Archive for October 2010
October 29th, 2010
Amie from Ciao Bambino
We’ve had a glorious week in Tuscany. We took advantage of our crisp and clear day in Florence and climbed the 460+ steps to the top of the Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) in Florence. What a view (and workout)!
This is a fantastic activity with school-age+ kids and was the highlight of this trip to Florence.
Kids love the challenge of the steps and given that the stairway is curvy, dark, and narrow, it makes for quite an adventure. Those with claustrophobia, however, may not be pleased …
The other treat is that the climb takes you right under the Dome’s colorful fresco ceiling. For more Photo Friday posts, visit Delicious Baby.
Photos courtesy of Amie O’Shaughnessy
Ciao Bambino recommended Florence family hotels
Florence with kids
Tuscany with kids
Rome and Florence car rental tips
, Photo Friday
October 27th, 2010
Traci from Go Big or Go Home
Traci Suppa has a strange compulsion for roadside attractions. She drags her small-town family to see a quirky array of the “world’s largest” things, and blogs about it at Go BIG or Go Home. Some of her favorite discoveries, like the world’s largest kaleidoscope, are in her own neck of the woods–the Hudson Valley region of New York. Follow her on Twitter at @GoBIG_GoHome.
New York’s Hudson Valley remains under the radar as a family vacation destination, and I don’t get why. This verdant, 150-mile tract on both sides of the Hudson River offers affordable, wholesome fun when you want to whisk the kids away from the screens, and get back to basics. This region is also an ideal addition to an itinerary which begins or ends in New York City, since it’s reachable in less than an hour by car or train.
It’s also a great place to call home. My family, which includes our 10-year old son and 3-year old daughter, makes frequent outings to these favorite indoor and outdoor sites, most of which are open year round.
With a history pre-dating the Revolutionary War, the Hudson Valley is home to a wealth of historical sites open for public tours. Several cater to children with fun interactive programs and hands-on events. Sites like Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in Tarrytown and the Museum Village in Monroe introduce children to the past through living history tours and reenactments by costumed interpreters.
World’s Largest Kaleidoscope
Sometimes the destination isn’t as important as the thrill of seeing the world’s largest … whatever. Constructed inside a tall black silo, the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope is actually the interior of the silo in the town of Mt. Tremper. You have the choice of lying on the floor to see the show, or leaning on tilted back boards. A ten-minute video — colorful, musical, and somewhat psychedelic – is reflected off three 37-foot tall mirrors. There’s complete darkness except for the ever-changing prismatic display overhead.
The Walkway Over the Hudson
A breathtaking birds-eye view is your reward for braving The Walkway Over the Hudson which ascends 212 feet above the water at midpoint. But it’s the span — 6,767 feet, or 1.25 miles — which distinguishes it as the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. You can access this new linear state park from Highland or Poughkeepsie, and you’re welcome to bring your bike or skates. The bridge connects 27 miles of rail trails and riverfront parks on either side.
The Hudson Valley has its roots in agriculture, and scores of working farms still dot the landscape. Many open their fields to “pick-your-own” fruits and vegetables, particularly apples and pumpkins. Several in particular actively entice visitors with special events like seasonal hayrides, corn mazes, petting zoos, crafts, games, workshops and more. Kelder Farm in Kerhonkson also has a mini golf course, Weed Orchards in Marlboro bakes delectable apple cider donuts, Barton Orchards in Poughquag has a sizeable playground with a wooden pirate ship, and Secor Farms is a small field perfect for pre-schoolers picking spring berries.
There are several water parks in the region but our favorite is SplashDown Beach in Fishkill. It offers enough fun to fill a full day, yet its manageable size means you won’t be walking miles between attractions. With its shallow pool, Shipwreck Lagoon is the main hub of pre-school activity. For bigger, braver kids, Cowabunga Falls and Pirate’s Plunge are breath-catching water slides. At four stories tall, the Humunga Half Pipe is New York’s only zero-gravity half pipe ride, sending riders up to a pinnacle and letting gravity draw them quickly down again.
