With a baby and toddler, traveling can be daunting, especially when kid-friendly doesn't turn out to be baby and toddler friendly.

We've realized what a difference that is, so we are here in hopes to share and learn about the best places to go with our babes and tots in tow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Butler's Orchard

I've already done a post on Butler's Orchard in the fall, but wanted to remind everyone of the Christmas tree farm they have. You can drive up, choose your tree, cut it down and have them put it on your car too! They even shake it to get all those loose needles off (my son's favorite part) and bale it too. You can choose from 100's of beautifully pruned White Pine (4-10'), and Douglas & Canaan Fir (4-8'). White Pine $45.95, Douglas & Canaan Fir $54.95

We started this tradition before we had children and it's fun to now have a family to continue this annual event. The first year we visited Butler's Orchard for the holidays, they had Newfoundlands that would help drag the trees to the car. It was great fun and fun to donate to their training. I haven't seen them in the last few years, but it's still fun cutting down your own tree. Actually, this year we ran around the field and then just drove down and picked out a tree already cut...Shhhhh...don't tell anyone! But with my hands full holding our little one and with our three year old running faster than lightening, my husband and I doubted we would be able to cut down our own tree this year without some unwanted excitement. All of you parents out there can imagine all the fun things that could happen! Anyhow, it's a great place to visit, whatever the season, so check it out!


Davis Mill Road • Germantown MD 20876 • Telephone – 301-972-3299

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tricks for Traveling with Toddlers

Flying with two kiddos is so different than flying with just one. Add the toddler factor and it makes it much more difficult. Add flying solo with kiddos and just say hello to insanity!

We've traveled to Seattle, Honolulu, San Diego and Jacksonville, and the longer flight wasn't necessarily the most challenging. My flight to Jacksonville was the shortest and the most humiliating. Why you ask? The terrible threes! But when you get to your destination, you very quickly forget about the in-flight craziness and are able to enjoy the new venue. Or perhaps you want to live in la-la land for a while, and pretend that you never have to get back on the plane to make that return flight. Either way, you make the most of the trip and you chalk the flight up to another accomplishment.

I have a bag of goodies, a bag I add to with every plane trip I take. I got many ideas from the web including the below. I buy everything from Amazon.com because I have prime membership and I can get everything mailed to me in two days and Diapers.com, also fast shipping!



Let's start from the beginning though-getting through security and on that plane. If you have an infant, then I highly recommend bringing a carrier like the Bjorn or Ergo Carrier.

If traveling with just an infant, you can check the stroller and just use the carrier, or gate check the stroller and use it to lug your carry-ons through the airport. The smaller the stroller, the better, but then you give up a lot of the luxuries of your nice stroller. I always feared that my Bugaboo would get damaged in the flight and the airlines have all kinds of disclaimers that state that they are not responsible...blah, blah, blah. I do miss the ease of my nice stroller once I get to the destination, but never enough to reconsider my choice.

If you are flying with two, I borrowed my friend's Peg Pergo Aria. You can either hook the infant car seat into it and gate check both, or baggage check the car seat--most airlines do not charge you for that. Make sure you ask them for a large bag to put the seat into, to minimize any damage. As for the toddler's car seat--what a pain! Sometimes we use the Go Go Kidz Travelmate and convert that car seat into a stroller and use that seat to lock the kiddo into the seat of the plane. It kinda gives my little guy the sense of having to stay seated, just like in the car. If the car seat is narrow enough, you can just wheel that seat down the aisle of the plane, and the Go Go Travelmate folds up in seconds and can be stored in the overhead compartment. You will need the extension belt to add to the seat belt to hook the car seat into the seat on the plane, so ask an attendant as you go aboard. If you are traveling alone, you could check the stroller and then use the car seat/travelmate as a stroller, with the little one in the carrier. It all really comes down to comfort level. One disclaimer, make sure you buy one of the newer Go Go Travelmates that disassemble faster. The original has you screwing and unscrewing the seat and from what I hear is a nightmare. All of the above depends on if you have a layover, especially in a large airport, where you might have to run from one terminal to another to catch your connector with kiddos in tow. That is when the stroller comes in handy, with little else. You can just pop those kids in the stroller and infant carrier--load the other bags into the other side of the stroller and run. But if there is no connecting and it is a long flight, I always check the stroller and bring that car seat on to strap my little guy in for the long haul. Of course, you can always leave the car seats home too and rent them when you rent your car. They are not the nicest, but get the job done, and it is one less thing to get through security.

