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Planning the Ultimate Winter Break? Check Out These Hotels with Cool Kids’ Amenities

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Traveling with kids can be both amazing and exhausting. On the one hand, you get the joy of seeing your kids experience novel places and things. On the other hand, it’s hard to explain to a toddler that they are now in a different time zone and should stop waking up at 4 a.m.


Luckily, many hotels around the country have amenities that appeal to younger travelers – including unique kids’ activities and experiences. These places offer a range of options for kids with different interests including art, animals, and the outdoors. There are also plenty of perks for parents – making any of these spots good destinations for the whole family.

1 | Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, Vail, CO

Many Four Seasons locations have perks for kids including welcome gifts and child-sized bathrobes. The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, located near the base of Vail ski resort, and is a relaxing mountain retreat for the whole family. The hotel can pitch a tent in your room throughout the year at no additional cost, giving kids a chance to camp by the gas-burning fireplace in the room. The location also has a year-round outdoor heated pool where families can swim (even in the winter) and then warm up with complimentary hot chocolate and brownies. The location also has a kids’ club which hosts rotating events like a kid-friendly après-ski party.

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Perks for parents

Parents can enjoy the spa which has unique treatments like a high-altitude adjustment massage or a Colorado beer foot soak (the yeast from the beer purifies and cleanses your feet). The Remedy bar also serves a collection of unique cocktails to help parents unwind at the end of a long day of skiing or sightseeing.

2 | Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel, Portland, OR

Surprise! It’s the Bedtime Butler.

Kimpton’s boutique hotels have kid-centric amenities that vary by location. Some sites offer “Guppy Love” – a program that allows kids to have a pet fish during their stay (that the hotel staff feeds and cares for). The Kimpton Muse in New York offers kids a welcome toy upon arrival and hosts a daily hot chocolate bar.

At the Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel in Portland, kids will love the Bedtime Butler – a cart that makes the rounds several nights a week carrying a rotating selection of complimentary treats like cookies or books for kids and nightcaps for parents. Guests can’t order the butler – the cart visits rooms at random, so kids have to listen for the surprise knock at the door. The Kimpton RiverPlace is also pet friendly and has complimentary in-room tent camping for smaller kiddos.

Perks for parents

Parents can enjoy evening social hours featuring local craft beer or Oregon wines and take advantage of complimentary coffee in the morning and yoga mats in every room.

3 | Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, Sanibel, FL

Sanibel Island, located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, is a great beach vacation option for families. Everyone can enjoy wildlife viewing, beaches with a large variety of shells, and the bike paths located throughout the small island. The beachfront Sundial Resort has rooms with kitchens, making it easy to prepare snacks or meals for kids (and you can pre-order groceries to have your room stocked when you arrive). Kids can play at the pool or take advantage of complimentary sports equipment rentals or activities like scavenger hunts and seashell necklace making. The Sanibel Sea School is a program that gives families a chance to interact with marine educators to learn about some of the marine life on the island like sea turtles, manatees, and dolphins.

Perks for parents

While kids are engaged with some of the resort activities, parents can take advantage of the full-service spa and restaurants, or even reserve a dinner on the beach.

4 | Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe, CA

This Lake Tahoe resort, located at the base of Squaw Valley ski area, offers a variety of amenities to keep kids entertained year-round. In the winter, families can ski, enjoy the private ice rink, or go on a dog sled tour. The summer season offers hiking and swimming and a chance to take a tram to the top of the ski area to a museum commemorating the 1960 Olympic games that were hosted at the site. Kids can also enjoy perks like 30-minute spa treatments designed especially for them and seasonal events like a holiday Gingerbread Village and a kid’s New Year’s Eve bash.

Perks for parents

Parents can unwind at the spa or enjoy a nice meal at the contemporary steakhouse Six Peaks Grille, which uses produce from the resort’s on-site hydroponic garden.

5 | LEGOLAND Hotels, CA and FL

Aargh! Go to bed.

