Tips for a Family-Friendly Small Town 4th of July Vacation

How is it that school is out and the 4th of July is already right around the corner, again? If you’re like many parents, it’s been a busy year and you haven’t had a minute to finalize your Independence Day travel plans. Here’s a little help. If you’re traveling with little ones, why not think small this 4th of July? Small town Independence Day activities tend to be very kid friendly.

Happy 4th of July banner. children. Castine Maine United States small town in coastal Maine.

1) Pack light. Avoid the hassle of lugging your babies, luggage and bulky baby gear through crowded airports, while still enjoying all the baby-friendly comforts of home while on vacation this July 4th. Babierge will deliver and set up a wide array of baby and child equipment and toys at your hotel or vacation rental, and then return to pick it all up on departure day. Consider renting a comfy, quality crib so your baby sleeps well – this way everyone gets to relax and recharge.


2) Attend a small-town parade. Small scale parades offer an ideal opportunity to experience all the Independence Day spirit with your little ones, with little hassle. Parking is easy, there are no huge crowds to navigate through, and you’ll find short lines for snacks and drinks—and bathrooms! Best of all you can park the kids in the front row where they can interact with parade participants. Be prepared to be squirted with water pistols in warmer climates, and bring little bags to collect candy and other treats tossed from floats.


3) Prepare for the heat. Make sure to pack sunscreen, hats and a lot of water for everyone, especially if you expect to be out all day. If you’re renting a baby backpack, get one with a sun shade, like this Kelty Pathfinder backpack, a favorite of many parents, which sports plenty of extra room for drinks and snacks (and it comes with a changing pad!). To cool down your baby after the parade, rent a water table so the entire family can splash around in a yard or park.


4) Learn Independence Day history.  If you happen to be in Boston, take your little ones on a journey back to the 18th century.  They can play colonial games, meet 4th of July Hero Paul Revere and even throw tea in the Boston Harbor at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Independence Day offers ample opportunity for your children to experience a little history in cities and small towns around the country. Visit a local history museum at your vacation destination. Small town museums are often an ideal experience for younger children who can be overwhelmed by larger, busy museums.


5) Make Fireworks Kid Safe and Friendly. Noise-cancelling headphones are a Fourth of July must-have for babies age 3 months and over.  This is especially true for young children who love the fireworks but can’t tolerate the noise. Distance, as in keeping your distance from the smoke and the loudest noise, is the way to go. Many small towns across the US host fireworks that are kid friendly and still quite spectacular.


Enjoy the Firecrackers, Roman Candles and Skyrockets this Independence Day! And most of all, enjoy your time with your children.

Visit the Babierge 4th of July Pinterest Board for more kid-friendly ideas.

Top 5 Summer Jobs for Teachers

Teachers are embracing the gig economy as a way to earn a little extra money during summer vacation. But which side hustles are best for teachers, given their well-earned need for some down time over the summer months?

We took a look at ideal summer sharing-economy jobs for teachers. To make the cut these gigs had to pay reasonably well, or allow for a lot of schedule flexibility, and be fun–or at least occasionally fun. Even teachers get to let their hair down for some summertime fun.

Here are our five favorite summertime side gigs for teachers:


Babierge (baby + concierge) connects traveling families with “Trusted Partners” at their vacation destination who rent, deliver and set up baby equipment that helps families enjoy all the comforts of home while on vacation. Think Airbnb, but for baby gear.

As a Trusted Partner you’ll load gear like portable cribs, strollers, car seats and bins full of toys into the back of your car and then deliver it to families at local hotels, vacation rentals and private homes. You select the gear you want to rent and set your own rental prices and delivery fees. Babierge builds your Web site, drives business to it and handles your rental transactions and payments. Trusted Partners earn, on average, about $1,000/month.

Babierge10This is fun and rewarding work. Customers love you. Expect an occasional hug too. Best of all is to see the smiling faces on babies who are super excited to see you show up with toys. Oh happy day!

If you apply to Babierge in early June, you can have your first baby gear orders by the last day of school. Your baby gear career doesn’t need to end in September either. Teachers can rent gear year round by setting delivery hours for before or after the school day.


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Rover is another fun, flexible sharing economy platform, connecting dog families with dog lovers who can make a side income as dog sitters. Think about it, boarding dogs overnight, pet sitting during the day or taking groups of playful dogs out for walks around the neighborhood–if you love dogs, it doesn’t get much better than this! You actually can get paid to play with adorable dogs.

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Dog sitting can be a great side gig for teachers. While earning a little extra cash hosting dogs in your home you can still catch up on summer reading, or accomplish all the other tasks on your to-do list that were simply impossible to get to during the hectic school year. Dogs can have a calming effect on you too. We all want our teachers cool, calm and collected when that first school bell rings in September. Signing up for Rover is easy peasy. You can earn more than $1,000/month.


downloadSome teachers might want their summer plans to keep them far from the classroom, but if you’re the kind of teacher who can’t get enough instructional time with students, online tutoring is a good work-from-home option. Teachers are great tutors, which is sort of stating the obvious.


It’s easy to get started at Fill out the application and take a test to demonstrate your mastery of any of the wide-ranging subjects offered, including Physics, Calculus, Foreign Languages, Statistics, Sociology, Essay Writing and ESL. The money isn’t great, but there’s a lot of flexibility. According to Glassdoor Tutors are making somewhere between $11 and $14/hr. More challenging subjects tend to pay a little more.



Got a car sitting idle in your driveway? Flying away on a well-earned vacation? Turn your auto into extra cash by renting it out through Getaround, or any of several personal car rental services. Getaround currently offers rentals in the San Francisco Bay Area, New Jersey, Boston, D.C.,Chicago and Portland, with more locations likely to go live soon. Expect more locations soon.


