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Kent Hayward

Madison, Wisconsin

MY KIDS

My Travel Style

My wife and I LOVE to travel. Fancy, upscale places are great, but I like less expensive, unusual attractions and accommodations too, where you might come away with a good story. Traveling with a toddler is trickier. I try to do the same kinds of fun, eclectic things, but keep it simple with the kid. K.I.S.S., do less on each vacation day and enjoy more -- that's my M.O.

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Mardi Gras

831 Chartres St, New Orleans, Louisiana

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Average user rating (2 Reviews)

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  • Tots (0-2)
  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: February 2010 | Submitted: May 15, 2012 | I traveled with tots (0-2) and tweens (9-12)

Mardi Gras is for families too!

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There are lots of fun things to do in New Orleans with your family during Mardi Gras. The parades are packed with kids, as are the streets in the main areas. Some parades can be too loud, but if your kids are older than 5 or so, they might really like the "second line" parades and the daytime craziness of this old city. There are things to avoid after dark if you have children, but if you use your common sense and stick to your normal bedtimes and naptimes, you should be fine.

Tips for Families

Take the family to get Muffaletta sandwiches at the Central Grocery -- to eat there or as a picnic for later.

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Legoland

1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, California

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Average user rating (19 Reviews)

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  • Tots (0-2)
  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
Visited: December 2011 | Submitted: May 13, 2012 | I traveled with tots (0-2), little kids (3-5) and big kids (6-8)

Super awesomeness for almost all ages.

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We took the whole extended family over Christmas and had a fun and memorable trip. There are games and rides and parks for small kids, tons of Lego buildings and stuff for all ages, and places for building legos too. I liked the Mindstorm robot building and the build your own car to race areas. Our preschoolers and big kid relatives loved the pirate stuff.

Tips for Families

There is a fancy but great Sheraton next door that has its own entrance to the park so you can just walk in and walk out -- no parking!

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Venice Boardwalk

Ocean Front Walk, Los Angeles, California

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Average user rating (4 Reviews)

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  • Tots (0-2)
  • Tweens (9-12)
Visited: March 2012 | Submitted: May 13, 2012 | I traveled with tots (0-2) and tweens (9-12)

Went with a toddler and some tweens for an afternoon, mixed bag.

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The Venice Boardwalk is a spectacle of beach, sun, restaurants, performers, shops and lots of hawkers --some are interesting, some are freaking nuts. It's a historic place, and the canals are nearby for scenic walking and the beach is a great mix of all kinds of people. You will easily hear five different languages spoken as you walk around. We had a great time as we strolled with some pals from Ohio. Weekends are a zoo, especially in summer but we had fun checking out Muscle Beach, the Venice Pier and the skate park. The kids loved it.

Tips for Families

Danny's Deli for lunch and the Cow's End for casual cup of joe are good and both have photos of historic Venice in the 20s. It'll be hard to avoid the medical marijuana shops so consider it part of the show and prepare your tweens and teens.

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Springhill Suites Boise

6325 North Cloverdale Road, Boise, Idaho

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Connecting rooms
  • Smoke-free property
  • Pet friendly
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Kitchenette or kitchen in room
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Outdoor pool


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My ratings by kids age

  • Tots (0-2)
  • Little kids (3-5)

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Visited: August 2011 | Submitted: May 13, 2012 | I traveled with tots (0-2) and little kids (3-5)

A very hospitable place for a family reunion!

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Our family is scattered in all corners of the country, but we came for the 100th birthday of our great/grandmother who lives in Boise. It was a great place to convene for a big family gathering with kids. The kids all LOVED the pool and hot tub, not to mention the long hallways near the meeting rooms for running in. Buffet breakfast was easy for grown-ups and kids alike, and staff is helpful. There are several restaurants in walking distance, including a pub where some adults gathered after kids bedtime. I was skeptical at first, but the meeting rooms were perfect for our family gathering, and we were not the only family reunion either! ...it's not quaint or elegant or novel, but it had everything that we needed for this trip.

Tips for Families

Reserve a crib early if you need one. They almost ran out during our visit.

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Pitfire Pizza

2018 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, California

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Visited: March 2012 | Submitted: May 11, 2012 | I traveled with tots (0-2)

Great for kids AND good food and grown-up drinks.

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This place is famous for being kid-friendly and has excellent pizza, salads and pasta. The gourmet pizzas are great for grown-up foodies and they have a great beer and wine selection. There are several kid oriented menu items too, the cheese pizza is popular. It is loud enough in there that no one is too bothered if your infant or toddler cries (or melts down) and you are not bothered by the other kids in the place. You do have to wait in line to order, but they have just started a kind of "hostess" situation, where someone with a clipboard comes to you in line and arranges to find you a table while you order. We've been to the one on Washington Blvd, mainly and once to the location in Westwood.

Tips for Families

After you've ordered and sat down you are assigned a server, so you can order more without getting in line again --it's also good if someone in your party is late and didn't get in line with you.

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Hilton Hotel Waikoloa

69-425 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa, Hawaii

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Rollaway beds available
  • Babysitting
  • Kids' club
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Cribs (infant beds) available
  • Outdoor pool
  • Kids' pool
  • Water slide
  • Bikes available
  • Volleyball court


Average user rating (4 Reviews)

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  • Tweens (9-12)

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$179

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Visited: November 2010 | Submitted: Feb 28, 2012 | I traveled with tweens (9-12)

A theme park and a hotel in one

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Wow, wow, wow. Loved this place. It's a megaresort but you won't feel like a number here--the staff was all really nice. And the pool is unbelievable--waterfalls, flowers.... Did I mention that you can take a boat to your room? Aloha!

Tips for Families

Skip the breakfast buffet and get a room with a kitchenette instead--you'll save a ton.

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