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Posts Tagged ‘Vacations’

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By Melissa Levis – Family Inn Keeper

The Wilburton Inn in Manchester, Vermont is a majestic 30-acre hilltop estate that is a fabulous four-season destination for families. My family has run the inn for nearly 30 years and as we sing in our Wilburton Inn theme song we didn’t buy it to run it like a Hyatt. The Wilburton is an extension our family’s genuine passion for hospitality, creativity, beauty, healthy living and the gift of time to unwind with family and friends in the mountains.

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Wilburton Inn

My mother was the inspiration for Madeline Kahn’s Tony Award winning role, Gorgeous in The Sisters Rosensweig that was written by her sister, Wendy Wasserstein. When mom suddenly passed away last year, my brother and I came home to run the inn with our father. With our Downton Abbey Parties farm to table dinners destination weddings and huge family celebrations the inn shines brighter than ever as a tribute to her. Our Cavalier King Charles puppy, Jetson, who was named for mom loves to welcome children and other dogs to our inn too!

Wilburton Inn

Farm to Table Dinners at The Wilburton Inn

The Wilburton is a private 30-acre resort that features two historic mansions, eight large vacation villas, a farm, museum, pool, tennis court, sculpture garden and restaurant. We can accommodate up to 125 overnight guests in a range of accommodations from individual guest rooms to our five, six, seven and eight bedroom homes to our fourteen-bedroom Battenkill Valley Mansion that sleeps 34 guests under one room! With the perks of an inn and the privacy of a home, the Wilburton is the perfect place to host girl’s weekends, 40th birthdays, 50th anniversaries, and all the big milestones of life. Guests truly feel like the king and queen of the castle when they rent out our homes and mansions as their private country getaway.

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The Grand Living Room at The Wilburton Inn

The Wilburton Inn is located in Manchester, Vermont which is only 4 hours from Manhattan and 3 and a half hours from Boston. It is such a charming, quintessential New England town that it was profiled in the New York Times Summer is the perfect time to visit because there is zip lining at Bromley Mountain for the kids, fly fishing at Orvis, hiking, golf and antique car shows for the dads, antiquing, theatre, concerts, farmers markets, and designer outlet shopping for the ladies, and the six-week long Vermont Summer Horse Festival that is fun for the whole family. The Inn is also a wonderful base for day trips to Williamstown, Massachusetts, Saratoga and Lake George, New York and Shelburne, Vermont.

Wilburton Inn

Lovely Fireplace at The Wilburton Inn

Guests can also enjoy the unique talents of my family. Families can enjoy planting, harvesting, and baking workshops with my brother Oliver at his nearby Earth Sky Time organic farm and bakery. My sister who is currently writing the musical adaptation of Green Acres for Broadway, hosts Murder Mystery Weekends each year. Guests have so much fun dressing up and figuring out who-done-it as they traipse through the mansion. My Harvard scholar brother Max and my psychiatrist father Albert offer workshops on the nexus between creativity, psychology, religion and wellness at our Museum of the Creative Process. And I lead Moey’s Music Party concerts and family sing-alongs during the holidays. The Wilburton is truly a magical setting for the vacation of a lifetime.

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Spring break is perfect for family getaways. Whether looking for a break from the snow or from the busy work and school schedule, get away this spring while you can. Here are some of the best places you can take your family for a wholesome, yet fun, spring break getaway in 2015.
See Family Spring Break Spots at familyvacationcritic.com

Old Fashioned Mom Spring Break Spots for Families

Amelia Island, FL

Situated in the northeastern-most part of Florida, Amelia Island is not only beautiful, but also peaceful. It has managed to escape much of the commercialization that plagues other parts of Florida, and as a result, doesn’t attract the typical college spring-breaker. The island is rich in history and has been under the rule of eight different flags — the most of any place in the United States.

Old Fashioned Mom Palm Beaches, FL

The Palm Beaches, FL

With miles of coastline, water sports, a water park and a zoo, an escape to the Palm Beaches in Florida this spring break will be filled with fun for the entire family. Plus, the Palm Beaches offer luxurious shopping and award-winning dining options, for those parents who also want to make the most of their own break from the daily routine.

