Travel in My Town: Bainbridge Island, Washington

Please help me welcome Trish from 3 Kids and a Breakdown! She is here sharing some of her favorite things to do with kids in Bainbridge Island, Washington. I am embarrassed to admit that I had to look it up on a map. I can’t imagine having to hop a ferry to get to a nearby city. My kids would think that was an adventure in itself! Be sure to stop by Trish’s blog where she writes an honest account of all things parenthood. There is no sugar coating and I love it! 

I am really enjoying my new Travel in My Town series because I am learning more about places that have long since been on my list to visit and adding some that weren’t previously on my radar.  Do you want to share your favorite things about your town?  Send me an email at jennifer at twokidsandamap dot com.

Welcome, Trish!

I’m excited to introduce you to my idyllic town of Bainbridge Island, Washington. We are a 35 minute ferry ride away from Seattle in Puget Sound.  I’m not going to lie it rains on occasion (9 months out of 12, give or take), but it’s still an amazingly beautiful island with a ton of fun things for you and your entire family.  I’m happy to share our family’s favorite island activities with you.

Bloedel Reserve is a beautiful 150 acre public garden. It was once a private estate belonging to Prentice and Virginia Bloedel. The reserve includes landscaped gardens, including a Japanese Garden, a Moss Garden, and Reflection Pool, and the Bloedel’s former estate home. The grounds are breath taking year round. You can easily spend hours exploring the 150 acres.

Photo by Wendy Wallace

They offer a variety of seasonal activities, such as the squash scavenger hunt my girls took part in last fall.

Fay Bainbridge  is a perfect spot for a family picnic. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy the sound while sitting on the shore. The kids love the playground just feet from the beach. There are picnic tables and a fireplace/oven that you can use.  You can also camp here. We’ve not done that yet.

Fort Ward is a beautiful park with a 2 mile hiking trail that our family loves. It’s a beautiful hike in any season. We like to walk down to the salmon farm where we are often greeted by seals. My kids love to explore the old bunker.  Once you get to South Beach you are rewarded with a view of Mt. Rainier.  There are also picnic tables, a boat launch and views of Rich Passage where you can see the ferries going by.

Photo Credit

Battle Point Park  There are a lot of great playgrounds on the island, but our family’s favorite is definitely Battle Point Park. The playground has equipment for little ones and big ones, alike. All 3 of my girls are thoroughly entertained when we are at this playground.

Photo by Wendy Wallace

Battle Point Park is also home to a lovely duck pond. We enjoy feeding the ducks and seeing the babies each spring.

Photo by Wendy Wallace

Another of my girls’ favorites is the Battle Point Park’s planetarium.  At 27½ inches in diameter it is the largest publicly accessible telescope in the Northwest.  The Battle Point Astronomical Association holds free monthly star parties, which include planetarium shows and telescope viewings that are open to the public.

Photo by Wendy Wallace

Kidimu – Pronounced kiddy moo and short for Kids Discovery Museum. A short a walk from the ferry and a ton of fun for kids of all ages.  On the entrance level you will find a grocery store full of all sorts of food stuff, a cash register, aprons, shopping carts and a scale to weight your goods. There is also a medical office and a bank, equally out-fitted with play things that are also educational. There is a picnic area for all that loot you bought at the grocery store.  It’s right near the ferry.  You’ll find a small gift shop area and the pirate tree house.  There is a small area for crawlers with all manner of soft toys, puzzles and a rocker for mama (or dada).  Upstairs is a design studio that has craft supplies set out. There is also Science Hall where your little ones can discover velocity, gravity and acceleration while playing with golf balls in the motion madness and fun with physics exhibits. Check the website for special events and exhibits.

Mora Iced Creamery – After all that playing, hiking, star gazing and picnicing you will need to go to Mora for the best ice cream you’ve ever had! Seriously delicious.  Flavors change with the seasons, but my favorite year round is chocolate peanut butter moreo. My girls like to get a banana split with 3 crazy flavors and all manner of toppings.