The hotels adjacent to the LEGOLAND locations in California and Florida are designed to delight kids. Rooms have different LEGO themes like Pirates, Friends, or Ninjago, and kids can complete a treasure hunt to unlock a treasure chest surprise in their room. There are also pools and play areas and a variety of LEGOS to play with throughout the hotels, and guests get a complimentary breakfast buffet and early access to LEGOLAND parks. In addition to the existing locations, the LEGOLAND Beach Retreat opened in Florida in 2017, and a castle-themed hotel is set to open in California in 2018.

Perks for parents

Rooms are set up so that the kids area is separated from the adult area giving everyone their own space. But the best perk may be that with so much to entertain the kids, parents get a chance to actually relax.

6 | Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk, Honolulu, HI

Hawaii is a great family-friendly destination, but accommodations can get pricey. The Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach has some great amenities at a good value. As with other Embassy Suites locations, the room price includes a complimentary evening reception and a hot breakfast buffet. The suite rooms feature living spaces separated from the bedrooms, which can come in handy for kids that go to bed early. There is also a separate kids’ pool and free Hawaiian entertainment at the poolside reception, and the hotel is just a short walk to the beach.

Perks for parents

The hotel hosts free poolside yoga some mornings and the evening reception has complimentary cocktails and snacks.

7 | Omni Berkshire Place, New York, NY

This hotel in Midtown Manhattan has an excellent location near a lot of popular New York City attractions like Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and The Museum of Modern Art. They are also one of the hotels across the nation that offer an American Girl Package. The package at this location comes with breakfast, a special American Girl-sized doll bed, and an evening treat. The location also has the Omni Kids Crew program which includes kid-friendly amenities like a welcome backpack filled with games, crayons and binoculars.

Perks for parents

Parents can take advantage of the fitness center with a view of midtown, in-room massages, and the on-site steak house restaurant.

8 | The ART Hotel, Denver, CO

Little art aficionados will appreciate the Denver ART Hotel, which is located within walking distance of some of Denver’s museums. Kids can play or sleep in the complimentary children’s Teepees that the hotel provides or visit the adjacent Denver Art Museum, which is always free to kids under 18. The hotel is also housed in a unique modern building and features over 50 pieces of artwork.

Perks for parents

Parents will appreciate the hotel’s modern, refined feel and can enjoy a cocktail at The Living Room lounge bar, which offers cocktails and a complimentary selection of old-fashioned candy.

9 | Great Wolf Resorts, Various Locations

Great Wolf Resorts is an extremely kid-friendly chain of indoor waterparks for kids of all ages. In addition to the waterparks, kids can keep busy with arcades, magic wand quests, and character appearances. Some rooms also come outfitted with cave and cabin themed sleeping areas with bunk beds for kiddos. With several locations across the country, visiting a Great Wolf Lodge can be a kid-friendly vacation of its own.

Perks for parents

Some locations offer a “Wine Down” service for parents – a wine and food pairing delivered as room service in the evening for parents to enjoy after the kids are in bed.

Image Credits: All images came from their respective properties.

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Did you hear that? That was the sound of Nordstrom and Maisonette making all your kid's summer wardrobe dreams come true.

Nordstrom partnered with Maisonette to create the perfect in-store pop-up shop from May 24th-June 23rd, featuring some of our favorite baby and kids brands, like Pehr, Zestt Organics, Lali and more. (Trust us, these items are going to take your Instagram feed to the next level of cuteness. 😍) Items range from $15 to $200, so there's something for every budget.

Pop-In@Nordstrom x Maisonette

Maisonette has long been a go-to for some of the best children's products from around the world, whether it's tastefully designed outfits, adorable accessories, or handmade toys we actually don't mind seeing sprawled across the living room rug. Now their whimsical, colorful aesthetic will be available at Nordstrom.

The pop-in shops will be featured in nine Nordstrom locations: Costa Mesa, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; Bellevue, WA; Seattle, WA; Toronto, ON; and Vancouver, BC.

Don't live nearby? Don't stress! Mamas all across the U.S. and Canada will be able to access the pop-in merchandise online at nordstrom.com/pop

But don't delay―these heirloom-quality pieces will only be available at Nordstrom during the pop-in's run, and then they'll be over faster than your spring break vacation. Happy shopping! 🛍

This article is sponsored by Nordstrom. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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For decades, doctors have prescribed progesterone, one of the key hormones your body needs during pregnancy, to prevent a miscarriage. The hormone, produced by the ovaries, is necessary to prepare the body for implantation. As the pregnancy progresses, the placenta produces progesterone, which suppresses uterine contractions and early labor.

But a new study out of the UK finds that administering progesterone to women experiencing bleeding in their first trimester does not result in dramatically more successful births than a placebo. Yet, for a small group of mothers-to-be who had experienced "previous recurrent miscarriages," the numbers showed promise.

The study, conducted at Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research at the University of Birmingham in the UK, is the largest of its kind, involving 4,153 pregnant women who were experiencing bleeding in those risky (and nerve-wracking) early weeks. The women were randomly split into two groups, with one group receiving 400 milligrams of progesterone via a vaginal suppository, and the other receiving a placebo of the same amount. Both groups were given the suppositories through their 16th week of pregnancy.

Of the group given progesterone, 75% went on to have a successful, full-term birth, compared to 72% for the placebo.

As the study notes, for most women, the administration of progesterone "did not result in a significantly higher incidence of live births than placebo." But for women who had experienced one or two previous miscarriages, the result was a 4% increase in the number of successful births. And for women who had experienced three or more recurrent miscarriages, the number jumped to a 15% increase.

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Dr. Arri Coomarasamy, Professor of Gynecology at the University of Birmingham and Director of Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research, said the implications for that group are "huge." "Our finding that women who are at risk of a miscarriage because of current pregnancy bleeding and a history of a previous miscarriage could benefit from progesterone treatment has huge implications for practice," he said.

It's estimated that 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. And while even a spot of blood no doubt increases the fear in every expectant mother's mind, bleeding is actually a very common occurrence during pregnancy, Coomarasamy said. Still, first trimester bleeding is particularly risky, with a third of women who experience it going on to miscarry.

So for women who have been through it multiple times, Coomarasamy's findings are an important avenue to explore. "This treatment could save thousands of babies who may have otherwise been lost to a miscarriage," he added.

The study is among a number of recent groundbreaking discoveries made by doctors looking to further understand what causes miscarriages and what can be done to prevent them. While about 70% of miscarriages are attributed to chromosomal abnormalities, doctors recently learned that certain genetic abnormalities, which exist in a small group of parents-to-be, could be discovered by testing the mother and father, as well as the embryo.

Doctors have also discovered that even knowing the sex of your baby could predict the complications a mother may face, thus helping medical professionals to assist in keeping the pregnancy viable.

But while there is no sweeping solution to stop miscarriages, for some couples, the use of progesterone does offer a glimmer of hope. "The results from this study are important for parents who have experienced miscarriage," Jane Brewin, chief executive of Tommy's said. "They now have a robust and effective treatment option which will save many lives and prevent much heartache."

Brewin added that studies like this one are imperative to our understanding of how the creation of life, which remains both a miracle and a mystery, truly works. "It gives us confidence to believe that further research will yield more treatments and ultimately make many more miscarriages preventable," she said.

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It's never easy to give up a career and launch a whole new one, but when I decided to end my time as an opera singer and move into the field of sales, I knew I could do it. After all, I had the perfect role model: my mom.

When I was growing up, she worked as a dental hygienist, but when I started college, she took some courses in sales. She was single with two kids in college, which was a driving force to make more money. But above that, she truly had a passion for sales. In no time, she got jobs and excelled at them, ultimately earning her the title of Vendor Representative of the Year at her electronics company.