Ciao Bambino recommended New York family hotels
New York City activities with kids, travel tips from a local
Holiday activities in New York with kids
Visiting the Statue of Liberty with kids
7 great museums in New York City with kids
New York family activities on Uptake.com
, Hudson Valley
, new york
, North America
October 26th, 2010
Kristi from Ciao Bambino
Thank you to everyone who entered our Italy fall giveaway! We’re blown away by all the great hotel recommendations and we appreciate that everyone spread the word about the contest. Don’t be surprised if you see some of your favorite hotels become part of the Ciao Bambino portfolio in the near future!
And the winner of a week-long stay at beautiful Al Gelso Bianco in Tuscany, Italy is Amber Blecker.
Amber’s favorite hotel is Locanda Oseolo in Venice, Italy. She doesn’t travel with kids but thinks the hotel is wonderful for solos, couples and families. It’s a small, family-owned and less than a 5 minute walk from San Marco—close enough to hear the amazing bells, but far enough so you’re not in the crowds. You can leave your windows open at night to be awakened to the early morning sounds of Venice. The helpful owners are happy to provide recommendations for restaurants and sightseeing, but the hotel is also perfectly located to explore on your own, which is the joy of Venice. It’s a charming hotel, perfectly kept, and the essence of Venice.
A big thank you to Dream of Italy newsletter and Joe Sent Me for letting our winner know about the Ciao Bambino fall giveaway.
If you participated in our Facebook portion of the contest, the mystery photo was taken in San Gimignano, Italy. The towers gave it away!
If you are new to Ciao Bambino and liked this contest, you’ll be happy to hear that we have quarterly hotel stay giveaways. We focus on families but one look at our hotel portfolio and blog will tell you Ciao Bambino is not just for kids.
Be sure and “like” us on Facebook if you want to stay in the loop on more deals and giveaways we’ll announce through the year!
Ciao Bambino used Random.org to generate a random winner from all qualifying entries.
October 25th, 2010
Thanksgiving is coming.
I know what you’re thinking. We haven’t even hit Halloween yet. (Are your kids’ costumes finished?) The calendar will turn to November first and Halloween will be a distant memory. There will be very little time to catch your breath before you’re packing a suitcase to head to Grandma’s house.
Traveling with kids is challenging enough. Throw the busiest travel days of the year into the mix and you can have a recipe for disaster. But a little bit of planning and organization can make the holidays with family feel like an actual vacation. You won’t come home feeling like you’ve been on a European vacation with the kids, but you will come home happy.
Holiday Travel Tips
When To Go and When To Come Home
I’m a firm believer travelling provides an education in its own right, and have never hesitated to pull my kids from school when necessary. That said, I now have a middle school student and the last time she missed class for a trip, her stress was a new element to reckon with. But Thanksgiving week, timing is everything. Try and stay away from the crazy travel days, even if I means missing a day or two of school. A majority of folks fly on Wednesday and Sunday. Try leaving on Tuesday, and coming home on Saturday. Being home a day early gives the whole family a day to decompress and get back into routine before heading back to school and work.
If that doesn’t work for your family, how about flying on Thanksgiving Day? Depending on how far you have to go, you can probably make it just in time for turkey and avoid all the pre-meal hullabaloo. Take the following Monday and maybe even Tuesday off, and you’ve still got enough time for a nice visit. An added perk, the price of flying might also be nicer on your wallet.
Luggage fees for a family add up fast. Do you really have to check bags? Think about it. Packing light is not impossible (see my family travel packing tips). If you got school age kids, there’s no reason they can’t handle a rolling carry-on. This is not the time to spoil them. Grandma has a washing machine, so don’t pack the whole closet and limit the shoes. The pair you’re wearing on the plane and another for good measure is a good rule of thumb. And don’t lug things like diapers and wipes. I’d be willing to bet there’s a Target or Walmart wherever you’re going. Get what you need when you arrive, and use it before you head home. If you just can’t seem to lighten the load, consider shipping a box before you go. The mail is usually cheaper and easier than the sometimes un-friendly skies.
