obsessed with escape

Spring break here again. I vowed last year that this year we were going to get the heck out of Chicagoland this year. And then we punked out again. We were going to drive to Tennessee and kick around there but then the forecast wasn’t looking great so we bailed. Of course now it looks awesome there. Drat. So now I’m focusing on Summer vacation. I’m still having all the same problems. We’re on a budget, tight budget. We have no miles, no points, no one travels for work. So it’s us, the minivan and whatever hotel we can find cheap. I haven’t been on Groupon in years but now I’m obsessed. Pouring over it every night. One of those deals must be the right one for us. Everyone wants to go to the beach. I don’t know how really that’s going to play out. We’re definitely a shade family, not a full sun one. But I’m looking. The perfect non-crowded beach that’s near cool stuff – state parks, museums, hiking instead of go karts, mini golf, carnival rides. I’m sure we’re the only family in US looking for such a vacation, ha!

If anyone knows any good (cheap/family) travel blogs I’d love the link.

Somewhat ironically, we are not a very hard to entertain family. Yesterday we drove around Chicago taste testing different donuts after a stop at the Garfield Conservatory. Cheap, easy, everyone had fun.

Maple bacon

 

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Feeling warm at Garfield Conservatory

16 thoughts on “obsessed with escape

  1. Jenny says:

    I also live in the Chicagoland area. My family and I often go to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a not-too-expensive overnight. My daughter works at a school and had her spring break last week, so the two of us went to Lake Geneva and stayed at Lake Lawn lodge (where they have a pool) for just one night. We had a great time walking by the lake, eating sweets from a fudge shop, shopping, and sampling a few different restaurants. Lakelawn had a special going for $99.00 a night with a $20.00 resort credit, but you have to mention the special to the reservation agent.

  2. Melanie says:

    We also did not get out of here for spring break… Swore after this nasty winter that I would drive to the inlaws winter retreat… Didn’t happen of course, because we are also on a budget.
    We are going camping this summer, at least once a month we hope, twice if were thrifty. We have a camper. It makes for a nice getaway, even when you don’t necessarily go far.
    You might like the devils lake camping in Wisconsin. We haven’t been to that one, but everyone seems to love it, and it has hiking, and I think lake swimming. If you like to camp.
    I bet you would enjoy gatlinburg, lots of tourist things, but many are science, history, or nature, like museums, aquariums, and scenic driving tours.
    Sheboygan, wi is nice, and there may be beaches… Not exactly southern waters.. There is a boardwalk with a few restaurants and shops.
    I love the Garfield conservatory. I want to take the kids, but I can’t remember where to park. Need to put it on the list for a summer day.
    Oh, and you know, everyone says Branson, mo is nice and the things to do are affordable. Like actually affordable to real people. It’s also on my list.

  3. Carol says:

    We just came back from a spring break at the YMCA of the Ozarks, 90 minutes from St. Louis. Their Trout Lodge is on a little lake and they have all sorts of activities, including mini golf, archery, arts & crafts, and horseback riding. Meals are included in your rate–sort of reminiscent of dorm food, but I didn’t have to cook or clean up! It is more expensive in the summer, but you can do all sorts of water activities then. The staff was real friendly and my kids (13, 11, 6) had a blast, even with the 40 degree temps.

  4. tiff says:

    We fell in love with the Shenandoah Valley area last summer. Virginia is absolutely beautiful and lots to see and do. Many caverns to explore, lots of beautiful drives(skyline drive and the Blue ridge parkway), lots of hiking and trails(right in the state parks), history sites, horse farms, antique stores, and more. We have a camper, so we pull our hotel room behind us, but you could stay at KOAs, most have cabins to rent, and most have swimming pools and lots of activities.
    Also, close by is Monticello(loved it!!) and Mount Vernon isn’t too far away(we hope to go there next).
    Oh and you could geo track along the way.
    Good luck! and I hope you have a blast no matter what you do.

  5. Katherine says:

    St. Louis is not a beach destination but it is a great place to visit. Most of the museums are FREE! The city museum is insanely fun. There’s the arch and a ton of bike/walking paths. There is Six Flags if you like amusement park fun. It is also just a train ride from Chicago. I grew up in St. Louis and we went to Chicago on the train a few times. It was great fun as a kid.

  6. Shawn says:

    St. Joseph, Michigan! Beautiful beach. Lots of things to do with the kids. You can ride the train from Chicago, or drive it in a hour or two. Best place ever!

  7. hillary says:

    Thanks Jenny! I’ll have to check it out. We’ve stayed at Timberridge water park a few times. I’d love to stay somewhere nicer/more for grown ups 😉

  8. hillary says:

    Hi Melanie,
    Sorry for late response, the parking for Garfield is very convenient! They have a free lot right on the side of the conservatory. The south side of it.
    That’s awesome that you guys are campers. I’ve been trying to push my lot that way with little success so far. Maybe this is our year. There’s a nice state park for camping in Sheboygan, right?

  9. hillary says:

    I love included meals!I’ll have to check this place out. Sounds like it’d be awesome for quick Summer getaway.

  10. hillary says:

    That’s where we ended up! We went down to St Louis for a night and took kids to City Museum. The kids loved it!!

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