Babycape: Easier and more versatile than a jacket

BabyCapeMost of us are still in for plenty more cool weather. But now that Spring is around the corner the on-and-off nature of kid jacket-wearing is already full swing. Too hot! Too cold! Take it off to buckle into the car seat! Put it on again! Annoying for all involved, especially if the jacket-wearer isn't in complete control of his or her arms.

I recently received (for review) a GORGEOUS alternative. Elizabeth (of the custom embroidery business Suzi Homemaker) sent me a Babycape: the softest, coziest little hooded poncho. (I think I've already been pretty open about my attraction to soft things.) If you can bring yourself to get past the luscious warmth of the thing, you notice the coolest functional feature: a snap-open flap down the length of the back which allows you to open it up over a car seat, front pack, or set of stroller buckles. No fussy zippers and no hard-to-negotiate sleeves, either. The sizing is flexible…I can see a kid wearing this for a long time. Better ventilation (and therefore temp control) than a jacket. So many problems solved by one simple design. And it's killer cute, too.

If you've got a special baby gift to buy — or you're sick of the winter jacket mambo — think about a Babycape. An investment ($89-$109), but certainly a good value given the handmade quality and the long wear.

Win it! This ice-blue (gender-neutral!) cape is all yours if you're the Parenthacker who answers the following question AND gets chosen in my random drawing:

What's your favorite family-friendly springtime vacation destination?

(We're having serious getaway craving around here and I'm thinking a little collective armchair travel might be fun.)

I'll choose a winner Saturday at 3pm PST. Good luck!


  1. Maureen says

    Carmel/Monterey… beach is so much fun for my young boys and it is such a relaxing place to be. Spring time is cooler (but we aren’t hot-weather fans so it works for us) and the town is so less crowded than the summer.

  2. Amber Wielkens says

    Our favorite destination for Spring Break is Orange Beach, AL. White sugar beaches and only an hour away from home! Thanks for the contest – that piece is ADORABLE!

  3. Annette says

    We live in San Diego, so we don’t go on vacation during the spring; home is just too beautiful!

  4. Marilyn says

    We live in Reno, which is near Lake Tahoe. When the weather starts to look nice, we like to take a picnic lunch up to the lake and eat at one of the many beaches. It feels like such a beautiful “reintroduction to nature”. Plus, we can do it in the afternoon and be back in time for dinner!

  5. Anna says

    Our kids are still a bit young for spring time getaways. I always remember going as a child to FL, and to Sea world. We live WAY up north, so when it’s warm here we go camping!

  6. TheAngelForever says

    Nothing like going to Niagara Falls (NY or Canada) to feel that nice spring air. We also like Boston in the spring, especially for a Duck Tour.

  7. julianne says

    I’d head for the New England woods in spring if I could. Showing little ones that beautiful world waking up from winter would be marvelous.

  8. Eva says

    I love the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY! I’ve only been once, but I want to take the kids back there again.

  9. Credence says

    The Oregon Coast is my favorite kid-friendly destination, particularly for families with kids of varying ages. Tidepools, yummy yummy seafood (Mo’s!), the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, the Tillamook cheese factory, the “octopus tree,” kite-flying in Florence, the list goes on and on. Any good Oregon guidebook (I like the one published by Moon) will have all this and more listed.

  10. Tara says

    We live in Pennsylvania, and we like to head down to Washington DC. It is chilly, but the lines are very short this time of year. You can see everything you want in a relatively short period of time.

  11. Heather says

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Orlando, FL and SeaWorld. We are celebrating our ten year anniversary without the kiddos so that our next visit will be thoroughly researched and we will have enjoyed the “adult” aspects before taking the kiddos.

  12. Robyn Popham says

    My family Loves to go to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. The flowers are beautiful! The kids love to run through the garden and we can get beautiful spring photos of the children there.

