16 answers

Extended Family Vacation Suggestions

My two brothers and I are planning a giant family vacation in order to celebrate our father's retirement. I was hoping you all could provide me with suggestions for a fun and unique family vacation experience that would be appropriate for around 7-10 adults and 8 children from ages newborn to five-years. We already do a beach vacation once a year and we're leary of bringing kids on a cruise. Any thoughts outside of those two? Oh and I should also mention, camping is out. My dad's more the central AC/cable tv type. Thanks for your help! I luv this community!

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So What Happened?™

First, thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. Given that we'll be having two newborns, my brothers and I decided instead to buy my dad his first car - a 1962 Chevy Corvair. We bought it and are in the process of restoring it for him. That said, my mother retires in 2 years and we'll probably do the family vacation then. One thing that looked promising is the idea of going to an all inclusive dude ranch. Sounds like a ton of fun for us city folks!

Featured Answers

A.,
Have you considered Disney world? It's a classic family vacation spot, and there are oodles of things to do for every age.

K.

We did a family reunion for a week at Mohonk Mountain House and LOVED IT! It's in the Catskills - an easy drive from Westchester. There were lots of planned activities, but also boating, hiking, swimming, tennis. They have day camps for kids age 3 and up (it's all-inclusive - meals, entertainment and camp), and for an extra fee, there's golf, horseback riding and a spa. The resort is old-fashioned - every room has a working fireplace and balcony, but no TV (there are 2 TV lounges, but we never used them - even the kids were too busy to want to watch TV) and every evening there's after-dinner entertainment (movies, concerts, campfire sing-alongs). We had such a great time that we plan to go back every summer.

Hope you find something suitable!

More Answers

Hi A.,

My family rented a large house in the Catskill Mountains in New York two years ago, and we had the most amazing time! The house was quite large... six bedrooms (including one with it's own attached nursery) and was located on a large five-acre plot of land with swimming ponds, walking trails, and a stream to go fly fishing. There was plenty of room for all of us (nine adults plus five kids) and we loved having all of the amenities. However, it was isolated enough for the older kids to sleep out under the stars one night on the back patio. Plus the Catskills are abundant with activities for adults and kids alike. Depending on the day, some of us would go explore the area while others would stay behind and relax at the house. We hope to go back and do it again soon. I think the house rental was $2,500 for the week (Saturday-Saturday), which was very reasonable for its location and size.

Family vacations are the best! Have fun planning!

1 mom found this helpful

We did a family reunion for a week at Mohonk Mountain House and LOVED IT! It's in the Catskills - an easy drive from Westchester. There were lots of planned activities, but also boating, hiking, swimming, tennis. They have day camps for kids age 3 and up (it's all-inclusive - meals, entertainment and camp), and for an extra fee, there's golf, horseback riding and a spa. The resort is old-fashioned - every room has a working fireplace and balcony, but no TV (there are 2 TV lounges, but we never used them - even the kids were too busy to want to watch TV) and every evening there's after-dinner entertainment (movies, concerts, campfire sing-alongs). We had such a great time that we plan to go back every summer.

Hope you find something suitable!

Wow A.!
Sounds like such a fun idea! Can't wait to see what others come up with.
There is camping and then there is CAMPing. We have friends who have a camp on the lake. It is in the woods but has all the luxuries of home, including cable tv, and privacy. I am guessing that is out there in all kinds of places.
If you are more into indoor things why not try the huge malls that have carnival rides in them, along with shopping and restaurants. Some even have hotel accommodations. Check it out.
God bless
Hope you find something fun to do
K. SAHM married 38 years with kids 37,32, and twins 18. Dealing with empty nest as they are off to college

A.,
Have you considered Disney world? It's a classic family vacation spot, and there are oodles of things to do for every age.

K.

My family had a great time in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We rented a large vacation house in Corolla, NC. We went off season, so the house, for a whole week, cost only $750 (this was five years ago). The house was three stories and had everything to entertain the kids from electronic games, board games, heated pool, hot tub, pond to go canoeing/fishing in. While there, we went to Jockey Ridge State Park which is an amazing sight of large sand dunes. We rented 4 wheelers and rode along the beach in search of wild horses. This was one of the best vacations that we went on!

