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Furnace Creek Resort Wildflowers FamilyTravel.com

From Death Valley’s desert floor in California to Colorado’s alpine peaks, these colorful blooms provide an example of nature’s astonishing power to please. Explore America’s low point on foot, bike or horseback to glimpse evening primrose or Mojave aster.

Visit Crested Butte, the Wildflower Capital of Colorado, during its three-month celebration of wildflowers. It includes identification walks, garden tours, butterfly and birding classes as well as nature-centered writing, art and photography workshops.

Contact: www.furnacecreekresort.com; www. crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com; www.colorado.com

Dog Park Inn FamilyTravel.com

For animal lovers, creatures add comfort. 

Here are five places where critters will catch your attention:   

Dino Digs. Lakewood, Co.

The kids can sleep well knowing Stanley is standing guard. The life-sized stegosaurus serves as the Best Western Denver Southwest’s mascot and offers a statuesque tribute to nearby Dinosaur Ridge, where the first stegosaurus discovery took place and work continues today. Hotel owners partnered with paleontologists and museums to create an authentic museum-like experience where families can observe artifacts, learn more about these ancient creatures, and get a good night’s sleep.

Contact: 303-989-5500

Llama on Call. Cashiers, NC.

Check into the High Hampton Inn & Country Club and you’ll have plenty of help enjoying this 1400-acre sanctuary, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The local llamas are at your service. The furry sherpas are at the ready to carry your picnic basket and gear on a hike or even caddy for the golfers in your group. The shaggy critters even show up at the tavern to the delight of guests who mug for the camera with their new four-legged friends. Your pets are welcome too. Contact: 800-334-2551; http://highhamptoninn.com 

Duck Delight. Memphis, TN.

  If it quacks like a duck, you must be in a Peabody Hotel. To the delight of visiting landlubbers, five North American mallards waddle through the hotel twice daily, on a red carpet trek to and from the lobby water feature. The fan-fare is now a time-honored tradition that began in 1932 amidst some late night shenanigans that resulted in fowl swimming in the fountain. Today the birds strut their stuff in the good company of their “Duckmaster”. Of comfort to many guests; you won’t find duck on the hotel menu. Contact:  901-529-4000; www.peabodymemphis.com/

Big Cat Country. Eureka Springs, AK

This unusual 450-acre sanctuary provides refuge for more than 130 abandoned, abused, and neglected tigers, lions, leopards, cougars and a grizzly bear, as well as visitors eager to observe and learn more. Guests at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge stay in safari themed lodges, rooms or a tree house bungalow. Educational talks, learning stations and a half-mile habitat tour led by a keeper are part of the experience. Contact: 479-253-5841; www.turpentinecreek.org

Canine Comfort. Cottonwood, ID.

Jokes about sleeping in the dog house are unavoidable. But good behavior should earn your kids the chance to spend the night in this super-sized beagle where everything comes in the shape of a loveable canine. You can keep the memory of your Dog Park Inn stay alive by taking home the carved dog art lovingly created by the establishment’s owners. 

Contact: dogbarkparkinn.com  : 208-962-3647

Mothers day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner.

How will you show that special woman in your life just how much you care and appreciate all that she is and does throughout the year?

Chances are your special Mom has all the bling and beautiful clothes a girl could ever want. So why not consider a gift that returns healthy dividends well into the future?

Here are a few ideas:

Send her to the spa.
Help reduce life’s inherent stress by manifesting a weekend of health and wellness. (You might even have to keep her company!)

Sign her up for a class.
Does she long to learn about meditation? Hot yoga? The benefits of strength training or spinning? Make it happen for her.

Buy her a bike. And a helmut.
Scottsdale is crisscrossed by miles of bike trails that make us the envy of many. Whether it’s a cruiser she can pedal to the grocery story or a fat-tired ride she can blast down the trail, set her up for some two-wheeling fun.

