Children’s Museums: Children’s museums, science museums and planetariums offer a great way for younger kids to have fun, meet new friends and learn with hands-on activities. Many cities and towns offer a kid-friendly museum. Find more family vacations.
Set up base in your thatched, over-water villa and send your budding Crusoes on tropical adventures along jungle-fringed beaches lapped by current-free waters – perfect for early-years snorkelers and kayakers. Kids’ club staff encourage independence – children get bracelets they can exchange for smoothies or pancakes – and will arrange trips to Casela Wildlife Park for walks among lions and tigers (and their expert handlers, of course).
We have booked a room at the Millennium Broadway Hotel near Times Square, do you have any experience with this hotel? From reviews I’ve read I gather the location is great but it is a bit dated (which I don’t mind). We have booked a room with a Times Square view (I guess that could mean just a glimpse of Times Square?) and I was wondering what is the appropriate way to ask for the best room available when we check in? This is the first time we have stayed in a hotel as a family and my husband and I usually choose the cheapest option when traveling but we wanted to make the stay more comfortable for our daughter and thought we would treat ourselves so I want to try and get the best room/view possible.
Lastly, what would be your suggestion for seeing the main attractions (central park, statue of liberty, times square, empire state building, Brooklyn bridge, The National September 11 Memorial)? How long would we need to stay to visit the sites and not feel like we’re in the NYC marathon?
What’s the secret to a great family vacation? Finding a location that allows everyone to explore and have fun — at their own pace. A spot where the kids (most likely bursting with energy) can have a blast while you enjoy a relaxing massage and a margarita…or several margaritas. (Go ahead — it’s vacation.) And generally a beach destination can deliver on all these fronts. So we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly, tropical vacation spots that feature safe and fun places to play, kid-friendly restaurants, and all sorts of activities, even if the sun goes into hiding for a day or two. And Mom and Dad will be just as happy at these spots as well.
Florida Museum of Natural History Gainesville Alachua North Central Natural history Located on the campus of the University of Florida, flora, fauna, fossils and historic peoples of the state of Florida
We will be headed to NY to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory April 13-16 (Easter Weekend). I’d rather walk to placed then take a cab everywhere but know we will have to take a cab some. Can you please recommend a moderate place to stay? It will by myself, my husband, and 2 children ages 6 and 7.
Kids love the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that await them upon arrival. Parents will love the central location in Times Square, surrounded by Broadway theaters yet still walking distance to Central Park. An all-suite hotel each room has a microwave and mini-fridge and there’s a kid’s menu for room-service. Suites easily fit a family of 5. Phone: 212-719-1600
Located in Key West, this museum offers literary enthusiasts the chance to explore the residence where Hemingway lived in 1931 and later died in 8 years later. As a bonus, observe the descendants of his former cats that still roam the area.
Landlocked Laos might be quieter than Southeast Asian neighbors like Vietnam and Thailand, but 2018 could transform the country into the region’s next hot spot. Wattay International Airport, in the capital of Vientiane, is set to complete a terminal expansion to accommodate more international links next year, but the biggest changes are foot in the UNESCO World Heritage–inscribed town of Luang Prabang, in central Laos. This serene riverside spot lures travelers to its golden Buddhist temples, French-colonial architecture, hiking trails, nearby elephant sanctuaries — and now, glamorous new digs. Last year, the design-forward Azerai opened inside a century-old French-colonial building that was formerly an officer’s quarters. The debut concept from Aman Resorts founder Adrian Zecha has airy, light wood interiors that nod to local culture in their use of batik textiles and Laotian artwork. There’s also an 80-foot swimming pool in a tree-shaded central courtyard. The upcoming Rosewood Luang Prabang aims to be a destination in itself. Opening in mid 2018, this highly anticipated resort will feature pavilion-style villas, luxury tents, and a spa that seems to float above the jungle. —Kate Springer
As Florida’s official state natural history museum, the Florida Museum of Natural History is constantly expanding with one-of-a-kind exhibits not seen anywhere else. While there you can choose to get up close and personal at a butterfly release in the Butterfly Rainforest, encourage your child’s curiosity inside the discovery room or come face to face with shark jaws ranging in height from 2–9 feet.
