Here’s an idea a little different for you for spring break (my posting this does not in any way guarantee there is room at these places for spring break!): take the family to a dude ranch.
Almost all kids love being around horses and farm animals of all kinds, so spending the week, or even just a few days, at a ranch will be a vacation filled with memories that will last. There are many dude ranches in operation; here are just a few that have been rated very well:
Rancho de los Caballeros – Wickenburg, Arizona
The dude ranch experience isn’t all about riding horses. At the Rancho de los Caballeros on the Sonoro Desert, there is swimming and tennis, evening entertainment, jeep and ATV tours, and so much more. A brief breakdown of activities by age group:
- Adults: riding for all experience levels, penning, trap and skeet shooting available for those 12 and up, golfing, use of the spa, fine dining (which can be done without the kids)
- Kids: trail rides for those 8 and up with a modified activity for younger riders, swimming, tennis lessons, scavengers hunts, crafts, games and marshmallow roasts. (Babysitting can be available for children too young to participate.)
Different packages and suite-types are available.
Majestic Dude Ranch – Mancos, Colorado
Located in the Rocky Mountains, this dude ranch not only gives you the typical ranch experience, but adds on activities such as whitewater rafting, fly-fishing, mountain hiking and rodeos surrounded with mountain scenery.
For the kids, there are different programs available according to age, with activities such as gold panning, hay rides, horseback riding, ping pong, sports, archery, kayaking, swimming and a petting zoo. Babysitting is available for children 3 and under.
Rancho las Cascadas – Mexican Highlands (near Mexico City), Mexico
Going to a ranch in Mexico would give the family something different than just the beach experience there! You can still get the cultural tours and an authentic Mexican experience that help you get to know the history of the area, on top of the horseback riding, but there are other activities like yoga sessions, zip lining, bird watching, walks along waterfalls, excursions to the butterfly sanctuary and more.
This one does not have the kids’ programs the ones above have, but their goal is to include the kids all the time and to truly make it a family experience. Children who are too young to be on a horse by themselves can be on a special saddle with a wrangler. Kids get to see how the horses are cared for and even get to help feed and brush them. At the moment, they also state on their website that kids 14 and under are 50% off.
If the idea of taking the kids to a dude ranch interests you, but you’d like to know more about what’s available, check out some of the books available on Amazon.com: