Tiny Tour: Southern Utah

By Emily.

Happy Saturday! Now let me preface this post is in NO WAY comprehensive, in fact it is maybe as far from it as you can get, but I had so many DMs and questions about our three-day weekend in Southern Utah I thought I’d share how we made the trip a little more doable for our family of 5 which includes a 10 month old baby who naps 3-4 times a day. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent its that you just have to lower your expectations. Trying to jam pack too much in is recipe for disaster, and even jamming just a little bit might throw somebody over the edge. But now with hindsight I see that we were able to accomplish so much while pushing the boys a little bit further than they’re comfortable and we saw some amazing things! Our pace for this trip was adventuring during the day, swimming at the hotel in the late afternoon and then dinner and essentially a movie in bed and lights out after that. So let’s jump in.

We stayed in Green River which is about 30-45 minutes from Arches, Dead Horse Point and Goblin Valley National Parks. So we were able to have a homebase without switching hotels and as I said covered lots of ground!

  1. Goblin Valley State Park. This place is an absolute must for all ages, but especially a win with young kids. It was full of cars but you still feel like youre the only ones there, and it feels like you’re on another planet. You can get as strenusou or as easy a pace as you want and there are hikes in the canyons, places to repel, picnic areas and campgrounds.Goblin Valley

’47 Brand Hats – they’re my favorite! I love the plain ones but you can find your team for sure.

  1. Goblin valley

Contigo Kids 3 Pack — perfect for babies, too! I had Raleigh in Kickee Pants because it was sort of chilly and I didn’t want to worry about sunscreening everything!

2. Arches National Park. When the boys are older I will totally be back and we’ll do more hikes and more days but we made our big push for Delicate Arch and then they were totally done hiking the rest of the trip, so we were cool with that! Delicate Arch is so incredible and was such an accomplishment for us. We pushed them and they rose to the challenge (not without complaints) Of course there are a million beautiful things to do in Arches, but we saw a lot of sites while driving through a devoted all our energy to Delicate. Delicate Arch Hiking Shoes

Those hiking shoes in action, and a caterpillar they found and named Delicate Pikachu.

  1. We played this third day by ear knowing the boys were gonna be spent after Delicate. And they were. They wanted no part of hiking so Dead Horse Point was it. You drive a ways and then you walk very minimally but the view is spectacular. And terrifying, like bring a leash if you have a fearless wandering toddler. We had three days of unreal views but Dead Horse is maybe the craziest place I’ve ever been. 1,000 foot drops with views of 10-15 million years of ice and wind erosion creating the most intricate canyons and cliffs anywhere.Dead Horse Point

Raleigh’s Star Natives // Espadrilles // Denim jacket I had custom embroidered.

Here’s some items we brought along that were helpful for us!Hiking

With red rock sand, water and lots of slick rock I knew I would need something with tread but didn’t want to invest in an actual hiking shoe. We don’t go often enough for that purchase to be warranted, but these Adidas sneakers are $55 and did awesome! You can take them through whatever terrain and they had awesome tread. Lightweight and easy to travel with! I also loved these shorts. Bikers underneath and loose on top. I always feel like I am going to get a hole in my regular leggings so these were my shorts of choice for hikes!

For the boys we love these Tsukihoshi brand. I am sure there’s lots of great brands out there but these are lightweight, cute and I love that they have pull cords or velcro closures. The boys were in and out of shoes all weekend long – shaking out dirt and sand, walking through puddles – and I didn’t have to stop to help them.

Micro Scooters. We bring these everywhere. Rode them to dinner one night, got wiggles out at gas stops along the way, its just an easy fun addition! I am seriously thinking about getting an adult one. They’re so fun.

Osprey Poco – We’ve had this carrier for awhile and love it! It’s so easy to adjust, super breathable and make sure you get a sunshade or rain shade and you’ll be golden. We don’t have this but it looks freaking genius for toddler aged kids! Its the Piggyback Rider with a foot bar — can anyone vouch for it?

What are your musts for traveling and outdoor adventuring with kids? Let me reiterate, I am no expert but these things have worked great for us and hope this answers some questions!!

hyatt ziva cancún!

By Emily.

