All tickets and options are nontransferable and nonrefundable and exclude activities/events separately priced. Water Parks subject to rehabilitation, seasonal and weather closures. Tee times are required for Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course and are subject to availability. ESPN Wide World of Sports admission valid only on event days; some events require an additional admission charge; there are no events on certain days; days and hours of operation of concessions, venues and attractions vary. Visit www.espnwwos.com for more information.
Visitors both young and young at heart can immerse themselves in the world’s top theme parks right here in Orlando! Whether it’s the magic of Walt Disney World® Resort, endless adventures at Universal Orlando® Resort, an aquatic wonderland at SeaWorld® Orlando, or building family fun at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, Orlando has theme parks that are perfect for you.
The winner of the Best Family Hotel award has everyone’s best interests at heart. It knows how precious family holidays are and makes room for relaxation with thoughtful restaurant timings, fantastic facilities and plenty of parent-pleasing extras: evening crèche sessions, fun activities, and dedicated spaces where kids and adults can share time together – and apart.
Leaf-peeping and a thriving farm-to-table food scene (the country’s first CSA sprouted here) lure out-of-towners to the bucolic far western corner of Massachusetts. But the arts have long been their own major draw: Tanglewood, the Clark Art Institute, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival all call the area home, as does MASS MoCA, a popular modern art destination housed in a circa-1800s textile mill in North Adams.
Best Parks & Gardens: Some of the most beautiful spots can often be found in the city’s gardens and parks. Not only will you get a chance to admire spectacular blooms, there are also sculptures, lakes, water fountains and interactive features for kids. If you are planning to propose on vacation, parks are often the perfect choice.
On February 2, 1967, Roy O. Disney held a press conference at the Park Theatres in Winter Park, Florida. The role of EPCOT was emphasized in the film that was played. After the film, it was explained that for Disney World, including EPCOT, to succeed, a special district would have to be formed: the Reedy Creek Improvement District with two cities inside it, Bay Lake and Reedy Creek, now Lake Buena Vista. In addition to the standard powers of an incorporated city, which include the issuance of tax-free bonds, the district would have immunity from any current or future county or state land-use laws. The only areas where the district had to submit to the county and state would be property taxes and elevator inspections. The legislation forming the district and the two cities was signed into law by Florida Governor Claude R. Kirk, Jr. on May 12, 1967. The Supreme Court of Florida then ruled in 1968 that the district was allowed to issue tax-exempt bonds for public projects within the district, despite the sole beneficiary being Walt Disney Productions.
Family Vacation Ideas with Teenagers: Traveling with teens is a lot of fun when they are interested in attractions around them and getting involved in the activities. The opposite is quite true as well – plan the wrong kind of a vacation and they will be impossible to be around. If you have a sedentary child, vacation may not be the best time to take her river rafting. She may prefer exploring a museum, shopping and people watching at a café. If you have an adventurous young man who loves the outdoors, don’t take him to Europe in August, but instead plan a fun family vacation in the Rocky Mountains, hiking, mountain biking and swimming in mountain lakes.
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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.
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Science and Discovery Center of Northwest Florida Panama City Bay Northwest Children’s Formerly the Junior Museum of Bay County, hands-on science and natural history exhibits, children’s discovery areas, trail
Animal Kingdom Villas Aulani Bay Lake Tower Beach Club Villas BoardWalk Villas Hilton Head Island Resort Old Key West Resort Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Vero Beach Resort The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Does your family thrive on challenges? Multiple escape rooms now pepper Charlotte, and near the intersection of the city’s two interstates, you’ll find Escape Kings. This family-friendly attraction lets those over 10 years of age test their collective wits by escaping from Aztec Ruins and Kings Quest rooms. The puzzle clues are for all ages, and escape is neither too hard for kids nor too easy for adults. To avoid disappointed faces, pick up tickets for escape rooms, Segway tours and other family-friendly activities in advance.
