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10 Kid-Friendly Inns To Visit

Posted: 08/24/2012 7:00 am

Family vacations and weekend getaways are perfect opportunities to reconnect and recharge. Make it fun for everyone by choosing a kid-friendly inn where adults and children can have a great time together, as well as apart. These bed and breakfasts, country inns and lakeside resorts feature age-specific activities and supervised babysitting that welcome stress-free participation from parents, children and grandchildren.

Whether you want one last hurrah this summer or you're looking for a location for the next multi-generational family reunion this winter, make it an adventure that will be fondly remembered forever.

Young'uns can learn to rodeo at the all-inclusive Flathead Lake Lodge and Dude Ranch in Bigfork, Montana. For the less adventuresome, rides on the old merry-go-round at Big Grove Country Inn Bed and Breakfast in Oakland, Iowa are among inviting activities available for all ages.

Relax and savor a quiet breakfast while the children are safely occupied feeding the fish at Arbor House in Madison, Wisconsin. Listen to an outdoor concert at Bishop-Brighton Bed and Breakfast in Wyandotte, Michigan, with the kids never out of sight, climbing the playscape.

Bring the whole family to Haus Rohrbach Pension in Leavenworth, Washington, for a rowdy reunion. Take advantage of the economical Family Value Vacation Package at Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior in Lutsen, Minnesota.

A variety of recreational activities are enjoyed in scenic New York state. Fish from the dock and swim with the loons at Birchwood Cottages in Chestertown; or bike along the Hudson Valley River Trails at The Red Hook Country Inn in Red Hook.

Work, school, sports and other commitments often dictate when schedules can be arranged for a family vacation. Stay at an all-season resort to best fit the needs of everyone in your family. Enjoy scenic summers and a winter wonderland at Dawson House Lodge in Chemult, Oregon. You can even bring your pets to explore the camp-themed comfort at Strawberry Creek Bunkhouse in Idyllwild, California.

A quick getaway or relaxing vacation at any one of these fun family escapes will provide lasting memories that your kids will be telling their own children someday.

--Julie Dietzel-Glair, Shirley Anitra Swagerty

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  • Flathead Lake Lodge and Dude Ranch

    Children love cowboys so bring them to <a href="" target="_hplink">Flathead Lake Lodge and Dude Ranch</a> in Bigfork, Montana. Leave your worries behind with an all-inclusive package that features activities galore, a full horse and water program, and family-style Western cuisine. The executive chef prepares a kid-friendly dinner every night. Go horseback riding or mountain biking. Take sailing, fly fishing, or cooking lessons. Compete in a canoe race or kids rodeo. Play laser tag, volleyball, or tennis. Parents can enjoy a relaxing massage at the Ranch Spa while the kids are in childcare, spending the night in teepees, or participating in teen-only events.

  • Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior

    Enjoy year-round activities at <a href="" target="_hplink">Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior</a> in Minnesota. Take advantage of the Family Value Vacation Package starting at $190/night. Participate in free activities, enjoy breakfast each morning, dine in the lakeside dining room one evening, and bring kids 12 and under for free. Kayak, swim, or hike. Roast marshmallows while telling family stories around the campfire. Make crafts, try snowshoeing, or take a shuttle to Ski Hill. Young children will love the playground. Parents can take a night off and enjoy a quiet meal while the kids eat pizza and watch a movie.

  • Arbor House

    Receive special family attention by staying at the <a href="" target="_hplink">Arbor House</a> in Madison, Wisconsin. Parents are offered a bottle of wine and babysitting services upon arrival. Enjoy a peaceful gourmet breakfast while the kids help the inn staff feed the fish in the pond. The owners have four children and they strive to provide a vacation for both the parents and children. Choose a book or movie from the library in the sitting room. Borrow a mountain bike and helmet from the courtyard. Cross the street to visit the 1280-acre UW Arboretum. Rent a canoe, kayak, rowboat, paddleboat, or stand up paddleboard from Wingra Boats.