Old Fashioned Mom Carlsbad CA

Carlsbad, CA

Located just 30 minutes from San Diego, a spring break trip to Carlsbad can include the beaches, theme parks, zoos and museums all during one vacation. Spend a morning at the Carlsbad State Beach, which is 5 miles of quiet sand, before heading to Carlsbad Village for snacks and shopping.

Old Fashioned Mom Virgin Islands

U.S. Virgin Islands

Snorkel, fish or just soak up the sun during your spring break at one of the islands that makes up the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are no passports needed for this Caribbean vacation and the U.S. dollar is the currency, so you’ll feel right at home.

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Riviera Maya

Less densely developed than Cancun’s hotel zone that attracts college-aged spring breakers galore, Riviera Maya is just 30 minutes to the north and much more family-friendly. A number of all-inclusive family resorts make the getaway easy, as well as a number of lodging options spread over 86 green miles lining a beautiful coastline.

See more family Spring break locations at familyvacationcritic.com >>

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View the Top Easter Egg Hunts for Kids in New York City from Mommypoppins.com

Easter is just a hop, skip and a jump away, falling on Sunday, April 5 this year. One of the best ways to celebrate with kids is to attend one of NYC’s treat-filled egg hunts. Most are outdoors in playgrounds and parks, zoos and gardens, but a few are indoors at museums and other culture spots. Many also offer additional spring fun like seasonal crafts, face painting and live entertainment.

Remember, Easter egg hunts in NYC are extremely popular so arrive early and expect hordes. If you can’t handle crowds, avoid the FREE hunts and opt for one that costs a small fee as those usually have a cap on participants.

Click through to the listings for all the info, including address and time.

Manhattan

The Great Easter Egg Hunt
– Tribeca– Saturday, March 21 – FREE
The Lower Manhattan Community Church sponsors this annual holiday fest featuring egg hunts for children up to the third grade. Face painting, carnival-style games and pictures with the Easter Bunny are also on tap.

Carl Schurz Park Egg Hunt
– Upper East Side-Saturday, March 28 – FREE but donations accepted
Head to the beloved Carl Schurz Park to decorate egg collecting bags followed by hunts for different age ranges, including one just for toddlers. At noon, Patrick and the Rock-a-Silly Band rock the playground. Rain date: Sunday, March 29.

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Easter Egg Hunt & Spring Festival
– Harlem-Saturday, April 4 – FREE
Enjoy cookie decorating, face painting, games, dancing, a visit from the Easter Bunny and an outdoor egg hunt at this community fete in St. Nicholas Park.

Easter Eggstravaganza
– East Harlem– Saturday, April 4 – FREE
Join community organization NYSoM for its third annual egg hunt in the Target East Harlem Garden. Additional fun includes an egg race, egg decorating, crafts and face time with the Easter Bunny.

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See more events >>

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There’s plenty of St. Patrick’s Day kid-friendly fun to be had in these cities, from festivals to parades to dancing and food — shepard’s pie, anyone?
See Family Fun Spots for St. Patrick’s Day at familyvacationcritic.com

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Chicago

The Windy City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade always occurs the Saturday before the holiday (if the holiday isn’t already on a Saturday, that is). It begins at the corner of Columbus Drive and Balbo, and continues north to Monroe, entertaining families with music, floats and step dancers for three hours straight, rain or shine. The city’s biggest spectacle, however, takes place when the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers dye the Chicago River green, drawing thousands of spectators. For the best views of this annual tradition, head to the intersection of Michigan Avenue, Wacker Drive and the Chicago River, or the west side of Columbus Drive Bridge.

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San Francisco

One of San Francisco’s most popular events is its annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade. Hundreds of lively floats, dance troupes and marching bands begin their journey at the corner of Market and Second street and continue on to Civic Center, where a family-friendly festival awaits. Here, they get a true taste of Irish culture, including everything from food to history. Additionally, many of the city’s pubs and restaurants start the holiday festivities a few days in advance by hosting block parties, and the city hosts an Irish-American Crossroads Festival, as well.

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Boston

Boston hosts not one, but two St. Patrick’s Day parades each year. Its traditional holiday parade begins in the early afternoon, and is followed by the St. Patrick’s Peace Parade, organized by the Veterans for Peace. The city also provides alcohol-free Family Zones, which are often held at The Action Center, Old Colony and The Laboure. Each venue has a theme and offers snacks and children’s activities, such as arts and crafts, plus a prime spot to watch the parade.

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Washington, D.C.

For St. Patrick’s Day, Washington, D.C. hosts the National ShamrockFest with something for all ages, including carnival rides, games, food, an Irish Village and over 40 bands and DJs on nine stages. Constitution Avenue also comes to life with a two-and-a-half hour themed parade of floats, dancers, marching and pipe bands, military, police and fire departments. After the parade, take the kids to a local Irish pub where you’ll listen to Celtic music as you eat authentic favorites like Irish beef stew.

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Savannah, GA

For nearly two centuries, Savannah has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with an electrifying parade, which happens to be the second largest in the United States. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations actually begin two weeks before the parade, however, with events like the Greening of the Fountain in Forsyth Park and the Celtic Cross Mass and Ceremony. On the day of the parade, mass is held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, and the parade follows, offering the perfect mix of Irish culture and southern charm.

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If you’ve hung out on a pool deck recently, it’s no secret that cruising has become hugely popular with families. The number of children onboard is growing steadily, and more than 2 million kids younger than 15 sailed on cruise lines in 2013, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Yet, despite the great strides made by cruise lines in accommodating children onboard, choosing the best cruise for your family is still complicated. Where once it was a struggle to find ships that were kid-friendly, the challenge now is wading through the bevy of activities, kids clubs, and child-themed bells and whistles many of the newer ships offer to determine which cruise ships are best for your youngsters.

See the Best Cruise Ships for Families – Best Family Cruises – from CruiseCritic.com

Best Cruises for Families

Best Cruises for Families

Best Cruises for Families

Best Cruises for Families

Best Cruises for Families

Best Cruises for Families

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Visit the Spring Art Colony Day Camp

Looking to fill your child’s spring break? Find a truly collaborative art making experience in CMA’s Art Colony Day Camp. Art Colony allows students to immerse themselves in innovative arts courses taught by professional teaching artists. Classes run from 10 AM-4 PM, with supervised play from 9-10 AM and 4-5 PM included. Explore the wide variety of class offerings for ages 6-15.

CMA’s Art Colony Day Camp

CMA’s Art Colony Day Camp

CMA’s Art Colony Day Camp

CMA’s Art Colony Day Camp

CMA’s Art Colony Day Camp

CMA’s Art Colony Day Camp

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Bali is one of the best destinations for a family vacation. It has everything: good beaches, a rich culture, friendly people, great weather, and wonderful food.
See the 10 Best Family Resorts on Bali!

Bali Westin

Bali Westin

Bali Intercontinental

Bali Intercontinental

Bali Dynasty Family Resort

Bali Dynasty Family Resort

Bali Nikko Resort

Bali Nikko Resort

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View the top 12 things to do with kids in New York City this January 2015!

While January is traditionally a mellow time, especially compared to the nonstop action of the holiday season, there’s no way you can hibernate all month—not with kids around. Luckily, you don’t have to. Our January GOList is packed with annual favorites like the 38th annual Three Kings Day Parade in East Harlem, Central Park’s annual Winter Jam sports fest and Beam Center‘s hands-on Inventgenuity Festival, plus some brand-new, exceptional-sounding shows and performances for kids.

As always, if an event piques your interest, be sure to click through to our listing for all the details, including address and time. And keep in mind: In NYC, really cool things to do with kids often get booked up quickly. So buy your tickets ASAP or, in the case of FREE events, arrive as early as possible to try to beat the crowds.

So get out your calendar: Here are the top 12 things to do with kids in New York City this January, five of which are FREE.

