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ajrsmom 01-09-2003 01:57 PM

Day Trips From All Over
Basketball Hall of Fame

Sports fans of all ages love this participatory hall-of-fame/museum. It celebrates the history of basketball, which was invented in Springfield in 1891, and explores the world-wide impact of basketball in a number of creative ways. There are many fun-filled interactive activities.

This museum offers three floors of really well designed exhibits and totally engaging interactive games. This slightly uncoordinated momazon has not has so much sports fun in years! My kids love this trip. We followed it up with a trip to Red Rose Pizzeria for some top-rate grub! The drive time from Boston is only about 75 minutes, and is what I consider to be quite manageable.

Adults: $9.00
Seniors: $7.00
Youth (7-14): $5.00
Child: Free with parent

all ages.

other helpful information

hours: daily, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
July 1 - Labor Day: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sun., 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
The Hall of Fame is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

diaper-changing facilities: no

****Where is it ****

1150 West Columbus Ave
Springfield, MA 01105
(413) 781-6500

free, off-street parking


KidCity Childrens Museum

KidCity is a two-story house that has been converted into a multi-activity center for kids. The room you walk into when entering has a pirate ship cutting right through it, with working parts, costumes, lower level and a crows nest with a view into one of the 2nd floor rooms. There are other "theme" rooms such as a music room (with a slide, bridge, see saw and bellows-driven train whistle; a grocery/restaurant room; a quiet reading room (with books); and a young children's farm room. There is also a craft room where kids can create a piece of artwork from various media to take home.

My kids love it there, and spend hours having wholesome, imaginative, interactive play, and tons of fun. It's very inexpensive; approximately $4-5 per child, and $1 per adult. It does get very crowded during school vacations. We usually go after lunch, and it's not too bad. It's a great experience for all!

Children (1 - 10): $5
Children under 1: free
Adults: $2

other helpful information

hours: Sunday - Tuesday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

where is it

119 Washington Street
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 347-0495

ajrsmom 01-09-2003 02:11 PM


The place to go if you have a train fanatic in your family. It is located in America's first passenger and freight station at 901 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore. Exhibits show the evolution of the train from stagecoaches with iron wheels to early diesels to a H.O. model train layout. It is open daily from 10:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. Admission: $6.50 for 13 and over, $4 for kids 3-12, and free for kids 2 and under. 410-752-2490.


Kids can see one of the largest collections of fire fighting apparatus on the East Coast.Located at 1301 York Road, Lutherville, the museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. and Sunday from 1:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for kids 4-15, free for kids under 4. 410-321-7500.

****NEWSEUM ****

It is the first interactive museum of news. Sound boring? It's not. Your kids can be a television news anchor, radio announcer and on the cover of a magazine. There is a 126-foot wall that displays the news from around the world as it is happening. See the front pages of newspapers from around the world. There is a Family Activity Guide to help your enjoy the Newseum to its fullest. The Newseum is at 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, only 2 blocks from the Rosslyn Metro. 703-284-3544 or 800-NEWSEUM.


The interactive galleries explain the basic principles of air and space flight. A wind tunnel demonstrates the forces of lift. Thrust, gravity, stability and control are only a few of the more than 50 hands-on activities. An amphitheater-style area features "Explainers" performing demonstrations. The Air and Space Museum is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. It is an easy walk from the Smithsonian Metro stop. 202-357-2700.


On Mill Street in St. Michaels has miniature sized boats for kids to climb on. It was recently named one of the top 6 maritime museums in the country and frequently has programs planned just for families. 410-745-2916.

ajrsmom 01-09-2003 02:59 PM


Just the place to teach children about life in 17th-century America. The first permanent English-speaking settlement in North America was established at Jamestown. Here, Captain John Smith is much more than a Disney character. At the Jamestown Settlement, children may take part in 17th-century activities such as grinding corn, making canoes, trying on armor or playing a ring toss game called quoits. "Everything outdoors is reproductions, including the ships, so children can hold, pick up and try out," says Debby Padgett, spokesperson for the settlement. Part of Jamestown is run by the National Park Service; the area referred to as the Jamestown Settlement is run by the state. The entrances to both sites are a half-mile apart. For more information about Jamestown, call 757-898-3400. You can also access their home page at For more information about the Settlement, contact the Jamestown Foundation at 757-253-4838


in Wheaton, Maryland, is perfect for tots. The biggest trolley trick for parents of toddlers is keeping children seated during the 20-minute ride. Luckily, the trolley makes one stop along the route. During the stop, enthusiastic volunteers give a brief history of the trolley you're riding and also answer questions. Don't be fooled if a conductor tells you that he volunteers at the museum because his wife wants him out of the house. In reality, most volunteers operate the trolleys because their childhood fascination with trains never left them at the station. For directions and information, call 301-384-6088.

