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The setting sun fills the sky with color over Fernandina in the Galapagos Islands.

The setting sun fills the sky with color over Fernandina in the Galapagos Islands. (Mary Ellen Botter/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

It's time to put a family vacation on the calendar. Here are five ideas to consider:


1. Moab, Utah

Sample the wonders of red rock country during a four-day, multi-sport trip that includes an off-road Hummer Safari through a fantasyland of slick rock and a two-day, river rafting adventure with an overnight of pampered beach camping on the banks of the Colorado River. Other nature-based itineraries include longer rafting components, jet boating, standup paddle boarding, hiking, mountain biking, hot air ballooning, rock climbing, canyoneering and horseback riding amid jaw-dropping scenery. Many outings are suitable for adventurers as young as 5.


2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Visit the all-inclusive Grand Sirenis Punta Cana Resort for bronze-colored beaches amid a beautiful coconut grove. Families will appreciate child-focused pools, and a kids club as well as plenty of nonmotorized water sporting fun. The whole family will want to explore the onsite ancient Mayan ruin, the nearby nature trails and to discover the wonder of the world's second-largest coral reef system. Book now through May 2 for up to a 20 percent discount on getaways that take place through October 2019.


3. American Prairie Reserve, Montana

Using an innovative model, The American Prairie Reserve, a Montana-based nonprofit, is in the midst of stitching together a 3.5 million-acre nature reserve on the plains of Montana. Once completed, the Reserve will provide a continuous land area, collaboratively managed for wildlife and recreation. It will be the largest of its kind in the Lower 48 states.

Meanwhile, a campground and cabins, opening in late spring 2019, provide access to hiking, mountain biking, fishing, wildlife watching and night-sky viewing far from city lights. Prices start at $15 for tent camping per night.


4. Denver

If your kids love drawing on your driveway or sidewalk at home you wont want to miss Denver's 17th Annual Chalk Art Festival. Be there for the free, two-day painting extravaganza during which hundreds of artists contribute their talent to turn the streets of Larimer Square, the Mile High City's oldest and most historic block, into a colorful outdoor museum.

The festival takes its inspiration from street painting traditions that originated in 16th century Renaissance Italy when artists began transforming asphalt into canvas. June 1-2, 2019.


5. Galapagos Islands

Cruise through this legendary archipelago aboard a Smart Voyager-certified catamaran.

Visit Santa Cruz, Santiago, Isabela, Rabida and San Cristobal islands while on the lookout for blue-footed boobies and the other unique species of wildlife that inspired Darwin and contributed to science's understanding of life.

Explore moonlike lava terrain, walk through lush forests teeming with birdlife, and snorkel in crystal waters where sea lions frolic .



(Lynn O'Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via