Getaround uses safe and smart technology to unlock your car for the customer through a smartphone. Drivers are screened for safe driving records and have access to 24/7 roadside assistance. Renters can earn up to $10,000 year and are insured for up to $1 million. Get started by listing your car.



Teachers are skilled at more than just, well, teaching. TaskRabbit connects helpers with customers who need assistance with varying tasks like restyling a home, moving furniture, running errands or delivering items.


As part of the signup process, Taskers must undergo a background and identity check. As long as you weren’t robbing banks last year as your summer side gig, this can’t be any harder than the background checks required to be a teacher.


Meet Two Gig Economy Teachers


Joe and Debra Moreno are retired teachers earning a side income renting out baby gear on the Babierge platform in Phoenix. Like so many teachers, Debra and Joe are bright, highly motivated and incredibly empathetic to families dealing with the stress of travel. They’re naturals for a side career in the hospitality industry. They once brought a hungry family a pizza along with their baby gear! Check out their Babierge website to learn more about Joe and Debra.

Whether renting baby gear or running errands, the gig economy offers great options for teachers (and really just about anyone) to change it up, earn a summer side income, and sometimes even have a little fun.

Babierge Best for Baby Gear Reviews: Baby Banz earBanZ Kids Hearing Protection

Item – Baby Banz earBanZ Kids Hearing Protection

Category – Hearing Protection

Baby Gear Expert – Kerri Couillard

Babierge Trusted Partner, Albuquerque


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Ear Protection For Airplanes, Car Rides, Sports Games, Crowded Events and More!

Isn’t it true that often when babies get upset and start crying they are irritated by something unpleasant happening around them? Take a flight for example – before liftoff everything is placid, and the baby is occupied with a toy or nap… But as soon as the plane gets moving they become very much awake, unhappy, and loud! And once the plane is in the air and you’ve finally calmed your kiddo down, something will happen to start the cycle all over again – someone has a coughing fit, the airplane makes some harsh noises, another child starts crying. Baby Banz earBanz Hearing Protection is my perfect solution for these problems.

Baby Banz earBanZ come in a gamut of variations so you’re sure to find one just right for you child, for example, they offer one size for children 0-2 years old which was perfect for my kiddo, and a slightly bigger size for those age 2-12 years old. And ranging from $23 to $30 they are definitely worth the price to bring your child along in good spirits to loud, crowded events while keeping their ears safe. Plus, because these earmuffs can fold to fit inside most parents’ palms, they won’t take up much space in a diaper bag or backpack.


My earBanz are so effective that customers often tell me kiddos who wear them at noisy events actually end up snoozing halfway through! Fireworks, music concerts, and movies are all manageable with a little one who’s wearing a pair of Baby Banz earBanZ. “They can’t possibly be that comfy – my baby never sleeps, even in silence,” customers often say. But take it from me – the problem isn’t getting your baby to sleep, it’s getting them to relinquish the earmuffs! My kids liked enjoyed earmuffs so much they wouldn’t even take them off!

Learn more about the Baby Banz earBanZ Kids Hearing Protection at:

Kerri Couillard is the CTO and Founder of Babierge Baby Gear Marketplace and is a Trusted Partner in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She rents baby equipment (and books, baby monitors, and even ride-on toys!) to families traveling in Albuquerque, and to local grandparents hosting their families.

Babierge Best for Baby Gear Reviews: Ingenuity Inlighten Cradling Swing

Item – Ingenuity Inlighten Cradling Swing

Category – Baby Swing

Baby Gear Expert – Trish McDermott

Babierge Trusted Partner, Oakland


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Grandmothers’ Top Choice in Infant Swings!

If you’re looking for a way to lull your grandbaby into a peaceful nap, or keep your precious little one happily occupied while you grab a few minutes of nearby mommy time, you’ll want to check out Ingenuity’s Inlighten Cradling Swing. In the San Francisco East Bay we’ve had a rental rush on these swings, selling out entirely over busy family travel holidays. We rent most of these Ingenuity swings to grandmothers who want only the best for visits from their grandbabies.  There’s so much for grandma (and baby) to love about this swing.

The Inlighten Cradling Swing is like a luxurious, puffy cloud hovering in your living room for your baby to lounge in. Plush and comfy, it features an assortment of soothing, welcoming color schemes. Even you’ll get sleepy just looking at one!


One great feature is its mobility. The swing rotates a full 180 degrees, so you can always keep an eye on your baby as you move about a room. It folds for less bulky storage, or for navigating through tight doorways as you move it from room to room–and you will, because it’s that great!  It comes with an AC power option and a handy battery compartment for use away from the power outlet. Another parent-prefered feature is the jack that allows you to play your favorite playlists for baby. With a soothing lullaby, along with the duo of entertaining lights and mobile features, your baby will happily drift off at nap time.

Learn more about the Ingenuity Inlighten Cradling Swing  at:

Trish McDermott is a Babierge Trusted Partner in Oakland. She rents baby equipment (and books, toys, and even ride-on toys!) to families traveling to Oakland and the East Bay Area, and to local grandparents hosting visiting grandchildren.

Strollers, Car Seats, Cribs, Oh My! Blair

Meet Blair, a Babierge Trusted Partner

Welcome to the second installment of Strollers, Car Seats, Cribs, Oh My!  – Meet the Babierge Trusted Partners. Here you’ll get to know Babierge’s Trusted Partners, the intrepid entrepreneurs who deliver strollers, car seats, and cribs straight to vacationing families.

