All, I have been lurking around here for about a year or so and have not had a need to post. You do cover just about everything.
My wife is now open to getting a bike to ride with the family. My son 5 is now a monster on his Trek Float (best way to teach a kid yo ride by the way). We also have a girl that is about 3. We live in the Northern VA area and have tons of choices for trails. We are very close to the WO&D (paved) and s short drive to the C&O Canal (hard pack gravel). These are the types of trials we would do as a family in addition to just riding around the neighborhood. If she was to go without me, she would probably tow the girl in a trailer. If I am able to go, I would get trailer duty. For reference, I have a mountain bike and road bike.
The delima is the paved vs gravel and which bike to suggest. She is a newbie rider and may not be comfortable with a skinny tire on a trail like the canal. But a full mountain bike will be a chore to push on the pavement.
Any suggestions of what to get? Any specific models?