Camping To Bond

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.    My family enjoyed a fun-filled camping trip in our home state of Colorado followed by a local celebratory parade.   We live in a place where we are lucky to be surrounded by wilderness, yet we still love to get out and camp.   One of the things I love the most about camping is that it allows us to leave our never ending TO-DO list at home and just focus on our family and enjoying time together outside.    We cook a little slower over the camp fire. We relax a bit more taking in the morning air or the evening sunset.   We wander a bit longer through the woods looking for bugs, plants, birds or rocks that catch our eye.    This month Jenny Jackson is sharing great ideas for family camping with us.  As the Fall leaves change, it’s a great time to get outside, explore, and enjoy the last days of warm weather.

Tips For A Fun Family Camping Getaway

Since 2014, an additional six million families are taking up camping per year. As a classic way to bond with the family, camping allows you and your family some time away from the real world and lets you focus on who matters most. When planning your next family camping trip, it is essential to bring the proper supplies, entertainment, and the right attitude to make your camping trip a success.

It Starts With Supplies

A good camping trip hinges on how well prepared the campers are. When collecting supplies, it’s best to start with the necessities. Tents, sleeping bags, and warm blankets protect you and your family from the elements and make your stay comfortable. Make sure to keep extra blankets especially for toddlers or young children. Flashlights, batteries, bug spray, and extra clothing are all crucial too, as they increase safety. Finally, the most important items to stock up on are food and utensils. While the amount of food you pack depends on the facilities available, a grill, pots and pans, cooking utensils, and dishwashing supplies are great to feed the whole family. Packing snacks and sweets such as s’mores will keep any child happy as well.

Entertainment and Activities

Children are often very active and curious, and it is imperative you keep them entertained and active during your camping trip. The last thing you want is to be constantly nagged by bored children and lose valuable serenity, so bringing along games and activities is a must. Activities such as nature scavenger hunts, flashlight tag, singing campfire songs, and making s’mores are all great ways to keep the family busy and bonding. For a more cerebral twist, reading and telling stories, nature walks to learn about the ecosystem, and animal spotting can all be fun educational ways to get closer during a family camping trip.

It’s All About Attitude

In today’s world, children are plugged into smartphones and computers while you are busy in your career. Camping is a way to unwind, but can also be a complete switch up from your normal routine. When making such a drastic change in scenery with your kids, it is important to have a good attitude and remain positive and engaging. It is also imperative you are organized and prepared for anything. Safety comes first and being ill-prepared is not a good situation to be in. Lastly, make sure your children are involved. By allowing them to memorize landmarks for directions, hold the compass, or carrying a whistle you are giving them responsibility and involvement in the decision making. This can make them more engaged and receptive.

Go Camping Soon

Camping as a family is both fun and healthy for the family relationship. In order to be prepared make sure you bring the proper supplies such as tents, sleeping bags, and plenty of food. Also, make sure you invest in activities or entertainment for the kids, anything from nature walks to skipping rocks can keep them attentive. And lastly, have a good positive attitude and be prepared. Your next family camping trip awaits.

~Jenny Jackson

Play Right: Plan a Family Vacation to Remember

At New Jammies, we know the benefits of traveling with the kids to new, and familiar, places. We see the wonder in their eyes of seeing special landmarks. In the diverse cultures they experience. And in the memories made together as a family.

“Vacation is essential to strengthen personal relationships, inspire creative thinking, improve professional performance, and promote better heath,” says Project: Time Off, a leading national movement to transform American attitudes and change behavior about taking vacation time.

“We aim to shift culture so that taking time off is understood as essential to personal well-being, professional success, business performance, and economic expansion.​“

Although Project: Time Off sees the value of vacation time for close relationships and work growth, the movement says Americans still fail to use 662 million vacation days annually.

“The stockpile of unused vacation is creating a spike in worker burnout and even larger balance sheet liabilities that directly affect a company’s bottom line,” the movement reports. “What’s worse—employees forfeited 206 million vacation days in 2016.”

And Project: Time Off says 51% of Americans still skip the one step that could help them vacation: planning.

”Individuals who plan are more likely to use all of their time off, take more vacation days at once, and report greater levels of happiness in every category measured,” Project: Time Off reminds us. “A majority of parents believe that family vacations are worth the time and money because they ‘give my child experiences that they will remember years down the road.’”