Oh, Mexico! Are you singing James Taylor yet? Last week (if you follow us on Instagram – @smallfryblog – you know I was the lucky Fry that got to attend the Grand Opening for Hyatt’s newest family-friendly all-inclusive resort in Cancún, Mexico! Hyatt Ziva CancúnIt opened just in November and the Hyatt Ziva Cancún stole our hearts in a major way. It was in the perfect mid-eighties, partly cloudy (not too hot!) and gorgeous. IMG_4187Here’s some of the highlights of our stay! Lots of pics, so catch them all, the wardrobe links and more, after the jump! Hyatt Ziva Cancún

 

If you’re looking for one amazing family get-away at one of the most beautiful places in the world, Hyatt Ziva Cancun is it. We will definitely be back and we’ll be bringing family and friends next time, too. Such a perfect spot for a reunion. They’re offering 50% off +5th night free deal when you book before January 31st! Check it out here! Continue reading hyatt ziva cancún!

so young inc.

We have so many wonderful readers from up in Canada (hi guys!!) so we are always keeping our eyes peeled for brands to share with you that hail from the country that puts out some of the nicest people we know! Toronto based So Young Inc. teamed up with us for today’s post and we were so pleasantly surprised by the quality of the items we reviewed! Check them out:

NCC_8464The packs are a beautiful eco-linen, but when you get your hands on them they’re actually coated! This means they wipe clean and can take a real beating, they look brand new after lots of use already! We never thought we’d see the day where we’d let our kids take a linen backpack on an adventure outside, so we are thinking the So Young Inc. team is a bunch of geniuses!soyoungHere are some of our favorite designs which come on all three of their packs, the lunch pack, the lunch cooler, and the school sized back pack. We love that you can mix and match or get the whole line for each kid so they know which is theirs. With Summer approaching we don’t put our backpacks away for one second, we love to pack them with snacks and binoculars and sunscreen and take them on our day trips!

soyoung2We thought it would be fun this time instead of just mentioning adventuring, to actually share some of our favorite quick day-trip adventures from around where (most) of Small Fry is stationed in central Utah! We get so many questions from locals so if this is you, keep reading to hear about some of our favorites!

CONNECT WITH SO YOUNG INC.: Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter

FAVORITE UTAH COUNTY ADVENTURES – SMALL KIDDO APPROVED (most under an hour!)

HIKES:

SilverLake – a beautiful lake-side walk with a wood boardwalk trail in Salt Lake City. Great for strollers!

The Grotto – A 15-30 minute hike/walk into a waterfall! Perfect for kids and super pretty.

Cascade Springs – a Provo Canyon boardwalk through babbling Spring water!

Donut Falls – another SLC (Big Cottonwood) water fall hike! Gorgeous and the kids love that the waterfall is circular like a donut.

Bridal Veil Falls – easy drive up and park access or you can take the short paved trail. Provo Canyon. Another great stroller hike.

Escalante Trail – Spanish Fork walking hike with amazing views!

Battle Creek Falls – Another waterfall trail in Pleasant Grove, a moderately steep hike in parts but totally doable by even our two year olds last Summer!

MUSEUMS:

Museum of Natural Curiosity, Monte L. Bean Museum (free!), Gateway Discovery Museum, The Leonardo, Museum of Natural History, The Dinosaur Museum all have amazing programs all year round with lots to do an experience! All in Utah or Salt Lake Counties.

ACTIVE PLAY:

Jump On It, Kangaroo Zoo, Lowe’s Extreme Air, Momentum Indoor Climbing (haven’t been but the video tour looks amazing!), Hang Time.

Locals, what would you add to our list for places to head when you want to learn and experience more about this beautiful place we live!

tiny tour: Stockholm, Sweden

Hi!  My name is Ashley Mae and I am delighted to be here sharing a bit about my time in Sweden.  We are here as part of my husband’s PhD studies for five months. You can see more photos of our adventure on Instagram @birdsofashmae.
Tiny Tour : Stockholm | Family Friendly Stops around the World

Stockholm, Sweden was never a place I’d imagined would be dear to me, but here we are, nearly five months in this country and I already know that I’ll be nostalgic for the fabric on the bus seats, the magical light of sunset that lasts for hours and hours, the way we can walk in almost any direction and end up in a forest and yes, that incredible sense of Swedish design that permeates every part of life here.  Our family, me (ashmae), my husband, Carl and our two kids, Remy and Thea are here for what we are told is the part of the year that every Swede looks forward to; a Swedish spring and summer.  The days are long and lush and green.

