Mom Knows Best: 23 Winter Family Vacations To Embrace The Cold
Cold weather gets a bad wrap, but anyone who lives someplace where you can get a proper winter full of snow knows that folks down south are really missing out. Face the facts you cant ski down a sandy beach, you never have a reason to snuggle up to a fire, and sipping hot cocoa in Florida or southern California is just plain silly.
This year, were embracing the season by connecting with our family travel experts moms to share the top winter family vacations you can plan this year.
Saratoga Springs New York
The Upstate New York city of Saratoga Springs is perfect for a family visit throughout the year. If you visit between mid-July and Labor Day, spend a day at the racehorse track. Its surprisingly family-friendly with activities for kids, lots of yummy food, and plenty of excitement.
Other than the track, you can see several different types of classical concerts at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, an outdoor amphitheater. Lawn tickets are ideal for families because kids can run around, and you can bring food, and tickets are inexpensive, so no worries about leaving early.
Explore the trails and natural waters throughout the Saratoga Spa State Park, which also has two public pools, including Peerless Pool with slides. Or take a short drive to the hundreds of trails and sites within the Adirondack Mountain State Park .
Saratoga has a delightful childrens museum located in its vibrant, artsy downtown. That area is packed with unique shops, local restaurants and cafes, entertainment and family activities, and much more.
What Our Families Say
We loved Grand Cascades Lodge . We went over the Christmas break. My children had a semi private Glice skating lesson and free skate time after. It was their first time on ice skates they loved it! They also had pony rides and fire pits near the rink. A bar with spiked hot drinks for mom and dad and hot chocolate and donuts for the kids. Loved the outdoor activities they had.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Crystal Springs! Stayed at Minerals Hotel, which was perfect for our kids to have easy access to the basketball and racquetball courts and for me to play some indoor tennis! We enjoyed that some activities were included but there was flexibility to eat when and where we wanted. Definitely recommend!
Lisa Magalnick Jacknow
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Bryce Canyon National Park Utah
Listen, lets cut to the chase here Just go there!
Bryce Canyon is one of the most breathtaking national parks you will find anywhere!
And in the winter it becomes even more beautiful. But beware at an elevation of over 8000 ft, the air is thin, and it gets pretty chilly. But it will be the canyon amphitheater itself that will take your breath away.
A scenic drive through the park will take you to numerous viewpoints to appreciate one of natures true wonders.
The Bryce Amphitheatre is enormous. It is 12 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 800 ft deep. Millions of years of headward erosion have excavated this canyon, carving out cliffs and thousands of vertical multi-colored spires up to 200 ft high, with each one having its own district shape.
The rock faces are all shades of red, orange, and white, and a dusting of snow makes them all look even more beautiful. A photographers paradise!
If that doesnt do it for you, you can do cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking, ice skating, sleigh riding, and snowmobiling in this 35,000-acre park, which includes forests and meadows teeming with a diverse range of wildlife. Lodging of all styles is readily available in and around the park.
Looking for vacation ideas for winter? Look no further.
for accommodation near Bryce Canyon National Park!
Have Great Family Fun In Gatlingburg & The Great Smoky Mountains Tennessee
Gatlinburg in Tennessee is a fantastic place for families who wish to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Gatlinburg has a quintessential mountain town charm and has plenty to keep kids entertained.
For your fix of winter sports, head to Ober Gatlinburg, the areas fantastic ski resort, perfect for the kids to try snow-tubing, have fun on ice bumper cars and just play n the snow
For even more fun, you can treat your kids to Anakeesta Theme Park, a winter wonderland with kids with lights, a playground and fun activities like breakfast with Santa.
To top it all, you can treat the kids to Gatlinburgs Winter Magic Tour of Lights, a fun trolley ride with a festive feel.
Then, when you feel like winding down and relaxing, Gatlinburg delivers with many family-friendly restaurants.
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Best Snow Resorts For Families
We plowed through dozens of snow-covered resorts to find ones with a flurry of activities for young kids, plus cool stuff for you too.
If you’re looking to kick back with the kids this winter, catch our drift: A snow-covered getaway could be more family-friendly than a beach vacation. But where can you stay comfortably without sacrificing a big chunk of your savings? Our favorites may make you want to fly north this winter.
Note that this information is subject to change. Contact each hotel for up-to-date offerings and availabilities.
Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz Ny
If youre looking for places to go with kids in the northeast, the Mohonk Mountain House is a must consider.
The resort overlooks acres of beautiful grounds that house a gorgeous lake, in addition to 85 miles of hiking trails, a 9-hole golf course and tennis courts.
The resort also has stables and a grand lawn with open-air movie time for families that present a great opportunity for some family time.
