When you own a two-year old, “family vacation” is an oxymoron. More realistically, it should be called “keeping the kids happy, entertained, fed, and rested with minimal meltdowns in a remote location.” However, parenthood is not reason enough to stop traveling. You just have to adjust (lower) your expectations, and find the right destination. That’s when “family resorts” come to the rescue. We’ve just returned from several days at the Woodloch Pines Resort in the Poconos region of PA. It was as close to a perfect trip as we’re going to get until the aforementioned child reaches the Age of Reason. As a family resort, Woodloch does everything right. When you plan your next trip with kids, keep these attributes in mind as points of comparison: It doesn’t claim to be anything more than a place for families. There are going to be hundreds of other kids around, so relax. When your child has to be carried out of the pool kicking and screaming, no one will bat an eyelash. And on that note…there is a pool. Both outdoors and in. With extra waterpark-ish features like splash pads, water cannons, and slides. This is a non-negotiable feature of any “family-friendly” property. There are activities all day, every day, for all age groups. Scavenger hunts, sport contests, arts & crafts, magic shows, movies and more will keep them entertained. Maybe even enough for you to sit and watch with a coffee in hand. Certainly enough to ensure a good night’s sleep. There are other attractions on the property when all of the above still isn’t enough. Like playgrounds, mini-golf courses, shuffleboard and tennis courts, indoor arcades and gaming rooms, and go-karts. The “all-inclusive” plan means the cost of your meals is included in the price. In terms of convenience and value, this wins me over every time. So when my pre-schooler eats just two bites of her chicken tenders, I’m not fretting over the waste of an $8.00 meal. They have – and I believe this is the sweetest word in the English language – babysitters. They should be on-call, available with a day’s notice, completely reliable and vetted. Then, if the kids let you, you can go and enjoy a night of adult entertainment in the lounge or nightclub. You can get there by car, in just a few hours. Do YOU want to start your trip with 7+ hours of “are we there yet?,” “he’s on my side,” and “I’m going to be sick…?” No, me neither. Luckily, you have more than enough options of nearby family-friendly destinations in the northeast, including Woodloch Pines Resort, Smuggler’s Notch Resort and Tyler Place Family Resort in VT, Hershey Resort in PA, and the Rocking Horse Ranch in NY. Don’t be afraid of the family vacation. Pick the right place, and you may actually make some memories!