Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Finding the Perfect Family Vacation at the Perfect Price

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

I have been in the travel business for 15yrs, and I am often asked the best times to travel to the Caribbean. My personal opinion is between the end of Thanksgiving thru December 19. The weather is great, the prices (especially this year) are low and the resorts are not crowded.

If you are parents of kids under 6, this could be perfect. However, for those of us who can not take our children out of school, we will have to deal with the extra expense of holiday travel, the long lines and crowded pools. Or do we?

As all of the deals pass my desk, I look for value and pick the best ones to share with my readers. I have NEVER seen prices this low for holidays and winter travel. Holiday travel usually is 3-4 times the regular rates, this year, it is the same or lower. If you still have your travel budget put aside – use it now, take advantage of these deals – because I have never seen rates like these before.

In thinking of family vacations, the first one that comes to mind is Club Med. Last time I was there, we still had to pay for drinks, now it is truly all inclusive – drinks, sports, you name it, it is included in the vacation cost. There are many resorts through out the Caribbean that I can recommend for families, but we will focus on Club Med right now, as their prices are phenomenal for the experience and memories the entire family will come home with.

If you do not feel like reading all of my descriptions – go straight to the deal, the best prices are from now to December 19, however, if you keep clicking, you will also find never before seen prices during the holidays and winter!

The basic deal is: 7 all-inclusive nights for the price of 3, which usually is $793per person ($114 a day).  Book by December 15 for travel between 9/15/08 – 4/25/09.

Kids Clubs:
Baby Zone 4mos -23mos: There is no day care for babies under two; however, when you make your reservation, you will tell them how old your children are so you are given the proper room and amenities. They will set you up in the “baby zone” including crib, changing table and all the comforts of home with a small baby.  Adapted to the nutritional needs of children, the meals are created by a team of specialist chefs from the Baby Restaurant. This Baby Restaurant is located in the Baby Club Med At the Baby Restaurant, the G.O® takes on the entire responsibility of lunch but parents can share this time with their child(ren) if they wish.  Children ages 2-4 can utilize the “Petit Club Med”, this is a parents; dream day care center. There is an additional charge for this day care.

Kids 4-10yrs old “Mini Club Med”: this is where if gets really fun and different! This club and all others are included in the basic price. The children are divided up into their age groups and given a plethora of activities to choose from whether it is learning how to sail, flying trapeze, and crafts are playing in the Kids only pool. The staff is dedicated and will teach the children new skills for sports, circus, crafts, etc..

Tweens & Teens: In my former life as a travel agent – these are the ones who had the most fun at Club Med. The activities are perfect for each age group ranging from water sports, learning how to be a DJ and mix, hip hop dancing, hang out rooms, teen only activities at night. There is even a theatre class where children can perform at the end of the week. These kids have a blast and the beauty is you do not have to worry about them as they are always somewhere on the property and there is always staff around to keep an eye on them.

Club Meds Best for Families that are part of this great deal:
Sandpiper: Located in Florida, a bit North of Palm Beach, easy to get to, but once you are there; you are in complete vacation mode. This Club Med has all the kids clubs from babies to teens. Sandpiper is a great, inexpensive short, family get away. Though you are still in the states, you will completely feel like you are away from it all as you feel that Club Med vibe as soon as you walk in. There are special family rooms, a kids room and an adults room; golf for the adults, five swimming pools and more.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: All the rooms are large suite like rooms – with different sizes depending on the family size. Renovated Resort with a long private beach bordered by palm trees. Circus school for the little ones, flying trapeze or fitness for adults. From babies of 4 months (at Baby Club Med® – extra charge) to teens, a club devoted to every age. Relax in the sun by the pool or through massages and treatments at the Club Med Spa (extra charge for spa).

