Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Most Romantic Mountaintop Resorts

Like us on Facebook 
Book your vacation through Family Travel Concierge -

From the Italian Alps to the Colorado Rockies, these mountaintop destinations will take your breath away (and not just because of the thin oxygen at these altitudes.) 
Hotel Hohenwart, South Tyrol Province, Italy

This upscale resort in the mountainous South Tyrol Province of Northern Italy has charming chalet style (reflective of the region's Austro-Bavarian heritage) and an impressive spa. There are three lovely pools as well, including a gorgeous saltwater glass pool on the hotel's rooftop with postcard-perfect mountain views. Rooms vary, but some have a modern take on alpine style with lots of natural wood. The restaurant serves a blend of Alpine and Mediterranean fare, and uses cheeses, herbs, honey, smoked sausages, and meat from nearby farms. It's a wonderful romantic pick for outdoorsy couples looking to hike or ski in the surrounding region. 
Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole

Couples looking for a room with a view can't do much better in Jackson Hole than Spring Creek Ranch, which is set in a wildlife refuge more than 700 feet above the Jackson Valley; it arguably has the most stunning views of the Tetons in the area. The delicious restaurant, lovely heated outdoor pool, renowned Wilderness Adventure Spa, and lodge-like rooms (some more upscale than others) help make this an attractive pick among couples. 
Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe, California

With over 400 rooms, the Resort at Squaw Creek may not be intimate, but it has gorgeous views of the mountain and valley. Couples won't lack for fun date activities here, as the property offers everything from golf to ice skating. Rooms have stone fireplaces and some have kitchens, for couples looking to spend a cozy night in; those who'd rather have a romantic evening out can choose from five different restaurants on-site. There's a lift directly to the slopes here as well, and couples can unwind in the hot tubs and year-round heated pool after skiing. 
Viceroy Snowmass, Aspen

The Viceroy Snowmass in Aspen's Snowmass Village seems designed for romantic cuddling -- by the big fire pit adjacent to the heated saline pool, by the fire in the warm, wood-paneled lobby bar, and in the cozy, mountain-chic rooms, many with fireplaces of their own. The spa has a stunning relaxation area where guests can also unwind. Couples looking to hit the slopes will appreciate the ski-in, ski-out location and ski valet service.
Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler

This romantic resort feels far from the busy, touristy parts of Whistler, thanks to its location right on Nita Lake, but it's still just a short walk from the restaurants and attractions in Creekside. Couples are sure to appreciate the relaxing views and sophisticated suites with fireplaces, soaking tubs, and balconies. The stunning restaurant serves organic gourmet fare. 
Hotel del Oso, Spain

This gorgeous luxury hotel at the foot of the Pico de Europa Mountains has lodge-like, cozy rooms (with mountain views from some balconies), and a popular restaurant serving tasty Cantabrian cuisine. The hotel is housed in two stone buildings designed to look like the traditional homes in the area, and there is tasteful lodge decor with lots of pine inside -- as well as a grizzly bear theme ("oso" means "bear" in Spanish). It's a lovely, secluded escape for couples looking to soak up some natural beauty and enjoy nearby outdoor activities in the mountains. 
Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont

This hotel will help you understand what Julie Andrews was singing about -- the hills really are alive at this charming mountain lodge near the slopes in Stowe, Vermont. It's still owned and run by the actual von Trapp family (yes, they are real) whose ancestors' story inspired "The Sound of Music." Cottage-style rooms are cozy enough, but not the highlight; instead, couples will likely most appreciate the tastings at the on-site brewery, dining at the three restaurants, and outdoor hot tub --where they can watch the mist roll in over the valley below.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Ultimate Ski Faceoff: VAIL vs. ASPEN

