During these unprecedented times, it helps to tap into our creative juices. For now, we may not choose to explore faraway places but we can plan outings that nurture our wanderlust and desire for novel experiences.
Here are five ideas to consider:
1. Take a two-wheeled break
Rack up your own bikes and head off to a new park or trail system and explore fresh territory. Or, change it up and rent electric bikes and go the distance.
If you’re in snow country, move out on fat-tired snow bikes. The sport of fat biking, gaining in popularity each year, makes it easy to roll over snowy roads and trails. Well known as a mountain biking destination, Crested Butte, Colo., offers scores of trails that will appeal to every skill level, including some backcountry options that offering top notch views.
2. Sleep in a yurt
It’s fun to spend the night in a less than ordinary kind of space. Increasingly popular, yurts, a Mongolian original, fit the bill.
For example, at the Snow Mountain Ranch at the YMCA in Winter Park, Colo., your family can snooze the night away in a yurt featuring one queen bed and two sets of bunk beds, accommodating up to six people. Open year round, the yurts include a microwave, mini fridge, prep table, picnic table, outdoor grill and fire ring. All yurts offer electricity and complimentary Wi-Fi.
With access to more than 5,000 acres, Snow Mountain Ranch on-site winter activities include cross-country skiing on one of the most expansive trail systems in the U.S., tubing, snowshoeing, and easy access to the Winter Park, Mary Jane and Granby Ranch downhill ski areas.
3. Retreat to a resort
Resorts like the JW Marriott Camelback Inn & Spa are working hard to make future guests feel comfortable and safe. From contactless check in and check out to the adoption of expert protocols for cleaning and safety (Learn more about how the Marriott Cleanliness Council is redefining standards at clean.marriott.com/#service) guests can plan for a getaway, knowing every effort is underway to ensure the healthiest experience possible.
Rich in history, and nestled at the base of Paradise Valley’s Mummy Mountain, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-area resort is well situated for relaxation and exploration. Spa lovers will have their spirits revived in the 32,000-square foot sanctuary, where indigenous plants and minerals, desert honey and hot stones are utilized to enhance the experience. Stay in private, pueblo-style casitas, hang with the kids at the heated Jackrabbit Pool complex, hike in the nearby mountain preserve or play golf on the resort’s two courses.
4. DIY a wellness day
Set your work, online shopping, decorating and baking aside and create your own family wellness day.
Sleep in, choose fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day and head outside for a relaxing stroll, powered by fresh air. Read poetry. Conduct a yoga or stretch class. Play soft and soothing music as you craft your own spa experience at home. Use natural ingredients like oatmeal, honey, cucumbers and avocado for facial masks. Soak little feet in warm water before rubbing with natural lotion. Trade head and foot massages and nail polishing with each other. Search the web, especially top-notch spa sites, for ideas and recipes or create your own.
5. Immerse in the great outdoors
There is plenty of research to confirm that fresh air and time spent in the natural world is good for what ails all of us. Perhaps now more than ever.
Nothing refreshes like a walk or snowshoe in the woods or a stroll on the beach. Make time for a family picnic. Seek out nature preserves, conservation areas, state and national parks. Discover a bird sanctuary or a colorful flower garden. Enjoy the quiet, the bounty of the season and the good company of your family.
O’Rourke Hayes, an author, family travel expert and explorer, may be reached at @lohayes on Twitter.