Cancun, Mexico: This used to be a run down Club Med for singles – but not anymore! As the newest upscale discovery resort, Cancun Yucatan offers something decidedly different. Enjoy a free excursion and discovery the wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula with your family.
They offer luxurious Jade Suites, with an exclusive bar, concierge, room service and other upgraded amenities. Let your ‘teens and tweens hang out at their very own clubhouse while you take a cooking class. Enjoy an evening Mini Club MedTM performance, where your 4 year old presents a folklore dance on stage. Discover new cosmopolitan flavors at any of the three innovative restaurants at your own speed—Cancun Yucatan provides gourmet dining to satisfy your cravings at any hour.

Ixtapa, Mexico – On the West side of Mexico, easier to get to if you are in the South West or West Coast, this is the newest of the Club Med family. Facing the Pacific Ocean, an elegant hacienda it is coined as “The happiness of having a taste of everything”. The architecture hacienda style offers a new type of elegance.

In summary, if you want a Island type, but different kind of family get away, where you know the kids will have fun and you will relax and try new sports, take advantage of this sale before all the rates go up again.

Whether it is a 3 day weekend from $250pp or weeks’ vacation, from $350pp, take advantage of these incredible prices – if you add up everything included – you will see the savings!

Foreign Holidays a Time for Family Bonding

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Foreign holidays a time for family bonding

A travel company survey has found that one in five families spend an hour or less together each day at home but on foreign holidays 87 per cent enjoy four hours or more having fun.

The pressures of modern day living have created a situation where the family holiday is more significant than ever as 99 per cent of British families say it is ‘an important or very important’ time to bond together. Meals at home have also suffered: the survey showed the average family share only six meals a week together compared to 12 on holiday.*
Club La Costa Resorts & Hotels recognises the importance of family time together. It has 22 resorts in UK, Spain, Tenerife and Austria where the focus is fully on family fun, from the activities programmes around the poolside and its on resort ‘Team Marina’ for kids, to organised excursions. Resorts are totally family-friendly with well-equipped self-catering accommodation, as well as restaurants on site, impeccable housekeeping and maintenance.

Safety and health are also priorities. A doctor’s surgery is located in the grounds of its multiple resorts on the Costa del Sol and considerable investment is made in security. It is also the only timeshare company in Europe to be BSI audited to quality standard ISO9000:20001 for Marina del Sol Management S.L.U. at four of its resorts, with plans to achieve this throughout its entire operation.

‘We are committed to exceeding the expectations of our 50,000 member families and all staff are encouraged to go that extra mile to ensure the experience is memorable for all the right reasons,’ said Richard Fletcher, Resorts Management Director. ‘When families have saved all year to come on their annual holiday together, we have an obligation to ensure they have the best time ever.’

Catering for families’ needs has made a huge contribution to Club La Costa’s success since it was first formed in 1984, with more family-style resorts planned for Spain and Turkey as part of its ambitious expansion programme over the next two years.

However, it is also recognised that in addition to their main family holiday, members opt for other short breaks, often with friends. This can apply to groups of golfing mates, or other shared interests, and adults simply wanting quality time by themselves.

A survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,847 people in the UK over the age of 16, carried out by Tickbox.net, discovered 27 per cent take short breaks with friends and 10 per cent admitted they do it for time away from their partner and/or family.

Almost 50 per cent of those surveyed preferred to take a break in the British countryside. Club La Costa’s UK resorts all enjoy tranquil rural settings. They include the splendid Duchally Country Estate in the heart of Scotland. With its five-star standard leisure centre and proximity to top class golf courses, including Gleneagles, trout and salmon waters, clay pigeon shooting, Scottish whisky distilleries… it’s an obvious short-break choice.

Also the company’s two resorts in Cornwall: luxurious and modern Hustyns at Wadebridge and historic Trenython Manor near Fowey, offer fabulous scenery, sumptuous spa facilities, fine dining and are spoilt for choice for golf courses and things to do in their local areas.