My daughter (center) and her two bff’s destroying a banana split in celebration of her 8th birthday last August.

Trish is a stay-at-home-mom to 3 girls, a wife, writer,  and blogger at 3 Kids and a Breakdown. She loves martinis, dessert, trash TV, books and 4-letter words.

Posting in Other Places

Happy Holidays!  I hope that the past few weeks were fabulous, no matter which holiday you choose to celebrate in your family.  Even though I took a little break from blogging here, I did have a few posts that are on a few other sites and I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to visit, maybe leave a comment and surf around a bit.  They are great websites and I read them regularly!  I will be using January to clean up the site a little and get back to writing.

Family Friday: NYC – A Traveler’s Library – In this post, I shamelessly admit that I am using my children to help me convince my husband to take us all to NYC this year!

Objects that will Drop in the South on New Year’s Eve – Traveling Mom – From moon pies, pickles, and peaches, read about the funny (and some strange) things that are dropped on New Year’s Eve in destinations around the south.

Holiday Fun at the Gaylord Palms – Travel Mamas – We were so honored to represent Travel Mamas at the Gaylord Palms for their Dreamworks Experience.  We played in snow, saw amazing ice sculptures and had breakfast with Shrek.

Miniature Golf in Myrtle Beach – Traveling Mom – I couldn’t believe the number of mini golf courses in Myrtle Beach.  It seemed like there was one on every corner.  Read about our favorite one.

Do you have a favorite post from your blog or elsewhere that you would like to share?  Leave a link in the comments!

Gaylord Palms Resort Dreamworks Experience

A few weeks ago, my family and I got the chance to drive to Orlando and meet Shrek and his pals.  It isn’t often that you can see snow and ice in Orlando, Florida but you can if you visit the Dreamworks Experience at the Gaylord Palms.  I was honored to represent Travel Mamas, a site that I love and read often.  Hop on over to Travel Mamas and read about our visit to the Gaylord Palms Resort Dreamworks Experience!



Posts in Other Places

Just a quick post to share where else you can find me this week!

The Vacation Gals is one of my favorite travel blogs and is one of the first that I started reading on a regular basis.  I am so honored to have a guest post over at The Vacation Gals about the things that you should to do before you go on vacation without the kids.

I am also at Traveling Mom sharing four reasons why you should choose Hollywood Studios as one of the theme parks to visit on your Disney trip.  We have always avoided it and when we went recently we fell in love with the park.

Over at my Pensacola with Kids site, I wrote an extensive review of our trip to LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven and the things that you need to know before you go.

Happy Halloween!


Books to Inspire Family Travel

We are a family of readers for the most part.  We read books to escape with characters and join them in their fantasy worlds.  We read books to learn about real cultures and environments or to find answers to questions we have.  Before every trip, we always look for a book that goes along with the theme or location of the trip.  I am so excited to announce that I have joined A Traveler’s Library where once a month I will be sharing books that encourage family travel on Family Travel Friday!

This month, I shared our love for aquariums and the one book that we read before every aquarium trip!

Callaway Gardens and Museum Tips

Today, I am in two places at once.  Er…three places at once if you count here too!

I am over at Trekaroo sharing why we enjoyed Callaway Gardens so much and  I am also over at Traveling Mom sharing some of my favorite tips that we have picked up along the way about how to keep the kids entertained at a museum that is not a children’s museum.

Stop by tomorrow to see more pictures from the Navarre Sand Sculpting Festival for my Photo Friday submission!  Have a happy day!

Travel Blogger Tuesday – The Posting Other Places Edition

travel-blogger-tuesdayEven though things have been a little quiet here this week, I have been a busy bee.  Besides getting sick, my daughter getting sick, going out of town, coming back in town, going out of town and coming back in town again, hanging with friend’s visiting and so much more, I have been writing.  Sort of.  I should say I have been catching up but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…school starts in a few weeks and I will have more time to devote to the projects that I have been working on.  Meanwhile, I would appreciate it if you give these friends a little visit!

southern child myrtle beach

On page 99 of the August/September 2011 issue of Southern Child Magazine, I have a little article about a few family-friendly things to do in Myrtle Beach, SC.  We had so much fun checking out all the different activities and I was glad to share some of our favorites!