Tiny Tour : Stockholm | Family Friendly Stops around the World

I love Stockholm because it’s become a place that is not only endearing to me, but a place that is full of magical spaces for children.  We’ve done a lot of exploring, almost all without a car.  Just us, a good stroller (an absolute must if you are here), a backpack full of snacks and a metro pass. I do have to say that someone else coming to Stockholm may have a totally different tour they would give you, but for us, these are a few of the places that have become dear.
1. The outside.  I think perhaps the greatest friend I’ve come to know during my time here in Sweden is mother nature.  Being away from family, friends and the familiar can be overwhelming at times.  It is most in those moments when I take my babies outside and mother nature takes good care of us all.  We spend a good portion of everyday outside exploring because while going into the city, to museums, etc. is fun, it is also exhausting with for both parents and kids.  Sweden is an incredible and magical fairyland of outside-ness that is so worth getting to know.  From almost anywhere, even right inside the city, you can venture down a path and find yourself in an unmarked forest, and because Stockholm is a series of islands, you will almost always come to a beautiful water view at some point along your adventure.  Some of our favorite outdoor spots are: Tyresta National Park, The Lake at Handen Train Stop, the island of Lidingo, and really anywhere you find a path and start walking. 

Tiny Tour : Stockholm | Family Friendly Stops around the World
2. Skansen. Please go to Skansen.  If for nothing else than to die laughing while your children cruise around on spectacularly fast, miniature bumper cars (really maybe the funniest 2 minutes of my life).  Skansen is a cross between a zoo, a museum, a place of delicious hotdogs and a market.  We have a pass and we have yet to tire of it, or even see all of the park.  There are peacocks wandering around, people in traditional Swedish clothes in houses from 1850 making bread, soap, ceramics and blowing glass.  There are pigs and buffalo in the same pen and you can spread a blanket out anywhere and picnic. There’s a carnival section and one day we went and it was drop-in-and-be-married-day.  The snake slide though, that has seemed to trump all else for Remy.  It’s sort of like the Swedish Disneyland, except there are no lines and the grass is overgrown.

Tiny Tour : Stockholm

 

3. The Playgrounds.   The playgrounds here are incredible because they are filled with the things that we grew up with in the 80’s and 90’s, but have since been deemed ‘too dangerous’.  Sweden hasn’t gotten that memo yet, or more importantly, they seem to value kids discovering things on their own, and so there are still merry-go-rounds, giant tire zip-lines, teeter-totters, and sorts of whirly contraptions and crazy slides.  In a lot of parks they even have little go-karts that just belong to the park that people leave there.  They also have awesome sandboxes full of toys that stay there.  One of my favorite things is the way that the rocks are part of the landscape everywhere, even in the playgrounds.  Some of our favorites are: the park at Hornstull stop at the bottom of the big church and the playground just off the main plaza in Sodra, but start walking in almost any direction and you’re sure to come upon a good park and playground here.

Tiny Tour : Stockholm | Family Friendly Stops around the World

4. Open School! In almost any neighborhood in Sweden they have something called open school (oppna forskolan). It is mainly meant for children under the age of 2 (before they start daycare/preschool) whose parents are on maternity/paternity leave. There are teachers who lead singing time–and boy, do Swedes love to sing! Lots of immaculate toys and crafts and the parents all stay and hang out together. It really is so lovely, especially for a newcomer in a foreign place. One of my favorite parts is that often a good portion of the parents in attendance are dads. Sweden has gender equality as a top priority and it is wonderful to see it in action. It does take a while for the Swedes to open up and it can easily be mistaken for unfriendliness, but once they open up, they are so warm and kind. We made some of our dearest friends at the open schools. If you are visiting Sweden short or long term, the open schools are worth the experience and you can look one up in your area quite easily on the internet or just ask around.

Tiny Tour : Stockholm | Family Friendly Stops around the World

5. The Archipelago. Take a day boat trip to one of the 30,000 small islands of the Archipelago. It’s just beautiful and delicious for every sense. You can get tickets for fairly cheap the morning of and most boats leave right from the downtown waterfront.

Tiny Tour : Stockholm | Family Friendly Stops around the World

Tiny Tour : Stockholm | Family Friendly Stops around the World

Foreign travel and living can be lonely and quiet at times, but it has also been a time to learn to rely on and really love each other. It’s been a joy to watch Remy and Thea laugh at each other and discover the world together. Stockholm has been an ideal place for us to be these past 5 months and we are so glad to share a little part. Visit ashmae.com for more on our adventures!

