Contemporary Photography Museum- Chicago, IL

This museum is in downtown Chicago and convenient to Millennium Park. It is free to visit and there were some wonderful photographes on display. I do not have any photos of the place because photographing photographes is just wrong! The museum is small. It only takes an hour or less to walk through and check everything out. Fun for the adults and older kids. You will have to carry the little ones up the few flights of stairs. The man at the desk said we could leave our stroller there. If you are an art junkie like me than it’s totally worth the stop!

I only had two issues with this place. The first is that you must look strickly for the address because there is no sign. It is inside a basic, brick building. My other was the door to the actual museum. It is heavy and hard to open. I gave it a good yank, right as somebody opened the outside door. It came flying and crushed my hand! So if you visit please be careful!

See where it crushed my pinkie knuckle? It was quite a bruise!


The Details

Location: 600 S. MICHIGAN AVE : CHICAGO, IL 60605  

Cost: Free

Cheesecake Factory – Chicago, IL

The Cheesecake Factory is the place for cheesecake, of course. But they have quite an extensive menu. We stopped in for a quick, easy lunch. In this downtown Chicago location it was easier to get a seat upstairs. It’s a limited menu of their top sellers but you can normally get your butt in a seat even when there is a long line downstairs. I hate waiting when I could be eating. The restaurant is well lite and beautifully decorated. The ceiling in the upstairs is something to see. I was very impressed with the bathroom. Instead of stalls, they have individual little bathrooms with a center waiting area with large mirrors. This is great when you have to have children with you in the bathroom. Those stalls can get very tight.

They automatically bring delicious bread and butter to the table. It’s complementary and great for the budget conscious. I suggest ordering a couple of appetizers or entrees to split for lunch. We do this quite often. It can be great for the budget and your waistline. The meals and appetizers in many restaurants are huge. We did two appetizers on our visit. The nachos were great! The avocado egg rolls were horrible! Avoid those! The cheesecake was wonderful! I got Hersey’s Cheesecake.



The Details

Location: 875 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611

Cost For a Family of 4: Bread and butter-Free, Nachos $9.95, Pick another appetizer for around $10, Split 2 pieces of cheesecake for $7-$8 each (They are HUGE!), Drinks here are expensive ($3 for a soft drink!) so I suggest ice water. Total with tip is around $42 if you skip the drinks!


William E. Durr Branch of The Kenton County Library – Independence, KY

We were very impressed by the Durr Branch of the Kenton county library in Independence, Kentucky.  As many of you may already know, I am a library junkie!  I have been in more libraries than you can imagine.  We moved a lot when I was a child and the library was always one of the first things we visited.  I’ve been an avid reader my entire life.  It’s one of the traits that I am happy that I passed on to my children.  The library is one of the little treasures in many towns.  When you have kids and need to take a break while on the road a good library can be a life saver!  They are always free to look around and most have play areas for the little kids.  Ivy can normally find at the very least a computer to play on or a comic to read.  Just the act of getting out of the car or house and stretching your legs can make all the difference!

This particular branch was impressive.  It is one of the better that I have visited in northern Kentucky.  If you are from here, it looked like it was well stocked with books and movies for rental.  If you are just there to hang out and let the kids play, you will be pleasently surprised.  They have a small circus tent at the opening into the large kids area.  There is a play area with a train table and additional toys in the back.  There is a tank of hermit crabs on the counter. Two more tanks of fish are on the back left of the kids’ area.  There are chairs and a large magnetic slide table near the tanks.  Along the right wall funny circus mirrors are hung at child friendly heights.  They had a huge magazine rack near the main circulation desk that was nice for mommy.

The people were friendly.  The entire place was clean and rather new.  There is a small outdoor area with tables and chairs.  We did not picnic there but I wouldn’t be surprised if they let you.  The one major downfall of this place is the fact that it is so far from the interstate.  It took me between 5 and 10 minutes from the exit to reach it.  It was a nice stop off though.  I have a feeling that it is so quiet and clean because it is so far out.  Most people would not take the trip unless they lived right there.

There are gas stations, restaurants, and even major stores off this exit as well. You could fill up your gas tank, grab some lunch, take the kids to play for an hour, and pick up some snacks & drinks from the grocery store before hitting the road again.

The Details:

Location: William E. Durr – 1992 Walton-Nicholson Road, Independence, KY
Directions: Take KY-17 exit, Exit 80 toward Covington/Independence. Merge onto Madison Pike/KY 17 toward Independence (south). Turn right onto KY 17. Turn Right onto Walton-Nicholson Road. The Library is on the right.
Phone: 859-962-4030


University of Cumberlands – Williamsburg, KY

This was another stop on the list of colleges to check out. It was a pretty campus set in the mountains. The people were very friendly. The educational buildings were beautiful. The dorms looked decent. The entire place had a relaxed, laid back feeling that was very different from some of the other colleges we have visited.


The Info:

Location: 6178 College Station Dr. Williamsburg, KY 40769

Phone: (800) 343-1609

UK – University of Kentucky – Lexington, KY

I didn’t expect looking at colleges with my sister to turn into a fun family trip but it did.  I turns out that visiting a college with children is a great life experience.  They get this little peek into what their future could possibly hold.

Memorial Hall


We read the historical signs, walked through the library, and checked out the common areas.  We ate in one of the outdoor courtyards.  Isabella danced for us and the students who were there.  It was a great time!

The Info:

University of Kentucky Address: Visitor Center, Main Building Lexington, KY 40506-0032

Phone: (859) 257-3595


Cost: Visiting the campus is free.  You do have to pay for parking.  If you are there to see the campus as a possible student they validate parking for their garage only.  If not, parking is around $10.

Please keep in mind this is a school!  Be respectful and stay out of the education buildings.  You can eat at the campus restaurants, see the grounds, or even stroll downtown.  It is only a few blocks away.