Theres even an award-winning program that they run for kids aged 4-12 with a ton of fun activities such as animal tracking, guided nature walks and fossil hunts.
Guests can choose from over 250 guest rooms that vary in size and decor there are country-decor rooms for those who prefer it as well as more modern suites for the city folks.
All the rooms come with spectacular views of Lake Mohonk, the Catskill Mountains, and the hotels own magnificent gardens.
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Icona Avalon Avalon Nj
An East Coast beach resort newcomer, ICONA Avalon opened in 2016. Formerly the Golden Inn, the renovated resort features stunning guestrooms, studios and suites, including the Premium Family Suite, which can accommodate up to eight guests. This luxury resort also offers an onsite brew pub, bistro and lounge an outdoor pool, and most importantly, direct access to the beach. ICONA offers two other beach resorts in New Jersey, too: ICONA Diamond Beach in Wildwood Crest, and ICONA Cape May.
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Jw Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort Marco Island Fl
If you visited the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort before 2018, youd hardly recognize it now. The resort recently completed a $320-million transformation, bringing with it new and enhanced accommodations with private balconies, expanded pool decks at its two swimming pools and the addition of five new restaurants . Add to that a 3-mile stretch of private beach on , a top-notch spa, golf, and the Tiki Tribe Discovery Day Camp for youngsters age 5 to 12, and youve got the perfect mix of luxury and family-friendly at this East Coast beach resort. Be sure to check the resorts Specials & Packages page ahead of your visit.
The Adirondacks New York
The summer months were built for fishing, swimming, biking, hiking, and paddling. In winter, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and ice skating on frozen lakes take center stage. Fall is a family favorite thanks to a spectacular display of crimson, amber, and orange leaves igniting the landscape. Spring brings beautiful blooms to meadows of wildflowers.
Small towns like Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Bolton Landing dot the region. Theres a yesteryear quality to these resort areas, with lakefront dining and old-fashioned mom-and-pop shops around every corner. In Tupper Lake, The Wild Center connects guests to the Adirondacks in a thoughtful way with multimedia exhibits and 31 acres of marked trails, plus a network of treetop bridges called the Wild Walk thats a hit with kids and parents alike.
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Cliff House Maine Cape Neddick Me
Cliff House Maine is, indeed, located on a cliff above the ocean in Cape Neddick, Maine. The resort reopened in 2016 after extensive renovations that included updated guestrooms and suites , plus a cottage, all with private terraces and wine fridges. Guests of the resort enjoy access to an oceanfront outdoor pool, indoor saltwater pool, three restaurants and a spa. While the resort isnt located right on the beach, shuttle service takes guests to beaches in the neighboring towns of Ogunquit, York and Kennebunkport.
East Coast Winter Vacations To Add To Your Bucket List
On the east coast, winter vacations run the gamut from warm and beachy to cold and snowy, depending on where you end up. So, whether your family is looking to go full winter wonderland with snowboarding or skiing, or would prefer a lush escape to a warmer climate, theres a destination for everyoneyou just have to know where to look.
To help you out, weve put together this quick guide to some of the best winter family vacation ideas, east coast style. From Maine to Florida, here are six east coast spots to consider when youre planning your next family trip.
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Disneys Vero Beach Resort Vero Beach Fl
Whether you want to head to the beach after a trip to Disney World or are simply looking for a good East Coast beach resort that caters to families, Disneys Vero Beach Resort is a great choice. While you wont find character meals and themed guestrooms at this resort, located on Floridas Treasure Coast, you will find three restaurants and modern guestrooms and spacious villas, the largest ones sleeping up to nine guests. Youll also enjoy direct access to Atlantic Beach, water sports rentals, surf school, a pirate-themed pool with a waterslide, mini- and standard golf, a spa, and activity programs for kids and teens. The resort also offers a sea turtle conservation and outing program that may just be the highlight of your visit to Vero Beach.
Mad River Valley Vermont
Recommended by Caitlin from The Country Jumper
The Mad River Valley, in Vermont, is home to not one, but two world-renowned ski mountains. Sugarbush recently acquired by Alterra Mountain Company where you can ski and snowboard on any of their more than 100 trails .
And Mad River cooperatively owned where you can ski on any of their 20 trails.
If you dont ski or dont downhill ski there is plenty else to do in the area.
The Mad River Valley is made up of Moretown, Waitsfield, Warren, and Fayston.
Across the four towns, there is a total population of just under 6,500 people.
The whole area screams small town and simply cruising around the dirt roads and checking out the many covered bridges and views, is a good way to spend a few hours.
