Jamie Bartosch, Suburban TravelingMom

Jamie Bartosch, Suburban TravelingMom

Jamie Bartosch is an award-winning journalist in suburban Chicago. She loves to travel, and blogs for TravelingMom.com from the viewpoint of a "typical suburban mom." Her goal is to provide honest, useful information to help families save time, save money, and make the most of their family vacation. A married mother of two, Jamie grew up in the Chicago suburbs, lived in the city for 16 years, and is now back in the suburbs raising her two kids. Learn more about her at www.JamieBartosch.com


What’s New (and Fun!) at Mall of America

Mall of America is like the Midwest’s Disney World. Kids go out-of-their minds with excitement for MOA’s rides, attractions, stores, and food. With all of the new stuff they’ve added in recent years, this suburban Minneapolis destination just keeps getting better. It’s a must-see destination. Here’s why. What’s New at Mall of America If you’re like me, and haven’t been to Mall of America in a while, it’s time to get yourself back to Minneapolis (actually, it’s in suburban Bloomington, Minnesota). What makes MOA like no other mall in the world is its giant indoor amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe....

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2-Day Itinerary in St. Louis – 8 Fun Things to Do with Kids

  St. Louis has so many fun things to do with kids. But if you’ve got only two days, our Suburban TravelingMom has compiled an itinerary with eight awesome things for families with tweens and teens to do. You might have to make some tough choices for the sake of time: Arch or zoo? Museum or cave? Frozen custard or ice cream? No matter what you pick, it’s gonna be fun.   Two Days in St. Louis, Missouri My family visits St. Louis a lot, and even though we’re usually only there for two days, we pack in a...

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What You Can Expect on a 3-Day Volunteer Trip

  Can you do a 3-day volunteer trip? Yes, you can. And you should. It will feed your soul in a way that no other vacation can. Plus, you can bring your high school-aged children if you want. A good place to start is with a trip to Houston or Puerto Rico. Even though they were slammed by hurricanes last summer, both places have thousands of people and many charities who still need help. Our 3-day Volunteer Trip Volunteer trips always appealed to me, but most require at least a one-week commitment – more time than I had to...

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7 Ways to Save Money on a Family Vacation to Mexico

A family vacation in Mexico can be pricey, but there are many ways to save money and not blow your budget. Compared to other Caribbean destinations, Mexico is a good value. So if you’re looking for an affordable and tropical spring break trip, Mexico’s beautiful beaches, rich history, and an interesting culture should be on your radar. Here are seven ways to save money during a family vacation in Mexico. A Mexico Family Vacation on a Budget We didn’t have much money in the budget for a beach vacation this winter. If we were going to go, we were...

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The new Sports Legends Experience, plus 6 More Fun Things to do in Indianapolis with Kids Who Love Sports

Kids who love sports will love Indianapolis – a city full of fun, sports-related things to do, including the new Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience. Our Suburban TravelingMom got a sneak peek (it doesn’t open until mid-March 2018), and she says kids and families are gonna love it. Sports Legends Experience in Indianapolis The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is already one of the best children’s museums in the country. Now they’re going next-level. Alongside their building, they’re opening a $38.5 million, 7.5-acre family sports play area called the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience. It’s a really cool concept. Sorta like...

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Thailand with Kids and Families – 9 Not-To-Be-Missed Experiences

Families visiting Thailand with kids will experience an exotic, beautiful country and a fascinating culture. From riding elephants to trying out Buddhist customs, you will remember your time in Thailand for the rest of your life. It’s a spectacular destination for families with teens and multi-generational groups. Families who visit Thailand with their kids will have the experience of a lifetime. During our visit last summer (when it is crazy hot and humid), my 14-year-old daughter, my younger sister, and 76-year-old mom (girls’ trip!) had a truly extraordinary multi-generation vacation. I wouldn’t recommend it for young kids, but definitely...

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7 Reasons Why Kansas City, Missouri is a Fun Multi-Generation Vacation Destination

Kansas City, Missouri is everything you want in a multi-generation vacation destination.  It’s easy to get to. There are a wide range of fun things to do. It’s easy to get around and navigate. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s budget-friendly. One grandma, two moms, and four kids, ages 7-13, recently spent a long weekend in Kansas City, Missouri,  and every generation in our multi-generation group gave the city a big thumbs up. It’s a perfect blend of hipster and historic, and exudes both big and small town charm. But the main reason Kansas City is a great multi-generation vacation...

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Where to See the Best Holiday Lights Displays in the Midwest

Folks in the Midwest take their holiday lights displays seriously. Many of the more impressive illuminations across the region are family traditions. From Illinois to Ohio, Wisconsin to South Dakota, Michigan to Missouri, here are the best Midwest holiday lights displays to see this year. Illinois East Peoria: Following its 31st annual Parade of Lights Nov. 21, the Winter Wonderland drive-through light display opens for the season. Follow along with the guided radio tour. Nov. 23-Dec. 31 Alton: More than 3 million lights adorn the trees in Rock Spring Park for “Christmas Wonderland.” Visit with Santa in the enchanted forest,...

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Best Family Holiday Events in Chicago 2017 – Your Essential Guide

Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time in the city … and that means fun, holiday events in Chicago with the family. Millennium Park is the epicenter. Families can ice skate with Santa, listen to choirs sing international Christmas songs, dance along to “The Nutcracker,” or watch the annual tree lighting. Best of all, almost all of it is free! Read our Chicago holiday guide for families, and join in on the Chicago holiday traditions. Holidays events in Chicago 2017 Shopping and shows, skating and singing…Chicago does the holidays up right. There is SO MUCH for families to do...

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4 Reasons to Take the Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour

Chicago has tours centered on food, gangsters, art, neighborhoods and more. One of the best tours? The Chicago Architectural Foundation’s boat tour. It’s not a boring lecture about architecture. It’s a beautiful slow boat ride through downtown Chicago, past the city’s iconic buildings. The tour teaches you about history, politics, business, art and, yes, architecture. Plus, you’ll find Instagram-worthy photo ops at every turn. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers 90 different tours in Chicago – ninety! – on foot, train, bus, boat or trolley. They cover everything from general skyline tours to niche interests, like Tiffany glass or the...

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