November 9, 2011
- Road Trip: Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
- Lysistrata Jones
- Celebrate with American Girl
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
- Macaroni Reads Giveaway
- Villa Roller Rink
- Gifts for Home
- Gifts for Mom
- Gifts for Preschoolers
- Gifts for Girls
- Gifts and Gear for Baby
- Gifts for Boys
- Gifts for Dad
- Holiday DVDs
- This Week's Picks
- Teen Scene
- Plan Ahead
- Developing Your Child's Self -Esteem
- Macaroni Made
Relaxing Family Destination
After a very exhausting week without power, my family and I were thrilled to be guests at the Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in beautiful Highland, New York this weekend. This rustic all-inclusive resort was made for families and promises to keep every member of the family happily occupied during their visit.
Our first afternoon at the Ranch was filled with activity. Bungee bounces got the afternoon started. My kids loved flipping in mid air above the trampoline. Next we moved on to the outdoor rock climbing wall. This is a favorite of my boys. There were three levels to try out and they had fun trying to advance to each level. After that, we ventured over to the scenic lake lined with trees full of colorful leaves. We jumped into paddle boats and paired off to race across the lake. It was so much fun!
Upon our return, we checked out our hotel room. This is the perfect room for families. Ours had two queen sized beds and a bunk bed. Enough for our large family to fit, with plenty of room throughout. Outfitted in log cabin type decor, my kids thought the room was really cool. We were located in the main lodge and our location couldn't have been better for our stay. We were able to bounce around from one activity to the next and stop by our room quickly in between. I have to say, I have stayed in so many hotels and beds are not always great. At the Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, our beds were so comfortable that within minutes of laying down, we were all out. No tossing and turning in the night for anyone in our party, as these beds were very comfortable. We all slept great during our stay.
We then got to go to dinner. You can sign up for one of two dinner times (5:30pm or 7:30pm) at the beginning of your stay. Once you select one, you are assigned a table with other guests. This was a nice way to get to know some of the visitors. For dinner, you order off a menu and there are very kid-friendly options, as well as plenty of choices adults will like. The all you can eat style dining makes sure that no one leaves the dining room hungry. Kids and adults love the dessert, too, which includes ice cream machines and chocolate fondue. My boys loved making their own sundaes and dipping everything they could think of in chocolate.
After dinner, we changed into our swim suits and hit the water. Rocking Horse Ranch Resort is home to Big Splash, a surprisingly fast and invigorating water slide and indoor water park that stays 85 degrees year round. We could have spent days in this area alone, not because of the size, but because of how much fun it is. My kids were in heaven and I am not embarrassed to tell you that my husband and I were having just as much fun going down the slide as the kids (only making slightly larger spashes on our exit of the water slide!). In fact, tons of adults were enjoying the water slide. Lifeguards are everywhere ensuring that watchful eyes are watching little ones. Adjacent to the water slide is a playland of smaller slides, fountains, and stairs that little kids love splashing in. Down in the lower level is a pool with buckets that dump water on you from overhead. One side of the pool area has large rafts and ropes that reminds one of WipeOut. The kids loved crossing the pool by jumping and climbing across these rafts. Everything is very padded and safe, making it the perfect adventure for kids.
When we were done swimming, we ventured down stairs to the saunas to relax even more. It was much needed!
We then went back to change again because we had a dance to go to! Each night, Rocking Horse Ranch offers nightly entertainment for the whole family. A DJ was playing some fun songs and my boys jumped right in with the others to dance to Cotton Eyed Joe and the Cha Cha Slide. They learned some new dances and my little ones showed off their break dancing skills on the dance floor before the comedy act of the night began. We were treated to a ventriliquist act that left everyone in stitches. It was a great way to end a fabulous day!
The next day we went on to discover one of the things the Ranch is famous for after breakfast--horseback riding! Children 7 and older can participate in trail riding. I can't think of a nicer way to spend a beautiful fall morning. This is something my children had never done before. Instructors explain how to ride and then pair you up with horses to take an hour long ride. Depending on your ability, you can go on a walking, trotting, or galloping ride in groups. Three of my boys got to participate in this and loved every minute of it. It was an experience they will not forget.
My five year old was too young to ride by himself, and for those that are too young, "pony" rides are available. These rides are given not by ponies, but by retired horses at the ranch. My son got to ride Callahan, a beautiful and gentle creature that was very accommodating to my son. They had a great ride together, as early in the morning, there wasn't a line to ride. He loved it!
After their rides, we put our kids in the Day Camp at the Ranch, which allows parents to drop off their children to experience everything the resort has to offer while they participate in activities such as trail rides, spa treatments, or just a break! We kept them in half a day while we explored. The kids had a great time and the staff was very professional, fun, and kind to the kids. I would definitely recommend this service!
We picked them back up and spent another afternoon at Big Splash because we had to get back on that water slide! After a few hours, we went to other destinations throughout the resort, like the rifle range to shoot BB Guns and practice archery. We also made a visit to the Fun Barn, which is an awesome area full of volleyball nets, bounce houses, ping pong tables, indoor rock climbing, and a large playland. We also go to participate in family games, such as BINGO and Let's Make a Deal, located next to a warm fire while sipping hot chocolate, with other guests. One of our boys actually won a prize, too, which is always fun!
One thing I noticed at the ranch was there were a lot of people there. However, as we went throughout our day, you wouldn't know it because there were so many activities to participate in, people were scattered all over the large resort. This allowed for little to no wait, which was wonderful.
There was so much to do during our stay, that we barely touched on everything. Each day, a printed schedule is distributed to guests so that they can see their options. You could keep busy following these schedules each day, as there is something planned for every hour--games, carriage rides, bonfires, food sampling, family competitions, sports, you name it! That is not even including all the other activities I mentioned before! Each season allows for different outdoor activities, too. With winter approaching, one of the things I would have gloved to partipated in is their snow tubing and skiing--they even include the ski instruction! They even make their own snow to ensure these activities!
I am really impressed with how much value you receive for your stay--all your meals, lodging and entertainment are included in the cost, which actually comes out to far less than you would spend for your hotel alone! Special discounts are available, including a great discount for the week of December 18-22, where you can save 55% off your entire stay! Be sure to check out their site for more information!
We had a fantastic time during our stay at the Rocking Horse Ranch Resort and would highly recommend planning your next vacation there. It was so relaxing to have an all inclusive vacation. All you have to do is park your car and bring your bags inside. All the work is done for you, you just get to sit back and enjoy!
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