Thursday, March 24, 2011

15 Places Kids Should See by Age 15

According to Budget Travel team, 15 destinations below are the must see places for kids by age 15.

Grand Canyon - Arizona
During the day, stroll the 4-year-old Skywalk, a U-shaped, glass-bottom observation deck that juts 70 feet over the canyon's West Rim and sits 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. Come sunset, hit Grand Canyon Apache Stables, where, for $25.50 per person, you can hitch a one-hour ride on a horse-drawn wagon that ends around a campfire. Tip: BYO marshmallows and hot dogs so you can cook up a nighttime snack. Skywalk Package including mandatory Legacy pass. Kids 3--11, $57.49; Adults, $73. Grand Canyon Apache Stables: $25.50, kids 8 and up,

Redwood National Park - California
Ancient, sky-high sequoias aren't the only attraction in this lush California locale -- there's cool aquatic life, too. Take a guided tide pool tour, where budding biologists can scramble between the coastal forest's rocks while hunting for underwater creatures such as orange and purple ochre sea stars and sprawling, green anemones. Free tide pool tours are offered during the summer through Redwood National Park; check website for exact schedule.

Monticello - Virginia
The dreaded "look but don't touch" rule means nothing at the Griffin Discovery Room, which opened on the grounds of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate in 2009. Nothing is off-limits in the space, which features replicas of the third president's possessions, from his alcove bed to his polygraph machine. Even his closet is fair game: Kids can try on clothes modeled after his 18th-century wardrobe. The Griffin Discovery Room is part of Monticello's House and Grounds tour. Adults, $17 (low season), $22 (high season); Kids 6-11, $8 (year-round).
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The Freedom Trail - Massachusetts
Who needs a social studies book when you can learn about Colonial history from an 18th-century ship captain while parading around Boston's waterfront? The 90-minute Pirates and Patriots tour, led by an actor in 1770s naval garb, focuses on maritime history and introduces the scrappy, ship-raiding characters that inhabited the city's North End during the Revolutionary era.
Stops include the aptly named Long Wharf, once the longest in the world and the epicenter of Boston's colonial shipping industry, and Griffin's Wharf, site of the 1773 Boston Tea Party. Bonus: Some tour guides are known to hand out vintage goodies, so you might walk away with a fistful of colonial money or musket balls. The Freedom Trail's Pirates & Patriots Tour runs from June to Nov. Adults, $12; kids 6--12, $7.

Niagara Falls - New York
Sure, your grandparents honeymooned there, but the majestic waterfalls straddling the U.S.-Canada border are worth a 21st-century trip. Ever wonder what it's like to be a rubber ducky in a massive bathtub? Sign up for the Cave of the Winds tour, which begins after you change into a complimentary yellow poncho and sandals (trust us, you'll need 'em).
After riding an elevator 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge, you'll stand on the Hurricane Deck, where you'll be drenched by the tropical-storm-like spray from the 181-foot Bridal Veil Falls, where the water falls at a rate of up to 68 mph. Cave of the Winds operates May 1--Oct. 25. Adults, $11; kids 6--12, $8; 5 and under, free.
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The National Mall - Washington, D.C.
Riding the streets of Washington, D.C., in a boat on wheels might sound cheesy, but cruising the Potomac River in one is pretty sweet. Set in a WWII-era amphibious vehicle, the 90-minute D.C. duck tour covers both land and sea.
The first leg hits the history-packed National Mall -- look for the 19-foot-tall Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol building, and the Smithsonian museums -- and then switches to a scenic river trip. Highlight: The boat pauses at Gravelly Point, a park located just a few hundred feet from the runway at D.C.'s Reagan National Airport, so you can watch roaring planes take off and land. D.C. duck tours cost $31.50 for adults, and $16.20 for kids 11 and under.
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Williamsburg - Virginia
Everyone in this living-history site likes to play dress-up, and visitors are no exception. At the Great Hopes Plantation -- a re-creation of the town's original 1700s farm -- a stash of old-timey accessories await, from tricorne (three-pointed) hats for boys and shifts and mop caps (bonnets) for girls.
The costumes come in handy in the field, where kids can perform 18th-century household chores, such as picking bugs off potato crops, fetching water from the well, or hoeing the soil, that are likely to make clearing the dinner dishes seem like a breeze by comparison. Great Hopes Plantation can be accessed through regular admission tickets. Spring prices: adults, $37.95; kids 6--17, $18.95; 5 and under, free.

