job to spend more time with my family, but I knew I still wanted to find a way to apply my passion and expertise to an endeavor that included them. I started Toddlin’ Across America to not only help young families get the most out of their next vacation, but to be there as my kids experienced the sights and sounds this beautiful world has to offer. Each morning, I get so excited to plan where we’re headed next, and share our adventures with our community. I love seeing their sense of wonder! Continue reading My TOTEM Story: My Journey to Travel

The Hotel Near Crayola Experience in Easton, PA that is Perfect for Families

It is tough to find a hotel room that comfortably sleeps a family of five. Add in three pack-n-plays, and it is almost impossible. When we travel, we always try to find a place to stay that has plenty of space, a hot breakfast included, and an indoor pool, if at all possible. Springhill Suites Allentown Bethlehem/Center Valley has all of this and more. Continue reading The Hotel Near Crayola Experience in Easton, PA that is Perfect for Families

Important Things to Know About Taking Your Toddler to Crayola Experience in Easton, PA

We had a good time at the colorful wonderland – Crayola Experience. This interactive color explosion in Easton, PA is four floors of crayon, marker, and interactive fun. Crayola Experience has something for everyone, but it is best for ages 4 and up. Most of the activities are geared toward older kids, and little kids need a lot of help and guidance to get the most out of the activities. Continue reading Important Things to Know About Taking Your Toddler to Crayola Experience in Easton, PA

Toddler-friendly Water Fun at Pirate’s Cove Waterpark in Lorton, VA

My little ones love water, but it is always hard to find a water park with a toddler-friendly area.  Pirate’s Cove Waterpark is a great way to spend the day with your Littles.  The gated wading pool is 1 foot deep and it has a great little slide with a padded floor cover at the bottom. There is a large umbrella over some of the … Continue reading Toddler-friendly Water Fun at Pirate’s Cove Waterpark in Lorton, VA

Beautiful Family Day Trip to Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont, MD

We packed up the van and headed to Cunningham Falls State Park for the day.  It was the perfect way to spend some quality time together.  Our little ones aren’t really up for hiking just yet, so we decided to stick to the lake area. Cunningham Falls State Park is located in the beautiful Catoctin Mountains.  We visited the William Houck Area located three miles … Continue reading Beautiful Family Day Trip to Cunningham Falls State Park in Thurmont, MD

Toddler-friendly Hike on the C&O Canal Trail in Point of Rocks, MD

It’s crazy hot here, so we try to grab some outdoor time during the cooler evening hours, if we can. Tonight, we took a nice long walk on the C&O Canal Trail in Point of Rocks, MD. This is the perfect path for little ones. It’s very walkable, stroller-friendly, and close to the bathrooms and parking lot. The entrance is kind of hidden, so be … Continue reading Toddler-friendly Hike on the C&O Canal Trail in Point of Rocks, MD

Worldschooling Can Start in Preschool

I’d love to say that I want to take my kids everywhere just to have fun, but I’m a homeschool and worldschool mom, so I always have ulterior motives.  The challenge is, if it isn’t fun, they’re not interested. We’re heading out on our first official road trips next month (Pennsylvania and Tennessee), and I wanted to find a way to help the kids learn … Continue reading Worldschooling Can Start in Preschool

Wegmans Wonderplace in Washington, DC is an epic, interactive playroom

Have you heard of Wegmans Wonderplace?  We hadn’t until today, and it was such a fun surprise.  It is a 1700-square-foot interactive space and permanent exhibit that welcomes curious kids age 0-6.  The room is equipped with a toddler dream kitchen, blocks galore, walls with knobs, locks, switches, and an indoor farm complete with a chicken coop.  I was worried we had trekked all the … Continue reading Wegmans Wonderplace in Washington, DC is an epic, interactive playroom

A fun-filled, toddler-friendly day at Silverman’s Farm in Easton, CT

We spent the afternoon at Silverman’s Farm in Easton, CT.  The kids had a blast.  They got to see and feed buffalo, llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, fallow deer, emus, and long-horn cattle. After we made our way around the farm, we stopped at one of the inviting picnic tables for a bite to eat.  We also climbed on the huge Thomas the Tank Engine for … Continue reading A fun-filled, toddler-friendly day at Silverman’s Farm in Easton, CT

Taking Your Toddler to Tennessee: A Family Vacation Planning Guide

Some of our favorite family vacations have been to places here in the US. One area we want to see is Tennessee, and this Fall, we’re going to get our wish. The more that I research and plan our trip, the more excited I get. Today, I am sharing a toddler-friendly planning guide for exploring the Great Smoky Mountains Region with your little ones. Eat, Sleep … Continue reading Taking Your Toddler to Tennessee: A Family Vacation Planning Guide