ajrsmom 01-09-2003 03:05 PM

In the heart of Nebraska, you can learn about science, history and art in one great trip. Your first stop is Hastings Museum of Natural History, just 15 minutes south of I-80 on U.S. Hwy 281, at 14th Street. Hastings Museum is famous for its I-Max Theater, but it offers so much more. With its lifelike nature displays, fascinating exhibits and children's Discovery Center, it is considered one of the best museums in North America.

Be sure to take in a show at the J.M. McDonald Planetarium, which is free with your admission. Kids will enjoy the exhibit on the history of Kool-Aid, which was invented in Hastings. Hours and admission prices vary. Call 800-508-4629 for more information.

Close by you'll find a McDonald's with a great outdoor playland and the original Champions Family Fun Center (402-462-6220), featuring with three water slides, hot tubs, Adventure Challenge indoor playland, Treadwall, Spaceball, Wee Village, Racquetball, video games, fitness center, go-karts, mini-golf and much more.

You can visit one of our nation's largest living history museums in Grand Island, just four minutes north of I-80 Exit #312, the intersection of Hwy. 281 & 34. The Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer is famous for its Railroad Town, complete with a school, church, blacksmith's shop, woodworking shop, general store, several Pioneer houses and more. Demonstrators in period costumes add to the fun on weekends. Plus, two large buildings house lots of historical exhibits. Hours and admission prices vary. Call 308-385-5316 for more information.

While you're in Grand Island, you can also visit the Heritage Zoo (308-385-5416), which is free with a Lincoln Children's Zoo Pass, and the Crane Meadows Nature Center (308-382-1820), featuring seven miles of hiking trails, a spacious Interpretive Center and special sandhill crane-viewing tours.

From Grand Island, take the historic Lincoln Highway, U.S. Route 30, to 24th and Central in downtown Kearney. There you'll find the Museum of Nebraska Art, the only museum in the state composed entirely of works by Nebraska artists. Come experience our state's great heritage of art, from the historic artistic reporting of the Artistic-Explorers to contemporary regional works. The museum is in the renovated Post Office Building, a beautiful architectural work in itself. The museum is free, and it is open from 1-5 P.M. on Tuesday through Sunday.


There is so much to see and do in the Bluegrass State

If you are searching for the perfect place to spend your family vacation, try Kentucky. Regardless of the ages and interests of your family, Kentucky has places and spaces for everyone. Visit Kentucky Down Under, take the kids on the thrill of their lives as they brave the world's longest standing roller coaster, and explore the world's longest cave system-- it's all in the Bluegrass State.
You don't have to go to the zoo to see a wallaby. Kentucky Down Under in Horse Cave offers a taste of Australia. Venturing into this park, you will find yourself in the outback coming into contact with kangaroos, emus, sheep, and other unusual creatures native to Australia. This park literally takes you down under for an exploration of Kentucky Caverns, a decorative cave. Call 1-800-762-2869 or 502-786-2634 for more information on this Australian adventure.

If your kids like the outdoors, the Daniel Boone National Forest and Cumberland Gap are filled with hiking trails that follow the paths of some of Kentucky's first pioneers. The Land Between the Lakes area offers some of the best water activities in the nation, including boating, fishing, skiing, sailing, and swimming.

In the most scenic locations of the state you will find Kentucky's state resort parks. These parks offer many activities for outdoor and indoor entertainment along with excellent lodging. Each park has its own unique activities, from horseback riding to swimming. At Cumberland Falls State Resort Park you can enjoy rafting tours taking you by the second-largest waterfall east of the Rockies and the only place where you can see a moonbow! Lake Cumberland, Lake Barkley, and Kentucky Dam Village state resort parks, as well as the new lodge at Dale Hollow State Resort Park, all offer great boating, fishing, skiing, and swimming. Call 1-800-255-PARK for more information on the exciting events taking place at the state parks.

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area offers the excitement of white-water rafting, canoeing trips, and the scenic railway.

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