Like us on Facebook 
Book your vacation through Family Travel Concierge -

It's one of the oldest destination rivalries of all time. And while fans of each will claim that their chosen locale far outshines the other in numerous ways, the two Colorado ski towns are most likely so often at odds with one another because they are actually quite similar. Both have amazing slopes. Both attract a celebrity clientele. Both are home to wonderful restaurants and shops. But we can't help but get in on the "which is best" debate ourselves, so we decided to stage a little face-off between Aspen and Vail in order to finally put this argument to rest (after all, we are the experts, so our opinion should count for something). In order to dub an overall winner, we matched the two ski destinations off in the following categories: skiing, history, price, celebrity status, getting there and around, dining, and nightlife. Let the games begin, and the victor be declared!!
This is perhaps the most important category of all because, well, duh. Although certainly not the only reason visitors flock to Vail and Aspen (some avoid it altogether), skiing is the main attraction in both. So let's take a look at the mountains, shall we? Vail and Aspen similarly call the Colorado Rocky Mountains home, but the common thread stops there. While Aspen boasts four mountains, Vail has but one. But as we all know, less is often more -- and this proves to be true here. Because while Vail may have just one mountain, it is massive and the entirety of Aspen's slopes could be crammed onto Vail's sole mountain multiple times over. Plus, true skiers prefer Vail's slopes to Aspen's because they are decidedly more challenging (and that's a fact). And the winner is...Vail.
Aspen will always win this battle because it actually has some history. While Vail was built as a ski resort in 1962, and became incorporated four years later, Aspen began as a mining camp in the 1880s. The Panic of 1893 prompted the town's decline, but the development of nearby Aspen Mountain into a ski destination revitalized the area and turned Aspen into a ski resort of its own. History buffs can take a walking tour, catch a show at the historic Wheeler Opera House, or even book a stay in an historic hotel -- like Hotel Jerome. And the winner is...Aspen.
If you're looking for a budget ski vacation, don't look at Aspen...and don't look at Vail. Both are pricey destinations, whereas mountains in locales such as Vermont and Park City allow for a little more stretching of your dollar. But between the two, Vail offers the better deal. On average, hotel rooms in and near Vail are slightly less expensive than those found in Aspen, as are its restaurants and shops. Our favorite value hotels in Vail include Marriott's Streamside and Austria Haus Hotel, which offers guests free access to The Lodge at Vail's numerous pools. And the winner is...Vail.
Celebrity Status
If you visit Aspen or Vail sometime during peak season (November through March), your chances of spotting a celeb are pretty high. While plenty of stars have homes in other ski destinations (Tom Cruise and Jerry Seinfeld in Telluride, Sandra Bullock in Jackson Hole), these two certainly take home the prize for the highest number of celebrity residents -- with Aspen narrowly beating out Vail. Vail may be Jessica Biel's hometown, where Lindsey Vonn trains, and the site of one of Michael Bloomberg's many homes, but Vail has slightly more star power; Jack Nicholson, Kevin Costner, Robert Wagner, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Antonio Banderas, and Charlie Sheen all own residences here. And the winner is...Aspen.
Getting There and Around
Heated. Sidewalks. No. Joke. Both Vail and Aspen have invested in snowmelt systems, which is great since they quickly clear snow and slippery ice from pedestrian pathways. Both ski towns also have relatively reliable and inexpensive transportation options. But Vail has our vote as being the more easily navigable city, as well as the one that's easier to reach. Many travelers to Aspen and Vail choose to fly into Denver, as it's the closest major airport and is often much cheaper. While it takes about three hours to reach Vail from Denver, it takes four or more from Aspen, and there are fewer public bus options from Denver to Aspen than to Vail. Plus, while Vail may be able one square mile larger than Aspen, it has about 2,000 fewer residences, many (slightly) fewer crowds and clogged sidewalks than what you'll find in Aspen. And the winner is...Vail.
In order to cater to their well-heeled visitors' refined palates, Vail and Aspen are chock-a-block with gourmet, fine-dining options -- whether they be on the mountain for a delicious ski-in/ski-out lunch or on Main Street for a classy apres-ski, multi-course extravaganza. Craving Nobu? You'll find an outpost in both destinations. And Top Chef and Iron Chef vet Kelly Liken runs her self-named restaurant in Vail, which has attracted national attention and garnered numerous awards. But Aspen is Colorado's foodie mecca. Ajax Tavern is not only known for its use of fresh, local ingredients, but also its ability to draw a celeb chef clientele; Mario Batali is often spotted here. Plus, the famed Chefs Club, which features a rotation of renowned chefs, rolled out its (very successful) trial run in Aspen, and an outpost of David Burke Kitchen is opening there this winter. And the winner is...Aspen.
The Tie-Breaker: Nightlife
It's neck-and-neck. Each destination has been dubbed champion of three categories, so it's down to the nightlife to determine the victor of our Aspen versus Vail face-off. Both locales have plenty of spots to grab an apres-ski cocktail or dance the night away till the early hours, and this one is more subjective than the others, because it depends on your partying-it-up style. But we prefer the more low-key approach to the nightlife in Vail. While you can sip a fancy craft cocktail with the best of 'em in Aspen, fellow patrons may turn up their noses if you arrive fresh off the mountain, still in your ski boots. But in Vail, this is de rigueur and many skiers -- tourists and locals alike -- perfer to rock their ski gear all night rather than miss the hour or two at the bars that they'd need to spend changing. And the winner -- and overall champion -- is VAIL!

