It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing colors, the breeze is getting cooler, the nights are falling sooner and you can finally bust out those hoodies and boots you’ve been dying to wear since July.
That’s right—fall is here! It’s time to sip those pumpkin spice lattes, watch some football, carve them pumpkins and enjoy those last few months outside with the family before those long chilly winter nights are upon us.
With perfect fall weather and an abundance of activities, what better place to do that than the windy city of Chicago. Whether you decide to attend a game, spend the day museum hopping or exploring one of their many festivals, your options are limitless in the big city and surrounding areas.
Below, five memory-making, kid-friendly, family-fun, fall adventures fit for everyone to enjoy:
Richardson Adventure Farm
There’s seriously nothing better than the feeling of corn stalk leaves brushing against your arms as you run by, that awful and uncomfortable hay digging into your legs with each bump you hit and that rich indulgent hot chocolate hitting your tongue while you sit around a fire with family and friends. Your kids will love experiencing the same things you enjoyed as a child and they can do all this and more at Richardson Adventure Farm.
Home to the trickiest and largest corn maze in the world, this is the perfect place to make new family memories. Their insanely intricate maze sits on 33 acres and has over 10 miles of twists and turns. Before you enter, climb atop the 50-foot observation tower that overlooks the maze and take a minute to plan your escape.
Once you finally break free, head on over to the pumpkin patch and let your little ones get their hands dirty while they search for that perfect pumpkin to take home. Once you’ve got your pumpkin, hop onto their one-of-a-kind wagon to make it out quicker. Bonus, they actually used school bus seats to make the ride more comfortable.
You can choose to roast some marshmallows around the community fire, take a ride on the carousel, hop aboard the train, soar through the sky on the zipline or get up-close-and-personal with the animals at the petting zoo. So take the day off, pack everyone into the car, leave your phone and electronics behind and just enjoy the beautiful crisp fall day with your family.
Go to a Game
Who doesn’t love the sound of a chanting crowd and the smell of ballpark hot dogs and popcorn? One of the best memories you can make with your youngsters is relishing in America’s favorite past time together.
Go catch a Cubs game at Wrigley or a White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field—although it will always be Comiskey Park to me. After breaking the 71-year long Curse of the Billy Goat, Cubs fans are as exciting and rowdy as ever. Listen to the sound of the bat cracking, fly the W and watch the joy on the faces around you—baseball really is something special.
Not your sport of choice? No problem—insert the Monsters of the Midway, the Chicago Bears. It’s finally football season! Grab the crew and head on down to Soldier Field for some good ol’ family-fun tailgating.
Paint your faces, wear the most ridiculous clothing you can find and just go all out. Sure the Bears haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1985, but they’ve got some great talent, tons of heart and some of the loudest and loyal fans out there.
Architecture River Cruise
Who would think that fall would be the perfect time for a river cruise? Hailed as one of the top 10 tours in the US by TripAdvisor users, the Architecture River Cruise will truly be one of the more beautiful things you’ve seen—and perfect for kids and adults of all ages.
Bundle into your coats, scarves and gloves, as it’s a bit cooler on the water, and enjoy 90-minutes of learning the ins-and-outs of Chicago’s history and architecture. For the best experience, wait until dusk to enjoy the Twilight River Cruise. With the city lights and skyline reflecting on the water under the twinkling stars and bright moonlight, the entire family will be in awe.
Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure and allow additional time for traffic. Boarding begins 15 minutes before departure. Make sure to check the weather and dress everyone appropriately—rain or shine, the tour must go on!
Midnight Circus in the Park
From McKinley to Ridge, the circus is stopping in nine different parks this year! Who wouldn’t love that? Grab some hot apple cider, pack a picnic basket and spend the day outside before settling in for the show.
With both daytime and evening shows, you don’t need to worry about keeping those wee little ones up all night. Past Midnight Circus in the Park performances have included trapeze artists, juggling acts, performers sailing through stacks of rings, and every show includes an acrobatics performance from a rescued four-legged friend.
Your entire family will feel engaged, inspired and mesmerized.
And not only do you get to enjoy two full hours of family-fun, but by doing so you’re also helping out the entire city of Chicago. Midnight Circus in the Park uses their proceeds to help local community groups, renovate play-lots and improve local parks and communities all throughout Chicago.
Head on over to their website to purchase your tickets now. You gotta be quick—these tickets sell out pretty fast.
Fun for all ages, the Scarecrow Fest brings you arts and crafts, live music, a pumpkin patch, carnival rides and so much more. Best of all, admission is FREE!
Your little ones will love being able to bring their own unique scarecrow to life. Bring some old clothes from home, stuff them with hay and take your handmade creation home with you.
Next, head on over to the Windy City Amusements Carnival. Inhale the sweet and greasy scent of the delicious fried carnival food. Can you taste the funnel cake yet—all of that doughy goodness smothered in powdered sugar?
The whole family will love taking in the beautiful city view atop the Ferris wheel. Let those youngsters spin and twirl on as many rides as they can stomach—they’re only kids once. Play one of those insanely hard and near-impossible carnival games and win them that giant stuffed animal they’ve been eyeing the entire day.
Pick an activity, any activity. Great family-fun is around every corner in the windy city. HAPPY FALL!
Ciao for now!
It sounds almost cliché at times to call Hawaii a paradise. The orange sherbet sunrises, verdant rainforests, golden and black sand beaches and smoking volcanoes will have visitors rethinking their definition of the word. There is nothing cliché about these islands. Hawaii captures not only the vast natural beauty of the state, but also the indelible warmth and spirit of the people who call it home.
With 19 distinct volcanic islands, Hawaii is an archipelago located over a geological hotspot in the Central Pacific. Six of these islands are open to visitors and have a tourism-driven economy. The Big Island of Hawaii is the largest of the islands and is home to the most active volcano in the world, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hilo is the largest city on the Big Island and home to natural wonders including Rainbow Falls and Kaumana Caves.
The most populous and developed island, Oahu is home to the state’s capital, Honolulu. It is the governmental and commercial hub of the island chain, and arguably one of the best-known destinations in Hawaii. Waikiki Beach has become a mainstay for tourism with its hotels, high-rises, surfers and sun-worshipers who gather here year-round. Just to the west of Honolulu is Pearl Harbor. Visit the national memorial and museum for an insightful and solemn look back into the start of the United States’ involvement in World War II.
Maui, the second-largest of the islands, has several resort areas on the western side including Lahaina, Kaanapali and Kapalua. In addition to luxury resorts, championship golf courses and endless shopping opportunities, stunning views can be seen from the summit of Haleakala National Park or by taking a helicopter ride over the volcanoes, jungles and beaches of the island. Known as the “Garden Isle,” Kauai is covered with lush tropical plants and is home to several natural wonders such as the Na Pali Coast, Wailua River and Waimea Canyon. As a top diving destination, Kauai has beautiful, unspoiled coral reefs and a variety of fish not found anywhere else in the world. Molokai and Lanai are the least-developed islands of Hawaii and are perfect for a relaxing and secluded beach getaway.
A multiethnic blend of American, Asian and Polynesian influences, Hawaiian cuisine has been making a resurgence with fine and casual dining throughout the state. Replacing pizza and burgers as the late-night comfort food of choice, ethnic noodle stands and houses are popping up in greater numbers. Check out Hamura’s Saimin Stand (think homemade ramen noodle soup) in Kauai or Jimbo’s Restaurant in Oahu. Another staple in local Hawaiian cuisine are plate lunches. These usually consist of a single plate with scoops of rice and a protein, such as kalua pork, beef teriyaki or chicken katsu. For a romantic atmosphere with an incredible view, try the CanoeHouse on the Big Island. The local seafood offerings like Hawaiian snapper and gobo shrimp reflect the restaurants’ Pacific Rim origins. One of the best upscale restaurants in Maui, David Paul’s Lahaina Grill serves signature dishes like seared Ahi tuna with jasmine rice or kalua duck.
All international flights and the majority of those coming from the mainland U.S. arrive at Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on the island of Oahu. Direct service from the mainland is also available for smaller airports in Kahului on Maui, Kona on the Big Island and Lihue on Kauai. From each of these airports, travelers can connect to an inter-island flight using Hawaiian Airlines, MarJet Hawaii, Mokulele Airlines, Island Air, Pacific Wings and the discount carrier, Go! While on Oahu, the cheapest way to get around is the public transportation system called TheBus. There are taxis on all the islands, but for longer stays it’s more efficient to rent a car. Be sure to book your rental car as soon as possible, as prices are based on supply and demand.
Boasting 11 different climate zones, the weather in Hawaii can vary greatly due to elevation and terrain. The overall climate of Hawaii is subtropical due to the close proximity to the ocean, which moderates temperatures with gentle leeward breezes. There are only two seasons in Hawaii - summer (May to October) with average highs around 85°F, and winter (November to April) with temperatures that rarely fall below 65°F. Areas on the northern and eastern flanks of the islands will receive the most rainfall due to trade winds bringing in precipitation. The winter months tend to bring the most rain, yet there is no best or worst time to visit. The high season runs from mid-December to mid-April, when flights and hotel prices are the most expensive. The crowds tend to thin out from mid-April to May, as well as mid-September to November; this is the best time to find great deals.
