Local Family Vacations Are A Perfect Way to Make Memories
In our home, we are firm believers in creating experiences and quality time with our kids because these are the things our children will remember. So recently when we were offered a chance to go up to North Conway and check out the family friendly Red Jacket Inn Fox Ridge Resort and StoryLand we were thrilled to have a mini family vacation in order to create some memories with the kids. Both businesses generously offered complimentary stay and admission to help facilitate this review.
North Conway is only a 4 hour drive coming from Cape Cod. We got an early start though and decided to go via Lincoln, NH so we could drive the Kancamagus highway on the way since check-in for the hotel was not until 3pm.
This did add travel time to our trip up however it gave us a chance to take our time on a Friday and enjoy the trip up taking some breaks and enjoying the scenery. The kids LOVED seeing the mountains and scouting for moose along the way and at one point we actually saw one walking down the side of the road!
My sister and her family joined us on the local family vacation and we all arrived at the hotel around 3pm. Upon driving in the kids were immediately excited about the giant hill that the resort sits up on as well as the colorful miniature golf course! Our rooms both had great views of the hill and mountains out back with a long patio perfect for us adults to enjoy the view. Our room also had a small room off of the main room with two small kid beds and a tv. This was PERFECT for the kids as they felt they had their own space and I highly recommend booking this room if you have little ones! After relaxing for a bit we decided to head out for an early dinner at Moat Mountain Brewery. If you have never had a chance to eat here then add it to your MUST TRY list right now! The food is absolutely amazing and if you enjoy local beers they have some of the best! It is also a louder restaurant so having the kids there is not an issue.
TIP: Get there early as it fills up fast due to how popular it is
The next morning we got up and enjoyed the complimentary breakfast offered by the resort. There were a lot of other families there most likely also planning on going to StoryLand for the day so we did have to wait a little bit for a table. The kids wanted to play mini golf and visit the pool but we reminded them we could do this after our visit to StoryLand.
TIP: Avoid the popular times of 8:30-9:30am for breakfast. Either plan to go earlier or after the rush so you don’t have to wrangle your minions while fighting off hunger pains and your need for coffee.
When we arrived at StoryLand, the line was already pretty extensive, we already had our tickets and my sister and her family had pre-purchased them so we were able to go into a faster moving line. We started by heading out to the antique cars to beat the lines and then off to my personal favorites of the water rides including the Bamboo Chute which we road 7+ times as well as Dr. Geyser’s Remarkable Raft Ride!
After we had sufficiently drenched ourselves and quickly changed we walked on over to the Loopy Lab, another parent favorite. Whoever came up with this attraction idea is a genius and we honestly could have spent our entire day here. The Loopy Lab consists of 2 floors where kids get to gather and fire foam balls across the whole place. Personally we love to go up to the second floor and fire foam balls down at people as well as gather them so they all blow up at once via the vacuum.
Next we headed out to do a few more rides before lunchtime. My nephew who is obsessed with trucks of all kinds loved the farm tractor ride and the dig play area while my son loved the crazy barn, riding it twice! We then took a little break for lunch beating most of the crowd to the World Pavilion.
The kids were re energized after having some food and we continued on to check out a few more rides and games before we headed to the swan boats and Cinderella. The line to see the princess was not as long at this point which was perfect!
As the kids began to tire out we entered into the shady part of the park and we were able to start to decompress by visiting the animals, visiting Mother Goose and checking out some of our favorite fairy tale houses. The pumpkin house, three bears’ house and the school house were our favorites. The kids enjoyed a nice story with Mother Goose herself, which was the perfect way to start to end our visit. We also spent a few minutes on the now much less crowded grandfather tree (making it easier to keep an eye on the kids), chatting with Humpty Dumpty (no line), and another one of my favorites: Farm Follies!!! We also got a chance to see Christopher Robin and his gang (again no line) on our way out.
The last thing we always do prior to leaving is get our annual license photo! This is a must for us as we love to see the kids grow each year in the pictures. Our son has collected several at this point and proudly displays them on his wall while this was a first for our daughter. This is a perfect way to have a unique little momento from your visit.
Parent PRO TIPS for StoryLand:
After a very busy day at StoryLand we headed back to the hotel to recharge. We decided to brave the fun outdoor pool for a bit and although it was a little cool, the kids had a fantastic time just floating and playing. Meanwhile I enjoyed the view and snapped some fun pictures of the kiddos while researching a good dinner choice for all of us!
The pool bar was open and had adult beverages as well as juice and soda options available for purchase. We spent about an hour relaxing and swimming around before we headed out as a group to the Muddy Moose, which is a wilderness themed restaurant that was just perfect for all of us to eat at with kid friendly options and tons to look at for the kids!
After dinner we all decided to enjoy some family mini golf at the hotel which we highly recommend taking advantage of if you can. The kids loved loved the course which features a windmill, an antique car and a teacup which tied in very nicely with our StoryLand visit from earlier in the day!
Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the course and set up her camp on a tiny bridge so she could cheer her big brother and cousin on as they played the course,
After our golfing session we again enjoyed the pool for a bit before heading back to the room for bedtime. The baby was out like a light while the boys enjoyed some movie time in the kid cave again. The kid cave room has windows that overlook the porch and my sister's room was adjoining to ours. The adults then sat out on the porch for a bit relaxing and enjoying the view while still being able to peek in on the kids who promptly fell asleep exhausted from all the fun they had.
The next morning we took a few quick pictures before checking out of the kids to send to the grandparents. The kids loved the giant fox chair and I have to say I kind of wish I had one of these in my yard at home too! I would totally sit in it all day as the kids played around!
After checkout my sister headed back to Cape Cod while we headed on over to the Red Jacket Mountain Resort (sister resort of Fox Ridge) to enjoy Kahuna Laguna Water park for a few hours!
We had planned ahead to do the water park on our way out of town because it was a Sunday and would be less crowded plus we could spend through lunch there and then the kids could nap during the car ride home. Our family is all about making the car ride easier on mom and dad!
We basically had the entire water park to ourselves all morning and until we left. Again this was the perfect way to end our vacation as we were able to have some fun, enjoy all the slides and activities with no crowds plus get the kiddos good and tired for the long car ride home.
Dad played water basketball with Ethan while the baby jumped in the fabulous water swings! Ethan also loved the raft slides and went down repeatedly with Dad while the baby and I watched their excitement!
Overall our weekend was absolutely fantastic and we had a ton of fun. As we drove back to Cape Cod (always the worse part of any trip) I glanced at their sleeping content faces in the rear view mirror and knew that our weekend was a success. Years from now as they grow they will remember the fun we had as a family and I hope they will do things like this with their kids too!
Sometimes going on vacations, even local ones can be stressful but with a few tweaks and changes to how we plan out the trip, it can be made a little easier! We will definitely be going back next year and can't wait to create new memories with our family. Check the luxurious yet affordable homes at https://precondo.ca/. We hope you find our review and tips helpful and we would love to hear your tips and tricks if you are willing to share them with us!
Cape Cod Moms