For more information on Club La Costa visit www.clublacosta.com

*The poll was carried out by First Choice

Richard Fletcher has worked for Club La Costa Resorts & Hotels for the past fourteen years as Resorts Management Director, overseeing the running of 22 resorts in the UK, Spain, Austria and Tenerife. He worked in hotel management in England from 1966 until his arrival in Spain in 1984 and operated resorts in Tenerife, Mallorca, Portugal and Marbella prior to joining Club La Costa.
Family Bondong On Holidays

A Luxury Family Vacation Or A Romantic Getaway Package

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Looking for a luxury family vacation, or even a romantic getaway package, then the Verandah Resort & Spa on Antigua’s North East Coast is worth checking out

A Luxury Family Vacation on the unspoilt north east coast of Antigua, very much oceanfront, within a 30 acre site, with 200 villa units, this new all suite resort could be the best place for your family vacation in Antigua. The Verandah Resort and Spa is not just tuned to the family it would also be a great place for a romantic getaway package.

Although officially graded as a four star resort many of the guests report it to be of five star quality, and it isn’t unusual to hear comments like ‘The Best Hotel We’ve been to in the Caribbean’, and ‘An absolutely fantastic Resort for all the family’, amongst other flattering remarks.

The Verandah Resort and Spa is new, with superb large villas, large rooms, everything very clean, and huge verandas. You should book an Ocean View if you can, because the views are awesome. The grounds are well maintained and beautiful, and of course will get even more so as the resort ages.

The Verandah Resort and Spa can give you a luxury family vacation, but almost as important an affordable vacation, and you can choose the All Inclusive option which means you have no worries about how much you are spending. This makes it ideal for a romantic getaway package.

If you are travelling to the Verandah Resort and Spa as a family, then you are well catered for with a spacious and beautiful Kid’s Club for children aged from 4-11 with games crafts and activities for the tinys. There are large, well fenced gardens for outdoor fun, and well trained staff to take the strain, so your family vacation can feel like a romantic getaway even with children.

There are plenty of games for the small children, and active teenagers are equally well catered for. They can sail, snorkel, or use a comprehensive range of complimentary non motorised water sports, with instruction as well, so everyone can participate.

Outside the resort, there are of course Antigua’s 365 beaches, all different, all beautiful, to discover, historic sites from Napoleonic times, jeep tours of the rainforest, golf, and shopping in vibrant St John’s. Whatever family activity you are thinking about, you will get good advice from the staff at the Verandah Resort and Spa.

Part of the enjoyment of a family vacation, luxury or not is eating meals as a family. Here at the Verandah Resort and Spa there are three restaurants that will suit guests of all ages. At the Seabreeze where buffet style meals make it easy to pick and choose, you can drop in when you like, and stay as long as you want. Nicole’s is the fine dining restaurant and the menu has quality food, whilst the kids can have what they want. At the Buccaneer, where dining is quite a casual affair, pizza, burgers, pasta and sandwiches are just ideal for the teenagers in the family. Finally afternoon tea at The Verandah is just a great English Classic transferred to the Caribbean.

It can be quite difficult in a few paragraphs to describe and explain why the Verandah Resort and Spa would make an ideal luxury family vacation, and yet this all suite resort also makes a great place for a romantic getaway package, but the pleasant isolation helps. It’s you choice but the Verandah Resort and Spa is worth investigation.

Gareth Jones is responsible for Antigua Vacation Spots as well as authoring several articles about Worldwide Vacation Spots and he recommends Caribbean Vacation Spots His first love is the Caribbean especially the hotels on Antigua.

Davenport Fl Family Vacation

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

If your children have images of Mickey and Minnie floating through their heads while all you can picture are the large crowds and long waits of all their favorite Disney attractions, you need to find a solid middle ground for the ultimate family vacation. A trip to Davenport, FL is quite possibly the best remedy since you are outside of the overwhelming Disney zone but remain only a short drive away from all the fun and excitement your kids simply adore.


Davenport is only a 10 mile drive to Walt Disney World yet seems years away in regards to atmosphere and massive crowds. When you stay in Kissimmee or Orlando, you expect to encounter large groups at all of the nearby attractions and restaurants since everyone who came for the Disney attractions is typically clustered in the same general area. You simply cannot escape the masses who come to this wildly popular area no matter where you turn. In the Davenport area, however, you can retreat to a cozy and slow-paced city that feels just like home or allows you to escape the hustle and bustle you need a break from.


