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The Best Family Vacation Destinations

FAMILY-FIRST RESORTS continued...

Details: Summer room rates at Trout Lodge are $149 per night for one adult; each additional adult is $59. Kids 6 through 17 are $49; 5 and under are free. Includes all meals and most activities.

To book: For Trout Lodge, call 888-386-9622 or go to ymcaoftheozarks.org. Browse the offerings at ymca.net to find a camp near you or in a locale you’d like to visit.

Summer at a Ski Resort

With spectacular scenery, luxurious amenities, and a full roster of fun (which may include such kid thrillers as tubing on a waterslide, bungee bouncing, and balloon rides), the slopes make just as great a getaway when they’re sunny, warm, and snow-free — and the price is often much lower. Take Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont, where, as the grown-ups linger over a leisurely breakfast, the kids can hop onto the resort’s free shuttle bus bound for skate camp, theater workshops, or one of four water parks. Alternatively, some combination of adults can join little ones in building a toy sailboat or taking a guided nature walk while the rest of the party quaffs cocoa or cocktails at the lodge. At night, the resort hosts live performances, movies, bonfires, and a genuine Vermont country fair, featuring games of all kinds, food stands, and local musicians.

Other mountains to hit when it’s hot include Whistler Blackcomb, in Whistler, British Columbia, which has mountain biking, fishing, mini golf, horseback riding, and bungee trampolines. Less strenuous but equally entertaining activities like fly-fishing and soaking in hot springs draw families to Colorado’s Steamboat Springs.

Details: Smugglers’ Notch condo lodging offers three bedrooms for three nights/four days starting at $1,737: includes most activities. Mention Good Housekeeping if you’re booking six summer nights, and your seventh will be free.

To book: For Smugglers’ Notch, call 800-451-8752 or visit smuggs.com. For Whistler Blackcomb, see whistlerblackcomb.com. For Steamboat Springs, log on to steamboat.com.

SHARE A SHIP

From ocean liners to houseboats, water getaways of all kinds are great for families since they offer fun activities as well as peaceful perusal of the landscape. If cruises are what interests you, know that today’s liners are virtually floating resorts, conveniently jam-packed with fun and food tailored to every age. For families seeking more intimacy and interaction, smaller boats that you can steer yourself probably fill the bill.

Live Large on a Liner

For a big-boat cruise that caters to everyone in your brood, consider Royal Caribbean’s new Freedom-class line. Among the attractions for kids are teen-only dance clubs, a climbing wall, a surf simulator, and a water park. The younger set can participate in hands-on classes in art, science (think volcano making!), and theater. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy live performances, wine tastings, jazz clubs, dance classes, a swimming solarium, and the staff’s attentive service.

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