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Hotel de Glace

Year after year, you’ve rented the RV (yawn), pitched that tent (snore) and roasted hot dogs over a campfire (boooring). This year, visit one of these exciting locales to kick your outdoor vacation up a notch. You’ll see nature in a brand new way.

Hôtel de Glace in Quebec, Canada
Made entirely of ice and snow, the Hôtel de Glace in Quebec is like an ice queen’s palace. And though we’re sure each of the 44 handcrafted rooms and themed suites get a touch chilly, most packages let you thaw off in a complimentary room at the nearby Four Points by Sheraton Québec. If your teeth are still chattering, you can strip down and dip into a hot tub under the stars while kids will go gaga over the awesome ice slide and dogsledding experience.

Out’n’About Treehouse Resort in Cave Junction, Oregon
Channel your inner Swiss Family Robinson while lounging among the branches of this adventurous “treesort.” No, really—you can actually rent a suite named the Swiss Family complex. It boasts separate parent and child treehouses that are connected by a swinging bridge. With over a linear mile of ziplining and a real, 50 foot Tarzan swing, your family might just get the hang of living the high life. And when you tire of just, well, hanging out, there’s river rafting, arts and crafts and free wifi.

Eaton’s Ranch in Wolf, Wyoming


Even if you’ve never been on a horse and can barely pick one out of a lineup, you still get to play at being a cowboy for the duration of your stay at Eaton’s Ranch. As one of the oldest dude ranches in America, they’ve been putting families in the saddle since 1879. After matching you up with one of their 220 horses, Eaton’s gives you the unique opportunity to explore their 7,000-acre ranch unescorted. For those who aren’t ready to ride off into the sunset, wranglers are available to give guidance. Bonus: Yellowstone National Park is only half a day’s drive away.

The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana
Glamping, or glamorous camping, is officially a thing. If you want to really indulge, there’s no better place that Paws Up, where a luxurious tent situated at the foot of Lewis & Clark’s famous Lookout Rock can run up $1,675 a night. Even the cheapest accommodations here will still give you sticker shock, but the resort truly delivers on creature comforts. Complimentary airport transportation, on-property chauffeuring and a lengthy list of activities are all included. And while you’re at the spa, your kids can help with a real cattle drive or gape at Big Sky country from a horse-drawn carriage ride.

Volcano House in Hawaii National Park, Hawaii
If you like to live on the edge, you’ll probably relish the chance to stay right on the rim of an active volcano. Volcano House, the recently reopened and entirely renovated historic hotel, sits overlooking the Halema’uma’u Crater within Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Views of the lava flows are especially striking in the evening and you can watch them from your own room or while chowing down at the on-site restaurant. Needless to say, this location is a goldmine for hikers: There are many paths to explore along the volcanoes or through the surrounding rainforest. Kids will enjoy the up-close-and-personal critter experiences (think snorkeling with manta rays or whale watching).

Tagged: Family time

Elina Bolokhova

Elina Bolokhova

Elina Bolokhova is a lifestyle editor at AOL who specializes in writing about travel, parenting, beauty and food. Find her on Twitter at @elinabolokhova.
Elina Bolokhova

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