Not checking luggage has an additional, often overlooked benefit.You can skip another line and walk right past the luggage carousel.This is usually about the time kids (and parents) are tired and ready to hit the wall, so by-passing the wait and the possibility your luggage has gone to Italy instead of Ithaca, can give you good reason to smile.
It has never been simpler to handle all the paperwork that typically comes along with flying. Check in for your flight online, in the comfort of your own home and print your boarding passes. When you hit the airport, you can head right to security with your carry-ons. If you’re carrying any liquids remember they must be 3 ounces or less and fit into a quart size plastic bag. Put you baggie in an exterior pocket, so it’s easy to find when you go through security.
Think about parking your car, when you purchase your plane ticket. If you have a friend that can give you and your family a lift to the airport, take advantage of their generosity. It’s not essential by any means, but not having to deal with parking can make the traffic rush all the easier. For those of us who don’t have saints for friends, reserve parking ahead of time. This isn’t a trip to Las Vegas, don’t depend on good luck. Planning parking is a win-win situation. You’re guaranteed a spot and many times, you’ll get a better rate, so you can save money for the next adventure. If you don’t want to deal with loading the kids on and off the parking lot shuttle, divide and conquer. Drop the kids and one parent off at the airport, while the other parks the car. It gives the kids plenty of time to stretch their legs and go to the restroom before making the trek through security.
Give Yourself Some Extra Time
Anything can happen on the way to the airport, and it usually does. Traffic jams, bridge closures, emergency bathroom breaks — get the idea? Know the toll-free number for your airline. Program it into your cell phone. Hopefully, you won’t need it. But if you do, you’ll be happy you don’t have to waste time dialing information.
And it just stings when you finally arrive at the airport only to find the line to make it through security looks like the most popular ride at Disney World. Take a deep breath. If you gave yourself extra time, it doesn’t matter. When you get to the gate early, relax and think about all the turkey and stuffing in your future. That’ll probably make you hungry, and even if you’re not hungry, I guarantee by this point the kids are.
Snacks and kids go hand in hand, and airport food can often leave a lot to be desired. Don’t be afraid to pack food. As long as you’re not carrying liquids, security won’t have any problem with it. If you’re lucky enough to have made it to the gate early, you can have a picnic. It’s a fun way to pass the time at the gate or on the plane. And just think of how jealous the person sitting across from you will be …
Don’t count on the in-flight movie. Take some time when you help your child pack their carry-on bag (see my packing travel tips for carry-on luggage). Think of the things you and your kids use on a daily basis, that’s what you want to take on the plane. For my kids, most of the must haves already live in my purse. There’s the iPad or itouch, cell phone with camera, and depending on my deadline, my netbook. Hours of entertainment for the travelling kid and hopefully not too weary, traveling parent. Need entertainment ideas? See our posts on travel related holiday gift ideas for kids and long list of travel activities for kids.
10 holiday travel tips
Fall travel, favorite leaf peeping experiences
10 great fall family getaways
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October 22nd, 2010
Amie from Ciao Bambino
Hooray, a winner has been selected! Per our Italy vacation contest rules, they have three days to respond to the email we sent so stay tuned! We’ll draw another name if they don’t answer the message (which surprisingly, is usually the case for the first name drawn).
The blog will be updated with the winner’s information once they claim their prize.
A big thank you for participating! What a great contest—I love reading about everyone’s favorite hotels with (and without) kids. It just goes to show how personal and radically diverse needs and experiences are on the road. We’ll sort and summarize the 545 comments and report back on our findings.
The list includes properties from our portfolio (yay!) but also so many properties we don’t know about that look fantastic. I can’t wait to check them out!
