Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Diving boards and the deep end have been replaced by slippery slides, raging waterfalls and lazy rivers. Today’s resort pools and water parks offer enough excitement to keep the kids engaged for a weekend or longer. Here are a few cool pools worth the plunge:

Grand Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii.This island haven may be most famous for its beaches, but don’t pass up the chance to explore what this resort has to offer. The whole family will be eager to check out the 25,700 square foot area that includes nine free form pools. Travel via a “river” to check out the slides, waterfalls, caves, water elevator, swim up bar, rope swing and more that are part of this water wonderland. The tropical 40 acre resort also includes an infant pool.(800)888-6100;www.GrandWailea.com

Fairmont Scottsdale. Scottsdale, AZ. With the magnificent McDowell Mountains as a backdrop, families relish this oasis in the desert. By day, keep cool within the 6000 square foot Sonoran Splash complex, featuring a zero deck area for the youngest set. Kids wade right into the water, just like at the beach. Nearby a large sandbox with Tonka trucks and a bounty of beach toys beckon, keeping the kids entertained. Have fun slipping down two of Arizona’s largest slides. Come nightfall, enjoy dive-in movies from deck chairs or while floating on your raft. Contact: 1(866) 540-4495; www.Fairmont.com

Atlantis Resort. Paradise Island, Bahamas. With more than 141 acres of water rides and pools, who has time to hit the beach? From the Mayan Temple to the ominous Power Tower to fun-filled Splashers Island, water play lovers will find 18 adrenaline-pulsing slides for kids of all ages. Ride the waves and rapids in the Current. Lounge around your choice of 11 different pools. Twist and turn through tunnels and emerge in an acrylic tube deep within a shark-filled lagoon. The thrills never end in this water-filled fantasy park. Contact: 1-888-877-7525; www.Atlantis.com.

Marriott World Center, Orlando, FL. Think 1,000,000 gallons of cool water. That’s what you’ll find at this Orlando resort where indoor pools, outdoor pools, whirlpools, waterfalls and a 106 foot slide make for an enticing recreation area. Pool side fun includes sidewalk chalk, ping pong and pool tables, limbo contests and scavenger hunts. Lounge on deck or join in a game of water volleyball. Contact:(800) 380-7931; www.marriottworldcenter.com

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio, TX. Float through the resort’s beautifully landscaped grounds aboard a trusty inner tube, making your way 950 feet along the Ramblin’ River. Stop by the activity pool and join in a game of water volley ball or basketball. Or make it a beach day and settle on the private, sandy man-made beach. Lounge on the sundeck before heading to the golf course or an afternoon at the spa. Grown-ups can enjoy the Texas-shaped adults only pool, while the kids take advantage of Camp Hyatt activities or teen-focused Underground events. Contact: 1-888-591-1234; hillcountry.hyatt.com.

Toddlers are travelers too. Your pint-sized family member just needs the right destination or activity to embrace his or her energy and curiosity.

Check out these places that embrace the junior set:

Disneyland. Anaheim, CA. Risk humming the song for weeks, but consider It’s a Small World, a family favorite first designed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Climb aboard a boat that will cruise slowly past more than 100 dolls and animals dressed in international garb. Hear the well-known song in five languages. Young visitors will also enjoy Goofy’s Playhouse, Casey Jr. Circus Train and Big Thunder Ranch. The Disney web site allows parents to search for age-appropriate attractions, enabling strategic planning. Search the site for discounts and special packages.

Contact: (714) 781-4565; http://disneyland.disney.go.com


Club Med. Opt for quality time with the kids, paired with time to relax and recharge. Toddlers get the chance to play with other two and three years old in the Petit Club Med where they engage in age-appropriate water play, and indoor and outdoor games and crafts. Meanwhile, parents can relax on the beach, play tennis, kayak or unwind in the spa. When the sun goes down, babysitting services are available. Children’s club availability varies by Club Med locations.

Contact: 1-888-932-2582; www.clubmed.us


Visit the Zoo. Washington DC. Featuring more than 2,000 animals and a bounty of intriguing sights and sounds, young children will be amazed at the world that surrounds them. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, often referred to as the National Zoo, is home to the exciting Giant Panda as well as two recent litters of lion cubs. Tucked within Rock Creek Park on more than 160 acres, the zoo is both walking and stroller friendly. Admission is free but parking can be challenging and pricey. Consider adding to the adventure by arriving via the Metro train.

Contact: 202-633-4800; http://nationalzoo.si.edu/


FDR Resort. Jamaica. There is nothing like an afternoon splashing in the surf and building sand castles to wear out an active toddler. At the FDR Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, once Junior goes down, a Vacation Nanny is available to sit by his side, while you enjoy all the resort has to offer. Check in to this all-inclusive seaside getaway, and meet your Vacation Nanny who will assist you and your family in having the most relaxing time possible. Trained in child care and housekeeping, this professional staff member’s goal is to fill in where needed, whether by looking after youngsters in the pool, or making sure the kids’ favorite snacks are on hand in the room.

