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Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #WeatherProven #CollectiveBias One of my family’s favorite times of year for a road trip is winter time.  Every year, we take a drive through the Ozark hills in Missouri to visit Branson for An Ozark Mountain Christmas.  We visit area attractions and watch live Christmas-themed shows as we get into the spirit of Christmas and revel in the beauty of the season.  We also finish up our Christmas shopping and eat some of the best country cooking you’ll find anywhere.  It’s a special time that my family looks forward to every year. Of course, when driving through the Ozarks in winter, you have to be extra vigilant about road safety.  We live in Southwest Missouri, and the weather can change at any moment, especially in the winter.  It’s important that my family…

If you’ve ever wondered what life would have been like for the first English colonists who made America their permanent home, then you simply must stop at the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia.  We made the Jamestown Settlement part of our road trip to historic sites in the eastern part of the United States. Jamestown is one-third of what is known as Virginia’s Historic Triangle.  Just to be clear–this is not the actual site of what is now called Historic Jamestowne.  If you want to visit the actual site of the colony and see archeologists in action, then you’ll want to go to the site that is run by the National Park Service.  If we’d had more time, we probably would’ve checked that area out, too. In the end, we decided to visit the reenactment attraction, the Jamestown Settlement, because we thought that Kristin would learn more there. If you are…

I’d like to thank The Butterfly Palace in Branson, Missouri, for sponsoring our visit.  As usual, all opinions are honest and my own. When you think of rainforests, Branson, Missouri, is probably not the first place that comes to mind.  Still, you can get a little taste of the rainforest right here in the Ozarks.  The Butterfly Palace in Branson is a lovely celebration of some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth. Arriving at The Butterfly Palace The Butterfly Palace is at the very end of the “strip” as you head west as if you were going to drive to Silver Dollar City.  The building itself sits on top of a hill. Right inside the entrance is a gift shop filled with many butterfly-inspired items.  It’s fun to just look through this area.  Right in the center of the room is the ticket booth. There are two floors with various…

I’d like to thank the Clay Cooper Theatre for sponsoring our attendance to the performance of Clay Cooper’s Country Express.  As always, all opinions are honest and my own. When you think of Branson, Missouri, you may think of country music shows lining the 76 Strip, or the main highway through town.  That strip of highway is also known as Country Music Boulevard, and those shows make up Branson’s history.  Add the beautiful Ozark Mountains and attractions like Silver Dollar’s City, and you have the family destination of Branson. Though historically those shows featured country music, nowadays the shows along the strip offer a diverse array of music and entertainment options.  Clay Cooper’s Country Express is a wonderful example of a show that does it all–music, dancing, and comedy.  And the music covers so many genres that there is truly something for everyone; your whole family will love it! Before…

One thing my daughter looks forward to all summer is going boating and camping at Campbell Point on Table Rock Lake near Shell Knob, Missouri, with Grandma and Grandpa.  Can you blame her?  For a seven-year-old, sleeping in the camper is an adventure!  And it doesn’t get much better than riding in the boat with the wind in your hair and the sunshine on your skin.  Going to Table Rock Lake is a family tradition! Campbell Point If you enjoy camping or boating, Table Rock Lake is a great place.  The lake is clean and clear, and the campground is nestled in the Ozark woods. My parents enjoy camping at the Army Corps of Engineers Campground at the Campbell Point Marina.  Some of the sites are even lakeside.  Click here to see a map of the campground.  My parents like to camp in the more wooded area at the full hook-up site.…

Things to Do in Gettysburg Gettysburg is just one of those great historic places that we’ve been wanting to experience for a long time.  We wanted, of course, to learn more about the battle, but we also wanted to make some family memories together.  It’s important for my daughter to learn about the events that shaped our nation, even if she is only seven-years-old.  Though the events in Gettysburg were tragic, I wanted her to have a basic understanding of what happened along with doing some family-friendly activities.  We spent four nights in Gettysburg, but I think you could easily do a shorter trip or spend more time here.  We spent most of our evenings watching the sunset over the battlefield.  Here are our recommendations after experiencing Gettysburg. Take a Tour of the Battlefield We took a tour with the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides, and it was fantastic! This…

When I think of summer, I think of cook-outs, fireflies, swimming, and…family trips!  Growing up, I knew that summertime meant my family would go somewhere, often in our pop-up camper.  Now, my family continues the tradition.  As a teacher with a kid in school, our big trips happen during the summer.  We look forward to our destination for many months as we dream and plan.  A summer trip is between one and two weeks for us, so that means there is still a lot of summer left over.  Just because we are home again doesn’t mean that the wanderlust is cured.  So what to do?  For us, it’s little getaways here and there, sometimes during the week and other times for a weekend.  I’ve included very different experiences so you can find what is best for your family. Here are my favorite “getaway for a few days” places for families…

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