• Hammocks Beach State Park, North Carolina

    Bear Island is located off the coast of North Carolina and is part of Hammocks Beach State Park.  It is a small, secluded island that is only accessible by boat.  Our family recently visited for a day trip and we all absolutely loved it! We started our day in the visitor’s center where we bought our ferry tickets and then explored the kids’ area.  All the kids loved the high powered microscope and Alex loved the shark information. You can get to the island on your own personal boat, kayak, or canoe.  The state park also offers a passenger ferry for access to the island from April-October each year.  There…

  • Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, NC

    One of my life goals is to visit every state park in North Carolina. Our beautiful state has 42 state parks stretching from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks.  I’ve visited several parks in the coastal plains region where we live but still have so many more to go! My favorite thing about visiting state parks is that it is free!  That’s huge when you’re a family of seven.  I also love that there are park rangers available to help or to answer questions and there are always activities and events going on.   I recently took my kids to a local state park that we had not visited…

  • lake lure

    Lake Lure, NC Weekend Visit

    Our family loves to visit Lake Lure.  Aaron and I often say that if we ever had to move and could choose anywhere to live that Lake Lure would be on our short list.  It’s such a beautiful, quaint little town. We happen to have some really good friends who live there so getting to visit them is just the icing on the cake! We hadn’t been to the area in several years–in fact, our friends had not even met our boys yet–so we were all excited about visiting the last weekend of April.  Sometimes I forget just how much longer road trips can be when you have kids.  We stopped…

  • Museum of Life and Science: Durham, NC

    Our family absolutely loves the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC!  I wish we lived a little bit closer so we could go more often but at around two hours it’s still close enough for a day trip. The museum covers 84 acres of land and you can easily spend all day there and still not see everything! There is a two-story interactive science center, an absolutely amazing butterfly house, and over 60 species of animals!  There is a wolf enclosure, black bears, lemurs, insects, snakes, and more!  (The kids loved watching feeding time in the snake exhibit.) You can go on a train ride, climb on a…

  • 10 Road Trip Ideas for Kids

    It’s summertime which means…ROAD TRIPS!  I love road trips.  My hubby can’t always take time off work to go on our adventures with us but I never shy away from jumping in the van with just the girls and hitting the road.  We’ve taken trips to amusement parks, water parks, zoos, and museums in our home state of North Carolina, in Virginia, and in South Carolina. My kids are great to travel with and these tips and tricks help keep them occupied (and cut down on the complaining) on our long trips. 1.  Race car on the roof Several years ago I happened upon this awesome idea for tracking your…

  • Tips for Your Visit to Busch Gardens Williamsburg

    Our family absolutely loves Busch Gardens Williamsburg! We started going regularly when we moved back to North Carolina and one of my favorite summers was when we splurged on annual passes.  We went multiple times that year and learned that place like the backs of our hands!  This year we caught a great deal online and I was able to get Layla a free preschooler’s season pass and the rest of the family got season passes to both Busch Gardens and Water Country USA for $79 each. We’ll get our money’s worth if we only go to each place one time this year (although we will likely be going much more…