A raft of fun in Wisconsin

Deals Of The Week

July 06, 2008|By Chicago Tribune

*Camp isn't just for kids these days. At Wisconsin's Wildman Whitewater Ranch, the "Fabulous Family Four-Day Adventure Camp" entices the whole gang, from grandparents to children as young as 7, to try out white-water rafting, rock climbing, tubing or kayaking.

Starting any Sunday through October - weather permitting - the adventure includes four nights' cabin lodging, two meals and five adventures per person, for $360 for adults or teens and $300 for children 7 through 12. Minimum family size for the package is three people, with tax additional. Wildman Whitewater Ranch is north of Green Bay, about 275 miles from Chicago. (888-813-8524; wildmanranch.com)

*New Orleans isn't the first place that pops into mind as a family destination, but the Big Easy has many child-friendly attractions. Among these are the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, with its penguins and sea otters, and the Audubon Zoo, home to white tigers and even white alligators.

Four tickets to either the aquarium or the zoo are an integral part of the "Four Legs or Fins Family Getaway" package offered at many New Orleans properties operated by Marriott. Valid through Nov. 15, the package also includes one night's accommodations and breakfast for two adults and two kids. Rates vary depending on the hotel and date selected. For instance, "Four Legs or Fins" at the New Orleans Marriott is priced at $179-$329, while the same at the Courtyard by Marriott New Orleans Near the French Quarter runs $149-$299. (866-530-3763; neworleans.marriott.com)

*Though we are still knee-deep in summer, autumn is soon to follow. With fall foliage come cruises along the New England coast, among them four sailings aboard the Crystal Symphony. These voyages signal the launch of new shore excursions, such as an America's Cup sailing adventure in Newport, R.I., and a schooner cruise in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The first Crystal Symphony fall foray is the Sept. 16-27 "Colonial Classics" from New York to Montreal, with Newport, Boston and Quebec City among the ports of call. The ship reverses course for the Sept. 27-Oct. 8 "Northeast Discovery," returning to New York from Montreal, with optional golf rounds on six courses along the way. Two more sailings are scheduled for October. Depending on the date, fares start at $3,435-$3,495, with port, security and handling charges adding $390-$430. Additional fees apply. (888-799-4625; crystalcruises.com)

*Travelers wanting to take in more than just urban sights might find the 68-room Inn Marin in Novato, Calif., the ideal rendezvous. Close enough to San Francisco for sorties into the city, the hotel also offers easy access to beachcombing at Point Reyes and Bodega Bay, NASCAR action at Infineon Raceway and winery-hopping in the Sonoma and Napa valleys.

Among Inn Marin's offerings are the "Six Flags Package," with one night's family accommodations and four tickets to Six Flags Discover Kingdom in nearby Vallejo, for prices starting at $250. Economy-minded vacationers might opt for the Sunday-Thursday "Week Day Special" for $109 per room. (800-652-6565; innmarin.com)

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