Do follow the speed limits dont speed down the gorgeous roads where families live and children play, but also dont creep along at 5mph and not let the locals who need to get places pass you. You can also go x-country skiing at Oles in Warren, or ice skating in Waitsfield.
You can eat tacos at The Mad Taco or drink beer at Lawsons. Buy nifty trinkets at All Things Bright and Beautiful or local artisan ware at Artisans Gallery both on Bridge Street .
And, the best restaurant in the valley is undoubtedly Flatbreads, where youll want to arrive early to get your name down for a seating.
WHERE TO STAY IN MAD VALLEY RIVER: The White Horse Inn in Waitsfield is a very cute place to stay at. Their breakfast is awesome!
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Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort Hilton Head Island Sc
Not all of the resorts on Hilton Head Island can say theyre oceanfront or even on the beach, but the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort claims bothand so much more. The resort completed a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2015, resulting in beautifully renovated guestrooms with kitchenettes, pools , a spa and fitness center. The Hilton Head beach resort also has three onsite dining options.
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Beaver Creek
The staff seems to have thought of everything. Childproofing supplies? You can pick them up at check-in along with a Westin Family Travel Journal and Local Activity Guide for the kids, giving them hints for exploring the destination. Place to store all your family’s wet gear? A valet will whisk away your skis and warm up your boots for free when you come off the gondola or shuttle from nearby Beaver Creek ski area. Extra hand in the morning? The Westin’s car-pool service will drive your child to and from lessons at The Ranch, Beaver Creek’s incredible ski school that features tepees, wagons, and other Wild West-themed obstacles for beginners. If you can’t resist checking out your 3-year-old’s first lesson , you can peek out of the school’s huge panoramic windows.
Beaver Creek ski area has plenty for your clan to do together, too, like tubing, ice-skating, sleigh rides, afternoon cookie breaks, and a fireworks display. When you add that to the Westin’s new Family Programming, you’ll find that there’s barely enough time to sleep in the super comfy Heavenly Beds or cribs. All guest rooms were recently renovated too.
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Did We Forget Georgia
Wed never forget our home state! From my favorite all-inclusive resort on Little St Simons Island to the beaches ofTybee and Jekyll Islandto the Wild Animal Safari and the sprawling golf course at Callaway…and from the glorious North Georgia Mountains to the lovely Georgia State Parks – our hearts are here. Please check out our entire post about great Weekend Getaways in Georgia.
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Niagara Falls New York
Wintertime in Niagara Falls USA is unlike any other, with plenty of outdoor adventure and no crowds. An easy drive from Boston, Cleveland, or NYC, you can enjoy the frosted Falls while also finding cozy places to warm up.
Take a stroll along snow-covered trees and catch panoramic views of the Falls on the Observation Tower at Niagara Falls State Park, Americas oldest. In the winter you can take an abbreviated Cave of the Winds Gorge Trip, where you can get up close and personal to the Bridal Veil Falls from one of the two permanent observation decks. Outdoor enthusiasts can also explore the 400-acre state park using complimentary snowshoe rentals and if it is cold enough, catch a glimpse of the famous Frozen Falls.
Families can warm up indoors at one of the many budget-friendly attractions in Niagara Falls including the Aquarium of Niagara, where youll encounter penguins, sharks, seals and other fish. Or, choose to thaw out with a cup of hot chocolate at Platters Chocolate Factory while watching the chocolate-making process from multiple viewing areas.
Rooms at the Sheraton Niagara Falls start at $104 per night and the hotel offers a variety of kid-friendly amenities, including family suites, the Reef Beach Club & Pool, an arcade and a Rainforest Café. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance to Niagara Falls State Park.
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The Best East Coast Destinations For Winter Vacations In The Usa
Searching for the best East Coast destination for luxury cabin vacations? Up and down the East Coast, glampers have their pick of inviting, rustic cabins when planning the best winter vacations in U.S. Virginia prides itself on having many an activity come wintertime for its visitors, including skiing, sledding, ice skating, whale watching, and winery tours. Call one of our luxury cabins home while you flit from place to place, soaking up all that Virginia has to offer. North Carolina and Vermont are ready and waiting for skiing and snowmobiling glampers too. You cant forget, however, to take time to warm your bones back up at your East Coast glamping accommodation in some of the best winter cabins. We suggest a combination of warm drinks, a blazing fire, and hearty laughter because the best cabin vacations are equal parts activities and relaxation. Enjoy the best snow cabin getaways on the East Coast and find the best rental for you here from our winter cabin vacations! Get ready for the best East Coast getaway! So start here with some of the best places to rent a cabin in the winter! These are definitely the best places to rent a cabin on East Coast destinations like Cape Cod, Upstate New York and more. Book your luxury cabin in winter on the East Coast today!