The 22-acre Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort complex, set on the widest strip of beach in Waikiki, is a family-entertainment mecca. You can swim, surf, snorkel and paddleboard right from the hotel. Ideal for little ones is its beachfront lagoon, which lets them experience salt water without the big waves. Four nights of the week, the hotel stages Waikiki’s only outdoor luau, with traditional food, Polynesian dancing and music, and fire dancers. The resort’s Spirit of Aloha snorkel tours include a visit to Turtle Canyon. Sea turtles come to a spot where fish “clean” them before the turtles push off, making way for the next ones in line. If you don’t want to get wet while experiencing the ocean, descend 100 feet in an Atlantis Submarine to see reefs, sunken boats and planes, along with fish, sharks and turtles. — Todd Pitock
This charming gastropub set dramatically on a cliff overlooking the Jurassic coast is also a boutique hideaway owned by a family with young children that cocoons guests of all ages amid the sound of rolling waves. Countryside walks from here are fantastic; trek 30-40 minutes up to Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast. If the weather is decent, expect a fight to secure a lunchtime spot, either tucked inside or al fresco. The restaurant also has a good menu for younger guests. Read expert review
Much like the other sprawling resorts that line the beach in the swanky Marina Vallarta golf community, the CasaMagna Marriott features top-notch restaurants, pools, and meeting rooms, as well as lovely guest rooms and suites that feature modern amenities and contemporary furnishings. Housed in two towers, this upscale hotel is memorable primarily for its sumptuous Ohtli Spa and adjacent fitness center with indoor lap pool. Somewhat removed from Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife scene, it is a great spot for travelers who want to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Kids will enjoy the seasonal turtle release programs, as well as the sleek kids’ club.
DefyGravity trampoline park is an appealing setting for energy-filled kids. Depending on their age, they can bounce their way through the KidJump, Ninja Obstacle Course, extreme dodgeball, foam pits, and even a trapeze.
In June 2005, Disney Magic made the first cruise outside of the Caribbean, by moving its port for the summer to Los Angeles with a Mexican Riviera schedule. Disney Cruise Line ordered a new 2 ships class from Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany by February 22, 2007.[CDC 18] The Magic in May 2007 transferred its home port to Barcelona, Spain, for the lines’ first summer Mediterranean itinerary then returned to its permanent port in September.
With Magic Your Way Tickets, you first choose the number of days you want on a Base Ticket that allows you to enter one major theme park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom) each day. (You can leave and enter that same park multiple times on the same day.) You can add optional features at extra cost if you like, specifically Park Hopper (the ability to visit more than one park per day) or Park Hopper Plus (extra admissions to water parks and other activities other than the four main parks).
Costa Rica’s strong safety record makes it a great spot for solo parents looking to take a family vacation: Locals are friendly, and roads are easy to navigate. Or trust Thomson Family Adventures: The seven-day Volcanoes and Beaches tour is best for those who are new to the country.
West Pasco Historical Society Museum and Library New Port Richey Pasco Central West Local history Exhibits include Native American arrowhead and artifacts, clothing, household items, antiques and decorative items, tools, and historic photographs
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Lake Buena Vista — Disney originally intended this area to become a complete community with multiple residences, shopping, and offices, but transformed the original homes into hotel lodging in the 1970s, which were demolished in the early 2000s to build Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa)
Boasting the world’s largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts, this creative museum takes a hand’s on approach to education. Within the themed vignettes, you’ll learn how pirates sailed, lived, and died on Florida’s shores through fascinating tales and up close interaction with 400-year-old treasures.
Where do we go on the West Coast? Explore California’s scenic coastal towns, have fun at Disneyland, tour Hollywood and check into a full service spa resort for a few days of pampering and relaxation. Some family-friendly ski resorts to try on the West Coast include Mammoth, Badger Pass and Snowmass. San Diego is a popular destination for families with kids, offering amusement parks, beaches, the New Children’s Museum, Maritime Museum and a zoo which will keep little ones busy.
The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, set among a virgin mangrove forest and lush tropical vegetation, offers the ultimate escape to paradise at a more affordable price. It includes lots of family-friendly features, like three large swimming pools and a free kids’ club with the chance to learn about Tobago’s green, leatherback and hawksbill turtles. A free shuttle will bring you to popular Pigeon Point beach, while the complimentary buffet breakfast offers lots of tasty hot items, including an omelet station. Rooms feature ocean view balconies and even marble baths, along with numerous dining and drinking options, including a piano bar and a coffee shop.