Blair Gross, a driven mama of two youngsters who rents all kinds of baby gear to families traveling in Orange County, Southern California.


Blair and Her Beautiful Family Live in Orange County, California

Day job: Blair fills her weekdays hanging at home with her two children and teaching yoga.


Blair Strolls Up and Down Mission Viejo’s Streets With Her Two Kiddos Sitting Comfortably in the BOB Duallie

Most Heartwarming Order: One time a family coming to the OC all the way from Norway to have their twins (boy and girl) via surrogate right here in Mission Viejo contacted Blair. She was so thrilled they chose her to be a part of their journey into parenthood that she brought them flowers when she delivered and set up their items  as they anxiously awaited the arrival of their babies.

Funniest Delivery Experience: One time Blair’s husband went to pick up one of her orders and a female renter answered the door in a towel!

Biggest Surprise: Blair’s biggest spontaneous on-the-job surprise happened last September. She had to go fix a flat tire on a client’s BOB Stroller and ended up going into labor and having her son that night! In her general Trusted Partner experience, Blair has been most surprised by just how excited people are to find out they can actually rent stuff and not have to buy it or pack it. She gets to meet all kinds of really nice folks and finds it so fun to help make their stay in Orange County easier.


Only a Car With a HUGE Trunk Will Suffice for Blair’s Biggest Orders

As a Babierge Trusted Partner in Orange County, CA, Blair services Disneyland visitors as well as parents and families staying in the OC and its many beautiful beach towns – Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Newport Beach, and San Juan Capistrano to name a few. She loves helping out grandparents who are hosting grandchildren and need baby gear, but don’t want to be stuck with bulky items collecting dust when the kiddos leave. Blair takes great satisfaction in cruising around Orange County helping families and grandparents out.  She drops off baby equipment at all sorts of places like airports, hotels, private homes, restaurants, beaches and more! Families can also arrange to pick up gear on their own. Whatever the situation, Blair can fit it into her busy schedule.

Blair’s story in her own words:

After having my daughter I decided to leave a stressful full-time job as Project Manager of a Global Events team. I was able focus on my family and my passion for teaching prenatal yoga while also working on remodeling our home. Once the house project was wrapped up I realized I still had a huge desire to exercise my business mind – I was looking for a position that was just the right fit and would allow me to spend as much time with my daughter as possible.


As a Young Mom Blair Knows Exactly What Children Need to Feel at Home While on Vacation

Around that time I reconnected with an old friend in Chicago who had recently joined Babierge and told me how much fun she was having helping out traveling families. I myself could relate to the herculean task of traveling with children – I knew just how much of a grind it was, how by the time you were at your destination you were completely exhausted just from lugging your gear through the airport, not to mention the times we wound up with a vanished car seat, broken strollers, or that soaking wet car seat… You don’t want to know.

Thus began my mission to help families visiting Orange County have easier, more enjoyable experiences. I especially love helping first time baby travelers and local families prepare for little ones to visit. It’s so fun getting to deliver BOB Strollers and beach toy packages because I know a family will now enjoy the best aspects of OC living as they take long walks around our neighborhoods, and play in the luxurious sand on our beautiful beaches.

Babierge Best for Baby Gear Reviews: BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light

Item – BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light      

Category – Travel Cribs                                              

Baby Gear Expert – Nicole Kitzman

Babierge Trusted Partner, Washington DC


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Pack This Lightweight BabyBjorn Travel Crib on Your Next Long Road Trip!

As a Babierge Trusted Partner renting baby equipment in the Washington DC area, I own literally 100 pieces of baby gear – big, small, wood, plastic, colorful, monotone, you name it! It’s all top-quality equipment – parents and grandparents renting baby gear have high standards, as they should. Out of all this gear, one baby gear item easily takes the cake as my #1 best piece of equipment: the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light. There are so many things you’ll love about the BabyBjorn Travel Crib, so it’s a real challenge to narrow it down to just a few.

This travel crib is lightweight! At thirteen pounds it’s lighter than the Graco Travel Lite Crib (nineteen pounds) and folds easily into a compact and sturdy carrying bag. The BabyBjorn travel crib is easy to move from room to room and small enough to take on road trips and weekend getaways. With this in mind I give it 5 out of 5 rattles for convenience and storability.

The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light is SO easy to keep clean. The entire crib fabric zips right off the frame in one piece and can be machine washed. I wash mine on the gentle cycle and let it air dry. I’ve washed the ones I rent to customers so many times and there is no fabric fading. It still looks brand new! It totally deserves 5 out of 5 rattles for how easy it is to clean.

Most importantly, these  materials are safe for your baby. The BabyBjorn travel crib fabrics are Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified. I love knowing the baby gear I rent doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals! Thanks to BabyBjorn for making a truly standout baby product! I give it 5 out of 5 rattles for overall quality.

Learn more about the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light at:

Nicole Kitzman is a Babierge Trusted Partner in Washington, D.C. She rents baby equipment (and books, toys, even ride-on trains too!) to families traveling to the DC metro area, and to local grandparents hosting visiting grandchildren.

A Local’s Love – The Low-Down on Vacationing With Young Children in Los Angeles

When it comes to the Shangri-La of baby vacations you’d be hard-pressed to find another location that stacks up to Los Angeles, California. With its near permanent sunshine, comfy weather, incredible natural play places – parks, beaches, and walking trails – and obviously amazing attractions like world-famous Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Adventure City kid’s theme park, you’ll have more than enough material to keep your kids busy and bubbling. When you top it all off with top-notch educational experiences like the Children’s Discovery Cube, LA Zoo, and the La Brea Tar Pits (dinosaurs!), stupendous sports stadiums, and much more, LA is the place to be if you want to enjoy yourself and show your little ones the time of their young lives!


