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Thursday, 11 September 2014 19:18

Ranch Week Report

By Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

ranch vacations

Ranch vacations are a great way for families to learn new skills, seek adventure and relax in the great outdoors. In the next few days we'll be sharing stories from our exploration of some of Colorado's best guest ranches.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:58

Ways To Save On Family Travel

By Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Scottsdale Princess FamilyTravel.com

Choose an off-peak package. 

Whether you visit midweek or off-season, you’ll save. For example, the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa offers a Drive, Dine and Dream package, available for stays Sunday through Thursday. Located in Southern California’s San Bernardino National Forest, guests receive room discounts and resort credits as well as guided hikes, mountain bike adventures and s’mores on the beach. 

Or, check into the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess during Arizona’s warmer months for value-rich family activities including the new Splash Rider X-treme water ride, dive-in movies, tennis, golf and zip-lining.

Contact: www.Scottsdaleprincess.com; www.lakearrowheadresort.com

Your next family vacation: Wyoming

At Brooks Lake Lodge, the vast Wyoming wilderness is right outside your door. High mountain lakes, miles of hiking and horseback trails and magnificent views will enhance your experience. One and two bedroom rustic but restored cabins are nestled among the Spruce and Pine trees of the Pinnacle Mountains. Enjoy the sweet smell of the forest from under your goose down comforters. (307) 455-2121; www.BrooksLake.com;

Sunday, 17 August 2014 10:19

Visit Glacier!

By Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Family Vacation Family Travel Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park.

It’s a must see: stunning vistas, more than 200 lakes, 175 named mountains and 40 glaciers, tucked within one million acres of natural beauty. That’s Glacier National Park.

The last time I visited it was a multi-generational outing - my Dad, my son and my niece and it was a great destination for all of us.

Established in 1910, by an act of Congress, this extraordinary recreational playground is also home to more than 350 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

With so much to see, if you go, it is important to plan in advance.

Here are a few suggestions to jump start your visit:

Ride the Red Bus.

The historic red buses are a symbol of another age, providing a commanding overview of the park’s magnificent history and scenery. The vintage vehicle carries 17 passengers. Tours range from three hours to a full day. Children under 12 are half price.

Contact: Glacier Park, Inc. ; www.GlacierParkInc.com; 406.892.2525.

Explore on foot.

With more than 800 miles of maintained hiking trails, there are plenty of opportunities for families to learn about the flora and fauna. A favorite among families, we enjoyed the beauty of the Avalanche Lake trail. Within four miles round trip, and a gain of just 500 feet in elevation, trekkers will enjoy a rich forest environment, tumbling waterfalls and a majestic lake with more waterfalls at the turnaround point. Take a picnic and enjoy. Easily accessible, the trailhead is five miles beyond the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Scenic Boat Tours.

Step aboard historic boats and glide across the pristine alpine lakes nestled amid majestic peaks. Enjoy the colorful commentary provided by the skilled crew. Available from four locations. Fares under $20. Children under four are free. Children 4-12 are half price.

Contact: www.GlacierParkBoats.com; (406) 257-2426.

Float the River.

Venture down the wild and scenic middle and north forks of the Flathead River with professional guides who will share their knowledge of the river. Half and full day scenic floats or whitewater adventures. Paddle a raft or an inflatable kayak. Contact: www.GlacierRaftCo.com; 1 (800) 235-6781.

Base Camp.

Glacier Outdoor Center’s log cabins provide a comfortable and well-located retreat just outside the gates at West Glacier. One and two bedroom cabins sleep from six to fourteen people. Enjoy full kitchens, covered decks, a gas grill and full guide services on site.

Contact: www.GlacierRaftCo.com; 1(800) 235-6781. For reservations inside the park contact:www.GlacierParkInc.com; (406) 892-2525.

 

For additional information about Glacier National Park contact: www.nps.gov/Glac; 1 (406) 888-7800.

Friday, 18 July 2014 15:05

Summer Brain Boost

By Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Movie Night:  Summer Brain-Power Boost

After a day in the summer sun, take a break with the family. Curl up on the couch and learn something new. You'll find these titles on Netflix. For your big kids:

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1. Lewis & Clark: The Journey Out West
2. Walking with Dinosaurs
3. Secret Yellowstone
4. The Blue Planet
5. When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

Find out what's bubbling in Yellowstone. Then discover more brain-boosting titles. The folks at Common Sense Media shared 12 age-appropriate documentaries that encourage kids to explore worlds they may not normally encounter, all currently streaming on Netflix – check out the list here.

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