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Book Now: Family Dinners with Mario Batali's Chefs at New York Botanical Gardens

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Chef Andy Nusser of Tarry Lodge, and host of first Family Dinner on July 15.

Most New Yorkers would be happy to dine at one of Mario Batali's famous restaurants. And though Batali's dishes, like a 100-layer lasagne, are delicious to most palates, a white-tablecloth restaurant like Del Posto might not be the ideal place to take your six-year-old. Enter Family Dinners with Mario Batali's Chefs, a highlight of the The Edible Garden at The New York Botanical Garden. Geared for kids aged 4-12, this nearly 3 hour event includes hands-on gardening and craft activities, live cooking demonstrations by Mario's top chefs, and of course, hearty tastings of all the delicious creations. Four events are currently scheduled (July 15, July 26, August 2, and August 12). Tickets: $60 for adults and $30 for children at PRICELESSNY.com

Corinne White is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure. 

Photo courtesy of Ivo Vermeulen and The New York Botanical Garden 

 

TODAY Show: Family Travel Tips for Summer

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Traveling with kids doesn’t always feel like a vacation, but these tips for summer flights and road trips will make things easier for your family.

Plane Travel

When/What To Book: To pick the best seats for your family consult a site like SeatGuru.com. Planes will be more full this summer than before, so book your flight early—six weeks or more is a good rule of thumb—to improve your odds of getting seats together. If you use social media, follow @airfarewatchdog and @smartertravel on Twitter to learn about last-minute deals. Both carefully vet price drops and unadvertised sales. As for flying, Saturday mornings at airports are more quiet and flights can often be cheaper. Plus, the first flight out in the morning usually takes off on time.

Related: America's Best and Worst Airports

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'Cars Land' Starts its Engines at Disney California Adventure Park

201206-b-cars-land-disneyjpgUSA Today Travel | The centerpiece of Disney California Adventure Park's five-year, $1.1 billion tune-up is off to the races with thumbs-up reviews—but would-be visitors to the Anaheim park's new 12-acre theme land can expect a traffic jam of fellow admirers over the next few weeks.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the next two weekends are likely to be particularly crowded when up to a million annual passholders join regular park visitors at Cars Land before a summer blackout for the passes begins, and says Disney California Adventure could be forced to shut its gates and direct fans to its neighboring big sister, Disneyland.

Disneyland had to turn away visitors for several hours when crowds overwhelmed the park during a recent 24-hour Leap Day event, the paper notes. (Photo credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

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8 Gadgets to Keep Kids Busy While Traveling

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

More than 34 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home this Memorial Day weekend—and most are be driving. Pack these eight gadgets to keep your kids entertained while you’re on the go. 

Travel Kiddy Kids Travel Journal: Ages 5+
Older kids can personally document their journey with this customizable journal. With pages for maps, favorite places, daily activities, and favorite events kids can create their own unique souvenir of their adventure. $10
Travelkiddy.com


> Related: America’s Best Family Hotels

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United Airlines Ends Coach Preboarding for Children

CNN  |  As families prepare for air travel this coming Memorial Day weekend, United Airlines won't be offering early boarding to families in coach with small children.

Joining a handful of other carriers, United made the policy shift in late April with little fanfare.

Previously, families with small children flying coach were allowed on aircraft before general boarding, a convenience for moms and dads trying to herd their kids across the friendly skies.

"We figured it would be better to simplify that process and reduce the number of boarding groups," said United spokesman Charles Hobart. The airline does allow passengers with children traveling in first class or business class to board early. ...

Kate Hanni of flyersrights.org calls the move "very anti-family."

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Mom, Are We There Yet? 135+ New Theme Park Attractions Coming This Summer

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Huffington Post  |  At least 135 new attractions are coming to America's theme parks this summer, a trade industry group says, with new roller coasters, water rides and a Legoland among the highlights.

The thrill rides and attractions will touch 24 states and more than 50 theme parks, museums and other destinations represented by the IAAPA, an industry group representing more than 4,000 members.

Disney, for its part, announced plans to expand its offerings at Disney World this spring, while over in California, Disney Land plans to open "Cars Land" in June.

Here's a small sampling of the attractions to come, and where you can check them out this summer... READ MORE.

Photo courtesy of whomanbc

Related:
Coolest New Disney Vacations
World's Strangest Theme Parks
Coolest Disney Rides
Scariest Thrill Rides on the Planet

Free Admission to all National Parks Starting Tomorrow

Attention nature lovers, the outdoor-obsessed, and fresh air freaks: This weekend marks the kick-off of National Park Week (Apr. 21-29), the one week a year (actually, it's nine days) when all of our nation's 397 parks open their gates to the public and admission is free. Yes, free! How will you explore 84 million pristine acres?

Mommy Bloggers Name Favorite Family Spring Break Spots

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There’s no arguing mommy bloggers are the reigning queens of the blogosphere. Between sharing their personal roller-coaster rides of daily family life, many also like to travel—far far away it turns out. We asked some of our favorites mom bloggers to tell us where they like to decamp with their families this time of year—and keep their sanity:

PUERTO RICO

I love Puerto Rico.  It's close enough to home but exotic enough to feel like it's the other side of the world.

—Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. Tagline: “Like Mother Teresa, Only Better.” Lawson also co-authors the Houston Chronicle’s Good Mom/Bad Mom, and her book "Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A (Mostly) True Memoir," about her charming if bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, debuted earlier this year. Follow her @TheBloggess.



LONDON and PARIS

We usually head to Europe at Spring Break—although the weather can be iffy, Springtime isn't too hot and it's not as crowded as it is in the summer. Last year we went to London and Paris.

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5 High-Tech Ways to Make Travel Fun for Your Family

Modern Parent's Guide cover

Look around on your next vacation, and you’ll notice something striking: From kids to parents and working professionals, nearly everybody’s got their head buried in an iPad or cell phone screen. Given the rise of smartphones, apps, tablet PCs and mobile devices, technology has become intrinsically linked with today’s travel experience. Happily for families, here’s why it’s the best thing to happen to cross-country voyages since noise-canceling headphones… and how to squeeze more fun out of it than your average in-flight magazine.

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Book Now! T+L Trip of the Month - Exploring Alaska with Black Tomato

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Travel + Leisure's March Trip of the Month is an adventure in the far north with U.S.- and U.K.-based tour operator Black Tomato. In association with Travel + Leisure Elite Traveler, our travel club for deals on hotels, cruises, and more, the Trip of the Month offers T+L readers exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime itineraries from the world’s top tour operators.

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