Memorial Day marks the unofficial first day of summer. Regardless of where the mercury lies, lifeguards will be climbing their towers, teachers will be locking up their classrooms and many dads and moms will be gassing up their tanks – albeit wiping their brow as they wonder what possessed them to agree to a family vacation.

Whether your family’s summer trek takes you down the street to the beaches of Washington Park or Stone Lake for an afternoon, out to America’s Roller Coast in Ohio for a day, or to a mountain destination a day’s drive away, a little preparation can head off the inevitable cries of bored children. Imagine the family vacation where you are never asked “Are we there yet?”

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