I always laugh when they announce at the gate that they are pre-boarding families with young children. Why on earth would you want to be trapped on that plane with your munchkins for any longer than need be???? To each their own though. I try to let my little one run around a bit before getting on the plane. They are going to have to stay seated for a long time, so no sense in rushing to get them seated. So wait a little bit, or send your spouse on first to secure the overhead storage, then come on a little later with the kiddos. Once on the plane, you'll want to have your bags of goodies very organized and easily accessible. I pack two carry-ons--one with diaper supplies and toys and the other with food/snacks and the dvd player. Keep in mind that not all planes have a changing table in their lavatories. I was surprised, but it's happened several times, including on my flight to Hawaii--that's right! So make sure to pack a changing pad and also disposable changing pads . Even if you do find a changing station, sometimes they are just too gross to put your changing pad down. After all, you are just folding it up and putting the exposed side that touched that nasty table into your bag to touch everything else. Disclaimer, I am sometimes a germaphobe. Also bring a change of clothes for the kiddos AND YOU! I have a friend whose child got a terrible case of the runs upon takeoff. Needless to say, they too were flying to Hawaii from the East Coast and had to stay in their stinky clothes the entire flight. I have another friend who didn't know their kiddo had motion sickness issues until his stomach contents erupted all over the two of them (and their neighbor), again with no extra clothes. Another friend's luggage was delayed--a nice way of saying LOST, so she relied on her extra outfits for the next day before her luggage was delivered. Honestly, I've never had to use the extra set of clothes I've packed, but I am fairly certain that the time I don't pack that extra set will be the time I need them. I have good luck like that--the best of luck most of the time, but the worst of luck, especially if I am already down. Story of my life, but that's for another posting or for when I find a therapist.

Ideas for toys and in-flight entertainment for the wee-little ones... The list is endless and SOOOOOOO necessary. I didn't let my first kiddo, my now three-year old son, watch TV/DVDs until he was 15 months and on our way across country to Seattle. We did a bunch of Baby Einstein--the Wordsmith series, like Baby Einstein: Baby Wordsworth - First Words: Around the House, Baby Einstein - Baby's Favorite Places - First Words Around Town, Baby Einstein - On the Go - Riding, Sailing and Soaring, Baby Einstein - Neighborhood Animals, or Baby Einstein - Baby MacDonald - A Day on the Farm. You don't get to sue Disney and Baby Einstein for your kids not becoming geniuses-that's already been done, but at least they are learning words and some sign language--so getting some educational value instead of watching some yellow sponge moan and groan about living under the sea. Other DVDs we love are Mickey Mouse Club House, Backyardigans--love the music, Leap Frog's ABC Letter Factory and Curious George. Though, sometimes I wonder about George--does he actually give my son ideas on how to act like a monkey and cause mischief??? Hmmmm, the verdict is still out, but George has really enhanced my son's role playing and summarizing story skills. I'll overlook the jumping off the couch, while making monkey noises on this one, but maybe not if he were leaping from seat to seat on the plane. Here are some comfy kid earphones that are safe for kids-Maxell 190338 Kids Safe Headphone.

Other ideas for the plane if you are not into letting your kid zone out with the DVD...finger puppets, play-doh, etch-a-sketch, flap books (open flaps ahead of time to eliminate any frustration), small plastic animals, hot wheel cars, magnet toys, latch puzzles, nesting cups, aqua-doodles, and even painter's tape. I personally love and Lauri Toys Toddler Tote and
Moody Bear Travel Bag. I also peruse the bargain aisles at Borders and Barnes and Noble a week before a trip and get some great deals and some fun, new books/toys that are always a hit.

I have more specific toys below and link from amazon for travel toys.

A small picture album with pics of your family in it so you can have him identify the different people
Finger puppets
Magnetic Joey Dress-Up Doll
Magnetic alphabet maze--inside plastic cover so alphabet pieces can't fall out
http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/seo/ca%7CproductSubCat~~p%7CLL676~~f%7C/Assortments/Lakeshore/ShopByCategory/blockplaymanipulatives/finemotordevelopment.jsp Magnetic color maze
Other toys that may work
Maybe velcro toys--so he can put it on and take it off over and over again?

Some people wrap each toy so it gives the kiddos one more activity and some kids love unwrapping toys. Whatever you choose, dole them out one at a time and make the most of each one.