FRYday: Emily

My little family and I recently took a family vacation to Nashville, Tennessee to see two of my siblings who live in the most darling city outside Nashville called Franklin. I can’t adequately express just how darling Franklin is, but when one evening we were all out in the yard, surrounded by brightly painted shuttered houses, running underneath blooming Magnolia trees, filling Mason jars with lightning bugs… let’s just say you can die of charm, and I was pretty close to flatlining. From what I gathered from being in the South, everyone we met and interacted with was so nice. So well mannered, kind and calm, a definite different pace than what I am used to, and I would move there in a second. I am no expert, so this post is definitely not a Tiny Tour, but wanted to share some of the fun things we encountered there!
Mini Tour : Nashville1. Nashville Zoo: This zoo was smaller than our zoo in SLC, but had this Jurassic Park style dinosaur exhibit that was unreal! Our boys loved it and Hayes asked “Are we going to the zoo, or the jungle?” We were in awe of just how green Nashville is the whole time.

2. The Food: We ate some seriously incredible food while we were there, but our stand-outs were The Pharmacy, Pancake Pantry and Martin’s BBQ. The Pharmacy is a really popular bar style restaurant but they catered to children perfectly. I hate when restaurants take “kids menu” as a sign to stir up some Kraft Mac&Cheese and charge $6.00 for it, but the Pharmacy elevated what I have come to know as kids food. Everything we ate was delicious. Russ gets a burger pretty much everywhere we go, and has become a connoisseur of sorts. He said this burger was in his top 5, which probably means it was the best ever, but he will never heed to hype.

Pancake Pantry: I hope the last bite of food I have while on this Earth is Pancake Pantry’s Sweet Potato Pancakes. They top it with cinnamon sugar butter and they have caramel maple syrup on hand. Unreal! The kids were in Heaven, the line was long but moved quickly.

We had such a hard time deciding where to eat BBQ, there are a million options and we wanted to make it count! We went with Martin’s BBQ and it was delicious. It’s a definite meat fest, so probably not for everyone, but my picky boys ate their herb rubbed chicken wings and loved them so that’s a win!

3. Water Features: Lots of the home developments have HOA pools so we swam with my siblings and then also hit the Franklin YMCA which had slides, rock climbing walls over the deep end, fountains and more. The Cumberland Park Spraygrounds in downtown was awesome! Really anything to counteract the humidity is alright with me! This desert girl will take dry heat any day!

4. For Adults: We also hit up a couple thrift stores (it’s a Frame tradition) like the Hidden Treasure Chest, Music City Thrift, and of course the Honky Tonks on Broadway (sans kids) for bluegrass, rockabilly and country music.

All in all it was such a fun trip. Traveling with kids always adds a new dimension of stress, but we wouldn’t do it any other way! To my fellow Nashville-lovers, what would you add to this list? Leave it in the comments, and I’ll try not to be sad that we missed them all.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

xo

Em

Tiny Tour : Chicago

This post is sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures through their partnership with POPSUGAR. We received compensation by POPSUGAR to write a post about Blended and as always, all opinions are our own.

Summertime is the absolute best setting to create awesome family memories and Blended — out May 23! — is getting us so excited for some Summer shenanigans! The movie is all about how two unlikely families bond on the accidental shared African safari trip of a lifetime. (Drew’s character and her two crazy boys are reminding us of someone?) Getting family to bond is such a tricky thing, and sometimes you can’t plan or orchestrate it, it just happens. So today we brought on Jaime to sharing her tips for bonding all over the next stop on our Tiny Tour: Chicago! Welcome, Jaime!

Blended

First Lincoln Park Zoo:

This is such an awesome Zoo! It’s beautiful and has some amazing views of the city, but the biggest bonus is… it’s FREE!! Its open year round, everyday! They always have something going with exhibits, concerts, playgrounds, running trails and fun for the whole family. Since we moved to Chicago we have visited the zoo weekly! We just pack a lunch and spend the day exploring.

Tip: Free activities are always a great option when creating memories together. Without the stress or expectations of “making every penny count” you can just enjoy one another!Tiny Tour | Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo | Chicago Tiny Tour

Millennium Park:

When you come to Chicago, Millenium Park is a must see! The summer is jam packed with events. And there is so much to see and do! My boys love the “Face Fountain” as we call it.  It’s basically a giant splash pad on Michigan Ave that projects faces on the sides of the fountain, while it spits water at you!  Photos at “The Bean” is on every tourists checklist. And to end your night right you can enjoy a free movie or concert in the park, while you lay under the stars and the beautiful city skyline. Creating traditions lays the foundation comfort and belonging in your family.