LA Is a Massive City With Incredible Views and Weather!

Access by Air

Los Angeles’ main airport, LAX, is a huge international airport, so be prepared for lengthy security lines. Bag checks will take some time too so if you can avoid having to check your luggage your stress levels will be much lower – renting from a baby equipment company that can deliver gear to the airport will help make this possible.


LAX is a High-Tech Airport With Beautiful Design and Architecture

Unfortunately getting from terminal to terminal can be tedious, and the airport’s rental car agencies are all located outside of the actual airport so you’ll have to take a shuttle to reach each individual counter. On the bright side, LAX has been rated one of the nicest airports in the country, and it has plenty of food and shopping to keep you and your children occupied during unexpected waits. Make sure to allow a lot more time for traffic, lines, car returns, etc. when heading out of LA.

Quick tip: Booking a flight in or out of LA from Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport will reduce the stress of navigating the daunting size of LAX. This airport is smaller, lesser known, and a little bit further from central LA than LAX with its northern location, but it may provide easier arrival and departure depending on where you are staying in LA.


Bob Hope Airport is Smaller and More Manageable than LAX

Getting Around

Los Angeles is very unpredictable as far as traffic goes. Sometimes the freeways that you think will be packed are completely empty and sometimes there is a traffic jam on a Sunday morning. Always expect that travel to the beach will take a while, so plan to leave early and be prepared for some hassle. Going through downtown during a concert or sporting event at Staples Center can be really tricky. Fortunately, in LA there are secret routes to avoid the freeways almost everywhere. Ask a local, hotel concierge, or host for secret routes.

Paying a little extra for priority parking or valet is almost always worth it, especially if you’re bringing along the little ones – less walking, less waiting, more playing! Everywhere in LA has valet, even the beach! The area also has a new Metro train that goes straight to the sand, which is fun and fast.


The LA Metro is New and Can Take You All Over the City

Heading Outdoors

The greater Los Angeles area is practically guaranteed to provide great weather to traveling families – it is always sunny down here! The average annual lows hover around a moderate 66 degrees fahrenheit while the highs average a warm 84 degrees. Rain has been lacking in LA as of late, but if it does rain, be prepared for crazy drivers.

It’s a no-brainer to visit one of southern California’s beautiful beaches and the Leo Carillo State Park is a top-notch choice. Much less busy than Santa Monica and many of LA’s more classically known beaches, Leo Carillo beach has a lot to offer young children like a tunnel that goes under the Pacific Coast Highway to get to the beach, tide pools, sea caves, and surfers galore. Plus there’s a nearby seafood restaurant called Neptune’s Net that is a local hangout with awesome motorcycles almost always parked out front. If you’re up for it, your family can even camp near the beach!


Leo Carillo State Park is a Little Piece of Heaven

If your squad is looking for a chance to get away from the concrete jungle but don’t want to take the journey to the beach, Griffith Park is the place to go. Founded in 1896, Griffith Park is the biggest public park in LA, boasting 4,310 acres, and has an observatory, restaurants, an old train park, and a merry-go-round. There are all kinds of trails in this park like the Charlie Turner Trail, which is a 3-mile round-trip trail that takes you up Mt. Hollywood to see views of the San Fernando Valley, Glendale, and other parts of LA. An easier route is the Fern Canyon hike that will provide views of Glendale and Pasadena at the top, and many chances to see gophers, squirrels, woodpeckers, and other small animals on the way up.


Just One View of the Griffith Park and its Trails and Observatory

Good Eats

Eating in LA can be both amazing and painful at the same time. As a culinary paradise with access to the freshest ingredients in the country and drawing incredible creativity from the city’s character, LA will “wow” your tastebuds, but the wait is what can drive you and your kids crazy. Luckily there is an easy solution to this: SNACKS. Bring snacks wherever you go – chips, apples, carrots, granola bars – this way when you find the perfect restaurant for your family, the wait doesn’t push you towards a less busy spot to satisfy hungry bellies. Here are some of those spots that might be that perfect spot for your group:

It’s always smart to have an all-American diner in your back pocket when the kids just want something simple – a hamburger, french fries, some pasta with marinara sauce. Nickel Diner is more than the average eatery providing a down-home atmosphere and homemade delectables like brioche cinnamon toast and jam, sophisticated scrambles for breakfast, and for dinner hearty courses like ”smac and cheese” and “mama’s spaghetti and meatballs.”


Nickel Diner is a Quaint Stop and Makes Delicious Food

Another spectacular spot is Carney’s Sunset Strip where the hot dogs and hamburgers are lodged in LA lore. Boasting some of the best chili sauce in the nation, you and your kids will find all kinds of great meals here but the chili dog and chili burger are what reign supreme. This super cheap spot also has great options like Chicago Polish dogs, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, and sweet potato fries. Ah, and we almost forgot to mention – Carney’s is located INSIDE A TRAIN CAR. Yes, this food experience means sitting inside a train and using hundreds of napkins to keep your kids’ faces at least a little bit tidy.


Carney’s Guests Eat in this Yellow Train Car!

Other great options are the Genwa Korean BBQ spot with $3 valet parking and an interactive cooking experience the kids will love. We also crave Gracie’s Pizza on the daily – this spot on Melrose Ave has very creative pizza options, great drinks, garlic bread knots, and chicken wings, plus they can deliver! This is THE place to get pizza in the City of Angels (and incredible eats).

