New York City with the Grandkids
+ Some Other Intergenerational Travel Ideas
by Mitch Kaplan
So you're thinking you'd like to show you grandkids the Big
Apple, let them see just how fascinating the big city can be, but
you're a little intimidated by the cost and the logistics?
Well, one hotel company is set on making your life easier.
Affinia Hospitality (www.affinia.com; 1-866-AFFINIA) invites
grandparents and their grandchildren for a special fun-filled and
value-packed weekend in the Big Apple. Now available at all nine
Affinia hotels, the Affinia Grandparents Package includes upon
"Power Pak" filled with New York essentials: a disposable
camera, bottled water, pretzels, microwave popcorn, and a NYC
transit map, all conveniently packaged in an Affinia insulated
Coupons for discounts to the Museum of Television and Radio
and a list of kid-friendly restaurants and attractions in the
city. The Museum of Television and Radio (www.mtr.org), located
at 25 West 52nd Street, has an international collection of over
120,000 programs covering more than 80 years of television and
radio history. There are Saturday and Sunday screenings of
special interest to children and "Re-creating Radio" workshops on
Saturday mornings for families with children.
Complimentary game cart available for use, stocked with
favorites including: Monopoly , Scrabble , the Game of
Life , Connect Four , Chutes and Ladders , and more.
Complimentary video library available for use during stay.
Frommer's NYC with Kids guide and The Essential
Grandparent: A Guide To Making A Difference available for use
The Grandparents Package (also available for parents traveling
with children) is valid weekends through December 31, 2004. Rates
start at $175 per night for a studio suite, and $205 for a one-
bedroom suite. After September 11, 2004, rates start at $199 per
night. Prices are subject to availability; taxes not included.
Affinia Hospitality's New York offerings include the Affinia
Dumont, Beekman Tower Hotel, Eastgate Tower, Lyden Gardens, Plaza
Fifty, Shelburne Murray Hill, Southgate Tower, Surrey Hotel and
Novotel New York
Novotel New York (800- 221-3185; www.novotel.com), a Times Square fixture on 52nd
and Broadway, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with 20%
discounts. The Big Apple Anniversaries package offers 20%
off room rates and 20% off food & beverage from May 24 - August
28, 2004, with rates starting at $199. This year is also the
100th anniversary of both Times Square and the New York City
subway system, so the package also includes a one-day MTA Fun
Pass for unlimited subway rides. In addition to 20% discounts on
room rates and food and beverage, breakfast and dinner with the
family are free for two children under 16 who share a room with
parents or grandparents. Novotel puts guests close to the
attractions of Times Square and its special anniversary
celebrations, which include: "Taste of Times Square", June 14,
outdoor food festival which showcases more than 50 Times Square
restaurants, plus live entertainment; "Times Square Summer Fair",
Aug. 7, a street fair with over 400 vendors of authentic ethnic
foods, arts, crafts, antiques, jewelry and more!
"Something magical happens when grandparents and grandchildren
travel together," states the hotel chain's website (www.loweshotels.com). "To make these moments
more memorable, Loews has created a program with amenities and
services designed for sharing." Based on availability, Lowes
offers adjoining rooms at half price, then tosses in a welcome
pack that includes a photo memory album, a phone card to call
home, matching luggage tags, a free movie and popcorn, a kids'
cookbook, a kids' passport and a list of kid-friendly area
attractions. Toys and video games are available, as well.
Roots & Wings Excursions Intergenerational Travel
Roots & Wings Excursions specializes in family trips, many of
which are aimed at grandparents and grandchildren. Their
"GrandTrips" include weekend jaunts to, among other destinations,
Florida, Amish country, Civil War sites, and full-blown vacations
to the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, Hawaii, Chesapeake Bay, Britain
and Italy. Info: 800-722-9005 or 703-834-7244.
Grandtravel (800-247-7651; www.grandtrvl.com) is a tour operator/travel
agent aimed at kids and grandparents. They offer domestic,
international and even independent trips to places such as New
York City, Alaska, various western destinations, London, Paris,
Ireland, Kenya Italy and other destinations. This just may the
most experienced organization in intergenerational travel.
Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys & Cooper Spur Mountain Resort
In the shadow of Oregon's Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, Zoller's
Outdoor Odysseys (www.zooraft.com) Cooper Spur Mountain Resort
www.cooperspur.com) create a sensational center for outdoor
activities - from rafting and wind surfing to golf, hiking and
even summer skiing. Flowing south from Mt Adams are two
extraordinary rivers, the White Salmon and Klickitat which are
filled with beauty, adventure, history and life. The Zollers have
a long history of rafting on the White Salmon river and were the
first commercial rafting operation on the White Salmon, helping
the White Salmon river become one of the most popular rivers in
the Pacific Northwest. Now in their 3rd generation of family
operation, Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys is the largest white water
outfitter in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic area, catering to
thousands of guests each year.
Cooper Spur Mountain Resort's property includes a lodge (which
contains three two-bedroom lodge condos and six hotel rooms),
five deluxe two-bedroom cabins, a honeymoon cabin and a four-
bedroom log home. On site are a spa with four hot tubs, a deck
with a picnic area and barbecue grill, two massage therapy rooms
and a tennis court. The resort is set on more than 750 acres of
forest land adjacent to the Mt. Hood National Forest, with access
to nearby hiking and mountain biking trails. Among their package
offerings: Free Mountain Adventures - stay at Cooper Spur
Mountain Resort this summer and river raft, golf or ride the Mt.
Hood Railroad for free.
Warren River Expeditions
Warren River Expeditions (800-765-0421; raftidaho.com) offers
whitewater raft trips for seniors on Idaho's Salmon River,
passing through the Salmon River Canyon, and the Frank Church
Wilderness Area, rife with wildlife. Grandparent/grandchild
"lodge stay" expeditions are scheduled twice a summer with
discount pricing for those over age 50 or under age 16. Lodges
provides comfortable overnights. For summer, 2004, these
intergenerational escapades are scheduled for July 30th and
August 7th. Trips are limited to 12 guests, making early
Even for those who hate to ride - or for those who can't ride
much because of "seniors' bones", many dude ranches can
accommodate a huge variety of activities - from swimming and
hiking to organized activities and terrific barbecues. A few
The Dude Ranchers' Association,
Ranch Web (based on the definitive guide book Gene
Kilgore's Ranch Vacations), www.ranchweb.com
Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association, www.coloradoranch.com
...... Mitch Kaplan
is the author of "The Unofficial Guide to the Mid-Atlantic with Kids," a
contributor to "The Unofficial Guide to New England & New York with
Kids," and the author of "The Cheapskate's Guide to Myrtle Beach" and
"The Golf Book of Lists".
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