  13. Lindsay says

    We live close to the Canadian Rockies and enjoy a quick trip to Banff/Lake Louise to see the scenery, get in some spring skiing and walk the trails. It’s beautiful!

  14. Papaya Mom says

    I’m a big fan of the Big Island of Hawaii – you can see an amazing number of whales this year and there are direct flights from the West Coast, so no need for stopover on Oahu/Honolulu.

  15. Jill says

    Oh, the Smoky Mountains. My kids love the kitsch of Gatlinburg, and we all enjoy the hiking and horseback riding.

    Plus, it’s only a few hours away from us and fairly inexpensive.

  16. cara says

    The Jersey Shore. It is great there before the summer season. We like the fact that it is not crowded during the off times of the year.

  17. Elizabeth says

    My parents are taking the whole family (including my 1.25 year old) to Jeckyl Island, GA in early April, so I’m hoping that’ll be a great family vacation.

    Locally (to Wisconsin, where spring isn’t until May) we go to Devil’s Lake for some hiking and picnicking.

  18. Kate in Iowa says

    We love going to San Antonio! So much to do, so much to see! We’ve got family there, and we’re headed that way this spring. Lots of free, family stuff to do, too.

  19. dcoldiron says

    Grand Marais, MN on Lake Superior.

    I know it’s way up north and most would think about going south in the spring, but Grand Marais is such a cute little town, we love going there anyway. It’s so family friendly, too. No bad traffic. You can walk to get to everything. It’s just a manageable destination for families with little kids. My son’s favorite thing is tossing rocks into the lake. My husband loves sailing and hiking. I love shopping and eating pancakes made by someone else for a change!

  20. Robyn Popham says

    My family Loves to go to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. The flowers are beautiful! The kids love to run through the garden and we can get beautiful spring photos of the children there.

  21. JennBartlett says

    We don’t travel much, but my favorite destination is my friend’s working farm; about an hour from us in Cleveland OH. We get to let the dogs run and we pet the horses.

  22. Erin says

    We love Pacific Beach,in WA State. There is a Naval Resort there open to Military personnel (active, discharged, and retired) at great prices, as well as several other little resorts. At the Naval Resort, you can even rent great ocean front houses and use the bowling alley and large hot tub/work out center. It is close enough to the popular Ocean Shores resort area to partake in their attractions, but it has a glorious, less busy beach of it’s own. Perfect for families and many a kite-flying adventure in the Spring!

  23. Miriam says

    We haven’t done it before, but we are planning this Spring to head to the National Zoo in D.C. All the attractions around are free, and the kids get a great bit of fresh air, some history, and a mini-vacay!

  24. Marsha says

    In the spring, we like to head to a botanical garden to enjoy the flowers that are blooming all over the place!

  25. Kate says

    We live in a pretty excellent springtime destination (southeastern Connecticut) and we’re so happy for the chance to finally be outside again — hiking, beach, Mystic, here we come!

  26. Jen says

    I love going to the Smokey Mountains and camping during the spring. The chilly nights make the campfires and sleeping bags extra-welcome, but the pleasant weather during the day makes for good hiking.

  27. Pamela says

    Thank you for sharing your bounty with us! Our favorite spot is the west side of Michigan for the tulip festival.

  28. jessica says

    we love to head up to Chicago for the day to beat the cabin fever we have going on! We also love the state parks in Indiana…they have great inns, and during the winter months have a two for one night special! Great for hiking off energy for the little ones!

  29. Jennifer says

    When I was a kid, we went to Ocean City, MD every summer. We’d spend a couple of hours on the beach every morning, then come back to the hotel room for a shower and a nap. Then we’d head out to the boardwalk. There was a trolley on the boardwalk, so if you were too far from the attractions, you could ride to the amusement park or the lifesaving museum. I loved it.

  30. Sara says

    Spring means heading back east to visit our relatives – after the snow and before the humid summer! We’re going to Philadelphia in April to introduce our daughter to her extended family.