Make sure to pack lots of snacks that your kids love and some drinks. Again, as long as you have the kids, you can get through security with all of this, it just takes a few more minutes for them to go through your bags. I would hold off on too much sugar and if you want to pack milk, Horizons has individual sizes that don't need to be refrigerated. There are these new NurturMe Dried Baby Food . Just add water and little baby has yummy baby food! There are also little pouches of Plum Organics Baby Second Blends and GoGo Squeez appleapple, Applesauce on the Go--just squeeze and serve.

Anyone have any other suggestions? We'd love to hear about it!

Happy travels-may your journey be stress-free, tantrum-free, and full of adventure-the good kind of adventure! Oh, and have someone ready with a drink on the other side--you'll need it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa-San Diego, CA

At the park at the community center overlooking the bay.
Hotel Del Coronado
San Diego Zoo
Snuggle session in our room at Loews

My daughter was about two months old when my husband had a last minute business trip to San Diego. I had to think about it a split second, as I would never have traveled with my first child so early, but we threw caution to the wind and headed out west! It was a little off season, late April/early May, it was chilly, but the weather was much warmer than the East Coast and the trip was perfect for us and the kiddos. This is the trip that started my wheels turning on finding babes and tot friendly places.

I found Loews Coronado Bay Resort from my sister, who had seen it on Parents.com. It was ranked in the top ten places in Best Family-Friendly Resorts in the U.S. and the Caribbean. I wasn't sure if this meant toddler friendly, but it ended up being terrific! As I mentioned, we went off season and there weren't many children activities planned, but we found plenty to do. Upon check-in, my son was given a Fisher-Price toy of his choice and the front desk staff not only was friendly, but so welcoming of little ones. What a huge difference, where other places seem to want you to hide your kiddo away and make sure they are seen and not heard at all. Not the feel here at Loews. The hotel itself was gorgeous, and the rooms where incredible with a huge bathtub that my son LOVED! I killed a lot of time at bathtime since I was still getting used to putting two little ones to bed at that time. They also had the most adorable crib set up for us, with cute bedding, bumper, blanket and all. We opted for the two queen beds and it worked perfectly with the kiddos.

Along with 24-hour room service for those nights when the kids are just too tired to go out, or you are not in a betting mood to see whether or not the kids blow up at the table, the restaurants let the kids eat free. There is also a little cafe for sandwiches, snacks and coffee, which we frequented often. There were tons of places a few miles down the road that were good for carry out as well. Here is a link to some other fun family dining places in the area.

For daytime activities on the grounds, there is a playground right to the left of the entrance gates (if you are walking from the hotel) and we used that a lot. There are also several pools, including a big kiddie pool, whirl pool, kibanas to keep the kiddos in the shade, outdoor chess and checker games, outdoor ping pong, and three tennis courts. Across the highway and via a private pedestrian underpass was direct access to Silver Strand State Beach. There you can ride bikes, rollerblade, waverun, go sailing or even rent paddle boats. And there is an on-site surf and paddle board school. I was told you can rent all of the above, and a pay for a gondola ride and more, but we never made it down to the beach as it was just a bit too chilly/windy for us with an two month old that week. For indoor activities, there is an award-winning Kids’ Club designed by Pottery Barn Kids and Teen Lounge and Teen Spa Room designed by Pottery Barn’s PBteen. We took many excursions around the area, so didn't use these rooms, but they looked fantastic.

For a date night on the grounds, there was a great fine dining restaurant, Mistral, which used all the herbs that came from the hotel's 3,800-square-foot organic Herb Garden. And for a spa experience, Sea Spa featuring 15 treatment areas for massages, facial and body services; spa manicures and pedicures; steam, sauna, relaxation lounge; and complete fitness center and aerobic studio with group and private classes.
Loews Coronado Bay
4000 Coronado Bay Road
San Diego, California, 92118
Phone: (619) 424-4000
Fax: (619) 424-4400

Loews Coronado Bay Hotel is set a little off the beaten path. It is three miles down the road from downtown Coronado, but walkable if you are into putting the kids in the stroller for a long stroll. The NAVAL SEAL training facility is along the walk to downtown Coronado, and you can peak through the fence and sometimes see them training on the beach. Of course, if you are not into such a long walk, you can drive and we found parking easy enough on the street.

