The November and December holidays are peak traveling times for families.
Whether you are visiting relatives for Thanksgiving or getting away from it all when school lets out next month, keeping children entertained on the way to your destination will ensure that your trip gets a smooth start.
We searched for toys and games with two requirements in mind: They had to be easy to keep up with on the go and must be able to hold a kiddo's interest on a long ride.
Leap for joy
Never miss a local story.
The newest member of the LeapFrog family boasts more than 300 cartridges and downloadable apps, games and eBooks (five are included), plus two built-in cameras, 4GB of memory and up to nine hours of battery life. We appreciate that the recommended age group is 3-9, so the LeapPad can grow with the child. Add a travel case for protection and kid-size headphones for peace and quiet. $99, Toys R Us.
New modes of play
Have the kids beaten every level of their favorite games? Set one of the Apptivity characters on your iPad or iPhone screen and take it to another dimension. Fruit Ninja becomes a two-player game. Unlock "candy feast" mode for Cut the Rope. Angry Birds gets four new modes, including one in which the pigs get back at the birds. $7.99, Toys R Us.
Pegged for success
Take construction to the next level. Each Laser Pegs kit comes with dozens of pegs that can be assembled to form 3-D creations, from dragons to spaceships. Each piece works as a mini conductor to feed electricity and illuminate tiny LEDs throughout the structure. An AC adapter for the car is sold separately. $20-$70, Target.
Color their world
Budding artists will love this European-made art set inspired by pop artist Romero Britto. A dozen crayons, a dozen markers and a pad of paper fit securely in a BPA-free canvas cover. $35, Neiman Marcus.
Eye spy meets bingo in this classic road trip game with a modern twist. A block with 25 recognizable images -- including a car, tractor, sun and stop sign -- is printed on cotton, covering a metal insert. Included is a set of strong magnets in a coordinating bag. $48, Anthropologie.
Ready for takeoff
Your daughter's American Girl doll can come along for the ride in this snazzy travel case, which features a window in one side so she can "peek" out and pockets to stow her accessories. If this is your daughter's first time flying, the First-Class Flight Set is the perfect way to prepare her for the adventure. It includes a fold-out airplane scene with tiny snacks and other in-flight necessities. $58 for case, $60 for flight set, American Girl Store.
It's a nano world
Who says bigger is better? With Nanoblocks, kids can build a tiny but detailed replica of world-famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building and Eiffel Tower. Go even smaller with animals like the white terrier, which measures just 2 inches tall. $10-$45, Miss Molly's Toy & Candy Shop.