Jan 22nd
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Spring Family Adventures

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Spring Family Adventures
Unique Getaways for the whole family

Ole McDonald had a farm...

With a “moo, moo” there, and everywhere you go, there’s down home country fun with Connie and Bob at Berkson Farms, a 600 acre working dairy farm located in northern Vermont.  You can spend one day (but you’ll want more) to a month or so down on the farm in a 130-year-old farm house.  Open year-round, kids and adults of all ages will find plenty to do, from raiding the chicken coop for eggs (favorite among the kids); feeding the horses and donkey; petting the sheep; imitating the ducks, swan and geese on the pond; helping with the milking of 250 cows; viewing 300 head of fallow deer.  And what would a farm be without farm dogs and cats?  Consider hiking into 154 acres of fields and meadows to bird watch, identify animal tracks and collect wild berries.  A short distance away you can find horseback riding, canoeing, lake swimming, tennis, golfing and antique shopping.  Spring brings a multitude of newborns such as lambs, chicks, calves, kittens, rabbits, ducks and fawns--always fun to cuddle!  Also with mother nature’s cooperation, you can take part in maple sugar collection.  Winter offers plenty of cross country skiing.  (bed & breakfast doubles with private bath, $65; doubles with shared bath, $55.  Cots are also available; inquire about additional meals.)

Canoe among Alligators...

You’ll quietly glide your canoe through reeds, over submerged alligators and under canopies of moss and cypress in Georgia’s Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge with Wilderness Southeast, a company known for its focus on environmental education.  You can choose between three Okefenokee Canoeing Programs:  Basecamp with tents, Cabin and Cross Swamp.  From either Basecamp or Cabins, you and the kids (ages 6 and older) will paddle along water trails into the swamp, spotting alligators, a variety of birds, playful raccoons and chance glimpses of black bear.  Marvel at cathedral effects of towering cypress while learning about the many aquatic plant species in the swamp, like the carnivorous pitcher plants.  The Cross Swamp Trip offers kids ages 8 and older the adventure of camping in tents on platforms while traversing the swamp, a truly unique experience.  You’ll learn of the swamp’s colorful history and the environmental impact on this primitive area.  While dining on scrumptiously prepared meals around the campfire, you can swap swamp stories!  (5 day Basecamp with meals, $625 pp; 5 day Cross Swamp with meals, $750 pp; 5 day Cabin with meals, inquire.  Insects are less prevalent during the months of January through April).


Frolic with Dolphins...

Just imagine...  swimming and diving into the clear, blue-green waters of the Bahamas with a pod of playful wild dolphins!   Join  Bottom Time Adventures,  a-long with these exquisite creatures for a truly unique experience.  Spend 7 days aboard the BTII, a 90-foot, three-deck floating resort at White Sand Ridge, a shallow sand bank some 40 miles off the Grand Bahamas.  A pod of 20 to 50 friendly Spotted dolphins roams free and frequents this area (usually 2-3 times a day) at the chance of interacting with humans.  They show a particular fascination with the children.  Each day brings the excitement of seeing your new found dolphin friends.  As you frolic and respond to each other--you’ll experience some very up-close and personal moments.  And when not interacting with the dolphins, you and the kids can kayak the endless calm waters, swim, snorkel, sunbathe and enjoy many opportunities to pause from all the excitement of the day to share your experiences.  You’ll enjoy wonderfully prepared meals (the chef will on request even prepare a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich) and the kids will have fun sleeping in bunk beds (double beds also available).  Children age 2 and older are welcome.  May-Oct. (7-Day Wild Dolphin Experience, $1795;  family discounts available; the owners offer a 10% discount to readers of Have Children Will Travel).

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Take to the Slopes...