Make sure she’s tech savvy.
There are tools aplenty to tell us how many miles we’ve walked, calories we’ve expended and feet we’ve climbed. And we all know that such information is can be a powerful motivator. Get her a gadget and include a Mother’s Day lesson on how to make it work in real time.

Suit her up.
Does she already have a favorite sport or outdoor endeavor? Make sure she feels in the pink for her pursuit by insuring she has the right shoes, equipment, gear or get up to take it to the next level. After all, we want her looking good and getting it right.

Because through out the rest of the year, isn’t that what moms do for us?

                                        Shop Amazon - Mother's Day Gifts

Be happy family travel

Spring break plans. Soccer practice and science fairs.  Work obligations and doctor’s appointments. 

Life gets hectic! 

But while you're on the road at home or on holiday remember to just be….happy. 

Especially tomorrow. 

Why? 

Tomorrow is the International Day of Happiness, as declared by the U.N. General Assembly, 

So don’t forget to share a little love, a smile, a kind gesture.

You’ll not only up your own happiness quotient, but you’re bound to make someone else a little happier too.

 

 

science

Kids and their parents know it’s cool to be smart.

Here are five places that will supercharge your family’s brainpower.

Exploratorium. San Francisco, CA. 

More than 600 exhibits housed on 3.3 acres will encourage every member of the family to see the world differently. The 40-year-old, 21st century learning lab encourages creativity and “tinkering” as a means of expanding our perceptions. Young children and toddlers are engaged by shadow, light, bubbles and color as a means of exploration and discovery. Kids can create a marble machine, study plankton populations, or check out an “upside down world” at a new location on Pier 15.

Contact: (415) 528-4444;  www.exploratorium.edu

The Living Planet Aquarium. Draper, UT.  

This home to underwater adventure was created by a marine biology major turned biochemist, who was inspired to share the mysteries of the seas with children in his land-locked home state of Utah, The popular Living Planet Aquarium will reboot in a new and expanded location in December. When the doors reopen, kids can learn all about sharks, rays, seahorses, piranha and Gentoo penguins in an interactive environment.

Contact: 801-355-FISH (3474); www.TheLivingPlanet.com 

Explora Children’s Museum.  Albuquerque, NM.

How do you make a green chile pepper appear black? Find out during a visit to this family-friendly museum that mixes art and science to spur creativity and discovery within the worlds of physics, math, biology and beyond.  Kids can also use their own bodies to study the concepts of ratio and proportion in the Math Moves exhibit. 

Contact: (505) 224-8300; www.explora.us

The Dalí Museum. St. Petersburg, FLA

Plan a family visit to the 66,450-square-foot permanent home of the most comprehensive collection of Salvador Dali’s works in the world. Enjoy the priceless collection of masterpieces, paintings, photographs, watercolors and books. Younger children will enjoy the “Dillydally with Dali” program offered daily, which includes puzzles, games, story hour and creative expression.  Be there on the first Saturday of the month, for Breakfast With Dali, a morning that includes a junior-focused tour, followed by a buffet breakfast. Beginning in January, 2014, the museum will host an expansive exhibit of the work of Andy Warhol.  Children under five are admitted free.  

Contact: 1-800-442-DALI (3254); www.TheDali.org; www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com

Baltimore Aquarium Family Travel

National Aquarium.  Baltimore, MD. 

Did you know that an octopus has a highly developed brain and is a master of camouflage?  Collect the details before you check out Black Tip Reef, a coral filled exhibit replicating Indo-Pacific underwater landscapes. The kids will love their visit with bottlenose dolphins where they’ll also observe training, feeding and playtime with trainers. Before days’ end discover the importance of jellyfish, observe sharks in an open tank and see more than 500 exotic species in an Atlantic Coral Reef Exhibit.

Contact: 410-576-3800; Aqua.org.

Netflix streaming science movies

Spring means family travel breaks.

But it also means Science Fair season!