Tip: Being spontaneous is always fun, but small children blossom best when they know what to expect! Fill them in beforehand as much as you can.

Millenium Park | Chicago Tiny Tour

 

Millenium Park | Chicago Tiny Tour

The Museum of Science of Industry: Out of all of the Incredible Museums here in Chicago, this one is our favorite. It’s HUGE! You could spend the whole day here and still not see everything! So be sure to plan on getting up early. This Museum is one of the most popular in the United States, and experiences close to 2 million visitors per year. So planning your trip on a weekday isn’t a bad idea. Some of our favorite things to see were the Trains and Planes, The Tornado Exhibit, and “Animal inside and Out” I love it when I leave a place feeling like my kids learned so much, and were excited while doing it! *Learning experiences are so great for families, because older siblings help the younger ones, while the younger ones bring a youthful outlook to things teenagers might completely miss.

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago Tiny Tour

Northerly Island Beach: Lake Michigan looks more like an ocean than a lake! Something that makes Chicago so fun in the summer is hanging at the beach.  And one of the best kept secrets is Northerly Island Beach. It’s this perfect little cove, that is so great for your little ones to splash around while you catch some rays:) And it’s right downtown, so when you have had your fill of sunshine, the restaurants and shops of the Magnificent Mile are nearby.

Tip: The beach or lake is always a good place to bond! Kids can run free and aren’t contained by so many rules and crowds. Our best vacations always happen near the water!

Northerly Island Beach | Chicago Tiny Tour

Navy Pier: This Place is uber Famous, and such a good time.  You can ride the Ferris Wheel, Eat a “Chicago Dog”, take an Architecture Boat tour, Watch an Imax, and shop till you drop!

Navy Pier | Chicago Tiny Tour

Parking can be pricey, so walking or public transportation is the best solution. But this is a perfect place for you and your kiddos to have some major fun! Planning activities together might feel daunting or even exhausting, and maybe under appreciated. But when your kids brag about how great and exciting their Summer was all those memories are thanks to you!

Doesn’t Chicago sound so perfect for kids, so many wonderful things to do! Thank you so much to Jaime for taking us on the tour. Are you all planning on any fun adventures with your families this Summer? Blended has us inspired to do something a little out of the box. Check out the preview, or better yet lets all go see it together!

Follow along Blended’s release via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Tiny Tour : Washington, DC

We are so excited to have Rebecca and Suzanne from A Fêteful Life sharing their favorite family friendly stops in Washington DC today! A Fêteful Life is a one stop destination for all things party. Party ideas, recipes, printables, favors and everything in between, their motto is “Always simple, never plain” which we are so on board with! You guys will love their DC stops, welcome ladies!

Small Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

“1. Art Museums — the National Portrait Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden both have fabulous kid-friendly art and activities. The National Portrait Gallery’s Kogod Courtyard offers a great spot to cool off on a hot day, too. And since both are free, there’s no problem if your small fries last for just a little bit.
Small Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

2. Lunch Spots — Ted’s Bulletin (serves breakfast anytime, including a kid’s pancake with a bacon smile, out of this world shakes, and homemade pop-tarts. AND there’s a location in the newly-revitalized 14th street district full of great design and homeware stores) and Comet Ping Pong (fabulous pizza and, not surprisingly, ping pong! plus great beer for the adults) are our favorites.

Small Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DCSmall Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

3. Outdoor Play — Yards Park is the best summer spot in the city for waterplay and on Friday nights during the summer, hosts free music concerts with food trucks. The National Arboretum is our go-to most anytime of the year. It offers city kids wide open places to run, play and discover, and has a special children’s garden. And we can’t resist adding the National Zoo to our list of outdoor play spots. In addition to all the great animal exhibits, the zoo has an outdoor “tidal splash pool,” a carousel, and a kids “pizza garden” playground that are always favorites with our kiddos.

Small Fry |Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DCSmall Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC4. Other Museums — The National Building Museum has a great discovery room for the younger set and plenty of building opportunities for kids of all ages in its “Play Work Build” exhibit, which includes a huge lego table and mini and oversized Imagination Playground materials. And in the summer, the Building Museum sets up a super awesome architecturally designed mini gold course! We also love the National Museum of the American Indian, which has a wonderful interactive exhibit where littles can build an igloo, participate in a daily craft, and stamp their American Indian passport as they travel through. And a really great cafeteria, too!