Article taken from DianneKTravel.agentstudio.com.
Back to the beginning! Six months into our fun events, DE HITC returned to our first venue, Bbc Tavern and Grille. It was August 21, the last week before back to school. The women who showed up, came for a good time. Some needed a bit of laughter after a summer of non-stop children time.
We had two (2) charities that night. Hope for a Better Future, who helps women in Eastern Africa become self sufficient. In just a few short years this amazing charity was able to set themselves up as a international ngo. #HopeforABetterFuture
Families Live On has attended our events before with their smiling faces and orange bracelets. This month, they had Fly Eagles Fly on their bracelets, besides their message, in honor of the upcoming football season. http://www.familyliveson.org/
My first time spending time examining Stella and Dot and I was impressed. Their shirts feel like cashmere and are versatile. I liked them so much, I booked a home party.
There was a theme of bringing a tool that is a symbol of your hustle. I help up my signs and my Hair Stylist, Lori Lord from Fusion Salon, pretended to cut my hair. What you can not see in the photo is that parts of my hair are now purple, thanks to Lori.
Hiding in one of the photos, with a big smile on her face, is our photographer, Lauren Temple from Shutter and and Snap Photography. Check out her website to book a princess session with your little girls. She makes them look magical.
There were many new faces and our steady attendees. All in all, it was a fun event. I am still smiling. Each brought home a Swag Bag which included delicious vanilla bean, with vanilla icing, cookies from Lucky Girl Cookies. Erin does take orders if you are in the market for cookies for an event of your own. @luckygirlcookies You can message Erin at m.me/LuckyGirlCookies
Be sure to attend our next event, at Ted's Montana Grill on September 19.
Ciao for now!
Cape Town, South Africa, is sometimes called the Mother City of Africa. Founded in 1652 by the Dutch, it was the first permanent European settlement in Africa. It began as a way station for ships sailing around the southern tip of Africa.
Like New Amsterdam (New York City), which was also founded by the Dutch around the same time, Cape Town was chosen as the best harbor to be used as an outpost for Dutch traders and then taken over by the British. Cape Town developed its own rich history set against the history of colonialism. Slaves were brought in from Indonesia, Madagascar and West Africa, which all became part of the multicultural mix that gave rise to the city’s rich cosmopolitan culture of the 21st century.
Asians who were brought as slaves became the Cape Malay population, a cultural or ethnic group that became one element of a community that was later classified as a racial group known as “coloured,” and whose influence on the cuisine of Cape Town is still strongly felt. The Asian slaves transformed the European dishes into a new fusion of styles that became known as Cape Malay style. The city is also rich in Mediterranean and Asian restaurants, with a growing trend of native African styles of cuisine.
Cape Town has its own styles of folk, jazz and pop music; painting, sculpture and design; and its own blend of cuisines and accents. It was the major driving force in the growth of the cultural amalgamation that became modern, multi-ethnic South Africa. Cape Town remained the largest city until gold was discovered in Johannesburg in 1886, after which the tent town grew rapidly and by 1895 had surpassed Cape Town with a population of 80,000. Today Cape Town’s population is about 3.5 million.
The city stands against the imposing background of Table Mountain, which dominates the skyline, and looks dramatic from nearly any view. The city was laid out around the features of the mountain range, and Lion’s Head is a mountain in the city that interrupts the street plan and serves as a landmark from nearly any point in the city.
Cable car rides to Table Mountain are inexpensive and well worth the time for the expansive view of the harbor and the city. Hikers can scale Table Mountain and outfitters are there to help them do it.
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, where I stayed, is at the center of the city’s busy harbor and has grown into a beautifully gentrified strolling, congregating and shopping area, with many restaurants, shops and a big mall full of top line stores. Nearer the city center, Long Street is an aptly named strip of colorful and funky restaurants, bars and shops with fascinating vintage architecture featuring ornate second-floor balconies over the street a la New Orleans.
A trip to South Africa will enrich your life in many ways. To find out more, click on the link below.
Ciao for now!
When Rama 1, made Bangkok the Thai capital in the 18th century, he placed the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew on the grounds of his Grand Palace. It’s still there serving as the symbolic anchor of Thai sovereignty. Bangkok is a city of important temples, and they’re all connected symbolically to the Palace, a complex of about 100 buildings. There’s a dream-like quality to any stroll through the Palace grounds with its gilding, its polished tile, its guardian statue figures and ubiquitous light catching shards of stone and mirror connecting the temples and palaces.
