10 Things to Do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park & Gatlinburg, TN

10 Things to Do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park & Gatlinburg, TN

Explore all the things families can do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg, Tennessee -- a wonderful year-round location for your next vacation.

The Mountains are calling!

Whether you're looking for a quiet weekend getaway, a summer travel destination or a location for your multi-generational vacation -- you'll find it all in the Smoky Mountains.

With nature trails, wildlife, family attractions, driving tours, beautiful scenery and fabulous restaurant, there is SO much to do that you'll effeminately want to visit this Appalachian region again and again.

We are excited to be working with our sponsor, Holiday Inn & their #SmilesAhead campaign to share a detailed guide to this family travel destination along with tips for creating family memories on your next vacation!

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40 Things to do this Fall {Bucket List w/free printable}

40 Things to do this Fall {Bucket List w/free printable}

Enjoy this bucket list of fun Fall activities -- perfect inspiration for family time together!

And there's so much to do in the fall (along with yummy new recipes to try - I'm a big baker) so we made a list of festive Fall Activities that I wanted to share with you.

I've included a free printable version below too in case you want to keep one at your home this season -- it's fun to use as a 'bucket list' or even as seasonal artwork to decorate the house!

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12 Perfect Pumpkin Books for Kids

A dozen pumpkin books for kids that are perfect for Fall!

Every Fall, we love to look at beautiful leaves, enjoy the cool weather and read books about PUMPKINS!

The pumpkin patches in our area open this week and like many families, my kids are excited to hunt down the perfect orange orb. 

And today's Discover & Explore linky will feature all kinds of pumpkin fun!

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Leaf Rubbing Art & Science Activity

Leaf Rubbing Art & Science Activity

I have always loved making leaf rubbings

Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by this beautiful self-made art -- the instant 'picture' that was created just by covering a leaf with paper and running a crayon over the top.

As I grew to become a nature lover, I realized that making a leaf print is much more than just a pretty picture -- it's also a peek into the science of trees.

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8 Apple Activities for Kids

8 Apple Activities for Kids

Favorite apple activities for kids: apple picking, cider mills and fun STEM ideas!

Fall is apple season! 

Trees are blooming with ripe apples, ready for the picking.

There are a number of fun apple activities & outings that your kids will really enjoy during autumn.

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Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt {with free printable worksheet!!}

Fall Leaf Scavenger Hunt {with free printable worksheet!!}

Free printable Leaf Scavenger Hunt Cards to inspire your kids to get outside, practice a little math and (most of all) enjoy the beauty of the season!

Leaf activities are second nature in Fall! 

Whether you're creating leaf rubbings, making leaf prints or just enjoying the color, there are so many ways to play, learn and craft with leaves.

And best of all, NO prep time!

You won't need any special supplies for many of your leaf projects -- just step outside and you're set to go :)

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Solar Eclipse Activities & Party Ideas for Kids

Solar Eclipse Activities & Party Ideas for Kids

Learn about activities to do during the Solar Eclipse including which glasses to wear, fun eclipse themed food, books to read, party ideas and more!

Where will you be on August 21, 2017?

Chances are -- somewhere "on the dark side of the moon" :)

If you're planning to celebrate the Solar Eclipse with your family or students in your classroom, we've got a few ideas for fun activities & tips on how to enjoy the eclipse together!

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10 Best Outdoor Science Tools for Kids

10 Best Outdoor Science Tools for Kids

We love outdoor science activities & experiments

Getting to know nature and being a backyard detective are activities my kids have enjoyed for years. 

And having great science tools takes outdoor exploration to a whole new level!

It's amazing to see the wonder and hear the questions when kids can get up close with bugs, plants, trees and even wildlife. 

So I love to have kid-sized science tools for them to use -- ones that are sturdy and don't need much supervision so kids can go off and explore on their own.

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20 Ways to Enjoy a Summer Night

20 Ways to Enjoy a Summer Night

One of our favorite parts of summertime is the not-so-strict-bedtime schedule so we love to find some fun things to do on a Summer night!

We head out after dinner for a walk to the park or spend a night doing something special. 

With the longer days and cooler evenings, summer is the perfect time to find some family events or activities that you can enjoy together after dark.

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20 Printable Summer Scavenger Hunts

20 Printable Summer Scavenger Hunts

Enjoy these Summer Scavenger Hunt Ideas while you're on vacation, exploring places around town or just relaxing in the backyard!