Contact: 1-800-654-1337; www.fdrholidays.com


On The Trail. Getting kids outside early and often is likely to instill a lifetime love of nature. Visit a local trail and watch as your child explores with wonder, turning over rocks and observing small animals and birds. Choose a loop trail or plan a scavenger hunt. Bring along a picnic and plenty of water or juice so that the whole family stays hydrated. After a few close-to-home practice rounds, include nature walks and hiking in your travel itineraries. In time, you’ll be scaling heights.

Contact: www.childrenandnature.org; www.Trails.com; www.NPS.gov


It’s easy to allow financial stress, busy schedules and a hectic lifestyle to get in the way of putting dates on the calendar.

Here are seven reasons to flag a family vacation as a top priority.

It’s easy to allow financial stress, busy schedules and a hectic lifestyle to get in the way of putting dates on the calendar. Here are seven reasons to flag a family vacation as a top priority:

No one is getting any younger.

Not you, the grandparents, or your children. Family life is hectic and it can be difficult to carve out time to even plan a vacation, let alone take one. Yet, before you know it, the kids will be otherwise

Choose us to be your trusted marketing partner!

You already know that Family Travel is a hefty segment of the travel market and only getting beefier. From the classic family vacation, to reunions, to sister getaways, to multigenerational adventure trips, we have the resources and a wealth of information to help our readers make unforgettable choices.

By adding FamilyTravel.com to your marketing mix, you will:

           * Target well-educated, informed, peripatetic and enthusiastic women who make more than 82 percent of travel planning and purchase decisions.

           * Reach our male readers, men who are heartily engaged in travel decision making and enthused about making travel with family and friends and important part of the lifestyle mix.

          * Be a part of a growing and dynamic marketplace that includes grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members eager to travel together.

We are a creative, dynamic and enthusiastic team of professionals, eager to help you put your dollars to work in a way that manifests a healthy return for everyone.

For information about our range of marketing, custom content, sponsorship, influencer and advertising options, (including our new Grandparent Travel Collection, All Inclusive Travel Collection,  newsletter sponsorships and special sections), send a note to Ann Madison at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or call 480.266.9808.

We look forward to sharing your travel story!

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Editor & Owner

FamilyTravel.com

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Visit America’s historic lodges and find rustic log exteriors, well-worn pine floors, or riverside ambience. Join your family in a walk back through time when you book lodging with a story of its own.

A sampling:

Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, OR.

Located in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest, this magnificent lodge was built at the height of the Great Depression by unemployed craftspeople hired by the Federal Works Progress Administration. Completed on September 28, 1937, the lodge has long served as the centerpiece of a mountain playground where families ski, hike, dine, mountain bike, learn about the local flora and fauna and simply enjoy the high altitude natural beauty.

Contact: (800).547-1406; www.timberlinelodge.com/

Kalaloch Lodge, Forks, WA.

Visit the complex landscape that is protected within the Olympic National Park & Forest.  For bird watching, including the most significant habitat for bald eagles in the lower 48, beach combing, hiking and fishing, there are few destinations where families will find more beauty and opportunity to bond with nature. Consider the Kalaloch Lodge as a cozy home base. Serving up rustic yet charming accommodations, the Lodge offers tremendous views of the Pacific as well as the opportunity to spot puffins, sea otters, seals and a long list of other sea birds.  Tap into rich history by asking about the dozens of shipwrecks that have occurred in the area.

Contact: 888-896-3818; www.OlympicNationalParks.com.

Rapids Lodge and Restaurant, Grand Lake, CO.

Located on the banks of the scenic Tonahutu River, this charming lodge has been offering Rocky Mountain hospitality since 1915. Nearly a century ago the doors opened offering running water and electricity generated by a nearby water wheel.  Today, guests enjoy the outdoor wonderland that is Rocky Mountain National Park and then return to cozy lodge or cabin rooms and scenic dining overlooking the river.

Contact: 970-627-3707; www.rapidslodge.com.

Clay Hill Lodge. Lyons, OR.

Located  on Oregon’s Rogue River, this “off the grid” lodge offers families the chance to enjoy pristine wilderness, hiking, bird watching, rafting and fishing in the country that provided Zane Grey inspiration for many novels. Steeped in history, the lodge has served as base camp for scores of enthusiastic fishermen including Clark Gable, Herbert Hoover, Victor Moore and Ginger Rogers.

Contact: (503) 859-3772: www.ClayHillLodge.com

Garland Lodge and Resort. Lewiston, MI. 

Known as the largest log resort east of the Mississippi, this expansive playground is a family favorite for award winning golf, color tours, fishing, and hiking. A blend of old and new, sophistication and rustic charm, the AAA Four Diamond resort complex includes four championship golf courses. Ask about their family-friendly golf and spa packages. 

Contact: (800) 968 0042; www.GarlandUSA.com

Tarpon Lodge. Pinelands, FLA. 

Open since 1926, this charming waterfront lodge is located 30 minutes north of Fort Myers on Pine Island off Florida's Gulf Coast.  Enjoy the local art community, live music, bird watching and picturesque sunsets. Visit pre- Columbian mounds of the ancient Calusa people and paddle through the local waterways. The sport of tarpon fishing originated in Pine Island Sound in the late 1880s so you’ll want to grab a rod and try your luck with one of the local outfitters.

Contact: (239) 283-3999; www.tarponlodge.com.

ftseakayak

Are you an avid kayaker?

Consider a fully catered, guided tour in sunny Baja California, Mexico. During four to six day trips, family adventurers will maneuver two-person kayaks through the Sea of Cortez, the winter home of blue whales and among pods of dolphins. Later snorkel in Loreto Bay National Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site before camping under the stars on secluded beaches. Ask about special deals.   Contact: 800-616-1943; www.seakayakadventures.com

If you yearn to see and experience the Inside Passage, a part of Alaska, a new option is now available.

Activity-rich, yet affordable journeys on a 49-passenger expedition vessel will enable you and your family to kayak among whales and near glaciers, hike in forests with naturalists, visit native villages and try new activities such as the stand-up paddle board and the polar plunge. The eight-day, seven-night voyage travels between Ketchikan and Juneau. Ask about similar trips to Mexico.

Contact: 1-877-901-1009; www.innerseadiscoveries.com

 

 Diving boards and the deep end have been replaced by slippery slides, raging waterfalls and lazy rivers.

Today’s resort pools and water parks offer enough excitement to keep the kids engaged for a weekend or longer.

Here are a few cool pools worth the plunge:   

Grand Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii.

This island haven may be most famous for its beaches, but don’t pass up the chance to explore what this resort has to offer. The whole family will be eager to check out the 25,700 square foot area that includes nine free form pools. Travel via a “river” to check out the slides, waterfalls, caves, water elevator, swim up bar, rope swing and more that are part of this water wonderland. The tropical 40 acre resort also includes an infant pool.

Contact: www.GrandWailea.com


Fairmont Scottsdale. Scottsdale, AZ.

With the magnificent McDowell Mountains as a backdrop, families relish this oasis in the desert. By day, keep cool within the 6000 square foot Sonoran Splash complex, featuring a zero deck area for the youngest set. Kids wade right into the water, just like at the beach. Nearby a large sandbox with Tonka trucks and a bounty of beach toys beckon, keeping the kids entertained. Have fun slipping down two of Arizona’s largest slides. Come nightfall, enjoy dive-in movies from deck chairs or while floating on your raft.

Contact:  www.Fairmont.com

ftatlantists 1-24-2010 12-27-38 pm

Atlantis Resort. Paradise Island, Bahamas.

With more than 141 acres of water rides and pools, who has time to hit the beach? From the Mayan Temple to the ominous Power Tower to fun-filled Splashers Island, water play lovers will find 18 adrenaline-pulsing slides for kids of all ages. Ride the waves and rapids in the Current. Lounge around your choice of 11 different pools. Twist and turn through tunnels and emerge in an acrylic tube deep within a shark-filled lagoon. The thrills never end in this water-filled fantasy park.

Contact:  www.Atlantis.com

Marriott World Center, Orlando, FL.

Think 1,000,000 gallons of cool water. That’s what you’ll find at this Orlando resort where indoor pools, outdoor pools, whirlpools, waterfalls and a 106 foot slide make for an enticing recreation area. Pool side fun includes sidewalk chalk, ping pong and pool tables, limbo contests and scavenger hunts. Lounge on deck or join in a game of water volleyball.

Contact:  www.marriott.com

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio, TX.

Float through the resort’s beautifully landscaped grounds aboard a trusty inner tube, making your way 950 feet along the Ramblin’ River. Stop by the activity pool and join in a game of water volley ball or basketball. Or make it a beach day and settle on the private, sandy man-made beach. Lounge on the sundeck before heading to the golf course or an afternoon at the spa. Grown-ups can enjoy the Texas-shaped adults only pool, while the kids take advantage of Camp Hyatt activities or teen-focused Underground events.

Contact:  hillcountry.hyatt.com

Susan is a freelance writer.  Her essays have been published in The Washington Times, Family Digest, The Family, Raising Arizona Kids, Guideposts Magazine, Homelife Magazine, AZ Parenting, Goodhousekeeping.com, and Italiannotebook.com.

She has written three, award-winning short films. The latest of which, The Misadventures of Matilda Mench, won best screenplay in the 2010

Paula Panich, a journalist, teacher, printmaker, writer, and speaker, has been writing about travel, food, history, plants and gardens for two decades.

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