Tokyo Disney Resort, located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, opened April 15, 1983, with Tokyo Disneyland. On September 4, 2001, the resort expanded with Tokyo DisneySea. There are several resort hotels on site, but only three are actually owned by the resort, which boasts the largest parking structure in the world. Tokyo Disney Resort is fully owned and operated by The Oriental Land Company and is licensed by The Walt Disney Company. The resort was built by Walt Disney Imagineering, and Disney maintains a degree of control; Nick Franklin leads the Walt Disney Attractions Japan team at The Walt Disney Company, which communicates with the Oriental Land Company over all aspects of the Resort, and assigns Imagineers to the Resort. Its properties, listed below, are divided into parks, shopping centers, and lodging.
Wilderness Adventures: Getting close to nature can be an experience of a lifetime, especially for those of us who spend most of our time working at a desk. There are many cool tours and safaris to go on in the United States that are great for kids and grown-ups alike. See the amazing Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), polar bears, moose and other wildlife on one of the national parks or sign up for a week-long adventure. Find great things to do in the U.S.
This friendly place on the Atlantic Coast has a boardwalk packed with lively eateries. Families tend to favor Funland for its arcade games and vintage rides and Jungle Jim’s Water Park for water slides, go-karting and mini-golf. For a bit of calm before bedtime, you could head slightly north and take a river cruise, enjoying the peaceful views of the shoreline and its birdlife before the sun sets.
Tel Aviv has attracted a lot of attention for its nightlife and creative culinary scene in recent years. These days its center of gravity has shifted south, to the site of the ancient port town of Jaffa (technically part of the city itself). This month, the Setai opens in a former Ottoman prison; a new W Hotel housed in a 19th-century former convent and pilgrims’ hospice is scheduled to open in March. It’s just the latest in a growing list of upscale hotels, restaurants, and boutiques to arrive among the winding streets of this former fishing village. Jaffa’s once-shabby flea market is now populated by a number of high-end antique dealerships, which sit alongside trendy cafés and bars — many offering live music into the night. Don’t miss Maskit, an iconic Israeli fashion house known for its embroidery that has been recently reincarnated after closing in the 1990s. Numerous interesting chefs have also set up shop among Jaffa’s churches, mosques, and archaeological sites. Try Beit Kandinof, a restaurant housed in a 17th-century building, where creative dishes like artichoke-and-pesto bruschetta are served alongside local art exhibits. —Sara Toth Stub
“Oohs” and “ahhs” fill the air every half-hour as performers engage in airborne stunts on the resort’s center stage. Surrounding the stage is the Midway, an enormous carnival filled with 200 games and wandering clowns. Possibly the world’s biggest funhouse, the indoor Adventuredome theme park continues the excitement with more than 20 rides, plus miniature golf and laser tag.
The largest island in the world, Greenland is the perfect escape from summer heat, with temperatures reaching only into the 50s. The days are long in July, and the area above the Arctic Circle experiences perpetual daylight during two months of summer. Guided boat tours out of Nuuk let visitors cruise the fjords, sail between icebergs, and encounter whales, seals, walrus, and other wildlife. Hiking, backpacking, kayaking, climbing, and biking are also popular. Summer is whale watching season, and humpbacks, finbacks, and minke whales can be seen feeding in the waters around Greenland. Dog sledding is available during summer on Disko Island, giving visitors a chance to experience this traditional (and adorable) means of transportation.
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
Not valid for separately priced activities/events. No credit or refund will be given if a higher season ticket is used on a lower season date. Admission is subject to capacity closures and to other restrictions.
Oxfordshire manor house meets French fancy. There is the archetypally British: manicured lawns, croquet games, 15th-century ponds. Raymond Blanc’s passion for food translates well with children: this is the ultimate place to introduce young people to fine dining. Wander the glorious kitchen gardens to see what’s in season, and pop into the hotel’s busy kitchen after lunch for a bonus ice cream; everything here is precise and proper, but children are very warmly welcomed. Read expert review
Star Wars Hotel — planned to be built on the south side of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, just east of World Drive and just outside of the under-construction Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land theme park planning to open in 2019. 
With so much to see and do, why not take advantage of the Park Hopper Option? Then you can enjoy same-day admission to all 4 of our theme parks—Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios—on each day of your ticket.
One way to save on theater tickets is to join Theatermania, Broadway Box, or Playbill online. These discount ticket services offer good savings on a long list of shows, all but the few sold-out offerings. Joining is free, you pay with a credit card, and pick up your tickets at the box office before the performance. Often you can see a seating chart and choose your seats. You do have to add a service fee if you order online, but the saving is still substantial and you have a wide choice of plays.
Active Getaways: It’s amazing how many things kids are interested in if you sit down and talk to them about it. A 12-year-old may want to take a cooking class and learn how to prepare meals using farm-fresh ingredients with the hotel chef. A 5-year-old may want to see a polar bear swimming in a pool in a local zoo. A 3-year-old may be extremely interested in building various machines from blocks and legos so his ultimate dream vacation may be a morning spent at Legoland. Getaways with a touch of adventure create fun memories. In California, visit Safari West and watch unique wildlife in a natural setting. Take a cruise aboard Disney Fantasy, a mega ship that offers many things to do and comfortable staterooms with an extra half bath. At Vista Verde Ranch in Colorado, kids can go horseback riding and learn about the inns and outs of a working dude ranch. Lake Villarrica in Chile is a stunning lakeside getaway with a view of a volcano. Explore the natural wonders of the Pikes Peak region of Colorado, go horseback riding and visit a zoo. Other cheap family vacations include Yellowstone and Jackson Hole where you will be surrounded by the spectacular Tetons.
Last but not least, kids and their families can enjoy kids-focused rides and plenty of building opportunities at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and its onsite water park, admission to which is available as an upgrade on regular park admission.
Both are great hotels. The Meridien is more central and right in the thick of things – Times Square is a short walk (10 blocks) in one direction and there’s a great playground in Central Park just 3 blocks in the opposite direction. The Meridien has a nice rooftop pool (enclosed) with great views. The Beacon is in a quieter location that feels more neighborhoody and with a good market/grocery nearby. No pool but the suites do have kitchenettes (a decent breakfast in NY can easily run $80 for a family of 4, so this will save you some money). Also close to Central Park.
Characters in Flight – Balloon Ride in Downtown Disney, Characters in Flight Operated by Aérophile takes you for a flight in a giant tethered gas balloon 400 feet above Downtown Disney Area! Ascend to the sky from a specially designed platform for a breathtaking, 360–degree view of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
What’s more, our theme parks continually have new projects on the horizon, so even the most frequent visitors will always find new ways to create lasting memories, year after year, in Orlando: Theme Park Capital of the World®!
Historic Pensacola Village Pensacola Escambia Northwest Multiple Includes the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, Museum of Commerce, Museum of Industry, Lavalle House, Dorr House, Old Christ Church and Lear-Rocheblave House
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.
“From looking at the outside of this vacation home, you would never believe what we found inside. We had eight adults and 12 children. It was amazing! Ample room for everyone, very well equipped, and beautiful. Pool table, foosball, and the theater room kept the younger children well occupied. The nearby Dells water parks, shows, and shopping kept everyone busy during the day.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
Anniversary Vacation Ideas: We often write about top romantic destinations in the world, spa resorts, wedding and vow renewal destinations. Just like with planning a dream romantic getaway, your anniversary trip should include types of activities that you both enjoy. Best honeymoon destinations: vacation getaways on the East Coast, West Coast, Europe.
At Velas Resorts, an onsite Baby Concierge means you can leave cumbersome gear at home knowing that a crib, a stroller, bottle warmers and sterilizers will be waiting in your room. The service is committed to making little ones comfortable, from a massage to help soothe fussy babies to a first haircut (with a certificate) to guarantee they look sharp at dinner.