Interested in one last run before the snows melt?  If so, consider Whistler Resort, the perfect year-round destination nestled between Whistler (elev. 7,160) and Blackcomb (elev. 7,494) mountains in the coastal range of British Columbia.  Spring provides plenty of sunshine, wonderful snow and skiing rated “best of the best” in North America--winter skiing runs through May and summer skiing continues through August at higher elevations.  There are some 200 marked trails out of 6,998 acres of ski-able terrain.  Lift lines are hardly noticeable at the 27 lifts, 12 of which are ex-press and two, high speed gondolas.  The resort is a pedestrian-only village and you’ll find great shopping within walking distance of your lodge which is located on the slope--step out of the condo and right into your skis for a fun-filled day!  Whistler offers an abun-dance of ski and snowboarding programs for children ages 2 to 16 including several apres-ski programs.  A swimming pool, ice rink, movie theatre, amusement arcade and Play Zone are located in the village.  You can also crosscountry ski on 17 miles of trails; snowmobile off the beaten path; enjoy wildlife tours on snowshoes and arrange a scenic helicopter tour.  With the melting of the snows come gondola rides to wildflower covered summits; horseback riding to Whistler Peak; downhill mountain biking; fishing; and, golfing with views from every hole.  (Three day lift ticket for both mountains $60; three day novice ski school package, from $119. Ski packages are very reasonable, with numerous lodging possibilities).


Families... Ship Ahoy

From baby Timothy to great Grandma Aletha--there’s tons of fun for everyone on The Big Red Boat.  Choose between a three or four night vacation from Cape Canaveral to the Bahamas aboard this activity-filled family style cruise ship.  Kids ages 2-17 will be kept busy with five separate action-packed kid’s programs.  Some 30 energetic counselors lead the way: searching for lost treasure; acting out the Three Piggy Opera; volleying for the balloon; lip syncing to favorite tunes; grabbing the medal in the Pool Olympics; pulling the rabbit out of the hat at the magic workshop; and, dancing to the 90’s beat in the teen nightclub--just to list a few.  Then the kids can grab mom and dad for Voyages of Discovery, one of the family programs that explores the The Sea, The Sky, The Great Ships and History of the Caribbean.  You can experience what it’s like to become part of the ocean’s food chain; be locked in battle with feuding pirates; and to have a tour of the ship.  Also with your cruise are fun excursions to Nassau and Port Lucaya in the Bahamas.   At each port you can enjoy a full day of activities:  swim-ming, snorkeling, pedal-boating, tubing, scuba diving, windsurfing, parasailing, jet-skiing, sailing, dolphin encounters, glass bottom boat tours, exploring the island and shopping (note: excursion costs are extra).  The on board ca-sino and golf academy along with nightly entertainment, good food and relaxation will keep mom and dad busy also.  (Kids Go Free for a limited time, up to 2 kids, ages 2-17 accompanied by two full fare adults; fares start at $869 pp. and in some cases include air for adults only.  Several other value packages are available).

Hike & Camp the Arches. . .

This spring you and the kids can discover Utah’s Arches and Canyonlands National Parks with Sierra Club.  Families with children ages 2 through early school age will especially enjoy this wilderness outing.  First time family campers will learn how to pitch a tent, cook over a campfire and find out what the veteran campers like best about group camping--sharing adventures with new friends.  After a tummy-filling breakfast, where everyone lends a helping hand, you’ll pack a lunch and head out for a leisurely day hike (usually from 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.).  The length and difficulty of the hikes depend on the age and ability of the group.  The group can be divided between the two guides to accommodate varied ages.  One day you can take a ranger led hike back into the Fiery Furnace, a maze of weathered, red rock land formations jutting up from the earth’s surface like the fins of sharks--and stretching for miles.  This is a favorite hike with plenty of climbing, exploring and awesome scenery like Delicate Arch and the seven arches of Devil’s Garden.  Don’t forget the camera!  Kids will love to sneak up on frisky chipmunks and race to point out soaring hawks.  Another hike leads you into Deadhorse State Park in Canyonlands National Park.  Here the mighty Colorado and Green rivers meet and have for ages eroded the red earth to create magnificent canyon views.  Join the hike of the day, take short little hikes from camp, or just relax around your tent site while watching the kids climb and explore the camp’s boulder playground.  At the end of the day you can take in the ranger’s programs on wildlife, geology and history in the park’s amphitheater.  You will need to supply your own tent, bags and pads.  (Mar 30-Apr 5, adults $425, children $285, meals included.  Sierra Club family membership of $43 is required).



Where was Solomon born?

This is Solomon, a new born Humpback whale. He provided hours of entertainment for our group of whale watchers. Where was Solomon born? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

...ideas to consider 

Tips on how to safely play under the summer's sun
and in the winter's cold.



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