Afton State Park Winter Fun

IMG_1654

Afton State Park Winter Fun

for the whole Family

 

Where: Afton, Minnesota

When: Feb-March

How long: Friday-Sunday

 

Where to stay:

Recommendation: Afton State Park Camper Cabins for a full on winter experience

Or if that is roughing it too much, check out Afton House Inn

Things to do nearby:

Downhill ski at Afton Alps

 

Things to do at Afton State Park:

Cross country ski (18 miles of trails)

Snowshoe (4 miles of trails)

Winter hiking (6 miles of trails)

Here is a link to the trails.

Bring your dinner to make over the fire or campstove! Or you can always check out downtown Afton or Stillwater for some delicious food.

 

 

 

Family Cruises

IMG_2419

Family Cruises

 

Where: Port Canaveral or Miami, Florida

When: Spring, Summer, Fall

How Long: 5 nights

 

Recommended Cruise Line:  Disney Cruise Line

Disney does it right and they have made sure that holds true for family cruises too.

There is something for everyone in your family and extended family to enjoy.

The cabins are larger than most cruise ships and the majority of the cabins have balconies. The ships are top notch and everyone on board is friendly and ready to help with anything you need. Even the pickiest of eaters and travelers will be pleased.

Highly recommend upgrading your stateroom to have a balcony. The majority of staterooms on a Disney cruise have balconies and they are such a treat.

It makes the living space even larger and after putting the kids to bed it is a wonderful way to unwind and relax.

 

Things to do:

Dine & Play program

For the late seating, you can participate in the Dine & Play program where the kids meals will come out sooner and after 45 minutes they will be escorted by the staff to the Oceaneer’s Club so the adults can finish dinner and then pick them up afterwards. What a treat!

Nightly Shows

These are wonderful Disney plays that keep the kids & adults entertained.

Castaway Cay

Disney’s own private island in the Bahamas. Just pick from the list of activities:

  • Snorkeling
  • Floating on tubes or rafts
  • Bicycling around the island
  • Rent a paddleboat
  • Scuba diving
  • Rent a cabana (these are really hard to get unless you have a Concierge level cabin or are a returning guest).

Fireworks off the Ship

This is a not to be missed night even though they are late at night. I heard the fireworks dissolve into fish food in the ocean and Disney is the only cruise ship allowed to do it.

 

Travel Tips:

  1. The doors on the staterooms are metal and you can bring magnets to decorate your door. It is an easy way to find your door down the long corridors of staterooms.
  2. Disney family cruises are casual. For cruises over 3 nights, there is a dressy night but it is optional.
  3. Pack your suits in your carry-on bag so you can swim before you get into your stateroom.
  4. Pack your beer and wine in your carry-on bag or plan to buy bottles of alcohol in the duty-free store. (Note: the shops on the ship are only open when the cruise ship is not in port.) You can also bring snacks that have not been opened in your carry on bags. There is a small refrigerator in your stateroom. Note: You can’t carry your beverages you bring onboard in public spaces and if you bring one to dinner you will be charged a corkage fee. No coolers can be brought onboard and your carry-on bag must not be larger than 22”w x 14”h x 9”d.
  5. Bring a refillable bottle on board so you can fill it with water or soda from the soda station.
  6. For all character experiences, you need to go to Guest Services and request a ticket for a time and day. I suggest setting these up on your first day to make sure they are not all taken.
  7. Kids must be 42” tall to ride on the Aquaduck with an adult and at least 52” tall to ride alone. It is fun for all ages even the adults! Try to ride it first thing in the morning or at night when the lines will be the shortest. Same for the family pools, they are very crowded in the early afternoon.
  8. To really enjoy the ship without the crowds, skip one of the restaurant dinners or the nightly shows to swim, play on the top deck, mini-golf, watch an outdoor movie, movie in the theatre or just sit back and relax.
  9. For day excursions, I would check out resortforaday.com to see if there are any resorts you can visit for the day. Some include food and beverages. These excursions are way less crowded with other cruisers and a great way to check out resorts.
  10. Get your kids signed up for the Oceaneer Club, they will enjoy it and so will you.

Other tips:

Bring a multi usb plug in to make sure all of your electronics have a place to plug in. The outlets are limited in the staterooms.

There are clocks/alarms in the staterooms on the Disney Cruise ships so you don’t need to bring one from home. Same with a hair dryer, these are already there for you and have a special outlet to use.

Bring your own bathrobes, they are so nice to have while in your stateroom or for lounging on your balcony.

I highly suggest getting the motion sickness patches behind your ears or bands and bring peppermint essential oil & ginger in case the seas are rough.

It is nice to have a dirty clothes bag to keep in your stateroom closet.

Bring a watch, there are so many things going on that you will need to keep track of all the activities if you don’t want to miss something important.

 

Start planning for some family cruising this year! Contact me if you have any questions or would like more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keystone Family Skiing Vacation

Keystone

Keystone Family Skiing Vacation

A Keystone family skiing trip is a great way to spend time together as a family and enjoy a winter wonderland. The village is small and easy to get around. You could not pick a more family friendly ski mountain.

Where:

Keystone, Colorado

When:

Spring Skiing is the best but anytime from December – March

How Long:

5-7 days

Where to stay:

River Run Village = Dakota Lodge, Buffalo Lodge or Expedition Station

Note: Be sure to check on VRBO to book directly through the owners, it may be less expensive.

You can even go back to your condo for lunch and skip eating in the chalet.

If you want to try to save some money, stay in East or West Keystone, Silverthorne or Dillon. You can also access other ski resorts if one is not enough for you. Be sure to pack your lunch otherwise you will spend your savings eating at the chalet.

Things to do:

 

Skiing/Snowboarding

Snow Tubing 

Cross Country Skiing

Snowmobiling

Dog Sledding

Ice Skating

Snowcat Tours

Sleigh Rides

 

A few family fun places to eat:

9280 Tap House for a relaxed after ski dinner spot

Bite Me Pizza is a family favorite

Alpenglow Stube for a special family celebration

Der Fondue Chessel right on the mountain, access via gondola

 

 

Have more questions? Need more travel tips and advice, contact me today! I am here to help plan your Keystone family skiing vacation.