If the idea of an overnight stay in the woods doesn't sound much like a vacation, then this post is for you! Even if you've never gone camping before, a little planning and a can-do attitude will ensure a great time and lasting memories for the whole family. For starters, you might not realize that tent camping isn't the only option at campgrounds today. Some of the best campgrounds near Boston for families offer yurts or cabins to make a first-time stay more comfortable.
And don't even worry about the kids. Mine love their favorite computer games and TV programs as much as the next, but once they're outdoors, they're too busy with trees, campfires, and critters around them to miss any of that indoor stuff. Read on to find out how to make the most of an overnight in the woods, and how to instill a love of the great outdoors in your children.
Hikers from all over the world flock to Mount Monadnock for a relatively easy climb that’s rewarded by breathtaking views and bragging rights. But you don’t have to be a mountain climber to enjoy the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. Tucked in the southwestern corner of the state, the area offers activities for every age and interest—toddlers to great-grandparents, nature lovers to shopaholics—making it the perfect place for a multigenerational family getaway.
Even if trekking mountains is what draws your adventurous family to the Monadnock Region, you’ll want to take a break to explore the quaint towns that dot the magnificent landscape. Stroll the idyllic New England main streets of Peterborough and Keene, stop in a restaurant with a view for a bite to eat, and explore the arts, culture, and unique shops. Then you’ll be ready to scale another of the region's mountains.
Did you know that over 300 species of our fine-feathered friends are observed in the Newburyport area each year?
It turns out this place really is for the birds.
In fact, serious birders from all over flock to this northeast section of the state in the hopes of getting a glimpse of their favorite winged animal. But birding is a nice, leisurely family activity, too – in all seasons. Check out the following resources, grab a pair of binoculars, and head out into the great outdoors to see how many cute little birdies your family can spot.
Those in the know, know Camelback Mountain Resort is the premium ski destination in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. But even if you're a total beginner, or don't ski at all, it offers active families a variety of winter adventures: a large snowtubing park, mountain coaster, 34 ski and snowboard trails and the soon-to-open indoor water park. With so much to do, Camelback is a great winter weekend getaway destination for skiiers and non-skiiers alike.
My family, as all novices to snow sports, recently enjoyed a fun-filled weekend sampling many of Camelback's winter activities. About a two hour drive from both New York City and Philadelphia, Camelback makes for an easy getaway sure to please all levels of winter sports enthusiasts.
We’re always up for an adventure and crave time outdoors (yes, even in the winter), so when the State of New Hampshire invited us to experience Mount Washington’s outdoor winter offerings, we bundled up and trekked two hours north of Boston to Lincoln, New Hampshire: Home of Loon Mountain and loads of snowy fun.
Here are suggestions for your White Mountains outdoor adventure itinerary, including recommendations for where to eat and stay:
Living in SoCal without ever visiting Big Bear would be like living in SoCal without ever going to Disneyland; and until this past weekend, I was guilty of that very sin. It was time for my family to take a ski trip that was more than a day trip and enjoy the beauty of the mountains around Big Bear Lake - a spot so peaceful and alpine that it's hard to imagine it's less than three hours from the Los Angeles area. But a place as popular as Disneyland needs a plan worthy of Disneyland; if you want to spend more time skiing than waiting, I urge you to read on.
When my 6-year-old son started skiing, I was advised by a former ski instructor friend to I enroll him in skiing school and under no circumstances attempt to teach him myself. She claimed that even if you are an Olympic-level skier, which I am not, it is best that they learn how to turn and stop from the pros. Plus there is the added benefit of hitting the slopes solo while your kid is in school. Heeding her advice, we enrolled him in ski school for a day during the Christmas holidays, and he loved it!
Back home in NYC I started looking for local ski resorts providing schools for weekend day trips and was surprised to find they weren’t as common as I thought they would be. Of course most ski resorts offer private and group lessons, but I was hoping for more of a half-day or full-day option for my son. After a ton of research, we've rounded up the area resorts with ski or snowboarding schools for kids, plus everything else you need to know to get them started. So grab your skis and get going!
While we've written plenty of posts about downhill skiing with NYC kids, we've never covered cross-country skiing. Also known as Nordic skiing, cross-country skiing is a great winter sport for families. Children as young as five can ski alone, and parents can tow tots in a sled or carry them in a backpack while on the trails. You can't do that while swooshing down a mountain!
Cross-country skiing is a fun way for active kids to burn off energy in the colder months and spend time outside. While you use most of the same equipment that you'd need for a day on the slopes—skis, boots, bindings, poles, goggles, helmets and warm clothing—cross-country skiing is nowhere near as dangerous or as expensive as downhill skiing. You won't be at risk for slamming into a tree at full speed, and trail passes usually cost about $20 per person.
After a good snowfall in New York City, you can cross-country ski just about anywhere. I've seen people doing it in parks and even right down the middle of Fifth Avenue before the snow plows cleared the street. But if you're looking to go cross-country skiing in a more scenic (and less bumpy) environment, there are tri-state area destinations that offer many miles of well-groomed trails, as well as amenities like warm lodges where you can sit back, relax, sip on hot cocoa and enjoy a family meal.
Unlike traditional ski resorts, most cross-country trails aren't in the business of making their own snow. So you're going to have to wait for the white stuff before you can get out there. Once that happens, here are six spots where families can enjoy cross-country skiing, most less than a two-hour drive from New York City.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara