Amy Bizzarri

Amy Bizzarri



Back to School…On Vacation

Across the country, kids and parents are gearing up for back to school. From supply shopping to first day jitters, school is on everyone’s mind. But school isn’t the only place where learning happens. Today, many hotels and resorts offer exciting learning programs for kids—and adults, too. Next time you’re planning a trip, consider making it a learning vacation.
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Spend a Summer Evening on The 606

Chicago's latest and greatest park and trail system is The 606, a 2.7 mile trail that connects four ground level parks and four amazing Chicago neighborhoods. Running along Bloomingdale Avenue from Ashland Avenue on the east to Ridgeway Avenue on the west, the 606 provides a glorious stretch of green space and trails for runners, walkers, bikers and nature lovers.

Head Back to School for a Course in Cocktails: The Best Mixology Classes in Chicago

It's that time of year again! The lazy days of summer are making way for an action-packed autumn. Back to school means stocking up on supplies and getting ready to meet new friends. But why should kids have all the back-to-school fun? There are two Chicago "schools" where reading, writing and arithmetic are replaced by.... cocktails!

Lunch Date with the Chicago Picasso: Downtown Farmers Market with a View

Public art is a plenty in Chicago. However, nothing quite compares to Picasso's unnamed statue located in Daley Plaza (50 W Washington St). On Thursdays through October 27, you can enjoy lunch with a view at the Daley Plaza Farmers Market. Is it a pigeon? A skeleton? A hungry insect? An Afghan hound?

Run Away and Join Midnight Circus in the Parks

As lazy summer days begin to make way for school supply runs, it’s high time to check off every item on your summer bucket list. Take a whirl on Navy Pier’s new Ferris wheel, hit up the museums you’ve missed, spend a summer night at Brookfield Zoo and run away to join the circus. Wait . . . Midnight Circus in the Parks will be kicking off its summer tour in parks across the city at the end of August.
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Hotels and Resorts That Welcome Kids WithTheir Favorite TV and Movie Friends!

Some hotels go above and beyond when it comes to welcoming kids. They even work to incorporate favorite television and movie characters. From a fully decked out Thomas the Tank Engine suite to a luxe villa inspired by SpongeBob’s pineapple abode, here are five hotels and resorts that feature technicolor-approved decor, activities, and more.
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Music City, USA: Honky Tonky Weekend in Nashville

The country music capital of Nashville rocks with new, locally-focused cuisine, funky boutiques and live music galore. Get ready for a weekend of rollicking good times with a side of good ole’ country hospitality. Nashville is a quick, direct flight from just about every major U.S. city. Once there, you can do most of your exploring by foot or even bike.

10 Tips For Road Trip Packing

It’s summer and the season for family vacations! Many people opt for a road trip – whether as a way to reach their destination, or as the vacation itself. An impromptu road trip may sound like fun, but it’s always better to prepare. Here are ten packing tips that will ensure you arrive ready to explore.
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12 Crazy-Cool Reasons to Go to Bristol Renaissance Faire

Grab a sword and shout, “huzzah!”. because Bristol Renaissance Faire is open. The full-on homage to Elizabethan England — complete with costumed characters, period music, jousting tournaments, acrobatic and comedy acts, rides, games and food — is an outdoor village set back from the highway near the Illinois/Wisconsin border.
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Best Glamping Spots Close to Chicago

Wanna spend the night in a real treehouse? This unforgettable experience is just a hop, skip and drive to Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins, in the heart of the Illinois Ozarks in Southern Illinois. The White Oak Treehouse sleeps 4 to 6 has heat and air conditioning, a full bathroom, a kitchenette, a campfire area, and an outdoor grill and picnic table.
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Water, Water, Everywhere! 21 Spraygrounds to Drive You Wild

Lazy days at the pool are a summer must. Even better? Raging days at splash pads. Some we’ve uncovered are neighborhood gems while others are all-out amusement park-style destinations. Either way, you and your tot will be happy to cool off without taking a dunk or forking over much — most are free or $5 tops.
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Day Trip: Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

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Amy Bizzarri

Amy is a freelance travel writer focused on family adventure travel, vintage/retro travel and green/eco-friendly destinations, both in the US and abroad. She is also a Contributing Writer/Blogger for Long Weekends magazine, CBS Local, Wyndham Worldwide, Hilton Worldwide and Chicago

As the "Family Friendly Chicago"​ expert for the Chicago Chicago Convention and Visitors Bureau, Amy explores the city in search of educational and fun activities for families. Amy edited the DK Eyewitness Guide to Chicago, and living in the Logan Square/Bucktown neighborhood for the past 10 years, she knows Chicago inside out.

Amy speaks several languages, and with two travelin'​ kids, ages 5 and 14, she's an expert on family travel. Based in Chicago, Amy has voyaged as far away as Mali, West Africa and the Galapagos Islands. She lived in London for two years, Italy for five. A fluent Italian speaker, Amy has a special place in her heart for il bel paese and considers herself an expert on Italian travel. An experienced teacher with an M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, Amy offers a unique perspective on educational travel.

Amy is also active on twitter and has hosted travel-themed twitter chats. She recently was a panelist on a Travel and Leisure magazine twitter chat with a reach of over 26,974,637 impressions.

Amy published two books in 2015, Discovering Vintage Chicago (Globe Pequot) and Ultimate Toy Collector: Shopkins (Triumph Publishing). Her next book, also travel related, is set for release in fall 2016 (Schiffer Publishing).

To view Amy's online portfolio, visit