Excellent Excursions

Families absolutely love the Los Angeles Zoo where children under 2 get in for free and everyone else is $20 or less. In the summer, the zoo is open one night a month so you can see all the nocturnal animals awake. Housing every animal you can think of from elephants, giraffes, tigers, chimpanzees, orangutans, and much more, the zoo also has 15 collections of botanical gardens and a “Dinosaurs: Un-extinct” exhibit where guests can check out 17 different animatronic dinosaurs.


The Zoo has the Closest Thing to Real Dinos!

The Santa Monica Pier is a beautiful, energetic location where families can ride the world-famous Ferris wheel that towers above the Pacific, or enjoy the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. A great way to spend a summer night in LA is to sit on the beach and enjoy music during the annual summer concert series.


The Santa Monica Park is a Great Stop on a Sunny Day

There is a movie night every Saturday during the summer in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery where many of LA’s most influential figures are buried. But this isn’t as creepy as you might think – 40 acres of the cemetery now belongs to Paramount studios, and this is where movie nights take place. These events are great for children as they usually show classics. You can bring food and beverages, spread out blankets, and watch movies under the stars. As with everything in Los Angeles, arrive early.


Even LA Locals Gather for Hollywood Forever Movie Nights

Must-Visit Attractions

The Zimmerman Museum is a go-to for fun family entertainment that many different ages can enjoy. This museum is dedicated to multiculturalism and showing children and families the importance and unifying potential of artistic expression. Some of the many incredible exhibits include “Rhythms of the World” where kids can play many different instruments they’ve never heard of before, they can try flying a plane at the “Discovery Airport,” and run around and learn about environmental conservation at the “Community Park.”

Of course, the majority of families who come to Los Angeles are here for one thing: DISNEYLAND. Ticket prices hover around $100 a day for anyone over the age of 3, but those ages 2 and under get in for free. Anyone who has been to Disneyland will tell you that it is an absolutely wonderful experience with so much to do and see, so make sure to provide at least one whole day to exploring the park and get there early in the morning before it opens at 9am. This will give you time to see all the regions of the park and try out all the rides, since lines can be very long on busy days.


Disneyland is Gorgeous Year-Round!

Aside from the big Disneyland, don’t forget to check out Adventure City, Knotts Berry Farm, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Each of these parks if almost always out of strollers, especially double strollers, so make sure to book early or rent a stroller from a local rental company to avoid the hassle.

Baby Gear

When it comes to Los Angeles you’re going to need a lot of energy to keep up with the excitement your kids will have being so close to Disneyland and in a place where the sun is shining and everyone is having a great time. It’s important to note that full-size cribs are almost never available at hotels, and car seats offered through rental car companies are very expensive and often neglected. Double strollers are even harder to come by, so if you know you need one, book it early! A much smarter, cheaper, easier option that will take a load off your shoulders and allow you to keep up with the kiddos is to rent all your baby gear from a local baby gear rental company. The best ones will deliver to you at your hotel or airport car rental agency and pick-up from either spot as well.


Sarah Huff is a Babierge Independent Trusted Partner, renting baby gear to traveling families out of Los Angeles. She has all the tips on how to enjoy every moment in Los Angeles. Find her at: or follow her on Twitter at

A Local’s Love – Must-Know Tips for Vacationing with Young Children in Washington, D.C.

At first thought Washington, D.C. might seem an odd vacation destination for a family with young children – what is there to do in America’s political headquarters? It’s all work and no play, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Washington D.C. is truly a family vacation goldmine. This shining city that is America’s capital has one particularly special feature due to its high status: museums like the Smithsonian, National Museum of American History, Freer Gallery of Art, and even the National Zoo are all free! What’s more, some of America’s most important national monuments, the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the Constitutional Gardens and others are all packed conveniently into the National Mall. D.C. and its surrounding suburbs are where it’s at if you’re looking for a destination with an infinite amount of activities, entrance fees that leave your pockets full, and learning opportunities around every corner!


Washington’s National Mall is Gorgeous at Night

Access by Air

Flying into Washington D.C. can seem complicated when looking for flights because there are three different airport options: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). None of these airports has particularly long wait times, but their locations can determine which is best for your vacation plans. Here’s the low-down on each:

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) – Reagan National is the closest airport to Washington D.C. and the place to fly into if you’re going to stay in the capital. Cab rides from here take about 15 minutes when traffic is low and cost around $20. DCA is the smallest of these three airports and only receives domestic flights so if you’re flying from outside of the country you’ll have to transfer at another international airport if you want to arrive at DCA.

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) – Sitting about 26 miles from the capital is Dulles International, Washington’s biggest and most famous airport. With high-tech, quick-moving security checkpoints and more than 100 restaurants and shops, Dulles is the best option for families. Washington, D.C. is about a 45 minute drive from Dulles, and Fairfax County, which lies between the airport and the capital, is only 30 minutes away. For families who want to see D.C. as well as enjoy the many opportunities offered in northern Virginia, it’s a great move to rent a car and stay in a hotel or AirBnB around Fairfax so that you can have easy access to D.C. and the activities in the surrounding suburbs. 


Dulles International is State-of-the-Art and Hassle Free

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) – Baltimore Washington Airport is the furthest away at about an hour northeast of D.C. but this means it’s also the best for low-budget vacations as a result of its status as a major hub for Southwest Airlines. A taxi ride from here to D.C. will cost are $90.

Getting Around

The D.C. metro area always ranks top-10 in the country’s most traffic-heavy cities, but if you’re savvy this won’t be a problem. If you drive to D.C. or decide to rent a car, try to plan your trips so that you leave and return to D.C. between 10 – 2pm on weekdays to avoid traffic. One important thing to know is I-66 (the main highway into D.C. from Fairfax County and Northern VA) is HOV only during peak commute times – all lanes are HOV. Luckily this won’t be a problem for traveling families since there will always be at least two people in the car!

