Jackson Hole WinterFest 2015 Line-Up

January 29th, 2015 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

Entrance to the Square at Town Square in Jackson HoleThe 5th annual Jackson Hole WinterFest celebration will kick off on Friday, Feb. 13 and will run through Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. The line-up has been announced and families should plan their trip to the Wyoming ski region now. Here are the snowy events you won’t want to miss at this year’s festival:

Ice-Skating on the Square at Town Square
Throughout the WinterFest celebration, families can hit the ice at the rink at the Square at Town Square daily. Times vary per day, but ice-skating will be available daily.

Jackson Hole Snowmobile Races
Two days of snowmobile races kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 9 a.m., and continues on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 9 a.m. Admission is free for all and kids will love cheering on their favorite riders. The Oval Race will feature vintage machines, 25 years or older, and riders throughout the entire event range in age from 5 to 75 years, proving you’re never too young or old to race in the snow.

23rd Annual Moose Chase Marathon
The Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club hosts the 23rd annual Moose Chase Marathon at the Trail Creek Nordic Center. The event begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14, and families can watch as skiers take on the various distances in the race. And if you want to join in on the fun, take on the .5k, which is free for all.

44th Annual Cutter Races
The Jackson Hole Shrine Club presents the 44th annual Cutter Races at Meoldy Park on Saturday and Sunday, Feb 14 and 15, at 12:30 p.m. Watch as participants race down the track behind horses, kicking up snow while competing for the title.

“Far From Home” Film Premier
Warm up on Monday Feb. 16, with a special movie premier. “Far From Home” is the story of a snowboarder from Uganda whose eyes are set on the 2018 Olympics. The feature length documentary is open to all ages and tickets are $17 each. The film will premier at Center Theater and doors open at 6 p.m., with the film starting at 7:30 p.m.

Teton Ice Fest Open Climbing Night
Visit Snow King Ice Park on Friday, Feb. 20, for the Teton Ice Fest Open Climbing Night. Participants will compete in up to three events, while spectators keep warm by the bonfire, eating the free S’mores that will be on offer. The first event kicks off at 4 p.m.

3rd Annual Jackson Hole Ski Joring
The Jackson Hole Shrine Club hosts the 3rd annual Jackson Hole Ski Joring competition on Saturday and Sunday, Feb 21 and 22. Families can cheer on their favorite skier as he or she is pulled behind a horse down the track at Melody Ranch. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the first race starts at 12:30 p.m.

For more information on the festival, visit the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce website. For accommodation options in Jackson Hole, see our list of hotels.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

TripAdvisor’s 13 Best Family Trip Ideas for Vacation Rentals

January 28th, 2015 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

Vacation rentals are great options for large families, multi-generational families or small families who want more privacy and the comforts of home. TripAdvisor, our parent company, recently released its list of 13 Family Trip Ideas Everyone Will Love, with vacation rentals in mind. Here’s where you can find family-friendly activities and spacious accommodation options this year:

Myrtle Beach vacation rental

1. Myrtle Beach
The popular beach town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, tops the list at number one and it’s no wonder. Outdoor activities are aplenty and accommodations offer beach and ocean views galore. Plus, the list of vacation rentals in Myrtle Beach offers rates under $100 per night!

2. Paris
With museums, the iconic Eiffel Tower and Disneyland, kids and families can easily find something to keep them entertained in Paris, France. And why stay in a hotel when you could rent your own private loft apartment in the city? Many sleep four or more and offer affordable rates in good locations.

3. Orlando
With roller coasters, water parks, aquariums, museums and more, Orlando is a destination where families can be sure they’ll find something fun to do on vacation. Think outside of the many resorts and book a vacation rental on your next trip to the Florida hot spot. Many homes and villas sleep up to 10, and come with awesome amenities like pools and game rooms.

4. Anaheim
Besides Disneyland, Anaheim and the rest of Orange County has a lot to offer. Knott’s Berry Farm, Huntington Beach Pier and other great family-friendly attractions await. Book a vacation rental instead of hotel and you’ll feel right at home, while being just minutes from the popular attractions.

