Profile picture
Flag user

Suzanne Kelleher

Saratoga Springs, New York

MY KIDS

My Travel Style

I'm the family vacations expert at About.com and an award-winning travel writer and editor. My family loves all kinds of vacations -- beaches, mountains, islands, cities, national parks, theme parks, active adventures, road trips -- we're game for pretty much anything and love experiencing new places and new things.

Filter

My Reviews

My trip photos

View All

Cape Ann Whale Watch

415 Main St, Gloucester, Massachusetts

| Map More Info


Average user rating (1 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2013-08-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-26 11:15:57.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Whale sightings guaranteed

Flag review

We bought a Groupon to go whale-watching with Cape Ann Whalewatch and ended up building a weekend getaway around it. These outings can last up to four hours, depending on how difficult it is to find a whale. On the day we went, it took about an hour to get out to the feeding ground (30 miles off the coast), where we spotted three humpbacks and stayed about a half hour watching them. The crew gives commentary with lots of interesting facts about whales, and two girls spend extra time circulating on the decks and answering questions from kids. The company guarantees a whale sighting or you get a free return ticket.

Tips for Families

Sit on the top deck and bring sunscreen.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
0

My trip photos

View All

Bass Rocks Ocean Inn Gloucester (Massachusetts)

107 Atlantic Road, Gloucester (Massachusetts), Massachusetts

| Map


Average user rating (1 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)

From

$209

avg/night

Check Rates
Visited: 2013-08-01 | Submitted: 2013-08-26 11:00:27.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Spectacular ocean views from every room

Flag review

We stayed here one summer weekend when we came to Gloucester to go whale-watching. It turned out to be a really lovely, kid-friendly place and the ocean views are just gorgeous. Our room had two queen beds and a pullout sofa -- perfect for our family of five -- with just a $10 surcharge for the fifth occupant. The inn's main building is nicknamed the Wedding Cake Building and is on the National Historic Register of Historic Places. The staff is very friendly and there's a pool, free daily breakfast, and free bike rentals so you can explore the coastal road. We would definitely stay here again the next time we're in Gloucester.

Tips for Families

Nice find for a family of five. Ask for a room with a pullout sofa; you'll pay $10 extra for the fifth occupant.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly attractions

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
0

My trip photos

View All

Norman Rockwell Museum

9 Rte 183, Stockbridge, Massachusetts

| Map More Info


Average user rating (1 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2013-07-01 | Submitted: 2013-07-07 13:51:20.0 | I traveled with teens (13+)

A gem of a museum in the Berkshires

Flag review

This little museum in the heart of the Berkshires is devoted to one of America's most beloved illustrators. For kids, it provides an interesting window into vintage Americana. One of the great things about this museum is that it's a manageable size and can be toured in 90 minutes or so, with displays of Rockwell's portraits and his famous Saturday Evening Post magazine covers. There's a nice scavenger-hunt activity for kids as well as award-winning self-guided audio tours for both adults and kids. This museum regularly hosts excellent visiting exhibitions. My 14-year-old is fascinated by animation in general and Disney specifically, so I took her to see "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic" (runs through October 27, 2013). It was curated by the librarian at the Walt Disney Family Museum in California and absolutely wonderful if you love Disney, animation, or both. There are hundreds of concept drawings and cels, plus terrific videos and explanations of the creative process of putting together the film, which was the first full-length animated film.

Tips for Families

Allow for time to explore the grounds, which are truly beautiful and include Rockwell's studio. Consider bringing a picnic; there are picnic tables under shade trees next to the museum.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
0

My trip photos

View All

The Tyler Place Family Resort

175 Tyler Place Road, Highgate Springs, Vermont

| Map

KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Rollaway beds available
  • Can accommodate large families
  • Babysitting
  • Kids' club
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Kids' menu in restaurant
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Kitchenette or kitchen in room
  • Complimentary breakfast


Average user rating (2 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Little kids (3-5)
  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)

Check external site

Check Rates
Visited: 2012-06-01 | Submitted: 2013-06-21 15:18:33.0 | I traveled with little kids (3-5), big kids (6-8), tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Amazing Summer Vacation Memories Guaranteed

