Great place for family to spend Christmas weekMy extended family (seven adults between ages 22 and 26 and four adults around 50) would like to travel somewhere in the Midwest over the week between Christmas and New Year's. We are looking for somewhere that can accommodate all of us comfortably and offer things to do. Any ideas? Money isn't much of an issue. - Katherine, Royal Oak, Mich.
Wow, we don't often hear "money isn't much of an issue.'' That means you can go just about anywhere.
If it were me, I'd spend the week at Maplelag, a cross-country ski resort in northwest Minnesota.
But you have a lot of young people in your group, and I'm thinking they might prefer an alpine-skiing resort — maybe Boyne Mountain near Charlevoix, which has an indoor water park and zip line, or its sister Boyne Highlands, which also has a zipline. Both resorts have spas and a selection of restaurants.
Christmas week is very busy at resorts like these, so reserve early.
My second thought: Chicago, mainly because we love Chicago and there's lots to do. You ought to be able to rent a really great house there, such as this seven-bedroom mansion in Lincoln Park.
And there's always the Wisconsin Dells, whose resorts have a lot of condos that can accommodate big families. Indoor water parks are the main draw in winter, but if your family likes the outdoors, you also could go downhill-skiing at Christmas Mountain or Devil's Head, cross-country skiing at Mirror Lake State Park and snowshoeing at Devil's Lake State Park.
Traverse City also has a lot of big full-service resorts, including Great Wolf Lodge, which has an indoor water park; the Shanty Resorts, on an alpine-ski mountain; and Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.
The town also has lots of quirky shops, great restaurants and, most importantly to your young folks, an excellent section of microbreweries and brewpubs.