Photo: Marble Mountain Ranch
Dude Ranches are Great Destinations for Grandparent Trips with Grandchildren
For grandparents traveling with grandchildren, an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation out west is the perfect option for connecting with nature while spending quality time with each other. With many different activities, including horseback riding, you get to experience firsthand the beauty of the American West with your precious grandbabies, whether they are still a toddler or if they are older in their teenage years. The all-inclusive packages on a dude ranch will allow for a carefree week of enjoyment for grandma and grandpa. And there are plenty of things to do on the ranch for the grandchildren. Activities, accommodations, and meals are all taken care of for the week, so everyone can focus on having a great vacation together. We’ve put together some reasons why dude ranches are the best vacations for grandparents and grandchildren along with some great examples of ranches that would fantastic destinations for a summer trip.
Discover nature together
The wildflowers blooming, birds chirping and deer grazing in the fields are all apart of the vacation with the grandkids, just waiting to be discovered. All of the dude ranches in the Dude Ranchers’ Association are located in the middle of an incredibly beautiful country. Take for example the Red Horse Mountain Ranch. It is a 560-acre ranch with 300,000 acres of public land to explore. Once you arrive at the ranch you will be fully immersed in the beautiful Idaho landscape. Get your camera ready! You’ll want to take pictures.
Photo: Red Horse Mountain Ranch
Turn off the screens
How can the kid's text, make phone calls, or play on the internet when there’s very little connectivity? It’s not possible! They won’t be able to spend hours on their phone each day. You’ll really enjoy the face to face time at a dude ranch when all batteries die and there’s little point in carrying around a device. You’ll find at Crossed Sabres Ranch that staying off electronics comes very easily. There is no cell phone service or wifi! There’s a guest computer connected to the internet in the lodge for communal use or, you can teach the younger generation a thing or two about how to use a landline!
Photo: Crossed Sabres Ranch
Splash around in the water
Nothing says you're on vacation like an afternoon by the water. Would you like to go fly fishing? Raft down the river? These are a couple of the options for grandparents and grandkids to do while on a dude ranch vacation at the Marble Mountain Ranch in Somes Bar, California. This destination is known for its rafting, fly fishing, and horseback riding.
Photo: Marble Mountain Ranch
Ride out from the barn on horseback
There’s a reason horseback riding is the central program on a dude ranch - children really love horses. There are specialized trail rides for everyone’s riding experience and desires. The folks at Geronimo Trail Ranch are experts at taking grandparents traveling with grandchildren on an adventure through the Gila National Forest and showing them 1,000 -year old cliff dwellings. You’ll certainly join them in their enthusiasm while riding your own trusty steed.
Even though riding is the best part of working with horses on a dude ranch vacation other fun activities with horses include brushing, tacking up, feeding - all very important activities for children who are in love with horses. Wranglers, (the cowboys and cowgirls at the ranch) are well equipped with the knowledge and resources to teach children about horses and the western lifestyle. You’ll find that the barn is where your grandchildren will want to spend the majority of their time.
Photo: Geronimo Trail Ranch
Stay in a cabin
Trips for grandparents and grandchildren require a relaxing place to unwind. That’s why at a dude ranch you’ll have the option to stay in a personal cabin for the week to unpack your things and get comfortable in your own space. At the Tumbling River Ranch, this includes a personal fireplace and a great view. Western-style accommodations mean the cowboy look isn’t just in the button-up wrangler shirts and cowboy boots. All the bedding and furniture is inspired by the western lifestyle that you might like to have in your own home.
Photo: Tumbling River Ranch
Dine at the ranch with the family
A family vacation isn’t complete without fantastic dining opportunities. Dude ranches are known for very satisfied guests, even for picky eaters. Meals are thoughtfully prepared three times a day and served in a beautifully appointed dining room for your family gathering. At the Black Mountain Ranch you be delightfully surprised at the gourmet cuisine presented at each meal. And for the grandchildren, there’s always a kid-friendly option that they can fill up on. Save room for dessert! Everyone will love the sweets from the pastry chef.
Allow for some adult time with a kids program
While spending time together is the main reason for the vacation, a little alone time might be enjoyable too. Dude ranches offer kids activities throughout the day with a supervised program that will be tons of fun your grandchild, and also the other children at the ranch. This will give you time to slip away. At the Gros Ventre River Ranch that might be in a hammock on the lawn, soft chair by the fire, or laze about by the river. Take a moment to refresh, and when you come together you’ll only have that much more to talk about.
Can’t you imagine your next trip with your grandchildren on a dude ranch vacation? There will be fun and excitement in the outdoors and the opportunity for relaxation. You’ll certainly never forget the memories you make at the ranch together on your multi-generational trip. Grandparents traveling know how important these special times are to have while the grandchildren are still in school and have the time to make memories together through a shared experience.
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Photo: Gros Ventre River Ranch