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Dana Freeman

Williston, Vermont

MY KIDS

My Travel Style

I travel 9-12 times a year. My family likes to explore new places as much as we like to go back and frequent a few favorites, like Mexico and Hawaii. In the coming years I would to spend even more time in Europe with the kids. We enjoy multi-generational travel. We have been on 3 trips in the last few years with my 90+ year old Grandmother (my children's Great Grandma). When we travel, I like it to be a vacation for me too. That means I don't want to cook or clean. I appreciate clean towels and someone else making the bed every day. As you might imagine, I don't love to camp.

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Pointe-a-Calliere

350 Place Royale, Montreal, Quebec

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Average user rating (1 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-10 00:36:12.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

A Museum built on top of an Archeological site - Really!

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This museum is actually built right on top of an archeological site! We started our visit with an 18 minute multimedia presentation of the complete history of Montreal from the birth of the city right up to present day. Don’t miss this. Not only does the theatre have a 270º screen, but the floor overlooks archeological remains that become part of the presentation. After that you are free to walk through the museum on your own or, if you time it right, take a guided tour. My tweens found that spending just about 2 hours here was enough for them. I am not sure I would recommend this museum for anyone younger unless they are real history buffs as we didn't find any real hands-on activities.

Tips for Families

Would not recommend for kids under 10 unless you are going when they are offering special children's programing.

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Montreal Science Centre

2, de la Commune Street West, Montreal, Quebec

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Average user rating (2 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-10 00:33:29.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Super Science Center

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My kids love coming to the museum every time we come Montreal! Even though there are so many other ones we could explore this one has made such an impact on them, they beg to go back. There are 4 permanent exhibits, including a cool area that is meant for just for kids ages 4-7 that is really hands on. Then there are all sorts of other super tech-y thing for kids to explore. There is always one temporary exhibit too. There is a snack bar by the IMAX as well as a cafeteria style restaurant in the main lobby. But you are so close to Old Montreal, I would suggest also exploring and finding a great little cafe as well.

Tips for Families

If you are interested in the IMAX movie check online to see what is playing (there is a preview) and then buy your tickets. Note that they shows are played in both French (FR) and English (EN).

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Funicular from Lower Town to Terrasse Dufferin

16 Petit-Champlain St, Quebec, Quebec

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Average user rating (1 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: 2013-07-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-10 00:30:46.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12)

Take the easy way up!

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For just a couple of dollars this is a great way to head up to the Old Quebec. Although you can take the stairs, this is much easier and a fun with a great view of the city and the old port.

Tips for Families

It gets crowded, they pack you in (think elevator) so if you have a stroller or large bag, it could be a problem.

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New England Aquarium

1 Central Wharf, Boston, Massachusetts

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Average user rating (25 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: 2011-07-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-10 00:21:06.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12)

Crowded and Pricy Aquarium

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When we arrived at the Aquarium I was surprised to see such a long line outside with an estimated wait time of 25 minutes just to buy tickets! Meanwhile, I was thinking for an entry fee of $77.80 for our family of four (not including IMAX) it better be worth the wait. Our first stop once inside was the touch tank for the sharks and sting-rays. The kids enjoyed how the sting-rays felt; “slimy” and “gushy”. Our kids didn’t get a chance to touch any sharks. They seemed to be afraid that day and were hanging back. Apparently this happens when their are too many eager little hands in the tank. Two museum staff members were constantly talking the kids through the rules, yet educating them at the same time about the fish. Also in this wing of the building are the Jellyfish. Don’t miss them. They are downstairs in quiet area. Next we were off to the main area, a four story, giant ocean tank. The staring attractions here are the penguins which surround the bottom of the tank. You can’t help but stop and stare at these creatures. Next wind your way up the and around this massive space admiring marine life everywhere you look. Finally arriving at the top where you can peer down into the tank and and ask questions to the diver on hand.

Tips for Families

There is no museum reciprocity of any kind here. The only way to get a discount is to belong to the Aquarium.

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Boston Children's Museum

308 Congress St, Boston, Massachusetts

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Average user rating (21 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: 2011-07-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-10 00:18:29.0 | I traveled with big kids (6-8)

Great for 10 and under

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I can’t say enough about this amazing museum. From the moment we walked in we were visually drawn in. Immediately past ticketing, in the Atrium, kids can’t help but want to head straight for the three story climbing sculpture. My 9 year-old had no problem weaving in and out of the spaces and making her way to the top. But I saw kids of all ages mastering the task. After that we spent several hours wandering through the museum seeing 3 floors of exhibits that included a very cool Arthur & Friends town setting, Kid Power, Peep’s World (sand and water tables), The Construction Zone and the visitng exhibit: The Wizard of Oz. Personally, I was glad that I had only taken my my 9 year-old daughter. I felt like the museum would have been a bit too juvenile for my 12 year-old son.

Tips for Families

On the second floor there is a special Play Space designed for kids 0-3. | There is a very cool Countdown to Kindergarten exhibit. From the mock school bus to the model classroom, this area is sure to help with the transition for the first day of school.

