The Holiday Season Is a Great Time of Year for Family Vacations

Mary Anne and kids on the waterfront with Vancouver in the background

Mary Anne and kids on the waterfront with Vancouver in the background

It can be a bit strange to leave your normal holiday traditions behind and go on vacation. As parents who are busy with a daily life of running two businesses and the hustle and bustle of running our kids from activity to activity, sometimes we lose touch as a family.

We wanted some alone time with our kids, a time to reconnect and create memories we would cherish for a lifetime. The winter holiday break was the perfect time for us to get away, so we took advantage of it and booked a two-week trip across Canada.

Our first stop was Vancouver, British Columbia, where we stayed with the Four Seasons. Our one-bedroom suite became our home away from home for the next few nights. The kids settled right in without hesitation, and to make things even more special the hotel had a fabulous welcome waiting for them in our suite.

Chocolate-covered strawberries with girls’ names on each plate

The next morning, we woke up early and talked about what we wanted to do that day over a great breakfast at the hotel. We decided to go to visit the Vancouver Lookout and explore Gastown. Up in the lookout, the kids really enjoyed seeing the city from the 553.16-feet, 360-degree vantage point. Then we headed down to Gas Town, which has a very cool hipster vibe and offers some great local art shops and restaurants to check out.

The kids got a bit worn out walking all day through the city so we headed back to the Four Seasons. I have to say, it’s great to be in a hotel that encourages its guests to check out the destination only to return as if they were coming back home. The kids couldn’t wait to get into our room, snuggle into their bed, and check out the Sony PlayStation with their dad.

The bed of the one-bedroom suite we stayed in at the Four Seasons

The hotel had its Christmas tree parade on display between the lobby floor and the ground floor. The kids decided their favorite tree was the one decorated by the A&W Company. The trees really gave a festive holiday feeling to the entire hotel.

The girls in front of the A&W Company tree

Day Two was dedicated completely to the kids. Executive sous chef Craig Dryhurst of the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver was giving a behind the scenes tour. Both kids were given a chef’s hat to wear, and chef Craig guided them through the ins and outs of hotel food service. He explained to them how room service works and let them see every inch of the hotel’s kitchens. They had a million questions, and once they entered the pastry kitchen they were greeted with sweet treats and a surprise activity. Chef Craig challenged them to a gingerbread man-decorating contest. It couldn’t have been more fun. Both girls were given they gingerbread men to decorate, and they were in seventh heaven.

Making cookies with chef Craig

Next on the list was visiting the indoor/outdoor pool on the fourth floor. Olivia was already familiar with where it was and how to access the pool, as she did a secret reconnaissance mission earlier in the day. No kids’ day would be complete without swimming in the hotel pool.

Later that evening the hotel suggested we go down the street to check out the free ice skating rink and see the Vancouver Christmas Market, where we enjoyed European treats including Belgian waffles and German schnitzel. The kids really enjoyed themselves and slept very well that night.

Vancouver Christmas Market sign

The Four Seasons really offered quite a bit to keep the kids happy and entertained while we relaxed and played with them. In the “Kids in the City” Playzone, we played board games and foosball. There was no need to always be away from the hotel as our main objective was to play with our kids, reconnect, and spend time together as a family. The Four Seasons makes it very easy to spend time as a family.

The kids playing foosball with Jason