Monday, November 24, 2014

When We Say All Inclusive, We Mean ALL INCLUSIVE!

Like us on Facebook 
Book your vacation through Family Travel Concierge -

There are all-inclusive resorts, and then there are all-inclusive resorts. The difference lies in the details: Going above and beyond the standard amenities, the nine hotels we’ve hand-picked as the best of the all-inclusive best offer fun and exciting ways for travelers to indulge.

World-class food, beautiful decor, and fantastic activities are all to be had -- and everything is built into one price-per-day, making planning out your budget a simple feat.

1. Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya, Puerto Morelos

With only 90 suites, the Zoetry Paraiso offers a romantic, wellness-centric boutique experience in the Mayan Riviera. Room layouts are unique, with indoor gardens and plunge pools. The pool area and beach are relaxed and tranquil, and the on-site dining keeps the resort's wellness theme alive with delicious, healthy meals. Included amenities not standard at most all-inclusive resorts -- such as a "welcome" bottle of tequila, a daily bottle of champagne, a one-hour Catamaran sunset sail, three-times-daily maid service, and private chauffeured airport transfers, --make this resort a standout among Puerto Morelos' finest properties.
2. Marival Residence & World Spa, Nuevo Vallarta

A half-hour drive from downtown Puerto Vallarta and a half mile from the beach, the Marival Residences & World Spa is the place to go for laid-back luxury: Picture residential-style suites, modern amenities, and an impressive array of all-inclusive features. Rooms range from one to four bedrooms and all feature spacious terraces with garden, pool, or ocean views. The private beach club is posh, the pool is large, and the four restaurants serve excellent cuisine. But the best part is the spa, which features unique signature treatments in gorgeously themed (India, Thailand, and other countries) rooms.

3. Half Moon, a Rock Resort, Jamaica
Drawing everyone from Queen Elizabeth to 50 Cent, Half Moon strives for timeless, understated luxury (even at the swim-up bar). Stretching over 400 acres -- which includes two miles of beach -- the 230-room resort offers attentive service and quality cuisine. But what truly sets Half Moon apart is its endless breadth of activities. Guests can swim with dolphins in the resort’s private cove, play tennis or golf, windsurf, kayak, choose from a myriad of spa treatments…the list literally goes on.
4. Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic

The D.R.'s classiest, most famous resort since 1974, the Casa de Campo hotel is part of a massive, 7,000-acre resort community that includes three world-renowned golf courses, an immaculate beach, a marina, the quaint "town" of Altos de Chavon, and numerous other on-site activities. It can take some time to get from place to place, but each of the spacious rooms comes with a golf cart for guests' use and the delicious food at the restaurants is substantially above par.
5. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya

This all-inclusive megaresort is located in a secluded spot near Mayan ruins. It offers sprawling, manicured grounds, over a dozen eateries, and a white-sand beach that is one of the most tranquil in the area. The main pool is gorgeous, and the spa offers breezy outdoor treatment rooms and many unique services. While adults can make use of the modern fitness center, kids will enjoy a play fountain, arcade, and rock-climbing wall.
6. Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa, Cabo San Lucas

This all-inclusive, adults-only resort is a tranquil, upscale option on a gorgeous beach in Cabo. Amenities are plentiful: There are two beautiful pools, tennis courts, five restaurants (including sushi and Italian options), five bars (no well liquor here; they serve Absolut, Bacardi, and Cuervo 1800, along with over 50 brands of liquor), a large fitness center, and a full-service spa with a sexy whirlpool and a meditation labyrinth.
7. Fowl Cay Resort, Bahamas
Crowded beaches are unheard of on this private island resort where a maximum of 28 guests at a time have free range of 50 acres and three beaches. Personal boats for daily excursions as well as personal golf carts, on-call service, spacious villas with fully stocked kitchens and wet bars, and a host of all-inclusive activities -- such as kayaking, tennis, and bocce -- make Fowl Cay a standout gem in the Exumas.
8. Parrot Cay and COMO Shambhala Retreat, Turks and Caicos