The Emerald Isle has seen a rush of American visitors recently, spurred by favorable exchange rates and increased airlift. If you haven’t yet made the trip, now’s the time to go. Adare Manor, a hotel set in a grand 19th-century mansion on 840 acres of rolling County Limerick countryside, reopened in November after an 18-month overhaul. The picturesque estate now has a new 42-room wing, a redesigned golf course, and the first La Mer Spa in the British Isles. Ireland’s whiskey scene has been quietly blooming for the last decade, and recently historic estates have embraced the trend. In August, Slane Castle in County Meath opened its new distillery to the public, and later this year, the iconic Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow will debut its own craft facility. In Dublin, Pearse Lyons, a wealthy Irishman with Kentucky-bourbon bona fides, recently opened his namesake distillery in the former St. James’s Church, and more whiskey destinations with visitor centers are soon to come from the Dublin Liberties and Roe & Co. And now that Luas, Dublin’s light rail system, has finally completed its latest expansion, getting around the city is a breeze — the $433-million project has linked two lines and added new stops near many of the city center’s most popular sights. —Lila Battis
For up-close animal encounters and pulse-pounding rides, SeaWorld® Orlando’s main theme park has you covered. You can also get wet and wild at Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™, or even swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove®.
Indy’s a pretty hospitable place. And if you’re visiting with children, there’s no better starting point than the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis—the largest of its kind in the world. We challenge anyone to be bored in this place, where kids are encouraged to explore arts and culture through exhibits, workshops, and live performances—there’s even a steam engine. You might also like to see the animals and plant life at Indianapolis Zoo.
As one of the only two skeleton museums in America, Skeletons: Animals Unveiled! features over 40 exhibits and more than 500 real animal skeletons. With everything from an African Safari exhibit that features massive elephant and giraffe skeletons, to the creepy flesh-eating beetles that help clean the bones, this place will keep the kiddos exploring all day.
The stately Sagamore Resort is the grand dame of Lake George, and commands sweeping views of the lake and the surrounding Adirondack Mountains. At the waterfront, families can go fishing, swimming, boating, or parasailing. For a different perspective of the lake, take a trip on The Morgan, a replica of a 19th-century boat. While parents relax at the spa or play a round of golf, kids ages 4 to 12 will get the full summer camp experience at the Sagamore Kids Club (included in the resort fee). Add in a 10,000-square-foot, indoor recreational facility with basketball courts and gaming stations, an outdoor sand volleyball court, five tennis courts, and a horseshoe pit, and you’ll find so much to do that a week’s stay won’t feel long enough.
Where should we go? Pick the best family trip ideas based on the interests of everyone in your group. The age of the children and how well they travel in a car or a plane will determine whether you will be checking into a nearby resort, taking a flight to a Caribbean island or going on a family trip to Europe. Other equally important considerations when picking the best kids vacations are budget, how long is your vacation and what type of a destination your family finds the most exciting and fun. Babies and toddlers will be happy crawling around a sandy beach and carrying a bucket of water from the ocean all day long. Older kids will need more entertainment, however, everyone is generally happy and relaxed next to the water, whether that’s a lake or the Pacific Ocean. Keep reading for more best family vacations.
Family life can be both wonderful and exhausting. That’s why The Great Family Vacation is so important—a time to make memories and celebrate your loved ones away from the daily grind. But with so many great family-friendly destinations in the USA, it’s hard to narrow it down. While our list leaves out a few of the obvious big-hitters like Orlando, Virginia Beach, San Diego, and Myrtle Beach, we’re featuring equally amazing spots, where the amenities for children are just as great and the welcome just as warm. With a little help from the local city experts at Apartment Guide, we’ve also highlighted some of the best kid-friendly attractions you won’t want to miss.
Amusement Parks: Indoor and outdoor waterparks offer plenty of fun for the whole family. Some of the top vacation places to visit with kids include Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis Paradise Island, LEGOLAND Water Park in California and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park in Tennessee.
In December 1998, Walt Disney Attractions added Disneyland Paris, Disney Regional Entertainment and Walt Disney Imagineering to its portfolio, which already held Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland. Chairman Dick Nunis retired at the same time. On October 31, 1999, Walt Disney Attractions, Inc. was merged into Walt Disney Attractions, LLC.
When historic rainfall pummeled California last February, the damage to Big Sur was severe. Mudslides cut off access to Highway 1, the region’s only thoroughfare, from the south; then a crack ripped through the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, blocking the northern end. Almost overnight, this 90-odd-mile stretch of craggy coastline — long beloved for its sense of remoteness — became an island. Nearly a year later, Big Sur is stirring back to life. The bridge has been replaced and a major slide has been cleared. After an elaborate renovation, the 160-acre Ventana Big Sur has reopened as the first Alila property in the U.S. — and is a luxurious rival to Post Ranch. The place is a stunner, whether you’re facing a forested canyon from the pool or enjoying pink and orange sunsets from the terrace. In addition to the plush ocean-view suites, clad in weathered wood, there are now glamping tents nearby that marry rusticity and comfort, with amenities like luxury linens and fire pits. —Jonah Weiner
Whether the kids are cooling off at the pool, having a blast at the splash park, or hanging out at the Lucky Kids’ Club, the all-inclusive IBEROSTAR Playa Mita offers tons of activities and events that will make your family vacation one to remember.
