Weekly family rail, with tips on outdoor fun, reviews of previous “Alice in Wonderland” content and more.


 

Tip of the Week

As your children grow older, it can be difficult finding fun family vacations for everyone to enjoy together. Here are some tips to get out and have a pleasurable family vacation:


- Go camping. Find a campground near scenic hiking trails, cool and refreshing lakes, or even extended ATV trails. This is a fantastic trip idea for the entire family, especially if each of you has different ideas about what you want to do on your vacation. For example, you can do some bird watching while your son attempts to cast for dinner. And your spouse might enjoy reading a book in a hammock strung between two trees while your daughter chases fish through the lake using her snorkel and fins.


- Travel back in time. Turn the vacation into a history learning experience by exploring the Old West, walking the streets of America's founding cities or designing a road trip along the Mississippi River and popping into the small river towns teeming with river history. Educational vacations don't have to be boring - many communities in historical settings offer live recreations of the event or events, and if your children happen to be studying that era in school, it's an even better experience.


- Take an off-road trip in the wide-open spaces. ATV and side-by-side trails allow your family to travel great distances off the main roads, giving you the opportunity to see new geography and potentially different wildlife that you wouldn't be able to see from your car on the highway.


- Visit one or several of the national parks stretching from coast to coast. You can take in the Atlantic Ocean from the cliffs of Maine in Acadia National Park, rare and endangered species in the waters of Everglades National Park, pretend you're part of the explorers following the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail that stretches through 11 states over mountains, through rivers, across prairies and all the way to the Pacific coast, or admire the architecture of more than 600 cliff dwellings built by the Ancestral Puebloans in Mesa Verde National Park. That's just to name a few of the hundreds of parks you can explore.


- Organize an extended scenic drive. Plan a trip around one of the Great Lakes or through a mountain range or even across the expanse of a desert. Research some of the small towns along the route for new and interesting things to see. Try out new restaurants and ask the locals what some of the more popular dishes are. If you are on your trip during the harvest time, stop by a roadside stand and make a picnic or a tailgate party out of the fresh produce that's available.


- ARA


Family Screening Room


The new “Alice in Wonderland” film is coming out the first week of March, so why not get in the spirit by watching the classic 1951 animated tale from Disney? Here’s a quick look at it:


“Alice in Wonderland”


Rated: G


Length: 75 minutes


Synopsis: This classic version came out in 1951 and combines aspects of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass.” Kathryn Beaumont voices Alice in this take, and the movie has been delighting audiences for decades.


Violence/scary rating: 2.5


Sexual-content rating: 1


Profanity rating: 1


Drugs/alcohol rating: 2


Family Time rating: 2.5. This is a family-friendly film through and through, but there are some scary/weird parts that might frighten really young children.


(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)


Book Report


“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass,” by Lewis Carroll


Pages: 286


Synopsis: Alice begins her adventures when she follows the frantically delayed White Rabbit down a hole into the magical world of Wonderland, where she meets a variety of wonderful creatures, including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat, the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts — who, with the help of her enchanted deck of playing cards, tricks Alice into playing a bizarre game of croquet. Alice continues her adventures in “Through the Looking-Glass,” which is loosely based on a game of chess and includes Carroll’s famous poem “Jabberwocky.” Throughout her fantastic journeys, Alice retains her reason, humor and sense of justice.


Did You Know


The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for hot dogs and candy to be redesigned so that they’re less of choking hazards.


GateHouse News Service