Road Trip Entertainment for the Kids


After cup holders, the greatest revolution in family road trips has to be the DVD player.  If you’re braving a trip over the holidays, you’ll want to scout out some entertainment for your back seat riders that won’t make you crazy by the time you arrive at your destination. Here are some ideas:

Kung Fu Panda was just released and is $15.97 at Wal-Mart; this is a cute movie that even grownups can enjoy

Brady Bunch (early seasons preferred) – Why not take a trip down memory lane yourself? You’ll be surprised at your new perspective on the shows you used to watch in the afternoons after school. A BirminghamMom tells me her family cruised through a 12-hour drive and the Brady blended family was surprisingly good company. The confessions made by many of these actors in the post-Brady years will seem even more incredible, as will the fashions.

I Love Lucy is the all-time classic for all audiences; the episodes are funny even if you (not to mention the kids) don’t recognize the inside jokes related to the contemporary guest stars of the time (Bob Hope, Tennessee Ernie Ford, etc.). Lucille Ball is an undisputed pioneer as a comedian and  television performer, but she seldom gets her due as one of the first working moms to integrate her family and professional roles. The real heartbreak? Despite having produced enduring work that is commercially viable 50 years later, her family does not benefit from “I Love Lucy” royalties (no video distribution rights to negotiate in those days). Rent episodes from the library for spite.

For some unplugged entertainment, the Kids’ Road Atlas pictured here is $3.95 at Rite Aid and probably available at many other stores. This atlas has excellent educational material and a variety of activities and games to keep the kids engaged. Surprise them with it mid-trip and it won’t feel like another homework assignment but rather a welcome diversion.

DVD players, new material, and perhaps even earphones for the kids?  For these may we be truly thankful.