To encourage parents and caregiving family members to do so, the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off initiative established the last Tuesday of January as National Plan for Vacation Day in 2017.

This day is ideal to start planning ahead and declare vacation days at the start of the year. Project: Time Off says the first-ever National Plan for Vacation Day saw organizations implement creative activations for Americans to take time off to reunite with family and friends and rejuvenate.

“In its inaugural year, more than 600 organizations, representing all 50 states, came together to encourage Americans to plan for vacation,” Project: Time Off says.

This year’s National Plan for Vacation Day, on Jan. 30, 2018, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the rest of the year. The registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Plan for Vacation Day to be observed annually in 2018 as an opportunity to come together at a single moment to rally around the importance of planning for a vacation.

Learn more at ProjectTimeOff.com/Plan and join the conversation online with #PlanForVacation on social media. Project: Time Off is making it easy for Americans to plan their vacations with the new Vacation Planning Tool.

And take this advice from Nationwide on planning a family vacation with kids.

“It makes sense to go for one that’s stress-free and age appropriate. (For tips on the stress-free part, check out their page on packing light.)” says the Nationwide Learning Center. “While ‘less is more’ applies to any kind of travel, The Family Travel Files has specific family travel tips for different age groups, including the young ones:

Children six weeks to five years
It’s never too early to start traveling with young children, as long as parents are prepared for the slow pace and frequent naps. Before you begin your trip:

• Get a well-baby checkup (especially if you’re traveling to another country)
• Pack first aid items including water, sunscreen & insect repellent
• Pack baby-proofing items like socket plugs, corner tabs & nightlights

Children ages 6-12
Family vacations can create life-long memories for kids in this age range. Even better, children in these primary-school years are still very dependent on their parents and haven’t yet reached the rebellious teenage years.

• Pack light, because children often lose personal items
• Pack a surprise to keep your child occupied in transit, during delays and long lines

Read more tips here.

Bon voyage!

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Play Right: Celebrate National Wilderness Month Outdoors

ColoradoBoyAs New Jammies welcomes the change of seasons, National Wilderness Month is the perfect time for families to get outside and explore.

The Federal Facilities of Environmental Stewardship suggests celebrating America’s wilderness in September, and throughout Autumn, by visiting the nation’s wilderness areas and learning about the issues facing these pristine environments. In his Presidential Proclamation of National Wilderness Month in September, President Barack Obama, agreed.

“I invite all Americans to visit and enjoy our wilderness areas, to learn about their vast history, and to aid in the protection of our precious national treasures,” he proclaimed.

The country’s vast wilderness areas provide acres-upon-acres of natural playground for kids and parents to hike, fish, camp, boat, birdwatch, sightsee, and numerous other ways to enjoy the Great Outdoors. The country’s preserved spaces were protected 52 years ago when the Wilderness Act was passed, marking the beginning of an era when Americans were empowered by Congress to propose protection of special wild places, watersheds, wildlife habitat and outstanding recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.

“The law immediately set aside approximately nine million acres of U.S. national forests as wilderness, defining the highest level of protection, uses and enjoyment of these federal lands,” said the Wilderness Society, founded in 1935 to advocate for protection of America’s roadless wild places.

“Today the National Wilderness Preservation System encompasses nearly 110 million acres of wild country in 44 states and includes lands in national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and Bureau of Land Management areas.”

In 2014, when the Wilderness Act celebrated 50 years, Wilderness Society President Jamie Williams expressed the importance of protection of our wilderness areas.

“Today we need wilderness more than ever,” Williams said. “In an urban nation, we need a place to get away, to enjoy and restore ourselves. The people who wrote the Wilderness Act called it an essential human need, and that’s why they wrote the Wilderness Act – to protect wild places for all of us, and for our quality of life. There’s one constant since the Wilderness Act was passed – people want to protect more of our wild places, which define us as a nation. They are our American legacy, something we can leave to future generations.”

New JammiesOutdoor gear company REI offers its tips on camping in the wilderness with the younger set, providing the opportunity for priceless family memories for New Jammies kids. To start, REI says to prepare for outdoor overnight trips by practicing camping at home.

