Tags: Enrichment, In This Issue, Out & About
Gas prices getting you down and putting a damper on your family vacation this year? Not to worry! Everyone loves the getaway that's not far away and one-tank trips promise to be very popular for parents looking for delightful diversions that won't bust the budget.
"There are so many great places to see that aren't far away," said Indianapolis parent Joyce Anderson. "You can visit a state park or go to Chicago for the day. There are really a lot of possibilities for one-tank trips!"
The Windy City really has it all when it comes to family fun. Shop along the Miracle Mile, visit some of the world's best museums or locate local wildlife at the Brookfield Zoo and experience the invasion of XTREME BUGS a summer-long temporary exhibit of epic proportion.
"People do not realize how bugs play a huge part in our lives," said Andre Copeland, a zoologist with the Brookfield Zoo. "This exhibit will give guests an opportunity to move beyond the encyclopedia from facts and into their connection with our history and our culture. A trip to the zoo this summer is not only a great way to spend time with your family, but also gives you a chance to learn something."
Don't forget to stop by the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in nearby Schaumburg, Ill., especially during Pirates Weekend May 25-28 with enough activities to make even Captain Jack Sparrow jealous! With more than 3-million LEGOģ bricks, creative building challenges and nine interactive activities, the Center is a perfect playground for kids of all ages!
Cincinnati offers lots to see and do from the Cincinnati Zoo to Kings Island and one of America's favorite family resorts, Great Wolf Lodge. Rae Anne Brizendine said as a parent with very active and involved children, Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect option for a weekend getaway or a short stay between summer activities.
"The kids love it. I love it and they have something for everyone!" she said. "You can really get away from it all and still be close to home."
Looking for natural wonders? There are many! Hit the beach front of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and hike up Mt. Baldy on marked trails or head to Kentucky Cave Country and explore the underground terrain of Mammoth Cave National Park.
If you believe in Flower Power, then head to Holland Michigan May 5-12 for the annual Tulip Time Festival.
"Not only does Holland have some of the prettiest beaches in the state, but the Tulip Festival is really a fun and economical family event that doesn't cost a lot of money. There are a lot of free performances and demonstrations which makes it the perfect small destination for everyone," said Susan Zalnis, marketing manager for the Tulip festival.
Can't get enough of the thrill rides? You don't have to go out of state to find lots of exciting rollercoasters for fun seekers. Indiana Beach in Monticello, Ind. and Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind. have much to offer. New at Holiday World this summer is Mammoth, the World's Longest Water Rollercoaster. With bright yellow, round, six-passenger boats, your whole family will be able to challenge Mammoth together!
"It's like a magic carpet ride and we know the guests are going to love it," said Paula Werne, who's been at Holiday world over 20 years. She said guests will feel like extended members of the family when they visit and make their memories this summer. "Pat Koch, our owner, says that this park is an extension of her home and we try to make every guest feel welcome. We know that our guests have traveled a distance to get here and we appreciate that."
If you love sports of all sorts, you can't go wrong by taking a trip to a number of sport-related parks, events and museums. Head to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Wrigley Field or Churchill Downs and see the sites of some of the greatest spectacles in sports or to take in an event.
"People are much more conscientious in this economy," Werne said. "But the one-tank trip is still doable and there are plenty of places to go where you and your family will have a good time and plenty of fun."
Plan your trip:
Here are just a few contacts to get you and your family started on your summer adventure!
8400 31st Street
Brookfield, Il 60513
Admission: $15 for adults, $10.50 for children and seniors over 65. Children 2 and under are free.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Streets of Woodfield
601 N. Martingale Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Admission: $19 for adults, $15 for Children (Two and under are free.)
3400 Vine St.
Cincinnati, OH 45220.
Admission: Adults (13-61) $15 Children/seniors (ages 2-12; and 62+) $10
6300 Kings Island Drive
Kings Island, OH 45034
Great Wolf Lodge
2501 Great Wolf Drive
Mason, OH 45040
Indiana Dunes National Shoreline
Visitor center: 1215 N. State Road 49
Porter, IN 46304
Web site: http://www.nps.gov/indu/index.htm
1 Mammoth Cave Parkway
Mammoth Cave, KY
Admission: Adult admission begins at $10 and Youth: $9. Visitors under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or adult.
Tulip Time Festival May 5-12
74 West 8th St.
Holland, MI 49423
Holiday World Theme Park & Splashin' Safari Water Park
452 East Christmas Blvd
Santa Claus, IN 47579
Admission: $44.95 adults, Seniors and guests under 54" $34.95 Children two and under are free. Group discounts are available!