2) Yes. I like it the Hop On/Hop Off tours – especially the north bound tour that goes around Central Park. But don’t “hop off” – just stay on for the whole route. Once you get off it’s hard to get back on. And don’t use it as a form of transportation – not worth the hassle of getting on and finding a seat.
Walt Disney World has so much more to do than just theme parks. There is miniature golf, water parks, fishing, even pony rides. You will find world-famous shops and eateries at newly opened Disney Springs. This area was formerly known as Downtown Disney and has undergone a complete transformation and expansion to create an even bigger Disney experience.
Whether you’re after heart-stopping adventure, a close-up look at history, or the perfect meal, these are the 50 best destinations to discover in 2018. If you already know where you’re going, share your plans with us on social media with #TLBestPlaces.
Charlotte’s Carowinds, a combination amusement park and waterpark, is a big hit with families. Weekdays offer shorter lines than weekends, and themed events are scheduled near year’s end. Young park-goers will discover mini-rides just for them, while teens will be thrilled with the likes of Intimidator and Fury 325. The park offers free water at multiple stations, but parents consistently recommend purchasing cups with free refills for the day. Count on $20 for parking, and budget extra for food, or consider at least one combo ticket, which includes food throughout the day.
On an eight-day trip with Un-Cruise, adventures include touching anemones in tide pools and looking at plankton kids have collected under the microscope. Movie nights and dance parties keep the group camaraderie going on board. Book the Inner Reaches Eastern Coves itinerary for access to harbor seals in Endicott Arm, humpbacks in Stephens Passage, and lessons in Tlingit and Haida culture.
Thanks to its 1,000 acres of barrier island beach, this resort offers opportunities to explore all year round. Visitors can take a tour of the salt marsh onboard the Cloister Belle—a restored antique yacht—rent bicycles for an island history tour, or go horseback riding along the south end of Sea Island beach (riders must be at least 10 years old). Back at the 1928 Mediterranean-style resort, parents can relax at one of the four swimming pools, in the overstuffed chairs in the luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, (63 new rooms are set to open in April 2016), or at the new two-story spa with its own indoor forest and lagoon. For after-dinner entertainment, there are family movie nights at the 100-seat resort theater and Gold Brick Sundaes at the Wonderland Ice Cream Parlor. Repeat guests dream about the chocolate-butter-pecan topping.
Staying in NYC four nights from December 17-21. We have two kids ages 9 and 6. We would like to stay in a nice hotel. What would you recommend between The Beacon and Le Parker Meridian? Or something else altogether? I would very much appreciate any suggestion/advice you have…very hard to tell from pictures alone the quality and location of hotel.
Carolina Beach offers an old-style boardwalk, a laid-back atmosphere and absolutely tons of activities for families to enjoy together. Take advantage of the water sports and seaside amusement rides (and grab some donuts from Britt’s). A few minutes down the coastline is Kure Beach, where you’ll find Ocean Front Park, with its boardwalk, gardens and beach—there’s even a giant pirate ship to play on. Continue down to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, which has some interactive exhibits and even an albino alligator.
Kids can learn patois, the local dialect in Saint Lucia, as part of the Kids Club offerings at St. James’s Club Morgan Bay. Tots’ yoga classes, cooking classes and mocktail lessons are here too, all aimed at giving kids a taste of the local culture for no extra fee.
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.
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This palatial structure, built in 1988 by Henry Flagler as the Alcazar Hotel, is a sight not to be missed. Outside you’ll wander the impeccable grounds and striking courtyard, then head in to explore the contrasting collection of Otto C. Lightner’s treasures, including everything from 19th century fine art to the more eclectic objections like shrunken heads and human hair.
Variety is the spice of life, and John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art knows this all too well. With a circus museum, art museum, railroad car, and lush garden, here you’ll find a full day worth of activities.
While all of the Deluxe resort hotels have achieved an AAA Four Diamond rating, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is considered the highest tier flagship luxury resort on the Walt Disney World Resort complex.
Foot-stomping children seeking the proverbial pony will have no complaints here. With an on-site equestrian centre, Lucknam runs daily pony trots around the estate for little princesses (and princes). Duck herding, falconry displays, adult-and-child cookery courses – if the Cotswolds set revamped Center Parcs it would look a little like this. When it comes to prising them away from the ponies, there are even ‘Little Miss’ spa treatments.
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. In 2000, Touchstone Pictures made Mission to Mars based on the closed ride of the same name.
Washington, DC is a vibrant city with dozens of free attractions and events that make it an ideal destination for a family vacation. Once you’re near the Mall, major landmarks and iconic government buildings are everywhere you look: the Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and many more. Have your kids pull out their coins and dollar bills to see replicas of the very buildings they’re standing in front of. Book a line-skipping VIP tour and check them all off your list.
In early April 2016, this luxury coastal resort is unveiling its new Miraval Life in Balance Spa, which will offer many of the same pampering treatments as the original Arizona location but with a coastal flavor—like massages with sea salt, algae, and marine muds. Younger guests, meanwhile, can Zen out in age-appropriate meditation and yoga classes, or find their bliss in other family-oriented activities. The Ocean Explorers package includes four tickets for a whale watching cruise and a DIY kit for exploring the tide pools at the resort’s private beach. There are also stand up paddleboard lessons, trail hikes, and an outing with a Surf Butler. Families can take a day trip to the 230-year-old San Juan Capistrano mission for a trip back in time, or ex get up close and personal with marine life at the Ocean Institute.