“If your kids are outdoor newbies, pitch a tent in the backyard or even inside your home. Let them hang out in it and sleep in it so they become comfortable with a new sleeping environment,” said the company, which donates percentages of its sales to conservation efforts.

“Take a trial run: Before your overnighter, try a family day outing at a close-to-home park. Spend a half-day or so at a lakeshore or park and see how your kids react to the experience. Take notes: Write down reminders for future trips: ‘Pack more sunscreen.’ ‘Bring long pants.’ ‘Leave bongos home.'”

REI also suggests these fun items to bring along on camping trips with kids:

• Paddleball set
• Marshmallow launcher
• Animal-shaped flashlights
• Kits, discs and flying toys — REI’s faves include glowing, multicolor LED flying discs and Djubi balls
• Low-tech fun with a boot-around plastic ball that doubles as an ice cream maker
• Water toys to cool off
• Foot bags
• Educational games, including “Pass the Pigs” and “Why Knot?”

Most of all, New Jammies hopes kids get outside and have fun in the beauty and wonderment of the nation’s beloved wilderness areas as the leaves change.

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. New Jammies are WRAP certified for socially responsible manufacturing practices, created in GOTS certified knit, print, and dye facilities, and made of OE100 100% certified organic cotton. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Healthy Summer Snacks for Families On the Go

StripesSummer sure is great for relaxing, but it can also be a busy time when New Jammies families are on the go.

Whether it’s to and from ball games and the pool or traveling for family vacations and reunions, helping kids eat right is made easy with tips on packing snacks with a healthy punch.

New Jammies founder Nicole Ludlow opts for healthy snacks on the go including dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, banana, and bringing along a soft-pack cooler for cut-up fruit, veggies and cheese.

“Veggies are an easy route for snacks, especially when chopped into child bite-sized portions,” Nicole says. “We love carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, jicama, and red, yellow and green bell peppers for fresh, mobile snacks.”

Jicama is a fun, nutritional vegetable, native to central and South America, that kids enjoy because it has a crisp sweetness that stays cool in the summer. The root veggie has been used for thousands of years as a medicinally beneficial dietary element, according to organicfacts.net.

“Some of the health benefits of jicama include its ability to help you manage your weight, optimize your digestion, boost your immune system, prevent various types of cancer,” says the Organic Facts website, which provides unbiased info on nutrition and benefits of food and home remedies. “It also increases energy levels, helps manage diabetes, builds strong bones, increase circulation, lowers blood pressure, and boosts brain function.”

Fresh fruit is also a favorite with New Jammies kids. From watermelon and blueberries to strawberries and mango, fruit goes with summer like sun and a day at the beach. Fruit is extremely versatile — it can be eaten alone or diced up and mixed in with yogurt. Apples, oranges, pears, and peaches make for quick snacks to take on the go.

And dried fruits including cranberries, apricots, and bananas are nutritious non-perishable items to pack for longer trips or vacations. Dried fruit can be packed in individual travel snack bags or added to homemade granola and protein-heavy nut mixes that include peanuts, pistachios, pecans, almonds, and cashews.

GranolaTry this easy sugar-free granola recipe that can be packed for snacking from superhealthykids.com:

Ingredients:
2 cup oats, dry
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F
2. In large bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon and salt.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into dry oat mixture. Stir gently until dry mixture is coated.
4. Turn oat and egg white mixture onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner)
5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
6. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

Also easily portable are wheat crackers topped with peanut butter, hummus, cheese cubes and pepperoni slices, and dry snacks including pretzels, apple and sweet potato chips, goldfish and graham crackers, and low-sugar fig newtons. This recipe from the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission for homemade baked sweet potato chips is easy to prepare, and can be great for snacking or family get-togethers. They can be made with or without the red pepper for spice, if needed, for kids:

Courtesy sweetpotato.org

Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients:
4 large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and dried
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Peanut oil for frying
1 recipe Vidalia Onion Dip (recipe follows)

Instructions:
1. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly slice sweet potatoes.
2. In a small bowl, combine salt and red pepper. Set aside.
3. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, pour oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium-high heat to 350°. Plunge chips, 10 to 12 at a time, into oil. Fry until light golden brown, 3 to 6 minutes.
4. Remove, and drain on paper towels or paper bags until completely cooled. Sprinkle with salt mixture.
5. Serve immediately with Vidalia Onion Dip, if desired.