Flag review

This is my family's happy place. We've visited the Tyler Place every summer for six years in a row and have racked up countless wonderful summer memories here. Even among all-inclusive resorts, there's an exceptional spirit of generosity. Nearly every activity is included in the rates, and every guest, no matter what age, gets his or her own bike for the entire week. The kids' program is exceptional, staffed by the most wonderful counselors, with an incredible variety of activities that gets more thrilling and challenging as your kids get older. For instance: little kids go for banana boat rides on the lake, older kids get to try bumper tubing and waterskiing. By the time kids are teens, they are biking to the nearest town for bowling and pizza and having much more daring fun. I love that there are plenty of wonderful, old-school activities like playing Capture the Flag, making homemade ice cream, and poling across the bay Huck Finn-style on log rafts. My kids have had so many first experiences at Tyler Place and learn something new every summer. Meanwhile, Tyler Place is also nirvana for adults. There are extraordinary outings (canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, etc) to beautiful locations, terrific workshops and classes (wine-tasting, yoga, pottery, and so on), as well as a dock full of Hobie Cats, stand-up paddleboards, and kayaks that you can take out whenever you like. There is a pre-dinner cocktail hour every evening, and a lot of adult-only excursions such as champagne cruises and a bonfire night at Raake's Point, where guests are shuttled on a pontoon. One of the best things about a week at Tyler Place is that it offers an ideal mix of kid time, alone time, adult time, and family time. Everyone gets plenty of opportunity to do what they like, and kids get to roam and explore and have fun with friends without being on a tight leash. We can take bike rides together, go out as a family for an afternoon of bumper tubing, or flop in a hammock and read a book. The last day of our visit to the Tyler Place, we start counting down to our next visit. It's a very, very special place.

Tips for Families

You sign-up for the next day's activities just before dinner the night before; it's also when you sign up for the next day's family afternoon activities at the boat dock. Be sure to try some things you haven't tried since you were a kid, like archery or the low-ropes course. The instructors are all local experts and, in our experience, always phenomenal.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly attractions

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
9

My trip photos

View All

The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom

1172 Route 9, Queensbury, New York

| Map More Info


Average user rating (2 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2013-05-01 | Submitted: 2013-06-06 14:15:43.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Medium-size park, decent thrills near Lake George

Flag review

This is the smallest of Six Flags' three parks in the Northeast, but it has some decent rides and a waterpark section that's always getting better. The marquee ride is the Comet, a really great wooden roller coaster that's famous among coaster aficionados. My 10-year-old son also loves the Sasquatch tower drop and would be happy to do it over and over. (You pick whether you want to launch up or launch down -- launching down is more fun.) In the Splashwater Kingdom section, there are a ton of waterslides, raft rides (including the Tornado, a four-person funnel ride), body slides, and a wave pool. It's a fun place to hang out with kids on a hot day.

Tips for Families

Food and beverages are of predictably mediocre-quality and pricey, so try to eat and drink before you arrive -- and bring refillable water bottles to use in the park.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
0

My trip photos

View All

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Lake Buena Vista

4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

| Map

KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Connecting rooms
  • Rollaway beds available
  • Kids stay free
  • Babysitting
  • Kids' club
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Kids' menu in restaurant
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Cribs (infant beds) available


Average user rating (36 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)

From

$294

avg/night

Check Rates
Visited: 2013-04-01 | Submitted: 2013-05-07 21:00:08.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Killer location, plush rooms, and a taste of grand ol' Florida

Flag review

The flagship resort at Disney World is appropriately grand and sprawling, oozing Southern charm and all the grand details of a colonial estate in Florida. The three-story lobby is simply breathtaking, rooms are plush, and the location is really fantastic -- right on the monorail for a quick zip to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. The landscaped grounds are just gorgeous (my sons were always spying tiny lizards by the footpath and pool area). My boys (10 and 13) enjoyed the pool (with cool underwater bubbling lights at night) and the water slide; they would have loved one that was faster and more thrilling--but this is just a quibble. For younger kids, the pirate-themed splash area is really fantastic. I didn't get to try out the newly revamped spa on this visit, but the word is that it is truly spectacular. Next time!