Downtown Coronado was a fun play to walk around. We found parking on the street and walked around checking out the shops. We walked around the ground of the Hotel Del Coronado and the beaches. If you plan your trip right, you can hang out at the Babcock & Story Bar and watch the sun set with a glass of wine or an amazing bloody mary--one of the best I've ever had and I've been here several times now. There is an ice cream shop called Moo Time Creamery too that the kids will love and an extraordinary brunch at the famous Crown Room, which is continuously voted San Diego’s best. Brunch is available every Sunday from 9:30am to 1pm.

Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, 619/435-6611

We frequented many parks and play areas along the way. There is a great park at the The Coronado Community Center, overlooking Glorietta Bay at 1845 Strand Way. There it a tot lot adjacent to the bay and on your way back to the Loews hotel, on the right hand side. You can BBQ there too!

We left the hotel and the Coronado area to visit with friends and family often and took in many of the sites and attractions nearby. Again, we are a military family, so we were able to take advantage of the discounts at a few of the San Diego attractions.

We loved the San Diego Zoo. A one day pass was $37 for ages 12 and up, and $27 for ages 3-11. If you are active duty military, you receive free admission with a military ID. Having small children, we were able to enjoy the zoo for $27 for the whole family--the price of just my ticket. What a bargain for such an amazing zoo. Beware, the new polar bear exhibit is so fun and exciting, so your kids beeline it for the maze, but there are multiple openings, so be ready to man each exit. It is a small enough maze, but when it is crowded, it could be very easy for a little wee one to sneak on through and get lost in the crowd. Also, make sure you wear some good walking shoes and not the adorable sandals I had on...I know, I know, I should know better. But this zoo is hilly and pushing that stroller up some of the hills was quite a workout even for those in shape. I am referring to the hubby as the in shape one, not me.

San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Drive in Balboa Park

There is also the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which used to be the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park. The name changed to better reflect the experience, that is per the Web site. Same pricing as the zoo, and there are packages that give you a discount to do both. We opted not to do that with our little ones, but would have split it up between two days had we had more time. My sister lived out in San Diego and said it was fantastic. Anyone been and want to tell us more, we'd love to hear!

Sea World was also a hit and with the military discount we got in for free--the entire family, thanks to the Here's to the Heroes program, which allows active duty military to enter the park for free with three dependents. For some reason, my son couldn't focus on the aquariums, and was more into the lights, vents, fans and escalators, so I was thankful that we didn't spend a fortune getting in, but we did have a good time and my son got to run around and release all that energy he harnesses. We did loose a croc (shoe) in the flamingo pond...Don't try taking a picture too close to the fence, but it was a teachable moment for us. Find someone to tell because we don't want the flamingos to get sick... And watching the staff fish the shoe out of the water was fun for the kiddos too. The staff was so friendly and didn't blink an eye. Apparently, it happens all the time. Slippery little shoes!

Sea World San Diego
500 Sea World Dr.
San Diego, CA 92109
Our trip was short, but there were so many things we wanted to do. I know Lego Land is in nearby Carlsbad too, but we thought our two year old was just too little to make it worth while. Just driving around and taking in the sites was just amazing. Be sure to drive by La Jolla--La Jolla Cove is breath-taking and La Jolla Shores is the most family-friendly beach. Really, there isn't anything you can do in San Diego that you can't make babe and toddler friendly. I often wished we lived there...now back to reality!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Honolulu, Hawaii

Sorry for the long delay, hubby away for two months and kiddos sick from being in school makes for very little time for mommy to get anything done. As the cool weather sets in, I thought, wouldn't it be nice to go somewhere nice and warm this winter. And that reminded me that I needed to blog about how great Honolulu was last year. We did a family reunion for my side of the family- my crew,my sister and her family, along with my parents met in tropical Honolulu for a family vaca with two toddlers in tow, and a baby girl in the belly. We are military-dad, hubby and my brother-in-law, so we were able to stay at the Hale Koa. What an amazing facility! The hotel room itself was great--nice, clean, great staff. I mean, nothing fancy, but the grounds-THE GROUNDS WERE GORGEOUS. I mean, we will never stay anywhere else. Not glitzy, but just right and the most baby/toddler/kid friendly place in the world. I mean, any friendlier and it would be Disney World, but really, I don't think Disney World really makes it easy for babies and toddlers, so can I say, dare I say that Hale Koa is the MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH for us with babes and tots? I think I can, and being that my few followers are my friends, I don't think we need to worry about Disney's lawyers beating down my door.