Clifford’s Big Red Party at the Scholastic Store – Soho
Saturday, January 3
The Scholastic Store isn’t just saying goodbye to 2014—it’s saying goodbye, period! Come January 11, the kid-lit spot is closing for good so this is one of the last times you’ll be able to hit the shop’s Imagination Clubhouse, the Magic School Bus, the Creativity Corner and that beloved Clifford coin-operated ride. The big red dog himself is hosting this final bash featuring crafts, magic tricks, face painting, balloon twisting, a reading of Clifford Visits the Zoo and photo ops. It’s sure to be a bittersweet experience. FREE

Community Cube at the Seaport – South Street Seaport
Monday, January 5-Sunday, February 1
Throughout the month, a 250-person heated tent will host a wide variety of events for all ages, from screenings to dance parties to hands-on workshops. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, downtown community org FiDi Families is curating all of the little-kid activities, including interactive concerts by Music for Aardvarks (Monday, January 12 and Tuesday, January 27) and screenings of Frozen (Monday, January 5). However, it’s worth looking at the “grown-up” programming (dubbed Sugarcube), too, since some of those offerings are good for school-age children, like screenings of Enchanted (Thursday, January 8), Little Fugitive (Thursday, January 15) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II – The Secret of the Ooze (Thursday, January 29), and the interactive Paint the Music party (Saturday, January 17). All events are FREE

Three Kings Day Parade – East Harlem
Tuesday, January 6
While there are many ways to mark Three Kings Day (a.k.a. the “12th day of Christmas”) in NYC, El Museo del Barrio’s 38th annual procession is the biggest celebration. Watch as lots of local school kids march by alongside colorful floats, festive bands, live camels and the massive Three Wise Men puppets, which lead the procession and stay on display in the museum after the event. My daughter and I have been many times and it’s fun though modest. Find a spot at the start on 106th Street and Lexington Avenue (there’s always room), watch for 15 minutes or so and then continue celebrating with a great Mexican meal at nearby El Paso Restaurante. Or go to the end at La Marqueta where there will be live music and delicious eats from local vendors. FREE

Stella, Queen of the Snow – Upper West Side
Saturday, January 10
Marie-Louise Gay’s popular picture book comes to life at Symphony Space thanks to the eye-popping creativity of the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. Stella and her little brother Sam’s wintry adventure features snowballs, snow angels and a snow-topped forest, all conjured by whimsical puppets, striking scenic effects and moving original music. Bonus: Mommy Poppins is sponsoring the 2pm performance so our readers enjoy an adorable marshmallow snowman activity before the show and save 35% on tickets with the discount code MPJK. $26 for adults, $16 for children

IMpossible IZZpossible – Fort Greene
Friday, January 16-Saturday, January 17
Head to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to check out this multicultural dance mash up from Philadelphia’s Illstyle & Peace Productions. The troupe celebrates the African roots of hip-hop dance by showcasing a wide range of styles, from tap to step to modern. Thanks to its high energy routines and brief one-hour running time, IMpossible IZZpossible is a great choice for all ages, though the recommended range is 6 to 11. $12

The Fresh Beat Band Live – Midtown West
Saturday, January 17
Even though their Nickelodeon show went off the air in 2013, the Fresh Beat Band—a.k.a. Kiki, Marina, Twist and Shout—are still big-name celebrities to the preschool set. At a pair of tot-friendly pop concerts at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the group will perform its greatest hits including “Bananas,” “Here We Go” and a brand-new version of “Great Day,” plus classic covers that should please parents, like the Bangles’ “Walk Like An Egyptian.” $40-$65

Wild Kratts Live – Greenwich Village
Saturday, January 17-Monday, January 19
Calling all preschoolers who love animals (a.k.a. all of them): Catch Martin and Chris Kratt, real-life brothers and stars of the PBS Kids nature series Wild Kratts, onstage at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Although there are no live animals in this stage adaptation of the show, there’s plenty of audience interaction as the Kratts ask tots to help them tap into the powers of various creatures. With video, music and amazing animal facts, it’s the perfect show for the under-six set. $32-$75

Everything About a Family (Almost) – Chelsea
Saturday, January 17-Monday, February 16
Out of all the shows my daughter and I see together, the ones at TADA! Youth Theater make the biggest impression on her, because she loves watching her peers on stage. Local youngsters ages 8 to 18 perform in original musicals that are quirky and thought-provoking. The company’s latest revue, Everything About a Family (Almost), was actually conceived and written by former members of TADA!’s Resident Youth Ensemble. This updated revival is set on a cruise ship and examines how kooky, fun and irreplaceable relatives can be. $25 for adults, $15 for children

