St. Louis, MO: Rombachs Farm

Full of Halloween and fall spirit, the free Rombachs Farm is one of St. Louis, Missouri’s oldest and best revered pumpkin patches.  Pumpkins are everywhere, but so are haunted displays, farm animals, tractors, rides, playgrounds, and plenty of shopping and food choices making for a great half-day activity for kids.

IMG 2019 1024x768 St. Louis, MO: Rombachs Farm

Rombachs Farm in St. Louis, Missouri

Located in Chesterfield Valley, next to one of the newest outlet malls that opened within the past year, Rombachs Farm has been a mainstay in St. Louis Halloweens for generations.  It was famously flooded in 1993, with the high water mark still displayed within one of its buildings (its over our heads)!  Despite the flood and the wave of new development in the valley (when I grew up only Annie Gunn’s and Rombachs Farm were out that way), Rombachs Farm has maintained it’s family atmosphere. Continue reading

Galena Jo Daviess County Illinois: Interview With a CVB

Annually over one million tourists visit this small town of 3,500 to enjoy it’s famed skiing, golfing, shopping, dining, and a very picturesque main street.  Galena Jo Daviess County Illinois is one of TripAdvisor’s “top 10 charming small towns” and is also home to many festivals and parades, perhaps the biggest of which is the annual Halloween Parade (coming October 25, 2014) which attracts nearly 15,000 spectators.

galena 1024x509 Galena Jo Daviess County Illinois: Interview With a CVB

Galena Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)

I recently spent some time interviewing Betsy Kaage of the Galena Jo Daviess County CVB about all this Galena and what families can see, do, eat and where to stay in this gorgeous Midwestern small town: Continue reading

Madison, WI: Henry Vilas Zoo

The Henry Vilas Zoo is an unexpectedly large zoo with some of the latest zoo amenities, habitats, and activities, which really surprised me as it felt like a zoo that would be found in a much larger city than Madison, Wisconsin.  Although Madison is a gorgeous capitol city and home to the vibrant University of Wisconsin, it was it’s zoo, which is completely free, that resonated with me the most on our recent family visit.

 Madison, WI: Henry Vilas Zoo

Henry Villas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin

The Henry Vilas Zoo is one of the rare zoos in North America that are completely free (admission and parking are at no cost).  As mentioned, this is not your typical small or mid-sized city zoo, rather a zoo one would expect to find in a major city.  The Henry Vilas Zoo just recently completed a huge fundraising campaign that has resulted in many new animal habitats, with more to come.  In fact on our visit there was a massive construction project underway for what appeared to be a very, very big expansion of the zoo, including an impressive new bear habitat. Continue reading