  31. Sara says

    Spring means heading back east to visit our relatives – after the snow and before the humid summer! We’re going to Philadelphia in April to introduce our daughter to her extended family.

  32. jessica says

    Our favorite spring getaway is the backyard grill. Every year around April, my stomach starts begging me for grilled hot dogs!

  33. LubsyB says

    Actually, spring is a great time of year to go to amusement parks. We went to Universal Studios in Orlando in April, and it was perfect. Weather was not too hot, and you miss the crowds of the summer. Just make sure you’re not there during spring break. :-)

  34. Julie Wheeler says

    Pre-baby it was the Kona coast. This year we’re going to try the Oregon coast — probably Cannon Beach or Manzanita.

  35. Kim N says

    Definitely St. George, Utah. The weather is dry and in the 80’s, we like to go during Easer and the local arts festival. It is a half hour to Zion’s National Park, a couple hours to Vegas and the Grand Canyon, and many many more fun sites. But most importantly, it is were FAMILY is!

  36. jessie says

    We’re taking our toddler to Victoria, British Columbia for some whale & boat watching this spring. Family friendly? I hope so!

  37. Sandy says

    We love to go out to South Lake Tahoe. A spring nip to the chilly air with some snow still there and a nice drive in the mountains to entertain our 3.5 y.o. Lots of outdoor activities to keep the entire family busy. Love to rent one of the cabins out there so we are more relaxed and are able to even slap PBJ sandwiches together if going out gets tiresome

  38. Wendy C says

    We live in a nice warm part of Texas, where it’s already hitting the upper 70’s and 80’s, so we love to go swimming in the spring! One great place near us in Austin is Barton Springs, a natural spring that is around 66 degrees year-round–only for polar bears in the winter, but wonderful for kids in the spring. Along one edge is a rocky shallow area, and it’s really close to a huge park with a little train and playground, botanical garden, and lake with kayaking! We love to make a day of it and pack a picnic .

  39. Maria says

    We just moved out of city-center into suburbia. I know… but the perks are many this spring. Favorite mini-getaways already include: any one of the small playgrounds around, often just with a slide or a pair of swings, but there are at least six within a five-minute walk. The pond, and soon there will be ducklings! The petting zoo, ditto on the small animals soon to come.

  40. Rossana says

    The mountains for sure. We live in Alberta and live very close the Rocky Mountains. Nothing is better in spring!!

  41. Jeff Ruley says

    Disney World. Nothing beats watching your children smile and meet Mickey. It is trully a magical place.

  42. Jess says

    San Diego. There’s a ton to do – the Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Sea World, and Legoland are the big places, but there are plenty of free or low cost options as well, such as the museums in Balboa Park, the Nature Interpretive Center (a child-oriented wetlands museum) in Chula Vista, ferry rides on the bay, and of course the numerous beaches. All of these (except the Wild Animal Park and possibly Legoland) can be easily reached on public transportation for those traveling without a car. The weather is usually gorgeous, and it’s easy to take a day trip to Mexico or LA (Amtrak runs pretty much directly between downtown San Diego and Disneyland!).

    Um, and my dad and grandparents live there, which explains why it’s our personal #1 vacation pick… but it might be regardless :)

  43. Heather says

    San Diego is beautiful and fun any time of year. Another place we like to go is Gatlinburg. Lots of “touristy” things to do there but also lots of outdoorsy stuff too.

  44. Brandy says

    Our favorite Springtime location for family time is the local garden complex. Garvin Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs (Ar) They have a beautiful array of daffodils each spring and welcome visitors to wander through them. My boys love the birds, insects and flowers all enjoying the warm sun and pretty smells. Theres even a festival because of the daffodils. It warms up enough around here that light coats and long shorts are the best way to go but theres still a sweet spring breeze. The rest of the garden complex is just as luscious with flowers planted to bloom at different times of the year. It’s a wonder all year round, but when those sunny buds pop open, it’s the best time to go in my opinion.

