Family Vacations, Summer
May 16-June 12
At the eighth annual monthlong festival honoring Maine’s favorite four-legged celebrity, there’s something for everyone: moose safaris, a seven-mile canoe and kayak race, a rowing regatta on Moosehead Lake, a fly-casting competition, and Tour de Moose mountain-bike races for all ages. The festival wraps up with a Family Fun Day on June 12 that includes Mooseantics
games and contests for kids, Moose tales, and a Moosecapade Parade featuring Bruce the Moose. Each event is $15 or less (and many events are free). Call 207-695-2702.
Oinklawn Downs Pig Races
Cape Fair, Missouri
Each June, hog lovers converge here to cheer on their favorite porkers as they race around a minitrack in pursuit of the ultimate pig prize: Oreos. Sponsor your favorite oinker and you’ll receive a prize if, at the end of the day, your pig beats out all the others to be named the fastest swine in town. Call 417-538-2222 for additional information.
World Pillow-Fighting Championship
This is no goofy, jumpin’-on-the-bed pillow fight. In this annual championship event, held each Fourth of July in Kenwood’s Plaza Park, participants age 14 and up pillow-fight while balancing on a wet aluminum pole suspended above a muddy creek that’s been dammed especially for the event. About 150 people fight for the title each year ($10 per person to compete);
call 707-833-2440 for information.
Granite Kid Triathlon
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
If your kid aspires to be the top-ranked Ironman of the twenty-first century, you’d better start him out early — say, age three or so. Yep, that’s the age of the youngest competitor in the Granite Kid Triathlon, where kids three through 16 swim off Brewster Beach, bike a 1.2-mile loop, and run four-fifths of a mile in a miniversion of the popular Granite Man
race. Winners are announced in various age categories. Registration costs $12 per person; call 603-569-5639 for details.
Annual Wacky Watermelon Weekend Festival
Nags Head, North Carolina
The entire family can compete in all kinds of watermelon-themed events, from watermelon bowling and watermelon-eating contests to watermelon-carving and greased-watermelon wrestling. Kids won’t want to miss the Kamikaze Watermelon Drop, where they get to hurl juicy watermelons from a 50-foot tower and watch them smash on the ground below. Call 800-948-0759 for more
Nick Rott Memorial Bike Fest
Parker Ranch, Big Island, Hawaii
Mountain bikers of all ages and abilities will have a blast at this weekend-long festival held at 200,000-plus-acre Parker Ranch on Hawaii’s Big Island. Aside from special kids’ races, there are also road-cycling and cross-country mountain-bike races, a bike rodeo, barrel races, and bicycle polo. Yeehaw! Events cost $25 and under (and many events are free). Call
Fall Creek Grape Stomp
August 21 and 28
Fall Creek Vineyards, Llano County, Texas
Kids and parents get to hoot and holler as they stomp around in giant vats, squishing red grapes between their toes à la Lucy Ricardo, at this Texas Hill Country vineyard on the shores of Lake Buchanan, 80 miles northwest of Austin. The event is free for all ages. Call 512-476-4477 for details.
Annual Rubber Duck Races
At this annual race down the Blue River, kids and their parents can cheer on Ernie’s best pal (aside from Bert, of course): the rubber ducky. Last year, nearly 6,000 ducks were launched for the half-mile float down the river. The event benefits the Summit Foundation; a $5 donation is encouraged. For more information, call 970-453-5970.
Copyright 1999, Outside magazine