If you are looking to spend a relaxing day at your own pace, head to the nearby Highlands Reserve Golf Club for a round at a top public course. Duffers will love the open and spacious fairways that are forgiving of a slight slice while those seeking a challenge are bound to appreciate the large, fast greens that provide a stiff test of skill and mettle. In addition to the fabulous golf, visitors may be swept away by the remarkable scenery that combines Carolina, Scottish, and old Florida influences to create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that is certainly worth a look.


When you truly need to getaway from the crowds, make your way to Lake Tohopekaliga for some of the best bass fishing in the country. This shallow lake is located just south of Kissimmee and is the perfect place to commune with nature away from the noise and crowds you desperately want to avoid. For a more family-oriented adventure, consider a nature and wildlife viewing tour on the lake in search of bald eagles, alligators, and a variety of other features native to this area.


While these are great and relaxing ways to avoid the crowds, you are probably going to make your way to Disney World eventually so it is important to consider the different parks that are at your disposal. A must-see on any trip, the Magic Kingdom is the essence of any true Disney vacation as your favorite characters come to life and bring out the child in us all. Another great option is the Animal Kingdom, where 1700 animals and the essential rides await to provide a captivating and entertaining day for every animal lover in your family.


MGM Studios is another fabulous park as it gives you a behind the scenes look at your favorite television shows and movies while Epcot is slightly behind the others but still offers excellent attractions such as the “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” and the “Mission: SPACE” ride. If you are visiting when the heat is blazing, be sure to stop by the Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks for wet and wild attractions that will cool down and entertain even the most discerning guest.


The Disney area certainly has a lot to offer in the way of thrills and attractions but for those who need to escape from the crowds, a Davenport vacation rental is the ideal place to stay. While still close to all the fabulous options of the Kissimmee area, you can venture outside the regular scope of amusement and seek out your own entertainment without the masses following close behind. Throw in the convenience and amenities of home that come with vacation rentals Davenport FL and you have the makings of the most restful and relaxing Disney vacation you have ever imagined.

HomeAway.com has the most comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes on the Internet. For an alternative lodging option, consider Davenport vacation rentals for your next trip to the Disney area.

Bradenton Florida Is Fantastic Fun For The Whole Family

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Should you be looking for a spot to vacation that will keep the entire family happy then Bradenton Florida could be the place to go. Most of us have had vacations which just seemed to start out bad and only gets worse. The way to avoid this is to arrange a trip that everybody can enjoy.

When vacationing with a family there might be some people that like to do one thing while some like to do another. If you plan your trip to Bradenton, make sure you schedule activities that everyone may enjoy. There is so much to do that you will be able to come across something that the family likes. You could spend the day at the beach soaking up the sun, have a nice swim, or even surf the waves.

If the family gets tired of the beach you might try playing a few holes of golf. Legacy Golf Club was the recipient of the prestigious four-star rating from Golf Digest Magazine. If your not into golfing, A boat tour is actually a great way to spend time as a family and have lots of fun doing it. The shopping and nightlife in Bradenton is amazing. You can spend hours in the shops here and never grow tired of them.

You will also discover amazing food in Bradenton Florida. There are a number of bar and grills as well as kid friendly establishments. There are also lots of activities that can be done as a family with the children. You will find parks and botanical gardens you can visit totally free.

There’s also museums and aquariums. The weather is so nice that you should not have any problems arranging outdoor activities. If you plan your vacation just right you just might have enough time to squeeze in all the fun you could possibly imagine. Bradenton Florida is a beautiful location with tons to do. The hotels, condos, and vacation homes are beautiful as well as inexpensive.

For more information about Low Prices in Bradenton visit ABetterStay.com for Affordable Vacation Rentals in nearby Sarasota Florida

Maui: A Family Vacation Destination

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Located on the southwest side of Maui, the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui overlooks the amazing waters off of Polo Beach. The beach here is the center of all water activities such as snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and even windsurfing.