D.C. is also a great place to skip personal transportation and go public. The region has an extensive metro system that extends from Fairfax County into D.C. and up to two children 4-years-old and younger can ride free with each adult paying full fare. Plus parking is free at metro-operated lots on weekends and federal holidays. On most weekends, it’s easy to find a space at metro parking lots, but it can be challenging to find parking on weekdays due to the number of metro commuters.


D.C.’s Metro System Zooms Right By the Capital Building

Heading Outdoors

Fall is such an amazing time in Fairfax county with so many farms and seasonal activities. Frying Pan Farm Park: Kidwell Farm is a must see for anyone with toddlers or kids interested in farm animals or farm equipment. And here’s the cherry on top: the animals are having babies this time of year! Cox Farms is another can’t-miss destination during fall. Opening on September 24 this year, its slides, hayrides, mazes, and market make for fun for the entire family. Another great outdoor option is Clemyjontri Park in Fairfax County. It’s a 2-acre park where every kid can play! It’s built so that kids with wheelchairs or other disabilities can play on everything too, it’s perfect for kids aged 3 to 8! It’s the best park in the region.  


The Incredible Colors at Clemyjontri Park

If the weather is good and your family is up for a hike, try the Great Falls State Park in northern Fairfax county. Here you can take a two mile hike (and you can turn back any time if the kids get tired) which offers gorgeous views of George Washington’s Potomac Canal, and other beautiful scenes at the Great Falls and Mather Gorge.


Great Falls is Beautiful Year-Round

District Delectables

D.C. is an incredibly diverse city so there are many incredible eateries in store here for traveling families. One of the highest rated restaurants in Pizzeria Orso which is 25 minutes outside of the city in Falls Church, VA. With its creative pizza options, healthy menu, and free meals for kids on Tuesdays, this place is always a hit with traveling families. Lost Dog cafe (our favorite is the N. Arlington location at 5876 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA) has great pizza and craft beer and is very kid friendly. The walls provide great decor for entertaining kiddos too.


The Pizza at Orso is Thick!

If you’re in D.C. and need a bite to eat you have to check out Ted’s Bulletin, a Family Restaurant which offers an extensive menu for adults and a kids menu with all entrees under $6. And when it comes to beverages, Ted’s is where it’s at – order one of their world famous milkshakes for the kids to share while you sip on their expertly crafted cocktails.


You Won’t Forget a Ted’s Bulletin Shake Anytime Soon

Another great option in the capital proper is the Commissary restaurant, but make sure tummies are hungry because these meals are hearty! The kids meals are affordable here but when we go we like to order family style – sharing a salad, a pasta, and pizza is more than enough for a 4-member family.

Excellent Excursions

There is one go-to option for excellent excursions in the D.C. area – the National Mall. Bring the kids along and introduce them to our country’s most hallowed spaces – the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the D.C. War Memorial dedicated to the soldiers who fought in World War II.


Every American Needs to Walk the National Mall

Once you’ve gotten the National Mall experience, don’t miss the White House Visitor Center. It’s important for American children to see the country’s most iconic building and get a sense of what life is like for the President and his family, after all, they will see this building on the news over and over again throughout their lifetimes! The next stop on a historical tour of D.C. is the National Archives where they will get to look at and learn first-hand about the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights. Other important documents housed here include the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation.


Get a Glimpse of Presidential Life at the White House Visitor’s Center

Must-Visit Attractions

Once you’ve seen some of America’s historical sites it’s time to take advantage of the incredible museums and activities D.C. offers, most of which are subsidized by the government. The Smithsonian Institution has it all – it’s the largest museum and research complex in the world and offers 19 different museums and galleries to check out.


The Smithsonian Gardens are Gorgeous Too!

A must-see for small children is the National Zoo, which offers free admission and is open 8am – 5pm and houses all kinds of species from american alligators, beavers, bison, lions, tigers, and bears, oh yes! The zoo also provides excellent learning opportunities like the “Coral Lab” where kids can learn about under-water environments, “The Inside Story” which shows x-rays of different animals to show how they eat move and play, and “Elephant Trails” which discusses elephant life at the zoo and efforts to save the Asian elephant.  


Children Love the Pandas at the National Zoo

Other attractions kids always love are the National Air and Space Museum where they can learn about the Wright Brother’s experiments at Kitty Hawk, America’s path to space exploration, and current military unmanned aerial vehicle technology. One must-see exhibit is the “Voyage – A Journey Through Our Solar System” which ventures to illustrate the great distances and challenges we face on our path towards planetary exploration.


There are Many Incredible Machines at the National Air and Space Museum

Last, but not least, is the American Natural History Museum where families can learn about about the vast life we are just beginning to discover under the sea at the “Living on an Ocean Planet” exhibit, or the “Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt” which covers the religious ideas and process of creating a mummy from the body of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. This list only scratches the surface so make sure to pay this incredible museum complex a visit!


A Massive T-Rex Awaits Visitors at the American Natural History Museum

Baby Gear

Washington, D.C. is a walking city, so it’s important to have a stroller even for children who might be pushing the the limits of stroller age. You won’t want to cut your day short because some little legs are tired – especially because all of the above attractions are just as interesting for adults as they are for kids. It’s important to note that cribs can be hard to secure at hotels. Hotels typically don’t have many available, and when they do, cribs are often outdated or actually pack ‘n plays rather than full-size wooden cribs.