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October 21st, 2010
Amie from Ciao Bambino
Given that we’re announcing our Italy vacation contest winner tomorrow on the blog, I’m posting Photo Friday a bit early.
Although we love living in Europe, we are homesick this month for Halloween festivities and traditions. I went in search of pumpkin patches around where we live outside of Lausanne and found this …
Local growers put a wonderful variety of pumpkins out on the street or in front of their farms in the countryside. Here’s the fascinating bit—it’s self-service! Not a soul is there to monitor or manage the pumpkin sales.
All the pumpkins are labeled with a price and you simply calculate what you’ve loaded in your car on the honor system.
I’m smiling just picturing this system in place back home in Northern California. The pumpkins would not be there in the morning and the cash box would be … I fear … empty. Sigh, am I just a cynic?
If you’re on the road this month, check out Dana’s great nationwide (US) round-up of pumpkin patches and farms with activities for all ages and her 2010 Halloween events for kids list. And, if you’re in and around London be sure and read Anna’s list of things to do around Halloween in London with kids.
Happy almost Halloween!
For more Photo Friday posts, head over to our friends at Delicious Baby.
Best San Francisco Bay Area pumpkin patches
Fall family travel, favorite leafpeeping experiences
10 great fall family getaways
, Fall Travel
, Photo Friday
October 19th, 2010
Amie from Ciao Bambino
Can the world’s most luxurious hotels be kid-friendly?
When I mention that many of the world’s most luxurious hotels are kid-friendly, people often look at me like I’m drinking way too much of my own kool-aid.
Seriously, of the things that make a hotel family-friendly, one of the major factors is the attitude of the hotel management and staff. The reality is that hotels with truly exceptional service will make every guest—irrespective of age—feel welcome.
We just got back from a weekend at the uber-luxurious Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Cennobio, Italy with our 7-year-old. This is one the—if not the—most iconic luxury hotels in Italy and there was not a single moment when any of us felt uncomfortable.
Granted, our son is at an age where he can follow instructions and we got a sitter for our anniversary dinner at their fine dining restaurant, i.e. our stay at a property like this required some behavior modification we wouldn’t have somewhere else, but he was warmly welcomed by ever single staff member from the moment we arrived. We enjoyed this immensely fabulous property as a family.
Hotel welcome preparations and initial impressions at the front desk are an essential part of any luxury family hotel experience. Equally important, however, is how you will feel on the property and this is a much more challenging issue.
How you feel at a luxury hotel is the challenge
We stayed at the Ritz in London a few years ago and although the overall guest experience was phenomenal in an unbeatable location for families overlooking Hyde Park, I could never quite get past feeling that our toddler was less than appreciated by other guests in public areas.
It’s tempting to say, get over it, who cares what other people think (assuming you/your kids are being respectful), but I firmly believe that some hotels should be off limits to kids. When I’m ready for an adult break and choose a venue accordingly, I don’t want to see or hear other’s people’s kids all around me either.
I also believe that it’s up the hotel to define if they want to be kid-friendly, adult-focused, or a bit of both. The latter is the toughest position of all. Villa D’Este runs a kids program over summer months but they limit the number of kids they’d have on the property at any point in time. This approach is key to preserving the experience for everyone.
Luxury hotel fanatics know this answer. There are some hotel experiences you can only get at a luxury property and this can make for a tremendous family experience too. We stayed at the Peninsula Beverly Hills for a night over Spring Break and I can say categorically that we’ve never experienced such a high degree of personalization as we did at that hotel.
A brief digression to illustrate truly extraordinary service
I’d always heard about Peninsula service but never experienced the brand first hand. At dinner, we told our waiter (not the hotel or restaurant manager) that we like Starbucks coffee in the morning and wanted to know where we could go. He asked us what we liked to drink and we told him 2 venti lattes plus a hot chocolate for our son. He asked us what time we we planned to get up and we said 8:30a. Of course, at 8:30a sharp we got exactly what we “ordered.” On a silver platter no less! The art of coordination and attention is exceptional at this hotel—we all felt pampered.
