Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Outdoor holiday with

"Your undivided time and attention is the best gift you can give your grandchildren," says Arthur Kornhaber expert grandfathering, MD ( "The Grandparent Guide: A Guide to Coping with the Challenges of Modern Grandparenting "). This is perhaps one of the main reasons are the grandparents and grandchildren traveling together more and more these days. Away from parents, family members, neighbours and friends, we have a good chance to get to know each other, to share experiences (good, bad, and funny), and make memories that belong only to us. It does not matter as much 'where we go as long as we go together. It is the face-to-face time that makes any trip a success.
Head of the Great Outdoors

Decide on a suitable destination is the first step in planning a vacation. Today, the possibilities are endless, varied, and often exotic. Ultimately, however, the age of our grandchildren, their interests and ours, our budget, and everybody overall stamina will whittle the choices to what is good for us.

One thing we all know about the needs and all grandparents grandchildren enjoys is physical activity. Probably none of us, young or old, get enough. In this context, one of the best bets for the success of Grandparents / Grandchildren is a vacation outdoors vacation. We do not have to climb a mountain, downhill skiing an expert, or even in a tent camp to have a great adventure. The quiet of a wilderness area, the benefits of healthy exercise, and the excitement of finding an animal in its natural habitat can be as much fun as any amusement park ride or expensive hotel pool. Here are some suggestions for a pleasant holiday in the open air.
Our national parks

The national park system is one of our greatest treasures of the country, one worth sharing with grandchildren. Parks are spread throughout the country, from Maine to California, from Alaska to Hawaii. In addition to parks, there are national battlefields, cemeteries, historic sites, recreation areas, rivers and landscapes parkways. Small urban sites to spectacular natural landscapes, spread over thousands of acres, there is literally something for everyone. For those of us who would rather rough in a cabin instead of a tent, many of the largest parks offer rustic lodging, room and restaurant.

One of the best parts of visiting a national park with grandchildren is the variety of educational programs offered by park rangers, several of which are designed specifically for kids. There are hiking, nature stories, flashlight walks and other activities that help to build an appreciation of history, nature and wildlife. In addition to the ranger talks, the large parks such as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, private offer activities such as mule trips, cowboy breakfasts, and rafting.

The national parks are also possibilities to link the events of your holidays with your grandchildren are studying at school. Is it dinosaurs, endangered species, volcanoes, the Civil War, the Revolutionary War? Simply go on the Web site of Park Service, enter a topic, and receive a list of all the parks in relation to this matter. And remember, at any national park, first to check in the centre and ask questions about the Junior Ranger program. It's a great way for the grandchildren to learn about a particular park rangers and earn juniors patch-a souvenir to bring home.

Grandparents who prefer a more structured approach to outdoor vacation with grandchildren should consider Elderhostel. Better known for providing learning adventures here and abroad for adults over 55, Elderhostel offers a number of programs designed specifically for grandparents and grandchildren. Programs range from mountain adventures in North Carolina to the seaside on the adventures of Prince Edward Island. Elderhostel trips are reasonably priced, as compared to those offered by private companies.

A major advantage of a trip intergenerational Elderhostel is that someone else does all the planning daily activities, meals and entertainment. Best of all, grandchildren have other children to play with, and grandparents need to talk with their peers.
Great Camp Sagamore in New York

Great Camp in New York's Adirondack Mountains was originally a program of Dr. Kornhaber's Foundation for Grandparenting. Now Sagamore managed by the Foundation in cooperation with Elderhostel, the camp offers programs for grandparents and grandchildren 6-14 years. Activities include swimming, hiking, outdoor arts and crafts, music, campfires, and square dancing. A "mini-club" in the afternoon, grandparents gives us a chance to rest and relax. There are also programmes specifically for grandmothers and their granddaughters 6-14 years. These programs use music, traditional crafts of women and outdoor activities to show how traditions are passed from one generation to the next.
Sierra Club

The Sierra Club offers a number of holiday outdoors for grandparents and grandchildren, including a trip to Clear Tappan Lodge in Tahoe National Forest and rafting in Utah's Dinosaur National Park. As Elderhostel, the trips are reasonably priced. The Sierra Club site gives a detailed description of each course of the route. The tours fill up quickly, so advance planning is a necessity.

The University of New Hampshire offers FamilyHostel learning vacations for parents, grandparents and children. FamilyHostel many programs include trips abroad, but some of the outdoor vacation are also available. For example, choose a week of cowboys, wildlife and Native American cultures in Oklahoma or follow part of Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Northwest. The programs are designed for school-age children, and the prices are reasonable, considering all accommodation, meals, activities and excursions are included in the cost.
AARP Resources

AARP Members services and discounts
Information on airlines, hotels and lodging, cruises, car rental companies, vacation, and tours that offer discounts to members of AARP

Traveling with grandchildren
Fun travel tips for planning trips with the grandparents to their grandchildren

Find these books online at Barnes & Noble.com:

"National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States, Fourth Edition," National Geographic, Elizabeth Newhouse, and Caroline Hickey, publisher, National Geographic Society, January 2003. Definitive guide to organize a trip to one of 55 national parks in the United States. Includes information on the major landmarks, fauna, accommodation, activities and excursions.

"Go Outside! Over 130 Activities for outdoor activities," Nancy Blakey, Ten Speed Press, April 2002. Some ideas for projects and outdoor activities throughout the year, including step-by-step photos and detailed.

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