Accessed via a 30-minute boat ride from Providenciales, this 1,000-acre all-inclusive resort on a private island is the definition of tranquility. With an incredible infinity-edge pool, the world-renowned COMO Shambhala Retreat, waterfront Balinese-style villas, doting service, and more than three miles of pristine beaches, it's easily one of the most luxurious and romantic options in the Caribbean.
9. Excellence Playa Mujeres, Cancun

This adults-only luxury resort offers a nice all-inclusive experience. The rooms here are spacious and contemporary, with large modern bathrooms, whirlpool tubs, and high-end amenities such as big flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docks. Some have large rooftop terraces with private plunge pools and ocean views. There are also nine restaurants on-site and 11 bars, offering a variety of cuisines and atmospheres. Dozens of daily activities include snorkeling and Spanish lessons, but many guests choose to simply relax at the hotel's world-class spa, which features ocean-side treatments. A huge fitness center include a yoga and Pilates studio, and free non-motorized sports as well as introductory scuba lessons are offered. The lists go on and on, truly making this an all-inclusive resort deserving of the title.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Montreal and Quebec City- Ring in 2015

Like us on Facebook 
Book your vacation through Family Travel Concierge -

If family-friendly and free are the only “f” words in your party vocabulary, the super-popular annual outdoor gathering in Old Montreal’s historic and picturesque Place Jacques-Cartier is without a doubt the answer to your New Year’s prayers. Starting at 7 pm, DJs and other entertainment will get the party started, and then at 10 pm it will be live music as party band The Lost Fingers sing in the New Year. At five minutes before midnight The Grand Countdown will begin, and then at the stroke of midnight fireworks will commence on the quays of the adjacent Old Port. From there it will be DJs and dancing in the Old Port’s improvised “megadiscotheque” until 2 am.

If you somehow manage to snag a babysitter for the night and are kid free, Circus Afterhours is promising a 14-hour dance marathon (from 10 pm until noon the next day) as part of Circus Maximus MMXIV which will feature no less than 23 dance and electronic DJs in five rooms done up in “grandiose décor” befitting the occasion. General admission is $75 with a VIP upgrade (VIP entrance, coat check, hostess, chill room, bar and fruits and snacks) available for an additional $25. And on the topic of big and bouncy, the 10,000 square foot Arena nightclub, situated at the western end of downtown, is a favourite for younger clubgoers. Featuring R&B, hip-hop, house and Top 40 by DJ Blaze, DJ Engen and DJ Groove, party favours and a live countdown from Times Square, tickets range from $59 for basic open bar through several levels of service right up to their all-inclusive 15-person VIP “Hollywood Package.”

Also, the Sir Winston Churchill Pub Complex on Crescent Street is a one-stop New Year’s shop for Montrealers and visitors alike. DJ Sandy Duperval holds down the dance floor at Winnie’s Bar (your $20 ticket includes a bottle of bubbly), the adjacent Karina’s Club Lounge/Piano Bar offers a five-course meal with live ivory tickling for $79.95 followed by music and dancing with DJ Tag, and the Sir Winston Churchill Pub proper has a DJ spinning Top 40 club hits, old school R&B and house for $35. Great food and music to match is the promise made and kept every year at the intimate, warmly appointed Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill downtown. Take in sets by multi-award winning jazz and blues vocalist Dawn Tyler Watson while savouring a gourmet six-course meal and Prosecco at midnight; tickets are $134.95.

If your idea of a deeply satisfying New Year’s Eve experience is less about cutting the rug and more about cutting into something delectable, Old Montreal offers no shortage of gastronomic options.

L’Autre Version, for example, is offering two different seatings with live music accompaniment: an early, three-service meal at 5:30 pm ($55 per person), and an all-out, eight-service sitting at 8:45 pm with flutes of sparkly stuff at midnight. And the classy, old-world charm of L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel will provide the setting for their “The Second Before Midnight” event featuring their annual five-service Saint-Sylvestre gourmet feast and dance party for $165. And, thoughtfully, diners will be given two ambiance options: the Dom Perignon Black Space (featuring very popular bossa nova jazz performers Bet. E & Stef) or the Belevedere Vodka White Space (with DJ Pat Boogie spinning). Following dinner, guests are invited step up the soirée in the hotel’s Velvet Speakeasy with well-known DJ Christian Pronovost manning the decks. Those wishing to partake in the party only can do so for $40.

