Families who love being fully wrapped up in new surroundings can put a fun spin on exploring by choosing a hotel that offers the opportunity to participate in a self-guided scavenger or treasure hunt. Along the way, discover fun details about your destination that you might have otherwise missed.
Guests checking into the lovely boutique Restoration Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, are presented with a deck of cards leading to great spots around the city, along with an invitation to share their #CharlestonChallenge finds via social media. The cards lead intrepid explorers to the city’s best venues to sample local menu favorites, instructions for trying unique experiences and the inside scoop on city attractions. Challenge suggestions even include silly options such as a visit to the famous, colorful Georgian houses that make up Rainbow Row, where cardholders pretend to be residents and ask tourists to stop taking photos of their homes. Recommended follow-up activities include a courtyard lunch at nearby Blind Tiger Pub.
Little guests at the Legoland Castle Hotel in California are treated to a welcome treasure hunt. Clues scattered throughout the hotel lead to a combination that can be used to spring open a treasure chest located in their guestroom, complete with a surprise gift waiting inside.
On Captiva Island in Florida, the South Seas Island Resort provides guests with a roster of themed scavenger hunt options. Choices include Treasure Hunts that follow a map left behind by pirate Jose Gaspar; Nature Hunts that require searching the resort’s expansive grounds to find as many items as possible within a set time limit; Photo Hunts to photograph a list of specific items; and the adventurous Captiva Quest, where teams are tasked with puzzle-solving and rising to a set of challenges in order to reach the finish line.
Treasure and scavenger hunts are even available abroad. What could be more magnificent than a hunt in the center of Rome? The Hotel Colosseum offers a choice of three, geared toward small groups, families with children or couples on a romantic Roman getaway. Each is fully autonomous, and guests are asked to notify the hotel prior to their arrival as to their preference. Couples are presented with a box that contains cards with clues, ice cream vouchers, a map of the city center, a pen, souvenirs and several quizzes and photographic challenges. Families with children also receive a box with all of the above (scaled down in difficulty for kids), plus small gadgets appropriate to children. Groups of friends traveling together likewise receive a treasure hunt box with clues leading to statues, fountains, churches and monuments.
Are your kids astronaut wannabes? Or maybe a holiday tradition in your family is to re-watch Macauley Culkin’s Home Alone every year. Either way, the brand new, dual-branded 342-room Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown South Loop and the historic 1928 Whitehall Hotel have packages designed for the little ones in your family.
The Grinch reimaged in intricate ice carvings, superfast indoor snow tubing and a Ferris wheel ride with Santa high above the D.C. area. Sound like fun? You and your family can experience all this and lots more this holiday season at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
Traveling the countryside without adding miles to your car may sound like a riddle, but it’s really just a clever family travel plan offering the best of both worlds. Enjoy quality time with the family and view rolling scenery without having eyes on the road with train travel.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Not a fan of giant cruise ships? This might be the year to put Celestyal Cruises on your radar, especially if your dream family destinations are the Greek Islands, the eastern Mediterranean and, new for next year, the Adriatic.