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?
You could travel the world and never find anything like this: A temple mound in a quaint shopping district. Created by prehistoric Indians around 800 A.D., the mound is part of a fascinating museum complex showcasing more than 4,000 stone, bone, shell and clay pieces created as many as 10,000 years ago. In a word: Wow. fwb.org/museums
Disney had plans to build a Disneyland in Sydney, Australia, between 2007 and 2008 with the proposed name “Disney Wharf at Sydney Harbour”, but the concept was abandoned due to mixed responses in the New South Wales Government.
Displayed in highly themed vignettes, this creative museum has the world’s largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts that help explain how swashbucklers (many of whom visited Florida shores) sailed, plundered, lived, killed and died. Sometimes creepy, sometimes chilling, always entertaining. I mean, where else could you touch an actual 400-year-old treasure chest? thepiratemuseum.com
This piece received some contributions from A.D. Thompson, Rachel Cooper and Libby McMillan—writers for Apartment Guide and local experts who know their way around the nation’s kid-friendly hot spots.
Romantic Restaurant: A romantic breakfast, lunch or dinner can be the highlight of a vacation, letting you celebrate with great food in a new setting. Browse top culinary destinations in the United States for more ideas and plan your anniversary getaway, honeymoon or romantic vacation.
Grenada, known as Spice Island, remains one of the Caribbean’s under-the-radar gems, even though it’s got what every traveler wants: uncrowded beaches, preserved rain forests, and a lively local culture and cuisine. The island, which was spared from last fall’s brutal hurricane season, is poised to attract new luxury travelers when the Silversands Hotel opens in March 2018. The first major resort to open on Grand Anse Beach in 25 years, Silversands will offer 43 rooms and suites, nine villas, and the longest pool in the Caribbean. After a recent renovation, the beloved Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel is now part of Relais & Châteaux, only the fifth hotel in the Caribbean to be invited to join the celebrated hotel group. Getting to the island is a cinch — JetBlue added daily service from New York City last year, and Grenada is now a port of call for 33 new cruise ships — and visitors will soon have even more options for high-end stays, with Kimpton Kawana Bay and the Levera Beach Resort both in the works. —Devorah Lev-Tov
With 16 acres of picnic areas, strolling paths and serene surroundings, the Morikami Museum is one of Palm Beach County’s most treasured cultural attractions because of its ability to intertwine a beautiful connection between Japan and South Florida. Morikami also offers month-by-month programs that encourage the whole family to enjoy Japanese culture.
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.
The Big Easy turns the Big 3-0-0 this year, and in this city where the good times roll, the parties will be epic — think citywide art shows, supersized Mardi Gras parades, and a festival of lights using landmark buildings as backdrops. Thirteen years after Hurricane Katrina, there is much to celebrate: The Central Business District, once a dead zone after dark, now crackles at all hours thanks to four new hotels (the Ace, Troubadour, Catahoula, and NOPSI), each with its own rooftop bar. The neighborhood is also home to new restaurants like Maypop — a Vietnamese-Creole joint from acclaimed chef Michael Gulotta. Another area coming to life is the three-mile riverfront, where a renovated Spanish Plaza will reopen this spring. More riverfront updates, including a new Four Seasons Hotel, will roll out in the next few years. Toast the tricentennial at the Sazerac House, a French Quarter museum dedicated to the official cocktail of New Orleans, opening later this year. —Allison Entrekin
Rock scrambles, carriage rides, woodland hikes, trout fishing, lake swims and campfires with S’mores are just some of the activities featured at Mohonk Mountain House, a 265-room National Historic Landmark resort. Sprawled across 2,200 acres in the Hudson River Valley, the castle-like resort also offers a complimentary kids’ club for ages 2 to 12, and a teen program for those ages 13 to 17. Young kids can ride ponies, sail on boats and go on frog hunts while older ones can choose from tennis, hiking, orienteering and other activities.
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.