mountain biking, hiking, disc golf, slack-lines and volleyball. In winter, the resort’s
Mountain Top Ski Chalet offers three chairlifts and two carpet lifts, with professional
ski instructors available for kids and adults,
so everyone can enjoy the slopes. Grand
Geneva’s sister property, Timber Ridge Resort, also offers the Moose Mountain Falls
Waterpark for summer fun.
Grand Geneva constantly plans new
programming for families, according to
Vernick. Activities can range from bingo,
family magic shows and Family Feud to
teambuilding events like the Putt-Putt
Challenge, Build-A-Bike program or an
Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt.
As for trends, Vernick sees groups
“keeping it simple and hands-on.” She
added that athletic trends that get people
moving are popular, such as Amazing
Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa,
Secluded on 6,800 acres of the Galena Territory, Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa is a favorite for groups. In addition to 63 holes of
championship golf and 23 miles of hiking
trails, the resort also offers fishing on Lake
Galena, plus a year-round pool that has a
retractable roof for the warmer months.
Like many resorts, the key to Eagle Ridge
is outdoor fun in any season, including ice
skating and snowshoeing in winter. The
resort also provides a vast array of programming for kids and adults, including
poolside craft classes, scavenger hunts and
Cork and Canvas classes, which were added by popular demand and feature painting
instruction and wine and cheese. The staff
can also set up off-site horseback riding
adventures at the Shenandoah Riding Center, or hot-air balloon rides showcasing the
pristine beauty of the Galena Territory.
Inn at Bay Harbor,
Bay Harbor, Mich.
On the shores of Little Traverse Bay
at Lake Michigan is the Inn at
Bay Harbor Autograph Collection. It’s so close to the
water, in fact, that the
beach is literally right
outside the front door.
Attendees and families
can find a complete
beach vacation and
conference rolled into
one experience. Covered
beach chairs and cabanas
await, or guests can dive
into the outdoor pool instead
of a beach swim. There’s also a life-size
chess board for family fun or teambuilding exercises, and the staff can arrange
off-site activities, such as fishing trips
and wine tours.
When it comes to dining, choice is king.
Want a real afternoon tea? They can do
that. Prefer snacking down at the Cabana
Bar? Fine. There’s even a Happy Hour special available at the spa, so guests can relax
their bodies and their brains.
There’s still plenty to do in the winter
months when it’s too cool to take a dip in
the lake. Guests at the resort have access
to the skiing and snowboarding at Boyne
Mountain Resort, a sister property to the
Inn at Bay Harbor.
The Lodge of Four Seasons,
Lake Ozark, Mo.
Set in the beautiful Ozarks, The Lodge of
Four Seasons has entertained families and
groups for generations. After a $15 million
renovation finished this year, the resort
has even more to offer as a family-friendly
“The natural layout of the lodge regard-
ing sleeping rooms, meeting space and
activities is all centrally located and not
spread out,” said Frederik Houben, director
of sales and marketing for The Lodge of
Four Seasons. “Being a full-service lake
resort, we feature the largest full-service
marina on the lake and also fishing ex-
cursions, two championship golf courses,
The resort’s location alongside the
shores of Lake of the Ozarks means plenty
of outdoor diversions on land as well,
including walking paths, jogging trails
and volleyball. After a full day of activity,
A trend Houben sees growing is the
demand for physical activities.
“The arcade is utilized, but
families are not just hanging
around by the pool and
vegging. They want to do
things,” he said. “We do
see there’s a lot more
physical activity, even
in the evening, people
want to be outside,
whether they are out
on the boat, playing
volleyball or just roasting
marshmallows by the fire pit.”
Summer is a popular time
for groups to bring the family due to
“We currently have a law enforcement
conference in-house, and I’m surprised
by how many brought their spouses and
families,” he said.
Grand Harbor Resort and
Waterpark, Dubuque, Iowa
Located at the Port of Dubuque, Grand
Harbor Resort and Waterpark offers both
indoor and outdoor fun for families. The
most popular attraction for kids is the
25,000-square-foot on-site indoor waterpark, with water slides, tube rides, activity
pools and much more. The Cave Arcade
offers old-school fun for kids and adults
alike, with Skee-Ball, Whack-a-Mole and
a Wheel of Fortune, in addition to video
games. Even the property’s restaurant,
Tony Roma’s, can switch between grownup receptions and kids birthday parties
with remarkable ease.
Outside, attendees can enjoy a casual
stroll along the Mississippi Riverwalk, and
the property is also within walking distance
of Dubuque’s historic downtown. The nearby Grand River Center offers 86,000 square
feet of event space and features commanding views of the Mississippi in the all-glass
EAGLE RIDGE RESORT AND SPA, GALENA, ILL.
GRAND HARBOR RESORT AND WATERPARK, DUBUQUE, IOWA
INN AT BAY HARBOR,
BAY HARBOR, MICH.