These kid-friendly resorts are fantastic any time
of the year, but they offer something extra-special around the
holidays. Now's the time to plan for winter break, and here are
venues the whole family will enjoy:
Beaches Turks & Caicos
Picture heaven on earth for the teen and under set and you have
Beaches Turks & Caicos, an all-inclusive resort with a Sesame
Street theme. From baking cookies with Cookie Monster to bird
watching with Big Bird, tykes are entertained from morning til
night, when Sesame Street shows and parades top off the day. Older
children who have outgrown their affection for Elmo can visit the
X-Box Garage, while teens meet and mingle at the alcohol-free Club
Liquid. Parents will appreciate a little me-time by dropping their
sprouts off at the gratis Camp Sesame where, among other
amusements, tots practice numbers with the master mathematician
himself, The Count. The ultimate holiday surprise for bambinos at
bedtime? A tuck-in, courtesy of their favorite Sesame Street
Disney's Contemporary Resort, Orlando.
With so many hotels from which to choose at Disney World, why The
Contemporary? Location, location, location. The Contemporary is the
closest visitors can stay to The Magic Kingdom, which means less
time for tantrums on the monorail ride home after an exhausting
day. The resort also houses Chef Mickey, so families can kill two
birds (not Daisy and Donald!) with one stone: eating a meal and
getting photos with the whole Disney gang. Don't miss Mickey's Very
Merry Christmas Party, a jolly extravaganza running on select
nights in November and December at the Magic Kingdom.
The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Destin,
Love Florida but want a winter getaway that, unlike a hectic trip
to Disney, is filled with relaxation? Then the Sandestin, recently
named "one of the best beaches for families" by ivillage.com and
situated along Florida's enchanting Emerald Coast, is just the
place. With accommodations ranging from studios to town homes, the
Sandestin is also home to the Village of Baytowne Wharf, a lively
town square comprised of restaurants, amusement rides and, during
the holidays, an outdoor ice rink. From Nov. 24 through December,
Santa is available for house calls to read a bedtime story.
El Conquistador, Puerto Rico
Visitors feel a bit like JLo as they cruise over to El
Conquistador's private sanctuary, Palomino Island, easily one of
the prettiest beaches in Puerto Rico. The calm, clear waters are
perfect for toddlers perched on the huge turtle floats available
for daily rental. The on-site Coqui Water Park offers the
spine-tingling "speed slide" for daring teens (and parents!), while
the lazy river, rope bridge and zero-depth entry pool make a great
splash with the preschool set. The New Years Eve fireworks are a
breathtaking treat to ring in the new year.
Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville,
If warmer weather is not a priority, this pristine resort about a
four-hour drive from Chicago and voted one of the 50 best places to
stay and ski by Conde Naste readers, is an exquisite winter
retreat. Home to the Crystal Coaster-Michigan's one and only Alpine
Slide-this sanctuary offers scenic horse-drawn surrey rides, dog
sledding, ice hockey and outdoor paintball games in addition, of
course, to skiing.
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