Planning a family vacation with young kids can be challenging, trying to balance practical needs with a fun experience. Many places tout being family friendly because they offer cribs and high chairs and a children’s menu but it’s not until you’ve stayed at Fern Resort that you really appreciate a true family resort.
It’s true Fern Resort has hight chairs and booster seats in the dining room, cribs in your room, chicken fingers and pizza on the children’s menu, even crayons and colouring pages at the dining room tables. But it’s the little touches that mean so much more to parents (and kids); it’s anticipating your needs before you know you have them.
Our first night we arrived just in time for dinner. The table we were seated at was to be our table for our entire stay. That meant for all of our other meals we could just go and sit at our table, no waiting to be seated. This really made you feel like you were staying at a friend’s place versus at a resort. Our table was always prepared for us with my 4-year old’s booster seat in place, colouring sheets and crayons waiting, kid and adult menus at the appropriate seats and knives removed from the kids’ placesetting. At other tables with infants, high chairs were already set-up too, making it easy to get everyone seated when you arrived at your table.
This was our table and with our table came our server, Patrina. It’s a nice touch having the same server for each meal. She would greet the kids by their names at each meal and the kids looked forward to seeing her. Not only did she remember their names but she remembered my 4-year old loved to drink with straws (they were always in her drinks) and my 6-year old loved tomatoes and would bring them out with his meal.
Most kids are content with standard yet fun kid’s food, like chicken fingers or pizza or hamburgers; I know my 4 and sometimes 6-year old fall in this category. Fern Resort understands and have crated a children’s menu with that in mind. But for some kids, like my 8-year old who craves more than a hotdog but perhaps doesn’t have the appetite for the size of items on the main menu, Fern Resort has a great alternative. You can choose any item on the main menu and they’ll prepare a child-size portion. And I mean any menu item. My daughter enjoyed a steak one day and prime rib the next.
Although the children’s menu stayed pretty much the same each day, there was enough variety that kids could choose something different each time. You can see samples of Fern Resort’s Winter menu on their site.
If you’re a family of 5 or more, like we are, or you’re planning a vacation with friends or extended family, it can be hard to find a resort that can accommodate your needs. The Fern Resort have a variety of accommodations to meet your family’s size and requirements, like single story cottages, two-story cottages, multi-room accommodations and more. Many of the rooms have separate bedrooms which is great when travelling with kids. We stayed in the Twin Fern Cottage which gave the kids their own room and us our own room, plus a living room space downstairs. The kids loved having their own space but more importantly we could get them to bed while we stayed up longer. This is hard to do if everyone’s staying in one room. You can see all the different accommodations available at Fern Resort, including a map showing their location within the resort, on their site.
Our room came with a wood burning fireplace and two artificial logs (housekeeping would ensure you always had two logs each night). This was nice for winding down after a busy day outside in the snow.
The upstairs bathroom also came with a nightlight which was great for illuminating the upstairs for kids trying to sleep in a new space, plus it helped for finding the bathroom in the middle of the night. Each of the two bathroom’s also had step stools so even my 4-year old could wash her hands easily. The stools and nightlight are things we take for granted at home and miss when we travel but Fern Resort had it covered.
Fern Resort offers a lot of family-friendly winter activities to keep you busy from morning until bedtime. Along with snowshoeing and tobogganing, you could just enjoy the snow. The kids loved walking the grounds, making snow angels and snowballs, catching snowflakes on their tongues. Fern Resort offers a wonderful wooded area for cross country skiing but it’s great for exploring on foot as well.
If you’re looking for a truly family focused vacation, the Fern Resort delivers. You can find out more about the Fern Resort by visiting their site www.fernresort.com, join them on Facebook or follow them on twitter.
I want to thank the Fern Resort for the opportunity to visit them for the purpose of sharing this review.