Think footprints in the sand is just an allegory? Think again. At family church camps, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had, whether it’s on the beach, at a Wild West-style retreat or listening to a Christian music concert fit for the entire brood. Your spiritual getaway can even be year-round, with special accommodations to celebrate Christmas and other religious holidays.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Camp Kanuga family weeks are all-inclusive and not just limited to summer break. Three types of accommodations — historic cottages with wood-burning fireplaces and bathrooms, the Lake Inn with double-bed rooms and private bathrooms and the guest houses with four bedrooms and four baths — offer different spaces for families of all sizes to sit on the front porch rockers and admire the view of 1,400 acres with the 30-acre lake at its center. Activities include a beach, hiking trails, yoga and Zumba classes, three playgrounds, a library and more. Youth programs like rock climbing and tending the organic garden give parents “me” time in a safe Christian (primarily Episcopalian) environment. Thanksgiving and Christmas programs include worship services and gift collection for the less fortunate.
All-inclusive and “value-priced,” GLM prides itself on the good values of its camp counselors, recruited as college-student churchgoers. During the day, kids from newborns to high school seniors spend up to five hours with counselors so parents get some time as a couple, and everyone can reconvene for swimming on the lake, sports like volleyball and basketball or in the game or craft rooms. Your brood can stay in condos, lodges or cottages in the resort setting in Southwest Michigan.
Take a step back in time at Fort Rock Christian Family Camp and Christian Retreat Center, where owners Terry and Roxanne Forsyth re-created an 1800s fort and Old West town with a spiritual focus. Burrowed in the Ozark National Forest in Northwest Arkansas, you can ATV through the wilderness, canoe and kayak, learn to toss a tomahawk, horseback ride, try your hand at a bow and arrow and more, unless you want to just chill out and have a family photo taken in “jail” or hang out at the Trading Post. Each Sunday concludes with a Sunday chapel service. Your inner cowboy will be happy for accommodations a little less rustic than back in the day, with air conditioning, a large bed and one or two sets of bunk beds.
The Berkshires is renowned for its farm-to-table cuisine, so the food at Hume is as top-notch as the views of the mountains in Western Massachusetts. With Christian bands, speakers, verse school and memorization classes, there’s as much to do inside as out thanks to the mechanical bull, lawn games and more. There’s also an outpost on the Left Coast in California.
Magruder calls itself a “little slice of heaven,” and watching the sun set in the wilderness of Oregon, it’s easy to see why. Family weeks help church, school and community organizations bond and leave their footprints in the sand at this United Methodist camp with giant swings, team bonding challenges, boating and wave jumping.
Sandy Cove offers up many different kinds of retreats, from women’s to couples and fitness to families, but the one thing they all have in common: stunning views of the sunset on Chesapeake Bay. Family weeks include three meals a day in hotel accommodations with outdoor activities, Bible talks and speakers with weekly themes. There’s even a special session for families who home-school their kids.
Only the bravest of family travelers should venture to Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights. Every year, Universal Orlando turns into the spookiest place in Florida, if not in the country. On select nights throughout the season, visitors and locals alike can head to the popular amusement park for frights, scares and thrilling adventures. Explore 10 terrifying haunted houses; five scare zones; live entertainment; and themed attractions, food and merchandise.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
With kids back in school and the grueling temperatures of summer finally behind us, life is starting to get back into the routine of fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that family fun has to stop. Big international trips may not be practical for all family travelers this time of year, but places like South County in Rhode Island offer so many fun things to do for families, a quick trip to this East Coast haven is practically a must.
Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition
Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …