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Archive for the 'Family Travel' Category

Mom Slaps Baby Aboard a Southwest Flight

NEWS AIRLINE 1 FT You guys reading about the Southwest Airlines fracas? CNN and USA Today are reporting that a mother slapped her crying 13-month-old baby across the face during a mid-flight incident that had the dad yelling at his wife to stop screaming, and neighboring passengers frantically pushing their call buttons. Adding to the agitation, the baby had a black eye, which the parents later said was from a dog bite incident a few days before. A Southwest flight attendant intervened and calm was restored … until they got to the gate in Albuquerque anyway.

Early reports suggested that the flight attendant took the baby away, but as the story unfolded today, Southwest said no, she merely held the baby so the child’s father could get out of his seat and do that thing we all do with crying babies – walk them until they calm down.

The flight was met at the gate by airport police and medical personnel, who took statements from the flight attendant, a witness and the parents – the mother says the baby kicked her and wouldn’t stop screaming, so she “popped her” but “didn’t do anything wrong,” and only reacted after the baby kicked her. The parents were not charged and the family continued on to another flight.

What do you think?

Posted on Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
Under: Family Travel, Health & Safety | 1 Comment »

FAMILY Travel: 5 Cool Theme Parks

egoland Water Park (Courtesy Legoland) Looking for last-minute family travel ideas? Ann Tatko, travel editor for the Merc and Times, has put together a top 10 list of astonishing theme parks for those getaways when mere roller coasters and wave pools aren’t enough to thrill. Here’s just a taste… wait’ll you get to the crocs…

1. Xcaret, Riviera Maya, Mexico: An underground river, dolphin swims, pools galore, Mayan architecture and even the re-creation of a 3,500-year-old ball game – you know the one, where losing is a real, real, real bummer – woo families to this all-inclusive resort and theme park.

2. Legoland, Carlsbad: Build a Lego raft, float down a lazy river or brave the thrills of the water slides at Legoland’s new five-acre water park.

3. Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park, Queensbury, New York: This 38,000 sq. ft. indoor water park includes the Avalanche family raft ride, multiple water slides and the multi-level, interactive Tall Timbers Treehouse – a very wet ride indeed.

Crocosaurus Cove 4. Futuroscope, Loire Valley, France: This sci-fi themed park includes virtual reality safaris, and a 4D roller coaster ride.

5. Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin, Australia: Where you can swim with crocodiles in the glass-enclosed Cage of Death (pictured). Um, fun?

Posted on Friday, August 6th, 2010
Under: Family Travel | No Comments »

Road Trip Tips

Road trip (illustrated by Ana Lense Laurrauri, Miami Herald, MCT) Whine… are we there yet? How ’bout now? Now? There’s nothing like a road trip to make you rethink the wisdom of travel with kids. Fortunately, you guys have given us more than a few great ideas for keeping the backseat contingent well occupied. And this being summer travel season, we’re reprinting the best of the bunch here!

  • Classic car games are always winners – ABC bingo, license plates, I Spy and Slug Bug or Punch Buggy. (Thank you Melanie, Janelle and Cindi!)
  • Load up the iPod, and hook it up to your car’s sound system and you can all sing along. Just do yourself a favor and don’t load up any Raffi. Instead, try ABBA, says Noreen. Or the Beatles. And Katherine C says she keeps special CDs her family only listens to in the car. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Under: Family Travel | No Comments »

LEGOLAND’s New Water Park

egoland Water Park (Courtesy Legoland)
Contemplating a SoCal summer vacation? LEGOLAND California just unveiled its 5.5 acre, Lego-themed water park during a sneak peek for the media. Unfortunately, we’re NorCal-ites, so we had to settle for the media kit, instead of the lovely sunny jaunt, but we’re excited nonetheless.

The new splashy park opens May 28 at the north end of the amusement park, behind Fun Town. Among the attractions: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
Under: Family Travel | 1 Comment »

BOSTON Pops Contest

Fourth of July (Specialist 1st Class Paul J. Phelps/U.S. Navy News Photo/MCT) This is cool — The Boston Pops is celebrating its 125th Anniversary with a special contest to bring a family of four to Boston to celebrate Fourth of July with the Pops. Yep, airfare, hotel, fireworks and music on the Charles River Esplanade.