Visitors here can play on any of the Wailea Golf Club’s three championship golf courses or enjoy a game of tennis at any of the 14 courts the tennis center offers. Parents that are tired can get some much deserved personal time with a massage at the Spa Kea Lani.

The resort accommodations are either suites or villas, so there is no need to squeeze your entire family into a tiny room. There suites here are a minumum of 840 square feet and offer a separate living room and marble bathroom with a separate tub for soaking.

The private two levels villas here are minutes away from the beach and are between 1,800 – 2,200 square feet as well. The villas are ideal for larger families as they offer a full service kitchen and a private courtyard with a plunge pool and barbeque for grilling out.

Keiki Lani is also the hotel’s activity center for kids as well. It’s a state licensed facility for children between the ages of 5 and 13, giving parents a break from watching their kids. Here, children can enjoy painting coconuts, building sand castles, exploring the tide pools, learning how to dance hula, and even making real flower leis. The activity center can accommodate up to 19 children, so be sure to call ahead and reserve a space for your children.

Rates The rates for stay start at $325 per night for a suite. One of the benefits of a family vacation here is the special deals that are almost always available. The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui has several packages available for family vacations.  

If you are planning to explore the island with the kids, you’ll save a lot of money by taking a package that includes a free rental car. This way, you can explore the island at your will without having to worry about paying any extra money.

For a family vacation, Maui is truly a one of a kind destination. There are many different things to do here for everyone in your family, even if they are indeed hard to please.

Once your family experiences Maui and everything there is to offer, you’ll never look at beach vacations the same way again. Maui has that kind of power – especially when it comes to warm weather and pleasing people from all over the world.

Visit the Facts About Tea website to learn about yarrow tea and fat burning tea

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Cruise Deals: Now You Can Take Your Family on the Trip of a Lifetime

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Sometimes taking a family vacation is more trouble than it is worth. This is something that most people have to learn the hard way.

Taking the family on a road trip across the country might seem like a good idea, but hour after hour in the cramped car will cause tensions to quickly rise and brother will turn against brother in a backseat version of the Civil War.

National Lampoon tried to warn us of this with its tragic portrayal of the Griswald family. America thought it was a joke. How naïve we were.

Today, more and more families are finally discovering the advantages of a cruise vacation. They have all the benefits of a road trip and none of the drawbacks. You get to see multiple locations but you don’t have to worry about booking a hotel. Dad isn’t getting stressed about driving and the kids won’t get cabin fever because they have the whole boat to explore!

Cruise lines are finally figuring out that there are lots of families out there interested in a cruise vacation, and there are more affordable family packages and destinations out there today than there ever were before. Here are a few great ideas for cruises that will be fun for the whole family.

Royal Caribbean runs a three-night cruise of the Bahamas so even if you can’t get a whole week of work off, you and the family can still get away for a nice long weekend. This trip leaves from Miami, Florida and has stops in CocoCay and Nassau. What’s more, they also offer a reduced rate for the third and fourth passenger so it is even easier to bring the whole family along!

If you want a slightly longer stay, Royal Caribbean also has a four-night cruise that leaves from Fort Lauderdale and sails around the southern tip of Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. The ship makes a day stop in Key West before hitting the seas overnight on its way to Cozumel, Mexico for a full day of exploring. After that it is another day or cruising the high seas before docking back in Fort Lauderdale.

For East Coasters who don’t want to make the plane trip down south, Norwegian Cruise lines runs a seven-night trip that sails out of New York City and on to the Bahamas. This also features a stop at Norwegian’s own private island!

For the kids, this cruise ship also features the Splashdown Kid’s Club, Sapphire Kid’s Pool, and Underground Teen’s Club. While they are busy the adults can sneak off to the Relaxation Room at the Bora Bora Health Spa or have a cocktail at the martini bar!

Of course some families don’t like all of the running around and might prefer a vacation where they get to their destination and spend a few days just relaxing. Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Summit sets sail out of Bayonne, New Jersey and after two long days at sea it docks for three whole days at beautiful King’s Wharf, Bermuda. This locale is known for its gorgeous and convenient beaches and palm tree-lined streets.