A.,

Make sure each individual family has 'down-time' to both get ready for and unwind from the activities involved.

Not sure where you are, or where you are willing to go to, but here goes an idea, and it is just the right time of year for it:

A foliage tour. Doesn't mean you have to camp, but maybe consider a cabin? :)

Specifically, there is a place in Upstate NY that is near a lot of other things: Letchworth State Park. It is also a very awesome place to go and hike, picnic, white-water raft, and watch the flora and fauna. Other times of the year they host the Archery tournament(s) and the Highland Games (ever seen someone toss a stick the size of a small telephone pole? :)
There are hot-air balloon rides, and on Columbus day weekend there is a craft fair that is *HUGE*. Stuff GUYS would like are there, too, not just baby clothes and kids stuff. (over 100 crafters, incl. blacksmith work, sheep's wool, artisans, and a ton more.

It's the 'Grand Canyon of the East', and you can hike top-to-bottom on your own two feet (no donkey needed). Even if you drive through it, it is so cool. It is our favorite place to go when we have the $ to make the trip.

There is an Inn in the park itself, but I think you might need reservations ahead of time.

Spring is awesome too - the falls are just amazing!

http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=12

In the area there are wineries for tours, too, as well as other places. It's Midnight, so, I leave the finger-walking through the websites to you.

Good luck,
M.

Hi A.!
I am a certified referring travel agent with YTB Travel Network and have some suggestions for you. I saw someone mention Mohonk Mountain House and it was definitely a beautiful place. The beds were a little firm for the $600 a night we paid (I wasn't a travel agent then) but the views and area was very calm and beautiful. We went during the fall and the leaves were gorgeous. This may be a bit of a drive from NJ for you though with young children.
I saw other suggestions for renting a house out and those are great ideas as well. My website has a great special out now where you can stay at a resort for 7 nights for $379! All 8 of you could possibly reserve a place for the one low price! Over 60,000 locations to choose from. For the quick link to view the details, go to http://www.ytbtravel.com/Hotels.aspx?wa=nordejesus , scroll down and click on the picture that says 7 night resort vacation certificate. This could save you lots of money!

Since your children are somewhat young, finding activities outside of your loving arms may be somehwhat difficult. I will say that we took our 8 mos old on a cruise and I was nervous at first also. We had a GREAT time though. This was with Carnival and we sailed right out of NYC (although you will probably want to sail out of NJ). Our baby slept through the shows and we were all entertained. (We went with my husband's grandparents) We did a bus excursion and just carried the car seat with us and enjoyed the sites. I haven't sailed with Disney yet but other couples on our Carnival Cruise were RAVING about how great it was for the kids and had plenty of activities for adults as well. Let me know if you do decide on a cruise and I can possibly arrange to have an area reserved for your group so you can have a private special party all to yourselves.
These are just a few options for you. To view my travel website for other options go to http://www.mytravelmuscle.com to view different vacation packages. If you are interested in earning a commission off of your group vacation and possibly traveling as an insider with industry discounts, check out http://www.way2go.biz for info on becoming an at home travel agent (no experience necessary).
I hope this has been a help to you! To contact me directly you can find my contact info under the contact us tab of my website. Best wishes to you and your travels! N.

I would definitely go the route of renting out a house. You can try the Poconos which has year round events (my extended family did that a few years and we loved it) or any quaint kind of town. You can try various places in CT such as Mystic or Newport. I don't know when you're planning on doing so (season?) but if it's off-season then you will get a good price but will need to dig for which people have vacation home rentals. But I'm sure that all you'll need to do for that is look back in the local paper whenever it was high season and who was renting then. Guaranteed they'll be likely to want to rent off season also but just may not advertise b/c of it's unlikely response. But definitely look for quaint little towns that have lots of little shops and community things to do (Jazz at the park, Carnivals, pottery making, bead making, plate designing, nature walks, etc.). Good luck, have fun and make lots of memories.

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