Have you considered Disney world? It's a classic family vacation spot, and there are oodles of things to do for every age.
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!
Have you considered Disney world? It's a classic family vacation spot, and there are oodles of things to do for every age.
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!
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!
I'm not really sure where you want to go but just make sure there are activites all ages can participate in and enjoy...we just got our whole family together at my parents house for their 40th anniv...we had ages 86-2yrs(11 under age 9)....I brought our badmitten set(big hit, young and old together), also mini golf, walks to the park, and bbq's kept everyone occupied and happy...course we just had 4 days to fill...but I think for a long vacation just plan a meal a day where everyone gets together and be okay with people splitting off into groups...I know you said a cruise is out, but Disney has a great family one(and you can drop off the kiddies if you want)...hope I helped a little bit...have fun!
We just found a vacation spot that we love. It's in the Poconos, so there are things to do in the winter and then things to do in the summer. We stay at Great Wolf Lodge. www.greatwolflodge.com. You can get family suites that are reasonable for what you get or you can get bigger suites so that more people can stay in one room. It's an indoor waterpark, so no matter when you are planning your vacation it would be great. Our son who was only 15 months at the time LOVED the water and our daughter who was 4 spent the entire time in the water. But they have other things to do besides just the water. We loved it so much that we're going back again for my daughter's birthday in October. Whatever you decide to do, have fun!!
Friends of mine rented a houseboat on Lake Powell in Az, the whole family, they loved it.
My sister does an extended family vacation each year with her husbands side of the family. She has gone to Rocking Horse Ranch, the Catskills have alot of nice family resorts. These trips are only 1hr1/2 from our area.
I once saw on line that you could rent a villa in the south of Spain. It wasn't that expensive like 12,000. And about 1,000 is what your going to spend per family anyway plus flight. It was like it's own little village where each family would have it's own little rooms and stuff, but their all in a circle type formation and face each other. You could try and find something close to the coast. I think you can do the same in France or Italy.
I'm not sure if cost is a HUGE factor (and I know you already do beach stuff...) but my husband and I splurged on our honeymoon and spent a few days at an "all-inclusive" in Hawaii - Kona Village. It was AMAZING, and I've already set my heart on having my OWN extended-family vacation there when I have enough offspring to call it extended! The food is amazing, and you get to stay in little huts around the beach. There are washers, dryers, tennis courts, a gym, 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner) and it was just awesome.
If you're looking for something less "beach" you can look at other all-inclusive resorts around other areas that might be interesting - mountain resorts, if you like biking. Desert resorts if you like 4-wheeling. I love the idea of an "all-inclusive" because I don't have to break out my wallet every time my kid sees something they want to do! Kind of like a cruise...but without the boat. ;-)
All of these suggestions sound great! But, don't count out cruises. Most cruise lines have lots of activities & possibilities for the kids. My wife & I have been on 2 Carnival cruises to Mexico. They have whats called "Camp Carnival". It's basically an all day child care option. You can drop off the kids & do "grown-up" stuff anytime. The kids are well cared for & kept busy all day. Swimming, games, crafts, dancing, singing, ship tours, the list goes on.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
The most amazing vacation we took (my husband, 2 girls Sami was 7 & Haley was just 2, my dad & his fiance) was to the Grand Canyon. Samantha had done a lot of research on it and the moment she saw the view she asked my husband if it was real. We took the train ride in from Wilson, it was such a nice vist and the hotel was amazing.