Best Adventure Travel 2016 | Articles and Reviews at Family Travel Blog

Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame used to stay at this Victorian seaside mansion when it was a private home and would approve of its reincarnation as a luxury family hotel. It has top-notch facilities for children including a crèche and indoor pool, while grown-up facilities include a spa and fine dining. Children receive two free hours per day at the crèche, a night-time baby listening service so parents can dine alone. There’s plenty for older children, including a zipwire and trampoline as well as watersports and the run of the beautiful grounds. Read expert review
The most well-known family attraction in Huntsville is the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Here, you’ll find an awe-inspiring collection of rockets (including a rare Saturn V), a space shuttle, and plenty of NASA memorabilia. This is an understandably popular attraction, so it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance. If your kids are more interested in natural phenomena, they’ll be enchanted by the 1,000s of butterflies, along with turtles and frogs, in the Purdy Butterfly House at Huntsville Botanical Garden.
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.
The Walt Disney World Resort, commonly known as Walt Disney World, or often just as Disney World, is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, near Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida. Opened on October 1, 1971, the resort is owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, a division of The Walt Disney Company. It was initially operated by Walt Disney World Company. The property covers nearly 25,000 acres (39 sq mi; 101 km2),[2] featuring four theme parks, two water parks, twenty-seven themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues, including the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs.
“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
A unique family getaway is a ranch resort vacation, and for families in the East who can’t get out to the ranches in the West, there’s Rocking Horse Ranch. Just 90 minutes north of New York City, the dude ranch is an all-inclusive resort and offers exactly all the fun one would expect on a ranch resort: horseback riding, bonfires and hiking. And with more than 100 rooms to choose from, guests won’t need to rough it. Also included in the price is a kids’ camp. The resort regularly offers great promotions and package deals, too.
The gold standard of Florida’s historical museums. Among the rotating artifacts on exhibit connecting Florida’s past and present: a 12,000-year-old mastodon skeleton discovered in nearby Wakulla Springs, dugout canoes thousands of years old, gold and silver coins from a Spanish shipwreck, a replication of a Florida steamboat, and a “Tin Can Camper” from the 1920s. All this and roughly 45,000 additional treasures. museumoffloridahistory.com
Overnight Trips with Kids: Most kids love to travel. Teach them to pack their own bag and allow them to participate in choosing the next destination by asking about their favorite things to see and do. While some romantic inns require guests to be over a certain age, most hotels and resorts not only welcome kids but also pamper them with special gifts and amenities. If you want to bring your family dog or pet with you, it’s a good idea to research any additional fees and restrictions ahead of time, especially if you have to fly to get to your vacation destination.
History buffs and intrepid travelers have long been attracted to Jordan and its famous archaeological site of Petra, a “lost” citadel dating back 2,000 years. And despite political unrest in the broader region, the country remains a safe destination to discover the wonders of the Middle East. After playing out Indiana Jones fantasies amid the rose-colored, rock-cut façades of Petra’s famous landmark, Al Khazneh (the Treasury), set out to unearth the nation’s other historical attractions. In the lesser-known city of Jerash, 170 miles from Petra, you can see the ruins of an ancient Roman settlement, including the second-century Hadrian’s Arch, while in the protected desert wilderness of Wadi Rum, you’ll find some 25,000 rock carvings that trace the early development of the alphabet.
We are a family of 4 (ages 12 and 13) and coming to New York for a long weekend. We would like to find an inexpensive hotel room with good location, large room, and maybe a pool. Can you suggest where to look for a budget hotel in NYC?
First off, if you want to have access to the crown/top of the Statue of Liberty you need to reserve the Crown Ticket 2 to 4 months in advance on their website. AKA Hotels have several places to stay around the city. Large suites are good for families and many have kitchens. The top sights of NYC are spread around the city so there is no “best area to stay for families” – instead be sure you’re close to a subway stop. Kids under 45 inches/112 cm tall are free on the NYC subway. For everyone else get the $32 7-day unlimited travel card (if you’re in NYC for more than 4 days). Most taxis will only fit four. Instead, get the Uber or Lyft apps and use their services to get around the city (when you don’t use the subway). You’ll need at least 3 full days to see the top sites but could easily fill a week in NYC with not-stop sightseeing.
4) Any good restaurants or low-key bars near the Soho Grand that you can recommend? The girls are old enough now to leave on their own so we thought we might pop out for a drink or two one night but don’t want to go more than a block or 3 away.
At first, Disney had merely dabbled with this type of film. Disney Telefilms made the first movie-based-on-ride, Tower of Terror, for the Wonderful World of Disney anthology television series in 1997.[101] In 2000, Touchstone Pictures made Mission to Mars based on the closed ride of the same name.[99][102]
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.
Cool summer temperatures, just reaching the low 70s, make this mountain community a great place for escaping the summer heat to enjoy hiking, biking, and exploring. The gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village provides spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains along with a free ride to the quaint town, with its cobblestone streets, shops, and restaurants. Summer festivals also attract guests to the ski town during the off-season, and July’s event calendar is full, beginning with Independence Day fireworks and parade, and continuing with a Plein Air Art Festival, RIDE and Americana Music Festivals, a yoga festival, baseball camps, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Ah Haa School for the Arts offers classes in a range of subjects including painting, ceramics, jewelry making, and short story writing for those who seek a bit of enrichment along with a vacation. A stay at the charming Dunton Town House, with its clever, comfortable décor and convenient location will enhance a visit to Telluride at any time of year.
Disney reportedly had plans to build a park named Disney’s America. The park was to have been located in Haymarket, Virginia, but local opposition to the idea persuaded Disney to abandon the idea in 1994. On September 28, 1994, Michael Eisner announced that Disney was canceling its plans to build Disney’s America after a bruising national media fight with Protect Historic America and aggressive local opposition in Virginia from Protect Prince William and other citizen groups.
Zany and kitschy, WonderWorks in Orlando has over a 100 educational and interactive exhibits focusing on math, physics, and space. If that doesn’t impress you, they also hold comedy shows and laser tag adventures. The kids will love this.
You might balk at the idea of sticky fingers in Sublime Comporta’s pristine villas. But children (if slightly older ones) are warmly welcomed here. Family days out run to gentle beach picnics, kayaking in the Açude, surfing and biking. Thrilling gallops (or lazy lollops) on horseback take in verdant farmland. All that, and it’s so close to Lisbon, you’ll barely hear the ‘are-we-there-yets’.
Hi – my sister and I are bringing our father to NYC in September/October for ‘one last trip’ from the UK, whilst he can still get around. We’ll be a mixed family group of 1 grandpa and 2 mums with one child each. We’d like to be central as Dad is 87 and not as nimble as he once was and ideally we’d like to have interconnecting rooms – say a double double with a king, or a 2 bed suite/apartment. Would be very grateful for your recommendation.
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.
Additionally, there are two themed miniature golf complexes, each with two courses, Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland.[23] The two courses at Fantasia Gardens are Fantasia Garden and Fantasia Fairways. The Garden course is a traditional miniature-style course based on the “Fantasia” movies with musical holes, water fountains and characters. Fantasia Fairways is a traditional golf course on miniature scale having water hazards and sand traps.[24]
In November 1995, Disney announced the building of Tokyo DisneySea, to be owned by Oriental along with Tokyo Disneyland.[24] Oriental and Disney signed the DisneySea licensing agreement in November 1997; the theme park was scheduled to open in 2001 at a cost of $2.6 billion.[33]
Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Center Fort Pierce St. Lucie Central East Natural history Includes exhibits, marine creatures and displays exploring the marine environment and depicting the research efforts of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
While São Paulo’s concrete sprawl doesn’t offer the verdant beauty or mythic beaches of Rio de Janeiro, its thriving art and food scene has in recent years transformed what was once just Brazil’s financial capital into its cultural epicenter. Stroll the city’s gritty alleyways and avenues to see where celebrated street artists Os Gemeos and Eduardo Kobra got their start. São Paulo’s Art Biennial, which is second to Venice’s in longevity, kicks off in September 2018 and showcases contemporary talent, both international and homegrown. For a truly immersive experience into Brazilian fare, don’t miss Alex Atala’s D.O.M., named one of the best restaurants in the world. Atala champions native ingredients — from priprioca root to ants, often foraged from the Amazon region by the chef himself — and weaves them into his inventive dishes. The arrival of luxe hotel brands is another signal of the city’s burgeoning cosmopolitan status. The prestigious Oetker Collection, with only nine other properties (in glitzy places like Seychelles and the Côte d’Azur), recently opened Palácio Tangará, a gorgeously appointed mansion set in leafy Burle Marx Park, a welcome oasis from the city’s high-rises. The Four Seasons will also debut a new property in mid 2018, marking the brand’s first foray in the country. —Karen I. Chen
With young children, consider staying on the Upper West Side, where you can walk to playgrounds in Riverside Park and Central Park as well as two favorite family museums, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the American Museum of Natural History. Two choices for family suites are the Hotel Beacon and a budget option, the Milburn Hotel. Both include convenient kitchenettes in some units and offer access to good bus service on Broadway. Buses are a little slower way to get around town but a lot easier for small ones than dealing with subway stairs and noise. If you are using a stroller, the buses will lower a ramp to make boarding easier. Just avoid crowded rush hours.
