Friday, June 15, 2012

Where have you been?

Sorry, readers. I can't believe it's been so long since my last post. Time flies when you're off daytripping. I have only been a few places, I must admit, because the school year has kept me so busy. But now it's summer and I'm ready to play! So, let me know -- where have you been???

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy Summer Vacation! Let's go for a day trip!

Summer is finally here!!!! After months of nagging the kids to do homework, get up on time and brush their teeth before it's time to leave for school, we finally get a chance to let loose a little.

I'm ready to hit the road -- even with the high gas prices. But money is a big obstacle. We don't have much of it. As a working mom, I have to make sure my children get to quality camps where they learn or get exercise. I don't want a babysitter -- I want my child to grow!

But I'm also all about making memories. I don't want my children to grow up remembering me as that nag who never had any fun. I want them to remember the time we went to the beach or the time we wandered on the nature trail, or maybe the time we got lost on our way to some crazy adventure. That's how I remember my dad, and that's how I want them to look back at me.

So, keep checking back -- I'm formulating some great, but cheap, ideas for the summer. And don't be afraid to post your own ideas here. I'm always looking for new places to explore.

Happy Day Tripping!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Gas prices putting the brakes on daytripping

The key to a good daytrip is that it doesn't cost a lot of money. With unemployment and tight purses, few families can afford to take expensive vacations these days.

But now there is a new detour to daytripping -- high gas prices. Gas prices skyrocketed over the past week, making daytripping a costly venture if you go too far from home. I mean, do you really want to pay $40-$50 just to drive to a park? Better find something a little closer to home.

Ironically, the spike in gas prices is very close to most spring breaks throughout the country.

Let me hear from you -- how are you dealing with the high cost of gas? Are you still taking a spring break?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cheap Central Florida weekend trip idea -- visit the museum and see antiques

I love when there are a few events lined up that, when put together, can create a very nice cheap weekend. This is one such weekend.

First, the annual antiques extravaganza in Mount Dora is this weekend. Tickets are $10 for Friday, $6 for Saturday or $15 for both days. Parking is free. Tons of antique dealers inside and out will be exhibiting their wares. It's a great, fun time for any antique lover or anyone who just likes to look at stuff. Plan to spend the day if you go.

Second, the Orlando Science Center is offering a special $5 all-day admission on Saturday. That's a $12 savings on adult tickets. The museum has plenty of hands-on exhibits and activities to entertain young budding scientists.

So, here's the idea: Get a couple of girlfriends together and head to Mount Dora. Leave the kids with the dads to hit the science museum. It's a great win-win for everyone. The kids will have lots more fun playing at the museum, you'll be able to enjoy yourself perusing antiques without dealing with whiny bored kids and you'll be saving money!

Mount Dora is about 45 minutes from Orlando. Meet in the middle in Apopka.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cheap, but romantic, ways to spend Valentine's Day weekend in Florida

Valentine's Day is Monday, which limits plans for many people because of work. But there's no rule that says you can't celebrate Valentine's Day on the weekend. And, despite what jewelers and card sellers tell you, there's no rule saying you have to spend a lot on a romantic Valentine's Day weekend.

Remember, even the most expensive restaurant in town knows. It's all about the ambience and mood. Trust me, all you need is a picnic basket with food and a quiet moonlit evening at the beach. And you'll have spent very little.

Here are a few other ideas for romantic settings without breaking your budget:

* Go to the artificial night sky: Cloudy skies? No problem. The Seminole State College Planetarium presents "Heavenly Love: Love Stories of the Night Sky" Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $6 each. The show tells ancient love stories seen in the stars.

* Stargazing at Silver River State Park with the Ocala Astronomy Club. The club bring telescopes and help participants see the stars. Event begins at 6 p.m. Admission to the park is $6 per car.

* Florida Scrub Jay Festival at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Saturday, 8:30 to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. While this might not be the most romantic event to attend, it sounds kind of fun for the family.

* ArtsFest Weekend at the Albin Polasek Museum and Gardens, Winter Park. Friday and Saturday, 1o a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch artists create and tour the historic Polasek home, chapel and gardens. Weddings can be booked at the museum and gardens -- so it stands to reason this would be a romantic setting to get engaged as well. Admission to ArtsFest Weekend is free.

Happy Daytripping!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New manatee skeleton at Environmental Learning Center, Vero Beach

I've mentioned here on this blog that the Environmental Learning Center in Vero Beach is a great Florida daytrip to spend a few hours with the kids -- all free.

In about a week, the Environmental Learning Center is getting a new exhibit on display -- a manatee skeleton put together by a Vero Beach doctor. Read about how he put the manatee skeleton together here. The article says the skeleton should be on display in about a week.

The Environmental Learning Center is a five-minute ride from Disney's Vero Beach resort.

Happy Daytripping!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The British Redcoats are coming to Fort Matanzas -- Free living history lesson and musket firings

Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine is another one of those hidden free treasures in Florida, and a perfect day trip with little cost. Visitors travel to the fort, which is more than 200 years old, via a ferry. Ferry ride and admission to the fort are all free, although donations are accepted.

Saturday (Jan. 22), British redcoats will be at the fort, with musket firings at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. A re-enactor will be at the fort to talk about Fort Matanzas history. Musket demonstrations are held most Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The fort is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except for Christmas. Check the web site for ferry departure times. Ferry rides are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to the fort, the park includes a nature trail and kids activities. Children can earn a free Junior Range badge for completing a booklet and activities. The website says it takes at least 1 1/2 hours to complete the requirements for the badge.