How are they picking that lucky family? Submit a 125-character-or-less message – via text, Twitter or Facebook – explaining why they should choose you. Deadline is May 15. And wow, 125 characters is not very much. (That last sentence was 41 characters, in case you’re wondering – and yes, spaces count.) Deadline? May 15. Details?

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Under: Family Travel | No Comments »


Pixar parade at California Adventure
So, we’re just back from Disneyland with the scoop on what’s new, what’s under construction and what’s still to come…

A great big chunk of Walt Disney’s park is under construction at the moment – more than usual, even for the depths of winter. Among the areas that are shut down: the entire Rivers of America waterfront area in Frontierland, including the riverboat and sailing ship Columbia and Tom Sawyer Island. All the water has been drained, and walls erected to screen off the area.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
Under: Family Travel | 1 Comment »

FLAT Stanley Goes Disney

Flat Stanley (Courtesy Disney)
Remember Flat Stanley? He’s the hero of that 1964 children’s classic by the same name, written by Jeff Brown. Stanley is a normal little guy until one morning, he gets flattened by a bulletin board. Suddenly he’s flat as a pancake. But life as a flat kid isn’t all bad. It’s much easier to travel, for one thing, he can fly like a kite or go by airmail – and his escapades have delighted schoolchildren for more than 40 years. For the last decade, classrooms of school kids have made Flat Stanley paper dolls and mailed them off to pen pals around the world, enclosing notes recording their adventures with the little guy. (That’s Josh Greenhut, one of the authors of the Flat Stanley Worldwide Adventure Series, pictured above, reading “The Japanese Ninja Surprise” to third graders at the Library of Congress – AP Photo/Disney)

Now, Disney’s getting in on the action too. Children ages 7-12 can win an Adventures by Disney vacation by creating a Flat Stanley paper doll and writing a 150-word story about his “Next Big Adventure.”
Deadline’s Nov. 30 and details are here.

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
Under: Books, Family Travel | No Comments »

DISNEY Opens Design-Your-Own Thrill Ride

Sum of All Thrills (Raytheon/PR Newswire)
Walt Disney World just opened a new ride, “Sum of All Thrills,” that lets kids design their own thrill ride, then actually ride it — aboard a robotic simulator. How cool is that? And how potentially barf-inducing? It’s sponsored by Raytheon, the defense and homeland security contractor, as part of Epcot’s Innoventions Pavilion. Raytheon’s VP says their goal is to boost middle schoolers’ interest in math and engineering. What do you think. Cool? Not?
Robotic simulator at Epcot (PR Newswire/KUKA)

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Under: Family Travel | 1 Comment »

Volunteers Get a Free Disney Day

Disney Volunteers (AP Photo/Disney, Matt Stroshane)
In the mood for a little free Disney fun? Roll up your sleeves and don your mouse ears. Disneyland’s “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program will give 1 million volunteers a free day to play in any Disney park in Anaheim or Orlando in 2010. Disney is working with the HandsOn Network, a clearinghouse for volunteer opportunities, to connect people with projects at 70,000 agencies, including Habitat for Humanity and county food banks. As soon as the volunteers’ work is done and they’ve got the HandsOn OK, they get a certificate good for admission to Disneyland or Disneyworld. Volunteers must register online with Disney – and kids ages 6-17 can join in the fun and earn a free ticket, as long as they do their volunteer work with a grown-up helper.

Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
Under: Family Travel | 2 Comments »

UNIVERSAL Unveils Harry Potter Theme Park Plans

Harry Potter Theme Park (Courtesy Universal Studios)
Oh! Oh! Oh! The new Harry Potter Theme Park opens at Universal Orlando next spring, but they’ve just released a sneak peek at some of the attractions. Among them:

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: A high-tech ride that takes happy fans whizzing through an immense Hogwarts Castle and its rooms.

  • Hogsmeade Station: The entrance to the park goes through the Hogsmeade railroad station.
  • The Dragon Challenge: A roller coaster thrill ride inspired by the Triwizard Tournament.
  • The Flight of the Hippogriff: A family-paced roller coaster.
  • And shops and eateries inspired by the books, including Honeydukes, Ollivander’s, Zonko’s and the Three Broomsticks. And yes, you can buy Quidditch supplies at Dervish and Banges.

Posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
Under: Family Travel | 2 Comments »