Got a case of wanderlust that won’t quit? Your next Midwest family holiday is a click away. Our moms have bounced around the globe testing out family vacation spots from campgrounds to African safaris and they’re dishing the dirt on what works, what doesn’t and what you need to know before you go. Get all the family travel information essentials you need (from a traveling mom's perspective, natch!) to dive into your next Midwest family vacation.
Here you'll find family holiday ideas for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, and Missouri.
Have you ever wondered where zoos get their animals from? I found out recently that many of them come from right here in West Michigan - which was surprising because I’d never known that before. Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park has existed here in Alto, MI for the past 20 years - breeding exotic animals and supplying them to zoos all across the country. And now the 80 acres of Boulder Ridge are open to the public as well, providing a unique zoo experience for your family.
Boulder Ridge has a lot to offer - including a few animals species that you won’t see anywhere else. And since this zoo actively breeds animals there are quite often pregnant and baby animals to see as well. My kids and I had a sneak peek before the park opened to the public and got to see a herd of pregnant zebras, ostrich eggs, and newly hatched baby chicks.
Our tour was hosted by ‘Rick the Reptile Guy’ and he was not only so knowledgeable about all of the animal species in the park, but so much fun to listen to and hang out with as well. If you live in West Michigan, you may have seen him with various Boulder Ridge animals on Fox’s morning news show - he’s a regular guest.
The park has added a reptile house, an aviary, a gift shop, petting zoo and more. There’s a picnic area and also a children’s playground so the kids can run off some energy. Another unique thing about Boulder Ridge is that they try to be as self-sustaining as possible. They grow food for the animals on-site, recycle, and re-use as much as they can.
For more information, check out their website at http://www.boulderridgewap.com, or become a fan of Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park on Facebook. Below are a few photos from our visit - as well as a short video (2:40 minutes), and you can see what some of the other local bloggers thought of our sneak peek on their sites too.
Why was I nervous about Zip Lining? I’m someone who has jumped off a cliff -- hang gliding (OK, it was tandem) -- above the Atlantic Ocean in Rio de Janeiro in my younger, pre-kid days, to the beach down below. I even did it twice!
Went to the Meramec Caverns outside of St. Louis. Although it was only the first week of June, it was 96 and humid.
Perfect weather for Caveman Zip Lining!
The record-high temperatures recorded so far this summer have led to a record-breaking number of complaints about the heat. So MyWeather.com came up with a list of the coolest places for a family vacation. While the website was looking for the coolest places, literally, the list includes some of my personal favorite spots for a (figuratively) cool family vacation.
For the past 18 years, the lakeshore community of Muskegon comes together for an amazing 10-day event called Summer Celebration. It’s one of the biggest summertime events on this side of Michigan, and includes everything from fireworks and parades to a juried arts & crafts show, music performances by both local and national acts and even a community-wide picnic. Whether you’re headed straight to the beer tent, or to the carnival midway with your kids, there’s something for everyone at Summer Celebration!