The winter travel season abounds with opportunity. Here are four ways to expand your family’s horizons:
• Indulge at Half Moon Bay. At this cliff-side resort on the middle California coast, relax around the 261-room facility’s campfire, sipping hot cocoa and snacking on s’mores. This, after a day of family surfing lessons, whale watching or horseback riding on the beach. Youngsters can tap into the creative programs offered by Ritz Kids while the adults tee it up on one of two championship courses. Later, the whole gang can risk feeling small while pedaling through a nearby stand of ancient California Redwood trees.
• Ski Snowmass, Colo. Already popular with families, Snowmass kicked it up a notch in 2007 by opening the 25,000-square-foot, $17 million Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center and the midmountain Elk Camp Meadows Learning Area. Now the second-largest ski area in Colorado, the resort continues to offer new programs, including yoga for skiers, snowcat dinner rides and snowshoe dinner tours. With plenty of family-friendly, ski-in-ski-out lodging, this mountainside enclave has plenty of appeal for parents and junior powder hounds.
• Take to the seas. Cruise lines eager to entice families into the fold offer kid-friendly programs ranging from top-notch music and entertainment to wave pools and superslides. Teens can tap into their own social scene where alcohol-free nightclubs, tech centers and oversize movie screens reign. Newer ships offer cabin configurations better able to accommodate larger clans.
• Get sporting. Have you ever considered ice climbing? This just might be the year to harness your inner explorer and lead the family on a snow-centered quest. Hop aboard the helicopter for a high-octane powder push. Head into the hills on snowshoes, slide through the trees on cross-country skis or mush your way to a back-country yurt where steaming stew and a flickering fire will nourish your body and soul.