Walt Disney World Resort - Florida
Taking a family vacation to the world's largest, most popular theme park is a no-brainer, and just-opened exhibits give even more reasons to visit Mickey & Co. Our pick: the Wild Africa Trek, a private, three-hour safari featuring live Nile crocs, statuesque giraffes, and lazy hippos.
Strap into a harness and you can even dangle 10 feet above the crocodiles' heads. (The attraction is open to kids 8 and up.) Mid-jungle trek, the safari car (imagine an open-air Jeep that allows for standing) will stop on the trail for a traditional African lunch. Wild Africa Treks begin at $189 per person, including lunch, but not including admission to Disney's Animal Kingdom.
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Independence Hall - Pennsylvania
Acquaint yourself with the spirits of America's founding fathers on Philadelphia's Ghost Tour, a 90-minute, candle-lit stroll that winds past landmarks like Independence Hall, where the Constitution was adopted; the Powel House, which hosted George and Martha Washington's 20th wedding anniversary celebration; and the 238-year-old City Tavern, John Adams's former watering hole.
A cape-wearing, lantern-carrying guide points out "haunted" graveyards (St. Peter's Cemetery) and reports sightings of Benjamin Franklin, who's said to roam the city's streets. The best part: All the ghost stories are based on documented accounts, which makes them all the more spooky. Ghost Tour of Philadelphia, adults, $17; kids 4 and up, $8.
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Alcatraz Island - California
Shiv collections and cramped jail cells don't exactly sound kid-friendly, but they offer a glimpse into America's most notorious island prison -- and the National Park Service is all for bringing younger ones for a visit. Hop a ferry from San Francisco's Pier 33 and stroll the damp, gray halls of the maximum-security pen, which housed criminals like Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly from 1934 to 1963. (You can even get behind bars in one of the cells, if you dare.)
Don't miss the audio tour, which was updated in 2007 when former inmates and guards recorded their memories of doing time at "the Rock." If you're feeling brave, take the night tour, which lets you roam the prison after dark. Alcatraz Cruises is the official carrier for tours to Alcatraz Island. Adults 12--61, $26; kids 5--11, $16, 4 and under, free.
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Ellis Island - New York
Between 1892 and 1924, more than 17 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island; today, their descendants account for 40% of Americans. Go on a hunt for your ancestors at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where for $5 you can search through millions of records to find the exact date your relatives sailed into the Port of New York, as well as which ship they were on and whether they traveled with other family members. (Bonus: copies of the documents are yours to keep.)
And don't miss the construction of the Peopling of America Center, which cost $20 million to build and is slated to open in 2012. The new space focuses on U.S. immigration from 1955 (when Ellis Island closed) to the present, and houses interactive multimedia exhibits, like a touch screen that reflects demographic changes in American cities over time. Ellis Island admission prices as of March 18: adults, $37.95; children, $18.95; children under 5, free.

Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming, Montana and IdahoSnag a Young Scientist Toolkit stocked with magnifying glasses, rock samples, and stopwatches to time geyser eruptions at the Old Faithful Visitor Center and hit the great outdoors for some investigating. The coolest toy: an infrared-thermometer gun that takes readings of thermal pools when pointed at the water. And there's lots of H20: The 3,472-square-mile park is home to more geothermal features (geysers, hot springs, mud spots) than any place on earth. The Young Scientist activity booklet and toolkit costs $5 (toolkit must be returned after use). Park entrance fee starts at $12.
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Fenway Park - MassachusettsEven die-hard Yankees fans have to admit that visiting Major League Baseball's oldest stadium is an exercise in Americanism: Babe Ruth pitched there! Ted Williams hit a 502-foot home run! Boston's Fenway turns 100 next year, but its features are still intact. Check them out for yourself on a guided 50-minute tour, where hands-on exploration is encouraged: You can touch the Green Monster (the park's 37-foot-tall left-field wall), peek into the dugout, poke around inside the press box, and even walk across the baseball diamond, depending on how friendly the grounds crew is feeling that day. Fenway Park tours, adults, $12; kids 3--15, $10; seniors, $11.

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve - Idaho
The National Park Service calls this Idaho preserve "the only officially weird park" in the country. And for good reason: The jagged, black landscape -- formed by volcanic eruptions up to 15,000 years ago -- boasts a 618-square-mile lava field, the biggest in the U.S. (The rocky surface is so moonlike that Apollo 14 astronauts trained at the site in 1969.) The park's most awe-inspiring feature is its lava tubes, underground passageways created by hardened molten rock.
Grab a flashlight and head to Indian Tunnel, which, at 30 feet high and 50 feet wide, allows for comfortable exploring. Craving an even more intense experience? Exit the cave at the far end, a feat that requires mounting a big rock pile and squeezing through a small opening. Park entrance fee is $8 per vehicle; bike or foot entrance starts at $4; age 14 below is free.
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San Diego Zoo - California
With more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing 800-plus species and subspecies, the San Diego Zoo is one of the most diverse in America. But its coolest attraction -- literally -- is the Polar Bear Plunge, which reopened last March after a $1 million makeover.

Aside from permanent polar residents Kalluk, Chinook, and Tatqiq, new features include a snow den you can burrow into (the snug space mimics where female bears birth their cubs); a helicopter used on actual Arctic explorations that invites climbers into the cockpit; and the Experience Wall, where zookeepers open the glass panels surrounding the bears' habitat, letting them sniff at visitors through wire mesh. Ages 12 and up, $40; 3--11, $30.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 19, 2011 Supermoon Rising - Don't Be Scared!!!!

On Saturday, March 19 2011, you should look up and look out, because up in the sky, the moon - which will be full- will be at its closest to Earth in 18 years, a lunar phenomenon known as the “supermoon.”

For some, this means massive natural disasters, for others, well, not much. I suggest you make the best out of this potentially apocalyptic time by dancing under the supermoon and preparing a 72-hour survival kit, you know, just in case. Don't forget to wrap your digital camera, camcorder, or cell phone to take beautiful pictures of the supermoon.

Enjoy and be safe!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top 4 Best and Affordable Sunscreen For Your Skin

Do you know summer is around the corner? Oh yes, it is coming and it is time to look around and pick correct sunscreen to protect your skin.

Sunscreens are available in a variety of preparations (sprays, lotions, creams) and potencies (SPFs typically range from 15 to 100). Some things to know before you buy: Ingredients are directly connected to protection. There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays: UVB light causes common surface sunburns, while UVA light triggers deeper connective-tissue damage (like premature aging and skin cancer). In addition, there are two kinds of skin-damaging UVA rays - short waves and long waves. Experts say a good sunscreen should protect users from UVA and UVB rays.

Here are top 4 best and affordable sunscreens for you and your family:

Experts praise Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55 the best sunscreen overall. It has avobenzone and oxybenzone for protection against short- and long-wave UVA rays, which can cause long-term skin damage, as well as Helioplex, which helps those active ingredients protect for up to five hours. It does have the pros and cons.


  • High-quality UVA/UVB protection
  • Water-resistant
  • Lightweight, nongreasy
  • Doesn't contain antioxidants
  • Not ideal for facial use
  • Heavier than lower-SPF

 No-Ad Sunblock Lotion SPF 45 is as a good choice for families who go through vats of sunscreen each summer.

  • Inexpensive
  • Broad-spectrum protection
  • Water-resistant

  • Contains fragrance
  • Hard to find in stores
 3. Blue Lizard Suncream Sensitive SPF 30+

For those with sensitive skin, or for those who prefer fragrance-free sunscreen Blue Lizard Suncream Sensitive SPF 30+ is the excellent choice. Instead of chemical sunscreen ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin, Blue Lizard Suncream Sensitive SPF 30+ (and the identical Blue Lizard Baby) contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which act as a physical barrier against broad-spectrum UVA and UVB rays. Blue Lizard sunscreen is water-resistant.


  • Provides broad-spectrum protection
  • Chemical- and fragrance-free
  • Water-resistant

  • Thick and heavy
  • Difficult to apply
  • Leaves white film on skin
4. Coppertone Sport Sunblock Lotion SPF 30

Coppertone Sport Sunblock Lotion SPF 30 is the top sunscreen choice for active sports enthusiasts. Many users found this product is great for its nongreasy feel and high level of protection.


  • Broad-spectrum protection
  • Lightweight
  • Nongreasy
  • Sweat-resistant

  • Some don't like the smell
There you go. Pick one of these sunscreens and carry it with you whenever you are under the sun.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Top 10 Cameras Under 200 Bucks!

You don't have to spend so much money on heavy and expensive camera for your best pictures. For those of you who want to jump in immediately in your hunt for the best camera under 200 dollars, here is the list of the top 10 for your perusal and don’t be discouraged if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for; there are countless cameras out there that will do exactly what you need and for the right price.

For now, here are the top 10 cameras under $200 dollars:
1. Canon PowerShot SD1300IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera

Technical Details:

  • 28mm wide-angle lens; 4x optical zoom and Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Smart AUTO mode intelligently selects from 18 predefined settings
  • 12.1-megapixel resolution allows you to print large size images with clarity and detail
  • Clear 2.7-inch PureColor System LCD
  • Shoot in Low Light mode for dimly-lit situations

2. Kodak EasyShare M381 Digital Camera

Technical Details

  • 12.4-megapixel resolution
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Smart Capture feature automatically identifies the scene and adjusts camera settings
  • 3-inch LCD screen
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

3. Casio Exilim EX-FS10 9MP Digital Camera 

Technical Details

  • 9.1-megapixel resolution
  • 3x optical image-stabilized zoom
  • 30 shot-per-second high-speed burst shooting (6 MP images)
  • HD Movie function
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

4. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W230 12 MP Digital Camera

Technical Details

  • 12.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD image sensor
  • 4x optical zoom, 30mm wide-angle Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens; Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
  • 3.0-inch LCD display; Face Detection and Smile Shutter technology
  • MPEG Movie VX Fine Mode
  • 15MB built-in memory; capture images to Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo Media (not included)
5. Nikon Coolpix S550 10 MP Digital Camera

Technical Details

  • 10-megapixel resolution for stunning prints as large as 16 x 20 inches
  • 5x optical zoom; Electronic VR image stabilization
  • 2.5-inch, high-resolution LCD
  • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix; enhanced Face-Priority AF automatically focuses on up to 12 faces
  • Capture images to SD memory card (not included)

6. Olympus Stylus 7010 12MP Digital Camera

Technical Details

  • 12-megapixel resolution for photo-quality prints up to 20 x 30 inches
  • 7x dual image-stabilized zoom
  • TruePic III Image Processor; choose from three in-camera Magic Filters
  • 2.7-inch HyperCrystal II LCD screen
  • Capture images to xD-Picture Card or microSD (not included)

7. Canon PowerShot A3100IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera

Technical Details

  • 12.1 megapixels, 4x optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer, and DIGIC III Image Processor
  • Lithium-ion battery makes the camera lighter and offers an easy alternative to recharge
  • New scene modes, including Super Vivid and Poster Effect; Smart Auto selects from 18 predefined shooting situations
  • Large, bright 2.7-inch LCD
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

8. Fujifilm FinePix F60fd 12MP Digital Camera

Technical Details

  • 12-megapixel Super CCD sensor captures enough detail for 20 x 30-inch prints
  • 3x optical zoom; Dual Image Stabilization
  • 3-inch LCD screen; Auto Scene Recognition
  • Face Detection 3.0
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

