Escape This Winter with These Family-Friendly Getaways

Family-friendly sun and snow getaways to plan this year.

With winter school breaks coming up, it’s time to plan your winter getaways! Whether sunshine is calling you to the beach or snow is beckoning you to play, we’ve got three ideas for your next family vacation.

Vail, Colorado

Beautiful Vail Mountain opens for its 60th winter season Nov. 11. Experience the energy and excitement of skiing and snowboarding at one of the largest ski resorts in the world, 100 miles west of Denver. With more than 5,000 skiable acres, more than 300 days of sunshine per year and alpine-inspired ski villages with heated cobblestone streets and delicious eats, it’s easy to fall in love with the snowy season here.

New and upgraded high-speed chairlifts connect legendary back bowls to shopping and dining at Lionshead Village. Spread out in an Antlers at Vail condo with views of the mountain, steamy hot tubs and fully equipped kitchens. If you prefer not to cook, freshly prepared chef meals, like hearty stews and veggie quiches, can be delivered to your room. Family-friendly amenities include bunk bed rooms, babysitting recommendations and board games.

Deca + Bol is a fabulous place to eat, bowl and ice skate. Blue Moose Pizza is popular with families, as is Rimini for gelato and crepes.

Florida’s Space Coast

On the east coast of Central Florida, the Space Coast is home to Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach (the closest beach to Orlando) and Port Canaveral, where many cruise ships depart. With highs in the upper 70s during November and December days, families will welcome the warmth.

A visit to Kennedy Space Center is brimming with inspiration. From roaming the Rocket Garden to feeling the G-force in a simulated Shuttle Launch Experience, the films and displays demonstrate how hard work and ingenuity can make us boundless.

For a majestic experience, book a bioluminescent night kayak trip. Prehistoric comb jellies glitter the water with a blue-green glow in the cooler winter months. Kids will cherish staying up late, paddling under the stars and being surrounded by wonder.

Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier is a fun place to dine and hang out 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. Listen to live music, stop by the gift shops, play volleyball on the beach or watch some of the best surfing on the East Coast. Stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Canaveral Cruise Port for an outdoor pool, free hot breakfast and pet-friendly rooms.

Gaylord, Michigan

Dog sledding, extreme tubing, skiing, snowboarding and ice skating are some of the thrilling winter activities you’ll find at Treetops Resort in the alpine village. Glide over the snow-covered trails of the Jones Masterpiece Golf Course with Liza Dietzen and her team of 10 dogs. Dash past wildlife, woods and frozen ponds in a memory-making excursion.

Treetops Resort recently doubled the size of its tubing runs to 400 feet and added a Magic Carpet to easily tow you to the top of the hill for as many tube rides down as you can manage in an hour. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sleigh rides with hot chocolate and marshmallows are sure to please. On-site dining includes a sports bar, grill and candy bar.

Treetops has a lodge, inn, condos and cottages, so you can pick the ideal accommodations for your group. An indoor heated pool, hot tubs and indoor golf simulator ensure hours of warm fun, too.

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Cortney Fries
Cortney Fries
An award-winning travel journalist, Cortney Fries (pronounced "freeze") has been writing about family travel for over a decade. She knows that parents planning trips are looking for all members to have fun and make lasting memories. Cortney believes that you should definitely try anything that makes you slightly nervous.


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