While you are docked at King’s Wharf you will still be able to enjoy the ship’s many amenities. The Summit features basketball courts, a golf simulator, and shuffleboard. And don’t forget to check out the swimming pool or any of the four whirlpools!

As for wining and dining, Master Chef Michel Roux presides over the kitchen of the two-story main restaurant. There is also a dine-in wine cellar and the Mast Bar, which overlooks the pool. You’ll have so much fun on the Summit you won’t want to leave the boat!

Still, there are surely families out there who have experienced the pleasures of the Bahamas and the relaxing waters of the Caribbean. They are ready to sail new and uncharted territory!

For these adventurous families MSC Cruises offers a seven-night cruise of the Western Mediterranean. This once-in-a-lifetime trip leaves from Genoa and explores the cities of Ajaccio, Civitavecchia, Salerno, Tunis, Palma De Mallorca, and Toulon.

It should be noted that there are advantages and disadvantages for a family when on a port-heavy trip like this. Some younger kids might not be as into touring the cities of the Mediterranean as the adults are. That being said, if your kids are in fact up for a little multi-cultural exploring, it is important to note that all children who are 17 and younger sail FREE when they are staying in the same room as two full fare paying passengers!

Family vacations are an important part of childhood and they strengthen bonds between family members more than they may initially realize. Spending a whole week crammed into a hotel room or in a rental car can sometimes cause more stress between family members than is being let off.

A family trip on a cruise ship gives everyone a chance to have a little bit of breathing room. There is still plenty of opportunity for the family to hang out for some quality time, but there is so much to do on a cruise ship that people can take a break from each other if they need it. This will keep everybody happy and relaxed for the entire trip.

Geoff Eriksson is a freelance writer who writes about several topics including cruise deals.

Discover Aspen Colorado Vacations With Your Family

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

The following article lists some simple, informative tips that will help you have a better experience with Aspen, Colorado Vacations.

Aspen is a city of festivals that begin in January with the Winterskol a great winter carnival. In June you can attend the Food and Wine Classic while in the summer you can enjoy the Aspen Music Festival.

Nearby if you’d like a diversion for a little while you can go to Ashcroft or Independence Ghost Towns. This you’ll enjoy with or without the kids.

Did you know that Aspen is also a wonderful Summer vacation spot for the whole family? Well it is! To begin you can enjoy the clean mountain air while you sleep late the first day or two. They enjoy a show at the Opera House. Try a hike or a bike ride or something different like the Fairy Caves for a change of pace.

So what else can you do in the summer in Aspen you ask? Well here’s a partial listing to help you get your planning ideas together:

Enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, mountain boarding, overnight camping, arts and crafts, Hallam Lake nature preserve tours, bird watching, swimming, fly fishing, whitewater rafting, enjoy Camp Snowmass or Camp Aspen Club, enjoy the Aspen Mountain Obstacle Course, Tennis and Yoga lessons at the Gant, horseback riding, cooking classes, adventure hikes, outdoor education, climbing wall, miniature golf, mine tours, gold panning, chuck wagon parties, story time at Pitkin County Library. And last but not least try out the vapor caves or hot springs.

For all those who love art or are artistically inclined will enjoy the Aspen Art Museum. The host exhibits, art talks and gallery tours. They also offer workshops for adults and children.

Aspen has something for everyone. That is why it is one of the top family vacation areas in the country.

Anderson Arts Center which is in Snowmass, and yes that is still part of Aspen, features a place for children of all ages to give way to their creative spirit. This summer’s workshops include photography, sculpture, beading, painting and mask making.

Now that we are on the subject of Snowmass how about visiting their summer’s weekly rodeo? Watch as professional cowboys go up against bronco’s and bulls! Plus there are plenty of activities for the kids. Like a wonderful petting zoo, mechanical bull riding and mutton busting which is sheep riding.