So back to the grounds, the hotel is right on the Waikiki Beach and has a healthclub with a tennis facility, racquetball & handball courts, spa services, outdoor walking and running path, sand volleyball courts and three swimming pools (one being a great kiddy pool); a playground and picnic area adjacent to the beach; two restaurants; snack bars; several indoor and outdoor bars; AND a Starbucks in the lobby right next to the elevators! There are water sport rentals right next to the hotel on the beach and my husband and brother-in-law took some refresher surfing courses and had a great time. There are fireworks too every Friday night, so fun to watch on the beach with the kids.

The price is amazing too--the rooms, the restaurants, the services were all so reasonable, I really had to pinch myself. Room rates are from $90-$289 a night, based on your rank, what kind of room you want and season. We had ocean view (unobstructed views) rooms for around $150 a night in December. The best bang for the buck was the breakfast buffet at Koko's. It starts at 6:30 and went until 10:30. Adults were charged $13.95, Active Duty E1-E5 & Guests 65 years & older $9.95 (Identification required)and children under 12 $5.95. But the best, best part was that children under 4, our target demographic here when we are traveling, are complimentary with an adult buffet or entree purchase. SO FREE! And boy do they eat a lot for breakfast--sometimes enough to get us through most of the day. They also have a luau on the grounds and was fantastic. We had gone to the big Polynesian Center luau when I was in my teens with my parents, so it has been a while, but we thought it was just as great and didn't require a huge bus ride to get there--which again is key with little ones. And the luau is a two second walk back to the room when it just got too late for the little ones. BONUS!

The Hale Koa is right next to the Hilton Hawaiian Village, so if it is all the cute and quaint shops you are looking for, then you can just browse next door. There are other restaurants in the Hilton Village too, and we had a few date nights there when we got our parents to watch the kiddos and when we wanted something a little fancier than the Hale Koa had to offer. Most nights we did eat on the grounds though since it was nice to be able to eat with the kids and not feel uncomfortable as our son squealed with glee.

Hale Koa had a visitor center and were able to make any reservation for any of the sites on the Oahu and probably beyond, had we inquired. We were able to take shuttle buses to see the most popular Hawaiian sites--Polynesian Cultural Center, AND USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. The location made it easy to take our car and travel to the North Shore and sample shrimp trucks along the road, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and other small secluded beaches we found along the way. There is a cool submarine tour that is cool for the kiddos, but being very pregnant, I wasn't too into that, but we heard it was great.

My husband just came downstairs to see what I was up to and we reminisced a little about what a great vacation it was. Sooooo worth the long trip on the plane with our son and I wouldn't hesitate to go again with our baby girl in tow. I have most of the tricks down for traveling with the kiddos on planes, maybe my next blog entry. But I'll end this thinking of the gorgeous sunsets and maybe beeline it to travelocity to book a flight back to that MOST MAGICAL PLACE for parents with babes and tots. You must go!

Hale Koa Hotel
Mailing Address:
2055 Kalia Road
Honolulu, HI 96815-1998

For Guestroom Reservations:
Click here to go to our on-line reservation form

Toll Free Room Reservations:
1-800-367-6027 (CONUS)
8AM to 4PM Hawaiian time
Daily except Sunday and federal holidays


Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Fun in the DC Area

Happy Fall! It is my favorite season and has become even more so with my little ones. My honey and I made the most of this weekend with the kiddos and enjoyed this glorious weather.
Fire Prevention Month
In honor of Fire Prevention Month, on Saturday we visited the Bethesda/Chevy Chase Rescue Squad's Rescue Day Open House. I love this event! What a great way to give your kids a sense of community and help raise some money for Bethesda/Chevy Chase's bravest. Perfect for my three-year old, there were rescue vehicles and fire trucks to climb, tours of the station, firefighter hats, a moonbounce, a helicopter landing (we missed this), popcorn, fire hats for the kiddos...and this was all FREE. We of course had to buy a few t-shirts to support such an amazing event, and what cute t-shirts they were! I also learned that you can rent out their banquet room for birthday parties and they have special fund raising dinners that would be great for families to attend. I have officially marked this on my calendar and have it reoccurring until 2035... My daughter will be 25, my son will be 28 then, but I am sure they will want to go to this event with me even then, right????

Check out your local area's fire departments to see what stations are having an open house this month. And also see if they have special events like spaghetti dinners and such to add to your calendar for a fun night out with the family.

