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

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.

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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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.


Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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