On a fall getaway when they’re too little for school
Our kids in a Wisconsin pumpkin patch in the late 1980s

On a fall getaway when they’re too little for school

Sure you have to drag a diaper bag (not to mention stroller, car seat and a generous supply of Goldfish) everywhere you go, you haven't had a full night's sleep in you can't remember when and the dire economic news makes you wonder how you'll ever pay for preschool, much less college, but then there's the bright side -- travel-wise, anyway. While everyone else is up to their ears in carpools, homework and soccer games, you're free to get out of town.

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To a national park this summer-one of the most budget-smart trips you can take
The scenic beauty of Yellowstone National Park. CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Austin-Lehman Adventures

To a national park this summer-one of the most budget-smart trips you can take

We screeched to a halt along the side of the road in Grand Teton National Park. Reggie, 8, was equally mesmerized but 3-year-old Melanie couldn't quite grasp that we were in the moose's house -- and it wasn't a zoo. I still smile years later when I think about the kids' excitement. Forget the Kodak moments. The chance to share something new together -- something you'd never see or do at home -- is what makes those indelible family vacation memories that last forever.

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SEE THE RADIO CITY ROCKETTES
The world famous Rocketts in Radio City Music Hall's annual Christmas Spectacular

SEE THE RADIO CITY ROCKETTES

The next time the kids give you a hard time on vacation, remind yourself that you really are building memories to last a lifetime. Just ask Sheila Dennis. She was a wide-eyed 9-year-old when her parents took her to see the world-famous Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York. It was her first trip outside Texas. "I loved the glitter and the color," she said. "I was thrilled."

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