Here, we present three fantasy-inspired family vacation packages that combine all the right ingredients for a perfect family vacation, with recognizable characters and fascinating locations that will excite and inspire children of all ages.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, New York
Set in Tarrytown circa 1790, Washington Irving’s famous novel, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” told the story of Ichabod Crane and his troubles with the Headless Horseman.
Now when they visit The Renaissance Westchester Hotel in White Plains, NY, your clients can travel back in time to enter Crane’s fantasy world for themselves with the Sleepy Hollow package. Included in package rates are deluxe accommodations; one Hudson Valley apple crisp to share and hot apple cider for four at 80 West Restaurant; a complimentary walking trail map along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, featuring the Gothic Revival country house, Lyndhurst, the High Bridge, the Keeper’s House and the tunnel; a private consultation with the hotel’s resident navigator for hints on finding places to go apple picking and for directions to Sleepy Hollow; and most important, a copy of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a perfect bedtime story for clients to end their days with.
The Renaissance Westchester Hotel is located 35 minutes outside of New York City, and just about 20 minutes from Irvings’ Tarrytown home, Sunnyside Manor. Hotel amenities include an indoor pool, tennis, volleyball, horseshoes, bocce ball, and the on-property 80 West Restaurant. Sleepy Hollow package rates start at $139 per night, available through Dec. 1. For more information, call (800) 228-9290 or visit marriott.com. Use promo code ARN.
A Hogwarts Halloween in Ireland
Dressing up as a witch or warlock for Halloween is fun, but staying in a “haunted” castle full of other witches and warlocks makes for a much better vacation. This fall, Ireland’s Ashford Castle is transforming into a magical place for just one week, packed with chambers, dungeons and forests all inspired by J.K. Rowlings’ “Harry Potter” series.
To get the full effect, families are welcome to stay either one or two nights, from Oct. 26-Nov. 3, at the castle. Activities are planned to alternate every other day, allowing guests who choose the 2-night option to experience something new each day. Activities include a Forbidden Forest treasure hunt for the entire family; a supervised afternoon Chamber of Art painting class; a supervised Harry Potter movie evening; and a parents-only George V Table d’Hote dinner.
Packages start at $709 for one night or $1,361 for two nights, based on two adults and two children under 12—with each additional child an extra $122 per night—and featuring accommodations in a Deluxe Family Room. For more information, visit ashford.ie.
Brave’s Highlands of Scotland
Many children are familiar with Merida, the royal troublemaker-turned-heroine of Disney-Pixar’s new fairytale movie, “Brave.” Just like how Merida explored her surroundings—10th century Scotland, that is—your clients can do the same today.
The Balmoral luxury hotel, with its location in the center of Edinburgh at 1 Princes Street, offers the perfect home base to explore the legends and battles that weave throughout Scotland’s royal history. And to make it even more authentic, the hotel is currently featuring A Mythical Family Affair package.
Through A Mythical Family Affair, children will be greeted with a “Brave” welcome gift, as well as one gingerbread amenity each. Kids will also enjoy junior bathtime accessories, dressing gowns and slippers while they stay at the hotel. And after their complimentary daily breakfast, two adults and two children will each enjoy one fast-track entrance ticket to Edinburgh Castle, where they’ll see Scotland’s crown jewels, called “The Honors of the Kingdom,” and the coronation seat of kings, called “The Stone of Destiny.”
Rates start at $745 per night for two adults and two children, with accommodations in two interconnecting rooms. A Mythical Family Affair is valid through April of 2013. For more information, visit thebalmoralhotel.com.