    Its relaxing and since its a day trip to a town known for outdoor walking and fun, it makes for one enjoyable day.

  45. Jill in Atlanta says

    St. George Island, Florida. (no babycape please)

    My huz and I are trying to decide where to go for a week in October to celebrate our 10th anniversary (sans kiddies!). Got any suggestions for that?

  46. Alfie says

    Yellowstone Nat’l Park and the new crop of youngsters — rust-colored Bison calves, baby bears and elk…

  47. Tara says

    I would love to win this! I think it is brilliant.

    My favourite spring getaway is Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada. It is incredibly beautiful there.

  48. Elizabeth says

    We’ll be home this year to welcome our new baby. Actually I like to stay around and enjoy the emptied out town (University town) and discover (and re-discover) our town and state.

  49. Candace Prosser says

    So it is not fancy, but normally free except parking, feeding stations, and camping if you desire. I love to go to the local nature park. They have an awesome playground, miles of walking trails, a dog beach, campsites, and easting areas. YOu see wildlife and the first signs of spring coming to life.

  50. Candace Prosser says

    So it is not fancy, but normally free except parking, feeding stations, and camping if you desire. I love to go to the local nature park. They have an awesome playground, miles of walking trails, a dog beach, campsites, and easting areas. YOu see wildlife and the first signs of spring coming to life.

  51. Piseco says

    I love visiting the Outer Banks, NC, in early spring (March/April). It’s warm enough there to be a treat and a break from our still-cold weather at home, but NOT CROWDED and we have plenty of time and space to wander the beaches and villages – Ocracoke in particular.

  52. Melissa says

    We’ve only been once, but going to the aquarium in Baltimore was a blast with our (then) 20-month old. Hotel was close enough to walk around the Inner Harbor, and there is a fantastic zoo, too. A wonderful trip for any family! :)

  53. Jen says

    Camping at Cumberland Island, GA. Beautiful beaches, but not in Florida so not over crowded. And who can beat random sitings of wild horses on the island. It’s really lovely.

  54. Heather Regan says

    we love going to wrightsville beach, nc in early spring. The summer crowds haven’t arrived yet and the beach is very peaceful. It’s great!!

  55. megan says

    Camping at a state or national park with the dog in tow. Wonderful Spring sights and smells abound in the woods and fields!

  56. Zed says

    We love to visit any city that we haven’t been to that’s within 8 hours driving distance. Spring is the perfect time for this type of “exploring” vacation. It’s not too pricey either.

  57. Ln says

    We like to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Lancaster County, PA. Central Market is full of new fresh veggies (yes they are shipped from parts unknown, but they’re sold by locals), you can see the Amish farmers behind teams of oxen, plowing their fields, the red bud trees are in bloom…
    Of course my kids are more excited by seeing baby pigs at one of the touristy “Amish Farm” places.

  58. Meg says

    We’ve been going to the Isle of Palms, SC in the springtime. It’s warm enough to play on the beach, but not quite warm enough to swim, which our kids aren’t quite fond of, anyway. The rates are so much cheaper before May hits. Thanks for the contest! ( )

  59. MamaChristy says

    My son is just three, but we live only about an hour from a Sea World. This is a fun day for us and is about as much of a “Spring Getaway” as we are going to get for a while with a baby girl due in a couple months. Best part? Everyone sleeps in their own beds!

  60. Becky says

    Living near Philly, my favorite Spring Break trip is to Central PA in time to see the Apple and peach blossoms. The country side really comes alive in the Spring and my son is super busy watching all the activity.

  61. Andrea says

    Hmmm…springtime. Well, if it’s nice enough we love to go camping at a Provincial park about 1 hr. away. If it’s not too nice yet, there’s a cabin about 45 minutes away at a cute little bed & breakfast that we love to go to! It’s so quaint and fun…even for my son! :)

  62. Brant says

    Our favorite spring destination is the National Zoo in Washington DC. It’s a great place to get out and children love it!! There are a ton of other great things to do in DC and many of them are FREE!

