Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Destination: Park City, Utah!

Discovered by prospecting soldiers in the late 1800's, Park City, Utah was a bustling mining town for many years. In the 1920's, skiing became popular and Park City became a vacation haven! Today, Park City, Utah is a family-friendly resort town packed with a world of activity – no matter the season! Conveniently located only 35 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City has everything you could ask for in a family vacation spot – and then some!

The town of Park City is truly a premier resort town. In the winter, you can enjoy world class skiing and snowboarding as well as Nordic skiing on groomed trails, guided snowshoe tours, and snowmobile tours. Park City even features winter hot-air balloon rides! Winter visitors to Park City can also enjoy sleigh rides, tubing, first-class restaurants, and so much more! Park City is truly designed to provide endless fun for your family!

To catch even more excitement, plan your visit for January or February! Each January, Park City plays host to the Sundance Film Festival! And February finds revelers enjoying Park City’s Winterfest; a celebration that takes place over two weeks, during which it is rumored the town never sleeps! The annual festival features concerts, fireworks, skiing, snowmobiling, sled dogging events, and an ice sculpture competition.

If cold and snow isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, Park City has something to offer year-round! In the warmer months, there are a wide range of outdoor activities nearby to entertain visitors of every age; from rock climbing, and hiking, to mountain biking, horseback riding, or even golfing, there’s something for everyone!

In addition to a myriad of activities, Park City’s historic Main Street offers some terrific window shopping with its numerous galleries, shops and restaurants! With architecture dating back to the renovation of the town following the “great fire of 1898,” Main Street offers the romance of the old west and an eclectic mix of everything from contemporary art to sportswear and handcrafted furniture!  With its turn of the century silver mining history, visitors to the "old town" section can even enjoy charming mining shacks that have been renovated and converted into ski homes.

No matter what season you choose to visit, Park City is a vacation paradise! For lodging information, check out Park City Hotels. Happy travels!!!

- Destination Mom

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby's First Vacation

So you've finally settled in to your role as a new parent; you think you have mastered most of the tasks required to hold you over until your little bundle of joy heads off to preschool...  then you come face to face with your first vacation with your baby!  Whether your child is weeks old or starting to crawl, your first vacation can be a big wake up call!  Gone are the days of throwing a few essentials in a small case for a week-long getaway!  But there's no need to panic; with a little organization and planning, you can be ready for whatever comes along!

Making a list will save you a lot of frustration and time.  You'll want to pack to address everything from your child's health, to his or her day-to-day needs in terms of feedings, elimination, entertainment, safety, and comfort.  Much of what you will need to pack will be determined by your destination, but the goal is to pack as efficiently as possible, minimizing the amount of unnecessary gear you bring along.  In addition, you will need to address some basic health and safety precautions before you set out on your adventure.

Know Before You Go:

Scheduling your journey during your child's nap or bedtime is a great idea - after all, the more time your child spends sleeping during the journey, the less time you will need to occupy with play or other distractions!  Just remember to bring along comfortable pajamas, books, or anything else that is a part of your usual routine. 

If you are travelling with an infant, it is important to check with your pediatrician to be sure your child has had all necessary inoculations. Babies do not have fully formed immune systems and are far more susceptible to contracting illnesses than adults.  In addition, it is always a good idea to pack any medications your child may require in a bag that will be easily accessible during the journey.  A carry-on or diaper bag is a good choice; beware though, if you are flying you will need to familiarize yourself with the limits regarding how much liquid you may carry on with you. 


Packing clothes is relatively simple: a good rule of thumb is to pack a few more outfits than your baby would go through at home, and remember it never hurts to pack a few extra pajamas, socks and onesies! For extended trips, you may want to check with your lodging provider to see if they have laundry facilities. What you spend doing laundry you will easily save in excess luggage fees.

Diapers and Wipes:
For the majority of destinations, it is safe to assume that you will be able to acquire diapers, wipes, ointment, etc. once you arrive. But plan to pack enough for the flight or drive, plus a few extras for any unforeseen accidents or travel delays.

Travelling without toys to occupy your child will inevitably result in disaster.  Pack a wide variety to keep baby distracted along the way, including old stand-bys and a few new surprises! Avoid bringing noisy toys or items that could prove annoying to fellow travelers. 

The less gear you need to haul, the happier you will be, so look for items that can serve multiple purposes (i.e. a car-seat that converts to a stroller, a pack and play that can be used as both a play pen and for sleeping etc.).  Another alternative is to explore the availability of rental gear; many popular vacation destinations have local companies that offer car seats, strollers, or other baby gear that you can borrow for the duration of your stay for less than it may cost to lug all that gear on a plane.  Also, many lodging providers now offer cribs, play yards, etc. upon request, which can help cut down on what you need to haul!