Tips for Families

This place is enormous, with several buildings that are quite spread out. If you'd rather not have to walk a far distance to get to the restaurants and park transportation, request a room close to the main building. We had quite a few of our meals at Gasparilla's, a cafeteria-style that served good food at a very reasonable price. Perfect for a quick meal before hitting Expedition Everest or Mission: Space.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly attractions

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
0

La Nouba - Cirque de Soleil

Downtown Disney, 1780 East Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

| Map More Info


Average user rating (2 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2013-04-01 | Submitted: 2013-05-03 11:15:24.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

"Crazy amazing" show from Cirque de Soleil

Flag review

I expected to love this show and was happily surprised that my tween and teen sons enjoyed it as much as I did. Cirque de Soleil always puts on a fabulous show, and La Nouba really surpassed our expectations, with an eye-poppingly artistic display of acrobatics, trapeze, trampolines, BMX bikes, jump ropes, and tumbling of all sorts. (In the words of my son, "That was crazy amazing.") Definitely one of the highlights of a recent three-day trip to Disney World.

Tips for Families

Bus transportation to and from Downtown Disney can be frustratingly slow. Build in extra time so you arrive on time for the show. The Cirque de Soleil theater is on the far west side of Downtown Disney.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
0

My trip photos

View All

The Risd Museum Of Art

224 Benefit Street, Providence, Rhode Island

| Map More Info


Average user rating (2 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-03-19 21:19:52.0 | I traveled with teens (13+)

Impressive Museum with an Enormously Varied Collection

Flag review

Though it looks deceptively small from the street, the museum is actually quite large and comprises several buildings. The collection is enormous and impressively wide-reaching -- spanning many time periods, cultures, and an incredible variety of media. There is everything from decorative arts, silverworks, Chinese terra cotta, a wonderful selection of French Impressionist works, and Renaissance French and Greek statuary. The American wing holds paintings by Warhol, John Singer Sargent, and others.

Tips for Families

Don't try to see the whole museum with kids in a single day or afternoon. Limit your visit to an hour or so, and choose an area of art that appeals to your kids. Don't miss the museum store, which contains artworks, housewares, books and a variety of ingenious items created by RISD alumni. Admission is free on Sundays.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
2

My trip photos

View All

Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Providence

58 Weybosset Street, Providence, Rhode Island

| Map


Average user rating (1 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Teens (13+)

From

$122

avg/night

Check Rates
Visited: 2013-03-01 | Submitted: 2013-03-19 21:04:22.0 | I traveled with teens (13+)

Comfy Digs and a Killer Location in the Downcity Arts District

Flag review

My teenage daughter was attending a day-long art class at RISD and this hotel fit our needs perfectly. The location is ideal -- just a 5-minute walk to RISD across the river via a pedestrian footbridge -- and in a great neighborhood, only a block from Westminster Street, which is full of great shops and cafes in the heart of the Downcity Arts District. Our room felt more like a junior suite, with a king-size bed, sitting area with flatscreen TV, pullout sofa and a wet bar (sink, microwave, fridge, coffeemaker). We had a comfy bed, free wi-fi, and a fitness room downstairs. Nice free breakfast buffet in the lobby. Valet parking is $25/day -- well worth it if you've brought your car, since metered parking gets expensive otherwise. All-in-all, this hotel made a fantastic base for our weekend in PVD.

Tips for Families

Bring in beverages and snacks to store in the fridge in your room.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly attractions

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
1

My trip photos

View All

Saratoga Race Course

267 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, New York

| Map More Info


Average user rating (1 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)
Visited: 2012-08-01 | Submitted: 2013-03-02 17:16:09.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Oldest Horse Racing Track in the US

Flag review

Open since 1863, Saratoga Race Course is the oldest thoroughbred racetrack in the country. The racing meet takes place from late July to early September. It's quite a family-friendly place--especially the paddock area, which has picnic tables under shade trees and a small playground. Kids get free admission. There are a lot of food vendors on-site, but you can also bring your own food and drinks in a cooler if you'd like to save money.

Tips for Families

If you're visiting Saratoga in the summer, there's a very nice buffet breakfast served in the grandstand during the morning workouts, followed by a free guided tram tour around the backstretch of the track where you can learn about the history of Saratoga racing.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations

N/A

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

N/A

My Kid's Review

N/A

View more

Was this review helpful to you?

Yes
0

Loading

500 characters allowed

Thank you for your help! We'll check it out.