Small Fry |Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DCSmall Fry |Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

5. Random — the infamous The Mansion on O Street (part “spooky mansion,” part treasure hunt, part bookstore and antique store, and part art gallery) has provided our kids with hours of entertainment as they treasure hunt for 32 secret doors. We’ve never been anywhere else like it and highly recommend it for the 3 years-old and up crowd.”Small Fry | Tiny Tour | Family Friendly Stops in Washington DC

How amazing are all these stops? We hear DC in Spring is something to behold with all the Cherry Blossoms, it might be time to make the trek! Don’t forget to visit A Fêteful Life for more!

Got a case of the wanderlust? Check out the rest of the series:

Hong Kong, China | London, United Kingdom | Oahu, Hawaii | Perth, Australia | New York City, New York | Palm Beach, Florida | San Francisco, California | Dallas, Texas | Mackinac Island, Michigan | Midway, Utah |

Tiny Tour : Hong Kong

Today we have another International Tiny Tour! Heidi says this time of year is ideal for traveling to China, the weather is great and this weekend is Chinese New Year! Welcome Heidi, who will be sharing her favorite family-friendly stops year-round:

“Hello! I am Heidi and I live in Hong Kong, China with my husband and three children (Brenden, 9, Macs, 6 and Vivian, 4 months). When we first moved here it seemed like a city of concrete, endless high-rise buildings, too many people to count, and nothing family-friendly to offer. However, we soon came to find the city to be a place to explore. We are embracing the lifestyle here and loving every minute. So here is our list of kid friendly things to do and places to visit in Hong Kong.

Tiny Tour : Hong Kong

1. The Beaches:

I know what you are thinking…beaches in Hong Kong? Yes, there are so many wonderful beaches here and is our absolute favorite place to spend the weekends. The two we like are a little off the beaten path and therefore less crowded and when I say less crowded I mean sometimes we are the only people on the beach! The first is Ha Mun Bay Beach on Sharp Island that is located on the Kowloon side. To get there hire a Sampan (a traditional Chinese Fishing boat) at the Sai Kung Peir to take you out to the island. It’s a fun experience because you can barter for the price of your journey.

Tiny Tour : Hong Kong

The boat ride is about 20 minutes to the island where the boat drops you off at the pier. The beach has bathrooms, and places to change, but more importantly the beach is clean. There are rocks and shoreline for the kids to explore and a great place to play in the sand and splash in the water. We typically pack a lunch and spend the day. After returning from the beach there are lots of restaurants along the water to people watch and eat fresh seafood. We find it more interesting to just look at the sea creatures and watch the fisherman sell there daily catch.

Tiny Tour : Hong Kong

On the Hong Kong Island is Chung Hom Kok beach near Stanley. Again there are bathrooms, a playground, a place to get cold treats, and a beautiful beach with amazing views of the surrounding islands of HK. To get there hire a taxi or drive towards Stanley via the Aberdeen tunnel.

2. Sai Kung:

We live near Sai Kung and we love it! It’s more of a village, and is near the Sai Kung country park which is known for its great hiking. We spend much of our time down here. It is where we grocery shop, and run all of our day-to-day errands. It has a great community feel to it, there are parks, restaurants offering everything from Indian food to dim sum. One of our favorite restaurants is Classified, there is outdoor seating in the square and a great place for the kids to run around and ride scooter or bike.Tiny Tour : Hong Kong They also have an amazing eggs benedict (which is hard to find in HK) We also enjoy Chips Fish n chips street restaurant. You order at the window and they serve them in these great paper boats, we just find a spot in the park and eat. The boys love it! Sai Kung has a laid back, Fisherman’s village feel so it’s a great place to spend the day with kids. Near the water there is a promenade to walk along (also where you catch the Sampan boats) and restaurants to eat and enjoy the view of the water.

3. Disney Land/Ocean Park:

I don’t think I have met a kid (or adult!) who doesn’t like DisneyLand, so this is a great place to bring the kids while in Hong Kong. It is smaller than the Disney Park in the states, which makes it easier to manage especially with little ones. Disney HK has Space Mountain and the teacups of course, but our favorite part was the Toy Story rides. Hong Kong makes Disney very accessible and easy to get to by taking the MTR train right to the park.