In the winter time don’t forget to check out the area of Buttermilk. It is the home for the kids enjoyment of Crazy T’rain Park and X Games Super Pipe!

As for lodging Snowmass Club has its own kid’s club and golf course! The condo’s at The Gant and Aspen Square are within walking distance from downtown Aspen.

So as you can see Aspen is a great family vacation spot year round. Make sure you see everything while you are there.

Owen Walcher is a freelance writer, writing travel and vacation articles such as ASpen Colorado Vacation You can find more Aspen Colorado articles here: http://www.relaxingvacation.info/

15 Fun and Engaging Family Activities For All Ages

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Finding things to do with the entire family in tow is not always an easy feat. There are many reasons for this, one being agendas. A lot of times family outings end up with the children in tears and you wishing you were in bed, with the covers pulled up and a pillow over your head. Eventually, we develop a sort of mental block as to what is fun as a family and what can be traumatic for everyone involved.


Have no fear! The following is a list of engaging activities for you and your children to enjoy together. The list is long, so there are many options for you to try. Just remember, the goal is to enjoy yourselves (at least a little) if you want to have a successful family activity. This starts with smiling, read the studies.


F A M I L Y F U N


1. DANCE! Ever feel like going to the park with the kids and strutting your stuff on the dance floor all at the same time! Baby Loves Disco is your kind of place! With locations in dance clubs across the US, you can host a birthday party here or just go for an afternoon of dancing with the kids.


They play fun disco tunes and you can have snacks and drinks when you need to refuel. Check your local area to see if any clubs are holding Baby Loves Disco during the day. If you cannot find one, submit a location or area to the company and they will try to open one up! What a great way to spend an afternoon!


2. MUSEUMS. Local Art, Childrens or History Museums – Children like to go to museums, especially if it means having fun. Pack a picnic and plan on staying for a while. You can get a tour of the museum on headsets or just walk around together and point out what you like (or do not like) about the artwork or artifacts that you encounter.


3. ZOO. Animals are always a hit, especially with the young ones. Once there, look for petting zoos, primates and polar bears, for some reason kids go nuts over these little fellows. Also, make sure to bring snacks, water and a camera!


4. PARKS. Neighborhood Parks and Theme Parks possess great potential to entertain kids for hours. With lots of space, there is always room for releasing energy and stimulating activity. Make sure to hold on tight and stay together. Talk about what to do if someone gets lost before getting stuck in a crowd. Enjoy the outdoors!


5. FARMERS MARKET. There are wonderful opportunities to talk about health and to see new and interesting things at farmers markets. Take advantage of the platform to show kids how to find good fruits and veggies and talk to farmers about how they grow their crops. This is a great way to get kids interested in the foods that they eat and to discuss nutrition.


6. AQUARIUM. Fish are fun! They come in an abundance of beautiful colors, shapes, sizes and habitats. Lots of homes have fish as pets, but many kids have not had the opportunity to explore fish stores and aquariums. It can actually be a relaxing experience (as long as you agree beforehand that you are leaving all of the fish at the store!) The next time you are looking for a rainy day activity, put the slickers and goulashes on and go fishing at the aquarium!


7. MOVIES. If your child is over 3 years old, the movie theater can be a great treat. Pack some of your favorite healthy snacks, grab a sweater and catch a fun flick. IMAX theaters are in many cities across the US now and have great educational films for kids, not to mention the theaters are enormous and have incredible sound systems.


8. THEATER. There are many theater companies in even the smallest towns with childrens theater. Check your local playhouse to see if anything is coming up in your neighborhood. If so, buy some tickets and make a date. If not, create your own play, complete with script, costumes and makeup! Action!


9. LIBRARY. As long as your child is capable of being quiet, this should be a mandatory experience for children as someday it might be a thing of the past. Most local libraries have weekly story time, which can be a lot of fun for young kids. Many libraries even have staff lead songs and art projects. Check your local library for details.


10. CITY HALL. Do your kids know what government is? Probably not. However, City Hall can be a great place to talk to kids about the local lawmakers, while showing them the courts and politicians of the city. If your child is over 7 years old, schedule a class field trip for these future voters and politicians of America!


