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-   -   Weekend Getaway with kids (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/weekend-getaway-with-kids-626748/)

bon100 Jun 27th, 2006 04:24 AM

Weekend Getaway with kids
 
My Connecticut family and I would like to take off for a weekend getaway in August. My son suggested a "mini road-trip." Does anyone have any suggestions on fun destinations? (We would be travelling with 4 kids ages 17-9).

starrsville Jun 27th, 2006 04:28 AM

If your son suggested, I'd hand him a map to generate some ideas. Great "teachable moments". Have him help plan the trip too.

I handed a 10 year old boy the AAA guide for my state and told him to plan a trip a certain portion of the state. It was one of the weirdest "plans" I'd ever seen - but we headed out. We adjusted (added on) as the trip unfolded, but he loved the planning, loved the trip and still talks about it over a decade later. It wasn't the "best planned" trip in the world - but one of the best trips I've ever been on.

bm Jun 27th, 2006 04:29 AM

How 'bout Vermont? You could visit the Billings Farm Museum in Woodstock. Then drive up to the Waterbury/STowe area. Visit the Ben & Jerry's factory, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and take the gondola to the (almost) top of Mount Mansfield. Then drive through Smuggler's Notch - the kids will love it. Then head over to Burlington and visit ECHO Science Museum, Shelburne Farms, and maybe take a boat ride on Lake Champlain.

nina Jun 27th, 2006 05:36 AM

I think you must be able to go swimming with kids in August...my vote is for the beach, the Cape, Block Island, Newport (you could also tour some mansions), the Vineyard or Nantucket.

Lot's to see and do just a short drive away.

bon100 Jun 27th, 2006 06:37 AM

Nina, that would be lovely but many places in Cape & the Islands do not allow for short-term stays in the summer. And its very pricey too. Besides we live in CT,and like most CT folks, we've been there done that many times.

CDJD Jun 27th, 2006 08:31 AM

Does your family enjoy the outdoors? What about heading over to Pennsylvania. We went to the Ohiopyle area (~ 1 hr south of Pittsburgh) for a week last summer and had such a blast that I recommended it to my coworker and his family had an equally fun time. Check out http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/statepar.../ohiopyle.aspx

We went whitewater rafting (you could do the beginner level w/ the kids) on the Youghiogheny River. They also have several waterfalls in the area and a rock formation that created a somewhat natural waterslide in one of the nearby rivers.

We also went caving at the Laurel Cavern (~20 min drive). http://www.laurelcaverns.com/. They have a ton of great stuff that your kids would probably enjoy.

Also with Pittsburgh being so close there would be tons of great things to do in the city if you choose


steviegene Jun 27th, 2006 08:35 AM

Where in CT do you live? and how far do you want to drive?

dfrostnh Jun 27th, 2006 08:41 AM

This really depends on your family's interests. For example, my husband loves antique tractors so we usually attend Old Farming Days at Musterfield Farm in Sutton NH the weekend before Labor Day. It's a beautiful farm and kids can try out old time toys like stilts and rolling hoops. Sutton is near Lake Sunapee. You could also rent canoes or kayaks on a river near Concord NH. Take a boat cruise out of Portsmouth NH; go to Water Country. When our son was that age demolition derbies and enduro races appealed to him. (There's a race track in Epping near Portsmouth NH) Some of the ski areas have mountain biking. Hiking in NH's White Mountains is another idea. Ride the gondola up Cannon Mtn. Visit the Flume, etc. Lots of places have Cruise Nights for cars. Find every homemade ice cream stand in the area. You might check an events listing for each VT, ME, and NH to see if something looks good although we generally stay away from the big, crowded events.

nina Jun 27th, 2006 02:00 PM

Bon I live in CT too, and the few times I've tried to do/see something different, it fell short.

Other than Maine, maybe the Adirondacks, but IMO, Vermont is best in winter and going south within a 5 hour drive there is nothing worth the gas....

lisettemac Jun 27th, 2006 02:25 PM

Cooperstown? Besides the Baseball Hall of Fame, there is a large lake, a farming museum (said to be more interesting than it sounds), an art museum, Ommegang brewery, etc.

