Amanda Williams, Rural TravelingMom

Amanda Williams, Rural TravelingMom

Amanda Williams is a self-proclaimed bird-nerd and mother to two high energy sons. She has worked as a wildlife biologist, wildland firefighter, and environmental educator, so she has a lot of outdoors experience to share--but those jobs pale in comparison to the adventure of being MOM! You can find her writing as a freelancer or exploring with the family for her own site, Field Guide to Parenting Outside. More comfortable in the middle of nowhere than in a big city, most of the year they'll be at large in a loaded down SUV, wandering National Parks and frequenting festivals all over the map.

How to Make the Most of One Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you have only one day and you’re committed to seeing and doing almost everything, well, we’ve done it and we’re happy to help you enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While other Traveling Moms love Epcot or Magic Kingdom, this is my family’s go-to park and our favorite for many reasons. Once considered a “half day park” by some, Animal Kingdom has really begun to blossom. If you have just one day, we’ll show you a touring plan to spend each hour best! Animal Kingdom in One Perfect Day Many people scoff at Animal Kingdom, claiming it is a “half...

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11 Best Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy Dads

TravelingMoms like to get out and get active – with their TravelingDad companions! Gifting outdoor and active travel gear can be a great way to keep the adventures rolling! The writers and editors who have these men in their lives have convened to create this list of the best Father’s Day gift ideas for outdoorsy dads for inspiration to you. This list isn’t your typical ties and golf tees suggestive, but rather a compendium of quirky, functional and fun gift ideas for manly men. Father’s Day Gift Ideas … That Don’t Suck Dads are pretty rad. Often times if...

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7 Remarkable Small Towns in Minnesota to Visit

Sure, Minneapolis is a trendy hipster town we all love. St. Paul is where you go for a hockey game or to grab gourmet cuisine. However, sometimes even the most die-hard metropolitan-goer needs a break from the big city lights and sounds. Small towns in Minnesota astound visitors with unexpected favorites in dining, deals, even dragon boats! Our Rural TravelingMom guides you through some travel-worthy towns under 2,000 in population here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Best Small Towns in Minnesota Await Traffic weary and ready for a break from the hustle and bustle? Sure, Minneapolis-St. Paul,...

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Planning Your First Trip to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival with Kids

  The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is an eclectic annual gathering of some of the most magical, mystical, and just plain peculiar folks you may ever see in one place. It’s also the home of mead, mermaids, and marauding Vikings. If you’re a skeptic, I challenge you to grab tickets and go this season. A surprisingly family-friendly experience awaits! Here’s a down and dirty guide to enjoying your visit as a first-timer! Huzzah! Is a jaunt over to the nearest gathering of pirates, vikings, mermaids and mythical creatures for you? You might be having some doubts. If you can commit...

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How to Spend 48 Hours in St. Paul, Minnesota

  While Minneapolis, MN is often the attention grabbing “other half” of the Twin Cities, St. Paul is much more than just the seat of the state capitol. If you’re in town for a weekend or even an extended layover, explore the adventures that abound in the city on the other side of the river! St. Paul has it all when it comes to family fun; here’s how to make the most of a brief stay. There are a host of things to do while spending 48 hours in St. Paul. You can visit museums, hit the riverfront, and...

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Best Last-Minute Gifts for Active and Outdoorsy Travelers

TravelingMoms like to get out and get active – solo and with our families. Having outdoor gear to support our active travel style is essential. The writers and editors who sweat, scramble, swim and ski while on vacation have convened to create this list of the best outdoor gear for active family travelers. And we’re also a group likely to be out adventuring instead of hitting the mall. If you’ve been procrastinating procuring gifts for active travelers in favor of powder days and clear starry nights, we’ve got you covered! These are items always present in our backpacks and...

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What YOU Can Do While Traveling to Wildfire Regions

Planning vacations around wildfires. It’s officially a thing. If you’re from California or maybe Idaho, you’re used to fire as a part of life. Montana, Oregon and Washington are being hit particularly hard as well this year.  (Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all of the brave men and women fighting the blazes right now.) And we remember the headlines from last year about Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  There’s always a chance you’ll be in an area when a fire starts or had planned to pass through where fires are burning. This former firefighter tells you what you need to...

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Restaurant Review: Buffalo Phil’s – Wisconsin Dells

If you’re visiting Lake Delton, Wisconsin, you’re probably in town to have a wild time at one of many area indoor and outdoor waterparks. The area at large is better known collectively as “the Wisconsin Dells.” There is a ton of fun to be had, but eventually, you’ll need to feed the troops – even those youngsters with a one track mind on splashing good times. Where should you look? Search no further than Buffalo Phil’s. What got our attention was the fun train and western theme for our kids. Turns out, Buffalo Phil’s is just the ticket for the whole family while...

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Experience La Pura Vida Discovery Channel Style

 A new eco-themed park in Costa Rica? First, we all have to ask the obvious question—will there be velociraptors running around?! Many friends living in Costa Rica are happy with this announcement, hoping for the economy to improve, bringing more jobs to the area. But, just as Jurassic Park wasn’t the best of ideas, is this wise? Here’s what we think. If you’ve  ever wondered what it would be like for the thrills of the discovery channel to life with the gorgeous splendor of the natural environment in the tropical rain forest, then you’ll be excited to know about this...

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Packing a Capsule Wardrobe for Carry-on Travel

Figuring out how to pack your life into your carry-on is a game changer for easy, minimalist travel. The trendy “capsule wardrobe” has been in the headlines of popular blogs and even an intriguing documentary in the last year or so. Here, you’ll find out how key items, packing aids, and a few accessories and short-cuts can make big fun out of a small bag on your next holiday, no matter how long or short your trip. Carry-on Capsule Wardrobe Rules If you don’t love it, don’t pack it. No more than three pairs of shoes. Choose a color scheme You...

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