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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A First Visit to Tastee Diner

Technically today really wasn't my daughter's first visit to Tastee Diner. Unbeknownst to her, she was there numerous times while I was pregnant for various cravings--chocolate milkshake, burgers, mash potatoes... Fred was ever so grateful to have a venue with so many options. Fred stumbled upon Tastee when he was a visiting medical student at Walter Reed. After we moved from Philly down to DC, we renovated our house and were often in need of a low key place for many evenings. We just love the place!

Now that we have kids, we love it even more. Diners are always kid-friendly venues, but this place just exudes cheeriness when it comes to kids. And it is not just the staff, it seems the patrons also just love kids and every time we come, we get fellow diners oohing and aahing over our little ones. All this positive attention makes for a relaxing meal, even while Izzy is cooing a little loudly. All we got today were warm smiles and sweet comments while she and I polished off pancakes and eggs, while my dad ate a cholesterol delight concoctions of chipped beef and gravy on biscuits.

Come check them out at three locations-Silver Spring, Laurel and Bethesda. You and your little one won't be disappointed.

Tastee Diner of Silver Spring
8601 Cameron Street

Silver Spring, MD 20910


Tastee Diner of Bethesda
7731 Woodmont Avenue

Bethesda, MD 20814


Tastee Diner of Laurel
118 Washington Boulevard South

Laurel, MD 20707


Monday, March 14, 2011

Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA

I was taking a walk down memory lane and stumbled upon some photos from our visit to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. Philly is near and dear to my husband and my heart since we were married there. My husband went to medical school there and I commuted back and forth to my job in NYC for a short time before finally becoming a Philly resident. I dragged my heels a little, but I found Philadelphia such a charming city and I miss our quaint Philly home, neighbors, Rittenhouse Square, the museums, Boathouse Row, Kelly Drive, and the Wissahickon--I have the fondest of memories. It is great that we can hop in the car and be back in just a few hours. It wasn't until I had moved that I finally got myself to the Please Touch Museum. It had just reopened in Fairmount Park and it is spectacular. I drove back with my mom and my son to meet up with one of my old neighbors and her kiddos. It was the museum experience of all museum experiences and one of the first I had with my son.

There are six interactive areas in the museum--City Capers, Flight Fantasy, Roadside Attractions, River Adventures, Wonderland, Centennial Exploration--plus two other fun sites--the Liberty Arm and Torch and Woodside Park with the Dentzel Carousel.

City Capers creates a mini-Philadelphia that is exactly for the toddler's taking and creates a Philly neighborhood within the museum.

Flight Fantasy is a physical science wonderland where anything goes and nothing is beyond the imagination. Our favorite--the hamster wheel, even I wanted to get on it!

Roadside Attractions takes the transportation theme to new heights with experiences with engineering, designing, role playing and more.

River Adventures was my son's favorite and was perfect for his 24 month status! There you will find the biggest water exploration exhibit I've ever seen and there is also the Rainforest's Rhythm area that allows children to discover nature-inspired instruments and experiment with sound.

Wonderland let's you enter the world of fairy tales and also has a fantastic area for wee-little ones in Fairytale Garden. My friend's daughter loved playing dress up and having tea with the mad-hatter. My son loved the maze and it wasn't so complicated to freak out the first time mother in me at that time.

I somehow missed this, or Liam wasn't the right age for it, but Centennial Exploration is one of the last remaining pieces of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and displays some inventions revealed at the fair back then.

The Hamilton Hall's architecture in itself is jaw-dropping and there is a replica of the Statue of Liberty's arm and torch made out of found art. It's importance here is that this is where the arm and torch were displayed originally at the 1876 Centennial Exhibit as a fund-raiser to help with funding to obtain the pedestal that the statue sets on now.

And finally, take a ride on a 100-year-old Dentzle Carousel--another one of my son's favorites.

My description doesn't even do the museum justice, and reminiscing about it just now just required me to stop typing and actually call my friend to set up our next visit to the Please Touch Museum. I miss it so much, we are going in two weeks and I can't wait to see what new adventures my son finds and new experiences my one-year-old daughter will have--new post on that soon!
Hours of Operation
General Hours:
Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Members: Free
Under the age of one: Free
Children and Adults: $15

Be With Me Children's Playsuem, Bethesda, MD

My family has been to the Be With Me Children's Playsuem a handful of times and we always have a good time. It is located in a strip of shops on Wisconsin Ave in Bethesda as you approach Chevy Chase, right next to Orvis Sporting Goods.

It is a bright and fun play space developed around themes, including a grocery store, firehouse, building zone, nature area, dentist, doctor, pet store, pizza parlor, bakery and more! Most of the above is sponsored by a nearby business and I just love how the community comes together to support one another. Below is a link to all the adventures your little one can have while there.

You can also decorate your very own cupcake to eat or take home for an additional $3. That is how we get my son to leave-otherwise we'd have to sleep there.

The owner is very nice and the environment is clean, warm and inviting. The only downside that we have found is the price is steep at $6 per person for ages 0-100. meaning anyone who steps through the door. Also, parking is a bit of a pain since we usually park across busy Wisconsin Ave and it a little more challenging to cross with little ones and a little scary even with the crosswalks. Also, it gets VERY crowded and the lobby area is very small so leave your strollers at home. I try to bring the smallest diaper bag and the lightest of coats since the coat racks are overflowing. Other than that, it is a lovely way to spend some quality time with your kiddos, especially when it is too cold to go outside.

Try it out and tell me what you think.


M-SAT 9AM-5:30PM