Tiny Tour : Hong Kong

Hong Kong has another theme park called Ocean Park, It is a mixture of aquariums, animal exhibits and rides. To get from one side of the park to the other, I recommend taking the gondola ride over the mountain and enjoy the crazy view of the Island and South China Sea. This park offers rides for every age group and level of thrill seeking.

4. The Peak:

The Peak is THE place to see all of Hong Kong, literally To get to the Peak, you can drive, taxi, take a bus, or the best way is by the Peak Tram. To get the best view you take the many escalators to the very top of the Peak Look out. The cost is a few dollars but worth it to see a 360 degree view of Hong Kong. Just be sure it’s a clear day, or you won’t see much of anything. ☺Tiny Tour : Hong Kong

I can’t talk about Hong Kong and not mention a few things for the mom’s. The shopping is AH-MAZING! They have all the high end shops like Chanel, Lanvin, Hermes, and upscale malls offering every name brand you can imagine, but the markets and street venders are also a must to see here in Hong Kong. I especially love the Jade Market for handmade jewelry and the Stanley Market where you can pick up scarves, art, and postcards.”

Catch more of Heidi’s gorgeous photography on her website here.

For more International stops check out London or Perth, Australia! Also, the whole series here.

Family Photo of the Selch’s by Mandi Carroll Photography

Tiny Tour : North Shore, Hawaii

The excitement of the holidays has passed, our trees are taken down, decorations put away, but where we live we still have a couple months of cold, cold Winter. These are the months where our need to head to warmer pastures becomes greatest and today’s Tiny Tour isn’t helping matters. Not to mention that more than one of us dreams of raising our boys at the beach, our envy is at an all time high today! Please welcome, Monica the The Grommom, who is sharing her favorite family-friendly stops on the North Shore in Oahu, Hawaii.Tiny Tourist Series | Small Fry

“Aloha! I’m Monica, and I live on the North Shore of Oahu with my husband, and our four sons…
I happen to think that our North Shore community is one of the greatest places on earth, so I am really excited to share it with you!

Tiny Tour | Grommom

When most people think of Oahu, they immediately think of Waikiki…A busy city, full of tourists, and crowded beaches. But up here on the North Shore it is an entirely different world. People still consider the North Shore “country,” with miles and miles of uncrowded beaches, and a much slower pace to life. There are farms growing tropical fruits, horse farms, and only two-lane roads.

Two of my boys are competitive surfers and skate boarders, and around here we call kids like that, “grommets,” or “groms,” (thus the name of my blog, “The Grommom.” ) As a family we thoroughly enjoy this beautiful place we call home. I’m doing my best to cut my list down, but trust me when I say that the North Shore of Oahu offers you plenty of options for as much activity, or relaxation, as you could want.

1. SHARK’S COVE

There are a lot of places on our North Shore that are great for snorkeling and playing in tide pools, but Sharks Cove is a favorite. Our ocean is almost always warm, especially in the shallow tide pools. They are absolutely beautiful, and there is always something fun to discover. Shell collecting, and hands-on-marine biology, at your finger-tips.

Tiny Tour | North Shore

Tiny Tour | North Shore

2. WAIMEA BAY

The perfect beach for sand and swim! Big kids love to JUMP off of the famous Waimea Bay Rock, and Little ones can play in the sand, splash in the water, or (on a lucky day,) watch dolphins swim through the bay.

Tiny Tour | North ShoreTiny Tour | North Shore

Tiny Tour | North Shore

(My nine-year-old, Luke, surfing North Shore waves.)

Tiny Tour | North Shore

4. FAMILY HIKES
Our North Shore has a number of great, shorter hikes that even little ones can handle…
Once you climb up the trails, you can enjoy the view from the top! Or, if you’d prefer to stay on flatter grounds, we have a wonderful bike path/boardwalk that goes for miles…with peeks at the ocean and the surf, all along the way.

Tiny Tour | North Shore

5. SHAVE ICE. (of course!)
It’s just what you do when you’re in Hawaii.

Tiny Tour | North Shore Tiny Tour | North Shore

There are many different spots to choose from. But we recommend ordering it with the ice cream in the bottom, (and my boys love the “snow cap”–a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk on top!)

6. FARMER’S MARKET

Tiny Tour | North Shore

We love our Farmer’s Market which is held every Thursday afternoon in Waimea Valley. There are also a couple on the weekend locally. The boys and I also stop by roadside stands to get tropical fruits, fresh coconut water, and sweet sugar cane to chew on! The locally grown flowers are pretty amazing too.

