Posts Tagged With: Pure Michigan

It really is Pure Michigan

Every summer, it’s the same scene: People hoping to get out of work early on a Friday, and then everyone is in a traffic jam with boats, campers and packed cars headed north. But something magical happens when you cross the Zilwaukee Bridge: you’re “up north.”

This Memorial Day weekend, our destination was Glen Arbor to The Homestead Resort. We didn’t get in until late Friday but it was perfect timing because they had a Memorial Day celebration on Saturday – face painting, chairlift rides, rubber boat races down the stream and a barbecue. Oh, and don’t forget the tie-dye shirts that said “I was up north at the Homestead Resort.”

After a full day of fun plus swimming in the pool with the waterslide, we headed into Glen Arbor for dinner. It was getting a little chilly so we didn’t eat on the dock, but we still love the food at Boone Dock’s. My daughter had a little too much fun and immediately fell asleep on my lap in the booth, so we got her dinner to go. We then had to hit my required destination Cherry Republic. I always have to stock up on wine, and the kids love the free samples of food and treats. We ended up with wine of course, chocolate covered cherries and sour cherry gummies. Now that my daughter had a nap and snacked on her dinner, we hit the tennis courts and the playground next to it.

We asked the kids what they wanted to do on Sunday and the votes were unanimous for the dune climb. We had to wait out some pretty heavy thunderstorms in the morning, but as soon as it was clear, we headed to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. A year and a half ago, we only made it past the initial climb and one more small hill. This year, the kids were much bigger, mom and dad were in better shape so we made it all the way to Lake Michigan! It was quite a hike up and down sandy dunes but the kids (and mom) were troopers. Afterwards, we stopped for a well-deserved ice cream in Glen Arbor.

The boys decided they weren’t quite done so they dropped us off and went golfing at Manitou Passage. My daughter and I decided to cool off at the pool, but it was a little too cool for me after the earlier rain, so I stuck to the hottub. We had a late dinner in the hotel when the boys got back and that was the end of our adventure.

If we had more time, we would’ve added canoeing, putt-putt and bike riding to the mix. Even so, everyone agreed that it was a Pure Michigan adventure. We can’t wait to do it again!

Categories: Family Friendly Resorts, Travel with kids | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Thrills, spills and snow at Shanty Creek

We went to Shanty Creek in northern Michigan for a long President’s Day weekend. Although many people were there, we never felt overly crowded and didn’t have to wait in any long lines.

Shanty Creek

Shanty Creek actually has three main areas: Schuss Mountain, Summit Mountain and the back of Schuss Mountain and Cedar River Fillage. We stayed at The Lakeview Hotel & Conference Center at Summit Village with a view of Summit Mountain, ina a hotel room with kitchenette, fireplace and balcony. The kids love having a ton of snacks at their disposal and the fireplace was a warm welcome after skiing.

We went to Schuss Mountain first because my daughter likes the magic carpet that we experienced at Crystal Mountain. It was a little busy here due to several classes that were in session but served as a good warmup for all of us to get used to skiing again. The kids got cold pretty fast so we called it a day and went back for some swimming. The indoor pool was heated to a great temperature. At other places we’ve been, heated pools can still leave us shivering, but this pool was comfortable for everyone.

We skied out of the back of our hotel and the kids got used to using the tow rope. At first, this area looked daunting because you could keep skiing and go all of the way down the mountain, instead of stopping and turning at the end of the tow rope area.

Shanty Creek

Once everyone was comfortable, we ventured down one of the green-colored hills and rode up the chair lift. The kids prefer the lifts that have a bar in front to hang on to but we used our ski poles across their laps to make them feel secure.

My son refuses to listen to his dad and skis like a mad man down the hills, legs flailing and wobbling around until he gets to the tow rope. My daughter was more cautious and so she listened a bit better and took some time to practice her form and stops. The tow rope did chew up the kids’ gloves (and mine) so next time we’ll invest in better ski gloves or bring out the old duct tape.

For our last day, we went to the tubing hill, which charged more because it was President’s Day but nonetheless was a great investment. Snow groomed over the driving range, the tubing hill provides tubes and a hook and rope system to pull you in your tube back up the hill.

The kids loved going down as a group because you can gain more speed. When my daughter (6) tried to go down on her own, she didn’t have quite enough weight to get all the way to the bottom. On our last run, my son was at the bottom when his hat fell off. When he bent down to pick it up, he was plowed over by another person on a tube, and he ended up with a foot in his face and walked away screaming with a bloody nose.

Although we left on a bad note, the overall experience was very positive and the kids were asking when we could go skiing and swimming again.

We loved the atmosphere of the family-friendly skiing, swimming, tubing and overall winter wonderland.

(Disclosure: The hotel and lift tickets were provided by Shanty Creek.)

Categories: Family Friendly Resorts | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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