Serving Size: 12 servings

Vidalia Onion Dip

Ingredients:
1 Vidalia onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Garnish: chopped fresh thyme

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Place onion slices on prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, coat onion with olive oil.
3. Bake until slightly charred, approximately 12 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool, and roughly chop.
4. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine onion, sour cream, ricotta, tarragon, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Pulse until smooth.
5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Garnish with thyme, if desired. Serve with Spicy Sweet Potato Chips, if desired.

Serving Size: approximately 3 cups

Happy, healthy snacking from New Jammies!

Sleep Tight: Make Summer Fun with Backyard Camping

CampingIn his treasured book “Our National Parks,” naturalist and environmental philosopher John Muir wrote, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” As nature lovers ourselves, we at New Jammies can relate.

There’s something magical about sleeping under the stars that provides a sense of peace, and brings us closer to nature. One way for kids to learn first-hand about the Great Outdoors is to plan a fun overnight or weekend camping excursion in the convenience of your own backyard. Because of the easy access to the amenities of home, backyard camping is ideal for all ages, from babies to grandparents — and even great-grandparents.

The National Park Service (NPS) provides information on backyard camping to introduce children to Mother Nature and teach them to appreciate all she has to offer. Or even to test a new sleeping bag, tent or other camping gear.

“Consider camping in your backyard,” says the NPS. “You don’t have to be in a ‘real’ campground to learn the art of camping and to make memories.”

Celebrating 100 years on Aug. 25, the National Park Service lists these benefits of backyard camping:

1. The house is right there. The familiar setting and security of the backdoor lit at night is the perfect testing ground to introduce sleeping under the stars, especially to kids. If the weather is bad outside, the kids are too afraid of the dark, or you need to dash to the bathroom, your house is right there.

2. Memories in the making. Some of the very first memories of camping as a child begin with pitching a tent a few yards from the house. Make it a fun family event. Invite relatives or friends to share in the experience.

3. The testing ground. Do you need to master the art of making the perfect s’more, or learn how to prepare meals outdoors? Use your backyard to get a feel for what it’s like to sleep on the ground, to prepare a meal outdoors, or to test your gear.

StripesParenting Magazine suggests planning ahead with fun games, easy snacks, and at-home activities for a chill staycation with the kids.

“Enter the backyard campout: low on stress, high on thrills, chock-full of the fun stuff that camping’s all about (including plenty of dirt), all within shouting distance of clean bathrooms and a stocked fridge,” says parenting.com, in its “14 Ideas for Camping Out In Your Backyard.”

In the article, parenting.com puts a fun spin on a beloved campfire treat with these easy S’mores on a Stick:

“Warm up your favorite chocolate sauce and pour into a shallow bowl or plate; put crushed graham crackers on another plate. Roast marshmallows, dip in the chocolate and then the crackers.”

For old-fashioned, after-dark backyard camping games, play Ghost in the Graveyard, which Parenting mag describes as “tag with a spooky twist.” Here are the simple rules:

1. Designate one ghost to hide in the backyard while everyone else waits on base (like the back porch) and counts: “One o’clock, two o’clock …”

2. When you get to 12 o’clock, shout “Midnight! I hope I don’t see a ghost tonight!”

3. Then go hunting in the backyard for the ghost. Whoever spots the ghost first cries “Ghost in the graveyard!”

4. Everyone then scrambles back to base while the ghost tags runners. If you get tagged, you, too, join the ‘ghost’ gang and the game begins again.

5. Keep playing until everyone’s been caught by the ghosts and the graveyard is full.


Gear Up with New Jammies for Backyard Camping Fun

If your kids are up for an overnight outdoor adventure in the backyard — or even taking it to the next level in a park that permits camping — New Jammies has some colorful, 100% organic cotton pajamas perfect for summer nights sleeping in nature. Check out these popular outdoorsy collections:

• Our Star Spangled PJs are a fun way to celebrate America in patriotic red, white and blue, all summer long. Choose from our stars and flags prints and striped patterns for a colorful shout out to the good ol’ U.S.A.

