Travel expert Emily Kaufman, of thetravelmom.com, revealed six great last-minute vacations for the whole family on "Good Morning America." You can find out more about these fun, family-friendly getaways below.
Indoor waterpark resorts, particularly in the Midwest (and particularly in the Dells) are a great winter getaway for those wanting the amenities of a cruise, but who need to be cost-conscious. Indoor waterparks give much of mid-America 85°F weather in January and February, and they're close to home. Some highlights include:
Rates start at $99 for the Wisconsin Dells, which includes accommodations and entry to waterparks.
Waterpark resort rooms come in a variety of prices and sizes, just like cruise ship cabins.
The average temperature is 85°F.
There are a huge variety of water attractions, from slides to wave pools to surf simulators.
The resorts offer a wide range of restaurants, from fine dining to sweet shops (like the fudge shop at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort).
Many resorts offer programs for kids -- activities that are run by the resort -- as well as baby-sitting services.
The resorts have a number of activities for land lubbers, such as arcades, laser tag or pottery painting at the Wilderness Resort.
Special events, depending on time of year.
Other activities include live entertainment, movies and shopping.
Many resorts offer specials and packages for the New Year's holiday. The Wisconsin Dells has 18 indoor waterpark properties. For links to all of their individual sites, visit www.wisdells.com or call 1-800-22-DELLS (1-800-223-3557).
New Year's Eve Family Fun Blast
The Comfort Inn and Wingate Inn just west of Indianapolis, will host their third annual New Year's Eve Family Fun Blast, and this year's theme is "Crazy Carnival." The package is $119 per night for a family of five, and includes a large Donato's pizza, carnival-type food (popcorn, cotton candy, etc.), face painting, Silly Safari animal shows, pool access, a game room and a deluxe continental breakfast the next morning. For more information on things to do in Indianapolis, visit www.Indy.org.
Disney Cruises offers a variety of itineraries and several cruises have special activities for teens.
Aloft is the new teen area aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship. For ages 13 to 17; no additional charge.
The Stack is the teen club aboard sister ship Disney Magic -- now a little over a year old.
The Disney Wonder sails three- and four-night Bahamian itineraries calling at Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay, Disney's private island paradise.
The Disney Magic sails seven-night Caribbean itineraries and currently alternates between an eastern itinerary (St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay) and a western itinerary (Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway Cay). During the summer of 2005, for 12 consecutive weeks, the Disney Magic will sail its first-ever seven-night Mexican Riviera itineraries from the Port of Los Angeles as part of Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration.
To learn more about the Disney Cruise Line or to book a Disney Cruise Line vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit www.disneycruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at (888) DCL-2500.
(Disney is the parent company of ABC, Inc.)
Club Med Crested Butte Colorado
Snow-topped mountains, bonfires, hot cocoa before bed, soaking in a hot tub, feeling the crisp air blowing against your face as you fly down the black diamond trail, plus no laptop, no dirty dishes, no unhappy children -- just you and the slopes. Club Med, the originator of Total All-Inclusive® Vacations, with more than 100 villages in exotic locations in more than 40 countries worldwide, reopened its Crested Butte village on Dec.11, 2004. Some highlights include:
Ranked one of the top Super Ski Resorts for Families by Child magazine. From the moment you ski in until the day you ski out, every meal, lift ticket, ski lesson and run down the 88 slopes is included.
Award-winning Children's Club for a fun-filled day of skiing or snowboarding down the bunny slope, snowball fighting, pizza, hot chocolate and playing with new friends.
Non-avid skiers can also enjoy a variety of leisure activities off the slopes including an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, whirlpool and fitness center, among other recreational activities.
New offerings include the Club Med Artist Program, Culinary Creations Program, cooking demonstrations and, best of all, 15 ski lifts.
Seven-day Total All-Inclusive® Vacations start at approximately $1,470 per adult, $494 for children ages 2-3, and $753 for children ages 4-15. Chartered flights from New York are available during selected dates.
Call 1-800-Club Med, log on to www.clubmed.com or visit your travel agent for more information and reservations.
MonteLago Village/Lake Las Vegas
Lake Las Vegas Resort is a premier residential and resort destination situated on a privately owned 320-acre lake, located seven miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Other than La Contessa and Lady of the Lake yachts plus safety patrol boats, only non-motorized recreational watercraft are allowed on the lake to keep the resort serene and tranquil.
Within the 3,592-acre master planned resort are exquisite residential offerings including custom home sites, waterfront and golf villas, resort condominiums and luxury executive homes.
The Mediterranean-inspired destination features world-class resorts, including the AAA Five Diamond-rated The Ritz-Carlton; Lake Las Vegas; the AAA Four Diamond-rated Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort, Spa and Casino; and the MonteLago Village Resort.
A collection of three challenging golf courses, pampering spas, elegant casinos, a full-service marina with watercraft rentals and yacht cruises provides a unique recreational experience for southern Nevada visitors. Currently, the resort features one of the nation's only floating ice rinks, which will be open until mid-January.
MonteLago Village is an enchanting enclave that sits at the center of Lake Las Vegas Resort, offering water's edge restaurants and cafes, quaint boutiques and the 40,000-square-foot Casino MonteLago. Accommodations at the MonteLago Village start at $149 per night. A few rooms are still left for New Year's Eve from $269.
For more information on MonteLago information, call 866-399-2744 or visit www.montelagovillage.com
For Lake Las Vegas information, call 800-564-1603 or visit www.lakelasvegas.com