11. GOLF. Whether you go to a miniature golf course or a putting green, golf is a good, all around fun activity for the whole family. Plan to make a few hours of the game and enjoy it. Just make sure that all kids understand proper form and that golf clubs are held *differently* than baseball bats.


12. SKATING. Ice skating and roller skating are great activities for both boys and girls. Skating encourages motor skills and physical activity as well as family bonding as together, kids can fall down and hold each other up!


13. BOWLING. Strike-outs build self confidence and who does not love to wear those stinky shoes? Bowling is a good, old, all-American past time that all children should experience at least once! Do not forget to bring socks (unless you want to borrow socks from the alley).


14. ART. Make art! Use paper and supplies that you find around the house, yard or school. Create projects that involve nature and color. You can make self-portraits, a family painting or a family mural. Just remember that there is no wrong way to make art, except if you do not make it.


15. BASEBALL. Take them out to the ball game. Need I say more? Oh yes, bring a coat if it is cold out and be prepared to sing and eat peanuts.


So, now you have 15 activities to enjoy as a family. Each one can be done as many times as you wish, so if you try them all, you are bound to love at least a few of them! There are many fun activities that you can do with your family. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your family adventures. Be prepared with food, warmth, money and your smiles and everything should be just fine.

Britt Michaelian, MA is a family safety expert and CEO of Responsible Family Company, designed to empower families with safety, health and responsible living. Sign up for the newsletter, read the blog, order the award winning Emergency DVD and a Safety Consultation at http://responsiblefamily.com

Family Holidays in France

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Just a hop over the channel, France is the ideal destination for a family holiday for Brits. Even with the poor exchange rate we are currently suffering from, a short trip to France is infinitely more affordable than a couple of weeks in the Maldives and you wonâ??t need any of the painful and costly vaccinations.

France has lots to offer the family. Children are catered for just as much as the adults. Many resorts offer kids clubs to keep children occupied, allowing you and your partner time to enjoy each others company in peace for a few hours.

Kids clubs allow your children to meet other kids, play sports and games, even get a bit of education with many of the French speaking staff. You never know, your son could come back as the next Gerard Depardieu.

There are kids clubs in France specialising in all age groups so no matter what age your kids are they are sure to find a club that is right for them and other kids to socialise with.

If you would rather not palm them off and want to spend your time on holiday with the kids in tow, then France is even better. Why not rent a car and explore the French coast line, mountains or countryside. Take a spin around some of the wineries dotted throughout the country, rent some bikes and take in the fresh air while getting some much needed exercise, rent a boat for a spot of waterskiing or banana boating. The list is endless. If youâ??ve thought it, then you can probably do it in France. Except maybe for that one thing that meatloaf sang about.

There is a wide spectrum of accommodation for family holidays in France so no matter what your budget there is a holiday out there for you. You could stay in one of the luxurious and cheap campsites. These campsites are hugely popular with British, German, French and other European families making them friendly and safe. On site there are usually Restaurants, Bars, Pools, games rooms and sports facilities, such as tennis courts, volleyball courts, football pitches, table tennis tables and much more, offering entertainment for the whole family.

If you donâ??t fancy camping, then you may want to check out one of the many country club resorts scattered across the country. These operate much the same as the campsites, with the notable difference being that you stay in bungalows or houses rather than tents. There tend to be 3 or 4 houses to a pool so you donâ??t end up shoulder to shoulder with other holiday makers trying to cool off from the hot summer sun.

A number of these country club resorts feature golf clubs, perfect for a relaxing round of golf. The kids and wife donâ??t like golf? Well the kids can go into the kids club and the wife can relax by the pool. Problem fixed.

What are you waiting for? Go and book your French family holiday! Have you done it yet? Yes? I thought so!

Golf Break, Family Holiday or Long Weekend for Two: Join us at a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’);” href=”http://www.souillaccountryclub.com/”>Souillac Country Club!