Link for DC:
Link for Montgomery County:

Link for Prince William County:

Link for Fairfax County:

Butler's Orchard
On Sunday we packed up the kids and headed for Butler's Orchard. We've loved this place prior to having kids and now take them there for several events a year, including Christmas and Easter, as well as during the summer for picking fruit.

In the fall they have a great Pumpkin Festival. My son loves the giant slides, the moon bounce and the mazes. There is a entire section for just the little kiddos when you enter and to the right. Last year we stumbled upon this great area right before departing, but we were sure to check it out right away this year. Along with live music and yummy BBQ, it is the perfect way to tire out those toddlers and little ones, and great for helping lull them to sleep on the drive home. They are open every weekend in October and also Columbus Day.

Other fun activities:
Giant Corn Bin
Straw Maze
Wildcat Run Slide
Tube Slide
Rubber Ducky Derby
Pumpkin Coach
Jump in the Hayloft
Visit Barnyard Buddies
Twisted Pumpkin Corn Maze
Pedal Tractors
Inflatable Farm Train


Davis Mill Road • Germantown MD 20876 • Telephone – 301-972-3299

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our Jaunt to Jacksonville

Our latest trip was to Jacksonville, Florida for my husband's work. What to do, what to do with the kiddos during a humid, summer week-actually week and half? I got resourceful and found some great places that were ideal for babies AND toddler--a parent dream come true.

The Hands on Museum
8580 Beach Blvd
(904) 642-2688
Monday-Saturday 9:30-5:00
Ages 1-3 $4.50 and ages 4 and up including adults $5.50

My son loved this place and so did I. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. Exhibits included a firetruck and firehouse, veterinarian office, bank, post office, newsroom, fifty's style cafe, grocery store, puppet room and a special babies and toddler's only room for those really little ones. Along with the interactive themed sections, there was also wheelchair basketball, tubes/slides, train tables, ball pit, and my son's all time favorite--the gears wall. We could kill several hours there easily, and we met a lot of fun moms and dads too.

Pump It Up Inflatable Party Zone
11840 Beach Blvd , Suite 10
Jacksonville, FL 32246
(904) 646-1441
Call for open gym hours
$8 per kid, no charge for adult

My greatest fear with these kinds of places is that my son is going to get stuck in the middle or get scared and I will have to climb in after him with baby girl in the Bjorn. Thankfully, during the open gym time, there are so few people there, it was a breeze. It helped too that my son is fearless and I didn't have to go in after him-not once. A great way to show acceptable jumping activities--the beds and sofa's at my husband work apartment were relieved and so was I. He actually took a nap that day-BONUS!

Jacksonville Beaches
Public parking was easily found and close to the beach. Renting umbrella and chairs was amazingly easy too, so you could keep the babes out of the sun and also have a resting place for the toddlers when that Florida sun got just a little too hot. Joe's Crab Shack was right on the beach with a playground. I've never been before, but the venue was loud and friendly, and even when my little baby girl decided she was done with us eating, no one could hear her starting to cry. It really couldn't have been a more friendly place for us to bring the kids. Just have a plan on how to get your kiddo out of that playground.

Museum of History and Science (MOSH)
1025 Museum Circle
Jacksonville, FL
904) 396-6674
Adults $11
Children 3-12 $9
Senior and Military $9.50

There was a special for weekends for $5 a person--what a bargain! This place was awesome and good for kids of any age. I was confused because when I called and asked, I was told it wouldn't be good for toddlers. Maybe the exhibits weren't meant for young, young kids--the dinosaur exhibit was the following week--but there were so many cool hands on exhibits that my little guy could completely appreciate, for example, the flatulent machine--enough said! Plus there was a great toddler room right in front, with a huge tree with Spanish moss and...wait for it--a HUGE water table. It took us about an hour to go through the museum and about three times as long to try and get our son out of the toddler room, but mission accomplished--tired toddler, who was ready for bed at 7:30!

Along with Joe's Crab Shack, other places we found very B & T (Baby and Toddler)friendly were The Loop Pizza and Grill http://looppizzagrill.com/ and Monkey Jungle Funtime Pizza http://www.monkeyjunglefuntimepizza.com/

Other places we just didn't get to this time around:
The Jacksonville Zoo-we hear you can feed the giraffes
Adventures Landing--though I fear that this water park is not so kid friendly

Have you been there or live there? Have more tried and true suggestions? I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let's get some dialogue going!