Enjoy classic attractions and entertainment, meet beloved Disney Characters and watch spectacular parades in a place that captures the enchantment of fairy tales across 6 whimsical lands—Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street, U.S.A.. Zoom through space, become a swashbuckling pirate and see fireworks light up the sky over Cinderella Castle!
The internationally-renowned collections of the Smithsonian range from a 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to the original “Star-Spangled Banner” to the space shuttle Discovery. The Einstein Planetarium at the Air and Space Museum offers a constant flow of illuminating, family-friendly entertainment. Any airplane buffs in your family? They’ll will be happy they made the trek to Dulles Airport for the Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It’s so enormous that the actual planes dangling from its ceiling look like toys.
3) Is the Musical Hamilton suitable for kids/teenagers? We are trying to decide whether Hamilton or Matilda is better for the children. Any thoughts? (Any differences with locations of the 2 theaters and which is easier to get to?)
Stretching over 3,000 acres of Virginia wilderness, Kingsmill Resort boasts its own long list of recreational activities, as well as close proximity to the fun found in nearby Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. Active families can enjoy the resort’s two 18-hole golf courses, 15 tennis courts and Sports Club, which features indoor and outdoor pools, exercise classes, personal trainers and a billiards and game room.
A prettily situated, riverside coaching inn turned family-friendly hotel with exuberantly coloured rooms, and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. For children, there’s an adventure playground and nature trail plus indoor playroom with lilac pool table, games and toys. Packed lunches, secure bike storage and clothes-drying facilities are provided for the energetic. Little ones also benefit from welcome toys and books, children’s menus, and night-time milk and cookies. Read expert review
Calcot is a shining example of how luxury and family-friendliness need not be mutually exclusive. There is a good choice of family rooms – these have baby listening devices tuned into the reception desk so you can dine at ease, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be alerted if there are any problems. As well as the indoor kids’ section, there’s a pirate ship outdoor play area. In addition, there’s an Ofsted-registered creche and indoor and outdoor play spaces. The brasserie-style Gumtree Inn restaurant has a specially devised children’s menu. Read expert review
Fall wildfires scorched the wine-producing Sonoma Valley. Now it is pouring energy into wooing back visitors. Healdsburg, a pretty town surrounded by vineyards, about an hour north of San Francisco, escaped damage and is open for tourist business. Take one of the Wine Country Walking Tours to sample food and vino in the historic downtown. Or rent a bike to explore wineries, sampling judiciously along the way. Afterward, savor eclectic dining, such as guacamole tacones (with cone-shaped taco shells) washed down with a jalapeño-laced margarita, at Mateo’s Cocina Latina. Or wind down with a soothing Meyer lemon-sage massage in Hotel Healdsburg’s intimate spa.
Art lovers of all ages can appreciate the beautiful unique-ness that is Salvador Dali. With an impressive and comprehensive collection of work, let your imagination run wild as you learn all about Surrealism.
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One of this hotel’s great attributes is that it feels right for many different types of people, including the well known, the unknown, the young and the not so young; and families are particularly welcome and well looked after. The rooms and suites, many connecting, have class and style, and there are plenty of imaginative and luxurious extra touches. Every child that stays will find new toys and books in their room, plus personalised presents, fun duvet covers, mini robes and slippers, and gingerbread men with their name iced on. Read expert review
Located inside the park, the eco-friendly Falls Resort is set among lush gardens filled with sloths, toucans and monkeys, and it’s just five minutes from wide, sandy Esterillos Este beach. All rooms, including double queens, have outdoor space. Stay tuned: Plans are underway for three-bedroom treehouses.
Plus, you get a certain number of visits to other Walt Disney World fun based on the length of your ticket. For example, a 4-day ticket allows 4 visits and a 5-day ticket allows 5 visits. (The only exception to this is that a 1-day ticket allows 2 visits). For each visit, you can choose one of the following:
We are thinking about NYC for a 3 day trip. We are a family of 5, my wife, me, her sister, our two daughters, 18 and 9. We have a very limited budget and would like to stay somewhere we could catch the subway in a safe area. We do not want to try to drive in the city. We would like to see Times Square, China Town, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and possibly some other well known sites. We are traveling from southwest, VA. Please help us!
Morse Museum Winter Park Orange Central Art Also known as the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, American decorative arts including works by Tiffany, American art pottery, late-19th and early-20th-century American paintings, graphics, decorative arts and the Tiffany Chapel
‘If you are an adventure family that loves the outdoors but wants to experience a holiday where you also feel looked after, treated and the workload is non existent, this is the place. An incredible location this is truly the perfect scenario for the whole family to connect to each other and the unparalleled landscape that is Colorado.’

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