Jamie Bartosch, Suburban TravelingMom

Jamie Bartosch, Suburban TravelingMom

Jamie Bartosch is an award-winning newspaper reporter 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 and money, and to make the most of their family vacation. A married mother of two, Jamie grew up in suburban Chicago, lived in the city for 16 years, and then moved back out to the suburbs to raise her kids. She writes as Suburban TravelingMom. Learn more about her at www.JamieBartosch.com


Is Blizzard Beach Water Park Worth a Day Out of Disney World Parks?

After numerous trips to Disney World spent in the parks, this Traveling Mom  takes a detour to Blizzard Beach Water Park. The Disney Magic impressed this regular water park visitor. She outlines the pros (and a few cons) of choosing to spend a day roaring down water slides and floating in a lazy river when she and her family could have been spending another day in the theme parks. Blizzard Beach is one of two water parks on the Walt Disney World property. But in all the years we’ve been coming to Disney, my family has ignored these places....

Read More

Food Network Star Jeff Mauro Talks about His Adventures as a Traveling Dad

He may be a Food Network star, but Jeff Mauro is also a traveling dad. He recently shared with us some of his stories about New Jersey road trips,  the time his son got sick on a plane, his hopes of traveling to Australia one day, plus details on a few cool new things he’s working on. Food Network Star Jeff Mauro Talks about His Adventures as a Traveling Dad TravelingMom.com founder Kim Orlando always jokes – somewhat seriously – that every parent who travels has a puking story. Food Network star Jeff Mauro does. But he mostly has...

Read More

10 Things to do with Kids in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa is a stunningly beautiful city. Besides its scenic mountains and gorgeous beaches (including one that’s filled with penguins), the city has incredible, fun, can’t-do-anywhere-else-in-the-world activities for families. Suburban TravelingMom offers these 10 great things to do with kids in Cape Town, South Africa. Things to do with kids in Cape Town, South Africa South Africa is the most incredible place I’ve ever visited. The culture, the people, the history, the natural beauty and, of course, the animals, make it a bucket list destination. If you’re traveling to South Africa for a safari, Cape Town makes an excellent first stop. It’s also a good place for Americans to get acclimated to Africa. After my first day in Cape Town, I remember thinking to myself, “It doesn’t really feel I’m in like Africa.” That’s because we were staying in a touristy area called the V&A Waterfront. After a 31-hour trip from Chicago, we spent our first day lounging around our hotel, Sun International (a lovely hotel which I highly recommend).  The area was filled with Westernized malls, restaurants, shopping and a food court with familiar fast food chains.  I remember feeling a little disappointed. That all changed once we ventured away from the V&A Waterfront. We found Cape Town to be a gorgeous, fascinating and very African city to explore. We visited in July 2016 (winter in...

Read More

Will Little Kids Remember Big Vacations?

Will little kids remember big vacations? Probably not. And that’s OK. Just remember the story an 11-year-old girl told Oprah after she’d traveled the world with her dying mother. She said her favorite moments were not visiting the big places, like Disney or the Eiffel Tower. It was eating Cheerios together at 2 a.m. on the back porch. Will Little Kids Remember? A question asked often when considering a family vacation: “Will little kids remember?” What exactly do they remember? What do they forget?  Is there a golden age when children start banking memories in their little minds? What...

Read More

Family Road Trip Snacks: Those Awesome Highway Convenience Stores

Driving on a long, boring stretch of highway with the family? How about a sinfully tasty family road trip snacks detour? Nothing perks up the family like a sugar stop at one of those giant, awesome, off-the-exit convenience stores/gas stations. There are some impressive ones along the U.S. highways, where you can fill up on gas, junk food, souvenirs and local specialties. Family road trip snacks detour: those awesome highway convenience stores My family gets unusually excited about snacks. After driving for hours with nothing but mile after mile of farmland, those large off-the-interstate convenience stores and gas stations...

Read More

7 Best Kid-Friendly Features of The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most famous art museums in the world. It’s also one of Chicago’s most popular attractions. Now, it offers free admission to kids age 13 and under. That savings is just one reason to visit (or revisit!) this Chicago landmark. 7 Best Features of the Art Institute for Entertaining Kids 1. Thorne Miniature Rooms 2. The contemporary and modern art exhibits 3. The Marc Chagall windows 4. Create your own custom tour, and map 5. Take a selfie with the famous lions 6. The museum’s art workshops 7. The Elizabeth Morse Touch...

Read More

South Africa: an Unforgettable Multi-Generation Family Vacation

Maybe you’re looking to check “African safari” off your bucket list. Maybe you want a big trip to celebrate a milestone. Or maybe, like this writer, you’re traveling with a parent who’s had health struggles lately and wants to take one more big, memorable trip while she’s still physically able. See why Suburban TravelingMom says “Go to South Africa!” and lists 7 awesome things to do while you’re there. Why South Africa Is Worth the Money South Africa is a phenomenal vacation, but let me be honest with you, getting there is expensive. The flights are pricey and long....

Read More

Stylish yet Family Friendly: Radisson Blu Mall of America

Condé Nast recently named the Radisson Blu Mall of America one of the best hotels in the Midwest. After spending a weekend in this stylish, family-friendly hotel, I can see why.  The main attraction is convenience – the hotel is attached to the mall. But what wins you over is the cool decor, the comfy rooms, and the friendly service. Convenience & Style at Radisson Blu Mall of America Mall of America is a huge shopping mall, amusement park and entertainment complex in Bloomington, MN. So, like Disney World, it’s convenient – and ideal – to stay “on property.”...

Read More

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

To my family, Mall of America is like the Midwest’s Disney World. My kids go out-of-their minds with excitement for MOA’s rides, attractions, stores, and food court. With all of the new stuff they’ve added in recent years, a weekend in this suburban Minneapolis Xanadu is barely enough time to do it all. What’s New at Mall of America If you’re like me, and haven’t been to Mall of America in a few years, 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...

Read More

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 30th 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. 24-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, or go...

Read More

MultiGen Survey

Twitter Parties

Instagram Photos #TMOM