If the Grand Palace is the spiritual heart of Bangkok, the Chao Phraya River is its vascular system coursing through the center of the lives of the common people who built their homes off of the honeycomb of canals fed by the river. All along the river, people catch long taxi boats called hong yao to get around. Canal tours depart from piers along the river. Larger boats cruise to Ayutthaya which was the Siamese capital before Bangkok.
Bangkok is one of those rare cities where casual visitors can turn off of an avenue and find a narrow alley that has all the feel of a village. It’s part of Bangkok’s magic that the village spirit lives so contentedly inside one of Asia’s busiest cities. In many cases, whole villages moved into particular neighborhoods preserving much of the country’s rural social structure in the city. Some of the best shopping in Bangkok takes place in tiny shops inside of these enclaves. The city is also home to several shopping malls. Bangkok has some of Asia’s best values in textiles, crafts, art and custom tailoring. The most famous name in Thai silk is American. Jim Thompson’s house is home to a legendary silk museum and shop.
Bangkok’s Lumphini Arena features regular boxing matches. Even if you’re not a boxing fan, the atmosphere around the ring feels like a scene from a gritty old boxing movie, but with fascinating elements of Buddhist ritual. It’s a wonderful night out especially when you combine it with dinner at the night market down the street. The National Theater offers many kinds of shows, but it’s specialty is Khon dance-dramas. Based on the Hindu epic Ramayana, the Khon dance features elaborate costumes and masks as the stage is often dominated by a female dancer being pursued by a bestial figure.
As a global metropolis you can find any cuisine you like in Bangkok, but Thai food rules the roost. The Suan Lum Night Bazaar in Lumphini is a great place to indulge in street food and for a five-star meal up above the clouds head to the Lebua Hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar.
Bangkok is a hot, tropical city with annual temperatures hovering in the 80s and 90s. The winter months are dry with a rainy season running from May to September. Continental, United, Delta and Thai all offer service to Bangkok’s new Suvarbabhumi’s International Airport, as do a host of other international carriers.
If you would like to explore Bangkok more, click on this link;
Ciao for now!
As the world’s only pedestrian city, Venice, Italy, is a charming and ancient canal-based archipelago on the country’s Northeastern coast. The grand displays of city wealth are found in everything from the architecture and massive palaces, to the art museums and waterfront osteries cooking up a gourmet feast on a single burner. Old world Italy is still quite intact in Venice, but the Venetians haven’t turned a blind eye to modernity either. Their dress boutiques are filled with bohemian-chic forward fashions and galleries with blown glass and contemporary paintings. Upon first arriving, one may think that Venice was built just for them. The truth is, there is never a time of year when visitors will not share the narrow streets and sparkling canals with countless other travelers who all share the same love-at-first-sight notion as they settle into their first gondola ride.
Piazza San Marco is the city’s largest, most-visited square, and houses the Basilica di San Marco as well as the clock tower, Doge’s Palace and Procuratie Vecchie, whose ground floor is occupied by shops and cafes. Dotted with a myriad of churches and museums, such as San Giovanni e Paolo, Museo Ebraico (Jewish Museum), Galleria dell’Accademia di Venzia and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice shines as a cultural epicenter within Europe and the world. The Venice Card and the Chorus Pass are two passes that can be purchased for discounted public transport and access to many churches and museums.
To find some local music coming from venues other than cheerful gondoliers, check out Teatro La Fenice for epic opera, Al Vapore for jazz and blues, Terrazzamare by the beach or Laboratorio Occupato Morion for local Veneto bands in a dive bar setting. Shopping is also plentiful in Venice. The narrow streets and alleyways are peppered with artisan shops selling carnival masks, Murano glass and marbled paper. Designer shops (like everywhere in Italy) are plentiful in areas around St. Mark’s Square and Calle della Mondola.
In Venice, you can have a variety of culinary experiences. There’s the quintessential candlelit dinner by the canal, the hole-in-the-wall joint serving fresh handmade pasta, the sidewalk café serving pizza or the upscale restaurant that prepares local specialties such as cuttlefish or gnocchi. While maybe not getting the most accolades for dining in Italy, Venetian cuisine is nothing to scoff at.
The closest airport is Marco Polo Airport (VCE) on the mainland near the city of Mestre. Located 16 miles from Venice is the relatively small airport, Treviso (TSF), though it mainly serves domestic flights. The transportation choices in Venice are simple ones: by foot or by water. Gondolas and water taxis (vaporetti) will take visitors up and down the canal-riddled archipelago, while the inner parts of the city are highly walkable.