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Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

Au Bon Pain is adjacent to the Museum.

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SeaWorld

7007 SeaWorld Dr, Orlando, Florida

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Average user rating (32 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2012-02-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-09 22:58:32.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Dolphin Up-Close Tour

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Have you ever wondered what dolphins feel like or how they learn to communicate with their trainers? My children have, so I signed us up for the Dolphins Up-Close Tour. We began by meeting our tour guide and members of the animal care team at the at the dolphin nursery. After a brief overview of dolphin life and dolphin care, we were given an opportunity to feed the dolphins…ewww! We got throw cold, wet, slimy, fish out to them. Glamorous? Hardly! Cool? Definitely! Next we headed over to Dolphin Cove. Here we were paired off by family with an individual animal trainer and 2-3 dolphins. This was a great opportunity for curious kids like mine to get all of their questions answered. For instance we learned all whales are dolphins, but not all dolphins are whales and dolphins do in fact sleep. The kids touched the dolphins, rubbed their bellies and their backs. They learned various commands to make them clap, talk (well squeak) spin, and more.

Tips for Families

This is pricey - $50/adult and $30/child ages 3-10.

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John F. Kennedy Space Center

Nasa Pkwy W, Orlando, Florida

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Average user rating (4 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2012-02-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-09 22:56:39.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Educational and Inspirational

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While you arrive at the Visitor Complex the first thing you should do is get on the bus tour that takes you out to the LC-39 Observation Gantry and then the Apollo/Saturn V Center. You will be hopping on and off the buses so try not to carry a lot with you. There are free strollers (and wheelchairs) available at each of the stations so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own on and off the bus.We spent quite a bit of time at the Apollo Center. After lunch at the Moon Rock Cafe, it was back to 1969 to relive the Apollo 11 mission in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. The recreation of this historical moment is so well done using actual news footage and recorded conversations from that day, that it is easy to feel as if you were there. Back at Visitors Complex we strapped in for a ride on the Space Shuttle. This simulated launch experience was really cool from start to finish. While waited in line for our turn, we watched great footage from prior crew members explain exactly what it would feel like to launch ourselves into space. Plus they gave us a little history lesson of the Space Shuttle program too. After that we spent time playing in the Rocket Garden. Here kids can stretch their legs and run around. There are lots of things to climb on and touch. There is a children’s play dome as well as shallow water feature if it is a hot day.

Tips for Families

Plan for more time than you think you will need. This is an ALL day attraction.

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Espn Wide World Of Sports Complex

700 S Victory Way, Kissimmee, Florida

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Average user rating (1 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2012-02-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-09 22:54:56.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Too Pricey!

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There is a $15 per person entrance fee at ESPN Wide World of Sports. We thought we would take our major league sports fan to have dinner at the Sports Grill one evening but you can’t get even get to the restaurant with out paying the entrance fee. $60 for four before I have even had a drink? No thanks.

Tips for Families

Just skip it. It is a huge sports complex that seems to hold tons of sporting events under the ESPN brand. Not much to see.

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iFly Indoor Skydiving

6805 Visitors Cir, Orlando, Florida

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Average user rating (1 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2012-02-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-09 22:52:45.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Best way NOT to jump out of a plane and still feel like it.

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Arriving at iFly Orlando approximately an hour before flight time, we were able to observe other “jumpers” from the observation room who were already in the wind tunnel. After a short while our instructor came and helped us change into our flight gear – jumpsuits, goggles, helmets and earplugs. You should wear long pants and lace up sneakers. After a short training session, we headed to the flight deck. Each of us got two turns to fly. The first time was to get the feel for it. The kids admitted the 110+ MPH wind pushing their cheeks out like a chipmunk felt a bit weird. We also learned that the slightest tip of the chin or stiffening of your hands would cause you to go higher or lower, stay steady or bump into the wall. The second time the instructor, Nevin, came in and did tricks with us. He took us high up to the top of the tunnel (30+feet). Surprisingly this was not scary at all. There are no words to accurately describe the feeling of flying, but we all agreed it was AMAZING! We ranked this as one of our best family travel experiences.

Tips for Families

If you forget your sneakers they have some there you can borrow.

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Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Burlington, Vermont

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Average user rating (1 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: 2009-06-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-09 17:02:54.0 | I traveled with big kids (6-8) and tweens (9-12)

Maritime History about the Lake Champlain Region.

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We were amazed with the amount of maritime history for our great lake. LCMM does a great job showing how life was in the past with walk-thru exhibits, using current technology and professional exhibits to illustrate the history, and have it all laid-out for an inside/outside adventure in to the past. Both adults and kids were entertained and enriched (in my opinion, children above the age of 8 will get the most out of this museum). Not sure how soon I will be back, though, a family of five cost us $41. Maybe this is a once every other year treat.

Tips for Families

This museum is indoors and out. Some of the paths are gravel/rocky. Wear good walking shoes and if you need a stroller, you might be better off with a backpack or carrier of sorts.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations

Basin Harbor Club is across the street.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

The Red Mill Restaurant

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