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Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

Standon, United...
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Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

Hi guys

Just planning a road trip to visit some of the places I visited as a child, as well as some places my husbands family lived, starting north of Detroit with family, ending in Houston with family.

My kids are nearly 5 (girl) and nearly 10 (boy) - so with me and my hubby that will be 4 of us. All they have ever seen of the US is desert (my dad lives in Arizona!), so this will be a real eye opener for them.

My initial thought is for a longer day driving first day - Detroit to Mammoth Caves, other places we want to see are Smoky Mountains/Knoxville, Decatur AL and Pensacola FL, somewhere on the gulf coast, maybe New Orleans (but not essential). Mix of mostly wildlife and natural stuff really as we will have time in the cities to do museums and zoos etc... Planning up to 8 days from mid July.... This will be a once in a lifetime for us as a family, budgeting important but if its really worth a visit then we can be a bit flexible!!

Any thoughts, ideas gratefully received

Liz

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

Great places to stop- Mammoth Cave, Smoky Mts. and Pensacola but why Decatur, AL. IMO I can think of many other places to stop with much more to see and do. In North Alabama there is the Space Center in Huntsville.

New Orleans does have some kid friendly things to do but for the most part to me New Orleans is jazz and the French Quarter and not kid friendly.

We travel along I 10 to go to Houston and after the gulf coast beach areas of MS then there is not a lot of places we care to stop until we get to Houston. Beware of traffic and road closures in Baton Rouge.

Chula Vista...
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2. Re: Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

Hi Liz,

Welcome to the Road Trips Forum.

Could you please confirm that this is a one-way or return trip in 8 days? That will make a considerable difference in the routing and the timing.

PeachBelle has given you some good ideas... I'll offer up a few more below.

I know you said you didn't think you had time for museums, but I'm going to suggest a couple anyway...

Dayton, OH - The National Museum of the US Air Force

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/

Indianapolis, IN - The Children's Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and Connor Prairie Living History Museum.

http://www.childrensmuseum.org/

http://www.eiteljorg.org/

http://www.connerprairie.org/

Cincinnati, OH area - The Newport Aquarium in Newport, KY

http://www.newportaquarium.com/

For the drive, you could consider some or all of the Natchez Trace from Nashville, TN to Natchez, MS.

nps.gov/natr/planyourvisit/parkway-maps.htm

Along the Gulf coast, there's Gulf Shores, AL and Dauphin Island, AL. Nearby are Fort Gaines, Bellingrath Gardens and the USS Alabama battleship museum.

exploresouthernhistory.com/fortgainesal.html

http://www.bellingrath.org/

http://dauphinislandtourism.com/

http://www.gulfshores.com/

http://www.ussalabama.com/

Again, just some ideas for you to get the thought process started.

Zed

P.S. Here's the link to the US Space & Rocket Center PeachBelle mentioned:

http://rocketcenter.com/

Standon, United...
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3. Re: Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

Thanks Peachbelle

The reason for Decatur and Pensacola are because that's where my husbands family used to live and we are going to have a quick stop to see old houses and haunts etc :)

Is the space center at Huntsville better than the one in Houston? As that's certainly top of our hit list when we reach our destination! (We will have a week in Houston before we fly back to the UK)

Thanks Zed for all the links - fantastic, really appreciate it. Our trip will be one way from Detroit to Houston. Depending on how well my dad is we may want to drive quicker or slower to Houston (he's just had a transplant!!)

Thanks again for all your comments

Liz

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

We have not been to Huntsville but went to Johnson near Houston (and to Cape Kennedy but that's not on your route). Think Johnson is very kid friendly with the hand on displays and all. Maybe a bit too kid fiendly for seniors.... but it certainly was worth the visit and prices are fair esp compared to very expensive Cape Kennedy.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

Both Huntsville and Johnson are great. Huntsville is where they have Space Camp each year and is great for kids and adults imo. But if you have a week in Houston you may want to include a visit to the space center there.

Houston, TX
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6. Re: Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

Two things about Houston, other than the Space Center. The Houston Zoo is located in Hermann Park, along with the Museum of Natural Science. The zoo has had some great recent refurbishments, including an African Forest exhibit and a new area for the flamingos. Currently, there is a special exhibit called Animals Assembled--life sized sculptures of about 24 animals made entirely out of Lego bricks--19,400 of them in all. They include a giraffe, zebra, rhinos, penguins, a mama gorilla and a baby, tiger, penguins, fish in a coral reef, flamingos, etc. You could visit the zoo in the morning when it is (relatively) cooler. There is a small train that runs through the park--for a nominal fee you could ride to the Museum. In addition to regular exhibits, they have a walk-through butterfly aviary, a recently opened huge paleontology halls with loads of dinosaur stuff, a planetarium and an Imax theater. There is also a sit-down McDonald's inside. You could spend the hotter part of the day inside, enjoying all the fun stuff. (If you don't want to use the train, you can drive to the museum from the zoo and park there.)

If you do decide to do the Space Center here, there are discount coupons for admission at most McDonald's; they usually have some online as well. Haven't seen it, but they are advertising a special thing for the summer called Chomp (I think), which deals with how the scientists use the movements of snakes and other creepy crawlies to help them in putting together expeditions or some such stuff. Something the kids might enjoy.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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7. Re: Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

I'd recommend the Cincinnati Zoo over the Newport Aquarium. The Aquarium isn't as great as it used to be, lots of budget cuts and dwindling admission has caused it to close some of the better exhibits.

The Cincinnati Zoo will have Zoo Babies going on in July and I don't know how you can resist seeing Baby Tigers play with each other. It will soften even the hardest of hearts.

8. Re: Detroit to Houston in July with 2 kids

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