Family vacations for high-energy boys

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 26-March 4, 1998
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Family vacations for high-energy boys
Question: I'm a divorced father of three active young boys ages 6, 8, and 10. I need to find a nice, open place with plenty of diversions for a week's vacation in mid-April. Someplace where a little "rambunctiousness" would be tolerated. I'm on a pretty tight budget and something a little rustic would be just fine, however, tent camping is going too far. Please help, thanks.

Dirk Creighton
Pleasonton, CA

Energetic kids will love to spend
a day or two riding the waves

Adventure Adviser: If your kids have a lot of energy, you may want to consider taking an activity-based trip such as a cycling, canoeing, or hiking trip.

That way, your kids will have plenty of structured activities during the day and they'll be too tired to raise havoc at night. It's obviously much less expensive to plan and execute this kind of trip on your own, but if you feel overwhelmed by that prospect, many outfitters offer tours for families, with per-person prices including meals, accommodations and some activities.

Check out our Active Travel Directory for descriptions of outfitters and contact numbers. If you have some flexibility with the date, Backroads offers a Canadian Rockies bike tour for families that will cost you $2,552. It includes all meals, all accommodations, and a raft trip on the Athabasca River. Trips run through the summer. With the 13- to 31-mile daily rides, your kids will be asleep by 7 p.m. every night, leaving time for you to relax. For more information call Backroads at 800-GO-ACTIVE.

Another great option for high-energy kids is, believe it or not, Club Med. Now offering six Family Villages, Club Med has special events for single parents that include parent get-togethers, as well as sign-up boards that will match you up with a sports partner. Your kids will be busy putting together a routine for the weekly circus show, snorkeling, learning how to play tennis, or just hanging out with their newfound buddies.

The Family Villages are located in Eleuthera, Bahamas, Ixtapa and Huatulco, Mexico — the least expensive being Huatalco which starts at $595 per adult. During some weeks, kids age 2 to 5 stay free and kids age 12 to 17 pay reduced rates. Call 800-258-2633 for more details.

Last but not least, you may want to consider sending your kids to school — surf school. Club Ed Surf School and Camps in Santa Cruz, California, offers a seven-day school including food and accommodations for $750 per person. The minimum age is 6 — perfect. Call 800-287-7873 for details.

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