Andrea Guthman, Midwest TravelingMom

Andrea Guthman, Midwest TravelingMom

Andrea Guthmann is a freelance journalist focusing on family travel. She spent many years as a writer and producer for WTTW-TV, the PBS station in Chicago. Her travel stories have been published in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Parent, Daily Herald, Cruise Critic, Family Vacation Critic, and other publications & sites. A native Floridian, Andrea's now a big (windy) city mom of 3. She loves sailing Lake Michigan and visiting the world class museums and restaurants in her sweet home Chicago. Being a scenery starved city girl, she loves escaping to the outdoors during vacations and is working hard to raise 3 happy campers!


Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet Unveils a Dazzling New Nutcracker

One of my favorite Chicago holiday traditions gets an incredible update for a new generation. Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet unveils a stunning new version of Tchaikovsky’s beloved classic, “The Nutcracker.”  It’s  set in Chicago at the time of the World’s Fair in 1893.   Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet Unveils a Dazzling New Nutcracker While “The Nutcracker” is a great way to introduce kids to ballet, most of the audience is made up of adults. Adults like me who love the Joffrey Ballet’s incredible dancers and dazzling costumes. In addition, we love their world-class set design and classic score. Certainly one of...

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Inn at Harbor Shores: Home Base for Southwest Michigan

New York has the Hamptons. Boston has Cape Cod. Here in Chicago, our summer playground is the quaint harbor towns that dot the coastline of southwest Michigan. For those looking for a home base to explore these coastal towns, read on for MidWest Traveling Mom’s  experience at the Inn at Harbor Shores, her suggested home base for exploring southwest Michigan. Southwest Michigan’s Inn at Harbor Shores Looking for the perfect hotel to explore southwest Michigan’s harbor towns? Located on one of the Great Lakes’ oldest marinas, The Inn at Harbor Shores is the great home base for exploring these coastal...

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Cruising to Cozumel Aboard Disney Wonder

Ever wonder whether a Disney cruise would be smooth sailing for your family? Here are my picks of the most kid-friendly activities on board the refurbished Disney Wonder. I’ll also bring you along as we drop anchor in Cozumel.   Cruising to Cozumel Aboard Disney Wonder Give me an AAArrrr! We were still recovering from a late night partying like pirates, when the Disney Wonder pulled up to Cozumel at 8 a.m. The Disney Cruise pirate parties are legendary. Once each cruise, a massive dance party is held on the main deck, with lots of passengers dressed up in...

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Frozen Comes Alive Aboard Disney Wonder

Considered the gold standard of family cruise ships, Disney’s worked its magic to create a cruise that has something for all ages, from toddlers to seniors. An incredible new musical production, “Frozen: A Musical Spectacular”, updated staterooms, new restaurant, kids’ areas, even the spa has been given a face lift. But you need to know the secret to be sure your kids get to meet their princesses onboard the reimagine Disney Wonder! Onboard the Disney Wonder You can hear a hush come over the crowd as the blue chiffon-clad celebrity finally makes an entrance. Have they gathered for a star-studded...

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#OptOutside: Black Friday’s Best Deal

Looking for a great way to work off those extra Thanksgiving calories? A growing number of people are saying no to malls and yes to the outdoors on Black Friday. Started by outdoor adventure retailer REI in 2015, the anti-consumer #OptOutside movement has gotten the store priceless attention. Using the fun tag line, “Will you go out with me?” it’s getting to the heart of what the holidays should be about, spending quality time with loved ones. When my 8-year-old recently asked, “Mom, do we celebrate Black Friday?” it made me realize how this shopping “celebration” has consumed our...

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Curacao: History, Culture & Picture Perfect Beaches

Looking for a kid-friendly way to experience the Caribbean? The former Dutch colony of Curacao (pronounced keer-ah-sow), which became a self-governing island in 2010, is a great choice. Located off the coast of Venezuela, it’s filled with history, culture and postcard-worthy beaches. The pastel buildings of the capital city of Willemstad look so picture-perfect, you’ll think you’re on on the movie set for a quaint Caribbean island. Curacao’s clean, colorful and everyone seems friendly, no haggling tourists on this island. Finding History in Picture Perfect Curacao Spend an afternoon strolling the cobblestone paths, public art and gardens of Willemstad’s...

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Standup Paddleboarding Trend

Chicago winters can be tough. We only get a few months of perfect temperatures, which makes for a sublime summer. My family takes full advantage of the heat by hanging out at Lake Michigan, known to Midwesterners as the Third Coast. On most weekends, you’ll find us relaxing on our sailboat, but this year we’ve found a new way to enjoy the lake through standup paddleboarding. Nowhere to store a standup paddleboard? You’ll be blown away by this inflatable version! What SUP? Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, is a fitness trend that’s sailed into most of our neighborhoods. Whether you...

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Road Trip Toys Keep Kids Entertained

The summer road trip. It’s a favorite childhood memory for many –  the freedom, scenic landscapes, and wacky roadside attractions. But along with those beloved memories, summer road trips can also mean sibling disputes and backseat whining, turning your perfect vacation into hell on wheels. Although difficulties will always arise when traveling with kids, it can also be a whole lot of fun if you have the right attitude and the right stuff! Here are a few of the best distractions, also known as TOYS, to keep kids, from babies and toddlers to tweens, entertained during road trips. Happy travels!...

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Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet & JW Marriott, Partner for a Fairy Tale Cinderella Performance

Looking for the perfect night out with your little prince or princess? Attending a classical ballet can be an elegant and family-friendly cultural experience. Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet is a world-renowned ballet company that performs several kid-friendly ballets each year, besides the perennial holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. The Joffrey’s found a great dance partner in the JW Marriott Chicago, a hotel that’s paired up with the dance troupe to offer guests special experiences throughout the year. When classics like The Nutcracker and Swan Lake are performed by world-class companies, they come with dazzling costumes, spectacular sets, and traditional scores, often...

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Tips for Finding First-Rate Dog Boarding While You’re on Vacation

  If you’re a dog lover and owner, like me, you know the added challenges pet ownership can throw into any vacation plans. A growing number of hotels across the U.S. are catering to canines, offering everything from welcome goodie bags to enclosed dog runs. Some even have staff that will walk your dog while you’re out. But if it’s not possible to bring your dog along on vacation, here are a few tips on how to find first-rate care for your canine. It can be tough leaving your pet behind when you vacation. The preferred option for many...

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