Take A City Tour
Fall is a great time to tour major cities. The summer crowds of tourists are gone, weekend hotel prices are generally low, and there's so much to see and do.
Washington, D.C. has so much to offer the autumn weekend vacationer. Visit all of Washington's free museums, such as the Smithsonian museums and the National Geographic Society, as well as the many monuments. The city has over 200 miles of trails and many families enjoy bike riding in Rock Creek Park or along the C&O Canal. Washington's many restaurants offer food from all around the world and Georgetown is a shopper's delight.
Chicago is another family favorite. Visit the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History, the home of Sue, the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. The Navy Pier, a bustling, lakefront entertainment center featuring restaurants, IMAX theater, boat tours, and 150-foot Ferris wheel, is also a big hit with the kids.
Recent surveys have rated New York City as one of the best mother/daughter getaways and it continually gets top marks as a family weekend destination as well. Head to Times Square to try to get on MTV's hit show "TRL" (Total Request Live), take in a Broadway show, go shopping on Broadway and in SoHo, see the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, and visit the Natural Museum of History, Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Children's Museum. For more information about what to do in New York City, check out the New York City Convention and Visitor Bureau Web site at www.nycvisit.com or CitySearch.
Finding a reasonably priced place to stay can be one of the most expensive parts of a city weekend getaway. If you can't find the price you're looking for, consider bidding for your accommodations or setting a price and purchasing whatever is behind Door #1. I happen to be a big fan of bidding for weekend hotel stays, since I've saved more than $250 per night using Priceline for New York City weekend getaways. Bidding sites like Priceline.com and Hotwire.com can yield huge bargains, but there are some pitfalls. If you choose to bid, you will often not know exactly what you're purchasing until you've already paid for it. For this reason, it makes sense to approach these sites very carefully. Families should be particularly careful when bidding on rooms, as the standard room offered is based on double occupancy and may not contain the bedding you require. Those who plan to purchase from Priceline.com should first visit www.biddingfortravel.com and www.betterbidding.com. These sites will help you to better understand the parameters for Priceline and Hotwire, research your options, and become an educated bidder.
To find out what's happening over the weekend in your city of choice, check out the Go City Kids site. Go Card passes can also help save you money on dozens of city attractions. Passes are available for cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego, Orlando, Miami and Los Angeles. The company's Go USA Card includes all 11 available cities and the card is good for a full year from the first day that you use the card. Both adult and children's Go Cards are available. For more information, visit the company's website at www.gocardusa.com.