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  1. Default I-90 WI to WA advice for kid-pleasing stops?

    This will be my first long-distance road trip with my 4-year-old. We hope to do the trip in 5 to 7 days in early September, leaving from Milwaukee WI and ending up near Bellingham WA. Our 2 cats will be traveling with us. I am expecting this to be an "interesting" trip. My current plan is to use pet-friendly motels with swimming pools, Motel 6 or similar.

    My big planning question at this point is about pacing the trip with frequent-enough breaks to make carseat travel easier on my 4-year-old daughter.

    I would welcome any suggestions from folks who know this route (mostly I-90 is my current plan) about good spots for short or long breaks suitable for a small child. These might be as simple as favorite rest-stops or safe playgrounds, or a city on the route with a good zoo or other kid-friendly place, or a park area worth spending an extra day on about mid-way (Badlands? Rushmore? detour into Yellowstone?). And of course, if you've done this trip with a child this age, I'd love to hear any general road-trip suggestions you might have.

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Simple is always better

    Quote Originally Posted by mke2fh View Post
    This will be my first long-distance road trip with my 4-year-old.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! First thing is what you already know -- stop often and play. No more than two hours at a stretch. Here is an article I wrote about planning road trips with children.

    More tips later.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two Hour Tours

    I agree with Mark that every two hours is a good frequency for taking breaks out of the car. I am also a big fan of state parks as under-utilized great places for such breaks. They give your child a chance to get some exercise in an outdoor setting without enticing them to buy, buy, buy. And they make great places for picnic lunches. But it does help to have an idea of what is available at two hour intervals so you can know what to be looking for and what to be telling your child to expect. So here is a list of places spaced about every two hours along your route.

    Circus World, Baraboo, WI
    Great River Bluffs State Park, just across the Mississippi from La Crosse
    Myre - Big Island State Park, near the junction of I-90 and I-35
    Blue Mounds State Park, a buffalo herd just north of exit 12 before you leave Minnesota
    Enchanted World Doll Museum, Mitchell, SD
    ??? This stop may be one where you just use the roadside rest area near mile marker 224
    Badlands National Park There is an easy loop road (SD-240) with lots of pullouts and the visitor center is just a few miles inside the park
    Wyoming Welcome Center, Sundance, WY
    Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site just past Buffalo, WY
    Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
    Greycliff Prairie Dog Town, Greycliff, MT
    Lewis & Clark Caverns, Whitehall, MT
    A Carousel for Missoula
    Tubbs Hill Park, Coeur d'Alene, ID. There is also a great lakeside park with play equipment nearby
    Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Vantage, WA

    You can, of course, find others, but this will give you a good idea of what's out there. I hope you and your daughter enjoy the drive.


  4. Default

    Exactly what I was looking for - thanks so much.

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