No matter how old, Breck brings out the kid in you
Chris and his cousin Melanie at the top of a Breckenridge Peak

No matter how old, Breck brings out the kid in you

At 31 years young, I found myself completely gassed on the slopes trying to keep up with my 22-year-old cousin Melanie Yemma (a senior at Colorado College). I’m a fan of breaks – even naps – but apparently when you’re 22 and you live in Colorado, you don’t take breaks on the mountain.

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What makes Alaska’s Denali National Park special for families
View of Mt. McKinley from the Camp Denali on a clear morning in June 2012

What makes Alaska’s Denali National Park special for families

What is special about Denali National Park, besides the wildlife and the fact that it contains the tallest mountain in North America, suggests Kris Capps author of “A Wildlife Guide: Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska,” is that it continues to flourish on its own largely without human intervention.

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Dining in the mountains — eating out or in on family ski vacation?
The Warming Hut in Breckenridge CO

Dining in the mountains — eating out or in on family ski vacation?

When you are staying in a roomy condo, like The Montaneros at Vail or where we have just checked in at Blue Sky at Breckenridge, with fully equipped kitchens, it is nice to cook with the family, put your feet up and enjoy a glass of wine, a martini or two.

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A new hotel in Vail where no request is too difficult
BOL at the Solaris in Vail Colorado

A new hotel in Vail where no request is too difficult

No request is too difficult for guests staying at the ultra luxe Solaris in Vail Village. The 79-unit Solaris Residences–the six bedroom unit facing the slopes is to die for—is the kind of place where no guest request is too outrageous. The reindeer? They were brought from a ranch in northern Colorado, said General Manager Bill Marshall.

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On a blue bird day, the views at Vail are spectacular
Mark Yemma at the Two Elks restaurant atop Vail Mountain

On a blue bird day, the views at Vail are spectacular

There is something wonderful about family ski trips no matter what the kids ages—in our case, kids ranging from 22 to 32. It’s nice that our grown kids are willing to share their precious vacation time with us; It’s nice to relive memories of when they were little kids.

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In Vail, a condo offers all the comforts of home for our family ski vacation
Montaneros Condos at Vail

In Vail, a condo offers all the comforts of home for our family ski vacation

Condo or hotel? When kids—even grown ones—are part of the equation, I’ll opt for a condo every time. None of us want to eat out every meal or pay high mark-ups for every drink. I like the space to spread out too. That’s why I’m so glad for the Montaneros, a Wyndham Vacation Rentals condo at Lionshead in Vail.

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How about a bike ride in the dark in the Sonoran Desert?
Biking in the Sonoran Desert

How about a bike ride in the dark in the Sonoran Desert?

It is pitch black and I am riding a bike through the Sonoran desert. Of course my bike has a light and I’m on a paved trail—a golf cart trail, actually at the expansive (some 1300 acres at the Boulders Resort in Scottsdale known for the distinctive giant boulders that look like snowmen made out of granite and have been here for millions of years.

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All over ski country, kids are eating healthier on vacation
Christian Apetz, executive chef at 8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, teaches ‘tween guests healthy recipes and cooking techniques with complimentary culinary classes each week

All over ski country, kids are eating healthier on vacation

Forget mac and cheese, unless it is homemade with local cheese. Forget chili, unless it’s vegetarian or made with local grass-fed beef. The kids — and you — have your choice of free-range chicken, homemade soups, pizza baked in a wood-fired oven and quinoa salad, not to mention artisanal beers and spirits.

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Families can spread out at hotels in Orlando
"Hakuna Matata" at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Families can spread out at hotels in Orlando

These days, not only do we want more room to spread out (think two rooms, two bathrooms, two TVS) but we want the experience to be fun. And we don’t want it to cost a bundle either. Did I mention that Disney has just unrolled free Wi-Fi at all of its resorts?

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