Gone Fishin' New Jammies• Featuring a whimsical angler theme, Gone Fishin’ New Jammies will have kids dreaming of sun-filled days by the lake catching fish to cook over the campfire.

Bug's Life New Jammies• Cute and cozy Bug’s Life footies, short sets, and PJs showcase insects that flit and flutter while lighting up the night, perfect for camping under the stars.

Play Right: Summer Traveling with Kids

New Jammies Stars and StripesAt New Jammies, we can’t wait for summer vacation, when the kids break from school and finally have the fun in the sun they’ve been waiting for. There are many historical places to visit as teaching moments for the kids. There’s also plenty of family-friendly outdoor destinations perfect for heading to the beach, camping, hiking, biking, sightseeing, and more.

New Jammies owner and founder Nicole Ludlow recently road tripped with her family cross-country and has summer travel tips that can help families prepare.

“Make sure to pack ample sun protection — hats, sunblock, back-up lightweight long-sleeve top, and sunglasses. And spare shoes. More walking/running than usual in sandals can give blisters, so maybe bring extra pair sneakers, socks,” she says. “Keep cool with water mister sprays and bring a small cooler with cold water and electrolytes packets for kids.”

When traveling with kids, Nicole reminds parents to be prepared for situations beyond their control.

“You never know how long things might really take. Sitting at the airport or in traffic, long lines for events, weather problems, etc.” she says. “It’s good to always have healthy snacks on the go — dried fruit, nuts, pretzels and bananas. In a cooler, pack cut-up fruit, veggies, and cheese.”

Nicole also suggests packing items that keep with kids’ normal routines while away from home.

Bunny New Jammies“Bring their favorite blanket, animal, books, small toys, and a potty if potty training so you can use on the go on a road trip,” she says.

To help parents be ready for a trip to remember, the Family Travel Association offers “5 Tips for Family Adventure Travel,” including a webinar. Watch it here.

“Family travel is a unique opportunity for bonding,” says the nonprofit organization, whose mission is to inspire families to travel. “Together you will be creating a brand new set of shared experiences and memories that can enrich your family for years to come.”

The Association suggests starting planning early to reduce stress and create more joy for the trip by getting an 8-10 month head start on plans.

“Many of us are master procrastinators, but leaving planning — especially for international travel— to the last minute can add unnecessary stress to what should be a fully enjoyable experience. Besides simply allowing yourself ample time to make decisions and sort details without stress, studies show that beginning the planning process early builds a sense of anticipation and can create more enjoyment surrounding the trip.”

The Family Travel Association also advises to know your family needs and designate a point person responsible for interacting directly with travel agent or tour operator.

“If possible, get the family together to sit down and discuss each person’s wants, needs, and expectations. Perhaps the kids are old enough for dinner alone and were looking forward to having that time to themselves, but Grandma was expecting a family dinner each night. Considering each person’s individual needs and personality will help you plan a trip that will be enjoyable for everyone,” the group says.

Other pointers when planning a family trip, says the the Family Travel Association, is to know traveling is possible with kids of any age — and that it doesn’t have to break the bank.

“Take the time to think through all the potential costs of the trip, so you’re not surprised later with forgotten costs: are meals included in your trip cost? Is tipping expected at your destination, and to whom? A group travel family adventure is based on a per-person cost, so make sure you are multiplying those numbers by the number of family members traveling. Thinking through these details can make a big difference for staying within your budget.”

Sunflowers_New JammiesManaging the details, aka keeping all your ducks in a row, is a big part of making a family vacation fun. Organization experts The Container Store offer the “Top 10 Organized Travel Tips” to help make family vacations stress-free.

The store suggests planning ahead and allowing plenty of time, researching conditions and requirements, and making a checklist of items absolutely needed. Also, communicate by informing friends, family and trusted neighbors of plans to travel and how long, says the store.

Other helpful suggestions include protecting your home during vacation, having pets boarded or cared for by a friend, watering houseplants well, setting timers on interior and exterior lights and thermostats at reasonable temperatures for summer, and hiding valuables other than in your jewelry box or an underwear drawer.

Also, “don’t take the kitchen sink” when traveling.

