5 of the best family holidays


Lone Mountain Ranch, USA


Stay in a cosy wooden cabin and explore America’s Yellowstone National Park on guided horseback rides and nature hikes. An outdoor youth adventure programme runs from mid-June to the end of August for children aged 3 to 18 with supervised activities ranging from canoeing to animal tracking. Families can also experience a day of leisurely fly fishing, saddle up for a wildlife safari or join a Vinyassa-style yoga class. In the evening, teens have the option to head off on an overnight camping expedition while the adults enjoy a gourmet dining experience.
How much?
Seven-nights from £1,799 (no single supplement), from £1,625pp (13-17 years) and from £1,349pp (6-12 years), including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities (including riding), taxes and transfers. Excludes gratuities and return flight from £899pp and from £783pp (under 12 years). Based on departures 31 May to 18 October 2014.
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Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, Jamaica


Located on the widest stretch of Negril’s famous Seven-Mile Beach, this resort caters for families with children from tots to teens. Kids of all ages will love the Pirates Island Waterpark with two gigantic water slides and a meandering lazy river, while for toddlers there’s Sesame Street® activities where a colourful cast of characters from Elmo to the Cookie Monster take part in street parades, stage shows, character breakfasts and night-time ‘tuck-ins’. For ‘tweens’ the resort’s Very Important Kids’ Camp (V.I.K) offers supervised adventures from kayaking to competing in Beach Olympics, while the Teens Scratch DJ Academy® encourages young guests to release their inner DJ and learn how to mix, blend and scratch on vinyl, CDs and on an iPod. Parents seeking a little ‘me time’ can visit the resort’s spa leaving kids at the resort’s nursery where nannies accredited by the International Nanny Association (INA) provide care for children of all ages.
How much:
Seven nights at Beaches Negril Resort & Spa starts from £1,609pp  travelling with Thomas Cook out of Manchester in November 2014.
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Lakitira Beach, Kos, Greece, Beach sports

Lakitira Beach, Kos, Greece


Addicted to watching Wimbledon and keen to get into the swing? While all Mark Warner resorts include an array of watersports and qualified British childcare, this one in Kos also boasts a 10-court tennis centre with expert tuition. Those who prefer to be on the water can take sailing, windsurfing, kayak and paddleboard lessons. While the kids make new friends and join in the supervised activities, parents can kick back and relax on the golden sandy beach, enjoy a pampering massage, or sunbathe in peace by the adults-only pool.
How much?
From £4,252 in July for a family of four with flights from Heathrow (British Airways) or Manchester (Jet2). Price includes resort transfers, seven-nights’ accommodation, half-board meals (breakfast & dinners), windsurfing and sailing with tuition, kayaking, tennis, mountain biking, fitness programme, childcare from 2-17 years (4 months-2 years is chargeable at £180 per week).
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Hotel Caribe, Spain, PortAventura

Hotel Caribe, Spain


Located on the doorstep of Spain’s largest theme park, PortAventura, this four-star hotel gives adrenaline-seeking families the chance to ride Europe’s highest rollercoaster Shambhala again, and again, and again. Guests get free unlimited entry into the park throughout their stay, plus free tickets to the Costa Caribe Aquatic Park. At the end of a action-packed day, guests can return to the hotel — centred around a tropical lake inspired by the Caribbean islands — and unwind in the hotel’s spa or sit back and watch the world-famous KOOZA show by Cirque Du Soleil, new to the resort for 2014. If the theme park rides get too much, parents can take a day out to sunbathe by the hotel’s lagoon pool or man-made beach, or travel around 90 minutes by car to explore the vibrant city of Barcelona.
How much?
Seven nights’ half board costs from £409pp based on two adults and two children sharing, including a 22kg baggage allowance and return shuttle transfers, plus flights from Manchester to Reus (just 30 minutes’ drive from the hotel).
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Forte Village, Sardinia, Italy, Kids Camp

Forte Village, Sardinia, Italy


There’s no better way to kick off the school holidays than a summer soccer camp where kids improve their skills with their favourite sports team. This summer budding young Lampards and talented mini Ramires can learn from coaches fresh from Stamford Bridge. Children between the ages of four and 14 will be put through the training schedule used by the Chelsea team for seven days and awarded a personalised Chelsea t-shirt, shorts and rucksack. Not fussed about football? From 24 May to 30 August 2014 visiting rugby stars such as Martin Johnson, Will Greenwood and Austin Healey will be on hand to train boys and girls on a fun and educational camp. And what about the adults? The luxury Forte Village complex has a luxury spa, 21 gourmet restaurants and is situated near Cagliari, one of the most beautiful parts of the island overlooking a stunning beach.
How much?
Seven nights in August costs from £7,090 per family, based on two adults and two children under 12 years staying in a Il Villaggio family bungalow. Price includes return easyJet flights, half-board accommodation (excluding drinks) and private transfers.
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