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Letter from the Editor May 2014

Rachel Kalina

May flowers have been popping up, and their bold colors are a welcome sight for eyes used to grey skies. It's usually about this time of year that I start to make summer weekend and vacation plans to take full advantage of the warm weather ahead.

If you don't have time for an extended vacay in upcoming months but want to enjoy some precious extra days off (perhaps during Memorial Day weekend), dive into a quick family jaunt. "Long Weekend Trips" by expert travel mama Kara Mayer Robinson has ideas for easy adventures in states like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland.

Perhaps your main summer concern at the moment revolves not around travel, but rather camp. It's okay if you're still trying to solidify plans; the Camp Directory in this issue features day camps, sleepaway camps, and summer programs to give you all the options you need. Plus, "Camp Considerations" by program director Alan Saltz can help you narrow down your choices. The article offers a plethora of questions you'll want to ask camp staff during tours and open houses.

Maybe at the moment, or in the near future, what you really want to plan is the perfect children's party. If so, you'll find the Birthday Directory to be full of exciting entertainers, vivacious venues, and spectacular services. Get advice on how to avoid birthday burnout while you strive to celebrate your child's special day with Alison Smith's "Pro Party Tips."

And, as the current academic year winds down, it's never too early to think ahead to the next one. Particularly if you seek a setting that can best engage your child with special needs, you'll want to read "Autism-Friendly Schools" by Monica Holloway.

For now, fill the days and weeks ahead with exciting family activities from the Calendar of Events. And in honor of Mother's Day, be sure to enter the Mom's Little Angel Photo Contest for the chance to win great prizes. Also find endless entertainment, tons of articles, and the fabulous Sandbox Social blog at www.parentguidenews.com.

Have a superb spring season!

Rachel Kalina