  • Birchwood Cottages

    Rent a cabin for the whole family at <a href="" target="_hplink">Birchwood Cottages</a> in Chestertown, New York. Please picky eaters with snacks and home-cooked meals from private cooking facilities in each cabin. Swim in Loon Lake or fish off the docks. Play basketball, volleyball, and horseshoes. Have a friendly ping pong tournament in the recreation room on rainy days. Sit around the fire pit roasting marshmallows in the evening. This inn is close to bike and hiking trails, river rafting, and horseback riding. Take a thrill-seekers day trip to The Great Escape amusement park. During quiet times watch the graceful loons diving in the lake.

  • Strawberry Creek Bunkhouse

    Families and their pets can go camping with all the comforts of home at <a href="" target="_hplink">Strawberry Creek Bunkhouse</a> in Idyllwild, California. Every camping-themed room and cabin has cooking facilities and a private balcony with a forest view. Breakfast includes a basket of homemade treats delivered to your room every morning. Visit the village center to paint pottery at Earth and Fire or see a family-friendly movie at The Rustic Theatre. Bring four-legged friends on a scenic hike at the Idyllwild Nature Center. Like the Bunkhouse on Facebook to have all charges for children and pets waived.

  • Big Grove Country Inn Bed and Breakfast

    Play in a one-room school house on five acres at <a href="" target="_hplink">Big Grove Country Inn Bed and Breakfast</a> in Oakland, Iowa. The school was built in 1878 and has been fully restored to include wooden desks, a cast iron pot belly stove, and a tower bell. This unique inn has log cabin and Victorian-era guest rooms. Enjoy pancakes, omelets, and muffins at the onsite restaurant. Children can play tag or hide-and-seek on the spacious grounds. An obstacle course is coming soon. Take careful aim in archery, play tetherball, or ride the old merry-go-round. Play cards or family games in the rustic lodge sitting room.

  • Bishop-Brighton Bed and Breakfast

    Walk half a block to the park from <a href="" target="_hplink">Bishop-Brighton Bed and Breakfast</a> in Wyandotte, Michigan. The Bishop Park boardwalk is the perfect place to go fishing or watch the freighters on the Detroit River. Children can climb and slide on the playscape while parents listen to a summertime outdoor concert. There are toys for kids, air beds for additional guests, and a child-friendly breakfast. River cruises, canoeing, and kayaking are all close to the inn. Take a short drive to downtown Detroit to watch the Lions, Tigers, or Red Wings play. Visit the Ford Motor Headquarters or the International Auto Show.

  • Haus Rohrbach Pension

    Host a family reunion at <a href="" target="_hplink">Haus Rohrbach Pension</a> in Leavenworth, Washington. Special group rates and event planning are available. The owners have two children and understand how to create a family-friendly atmosphere. Reserve a valley-view family suite and enjoy a full breakfast including sourdough pancakes and cinnamon rolls. Swim in the pool during the summer or star-gaze from the spa anytime of year. Bring a picnic lunch and hike the five-mile forest service road up Tumwater Mountain for stunning views of the valley. Speed down a 100-foot hill on a snow tube or float the Yakima River in an inner tube.

  • The Red Hook Country Inn

    Numerous family recreation activities are convenient to <a href="" target="_hplink">The Red Hook Country Inn</a> in Red Hook, New York. Relax in the "Cadillac" of hot tubs or sit on the hammock. Swim, fish, or rent a paddleboat or rowboat at nearby Wilcox Park. Explore and learn at the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum. Learn how to ride a horse at Southlands. Rent a bike and ride along the Hudson Valley River Trails. Go skiing, snow tubing, or sledding. Breakfast is a special treat at this inn; the chef has worked for notable individuals including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and is skilled in kosher and vegetarian options.

  • Dawson House Lodge

    Escape to this family-friendly inn for a reunion at the <a href="" target="_hplink">Dawson House Lodge</a> in Chemult, Oregon. The five original guest rooms are fully air conditioned and have a handy refrigerator and microwave for making snacks kids will love. Hike the trails at Crater Lake National Park to explore stunning cliffs and a deep, pure lake. Experience the thrill and chill of winter by cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling at Walt Haring Sno-Park. Visit in January to watch the annual sled dog races. Fishing, boating, and bird watching are also nearby. Enjoy a soothing cup of tea or hot chocolate from the lobby while sharing stories of the day.