Getting the extended family together at one place over a summer can take some creative effort. Even though Facebook and Twitter has made it easier to organize gatherings, there are some in my family who remain stubborn and refuse to join the social network generation.
So we’ll probably compare notes again with family elders this summer, explaining to them how Facebook has revolutionized the way “modern families” who live miles apart can stay in touch. There’s always hope, right? It was only last year that our great aunt got a cell phone.
Speaking of generational gaps, there’s usually not any when it comes to my family’s priorities when it comes to fun and games. In fact, we love our gaming traditions celebrated annually.
The contests are the same every summer: Jarts (remember those dangerous things? Even though they were outlawed 30 years ago my family still busts them out every time we gather. No one has lost an eye or been stabbed in the heart yet), horseshoes, badminton and croquet for the yard games, Monopoly, Pinochle, and cribbage for the card table competitions.
And the food: Well let’s say that there are two kinds of eaters in our family: The health conscious and the gluttonous. Ironically when it comes to our family reunions, it is the fit and healthy members of the clan who slather up mounds of potato and macaroni salads, scarf nitrate-injected all-beef hot dogs by the dozen and suck down racks of tangy barbecue pork ribs as if they would never be able to eat meat again.
Speaking of great family reunions, Granlibakken is really an ideal place to hold them. With 74 secluded acres of onsite play area, tennis courts, a plethora of nearby hiking and biking trails — the resort this summer added the ultimate family game to its repertoire: the ultra-challenge known as the Tree Top Adventure Park.
Made up of a series of courses linking tree platform to tree platform with a variety of bridges and zip lines, those up to the challenge can ascend to an initial tree platform and then travel through the forest on an aerial trek anywhere from 15 to 50 feet in the air. The Treetop Adventure Park offers a variety of courses suitable for ages 4+ and all levels of athleticism.
In addition to the 50-plus platforms and bridges comprising the adult courses, a brand-new Flying Squirrel zone caters to the young adventurers ages 4+ and beginning climbers. It consists of 3 different courses and includes a variety of bridges and zip lines, some almost 300 feet long.
So whether its the youngest of tykes in the family tree or Uncle Leroy and Aunt Hazel who celebrated their last anniversary skydiving, the Tree Top Adventure Park is an ideal place for all extended families to spend quality time together.
- Jenn Boyd