5. Fort Myers
Be steps from the beaches in Fort Myers by renting a comfortable home-away-from-home. An amusement park, museum and science center round out the fun in this Florida town, making it an easy pick for your next vacation.

6. San Diego
With some of the best weather in the United States, San Diego is a must-visit for families heading to the West Coast. Stop at the zoo and LEGOLAND while you’re in the area, before heading back to your comfortable vacation rental, complete with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms for the whole family.

7. London
Hop on the London Eye and see if you can see your vacation rental from way above the city. London is always a great destination for families visiting Europe and you can feel like royalty by booking a vacation rental across the pond for your next family getaway.

8. New York City
The city that never sleeps wants your family to get a restful night in a vacation rental, rather than a hotel. Find one close to Times Square or Central Park and enjoy New York City views from the privacy of your own pad.

9. Playa del Carmen
Mexico’s Riviera Maya is warm and vibrant place for families to vacation. Visit historic and cultural sites with kids, or relax in the sand. By booking a vacation rental, you could be just a short distance from both!

10. Pensacola Beach
History and adventure await along side white-sand beaches in Pensacola, Florida. Book a townhouse or beachfront villa, and enjoy ocean views, space for up to 10 and even private piers.

11. Chicago
The Windy City has great attractions to see, like the Lincoln Park Zoo (which is free!) and Navy Pier. Instead of snagging a room in a towering hotel in Chicago, book a cozy apartment for your family and enjoy personal kitchens, amazing views and even gym and pool access!

12. Puerto Vallarta
The beaches of Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta region are soft with kid-friendly surf. Enjoy horseback riding on the beach, whale-watching excursions and more. Retire to your vacation rental and relax in unique homes that are vibrant and family-friendly.

13. Ocean City, Md.
The popular beach town of Ocean City, Maryland, rounds out the list at number 13. Stroll the 3-mile boardwalk with kids and then rest up in your vacation rental before the next day of fun. Accommodations offer space for up to 10 and are steps from the beach.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

31 Winners in Disney Flip Side Sweepstakes

January 27th, 2015 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

Cinderella Castle at Magic KingdomStop what you’re doing right now and listen up: you have only four days left to win an incredible magical vacation to Walt Disney World. The Disney Flip Side Sweepstakes started Jan. 1 (I apologize that I didn’t know about it sooner!) and runs through Jan 31, 2015. Each day one winner will be randomly picked and awarded a chance to visit Disney World and enjoy an experience unlike any other. That’s 31 winners in total! And if you haven’t entered yet, you still have four chances to win! What are you waiting for?

Each winner of the Disney Flip Side Sweepstakes will receive:

  • A one-night stay at the Cinderella Castle Suite in Magic Kingdom;
  • A three-night stay at a Walt Disney World Resort;
  • Four, five-day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper, water parks fun and other
  • options;
  • One $500 Disney gift card;
  • One personalized Disney Side welcome basket;
  • One glass slipper gift, inspired by the new Cinderella movie, which comes to theaters this
  • March;
  • And round-trip coach airfare for guests who live 250 miles or more from the Walt Disney World Resort.

The package in total is for five days and four nights, for a family of four. Entering is easy, too. Visit the Disney Flip Side Sweepstakes website now to enter and you could be in sunny Orlando in no time! For more information, read the contest’s official rules and regulations.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

Sneak Peek: New Lake Delton Waterfront Villas

January 26th, 2015 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

Families know Kalahari Resort & Conventions as being home to indoor water park resorts in Wisconsin Dells and Sandusky, Ohio, but now they can think of the brand in a new way. The Wisconsin Dells resort is now offering off-property, lakefront villas for large and multi-generational families.

Located just 3 miles from the indoor water park property, the Lake Delton Waterfront Villas offer five villa options located on a private beach, with fire pits, charcoal grills and more. Plus, every guest receives complimentary admission to the water parks at Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells!

Before you decide which accommodation is right for your lakefront stay, take a sneak peek inside and see what each has to offer:

The Lake Delton Waterfront Villas Cabin
The Cabin offers two queen beds and one queen sofa bed, allowing room for six guests. Amenities include a microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, fireplace, dining table with chairs, patio with table and chairs and a lakefront view.