  63. Selena says

    We like to get out and visit a Dells park near our home here in WI. To be out in the fresh air, climbing rocks and listening to the rushing water is so refreshing after being cooped up all winter. Oh, and the dog park. Not a vacation, but fun to see the dogs go nuts (and get muddy!) with all their friends, finally being able to play without getting too cold.

  64. lace says

    DC is always great because there are lots of free things to do and it is a very beautiful city in the spring time.

    But there are always great things to do close to home. I try to find a farm we can visit to play with animals or just look at them. A hands-on kids museum is great also.

    The cape is beautiful.

  65. Anna says

    What I think of as spring is still a ways off here in Minnesota and when it does arrive it’s gone in the blink of an eye. Visiting my parents in Illinois may sound boring but their gardens are beautiful and the bulbs start flowering a full month before ours do up here in the great white north. It’s a relaxing breath of fresh air.

  66. Molly says

    We love the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival north of Seattle. I’m so excited to have a toddler to share it with this year, I’m sure she’s going to love it!

  67. Katie A. says

    We like to stay close to home and enjoy this time of year. We just enjoy being able to go to the park and zoo after being cooped up all winter. The kids (4,2) are so excited to be able to run around that nothing more is required.

  68. Joyous says

    Not so much a destination as an activity–I love to look for hot air balloon festivals when the season comes up. Also, renaissance faires!

  69. Noreen says

    we went last spring and the girls had a blast. We also love visiting Sonoma or Santa Cruz in late spring

  70. Sheila D. says

    I had to chuckle at the individual who wants to come to New England woods in the spring. Just remember to bring heavy duty boots (forget the stylish “Wellies”, those’ll come right off!).

    In all honesty though, my favorite time of year in New England is Spring as well (my birthday is the first day of Spring). I went to college on Cape Ann (yes, Massachusetts has more than one “Cape”), in the North Shore. When the weather just started turning it was wonderful to be outside and be so close to the beach. Gorgeous coastal drive down 127, through Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Magnolia, Gloucester, and Rockport, etc. There are lots of places to stop, lovely old colonial homes, and areas rich with history along the way.

    Just found your site today via zenhabits! I couldn’t have picked a better day! I was JUST getting annoyed with the jacket situation the other day. I made a makeshift “cape” out of a blanket! Thanks for the review/ideas!

  71. Lillian D says

    Our family is still pretty new so we don’t have a favorite destination. I’m really looking forward to bringing my 19 month old son to his first visit to the zoo this Spring. And when he is older we will spend the weekend in a nearby city to visit their excellent Museum of Play!

  72. D.J. says

    Provincetown, Massachusetts. It’s beautiful in the off season (yet not too crowded)…and the seafood is great, too!

  73. Lisa J. says

    We love Destin, FL, but this year we’re hoping to check out the Aquarium and Zoo in Atlanta before it is sooo hot in the South!

  74. julie says

    we’ll be heading to northern NM, most likely, visiting the grandparents, but spending a day in santa fe to get in some peoplewatching on the plaza, some picnic-y time at the outdoor art galleries, and we’ll make sure to get in some day hikes in the jemez and sangre de christo mountains.

    just typing that, i’m homesick already!

  75. Naomi says

    we haven’t started a family travel tradition yet but I think we will go to West Virginia to see my husband’s family this spring. It should be a pretty drive!

  76. Christine says

    I like to head down to the Jersey Shore. It’s not to crowded and some shoppes are open along the boardwalk. I just love the smell of the sea air. The kids love to walk in the sand and ride the carousel.

  77. Tiffany (Life on the Road: Home Business, Homeschool and Cats!) says

    I think mountain camping is always a treat… especially now that we live in HUMID Florida, I’d love to go somewhere crisp and cool to refresh and rejuvanate…

  78. Jennifer says

    We’d love to go hostelling along the west coast. Many people don’t realize that many hostels offer private and family rooms. Hostels are often located in interesting and/or historic locations (like light house barracks along the coast, for example) and offer a great spring-board for affordable exploring with your family. Check out and pick your destination. You’ll be amazed!

