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A ranch vacation allows your children to be completely free where they will be able to run to their heart’s content. What’s more, there are so many learning opportunities for children at a family dude ranch, they will go home with plenty of new skills, not to mention full of great stories to tell their friends. Children love all the excitement and activities on offer at a ranch, which is why they often return time and time again. Here’s what your child could be doing this summer if you make a ranch vacation your number one choice.

Get involved with feeding the cattle. A ride in the truck across the open ranges makes this experience even more special.

Your child will feel like a real cowboy.

Where else will your child be able to get this close to calves and other young animals?

Meet like-minded friends and take part in the numerous children’s programmes on offer.

Photo: Alisal Guest Ranch, California

Ride cowboy style on the ranches’ very safe horses.

Photo: Snowy River Horseback Adventures, Australia

Run free and go swimming in the lakes.

Photo: Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana

Every child loves snow – ranches can offer a magical winter wonderland.

Photo: C Lazy U Ranch, Colorado

Get up close and personal with the horses and learn how to look after them.

Photo: Sugar and Spice Ranch, Texas and Wyoming

For more information about family ranch vacations, visit

- Jody Dahl

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