Venice has a humid subtropical climate with cool winters and very warm summers. July is the year’s hottest month, and has an average high temperature of 81.5° F (27.5° C). Winters can get quite cool, with breezes coming off of the water and average lows of 42.4° F (5.8° C). The best time to visit Venice is during the spring and autumn months, though summers are quite popular as well. Chances are the better the time of year, the more people that will visit along with you. Though you might not have Venice all to yourself, the city becomes incredibly personal once your first memory is made here.
Tell me how your visit to Venice unfolded at DianneKTravel.agentstudio.com
Ciao for now!
Abu Dhabi, rich with Islamic culture, demonstrates the true meaning of a magical Arabian city. Its exquisite architecture, turquoise waters, and timeless desert will leave you with an image strait out of a picture perfect dream. Here you can get much needed relaxation at one of its sandy beaches or take a ride on a camel in the vast desert. The picturesque attractions and the futuristic appeal of the tall mirrored buildings also contribute to the unique ambiance and adventures that Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates has to offer.
Abu Dhabi is inhabited by approximately 600,000 people. It is the located in the United Arab Emirates and it is considered to be one of the richest cities. This is because most of the city’s revenue comes from Abu Dhabi being a great oil supplier to many countries all over the world. It is not hard to grasp the culture of the city since many of the architecture and the infrastructure display the Arabian traditions proudly. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a perfect example of how the city celebrates its culture. The mosque is considered to be one of the most beautiful and most sacred buildings in the world. With the largest carpet, gold chandeliers, and marble imported from countries like Greece and Italy, its appearance demonstrates the natural yet elegant style of the city.
Whether gazing at the exotic animals at the Al Ain Zoo or shopping until you drop at one of the luxurious malls, there are a wide range of activities and attractions. At the Arabian Wild Life Park tourists can get close and personal with a hyena or a wild Arabian Oryx. You can also rent a vehicle and venture on an excursion in the desert. Belly dancing or cabaret is a unique yet exhilarating part of the nightlife. Nightclubs have sizzling dance floors and they acknowledge their multicultural audiences by showcasing themes and by playing different genres of music. There is even the local jazz club or piano bar that presents a more serene and soothing atmosphere.
The dining experience in Abu Dhabi is known to be extraordinary. Whether it’s Arabic, Persian, Thai, Indian, or Lebanese, the cuisine of the city is a pleasurable experience for all food critics. The restaurant Ushna offers a variety of international dishes, if you are lucky you may be seated facing the picturesque Grand Mosque. For a taste of Emeriti cuisine, Al Arish is popular amongst tourist and prides itself for being one of the few restaurants with its enticing menu of Arabian delicacies like Arabic coffee and sharwarma. For a unique dining adventure, Al Dhafra offers dinning while sailing the tranquil, blue waters of Abu Dhabi. Its diversity of foods will leave you speechless and your gastronomical needs will truly be satisfied.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is 18 miles from the city and it provides international flights to many major cities. Buses are available to get around Abu Dhabi.
Ciao for now!
An exciting way to cool off in Abu Dhabi during the summer (June-September) is to head to Ferrari World and ride Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, since temperatures can soar as high as 100°F. Just in time for the Al Ain Aerobatic show, in late November to early December, the winter (November-April) temperatures are generally cool averaging to as low as 50°F to as high as 75°F.
A melting pot of diversity with an ever-expanding palate of distinct flavors, traditions, beliefs and subcultures, the United States is a country endowed with see-to-believe sights and soaring possibilities. Because of this variety and diversity, the U.S. is a nation that’s hard to pin down. Each area is grouped into its own microcosm that is full of unmistakable traits, and it’s these distinctions that make each part of the country genuinely American. The United States is home to the jazz-fueled streets of New Orleans, the sea salt air of Maine and the electricity of New York City. From the friendly hellos and corn fields of the Midwest, to the baked desert sunsets of the Southwest and that California cool that runs along the West Coast, this vast country is infused with sprawling natural beauty and regional charm. As a country founded on the concept of immigration, it’s no wonder that the United States is one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world. Drop by the colorful festivities of a powwow on a Native American reservation. Hit Miami for spicy salsa clubs and Latin cuisine. Or take it easy in Tennessee with some blues and BBQ. Some of America’s greatest traditions and staples were born from immigrants who helped to build the foundations for the United States that is alive today. Whether you come seeking the untouched wilderness of Alaska, the tropical wonderland of the Hawaiian Islands, monuments and museums of Washington, D.C. or the fertile vineyards of Wine Country in Northern California, the United States shares itself with its guests in a way no other country can.
My name is Dianne. I am a Naturopath, Author, Blogger, and a Certified Travel Consultant , specializing in cruises and Europe, with an entrepreneurial spirit. I am my own biggest client. I love to travel, meet new people and learn other cultures.