  79. Vivian says

    If my budget allowed it I would go to Hawaii with my squirt but since she probably wont remember it yet and I get just as big smiles at the zoo. The zoo is my spring time destination, crowds are not bad yet.

  80. Kim says

    I am from Nova Scotia and my favorite Spring getaway is White Point Beach resort. it is not too far from Halifax but excluded enough to enjoy the wildneress atmosphere and some quality family time.

  81. Erinn says

    Our favorite spring getaway is to go back home to Austin, Texas, but this will be the last spring for us to do so because we are moving back home this summer!

  82. AFW Kelly says

    Hands down, Chicago. Yes, i’m a native so I maight be biased…but I grew up in Orlando & prefer to hit the Lake any day. Transportation is readily available & there a million and one things to do…hit the Pier and Lincoln Park, Shedd Aquarium, and any number of museums and art galleries…so much fun for kids & parents alike. Definitely check out the Children’s Museum:

  83. Tricia says

    Don’t laugh: Minnesota. May in Minnesota is beautiful and mild and so appreciated after a long winter that the joy in the air is infectious.

  84. Kelly in Cincinnati says

    We also stay around town in the spring. We live right next to one of the prettiest and biggest city parks in town, so we visit the flower conservatory and just enjoy walking through the blooming magnolia trees.

  85. Laura P says

    We can’t really afford to go to any place too amazing so we take the Ferry to Nova Scotia to visit my folks.

  86. Rebecca says

    In May we are going to Australia for 2 weeks and renting a van to live in while we drive from Brisbane to Sydney. Then on our way home we are laying over in Fiji!! It is just too bad that Bella (19 mos) won’t have memories of it even though we are sure she is going to have a blast! Plus we are trying to maximize the “fly for free before 2″ thing!

  87. Krisitn says

    Being in the Pacific Northwest we love to head out for a hike on a nice sunny day. Our son is still only 4, so we take our time and explore.
    We have so many places here that we can enjoy the outdoors that we haven’t gotten around to actually vacationing out of town.

  88. John says

    The Outer Banks of North Carolina. Specifically, Salvo on Hatteras Island. It isn’t all built up like Nags Head. The lack of crowds make it great for little ones.

  89. Cindi Hoppes says

    Hi, Our family is the outdoorsy type and one of our favorite family getaways is going to a cabin in state parks. We hike, fish and grill outdoors. We play board games and talk! Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi

  90. Liz BK says

    Two years ago (pre-baby), my husband and I went with another couple to one of the Cayes off the coast of Belize, with no hotels or corporate anything, but enough mom-and-pop restaurants and guest houses to make it comfortable. We felt very safe on Caye Caulker and saw lots of kids, some local and some visitors. There aren’t swimming pools, but the water at “the Split,” where everyone goes to swim, is clear and shallow and warm- very Carribean. Wow, this is making me want to go back! You can charter boats and guides for snorkeling trips to the gorgeous reef, swim with sharks, or scuba dive. There’s not much else to do on the island other than swim, read, nap, take walks, ride bikes, and decide which lobster shack to choose for dinner. Heaven…

  91. Ticia says

    We don’t tend to go away yet for Spring getaways, but the one I remember when I was younger was going up to Brenham,TX where they make Blue Bell ice cream and going on the tour, then afterwards going by a miniature horse farm. I think we also went to the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco on that trip. We went on a bunch of day trips.

  92. Reiza says

    We have family in Arizona, so I’d love to go there for spring. Sedona would probably be nice this time of year.

  93. ChristieNY says

    Gorgeous cape! Our favorite springtime destination is just the local park – anywhere with trees and fresh air make spring more fun for the kids! :)