For those families who want to see D.C. and enjoy the surrounding suburbs and the fun activities they offer, the right move is to rent a car. For families with small children this makes renting car seats vital. Most rental car agencies overprice their car seats, offer outdated gear, and take minimal steps to sanitize their gear, so consider renting from a baby equipment rental service instead. Babierge DC/Fairfax has car seats for littles one of all ages and great strollers for single kid families or for families with multiple children. Plus, they deliver to you right at the car rental service counter! 


Nicole Kitzman is a Babierge Independent Trusted Partner, renting baby gear to traveling families out of Washington, D.C. Nicole and her children have ventured all around D.C. and Northern Virginia and have all the insider knowledge for other visiting families. Find her at: or follow her on Twitter at

A Local’s Love: Essential Tips for Exploring Memphis With Young Children


Masterful musicians, beautiful art, stunning surroundings, delectable barbecue, moderate weather, and rich history are just a few of the things traveling families have in store for them when they venture to Memphis. Known as both the birthplace of rock ‘n roll and the BBQ capital of the world, Memphis is an affordable destination sure to offer excitement for every member of your family. For little ones, Memphis and its southern charm feel more like a big town – people are caring, the weather is sweet, and downtown is like home – than an intimidating concrete jungle.

Access by Air

Memphis International Airport might sound like an intimidating title but MEM, as they call it, is actually a small, charming airport with great features like free WiFi and a meditation room. Unlike other regional hubs, MEM is both easy to navigate and usually free of big lines – TSA checkpoints move quickly here. But it’s important to note that MEM is a central location for FedEx, so it’s wise to have earplugs, earmuffs, or noise-canceling headphones on hand for you and your baby’s sensitive ears. When heading for local accommodations, you will find that rental car agencies and taxies alike are easy to locate via airport signage. MEM also features on-demand UBER service 24/7, 365 days a year.


Despite Being a Fedex Hub MEM is Easy on Travelers

Getting Around

For those who prefer to rent a car to get around, Memphis is chock-full of beautiful streets and offers plenty of parking spaces. It’s important to note that driving anywhere in the Memphis Metro area during rush hour is cumbersome. There is lots of infrastructure work being done on the interstates, so traveling can be difficult during non-rush hour periods as well. It’s often in the best interest of visitors to avoid driving if your family is just traveling around Memphis proper. The Downtown Trolley Shuttle system is a great alternate mode for getting around. Each trip is $1 and with their historical early 19th century interiors, trolleys are a great way to relax and get a tour of the city sights. Plus, in recent years the city of Memphis has made great efforts to add bike lanes and walking paths to renders its streets quite pleasant for its many bikers and walkers. Don’t forget to rent a high-quality stroller from a local baby gear company, because once you start walking around Memphis it will be hard to stop!


The Natural Interior of a Memphis Trolley

Heading Outdoors

Weather in Memphis is consistent and fair, rarely going under 40 degrees or over 90. As can be expected in most eastern US cities, summer is the warmest season when the climate is hot and humid, while winters are colder but rarely pose anything other than a mild chill – Memphis may get a bit of light snow, but nothing that can cause difficulty for those traveling via car. However, the city does tend to overreact when there’s snowfall. Even if snow does not stick, it’s common for the whole city to shut down, which is an even better reason to ditch a car and opt for some winter jackets and a durable stroller instead.


Woodland Discovery Playground is Massive!

If you’re up for some outdoor activities Memphis has you covered. One must-see outdoor spot is the Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms Park. Shelby Farms Park has many great activities for kids and parents like horseback riding, zip lining, paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, laser tag, an off-leash dog park, and much more. If that doesn’t sound rugged enough, try the Tennessee Safari Park in Alamo, TN. It’s a small trek to Alamo – 1.5 hours by car – but it’s all worth it when you find yourself hand-feeding bison, zebras, and giraffes, and getting a close-up look at all the other animals in the park – monkeys, cranes, tapirs and much more. Entrance is $8 for children and $12 for adults.


You Can Feed Llamas and Other Animals From Your Car!

Good Eats

This is where Memphis excels, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Memphis is home to a range of excellent cuisines, but if you’re in town you have to wet your whistle on some BBQ. There’s no better place to start off than the chart-topping Central BBQ restaurant in Midtown. We recommend the BBQ nachos for the youngins, and make sure to share a rack of ribs around the table, but remember: things will get messy! Bring some wipes and a camera because when you’re done here you and your kid’s faces will make for quite the scene.


Central BBQ Serves Up Monster Portions

If you’re looking for a cheap lunch and a great atmosphere try Huey’s, which has several locations around Memphis, most notably a spot in Midtown. At Huey’s the kids’ menu is extensive and all items are priced under $6. If you’re in the mood for one of the many varieties of burgers you’re in for a deal and a treat. Our favorite is the Western Burger for $7.25 which is topped with Guacamole and Monterey jack cheese, but all the burgers are just as creative and well-priced. Kids love Huey’s because there’s more to it than sitting at a table and ordering food – Huey’s encourages practicing the art of graffiti on its walls and shooting toothpicks up into the restaurant ceiling.

Excellent Excursions

Memphis is one of those cities that has something special to do for every part of year, but one month reigns supreme: May. Every fifth month, Memphis celebrates “Memphis in May.” During this month visitors can experience several special events like the Beale Street Music Festival – May 5th to May 7th – which welcomes well-known and up and coming artists from a multitude of genres, the World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest from the 17th to the 20th, the 901Fest music festival on the 27th, and the Great American River Run 5k and half marathon on the 28th. Another prime time to be in Memphis is August 11 through the 19th, when residents and visitors from all over the world celebrate Elvis Presley during Elvis Week.