“When planning for your weekend, keep in mind that many hotels offer a variety of amenities that you won’t need to bring from home. For example, many facilities feature hairdryers in each room; therefore you can leave yours at home and reduce the bulk in your suitcase. The same is true for items like robes and beach towels so, save space for something you know you will need,” says The Container Store.

For a road trip, be sure to have a pre-vacation car inspection, check tires and fluids, and inspect windshield wipers, hoses and belts for wear. Include an emergency auto kit with jumper cables, basic hand tools, flares, a first aid kit and a flashlight.

When it comes to medical emergencies, be prepared for the unexpected.

“But you don’t need to bring along the entire medicine cabinet to remedy the situation. Prepare a small first aid kit with only the basics and a travel-sized sewing kit. You’ll be glad you have them when you need them,” the store says.

Happy traveling!

Play Right: Fun Summer Vacation Hotspots for Kids

imageFilled with sunshine and fun, there’s nothing like summer vacation to build lasting memories for New Jammies kids and their families. Kids can take a break from homework and parents can relax with some well-deserved vacation time with these ideas for memory-making summer vacations.

• If budget is a factor in your summer vacation planning, look no further than the Travel Channel’s Cheap Summer Vacations list to plan a budget-friendly get-away. Topping the list is Family Camp at Medomak Camp in Rockland, Maine. At this all-inclusive vacation destination, parents get in on the fun of summer camp, as the flat tuition fee covers activities and all meals in a gourmet mess hall, including a lobster feast. “Morning activities for the kids include archery or arts and crafts while adults practice yoga, get a massage or even join the kids for some craft time. In the afternoon, everyone heads to the lake for swimming, kayaking, sculling or sailing,” says the Travel Channel. “Come nightfall, the whole family can set off on a scavenger hunt or play softball or ultimate Frisbee. Bring your own musical instrument for the evening campfire. Just leave your hair dryer at home — the accommodations are comfy, but rustic, and there’s no need for primping anyway.”

image

Mesa Verde National Park

• Family camping can be a way for families to enjoy all that nature has to offer and take in the freedoms of the open road and wilderness. The useful website camping.com is dedicated to providing camping and RVing tips, trips and information, and has several RV camping trip planners available no matter what part of the USA the family will visit. For fans of the Old West, the Four Corners Road Trip is one regional route that allows families to see four states — Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah — and breathtaking views and landscapes perfect for hiking and exploring. “This region is filled with parks, fascinating history and stunning geological features,” says the site. “RV enthusiasts can travel northwest from the beautiful Mesa Verde National Park into Utah and Arches National Park. Along this journey travelers will learn about the history and geology of the region.” Enjoy sleeping under the stars, s’mores by the campfire, and an educational look at life in the desert from our country’s ancestors’ point of view.

image• The West Coast of the U.S. not only provide scenic camping opportunities, but the beautiful coastal region is also great for a baseball park-themed vacation to celebrate America’s favorite game. At ballparksofbaseball.com, parents can plan vacations around nationwide summer baseball schedules, breaking the games down by region with the helpful MLB Road Trip Guide. The Left Coast Tour takes family vacationers to five ballparks from Seattle to San Diego over eight days. Take in the old-fashioned culture of eating ballpark hot dogs and peanuts and singing along to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” See the sites of the San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle cityscapes at the end of June while rooting on the boys of summer.

• If beachside is where the family prefers a little R&R for the week, Florida is the sunny state to visit in the summertime. On the state’s Gulf side, Captiva and Sanibel Island is a great kid-friendly location to collect sand buckets full of seashells by the seashore. Make sure to visit the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge for an educational experience for the kids. Another kid-friendly location in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, home to Fort De Soto Park which was voted Best Family Beach in the Country by Parents Magazine. Amenities include a sandbar that makes a natural kiddie pool for new swimmers, calm surf, lifeguards, an historic fort, camping, fishing, recreation, canoe and nature trails and a dog park. Check out visitflorida.com to plan a sunny vacation perfect for the entire family.

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imageBugs ‘n Butterflies!

Summer is here and kids can enjoy the magic of Mother Nature by learning about bugs and butterflies when they play outside or head to camp. Keep your kiddos comfy in our 100% organic cotton pajamas on warm summer days and nights. It’s a bug’s life in these fun prints! We love playing outdoors, so much so we wrote this blog about it. Read all about it here!

