Are you and the kids sooooo not ready for summer to end? There’s still time for one last hurrah. Kid-friendly resorts around the country are rolling out the red carpet with fun-packed Labor Day weekend specials aimed at families. Here’s a sampling of places where summer’s going out with a bang:
Where: Pine Mountain, Ga.
Why: Because this Labor Day marks the 10th anniversary of the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens. The weekend kicks off on a high note with a beautiful balloon glow over Robin Lake Beach, when rows of tethered balloons will be illuminated. Balloon launches will take place on Saturday and Sunday, when there’s a roster of kid-friendly activities such as face painting, tethered balloon rides, mini golf, sand castle-building, arts and crafts, and live music. The “Back to School” package starts at $99 a night for a room at the inn (count on $190 for a one-bedroom cottage), and includes admission to Callaway’s famous gardens. Admission to the balloon festival costs $13 per adult and $6.50 per child 6 to 12.
Where: Seven Springs, Pa.
Why: Because this ski resort in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands gives you unlimited access to a ton of summer adventure activities. Ride the alpine slide, go bowling, play mini golf, go for a hayride, rent paddleboats, climb a rock wall, and more. Afternoon picnics will feature water balloons, crafts, and picnic games, while sundown signals marshmallow roasts and fireworks displays. The three-night “Sensational Labor Day Weekend Package” starts at $199 per adult and includes all-day activity wristbands for each day of your stay, daily breakfast, one pizza and pasta buffet dinner, and use of indoor and outdoor pools. Up to two kids 12 and under stay and play for free!
Where: South Casco, Maine
Why: Because this family camp-style resort (see ), located on one of Maine’s most pristine lakes, delivers a whirlwind of activities, ranging from flag football and kayaking to social games (cue “family double dare”) and hayrides. Kids can get time with peers at Chippy’s Playhouse, while teens get their own hangout with video and table games. Book the Labor Day weekend package and you can rent a park home for three nights at a rate of $295-$315 per adult. Two children 11 and under cost $30 each; additional children each cost $50 extra. Older children 12 to 17 cost $90 each. The package includes unlimited non-motorized boat rentals, eight buffet meals including one lobster dinner, myriad free entertainment and activities, discounted greens fees, plus a one-hour Point Sebago Princess cruise.
Where: Olympic Valley, Calif.
Why: Because this Lake Tahoe resort provides the perfect setting for active families who love the outdoors. Along with traditional mountain adventures like hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and mountain biking, you’ll find multiple pools and a 120-foot waterslide. Kids 4 to 12 can attend the Mountain Buddies program for arts and crafts, games, and more. The “Labor of Love” package is available August 27 to September 2, 2008, with rates starting at $229 a night. There is a two night minimum. Also included: daily breakfast for four, free parking, and discounted greens fees.
Where: Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.
Why: Because this resort has scheduled non-stop fun family activities for the entire three-day weekend. Expect hula hoop contests, family piggy-back races, bingo, body art tattooing, mini-golf tournaments, water-balloon tosses, and nightly “dive-in” movies at the outdoor pool. Three-night Labor Day packages start at just $112 a night — that’s 25 percent off regular rates.
Where: Galena, Ill.
Why: Because the Labor Day weekend line-up features build-a-buddy workshops, family crafts, Guitar Hero contests, kayaking on Lake Galena, family campfires with s’mores, horseback riding, and more. Camp Eagle is available for kids when mom and dad want to check out the spa or award-winning golf. Book two nights over the Labor Day weekend and your third night is free.
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