For proof of Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning status as the cultural capital of the Middle East, look no further than Saadiyat Cultural District, which is quickly becoming a treasure trove of world-class art and groundbreaking architecture. The multibillion-dollar initiative has already resulted in one major project, the Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in November. Though its construction was controversial, the museum has quickly become the premier creative beacon in the Emirates. Work is under way nearby on the Zayed National Museum, by Norman Foster; the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre, by Zaha Hadid Architects; and the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which when completed will be the largest Guggenheim museum in the world. The city’s hotel-building campaign is also in full swing: this year Marriott debuted a 400-room hotel in the Al Forsan sports center, and next year will see the opening of the Abu Dhabi Edition and Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas. —Dylan Essertier
An integral part of the Historic Pensacola Village complex, the Museum of Industry is housed in the historic “Hispanic Building” constructed in 1884 for the Pensacola Ice Company. Today, the site serves to illustrate the lumber, brick making, railroad, fishing and other vital industries that transformed Pensacola from a colonial wilderness into a thriving commercial center.
This unique, castle-esque property, with its turrets and gables, overlooks a pristine, mountain lake and has been enticing families to the Hudson Valle. The surrounding hills boast sweeping views of the Catskills, and can be explored on foot, mountain bike, horseback, or cross-country skis. From Thanksgiving to early spring, parents can wear the kids out before bed at the 9,700-square-foot ice rink meant for skating, broomball, and curling. When the weather warms, guests amble down to Lake Mohonk, a half-mile long, 60-foot-deep mountain lake, and enjoy swimming, boating, and fly-fishing. The surrounding Shawagunk Ridge (known fondly as “the Gunks”) is a favorite with rock climbers. On the hotel’s grounds, there’s a historic barn museum with local antiques and a heated pool. Look out for discounted kids travel packages, which are offered regularly throughout the year, and include meals and scheduled children’s programs.
With its jaw-dropping landscapes (larger-than-life glaciers) and abundant sea and wildlife (humpback whales, sea lions and polar bears), Alaska is a must-see bucket-list destination for all ages. Opting for a cruise is a no-brainer: The mix of family-friendly onboard activities will keep all generations entertained, and water- and land-based tours make exploring the Final Frontier a cinch.
Summer vacation. School breaks. Long weekends. Consider yourself booked. These 10 dreamy destinations–all voted in by moms and dads like you–promise amazing memories and fun for everyone. The 2018 travel awards are here!
Walt Disney World’s first of four theme parks here in Orlando, Florida. If you only have time for one Disney park, this is the one most choose. It has the iconic Cinderella’s Castle with all the Disney classic characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Pluto, Goofy and more!
“Funny and entertaining! Had a great driver/guide who was full of odd facts and opinions about various areas, events and structures in Boston. Provided commentary that assisted and enhanced both the educational and entertainment value of the tour. Also had a perfect sunny autumn day for the tour so that was great as well.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
In 1947, Otto Lightner purchased what used to be the Alcazar Hotel and transformed it into a living, breathing space for his eclectic and diverse collection of artwork, antiques and collections that once belonged to millionaires. Lightner makes it fun to get the kids involved and offers a scavenger hunt that gets them up close and personal with everything from shrunken heads to human hair art.
From art to science to kid-friendly fun, there are a variety of museums in Florida. Whether you’re looking for a rainy day activity or something unique to entertain the kids, there are a handful of undeniably cool museums that provide fun educational experiences for museum-goers of all ages. Discover the top museums in Florida that are worth a visit.
Lyme Regis’ answer to a boutique coastal break with children is this luxury hotel with lovely views of the bay and the surrounding Jurassic coastline. Opt for a sea view Poulett or Gould room to make the most of it. Nearly all of the 24 rooms can accommodate children, plus there are two apartments that can host families of four or six. From its perch overlooking spectacular Lyme Bay you get road-free access to the shore (borrow buckets and spades from the hotel). Outside is a play area with swings, climbing frames and trampolines; in poor weather, try seaside-themed mocktails and board games in the lounge. Read expert review
Disney Security personnel in Florida have investigated traffic accidents and issued accident reports. The forms used by Disney Security may be confused with official, government forms by some.
Boston has it all—the culture, the fantastic city parks, and a relaxed pace you might not expect in a city of its size. Baseball fanatics, young and not so young, will love Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. You can take a guided tour, watch a game, and soak up some sporting history. Also check out the giant ocean tank at the New England Aquarium and board a Boston Duck Tour to be transported around this beautiful city on land and water.