Here’s Why You Should Travel by Car This Thanksgiving

thansgiving travel

thansgiving travel

You’ve heard that the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, right? Well, it turns out that is a myth. Troy Green of AAA told NPR there are five to 10 days over the summer that are even busier. That’s not to say that Thanksgiving travel is a breeze; 66 percent of Americans plan to travel by car this Thanksgiving, according to Skyscanner, a flight, hotel and car hire search engine. And the U.S Department of Transportation reports that during the six-day Thanksgiving travel period, 91 percent of long-distance trips are made by personal vehicle. Traveling by car is the best way to avoid exorbitant flight fares and holiday crowds. Still not convinced? We’ve listed the best reasons to travel by car this Thanksgiving:

You Get to Call the Shots

When your Uncle Harold is telling about his cat for the 100th time, you’ll probably be eager for an escape plan. Traveling by car gives you the means to make a quick getaway. In all seriousness, this way you aren’t tied to a flight plan. And for those self-proclaimed procrastinators out there, driving might be your only option if you left buying plane tickets for the last minute.

[Read more...]

Toyota Venza: Smart and Stylish

2014 toyota venza

2014 toyota venzaLet’s get the disclosure stuff out of the way up front. Toyota gave me the use of a 2014 Venza—how else am I supposed to do an honest review? No, they didn’t pay me, and yes, all the opinions are mine.

The Toyota Venza is a crossover, meaning that it’s smaller than an SUV but bigger than a station wagon. But on the inside, it still feels like an SUV—and I mean that in the nicest way possible. It’s roomy and comfortable, the roof is high enough to accommodate fairly tall people, and it has all sorts of cargo-schlepping space–30.7 cubic feet, to be exact; more than double that when you fold down both sides of the 60/40 split rear seat.
It has the high ride of an SUV, which allows for plenty of visibility, but the ride is smooth and it handles the tight turns in the Bay Area hills like a car.
[Read more...]

About

Parents@Play is distributed by McClatchy (now part of Tribune Content Agency), one of the largest non-news syndicators in the world, to 1,200 media and digital information publishers in 50 countries. Here are just a few of the outlets that have run our column.

  • Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • Baltimore Sun
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Denver Post
  • Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
  • Google News
  • Hartford Courant
  • Idaho Statesman
  • Kansas City Star, MO
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Lexington Herald Leader
  • Miami Herald
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Oman Tribune
  • Orlando Sentinel
  • Sacramento Bee
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • Seattle Times
  • Star Telegram
  • Tampa Tribune
  • The Star Ledger
  • Toronto Star
  • Yahoo! News

Understanding Worrisome Childhood Behavior


Bonny Forrest, author of Will My Kid Grow Out of It?
Topic:
A child psychologist’s guide to understanding worrisome behavior.
Issues: Common concerns and possible diagnoses; even babies get the blues; does my child have autism spectrum disorder? Does my child have ADHD? Sad or clinically depressed? Eating disorders; when to get help and whom to turn to.

Parenting in the Present Moment + Will My Kid Grow Out of It?

11/21/14

Carla Naumburg, author of Parenting in the Present Moment.
Topic:
How to stay focused on what really matters.
Issues: What truly matters in parenting (connecting with our children, staying grounded amidst the craziness of life; and being as present as possible); using mindfulness to create a solid foundation for any style of parenting.


Bonny Forrest, author of Will My Kid Grow Out of It?
Topic:
A child psychologist’s guide to understanding worrisome behavior.
Issues: Common concerns and possible diagnoses; even babies get the blues; does my child have autism spectrum disorder? Does my child have ADHD? Sad or clinically depressed? Eating disorders; when to get help and whom to turn to.

Loveable Characters

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and chances are, you probably haven’t bought your turkey yet. But we’ll bet you’re already on the lookout for Holiday presents for everyone on your lists. Here are some fun options that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

rilakkumaRilakkuma (Aliquantum)
We know, we know, it sounds like something from Pippi Longstocking (who lived in Villa Villekulla), but Rilakkuma is the latest in a long line of adorable, collectable characters from Japan to have finally made it to the U.S. If your kids (or you) are into anime, all things Japanese, or simply cute plush toys, this one should be on your list. Some people have called Rilakkuma a “mysterious brand,” which is odd, considering that he’s been quite popular in their homeland for more than a decade. Here’s the backstory: Rilakkuma (a bear) and his friends Korilakkuma (another bear) and Kiiroitori (a chick) appeared out of nowhere in the Tokyo apartment of a hard-working woman named Kaoru. The three friends—each with a different personality—go on adventures and make mischief while Kaoru is at the office. All three are soft and sweet for little kids to cuddle with, plus Rilakkuma has a secret zipper pocket in his back for hiding small treasures. But, anime and Japanese crossovers are popular with plenty of tweens and teens too. Available at FAO Schwarz and Hot Topic, from $8.99 to $199.99.

snoopySnoopy, Charlie Brown, and many, many more figures (Schleich)
Schleich makes a dizzying array of realistic figurines and toys, including animals (from chicks and frogs to whales), mythological creatures (including elves, dragons, unicorns, and Medusa), and your favorite cartoon characters. Some of the most popular items are the riding sets and Peanuts. The riding sets come with a harness, saddle, rider, and a horse, of course. The Peanuts characters—Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang—come individually or in “scenery packs,” which include several characters and scenes from the comic strip featuring those characters. Definitely not your average plastic toys, Schleich figures are high quality, solid, and beautifully hand painted with amazing detail. Collectors will love Schleich, as will kids ages 3 and up. The figures come individually or in beautiful sets with buildings, vehicles, and other accessories. Prices vary widely, depending on the size of the figure and the size of the kit, so check the site. http://www.schleich-s.com/en/US/

rumble fistsRumble Fists and WWE John Cena Spar Bag (Tech 4 Kids)
Playing with gorgeous collectible toys is great, but after a few days cooped up in the house, the kids are going to be climbing the walls (and you won’t be far behind). Tech 4 Kids’ Rumble Fists and WWE Spar Bag are perfect for making playtime more active. Rumble Fists are giant WWE-themed “gloves” that fit over kids’ hands and make noise (a punching sound and adoring fans cheering) when they touch anything. Kids can choose from John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, or the Rock. Rumble Fists are squishy so they won’t do much damage, but you should have some safety rules in place.

spar bagRumble Fists go perfectly with the WWE John Cena Spar Bag. It’s about three feet (or a meter) high and has a full-figure image of John Cena in mid-punch. Inflate it, fill the bottom with water, and flail away. The heavy base makes it pop right back up after every smack. It’s a great way to work up a sweat, and it’ll give kids bigger kids an alternative to tormenting younger siblings. Rumble Fists are $24.99, the Spar Bag is $9.99. Available at your favorite retailer or http://www.tech4kids.com/