What if you want your vacation to include a hotel like this? I’m going to be dreaming about the timeless setting at Villa D’Este for months. I can’t replicate exactly what we enjoyed there at any other hotel in Italy.
Tips for researching and booking a luxury family hotel
Despite gargantuan rooms, as a matter of principle, many luxury hotels have strict standards around how many people can sleep in a room. If your budget is unlimited, then this is a non-issue. For those that like nice things but care about value, this can be a deal breaker.
Tip: Make sure you understand all the possible room configurations at the time of the quote. Don’t assume what you’ve been quoted is the best or only option. Be prepared that the luxury hotel of your dreams just may not have rooms that readily support families.
As I said above, just because hotel management welcomes you (after all, families spend more per night than couples with bigger rooms and more food), doesn’t mean the other guests expect or want you to be there. There are always going to be the “odd” guest you can’t control and don’t anticipate, but I do think that there is a consistent, predictable atmosphere and personality at any hotel.
Tip: Check Trip Advisor to get an idea if other families stay at the property you have in mind it it is not recommended by a family travel-focused site or blog. Nothing makes you feel more comfortable with kids than having other kids around too.
Luxury hotels may have rules around kids that are simply too limiting. Not allowing kids in a spa is standard practice. But, if there is only one pool and kids aren’t allowed in it and it’s July, this is a problem. I once had a hotel try to convince me they were kid-friendly but didn’t allow kids to make noise in the garden.
Tip: On Ciao Bambino we list rules of consequence on our Families Should Know section of every hotel review. In the absence of that kind of dedicated list, call or email the hotel for their specific policies.
Young kids need space and a place to run around. The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida has one of the fanciest lobbies I’ve ever seen, but this property still works perfectly for families because there are so many other places to go onsite (playground, beach, kids’ game room to name a few). In city hotel this may mean am adjacent public park, but you need to know where kids can go ahead of time.
Tip: If your kids are young enough to need a place to run around ensure this place is readily available.
You’ll need easy to access kid-friendly dining options. Oftentimes, the main restaurant at a luxury property is not a good place to take young kids.
Tip: Make sure there is a kid-friendly place to eat onsite or within very close distance. It’s no fun (not to mention expensive) to rely on room service.
The presence of a hotel kids’ club may make entertainment easy but this amenity may be more ornamental at a luxury hotel than practical. There may not be enough kids at any one time to run the program consistently. Babysitting may do the trick for those adult dinners but not if there is so much mark up in the rate that it is cost-prohibitive. We always publish average babysitting rates on Ciao Bambino and I always want to laugh (and cry) when a luxury property tells me the average rate is $30 USD an hour. Not an option.
Tip: Understand average babysitting rates ahead of time so no nasty surprises await.
Kid-friendly luxury properties treat kids like royalty. They will find as much joy in a little pampering as you do!
Ciao Bambino received a complimentary night and discounted rate at Villa d’Este. They asked us to express no particular opinion about our stay.
To find Ciao Bambino recommended luxury properties go to Advanced Search and select “luxurious” under the “standard” field.
Villa La Massa (Villa D’Este sister property) on Ciao Bambino
American Plan Resorts, historic all-inclusives for families
Luxury kid-friendly travel by Ciao Bambino and Lexus
Best hotel and resort kids’ clubs
, Lake Como
October 17th, 2010
Amie from Ciao Bambino
Our annual fall Italy giveaway is coming to a end so it’s time to hurry if you’d like a free stay in Tuscany to be in your 2011 future!
Fall in Tuscany. Photo Credit Amie O’Shaughnessy
The prize is a week-long stay for a family of 4-5 people at Al Gelso Bianco, a wonderful wine and olive oil estate located midway between Florence and Siena.
