Road Trip, Fun Tourist Traps

a road trip to Hartwick Pines, Michigan

Last week I let you know how we traveled in the car as a family while the boys were young (Planning Family Vacations).  I mentioned giving the guys a chance to stop at some of those “amazing” stops along the roadway. If there are certain stops you know you just can’t handle, then be prepared to cover the eyes of the kids who can read the abundance of road signs that advertise them. Be ready to distract and then be firm about your “No.”  But remember that your trip is a family vacation so the kids need to have some input into what they get to see. When that happens they will be so excited to read every one of those obnoxious road signs (hurray for reading)!
Here are a few of the ones where we’ve stopped over the years!!

We had so much fun visiting different “stories”. Kids loved it!

We camped at Houghton Lake  and Higgins Lake in Michigan often. Zubler’s is an amazing touristy shop in Prudenville outside the camp area where kids can browse for hours and pick up such delightful things as tomahawks, slingshots, carved wooden anythings, moccasins, ….seriously, almost anything you can think of…so be prepared to limit spending and/or number of items allowed :)  More on allowances in the future!

The boys loved visiting the Deer Camp where they could see and feed the deer. Looks like Scott wasn’t sure about that deer licking his fingers!!

Do you have a Mystery Spot in your area? They really are fun…based on gravity and difference in perception. Chad was having fun being almost as tall as Dad!

This was a maze built in the forest…with paths formed by ropes! It was actually a little scarier than we thought it would be. Chad and Scott had to stay together and keep within our sight so that we wouldn’t freak out. Keep in mind that we were the overprotective types…and proud of it :)

While traveling in the West, we went to Four Corners…the spot where four states actually touch. The ‘spot’ is on Native American land, so you pay a fee to enter and then there are several little shops if you want to go to them also. We mostly liked the photo opportunity!

Here is Chad riding the ‘jackalope’ at Wall Drugs…you must have seen the signs for Wall Drugs if you travel anywhere in the western half of the country! It is easy to spend hours here if you do go, so plan on it. There are stores within stores, cafeterias, things for kids to sit on, lots of cool and silly things to purchase…so don’t plan on a quick visit, unless you’re ready for sad faces!

The guys of the family decided they would pan for gold! Is it a tourist trap…oh, yes! But did everyone have fun? Absolutely!

I hope this encourages you to at least think about stopping now and then just to have fun with your kids. Add a day of travel time if you need to, to make sure the stress of travel with your family can be relieved with silliness and giggles!

Happy Parenting!
D and C

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  1. I'm Jennifer. says:

    Wow, what great pictures! Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. I'm glad I found yours – I could really use some tips from teachers to better handle my 6YO and his issues with school. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. Also following now via GFC!

  2. Tracy says:

    Hi Diane and Chad!
    These pictures are great! We are trying to create and document family trips so that we can look back on all the fun memories. My kids look through our photo albums everyday and remember the fun times. It sounds like you had fun on trips! Your panning for gold pictures remind me of the trips we have taken to NC mountains and went to gem mine and our kids got to find their own gems. They loved it! Well worth the expense :)
    I'm now following you on GFC! Hope to "see" you in blog world again :)

  3. Smart Ass Sara says:

    I love, love, LOVE tourist traps! My husband hates them but seriously- you say you have the world's largest turkey and I'm there.

  4. Diane and Chad says:

    Thanks, Jennifer and Tracy for following this lovely reminder of the past!!

    Sara, when you find that turkey…let me know, sounds like fun :)

  5. Mass Hole Mommy says:

    We've gone to Storyland every year for the past five years and this year will be no exception. Ugh.

  6. Katrina @ They All Call Me Mom says:

    Hello! Thank you for stopping by my blog today :) This looks like such a wonderful family trip! We live in CA and there is a place called Knott's Berry Farm not too far from us, and they had a "Ghost Town" of sorts that had something just like the Mystery Spot in your photo. I don't know if they still have it, but water would run upside down, and a broom would stand alone when tilted a certain way. It reminds me very much of the Mystery Spot. Fun stuff!

  7. Little Bitty Things says:

    Thanks for the follow on my blog…following you back now. I love family trips like these – they're my favorite kind!

  8. Lisa says:

    Oh how fun! Gotta love those tourist traps! LOL Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am following you back! Have a great weekend!

  9. Mommy Head says:

    Awesome pictures! Thanks for the follow. Stoppin by to return the favor

  10. tgmore1 says:

    Cool places everywhere. We panned for gold too…but never went to Wall Drugs. Its on our bucket list now. Love ya, Tom

  11. Uyen says:

    wow, those are some neat places. Must be super fun for your boys. Thank you for following me, I'm following you back! have a great weekend!

  12. AmberFaith says:

    Newest follower from the Boost My Blog Friday hop! Would love for you to stop by and follow back! Have a great day! (:


  13. Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas says:

    so many wonderful memories! We are planning our first family road trip for this summer! I am excited about it!

    thanks for stopping by my blog! We are following along with you as well & hope to see you back in our neck of the woods soon!


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