5 Outdoor Summer Packages for Families

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For families who find themselves locked in separate rooms in their house and on their computers, tablets, gaming consoles and Kindles, consider a summer vacation where you can enjoy the great outdoors together. Lodges and resorts across the country are making it easier to enjoy comfy beds, in-room dining and hotel amenities, while also getting a taste of camping, with activities like hiking, fishing, rafting, riding and gathering around a bonfire. Here are five programs we’re looking forward to trying this summer:

1. The Ranch at Emerald Valley, Colorado
The Broadmoor Hotel opens its new rustic, yet luxurious retreat this August with The Ranch at Emerald Valley. (It will remain open through November and then reopen every May.) Families seeking an adventure-filled treat in the mountains can enjoy this ranch with 10 cabins in the heart of Pike National Forest. The ranch offers all-inclusive rates starting at $435 per person, per night, which includes meals in the Main Lodge, BBQ cookouts and cocktails in the Lodge Bar, and nightly entertainment such as bingo and movies. Daytime activities vary, with guided hikes, fly fishing, canoeing and horseback riding, along with leisure activities like archery, horseshoes, croquet and volleyball.

2. Moonlight Basin Resort, Montana
Moonlight Basin is beginning to offer overnight camping trips for kids, in addition to its evening rides and BBQ dinners. The overnight, guided riding trips will be through Moonlight’s expansive property to an on-property camp, where a cowboy-style supper and S’mores will be served. Guests will sleep in yurt-style tents with beds and area rugs, and the next morning, they will enjoy a fireside breakfast before riding back to the resort. Guests can request fishing rods and gear and other outdoor equipment. Rates start at $250 per person, per night.

3. St. Regis Aspen, Colorado
Family Traditions is a new program offered this summer by St. Regis Aspen. It will feature thrilling, adventure-packed family experiences. One great adventure is the Backcountry Sunset Jeep Dinner, a four-hour, off-road tour to the historic Burlingame Cabin on Snowmass Mountain, complete with a campfire BBQ and singing. Try the Fly Fishing experience, with a private fishing trip to the valley’s trout-filled waters. Families can also experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Colorado, Roaring Fork and Arkansas rivers with float trips to Class V rapids. The experiences are fully customizable through the hotel, which also provides kids’ amenities like the Budding Chef Program and a Children’s Library. Rates vary.

4. Rancho La Puerta, Baja California, Mexico
This summer, from August 3 to 10, the fitness resort and spa, Rancho La Puerta, is offering its second annual Family Week. Camp Kuchumaa is a seven-day family event that includes hiking and bird watching among the Ranch’s 3,000 acres of mountains, forests and meadows, as well as family concerts, photography workshops, art workshops, cooking classes, painting and drawing classes with a Disney Studios animator. Weekly rates are $3,000 per adult and $500 per child, 7 to 17.

5. Sierra Nevada Lodge, Mammoth Lakes, California
Visit the Sierra Nevada Resort this summer for its Bike, Hike and Fish package. Guests will enjoy half-day guided fishing and lake boat rentals; receive passes to the popular hiking spots Red’s Meadow, Devils Postpile and Rainbow Falls; receive a day pass to Mammoth Mountain Bike Park and a bike rental; and get daily power picnics to go. The package is for two nights in a Fireplace Suite or Mountain Chalet (which feature one to three bedrooms) and includes shuttle transportation to the lake, hiking and biking, and breakfast and dinner daily. The package is $399 per night for adults and kids 12 and older, and $59 for children 12 and under.

More from Family Vacation Critic:
10 Best Mountain Resorts for Families
10 Best National Parks for Families

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