"Adults Only" Becomes "Families Welcome" - My Family Travels

Romantic Inns Welcome Offspring… Sometimes

My wife Natalie and I recently took our 15-month-old daughter to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In the off season, all of those Bed & Breakfasts that are normally quite strict about not allowing children were ready to welcome us. Everyone went out of their way to find a crib and make us feel at home.

(By the same token, don’t be surprised if they stick to the “no children” rule in the busy season, even when you give them your best smile and a charming, “Please!”)

In Barnstable, we stayed at the romantic Beechwood (800/609-6618 or 508/362-6618) on the old, now quiet highway. They set aside only certain rooms for families traveling with children and usually only accept children above the age of 12. It was utterly charming, as you can see from the picture. I really recommend that travelers call ahead to places that don’t normally accept children when they’re vacationing in the off-season.

Year-round, it helps to check www.bedandbreakfast.com or call 512/322-2710 when booking with kids. Under the “Special Needs” section of this comprehensive site’s search engine, family travelers can view geographic listings of B&Bs where children are always welcome. And here are some tips we found recently on their website, just to help parents find the right B&B where kids will be happy.

·         Convenient location: Choose an inn with plenty of activities for good weather and bad–sand castles to build, boats to row, mountains to climb, farm animals to feed, horses to ride, and museums to visit. Minimize travel time; cramped kids are cranky kids.

·         Appropriate accommodations: A family suite, cabin or cottage will give you extra space and privacy, so the kids’ lack of “volume control” won’t disturb others or make you tense.

·         Food: Hungry children whine and fuss. Find innkeepers who understand that kids prefer teddy bear pancakes to eggs Benedict. A refrigerator for snacks and afternoon refreshments and a bottomless cookie jar are also welcome.

·         Family-friendly furnishings: Combine museum-quality antiques with young children for guaranteed stress. Teach your kids to respect property, but select accommodations with sturdy, comfortable durable furnishings.

·         Built-in fun: Look for games, puzzles, outdoor play equipment, cribs and even special children’s programs and/or baby-sitters. An extra plus for children is the new friends they’ll make. On the other hand, remember that close supervision of your children is your responsibility as a parent.

·         Family-friendly pricing:  Select properties with rooms or cottages that sleep four, and include family oriented extras in the rate.


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