Once You Arrive:

Most lodging is designed primarily with adults in mind, often overlooking the safety or comfort of young travellers, particularly newly mobile babies or toddlers.  So upon arrival, plan to do a quick evaluation of your room; you may need to rearrange furniture to make play space and remove decorative items that could pose a hazard to your little explorer.  You will also want to bring along some basic child-proofing devices to child-proof your hotel room.  The Travel-Tot Childproofing Kit is an ideal option with it's broad range of deterrent devices (outlet covers, corner guards, foam door pinch guard, multipurpose straps, cord guard etc.).  The Kit components that require installation are specially designed not to harm surfaces; each piece goes on strong but comes off clean thanks to the 3-M temporary adhesive strips  -  you can even re-use many of the pieces! The Kit provides a layer of protection between your child and common hazards, while simultaneously affording you the peace of mind of knowing you won't be incurring extra expenses due to inadvertent damage to hotel property!

- Destination Mom

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Boutique of the Week: Wild Child!

Located just north-west of Boston proper is a bright, enchanting boutique called Wild Child!  Owned and operated by Lauren Goglak, Wild Child is widely regarded as a premier source for baby gear and baby gear knowledge in the Boston area.  And it's not just their patrons who are singing their praises; they have earned the prestigious Best of Boston award for their children's clothing and been named one of the top 100 coolest children's stores by "Child" magazine!

Self-described as "a kids store designed with parents in mind," Wild Child carries everything from car-seats and clothing to innovative gifts! They pride themselves on carefully selecting and testing each of their products to make sure they meet the needs and standards of today’s parents. From their stroller selection, to their fashionable and functional clothing, they choose only the items and brands that meet their high standards for usability, design, and value. They subscribe to the philosophy that while parenting can have its challenges, shopping and selecting the best for your child shouldn’t be one of them! 

Lauren and her knowledgeable sales staff pride themselves on providing excellent customer service.  They work with each customer personally to find the best stroller, car seat or accessory to suit their needs, with no pressure to buy something they don't need.  With their online store, they are just as eager to make each customer comfortable and satisfied!  They invite their on-line shoppers to contact them for assistance with picking just the right stroller, gift, or gear, if necessary; providing honest, earnest advice without the pressure of a hard sell.

Their website also has a link for registry creation and access for expectant parents and a calendar of their in-store events; including their weekly reading hour each Friday at 1:00pm!  Wild Child has established an even broader reach with their insightful and fun blog, The Wild Side.  Featuring everything from baby gear advice to whimsical gift ideas, The Wild Side is chock full of valuable information!

So if you find yourself in the greater Boston area, don't miss Wild Child; a boutique with a brilliant selection of merchandise, a knowledgeable and helpful sales staff, and a friendly, comfortable atmosphere!  We love them, and we're confident you will too!

- Destination Mom

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Surviving a Long Flight With Children!

Every parent knows that young children are not generally able to sit still for long. So being restricted or confined in an aircraft for a few hours can be a recipe for disaster culminating in tantrums or crankiness, much to the embarrassment and frustration of their parents.  Add to that the discomfort from the change in cabin pressure and the potential for air sickness and you have a nightmare waiting to happen.  Sadly, there is no magic potion to prevent meltdowns in flight; there are, however, several things parents can do to help alleviate the severity of these issues while flying with children!

Pack & Play!
Packing a few favorite toys to keep children entertained can provide distraction and activity for several hours!  Before leaving home, have each child pack a favorite toy or two. For toddlers, you may want to bring a few toys.  By taking the packed items out one at a time you can not only maximize the novelty of each one; you will fill more time with play, and that's the goal!

For older kids, coloring books and crayons or colored pencils can go a long way! Many airlines even offer coloring sets, puzzles, and mini games for children. If the family is visiting friends or relatives, bring along a small photo album filled with pictures of the people they will see; you can even tell stories about their houses, pets, places you will be visiting, etc.

Plug & Play!
Long distance flights generally feature childrens' programs, movies, and games on the TV screen in the back of the seat. Packing headphones will save you a few bucks, and provide hours of entertainment!  Also, portable personal gaming systems (Didj, Nintendo DS, Gameboy, Sega Genesis, Playstation, etc. ) will keep many kids occupied for long stretches of time.

Managing Discomfort or Illness
Once you've provided as much distraction and activity as you can fit into one carry-on, its important to prepare for the other major hurdle you could face; sickness.  Air sickness affects some children, so plan to eat far in advance of the flight's departure time. If your child should become ill, simply use the air sickness bags provided, or pack a few of your own.

Some children complain of ear pain during take-off and landing. Providing pacifiers for babies to suck on and liquids for older kids to sip and swallow  can help relieve the ear pressure. For older children, chewing gum or sucking on hard candy can also help relieve the pressure.  If you don't happen to remember to bring these items, the stewards or stewardesses can often get them for you.   You can also purchase soft ear plugs from most pharmacies that can help both with equalizing the air pressure on each side of the ear drum and with reducing some of the noise of flying.

Your mileage with these suggestions may vary, but with a little advance planning, even the longest trip can generally be weathered with reasonably good results; think of it as a whole different way to childproof when travelling!  Happy travels!

- Destination Mom