This contest requires more than just entering your name—we’re asking families to share details about their favorite hotels with kids (or just a favorite hotel period). The result is that for a contest where the prize is this huge, the chances of winning are fantastic! You can also get additional entries by sharing a link to the Italy vacation giveaway page with your friends on Facebook and identifying the country and city in this photo on Ciao Bambino’s Facebook page.
Click here to enter. Buona Fortuna!
October 14th, 2010
Halloween was always an ‘American’ thing here in the UK. Just like you can always find a few hotels serving Thanksgiving dinners, you would occasionally find the odd restaurant or club going with the spooky theme. You might get a couple of kids knocking on your door covered in a white bed sheet with two holes cut out at eye level, but that was it.
Until about two years ago.
As the recession hit and retailers were desperate to find new ways of making money, we suddenly went Halloween mad. Supermarkets have aisles dedicated to ghoulish dressing up gear, sweets and pumpkins. The Halloween disco is now in nearly every school’s calendar and museums and attractions have jumped on the bandwagon too.
Halloween in London
Photo courtesy of Scorpions and Centaurs on Flickr
Halloween at Harrods
If you’re lucky enough to be in London with kids over this period, start off with a visit to the uber-luxury department store Harrods. Now, I wouldn’t normally mix shopping with toddlers, but this is a magical store and even little ones will be filled with wonder as soon as they step through its doors. And, on Saturday 30th October it’s getting into the Halloween spirit with Ghost story readings, magic tricks, face painting and balloon modelling, as well as the chance to create your own witches hat, wizards cape, fairy wings or pumpkin with the help of spookily dressed helpers.
The London Bridge Experience
If your kids are in their teens or nearing them, grit your teeth and make for The London Bridge Experience for what bills itself as London’s scariest tourist attraction. London’s deadliest lift opens its doors for the first time for Halloween and here you can also take a trip back in time through the life of London Bridge – from the first bridge built by the Romans over 2000 years ago, up until the present day.
Photo courtesy of gyrtr on Flickr
Wicked Day at St. Pancras
The next one I’m telling you in a whisper with a hand cupped across my face, cause you really need to be in the know to know about this one. But Wicked Day is happening on October 31 at London’s St Pancras station. Now with it’s Victorian gothic architecture St Pancras station is one of the most beautiful stations in the world and the most fitting venue for this occasion. It has been recently renovated to incorporate the new Eurostar terminal, as well as boutiques, restaurants and the arts centre Kings Place. You can spend a day here without even getting on a train. And this place is heaven if you have a train-obsessed kid.
Anyway I digress, Wicked Day will feature live performances from the cast of the hit show Wicked, face painting and spookily themed workshops.
Photo courtesy of the hanner on Flickr
Guy Fawkes (Bonfire Night) in London
Halloween still hasn’t eclipsed Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night, however, just a few days later. On November 5th 1605, traitors to the King, one of which was a man called Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament with barrels of gunpowder. The plot was foiled and bonfires were lit across the country to celebrate.
Ever since, November 5 has become known as Bonfire night and on this and the days surrounding it people across the country light bonfires where they burn effigies of Guy Fawkes and let off fireworks. If you can, try and extend your vacation to take in both festivities.
London’s Best Bonfire Night Fireworks in 2010
Wimbledon Park, November 5th
Right by the famous Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club, the sky above Wimbledon will be alight with bangers and rockets.
Chestnut Fields, November 5th
Waltham Forest’s Firework display in the East London park of Chestnut Fields, promises to be spectacular and also features traditional fairground rides and food stalls.
Battersea Park, November 6th
This South London park, with it’s cute little petting zoo, adventure playgrounds and beautiful gardens is worth visiting at any time, but year after year the Firework display in Battersea Park out does itself
Lord Mayor’s Firework Show, November 13th
A week after Bonfire Night, London welcomes its new Lord Mayor with the annual Lord Mayor’s Show. A flypast by the Royal Airforce signifies the start of the show, then the procession of historic state horse-drawn coaches, floats, service men and women and marching bands winds its way from London’s Mansion House to the Royal Court of Justice. The day culminates with an awesome fireworks display over the River Thames.
