Tanque Verde Ranch is set on the outskirts of Tucson at the base of Mica Mountain. Photo: Facebook.
Assessing your clients’ needs as a family often starts with the kids. What is it that makes a family resort stand out? We’ve tallied up six great resorts that go the extra mile in welcoming families and ensuring guests of all ages make the most of their vacation. From sprawling indoor water parks to Jeep adventures in the desert, these are family-forward resorts that are certain to meet the needs of every age group.
Tanque Verde Ranch: Tucson, Arizona
Tanque Verde Ranch stands out for its breadth of activities for families looking to connect with nature. Set on the outskirts of Tucson at the base of Mica Mountain, the dude ranch operates a year-round 180-horse and cattle farm with a range of accommodation options from standard guest rooms to private casita houses. The resort’s camp separates kids into three age groups from 4 to 12 for days filled with riding lessons, horse grooming and desert excursions. For the families that stick together, there are Jeep adventures through the desert, a sand volleyball court, and indoor and outdoor pool.
Omni Mount Washington Resort: Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
A classic retreat in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, Mount Washington Hotel is most distinct for its Spanish Renaissance-inspired red roof set against Mount Washington. With 200 guest rooms, the grand resort specializes in year-round indoor and outdoor programming for families, packing the day with an impressive lineup that includes a kids’ snowmobile park, a ski school, snow tubing, and year-round indoor and outdoor pools. For kids who like to pampered, plan ahead for the spa’s kids’ packages, where fun add-ins and surprises delight.
Kalahari Resort: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Anchored by a mammoth-sized indoor water park, Kalahari’s original Wisconsin Dells location is an all-encompassing winterized family escape. Inspired by the African Savanna, Kalahari radiates fun with immersive theming throughout its lobby and water park, along with 750 African-themed guest rooms and suites. Highlights of the indoor waterpark include a 570-foot uphill water “coaster,” two trap door slides that drop riders from 60 feet, and a water basketball court. The resort also features a sprawling indoor theme park packed with enough activities to keep the younger set busy for at least a week, namely a ropes course, bowling lanes and go karts.
The Sagamore: Bolton Landing, New York
A go-to for a luxurious upstate New York retreat, The Sagamore Resort takes residence on its own sprawling island on the shores of Lake George. A welcoming lobby with a warming fireplace sets the tone for the 133-year-old family-friendly resort. There’s no shortage of activities for the younger set as the leaves change and the winter months roll in, especially with the resort’s 10,000 square-foot indoor kids center, The Rec. This well-maintained facility is a kid’s fantasy playground with a mini golf course, wiffle ball diamond, indoor basketball, Nintendo Wii and X-Box stations.
Mohonk: New Paltz, New York
As historic as it is unique, Mohonk Mountain House maintains a family-forward attitude that pairs well with its rustic mountain setting. The expansive complex is an architectural wonder with 259 guest rooms, an indoor pool and spa, and an outdoor ice-skating rink. Winter activities make the most of the sprawling mountain grounds that include 85 miles of trails for snow-shoe hikes, cross-country skiing and snow tubing on the golf course. In the comforts of the lodge, families opt for the impressive indoor pool, arts and crafts, and a game room outfitted with Foosball, air hockey and ping pong.
The Breakers: Palm Beach, Florida
Lauded as an old-world escape set on the sandy shores of Palm Beach, The Breakers does winter best with plenty of sunshine and average December temperatures in the 70s. Founded in 1896 by industrialist Henry M. Flagler, the 540-room resort sits on a private beach with nine restaurants and multiple bars. Kid-friendly features include an arcade, video game lounge and outdoor sports court. Come December, the resort is transformed into a tropical wonderland of oversized trimmed trees and more than 170,000 lights.