Quebec City
Starting December 27th, it’s on Grande Allée that New Year is being celebrated! The Ferris wheel and zip-line will be back to dazzle you and the bars and restaurants will heat their outdoor patios so you can celebrate with friends and family to your heart’s content in complete comfort. On December 31st, Grande Allée becomes an immense dance floor. Don’t miss the big show with traditional songs, dancers, acrobats, fire eaters and fireworks. DJ Destructo will be performing on New Years Eve.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Post Turkey Day Detox

Body by LeSport, Saint Lucia

Like us on Facebook 
Book your vacation through Family Travel Concierge -

We know you’re going to do it; we all do it- stuff our faces on Thanksgiving. After all, a mouth full of sweet potato casserole might even save you from telling your uncle what you really think of her political views...and we're sure there will be enough family drama around the dining room table as it is that your comments are probably best gone unsaid. But that being said, you'll probably be ready for a little post-turkey detox once Friday rolls around. Fortunately, we've found 10 amazing wellness resorts that you should book now in order to guarantee you'll get your pre-turkey body back post-festivities.

Hotel Schwarzenstein, Italian Alps

Set on sprawling private grounds in the Ahrntal Valley, this mountain spa and wellness retreat will serve double duty, help you to detox and get in the holiday spirit. I mean, look at those views! There's not much within walking distance, apart from the many mountain hiking trails, a few shops, restaurants, and a small church. Three major ski areas are nearby, two of which the hotel provides free daily shuttles to during the winter months, making this an ideal base for skiers and leisure travelers looking for a high-altitude holiday. 

The BodyHoliday, LeSport; St. Lucia

The BodyHoliday bills itself as a place to refresh, refocus, and reenergize, and the resort offers guests plenty of opportunity to accomplish these tasks. The 154-room upscale, all-inclusive resort is one of the most luxurious on St. Lucia. Accommodations are set in a series of buildings built into the hillside overlooking Pigeon Island National Park, as well as a secluded cove and white-sand beach. The huge temple-like wellness center is the hub for daily spa treatments, but there are also endless activities from yoga to archery to motivate guests to stay active.
Hotel La Fonte del Cerro, Tuscany

This is one of the closest places to stay not only to the Saturnia spa complex, but also the Cascate del Mulino, the (free) outdoor waterfalls fed by the same healing thermal waters as the spa. The latter are accessible via a path through the woods. The apartment and rooms are outfitted with country touches, including antique wood furniture, floral bedspreads, and (in some) wood beam ceilings. A discount to the spa complex as well as the golf course is available, and the hotel has a limited number of bicycles for guests to borrow. The hotel is situated within a farm that produces oil, wine, and honey, all of which are available for tasting and purchase.
Blackberry Farm, Tennessee

This gorgeous farm hotel is a secluded, serene haven for foodies and nature lovers. Guests can immerse themselves in the beauty of the Appalachians by enjoying the venue's 4,200 acres of land and all the various activities offered. And the restaurant offers a true farm-to-table dining experience, as a majority of the produce is picked from the property's garden, so it's delicious while still being detox-friendly. There's also a stunning, tranquil spa, and two pools that visitors can enjoy. Guests can stay in luxurious cottages or in a charming room in the Main House.
Alp & Wellness Sport Hotel Panorama, Italian Alps

Alp & Wellness Sport Hotel Panorama is a 59-room ski resort focused on relaxation and rejuvenation. Amenities like an outdoor pool, on-site dining, and European-style spa make for an easy vacation with plenty to do on property. There are also tennis courts and a ski school on the property, and the hotel provides guests with packed lunches for those looking to explore throughout the day. Hotel Panorama, built in the 1940s, is one of the oldest hotels in the area, and, not surprisingly given the name, offers an exceptional panoramic view over the valley of the Adige, and the Trentino Alto Adige river to the right. 
Gansevoort Resort, Turcs and Caicos
Gansevoort Turks and Caicos, a Wymara Resort

The Gansevoort is without a doubt the sexiest resort on Grace Bay, and plenty guests arrive with the intent of doing the opposite of detoxing by taking advantage of the hotel's fun bar, and poolside and beachside drink service. Even more visitors, however, come to get in shape, as this Gansevoort outpost, like its sisters in New York City, boasts an Exhale Spa. Here, guests can book treatments, as well as pilates and yoga classes, and both the hotel and Exhale offer various packages and retreats focused on health and wellness.
Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Somerset

This gorgeous Georgian estate -- which once served as a private home, boarding school, wartime hospital, and place frequented by Winston Churchill -- sits about a mile outside of Bath, known for its healing waters. A full-service spa with a well-stocked health club, two swimming pools, and immaculate gardens give visitors lots of opportunity for activity or relaxation. There are plenty of common spaces to roam as well, including a posh patio, an upscale dining area, and a drawing room. 
Hotel Saturno Fonte Pura, Tuscany

Set in the southern Tuscan hills in the tiny township of Saturnia, Hotel Saturno Fonte Pura is a few minutes’ drive from the Cascate del Mulino, the free outdoor, naturally occurring waterfalls deriving from one of the many thermal springs spread throughout the area. An intimate, family-like atmosphere pervades the hotel and spa. The 25 rooms are laid out around well-kept grounds, and the conscientiously maintained outdoor pools are replenished by the hotel’s private spring, which in turn is sourced by the town’s thermal waters. The excellent restaurant serves local fare in a country-style dining room. 
Lake Austin Spa Resort

This lakeside retreat along the shores of Lake Austin is more than a spa resort -- with kayaking, canyon hikes, yoga and "discovery programs," Lake Austin Spa Resort is a true wellness destination. Its log-cabin-like exterior is enhanced by its natural surroundings, while the French-inspired interior is bright and elegant. The 40 rooms continue this look, with classic but stylish furnishings, and feature modern technology (iPod docks and flat-screen TVs). Gorgeous lake views can be seen throughout -- from the sun-soaked dining room, cheerful lobbyupstairs living room, and even the modern fitness center. There are three pools, one of which is housed in a barn, and outdoor massage facilities are surrounded by trees. The cooking class kitchen is cute and homey, just like the rest of the resort.
Pineta Hotels Nature Wellness Resort, Italian Alps

The setting alone makes the upper-mid-range Pineta Hotels Nature Wellness Resort pretty special -- nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by thick forest on the edge of a small mountain village. The property itself is also picture-perfect Alpine chalet, while the spa facilities really impress. The hotel restaurant is excellent, which is useful as there's not much other dining around. There's free breakfast and Wi-Fi, plus scheduled activities and bikes to borrow. Rooms are mostly simple, but very cozy, many with stunning views. For a secluded and tranquil stay close to nature, it doesn't get much better than this -- the rates aren't bad either.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On a Serious Note- Children and Tours

Like us on Facebook 
Book your vacation through Family Travel Concierge -

Holocaust Memorial- Berlin, Germany

Parents who bring their children to learn with docents/tour guides as part of family program know that an on-site learning experience can be quite powerful. Sometimes, advance preparation and pre-trip learning with your young ones is an essential part in creating a deeper experience on the ground. Though this is true of all topics, we looked to some guides in Berlin, who have experience ranging from a family group with a 6-year old who wished to visit the Sachsenhausen Camp to teens learning about World War II in school who wanted to understand what Berlin was like during the Cold War, to help give us resources.  
Below you will find our list of resources to help you and your family educate yourselves in these topics, creating a wonderful foundation for everyone to build-on and explore in a meaningful way during your vacation.
"Shoes on the Danube" Budapest, Hungary
This educational website covers a wide range of topics around tolerance.  A quick keyword search through the classroom resources will lead you to lesson plans on social justice based on the life of Holocaust survivors as well as a lesson using photographs to explore the life of Jews in Europe pre-World War II.  The search engine can also call up resources based on the age of your child, giving you focused lessons from pre-Kindergarten through high school.
The museum’s educational section links to numerous resources for individual learning. The student learning section has a clear timeline of events from Hitler’s rise through the end of World War II, with links to personal testimonies and more.
Reading stories is often the best way for children to begin grappling with these topics and a quick search online for young reader books regarding the Holocaust and World War II will pull up a variety of sources, from graphic stories for younger children to more developed novels for teens.  Here is a short selection of some of our favorites:
Holocaust Remembrance Series of Young Readers – This series of books published by Second Story Press out of Canada, has a range of books for young readers, as well as teacher resources.
In the Garden of Beasts – This gripping book tells the story of American’s ambassador to Germany during the Nazi regime.  An adult book that parents can also read, older teens will identify with the ambassador’s teenage daughter Martha, as her involvement and reactions to life during this time are one of the focal points of the book.
Night – Eli Wiesel’s account of his survival as a teenager in a concentration camp remains one of the seminal works for learning about the Holocaust.  Another book to be shared both by parents and teens, the book will certainly spark poignant discussion before your visit.