7. TURTLE WATCHING! Tiny Tour | North Shore

I can’t leave out the mentioning the HONU. (Honu is Hawaiian for sea turtle.) Our sea turtles are loved by both locals, and the tourists who come to visit. You can often find turtles sun-bathing right on public beaches.
Or if you prefer to swim with the turtles, jump in and go for it. There are laws against touching the turtles, or even getting closer than a few feet, but you can sure enjoy watching them. My fourteen year-old loves underwater photography, and he has a great collection of sea turtle photos, like this:

Tiny Tour | North Shore

If I had more space I’d begin to tell you about our favorite restaurants, and shops. (There are a lot!) Surf lessons, sky diving, deep sea fishing, and shark tours are just a few more fun activities to enjoy on the North Shore. I do keep a listing of our “North Shore Favorites” on the top menu bar of my blog, so feel free to visit here. I can promise you a visit to the North Shore of Oahu will not be disappointing!

MUCH ALOHA,
Monica”

You know that saying, “If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, than you’re lucky enough”? We’re thinking this definitely applies today. To follow along with Monica and her cutest surf-boys head to the Grommom blog, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Find all our Tiny Tour series’ posts right here. Warning: Wanderlust to follow.

Tiny Tourist : Mackinac Island, Michigan

This is the second post in our themed posts under Ford’s Fiesta Movement! This month’s theme is Entertainment, and what provides better entertainment than a little wanderlust? Welcome Chris Klau who is taking us on a kid-friendly tour of Mackinac Island, Michingan!Tiny Tourist Series | Small Fry

“Hi!  I’m Chris Klau.  I have a day job I love and also pursue my passion and hobby on the side through Chris Klau Photography.  My little crew and I recently spent an afternoon at one of our all-time favorite places, Mackinac Island.  Mackinac Island is small island located right between the Upper and Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  And we have found that although it is acclaimed for its history, beauty and charm, many folks still don’t know about it.  There are so many things to do and see there.  We thought we would let you inon some of our top spots and activities so you can start planning your trip with your family soon! I of course had to snap some shots and even filmed a quick video of our trip which you can see here.

1.It’s an island!  Soyou have to get there by boat or plane as there are no bridges that connect directly to the island.  There are several ferry boat services that will take you there.   We love Shelpler’s.  They are fast and reliable and they have a special Mighty Mac departure that takes you under the Mackinac Bridge (that connects the Upper and Lower Peninsula), which our kids really dig!2 Arch Rock2.  Mackinac Island is unique in the fact that there are no cars allowed on the island (except a few emergency vehicles).  So everyone gets around by bike or by horse (there are more than 500 horses on the island)!  The kids think this is super amazing!  We always bring our bikes but you can definitely rent them as well and they have lots of kid friendly options (like buggies) to make sure the little ones are included.  There is a paved path along the entire outer edge of the island.  There is nothing like that bike ride and taking in the beauty of Great Lakes the entire time!  Don’t forget to check out Arch Rock on yourway around!

2 horse

3.  Mackinac Island is home to the Grand Hotel!  This historic hotel is home to the world’s largest front porch and is a magical place to stay when on the island.  We love to walk in the Grand Hotel Garden and the kids like to make wishes in the fountain and run down the hill.  It is a must-see why you are there for sure.

3 Grand Hotel Make a wish fountain

4. There are tons of great spots to eat.  We love the Gatehouse for lunch which is located just down from the Grand Hotel.  They have great food and the kids love the Worms in Dirt dessert!  Speaking of dessert, Mackinac Island is famous for it’s fudge shops!  They have so many unbelievable flavors and when you walk through the downtown the smell of fudge lures you into one of the many spots that sell it.  This trip the kids opted for an ice cream instead from our favorite spot Ryba’s.   We usually take it to the park down the street under the Historic Fort Mackinac and watch the boats come in and out!4 jack ice cream

5.  During our time on the island we always make a playground stop. There is an amazing playground right by the island school that we think is a somewhat hidden gem and has an amazing view of the Mackinac Bridge!  And before we leave the island we always make a final stop by the water and let the kids skip stones and do kid things – like get wet!  We always bring extra clothes! There is a great spot right across from the playground to stop.  As the kids toss rocks we toss around memories of the day and soak in the remaining time!5 jack playground 5 kids rocks
Thanks, Chris! Doesn’t this look like an incredible afternoon?

This post is sponsored by the Fiesta Movement. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Small Fry possible!