P.S. If you don’t want to go to anything organised, you just need to stand at a high point in London over the weekend of Bonfire Night and you will be able to look in on hundreds of private and public displays.
Ciao Bambino recommended family hotels in England
Great pumpkin patches, farms, and picking (USA)
Halloween events for kids 2010 (USA)
Fall family travel, favorite leaf peeping experiences
10 great fall family getaways
, Fall Travel
, United Kingdom
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October 12th, 2010
Amie from Ciao Bambino
This post was sponsored by FamilyGetaway.com, the first advertiser on the Family Travel Ad Network, a partnership among Ciao Bambino, Delicious Baby, Travel Savvy Mom, The Vacation Gals, Trekaroo, See Jane Fly, and Traveling Mom.
It’s time to start thinking about ski season and to get accommodations booked, particularly for longer stays and popular ski weekends. Lake Tahoe is 3-4 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area (provided you choose your departure times judiciously to avoid peak periods).
I have a soft spot for the North Lake Tahoe area as I grew up skiing here and although I now live at the foot of the Alps, I’m steadfast in my belief that Tahoe is one of the most beautiful wilderness areas anywhere in the world. Winter weather and snow conditions are less predictable than say Colorado and Utah ski areas, however, the trade off is the mild temperatures make things easier and more comfortable with young kids.
Where to stay in Tahoe is always a conundrum. Private homes are popular, but have more restrictions for weekend stays and unless your rental is ski-out, you’ll be stuck with all the work involved in skiing, i.e. schlepping kids and equipment to the mountain.
Which is precisely why staying within a ski area at a full service resort is such a treat and exponentially reduces the hassle factor involved in skiing with kids.
The Resort at Squaw Creek is one of a handful of upscale resorts with a wide range of onsite amenities in the North Lake Tahoe area. The property includes multi-room condo units with kitchenette facilities as well as standard hotel rooms. Skiing is expensive and one way to keep costs down is to have breakfast and/or lunch in your room—an easy task when you have basic kitchen supplies and a fridge at hand.
With 3-4 onsite restaurants depending on the season, you don’t need to drive to dinner (love that after a long day on the slopes), plus, there are a few additional dining options in the Village at Squaw, a 5-minute shuttle ride away (free shuttle provided by the resort).
The Resort at Squaw Creek is ski-out with an important family travel caveat: the lifts from the hotel lead to intermediate runs, there is no beginner terrain that is ski-out from here. In addition, the ski school drop off is located in the village.
Properties like Resort at Squaw Creek are gems for teens that want to ski on their own. The ski-out set up and resort amenities mean they can have a bit of independence in a safe setting.
The hotel offers a fee-based Mountain Buddies childcare program (daycare style vs. camp style, see my article describing hotel kids’ club differences) for ages 4-12 which is a nice feature for kids that can’t or aren’t ready to ski and/or parents that want some solo ski time. There’s an ice skating rink on the property open over the winter months, as well a year-round heated pool and hot tubs (although the kids’ pool and slide is open for summer only). Note, there is a $16 daily resort fee here—it’s never fun when that is a surprise.
FamilyGetaway is offering 2 great packages right now at Resort at Squaw Creek. One ends at the end of October so you’d have to hurry, but the other is a ski package including 2 lift tickets. Buy any family package before October 15th and get an additional 15% off! Click here for more information.
Photos courtesy of Resort at Squaw Creek
Welcome FamilyGetaway.com to the Family Travel Ad Network on Delicious Baby
Family holidays at Stowe, Vermont on TravelingMom.com
Ciao Bambino’s family-friendly review of Resort at Squaw Creek
Fly fishing for kids at the Resort at Squaw Creek
Best Lake Tahoe hikes with kids
Favorite kid-friendly Lake Tahoe activities (summer)
, North America