Read an Excerpt
Welcome to Great Days!
Between pick-ups, drop-offs, and after-school activities, organizing a family's schedule is one full-time job. Planning for some fun time together shouldn't be another. That's where this book helps out. In creating it, our parent-experts have done all the legwork, so you don't have to. Open to any page and you'll find a great day together already planned out. You can read about the main event, check our age-appropriateness ratings to make sure it's right for your family, pick up some smart tips, and find out where to grab a bite nearby.
How to Save Money
Taking the whole family on an outing can be pricey, but there are ways to save.
Always ask about discounts at ticket booths. we list admission prices only for adults and kids, but an affiliation (and your ID) may get you a break. If you want to support a specific institution, consider buying a family membership up front. Usually these pay for themselves after a couple of visits, and sometimes they come with other good perks -- gift shop and parking discounts, and so on.
Keep an eye peeled for coupons. They'll save you $2 or $3 a head and you can find them everywhere from the supermarket to your pediatrician's office. Combination tickets, sometimes offered by groups of attractions, cost less than if you pay each admission individually.
Try to go on free days. Some attractions let you in at no charge one day a month or one day a week after a certain time.
Most attractions with kid appeal are busy when school is out. Field-trip destinations are sometimes swamped on school days, but these groups tend to leave by early afternoon, so weekdaysafter 2 during the school year can be an excellent time to visit museums, zoos, and aquariums. Outdoors, consider going after a rain -- there's nothing like a downpour to clear away crowds. If you go on a holiday, call ahead -- we list only the usual operating hours.
Take a few sensible precautions. Show your kids how to recognize staff or security people when you arrive. And designate a meeting time and place -- some visible landmark -- in case you become separated. It goes without saying that you should keep a close eye on your children at all times, especially if they are small.