When I entered the field of sales, an unusual and unexpected twist followed. Several years into my career, I was hired by a different electronics company. My mom and I ended up selling similar products to some of the same businesses. (Neither of our companies realized this, and we have different last names.)

But rather than feeling uncomfortable, I saw this as a great opportunity. She and I were both committed to doing our best. More often than not, she beat me when we went after the same piece of business. But in the process, I learned so much from her. I was able to see how her work ethic, commitment and style drove her success. I had even more to emulate.

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Here are some of the biggest business lessons I learned from my working mom:

1. Use your existing skill set to differentiate yourself.

As a dental hygienist, my mom knew how to talk to people and make them feel comfortable. She had also served as a youth leader at three different churches where my dad preached. In each town, she found at-risk kids, brought them together and developed programs for them. She had learned how to help people improve themselves and make their lives better.

In sales, she did the same thing, focusing on how the products or services she was selling could genuinely make a difference in the lives of her customers. Those skills translated seamlessly into her new career.

2. Start strong from day one—don't wait for permission to launch your full potential.

From day one at a job, my mom showed up with energy and vigor to get going. She didn't take time to be tentative. Instead, she leaned into her tasks—the equivalent of blasting out of the gate in a race. Having seen how well this worked for her, I strive to do the same.

3. Have empathy, it's essential.

Many women have been falsely accused of being "too emotional" in business. However, empathy is a necessity and drives better results. As a businesswoman, my mom set herself apart by demonstrating genuine empathy for her clients and her colleagues. She loves getting to know people's stories. That understanding is a key component in her finalizing deals and helping her company reach higher levels of success.

4. Learn often—you're never done building your skill set.

My mom is the reason I spend at least three months out of each year getting a new certification or learning a new skill. She's always working to improve, harness new technologies or develop new competencies—and she's passed on that eagerness to learn to me. She knows that to stay on top, you have to keep learning.

5. Bring on the charm.

By nature, I'm analytical. I like to present the numbers to clients, showing the data to help sway their decisions. And that has its place, but charm is universal. Being someone people want to do business with makes a huge difference. If I had a nickel for every time a prospect told me, "I love your mother," I could retire now! Business, especially sales, is about the connections you make as much as the value you bring.

Our paths have taken our careers in different directions, but along the way, I've done my best to incorporate all these skills. Thank you, mom, for teaching me all this, and much more.

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Every mom has her own list of character traits each of she hopes to instill in her children, but there is one that stands out as a big priority for the majority of millennial mothers.

Motherly's 2019 State of Motherhood survey revealed that kindness is incredibly important to today's moms. It is the number one trait we want to cultivate in our children, and according to stats from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, this emphasis on kindness couldn't come at a better time.

In recent years kids and parents have been straying from kindness, but these Ivy League experts have some great ideas about how today's moms can get the next generation back on track so they can become the caring adults of tomorrow.

Between 2013 and 2014, as part of Harvard's Making Caring Common project, researchers surveyed 10,000 middle and high school students across the nation. They found that no matter what race, class or culture the kids identified with, the majority of the students surveyed valued their own personal success and happiness way more than that of others.

Why do kids value their own success so much more than things like caring and fairness? Well, apparently, mom and dad told them to.

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Eighty percent of the 10,000 students said their parents taught them that their own happiness and high achievement were more important than caring for others. (So much for sharing is caring.)

The folks at Harvard say that valuing your own ambition is obviously a good thing (in moderation) in today's competitive world, but prioritizing it so much more than ethical values like kindness, caring and fairness makes kids more likely to be cruel, disrespectful and dishonest.

So how do we fix this? Here's Harvard's four-step plan for raising kinder kids.

1. Help them practice being nice

Giving kids daily opportunities to practice caring and kind acts helps make ethical behavior second nature. They could help you with chores, help a friend with homework or work on a project to help homelessness.

