Ski mountains aren’t just for winter. Most larger ski resorts repositioned themselves as year-round recreation areas, taking advantage of the base facilities, ski lifts and mountain terrain for thrill rides and activities for all ages. Gravity-assisted activities — mountain coasters, zip lines and even tubing packs — use the steep slopes, canopy tours take advantage of the forested hillsides and a variety of activities keep kids and parents entertained.
Leading the way seven years ago with the opening of an entire Mountain Adventure Park, Cranmore Mountain in North Conway now offers more than a dozen summer activities. The Cranmore Mountain Coaster, also open in the winter, is a 2,390-foot-long-ride on what can best be described as a one-person rollercoaster that screams down the mountainside at speeds as high as 25 mph — that is, if you let it go that fast. Each cart has brakes that allow control of speed and the cart itself is securely held on the track.
There are mid-air thrills on the Aerial Adventure Course, a three-hour program that includes a rope course, zip lines and air bridges. The adventures are set up in five levels, differing in elevation, skill level and the amount of physical strength required. They all involve combinations of rope bridges, ladders, cargo nets and zip lines; everyone is securely attached to a guide line at all times. All courses are self-guided, so each person can set the speed they are comfortable with. A special 90-minute rope course is designed for kids ages 3–8.
Cranmore’s Adventure Park also includes a Giant Swing, summer tubing, a climbing wall, Bungee Trampoline, Bouncy Houses and Spyder Mountain — an eight-level climbing cylinder with a giant slide from its top. The Soaring Eagle zip line has seats, especially designed for kids. The whole family can ride the Summit Chairlift to get views of the White Mountains and to hike on upper trails. All-inclusive tickets for all activities at the Adventure Park (with the exception of the Aerial Adventure Course) begin at $32 per person and are good for the entire day.
Two other major players in the summer games are Bretton Woods and Attitash, both north of Cranmore Mountain. The Bretton Woods Adventure Center, at the foot of Mt Washington, offers two climbing walls, scenic lift rides (there’s a restaurant at the top), archery, disc golf and tubing in the river, all included in a $29 day pass. A canopy tour, mountain biking and unlimited access to the kids’ Go Kart park are ticketed separately. The three-hour guided canopy tour is filled with thrills as it soars across the treetops on nine zip lines, one as long as 830 feet and as high as 165 feet from the ground. The course includes two sky bridges, three rappels, 16 tree platforms (one 70 feet high) and 30 mph zip speeds during the 1,000-foot descent.
Nearby Attitash, in Bartlett, is known for its mountain waterslides, always a hit with kids, as well as an airbag jump, bungee trampoline, climbing wall, scenic chairlift rides and mountain biking. Three different routes of the single-rider Aquaboggan slides feature hairpin turns and underground tunnels before kids splash into the landing pools. The Sidewinder water slides are for as many as three riders on the same raft.
The newest addition at Attitash is the longest single span zip line east of the Rockies. The Flying Bear Zip runs from the summit of Bear Peak over the valley toward Attitash Mountain, a distance of 4,969 feet at heights reaching 250 feet above the valley. Top speeds (riders can control the speed) can be as high as 65 mph. The one- to two-hour adventure costs $75 for ages 10 and over. Two side-by-side lines allow parents to ride beside children.
Can joining Disney Vacation Club help you save on family travel? Well, David’s Vacation Club Rentals, a source for Disney Vacation Club rentals, can provide some insight. Disney travel experts like Melissa Mullett, director of operations, David’s Vacation Club Rentals, provided some tips and insider knowledge on how Disney Vacation Club works.
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.
Does your road trip crew include young kids? We’ve been there, too, and know keeping everyone busy and entertained makes those long stretches of interstate much more peaceful.
In the market for new luggage? If you’re outfitting your entire family of travelers, you may want to check out some new offerings available at Target from travel brand Atlantic. Atlantic’s new line focuses on making travel more convenient with kiddos, and includes seven pieces to choose from, all made with durable, lightweight, sustainable materials (each item is made from up to 27 recycled plastic bottles).
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.
Norwegian recently launched the newest addition to its fleet, Viva, with a spectacular debut earlier this month. The ship, launched from Trieste, Italy, and finishing its inaugural run in Lisbon, Portugal, is the second in its Prima Class of ships, set to give family travelers the ultimate vacation experience.