> Family Vacation Ideas: April 2008

Cooperstown, NY | Little League Dreams Park

Many families find it hard to take vacations during the summer do to their kids involvement in little league baseball. Little league families need to think outside of the box a little bit when it comes to taking a vacation. Several years ago when my kids were in little league their team took a trip to Cooperstown, NY to participate in a 96 team tournament at the Cooperstown Dreams Park.

Cooperstown, NY is known primarily for the Baseball Hall Of Fame museum located in downtown Cooperstown. Every baseball fan should take a trip to visit this marvelous museum to see baseball history at its finest. There is a lot more to Cooperstown, NY than just the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Just down the road a ways is what I consider one of the best little league baseball complex I have ever seen.

Cooperstown Dreams Park is a little league complex built to house 96 little league teams during the weekly tournaments held throughout the summer. little league teams from all over the United States gather each year to compete with the hopes of winning their tournament to become eligible for the year end playoffs. Parents if you child has the opportunity to participate in this event, it will be a memory he or she will have forever.

Taking the entire family to watch the week long tournament is a must. During times when your child's little league team isn't playing there are tons of free and inexpensive things to do throughout the Cooperstown, NY area. Our family rented a cottage on a nearby lake and spent our off time enjoying fun in the sun. The scenery is unbelievable our lake was nestled right in the middle of beautiful foothills. We also took an afternoon to enjoy local wineries, and a brewery. There is a train that travels from the Dreams Park into Cooperstown regularly each day for those that want to shop or view downtown.

Finding a place to stay in this are is a bit difficult. With all the families that visit both the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Dreams Park you need to get your reservations in early. There are a few hotels located in the area but not many. Most parents I know rent a house, lake cottage,or stay at a Bed and Breakfast during their stay at Cooperstown. Once you visit the area, especially if you go up for the little league games, you'll want to go back again and again.

Ohio River Vacation Day Trip

This past weekend we took a Day trip to Madison, In. If you’re not familiar with Madison, IN it is located on the southeast corner on Indiana bordered by the Ohio River. We went for the weekend to one of my kid’s school functions and I really hadn't planned on doing any sight seeing. To my surprise we had plenty of free time to spend in the Madison Indiana area.

We started our sight seeing day trip by cruising through the historic downtown of Madison, In. It was amazing to see all the old brick buildings that were restored to their original beauty. The downtown area was chocked full of antique stores, candy stores, restaurants and cafes. We stopped at one nice coffee shop for a mocha during our stroll through downtown. There is a trolley tour you can take but we didn’t notice it until we had exhausted ourselves walking the entire downtown of Madison.

Part of our stroll included stopping at three of the six Indiana wineries located in Madison area. Of course we had to do some tasting and buy a few bottles of wine to take home. I must say I was quite surprised at the quality and types of wines produced in southern Indiana. We plan on going back to visit the three wineries we missed later this summer.

We also spent the evening strolling along a beautifully lit walkway next to the Ohio River. There we sat on the benches, relaxed in the porch swings, and viewed a wonderful sunset. There is a restaurant right on the Ohio River but unfortunately it was closed. My guess is that it won’t open up until the end of May. There was also a state park, Clifty Falls, located just outside of Madison, In , but do to some heavy rains we decided to bypass it this go around. I'll try and get some of the photos of the trip posted here in the next couple of days. If your looking for a short family vacation idea I'd recommend the Madison Indiana area.