Through June 8, take 15% off our Bug’s Life and Butterfly Magic collections. Use code: BNB2015

 

Play Right: Fun Spring Break Ideas for Kids

New Jammies Whale PJ BeachSpring is nearly here, and New Jammies families are looking to get away and enjoy fun with the kids. Whether it’s an indoor water park to make a splash or skiing in the mountains, family-friendly Spring Break destinations can be a great way to recharge for a new season.

From coast to coast, there are fun Spring break activities the whole family can enjoy. In the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, there’s a new 66,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art indoor waterpark with a glass roof to allow the sun to shine in for year-round family entertainment. Wilderness at the Smokies, in Sevierville, Tennessee, is the state’s largest waterpark resort. It houses several indoor water and tube slides, a 10,000-square-foot wave pool, spraying water features, a five-story family raft ride, and indoor/outdoor hot spa. Stay at the Stone Hill Lodge or River Lodge to make a convenient trek over to the Wilderness at the Smokies water park. Don’t forget a waterproof camera to capture the family fun while making Spring Break memories for a lifetime.

Picked AAA’s top Spring Break travel destination in 2015, Orlando, Florida, offers families so many options for enjoyment, it might be hard to pick just one or two. “It’s clear that travelers are seeking warm weather destinations this spring as they look to escape the cold after a particularly harsh winter,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA Senior Vice President of Travel and Publishing. “In addition to great domestic destination getaways, cruises, tours and vacation packages to international destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean are also popular vacations this spring.”

With so many choices out there, especially in Orlando, our editorial staff at New Jammies recommends ordering the free Orlando Vacation Planning Kit for information on hotels, attractions, events, and maps. Orlando is of course world famous for the happiest place on earth, aka Walt Disney World. But the Florida city is also home to Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, and other theme parks geared to family vacationing. There are also attractions such as water parks, indoor skydiving, alligator spotting at Gator Land, dinner theaters, and off-road adventures perfect for the whole family.

Paddleboating in the Tidal Basin. Photo by: Destination DC

Springtime paddleboating in the Tidal Basin. Photo by: Destination DC

Also on AAA’s list of top Spring Break destination list is the nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. There’s no better place in America to teach kids about our nation’s founding and enjoy the beautiful landmarks and cultural attractions that make this country so great. Make sure to visit the massive National Mall open park in downtown Washington between the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol. The White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Jefferson Pier, National World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial are all on the must-see sight-seeing tour in D.C.

For educational, kid-friendly fun, the nation’s capitol is museum central. The city houses the National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall (the most visited museum), National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of American History, National Museum of the American Indian, the Sackler and Freer galleries, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Arts and Industries Building, S. Dillon Ripley Center, and the Smithsonian Institution Building, also known as “The Castle.” For travelers on a budget, visit this helpful Washington D.C. tourist’s guide for 100 free (and almost free) things to do.

Need a refreshing jaunt at high elevation? A trip to the Rocky Mountains provides some late-season Spring Break skiing and western exploring for families. Denver, Colorado, the state’s capitol appropriately named the Mile High City, has a variety of museums and attractions kids of all ages will love. Check out the Children’s Museum of Denver, Denver Museum of Nature and Sciences, Downtown Aquarium, the Just for Fun Family Center at the Denver Art Museum, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Butterfly Pavilion, and Dinosaur Ridge next to the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Head west to the mountains for skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in such beautiful Colorado destinations as Breckenridge, Winter Park, Durango, Telluride, Beaver Creek, Steamboat Springs, Vail, and Aspen, just to name a few.

Family fun in the Hot Springs

Family fun in the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool

For a truly family-friendly experience, visit one of New Jammies’ favorite spots, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Enjoy a soak and swim in the world’s largest hot springs pool or outdoor activities at the Colorado gem Sunlight Mountain Resort at this award-winning Rocky Mountain town on the state’s Western Slope. Ride the exciting downhill alpine coaster and tour and explore one of America’s top 10 caves, according to USA Today, at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park high atop Iron Mountain.

Most of all this spring, have fun!