All those tasks would help a child flex their empathy muscles. The key is to increase the challenges over time so your child can develop a stronger capacity for caregiving as they grow.

2. Help them see multiple perspectives

The researchers want kids to “zoom in" and listen closely to the people around them, but also see the bigger picture. “By zooming out and taking multiple perspectives, including the perspectives of those who are too often invisible (such as the new kid in class, someone who doesn't speak their language, or the school custodian), young people expand their circle of concern and become able to consider the justice of their communities and society," the study's authors' wrote.

3. Model kindness

Our kids are watching, so if we want them to be kinder, it's something we should try to cultivate in ourselves. The Harvard team suggests parents make an effort to widen our circles of concern and deepen our understanding of issues of fairness and justice.

4. Teach kids to cope with destructive feelings

According to the researchers, the ability to care about others can be overwhelmed by a kid's feelings of anger, shame, envy, or other negative feelings. They suggest we teach our kids teach that while all feelings are okay to feel, some ways of dealing with them are not helpful, or kind (for example, “Hitting your classmate might make you happy, but it won't make them happy and isn't very kind. Counting to 10 and talking about why you're mad is more productive than hitting.")

While the folks at Harvard are concerned that so many kids are being taught to value their own happiness above all, they were also encouraged by the students who do prioritize caring and kindness. One of the students surveyed wrote, “People should always put others before themselves and focus on contributing something to the world that will improve life for future generations."

If we follow the advice of Harvard researchers, the world will see more kids that think like that, and that's what future generations need.

[A version of this post was originally published November 8, 2017. It has been updated.]

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These days more women are having babies into their 40s, but the idea that women are facing down the biological clock is pretty pervasive—once you're over 35, you automatically receive that "advanced maternal age" classification, while your male partner's age may never even be mentioned. The pressure on older moms is unfair, because according to new research from Rutgers University, men may face age-related fertility decline too and America's dads are getting older.

It's a new idea, but this finding actually takes 40 years worth of research into account—which, coincidentally, is around the age male fertility may start to decline. According to Rutgers researchers, the medical community hasn't quite pinpointed the onset of advanced age, but it hovers somewhere between ages 35 and 45.

The study which appears in the journal Maturitas, finds that a father's age may not just affect his fertility, but also the health of his partner and offspring.

Based on previously conducted research, the team behind this study found evidence that men over 45 could put their partners at greater risk for pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Babies born to older fathers also have an increased likelihood of premature birth, late stillbirth, low Apgar scores, low birthweight, newborn seizures and more. The risks appear to exist later in life, too: Research suggests children of older fathers have greater risk of childhood cancers, cognitive issues and autism.

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There's been plenty of studies surrounding advanced maternal age, but research on advanced paternal age is pretty slim—scientists don't quite understand how age correlates to these factors at this point. But researchers from Rutgers believe that age-related decline in testosterone and sperm quality degradation may be to blame. "Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, in men, sperm also tend to lose 'fitness' over the life cycle," Gloria Bachmann, director of the Women's Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, explains in a release for this news.

As we've previously reported, more and more men are waiting until later in life to have children. According to a 2017 Stanford study, children born to fathers over 40 represent 9% of U.S. births, and the average age of first-time fathers has climbed by three-and-a-half years over the past four decades —so this research matters now more than ever, and it may represent the first step towards setting certain standards in place for men who choose to delay parenthood.

The biggest thing to come out of this research may be the need for more awareness surrounding advanced paternal age. This particular study's authors believe doctors should be starting to have conversations with their male patients, possibly even encouraging them to consider banking sperm if they're considering parenthood later in life.

Women certainly tend to be aware of the age-related risks to their fertility, and many regularly hear that they should freeze their eggs if they're not ready for motherhood. And while it's still too early to say whether we'll ever examine paternal age this closely, this research may set a whole new conversation in motion.

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