I’ve recently discovered a gem of a book that inspires family travel – and is chock full of suggestions for activities to do with kids. Adventures Around Cincinnati: A Parent’s Guide to Unique and Memorable Places to Explore with your Kids is authored by Laura Hoevener and Terri Weeks. It’s a must-read (and must-carry in the car) if you’re anywhere near southern Ohio/Kentucky.
The book is split into three sections – creating memories with your family (which includes “why adventures?” and “planning and executing your own adventures”); attraction listings; and planning help. The largest section and the meat of the book lies in the attraction listings. This covers central Cincinnati and Newport, Kentucky; greater Cincinnati; Dayton; and Columbus, Lexington, Louisville, and Indianapolis.
If you’re not from the Midwest, you’ll be surprised to find so many great family activities. If you’re from the Midwest and familiar with the area, you’ll still be surprised by treasures new and old.
We’ve been traveling down to Dayton to visit my mother-in-law for 14 years, and I only knew of two places in that 25-page section! It’s a treasure-trove of goodness, sure to inspire activities and learning and all kinds of goodness. Some activities are free, while others have an entrance fee. With this book, you can learn about nature, waterparks, food, history, museums, art, shopping, and more.
This week, we met with author Terri Weeks (who also shares family travel tips on her website, and her daughter at Wegerzyn Gardens in Dayton. She’s a creative, intrepid explorer – the day before, she’d driven to visit an original root beer stand and interview them about how they make root beer!
She’s also great at discovering unique places to visit that kids just love. Our daughters clambered over the rocks and caves in the Children’s Garden, made music on the outdoor instruments, and meandered the willow labyrinth that is artist Patrick Dougherty’s A Wiggle in Its Walk. We sat and talked about family travel, how important it is to explore the world around you, and how kids can learn from travel, soaking it all in.
I’m the founder of the Family Travel Bloggers Association, and love to talk family travel and how to share these experiences.
Terri noted that one of the ways that her family enjoys traveling is to explore locally. Although you can take extended trips abroad (which is a good thing), it’s also important to travel within your own town, county, state, geographic region. Exploring your own backyard is just as important as traveling the world. They both are ways to learn about the world – to see different sights, sounds, and cultures.
Kids love to explore different cuisines, too, so find restaurants and grocery stores with various cultural offerings – and try new things. Parents are always looking for great advice for family travel to make their journeys smoother and more interesting.
Sharing our experiences can ease the way for families in new places, by providing family-tested recommendations for activities, things to see, places to eat, and even tips for how to get there. She’s an author that walks the walk, and shares it with the world. I, for one, am grateful for her – this book has enriched our lives.