Weekend Trips

Children's Ski Lessons at Mountain High Rock!

Until this past weekend, one of the casualties of parenthood in our family was skiing. Of course, if I had been a true skiing fanatic I would have moved "Teach Child To Ski" higher up the priority list. Indeed, if I were a serious skier, I may even have felt qualified to teach said child to ski myself. Instead, I have vaguely contemplated the family ski resort options near LA each winter, and then realized that I have not made it to one each spring. After six seasons without skiing, I decided it was time to take the child by the horns and get someone to teach him to ski.

All-Inclusive Winter Family Resorts: Ridin-Hy Ranch

[UPDATED: JANUARY 9, 2013]

This is the second in a series of posts about All-Inclusive Winter Resorts for Family Vacations in the New York City Region. In our previous post, we reviewed Woodloch Pines Resort in the Poconos.

If you like your vacations a little more on the rustic side, Ridin-Hy Ranch might be the answer. This Adirondack ranch resort offers good old-fashioned winter fun, hold the glitz and glamour. Winter activity highlights include horseback riding through snow-covered trails, sleigh rides, ice skating, snow tubing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and nightly entertainment.

Day Trips Near NYC: 10 Holiday Break Destinations for Families

While there are plenty of things to do in New York City over holiday break, school recess is a great time for families to explore the world beyond the five boroughs.

Over the years, our readers have shared their favorite family-friendly day trips. Now we've got 10 more mini-itineraries to add to the list. These getaways are all within two hours of NYC, and many are even accessible without a car. Best of all, some of them have special activities and attractions in honor of the holiday season.

Huntington Beach Weekend Getaway: So Far and Yet So Close

The Los Angeles Grail, the Great Quest of the Southland, may well be the search for the ultimate family weekend getaway. The vacation that gives the most pleasure for the least effort. The highest decadence to travel time ratio. And I am here to share the news that Nirvana is only an hour away down an Orange County stretch of the 405 to Huntington Beach.

Fun Day Trips In and Around CT: Gillette Castle and Caumsett State Historic Park

Do you know that Connecticut has its very own fortress? Gillette Castle in East Haddam looks like a decoration from a fairy tale book, a real medieval castle. Its robust, dark gray stone walls, bastions and towers hide an eccentric and surprising fantasy world of hidden doorways, tricky pieces of furniture and quirky installation. Once a property of Sherlock Holmes actor, William Gillette, the fortress is now open to the public. Its generous park mirrors the castle: its winding trails lead through arched bridges and little tunnels along the path of the castle's private 3-mile long railroad with its own Grand Central Station. So if you are ready to share something extravagantly out-of-the-ordinary with your family, plan a trip to East Haddam's Seven Sisters Hills.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire: 10 Things to Do With Kids

If you're looking for a family-friendly vacation destination that doesn't require getting frisked at the airport, consider Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This gem of a New England town puts its best foot forward during the summer, and its small size makes it manageable for families. 

It's easy to have fun in this picturesque portside town without feeling overwhelmed. The downtown area is booming, but despite some urban renewal, it maintains an authentic saltiness that's in tune with the area’s maritime history and traditions.

The town is about a five-hour drive from New York City. However, you can also take Megabus, BoltBus or Amtrak to Boston’s South Station, and then connect to a C&J bus for the one-hour ride to Portsmouth.

Portsmouth is one of my family's favorite places to visit, and I've compiled the top ten things to do here with kids.

Fun Summer Vacation Literary Itinerary for Kids: Hartford to Boston

Wouldn't your little writer love visiting Louise May Alcott's Orchard House or Walden Pond this summer? What a great road trip for your tweens and teens! This itinerary given to me by Corrine Upton over at the Mark Twain House has covered it all starting in Hartford and finishing up in Boston. Over the course of five days (or less, for those who are ambitious), visit the birthplace of Mark Twain’s most famous characters, get inspired by Edith Wharton’s landscape design, and visit the grave sites of Thoreau, Hawthorne, Emerson and Alcott at Author’s Ridge at Sleepy Hollow.  
 
Below, you'll find the full itinerary of a New England literary pilgrimage-- offering a unique, inspiring and educational summer vacation. And if you'd like even more fun literary locales check out more destinations like Dr. Seuss' Sculpture Garden, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and Emily Dickinson's house all in Western Mass.

Atlantic City, the Rodeo and Lots More Family Fun

 If you thought Atlantic City was only slot machines and cocktail waitresses, think again.  This South Jersey seaside city is reinventing itself as a family destination. 

My kids and I took an overnight vacation to Atlantic City last spring, with winning results.  The kids were excited to walk the actual streets whose names they recognized from frequent games of Monopoly.  We headed over to the boardwalk, and though it was too cold to swim, there were lots of activities to keep the kids entertained.  We had a great time visiting the emporium of the weird and freaky, Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum.  We hit the famed amusement park, the Steel Pier, and had a ball on the rides and trying our luck at the arcade games. 

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