If you are looking for inspiration for your junior Einstein or just a little eduation here are a few ideas.

Mix in a few seriously fun science films into your Netflix stream. Titles like these: 


Your youngest crew might like these:

If you plan includes checking out some cool spots consider these spots!

Christopher Elliott

If you want top tips from a real travel pro and professional problem solver, you'll want to check out USA Today columnist Chris Elliott's new book.

He puts his 20 years of experience to work for you, providing insight on air, car, cruise travel and more. The father of three, his tips will enrich your travel memories.

You can find details and order yours via the link below! 

Spa time family travel

Spa stays provide healthy options for multigenerational bonding, parent-child getaways or the chance to catch up with adult siblings in a relaxing environment.

Here are five destinations to consider:

MIraval spa in tucson

Miraval Resort & Spa. Tucson, AZ.

Gather the clan for a multigenerational spa-centered trip to this desert oasis where yoga and meditation classes are paired with inspiring life balance lectures. Embark on early morning guided hikes into the desert, learn life lessons during an equine immersion and cast off your fears during the Desert Tightrope session. Relax by the pool or in the hot tub before and after spa treatments that might include hot river stones or ginger lime salt scrubs.

For those interested in a glimpse of the future, sessions with psychic Maggie Garbarini are offered monthly.  Healthy, locally sourced meals and a juice bar provide sustenance for your endeavors.

Contact: 800-232-3969; www.MiravalResorts.com.

Guerlain spa New York Waldorf

Guerlain Spa. Waldorf Astoria. New York.

Retreat from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple into the historic House of Guerlain.  Founded in 1828, Guerlain, a Parisian doctor and chemist, was the first to create scientifically based skincare. Today you can spend a day relishing in personalized services or pop in after a round of sight seeing and before the theatre for one of several treatments designed for busy travelers. A 30 minute rejuvenating Moroccan Oil head massage or body polish is sure to please. Contact: 212-872-7200; www.waldorfnewyork.com.

capella pedregal spa Cabo

Auriga Spa, Capella Pedrigal Resort. Cabo San Lucas, MX.

Check into one of 96 rooms or suites on 24 sundrenched acres. Then tune in to the rhythm of nature with a new series of spa offerings at this stunning 10,000 square foot spa overlooking the sea.  Signature treatments and other spa amenities, including welcome drinks and foot baths, are aligned with the lunar cycle. For example, during the Full Moon, treatments are designed to assist guests in rising to their full potential.

Josephina, a local healer, uses traditional herbs and rituals to maximize the healthy energy within the spa.  Further connect while relaxing at one of several pools, strolling on the beach, participating in cooking classes and dining on fresh seafood at the Cliffside El Farrallon, as waves crash upon the rocks below.

Contact: 877-247- 6688;   http://capellahotels.com

 Well & Being Fairmont Scottsdale

Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

Check in with a loved one and then check out the innovative treatments and programs ranging from Aerial Hammock Yoga to Grotto waterfall hydrotherapy. With a focus on whole health transformation, nutrition and indigenous ingredients, you can get scrubbed, wrapped, rubbed, purified and acupunctured while learning new tips and strategies for healthier and more energetic living. Later, enjoy dive in movies or fish in one of three onsite lagoons.

Contact: (480) 585-4848; ScottsdalePrincess.com.  

Chaa Creek Spa Family Travel

The Lodge and Spa at Chaa Creek.  San Ignacio, Belize.

Tucked within a 365-acre private rainforest paradise in the picturesque foothills of the Maya Mountains, Chaa Creek and its hilltop spa provide a natural setting to explore indigenous relaxation and healing rituals.  As tropical birds serenade nearby, settle in for mineral rich mud treatments or locally sourced herbal wraps. Don’t miss the onsite Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm and the medicine trail where you’ll learn more about the native plants that provide globally significant remedies. 

Contact: (877) 709-8708; www.ChaaCreek.com.

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