The Lake Delton Waterfront Villas Cottage
The Cottage offers one king bed in the master bedroom, two queen beds in the second bedroom and a bunk room with two sets of twin bunk beds. The living area also has a sofa bed, which allows for up to 12 guests in total. Amenities include three bathrooms, a microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove/oven, coffeemaker, dining table with chairs, flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, balcony with table and chairs, patio with table and chairs, and lakefront views.

The Lake Delton Waterfront Villas Homestead
The Homestead has two floors with four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, with room for up to 14 guests in total. Amenities include a microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove/oven, coffeemaker, dining table with chairs, laundry room, fireplace, flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, patio with table and chairs, and lakefront views.

The Lake Delton Waterfront Villas Chalet
The Chalet has two floors with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and two living rooms with sofa beds, allowing for up to 18 guests in total. Amenities include two microwaves, one large refrigerator and one mini-fridge, a dishwasher, coffeemakers, stove/oven, dining table with chairs, flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, balcony with table and chairs, patio with table and chairs, and lakefront views.

The Lake Delton Waterfront Villas Waterfront Retreat
The Waterfront Retreat has three floors with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, sofa beds and more, allowing for up to 20 guests in total. Amenities include a great room; full kitchen with a microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove/oven and coffeemaker; a laundry room; a dining table with chairs; flat-screen TVs; complimentary Wi-Fi; balcony and patio with tables and chairs; and lakefront views.

The new Lake Delton Waterfront Villas are now taking reservations. Accommodations sleep a certain number of guests and additional nightly charges are required for extra guests. Guests must be at least 21 years or older to make a reservation. For more information, visit the Kalahari Resorts & Conventions website.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

The American Discovery Trail

January 25th, 2015 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

For a cross-country adventure unlike any other, follow the American Discovery Trail. This 6,800-plus-mile trail is the only coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreational trail in the United States and it invites families to bike, hike and horseback ride along its route, which crosses through 15 states.

Map of the American Discovery Trail

Beginning in Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware and ending at Point Reyes National Seashore in California, the American Discovery Trail winds its way through the U.S., linking small towns, farmland, cities, and suburban communities along the way. In all, the trail connects five national scenic trails, 12 national historic trails, 34 national recreational trails, and many other state and regional trails throughout the country. Additionally, 14 national parks and 16 national forests line the trail, as well as more than 10,000 historic sites.

The American Discovery Trail passes through Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Families can stop for an hour to hike the trail, or can spend a few days exploring it and camping under the stars. Pick up specific trail guides, turn-by-turn maps, hiking gear and accessories to help plan your trip, too.

For more information and all your trip essentials, visit the American Discovery Trail website.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz

Celebrate Mardi Gras at WonderWorks in Panama City Beach

January 24th, 2015 by Hilarey Wojtowicz No comments »

The WonderWorks museum building in Panama City Beach, FloridaLooking for a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate Mardi Gras this year? Head to Panama City Beach, Florida, and explore all that the WonderWorks attraction has to offer. In honor of the carnival-themed holiday, WonderWorks Panama City Beach is offering discounted tickets for all guests, now through Feb. 17, 2015.

The Mardi Gras Madness ticket promotion offers $15 general admission tickets for both adults and children, with all of the exhibits and the indoor ropes course included. Additionally, families can purchase Works Combo Tickets at the discounted price of $18 per person, for both adults and children, with the exhibits, indoor ropes course and one game of laser tag included. These discounted prices save families up to $9 per ticket!

WonderWorks is a hands-on museum that challenge the mind and the imagination. Check out the natural disasters exhibit, the light and sound zone, the space discovery area, and more. Lay on a bed of 35,000 nails if you dare, or brave the 84 mph winds in an indoor hurricane simulator.

Visit Panama City Beach on Saturday Feb. 14, and enjoy a trip to WonderWorks with kids before the 2015 Mardi Gras Parade kicks off at 5 p.m. After the parade, fireworks will light up the sky at 8:30 p.m.

For WonderWorks tickets and information, visit WonderWorksOnline.com. For additional Mardi Gras events, check out VisitPanamaCityBeach.com.

– Hilarey Wojtowicz