If there's one thing we love, it's a good scavenger hunt

In fact, we've been known to 'divide and conquer' in a friendly family competition on more than one occasion.

In addition to just being fun, scavenger hunts are also great ways for kids to learn -- your kids will hone their observation skills, practice new words, explore new places and many hunts also intregrate a little science and math too.

Our goal -- one scavenger hunt each week for the whole summer!

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30 Things to do Outside + Easy Craft for Kids

30 Things to do Outside + Easy Craft for Kids

This rock painting idea + fun things to do outside will inspire more creative play for your kids without having to hear "there's nothing to do" this summer!

I'm a toss-the-kids-out-the-door kind of parent. 

Children (along with teens and adults for that matter) just don't get enough time outside. I can recall enjoying some wonderfully long days climbing trees, skating, creating, digging & exploring as a child.

But I grew up with siblings and neighbors that were all close in age so there was always someone who wanted to "go out & play". 

My daughter doesn't have the luxury of playmates knocking at her door so lately I've been looking for ways to entice her to spend more time outside. 

Since she really enjoys crafts and also likes to be surprised, we decided to create an Outdoor Activity Jar together to inspire more exploration & outdoor play this year.

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Nature Scavenger Hunt {free printable list!}

Nature Scavenger Hunt {free printable list!}

Get out to explore with this FREE printable Nature Scavenger Hunt list!

We love to get out and explore new places as a family -- whether it's hiking a new trail, going on a scavenger or finding a new playground!

So this year we are once again partnering with The National Park Trust to celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 20th.

Print off your free scavenger hunt, learn about some awesome park activities near you & enter the giveaway too!

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12 Awesome Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

12 Awesome Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

These Easter Egg Hunt ideas are sure to please kids of all ages and include ideas for both indoor & outdoor hunts!

I grew up in Central New York which means that snow & cold on Easter was a fairly common thing.

My Mom always let us choose secial Easter outfits or wear our Spring clothes for the holiday.  But a pretty yellow dress paired with ugly black snowboots and a big, puffy coat never said “spring” to me.

Even during a year with a late Easter, there was always the possibility of freezing temps on Easter morning so our egg hunts were held inside.  I had seen outdoor Easter egg hunts on television but it was never something that happened in our neck of the woods.

When I got married and moved to a climate with a lot less snow, I quickly learned that having an outdoor Egg Hunt was a definite possibility.

So when my son was 5 years old, during a year with a ‘later’ Easter, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do our own outdoor Egg Hunt!

My husband was not as exuberant as I was about the idea.

Jacq, he said, it’s going to be cold in the morning

Cool, I said, not cold.  And we can put on jackets before going outside.

He was still a little doubtful so I compromised – I would hide 6 eggs inside and 6 eggs outside before we went to bed.

Hon, I said, it’s only 6 eggs.  We’ll probably be out there for all of 5 minutes to find them.  And I’ll put them in plain sight – really, it’s going to be fine.

Famous. Last. Words.

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20 Fairy Play & Mini Garden Ideas

20 Fairy Play & Mini Garden Ideas

These mini garden ideas and fairy play activities are sure to inspire kids of all ages to dig, plant, grow and engage in imaginative play!

Fairy gardens are the perfect way to connect your child with so many learning & sensory concepts and they are easy to create in your backyard, kitchen or classroom! 

We have ours in our outdoor flower garden but today's set of activities include ideas for both indoor and outdoor fairy set-ups! 

I hope you find inspiration and enjoy planning your own mini garden play area!

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100 Fun Things to Do in Spring!

100 Fun Things to Do in Spring!

A HUGE list of fun things to do in Spring -- great ideas for Spring Break and ways to make memories with your kids!

After this wild & wacky winter, we should all pat ourselves on the back :)

Now it's time to enjoy all those things we LOVE about Spring --

Birds chirping, warmer temps, the fact that it's usually still light out after dinner and being able to wear flip-flops without freezing your toes off!

Plus the kids now hear a "yes" when they ask if they can wear shorts to school :)

Spring is also the time to make a few memories together.

So to inspire you to push aside that spring cleaning and enjoy some time with your kids, we've got a list -- one hell of a list -- of fun ways to celebrate the season!

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