Lionboy – Midtown West
Friday, January 23-Sunday, February 1
A dystopian fantasy about climate change and the corporatization of our global culture aimed at families? You’d only find a show like this at the New Victory Theater. Based on Zizou Corder’s bestselling young adult trilogy, Lionboy was adapted by the award-winning London troupe Complicite and chronicles the cross-continental saga of a boy who sets out to save his kidnapped scientist parents. Happily, he’s got a secret weapon: He can communicate with cats. Geared to children ages 8 and up, Lionboy is a rousing adventure that gets kids thinking about complex real-life issues. $15-$38

Winter Jam – Upper East Side
Saturday, January 24
Regardless of what Mother Nature brings, it’s going to be a major snow day at the Central Park Bandshell. The Parks Department’s annual winter sports festival features fresh blown snow courtesy of Gore Mountain so families can try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding, or just frolic in the fluffy white stuff. All equipment is provided or you can bring your own. Signed waivers are required for certain activities. This one gets seriously crowded to arrive as early as possible. FREE

Beam Center’s Inventgenuity Festival – Cobble Hill
Saturday, January 24-Sunday, January 25
We first heard about Beam Center‘s annual hands-on fest in 2011 and many Mommy Poppins families go every year. The 2015 edition will be the last one in Cobble Hill since Beam Center is moving to a brand-new, state-of-the-art studio in the Columbia Street Waterfront District in February. The Inventgenuity Fest is a great way to get a sense of all the program has to offer kids, with a wide range of collaborative and individual low- and high-tech projects, all overseen by professional educators and artists. You must register for the festival in advance and then sign up for specific workshops. Drop-ins most likely cannot be accommodated. Free admission but there is a $8.25 materials fee for each workshop

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers Annual Dance Concert and Pow-wow – East Village
Friday-Sunday: January 30-Sunday, February 8
A beloved wintertime tradition: At the Theater for the New City’s 40th annual cultural event, families can enjoy dances, stories and music from the Iroquois and Native Peoples of the Northeast, Southwest and Great Plains regions. All proceeds benefit the Native American scholarship fund, and on weekend matinees, kids get in for just a buck and are invited to interact with the performers during parts of the show. $10, $1 for children under age 12 for matinees only

Honorable Mentions

NYC always has so many incredible things going on that it’s difficult to choose. So here are 10 more cool events that are worth considering for your January calendar. Be sure to sign up for our FREE newsletters so you can get our weekend picks delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning.

Watch (or if you’re brave, join!) the Coney Island Polar Bear Club members on their annual New Year’s Day swim in the Atlantic Ocean. FREE

Take train-obsessed tots to the New York Botanical Garden to see the mini musical All Aboard with Thomas & Friends, which plays throughout the month.

Join the Urban Park Rangers in Queens’ Cunningham Park to gaze at the Quadrantids meteor shower on Sunday, January 4. FREE

Scour the skies for eagles in Inwood Hill Park on Saturday, January 10. FREE

Get up close and personal with bugs, reptiles and slime at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s annual Icky Fest on Saturday, January 10-Sunday, January 11.

Enjoy Songs for Unusual Creatures at Carnegie Hall as images of blobfish, elephant shrews and other bizarre beasts frolic to kooky tunes by author/composer Michael Hearst on Sunday, January 11. FREE

Try to grab an artistic holiday treat to take home as the New York Hall of Science dismantles its massive GingerBread Lane display on Sunday, January 11.

Check out panels, films, workshops and discussion about African-American comics at the third annual Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center on Saturday, January 17. FREE

Join eighth graders from the Manhattan Country School as they march for peace in honor of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 19. FREE

Celebrate Oshogatsu, a.k.a. the Japanese New Year, at Japan Society’s annual fete on Sunday, January 25.

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The BEST Places for Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Parties!

View the Top Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Parties at travelchannel.com

Legoland Fireworks

Family-friendly, Legoland fireworks in Carlsbad, California.

New Year's Eve Beach Ball in Panama City, Florida

Family-friendly, beachside ball drop at Panama City Beach.

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30 of the BEST Places to spend Christmas! From San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to Kaioura, New Zealand.

View the Top 30 Best Places to Spend Christmas at travelandleisure.com

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