Top Ten Getaways for Tiny Travelers

Top Country Resorts
By Fran Falkin
Ranch in Vermont
Ranch in Vermont (Comstock)

The Tyler Place on Lake Champlain
Highgate Springs, Vermont

In a woodsy, 165-acre lakeside setting that typifies green Vermont, one of America's original family camps hosts repeat visitors who love its modern lodge or private cottages with fireplaces and kitchenettes. Unlimited canoeing, hiking, biking, windsurfing, watersports, and access to nearby golf and tennis is available. You can also participate in aerobic and yoga instruction, art and cooking classes, and enjoy hearty, freshly-prepared meals. Plus, a superb, cheerful childcare staff make a romantic dinner not only thinkable, but positively doable! The Tyler Place has room for newborns through teens, and everything except personalized infant care is included in their reasonable (but complex) pricing system.

From late May through mid-June, and in early September, your child can attend the morning infant or toddler program and spend the evenings with his/her own parent's helper while you enjoy a candlelit dinner in the main inn. In the busy mid-June to early September season, parents must hire an individual parent's helper on a daily basis either for one-on-one care or to accompany your under 2 1/2-year-olds to their age-appropriate developmental playroom ($30 per week) or program($18/day). Special amenities include a wide array of toys, stimulating play, rental bikes with baby seats, a petting zoo, buggy rides, and indoor and outdoor wading pools. Parent's helpers are paid by the hour with a range of $3.50 for high school students to $6.50 for"more mature women." All helpers are personally selected by the Tyler family and trained in basic first aid, child development, and safety procedures, and most are Infant and Child CPR-certified. An unusually wide variety of complimentary sports and educational and cultural programs are also available for children 2 1/2 to 16 years old.

Depending on dates and accommodations, rates range from approximately $250-$550/day for a family of four. Open summer only.

Smuggler's Notch
Smuggler's Notch, Vermont
(800)451-8752 (US and Canada) or 0/800/89-7159 (United Kingdom)

A well-known, lively, but often very crowded ski resort in the late fall and winter, this beautiful mountainous property becomes a green country getaway between June and October. Families like the self-catered condos, age-appropriate camp activities for 5- to 12-year-olds, swimming, riding, tennis, hiking, and the variety of scenic daytrips available.

Infants from 6 weeks and toddlers under 3 can participate in fully supervised indoor and outdoor activities offered specific times of the year at "Alice's Wonderland," their early childcare center. Its professionally trained, state-certified staff can accommodate up to 100 6-week-olds to 3-year-olds (still in diapers). It provides full daycare, with some group activities, arts and crafts, and story time, plus evening care so Mom and Dad can act like adults. Located near the town square at the heart of the resort, it generally costs $49/day. Children's outdoor recreation programs for 3- to 17-year-olds (included in the package price) are available from June through Labor Day. In winter (December-March) there are ski programs for 3 years and older (for a fee).

This resort guarantees that children will enjoy their program or your money will be refunded! Depending on dates, their reasonable rates (include lodging, all activities, and children's programs) range from $1,200 for a studio (4 people) to $2,900 for a five-bedroom unit (up to 10 people) for 7 nights.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 6 Feb 2013
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Highgate Springs


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