Suki Jun 27th, 2006 04:23 PM

Wow, nina, that's a lot of geography to just write off. bon, how about staying on a farm in Lancaster County, PA for a couple of days and then doing Philadelphia for a couple of days? Or perhaps 2 days at the Jersey Shore - somewhere with a boardwalk and then 2 city days. When my girls were young, they thought the boardwalk was better than Disney World!

southbeach Jun 27th, 2006 07:21 PM

I'm also from CT. Some of our favorite getaways: Hershey, PA; Skytop Lodge in the Poconos & Woodloch Pines in PA (all inclusive - lots of things for kids to do); Boston and Lake George, NY. Just went to Martha's Vineyard a few weeks back and had a wonderful time. Visited Boston in April and so much for kids to do. We're off to Maine in two weeks (been there countless times and enjoy it every time). What about Portsmouth, NH? If your kids are like mine, anywhere with a beach or pool is fun for them. Not sure how far you want to go but Montreal is a fun road trip. Many places to stop along the way.

noryglory Jun 27th, 2006 07:29 PM

Starsville--love your idea. Can't wait to try it with my boys when they are a bit older.

starrsville Jun 27th, 2006 07:38 PM

noryglory, we went to obscure military museums I had no idea existed in my state. A couple of them took about 15 minutes to see - but he loved them. He mostly loved the control. We stayed with his plan unless he asked for changes. His mountain location was not "mountain" enough so we cancelled that night's hotel and went further north. The next night we were sleeping at the beach - and that's a looonnnng way in one day in this state! :-)

We took a trip every year and those were good, but this was the cheapest, shortest, closest to home and most strangely planned - but I am sure it was his favorite! :-)

bon100 Jun 28th, 2006 10:10 AM

Wow, thanks for all the great ideas guys. I think Penn.sounds really interesting especially the farm stay and the rafting trip. My boys aould think that was way cool. Does anyone know how long it would take to get from western Ct to Hershey Park? Is it too far for such a short trip?

Suki Jun 28th, 2006 11:56 AM

Check out www.pafarmstay.com It is a good starting point. We've stayed twice on Lancaster County Farms. The kids got to milk cows once and goats once, and also gather eggs in a chicken house. They had a really good time. It's a gteat idea to combine this with a trip to Hershey Park. As a bonus, the farms are usually quite reasonably priced.

bon100 Jun 29th, 2006 04:11 AM

Well the farm stay and Hershey sounds good, but the rafting is out - the waters too high from all the rain. Seriously, I have lived in CT my whole life and only once before have I seen it rain this much in the spring and summer months. Good thing we live on a hill. At least this weekend is supposed to be dry. Hallelujah!

toppy Jun 29th, 2006 04:24 AM

I agree about the PA farm trip including Hershey. Or, if you are like others including myself, who never really get to know their own state, you could let your son research all that CT has to offer, and go from there.
Check out Jodi Rell's "No child left inside" or Diane Smith's "Positively CT".....might be fun to see how many CT sites could be checked off a list. But I would also include waterparks wherever possible, such as Lake Compounce.

BuffaloGirl Jun 29th, 2006 06:07 AM

Niagara Falls!

Although August is crowded and the hotel prices are higher, it would be a really fun to take kids of that age.

You can take a jetboat ride up the lower Niagara River rapids (strongest in the world), ride the Maid of the Mist, etc.

There's a magnificent fort on the American side that dates back to the French and Indian War times (www.oldfortniagara.org). My son is almost 15 and still loves going there. It's extremely interesting, still in it's original condition, has a museum, and great views of Lake Ontario and Toronto. It sits within a state park, which has nice picnic areas with views of the sailboats on the lake and has a few swimming pools, which are very clean and well maintained. It would be a nice way to spend a day...touring the fort in the morning and picnicing and swimming in the afternoon.

Have fun!

bon100 Jun 29th, 2006 06:24 AM

Thank you buffalogirl and Toppy, Niagara sounds neat, and my kids haven't been there yet. Do you think it will be too chilly to swim there this weekend?


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