9. Kodak EasyShare C182 Digital Camera

Technical Details

  • 12-megapixel resolution
  • 3x optical zoom
  • Smart Capture feature automatically identifies the scene and adjusts camera settings
  • 3-inch LCD screen
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

10. Nikon Coolpix S230 10MP Digital Camera

Technical Details

  • 10.0-megapixel resolution for photo-quality prints up to 16 x 20 inches
  • 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor glass lens; 4-way VR image stabilization
  • 3.0-inch touch-screen LCD scren
  • Nikon's Smart Portrait System; Red-eye Fix, Face Priority AE and more
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to look great for less?

Did you know it's all about you? You are, after all, shaving, moisturizing, brushing, brightening, washing, rinsing and repeating every single day of your life. And unlike the pros, you pretty up on a budget and get gorgeous in a hurry. You can choose to look your best for less. Really. Here are the best beauty secrets and buys for head to toes.

1. Body Wash: should buy Olay Total Effects Body Wash,  which contains a full jar of anti-aging moisturizers in every bottle. Total Effects Body Wash takes good care of everything. It goes beyon cleansing, for smoother, firm skin that look younger after one shower.

2. Your Teeth: Why not try the Crest 3D White collection , which when used together, provides a whiter smile in 1 day (the better to match your new sparkling lip gloss). Crest 3D Whitestrips is a quick beauty fix that fits easily into your busy lifestyle. The best part? It's doesn't cost a fortune. Using Crest 3D Whitestrip, once a day for 30 mintues over 20 days, provides the kind of whitening that you get with $500 worth of light and laser systems.
3.Your Eyes Lash: You may tired of paying more than $30 for brand name mascara. You can find the same or it is more better results from COVERGIRL LashBlast products:

  • CoverGirl LashBlastFusion Mascara  is also the good one. It is a fibersetch formula + an oversized brush for a dramatic blast of volume + length. It will make your eyes look beautiful than ever.

4. Your Legs: Too much hassle or too busy to go to the spa and you want to keep your legs smooth and moisturized, buy the Venus ProSkin MoistureRich Razor to help protect your skin. This brand name razors with MoistrueRich GEL BARS, formulated with extra rich body butter for glide. You will say good-bye to a separate shave gel products. Dermatologist-tested Venus ProSkin MoistureRich has shave gel bars already included.

5. Your Hair: 

  • What's a great product for coloring your gray hair at the roots? Clairol Nice'n Easy Root Touch Up  is an excellent and super-easy-to-use product to cover gray roots. It comes with a precision brush applicator and needs only 10 minutes to make your root disappear. Even better: it blends with a whole range of home and salon colorant brands. Just check the side of the box for shade guidance.

7. Your Face:

  • Want to find best way to help get rid of age spots?  If you're been soaking up rays without the protection, pesky brown spots cropping up on your face may be your reward. To target this sun damage, choose skin-care products with ingredients like glucosamine or niacin amide, which hydrate and exfoliate to help fade their appearance. Olay Professional Pro-X Discoloration Fighting Concentrate  has been shown to reduce the appearance of age spots. Buy one, will you?

  • Do you want to spoil your skin with the best? Try the Covergirl Natureluxe Silk Foundation. Redefining natural beauty, it gives flawless coverage with a luxurious yet lightweight finish. For most natural finish, use the tips of your fingers to apply foundation. You also should look at the COVERGIRL Natureluxe Gloss Balm  with SPF 15, which delivers the beautiful, sheer color of a gloss with the soft, featherweight feel of a balm.

  • Want to make the wrinkle disappear? Yoga helps you feel great from the inside out, and Olay Pro-X takes care of you from the outside in. Olay Professional Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream designed by P&G scientists and leading dermatologist. It offers potent, proven and professional results. It is as effective at reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles as the leading prescription brand regimen in 8 weeks magically.

I hope you found this information is helpful and you can make yourself look
fabulous for less.