If you haven’t found my pal Traci’s blog, Go Big or Go Home, you are missing out!  She packs her family up and travels to some of the BIGGEST places this world has to offer!  I was so excited when I got to guest post for her…luckily I actually got it written and sent to her though my pictures leave much to be desired.  For something that we visit on a regular basis, apparently it has been awhile since we visited as tourists with camera in hand!  See my post about the World’s Largest Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.

Over at Traveling Mom, I am still writing as Southern Traveling Mom!  I wrote about our travel planning style (here is a hint…we don’t have one!).  I also shared a book review of Kids Love Interstate 95, a handy book that guides down I-95 all the way from Pennsylvania to the bottom tip of Florida! 

Speaking of Trekaroo, could you take a moment and vote for Sharlene and Michelle of Team Trekaroo?  They participated in the Race to the Alamo this past week but voting is still going on.  You can vote once a day and you even have a chance to win a trip to San Antonio for yourself!

Are you looking for family travel advice?

BFTB_logo_75x75Best Family Travel Advice is the place to go if you need an answer to a question about travel with your family.  It is a question and answer database that will help you plan a trip with your family whether this is your first trip or you are a family of seasoned travelers.  You can search the Best Family Travel Advice website for answers to your question but if the answer isn’t there, submit your question and one (or more) of the 24 family travel bloggers who have been there and done that will answer your question. 

I am excited to announce that Two Kids and a Map has joined Best Family Travel Advice.  I am so honored to be a part of this group of amazing family travel writers and bloggers that include:

Next time you have a question about family travel, stop by Best Family Travel Advice!

An Article in Southern Child Magazine

It has been over two months since I wrote my 33 Things I Want to See and Do the Year I Turn 33 post and I haven’t done a single update.  I have actually already checked a few things off my list and I will write about those things in the next few weeks (I have been such a blogging slacker!) but today I want to share with you the completion of a HUGE goal!

I have an article in the latest issue of Southern Child Magazine, an online publication.  EEEEEEEEKKKKKK! 

Southern Child screenshot

A screenshot of my article!

When I started this site three years ago, I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go with it.  Deep down inside, I knew that one of my goals was to get published in some format…book, magazine, pamphlet, other online sites.  As I have continued this journey, I have learned a lot and met some amazing writers, editors, and publishers.  Amazing men and women who have given me opportunities that I would never have had.  Amazing men and women who are quick to offer advice to help me become a better writer.  I still have a LONG way to go, but I am so honored that my first published article is in such a great magazine.

I love Southern Child Magazine and their mission.  Not only do they provide information about many topics to help educate parents, they also provide affordable advertising.  If you have a product that would be a good fit with Southern Child Magazine, drop them a line.  They wonderful to work with! 

That isn’t all they do though.  Their main mission to help place foster children with their forever, or permanent, families.  They share photos and bios of children who are waiting to connect with families. 

I would be grateful if you stopped by to check out my article titled Pensacola with Kids in the Seeing the South section.  You can find it on page 113-115.  While you are there, take some time to read those bios as well as some of the other great articles.  There is a Savvy Stroller Guide where they reviewed a ton of strollers so you don’t have to go nuts trying to find the perfect stroller.  There are articles about Easter crafts and treats, and teaching children about sustainability.

Spring Break in the South

It is time to start thinking about spring break destinations!  Our spring break is not until late April but we start seeing spring breakers from all over the place heading down south as early as February.  I wrote about a few of our favorite spring break spots on Traveling Mom yesterday. 

What are your spring break plans?  Are you spending it at home, the beach or the mountains?