The Memphis in May Festival is Right on the River

The kids will love checking out the Duck March at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. Twice a day at 11am Peabody Duckmaster marches a squad of ducks down a red carpet to a waddle around in a huge fountain until 5pm when they return home to rest up for the next day of entertaining the Peabody’s guests. Another amazing Memphis attraction is the Memphis Zoo, which boasts the American’s #1 Zoo rating on Children under 2 get in for free and adults for $15. The park hosts 3,500+ animals and over 500 different species! This all makes for a great learning experience too as it has educational sessions all day, including exhibits like a hippo chat, penguin and giraffe feeding, living with venomous snakes, and much more.


The Ducks March Like Royalty at the Peabody

Must-Visit Attractions

A visit to Memphis is an ideal chance to go face-to-face with some of America’s richest history. First, check out Elvis’ old home at Graceland. There’s a small, free curbside parking area right in front of the mansion wall, and you can park and peek over at the house and grounds, and take pictures every morning from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. All day on Tuesdays in the winter (except major holidays), you can walk up the driveway for free and visit the gravesites of Elvis and his family members. A tour of Graceland is free for children under 6 and $38.75 for adults. Another incredible historical Memphis attraction is the National Civil Rights Museum which was constructed around the Lorraine Hotel where MLK was assassinated. Children under 3 get in for free and adults pay $15.


Graceland is a Historical Landmark

If your family is looking for pure fun, bring your kids to the Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum where, among other awesome exhibits, there is a Thomas the Tank Engine exhibit, a railroad tools exhibit, a freight tunnel exhibit, and a Mississippi river bridge exhibit. Kids below 3 get in for free and adults only pay $3. Another great option for families is the Pink Palace Museum which has dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and natural history exhibits. Last, but certainly not least, is the Sharpe Planetarium where  you can watch a survey of the solar system in the Autozone Dome. It’s out of this world!


Float Through Space at the Sharpe Planatarium

Baby Gear

With so much to do and so much to see in Memphis, it’s a no-brainer to mosey on down to western Tennessee. The pleasant weather, beautiful nature, and wide streets make Memphis one of America’s most walkable cities so don’t forget to arrange for a durable stroller when you arrive.


Your Liable to See Views Like This Walking in Memphis

If you decide to rent a crib for your stay, double check with your hotel to see if they have one. There are many stories of travelers arriving in Memphis expecting to have a crib waiting in their room, only to find that this was not the case. Also be aware that many car rental agencies in the Memphis Metro Area do not rent car seats, so make sure to reserve a car seat rental before you arrive. Many rental companies can even deliver to you at the airport or car rental lot.


Heather Munro is a Babierge Independent Trusted Partner, renting baby gear to traveling families out of Memphis, Tennessee. Heather has the scoop on what to see, what to eat and where it’s at in Memphis. Find her at: or follow her on Twitter at

How to Explain Halloween to Little Ones

Halloween is one of America’s most fun and wacky holidays, one we’ve been celebrating for a long, long time. For grown-ups, Halloween is a zany holiday when we watch scary movies, put up spooky decorations, and go to costume parties to live it up with other adults. But for young children, the true light-heartedness of Halloween may not always shine through – they may be scared or intimidated by someone’s costume or the animatronic zombie decorations that just popped up next door. Here’s a quick guide on how to explain the true good-nature of Halloween to young children, and a list of safety measures to cover before they go trick-or-treating:


In the middle of October, people around the country start putting up Halloween decorations everywhere – at school, at grocery stores, and in the the outside and inside of their houses. The popular colors are orange, black, and dark purple. And sometimes these decorations you might see – spiders and webs, ghosts, ghouls, coffins, and scary masks – can make you feel afraid.

This is simply because Halloween is a special day when people want to feel surprised and scared. When we’re frightened, our hearts beat fast and we get excited. It is important to remember that the scary things you see around Halloween are NOT REAL. Zombies, ghosts, witches, mummies, vampires, none of them exist! They are just pretend, and if you see a person dressed up like this remember, underneath their outfit they are a nice person who just wants to pretend – for a day or night – that they are something else.

If you get scared, let mommy and daddy know. we will keep you safe.


One of Halloween’s greatest traditions is the carving of jack-o’-lanterns when we buy orange pumpkins and clean out their insides. (Quick tip: save the seeds and cook them for eating later – yummy!) Once the pumpkin is hollow we carve in a scary or goofy face and put a candle inside to light it up for a spooky effect. Voila, now we have a jack-o’-lantern!

Halloween is extra fun too because it’s a holiday that involves parties – especially at school. Teachers allow students to dress up in creative costumes and munch on candy and sweets all day. Fun, huh? But be careful, don’t eat that candy too fast or you’ll get a tummy ache!

On Halloween night, kids go out with their mommies and daddies to “trick-or-treat”. Young ones dress up in costumes and go around knocking on neighbor’s doors yelling “trick or treat!” If you join in the trick-or-treating fun, make sure to carry a plastic pumpkin or bag with you so friendly neighbors can give you a treat – sometimes candy, a snack, or a small toy. But make sure not to forget these rules for staying safe and happy at all times:


-Mommy and daddy get to look at any piece of candy before we munch away

-Candy that is not in the wrapper must be thrown away

-When I go trick-or-treating, I will use a flashlight or reflectors so cars see us walking from home to home, (especially if a street has no sidewalks!)

-Always cross streets at corners and crosswalks, and never run into the street

-Don’t run ahead without letting mommy and daddy know where we are

When I was a kid my greatest costume was… (your turn!)