I’m heading to New York City in April (9-13) with my family. My wife, 8 year old son and I are taking the train up to NYC. We have opening day tickets to the Yankees game on the 10th. We also have Statue of Liberty (pedestal only) and Ellis Island scheduled for the 12 April. I still haven’t reserved accommodations yet, but came across your site and found a wealth of info. We prefer to stay in a place with a kitchenette to save money on meals. We plan to eat out, but not every meal. We are also interested in hotels that provide free breakfast if hotels with kitchenettes are too pricey. My wife loves to shop and just walk the city, so we have no specific location in mind. We prefer to be close to good shopping, restaurants, and activities for our son, but not to busy (I.e., Times Square). Are there any new moderately priced locations you can recommend for a family of 3 traveling to NYC in April?
Book a comfortable family rental as your base for exploring the child-friendly delights of Bloomington. We recommend starting with Nickelodeon Universe—a fun-packed indoor park in the Mall of America—with everything from the tamest of rides to zip-lining adventures. If your children are on the younger side, this is a great place to spend a day. The Mall of America also provides all the shopping and eating opportunities you could hope for, plus adventure golf and an aquarium housing over 10,000 sea creatures—you can pre-book admission to meet them all.
Scottsdale, Arizona is renowned for its luxurious resorts, including the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, which offers an all-inclusive package. The package covers meals and accommodations for two guests, plus parking and a 20-percent discount at the spa. Kids can be added to the package for an additional fee. It also covers the resort fee. Of course, access to the hotel’s sparkling swimming pools and children’s club are also included in rates. If you want to get out and explore (not that you need to), consider booking an excursion with the concierge. Options include Jeep tours and trips to the Grand Canyon.
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?)
The Park Hopper Plus option adds visits equal to the number of park days on the ticket, except for the 1-day ticket, which includes 2 visits. A 2-day ticket has both 2 days of major park admission and 2 visits, a 3-day ticket has both 3 days of major park admission and 3 visits, and so forth. This is an incentive to buy the longer passes, so that you’ll get more visits for your money.
“I cannot speak highly enough of how well-organized this tour was. Everything matched up to the tour description and our tour guide Nick and driver Tony made the day absolutely fantastic. Nick was very informative about all landmarks and aspects of the DC area and was happy to answer all questions that came his way. Highly recommended to anyone looking to experience the monuments and history of DC!” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
In the summer, the property offers a fifth night free, a free Friday with each seven-day stay, a $90 EZ-cash card for those who book their trips 90 days in advance, and 15-percent off of stays from June to August on select rooms every Sunday through Wednesday.
Summer is in full swing in July, but there’s still time to plan a getaway. Family trips are on the agenda for some, and others just want to escape the heat or do something fun and different. We have a few suggestions for travelers who wish for cool weather, including snow in the southern hemisphere ski destination of Chile. If warm breezes, an ocean swim, and a lounge chair in the sand mean summer vacation to you, Hawaii beckons with all that and enticing restaurants too. July in Fiji also offers warmth, luxury, and unrivaled diving and snorkeling.
Discover one of the largest animal-themed parks in the world—home to more than 1,700 animals across 250 species and featuring exciting expeditions, wild adventures and elaborate parades and performances. Explore 6 enthralling lands: Oasis, Discovery Island, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia and DinoLand, U.S.A.. Spot exotic animals, trek on fascinating jungle trails and venture into wildly themed restaurants!
Science Center of Pinellas County St. Petersburg Pinellas Central West Science Science, natural history, African-American scientists and inventors, live animals, replica 16th Century Native American village, observatory, planetarium
Colonial Williamsburg, the 301-acre, restored 18th-century capital city, is America’s largest interactive history museum. Its interpretive characters transport visiting families back in time, to the sound of beating drums and trilling fifes.
In 1993, Premier Cruises discontinued its partnership with Disney for one with Warner Bros. After failing to reach agreements with Carnival or Royal Caribbean, Disney announced in 1994 the formation of its own cruise line. The Disney Cruise Line launched with the Disney Magic ship in 1998 along with its exclusive resort island port of Castaway Cay.
Marvel Publishing with Disney announced in October 2013 that in January 2014 it would release its first comic book title under their joint “Disney Kingdoms” imprint “Seekers of the Weird”, a five-issue miniseries inspired by a never built Disneyland attraction Museum of the Weird. On March 31, 2015, the first novel in The Kingdom Keeper sequel trilogy series was released.
With its recent 150th anniversary celebration, pop-culture cred (Drake, Ryan Gosling, and Justin Bieber have Canadian roots), and charismatic prime minister, the Great White North has finally begun to receive the international recognition it deserves — and Toronto has been preening itself for this lead role. Luxe properties and forward-thinking restaurants have been popping up across the city: there’s Queen Street’s historic Broadview Hotel, which reopened in the burgeoning East End with guest-room details like vinyl turntables and burgundy velvet drapes, and the stylish Bisha Hotel downtown, where the likes of Lenny Kravitz and celebrity chef Akira Back have lent their design and culinary expertise. In stereotypically modest Canadian fashion, Brothers Food + Wine — one of the city’s most exciting new openings — is housed inside a tiny, nondescript space just above the Bay Street subway station, but dazzles with seasonal dishes like crispy steelhead trout with braised gem lettuce and yogurt-and-caper sauce. Next up: in Spring 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art will move into a century-old former factory in the Junction Triangle. —Jennifer Salerno
Families have plenty of room to stretch out in this beach resort’s apartment-like suites, which have full kitchens, washer/dryers, and furnished balconies. Just outside is the sugar-white sand and crystalline water for which the Gulf Coast is famous. Take a dip in the zero-entry, lagoon-style heated pool or in the surf at the private beach. Sandpearl is as eco-conscious as it is elegant, and offers adventures that help kids appreciate the surrounding natural beauty: an eco-tour through the Intracoastal Waterway, kayaking across local estuaries, nature walks, and scavenger hunts with the Camp Ridley children’s club. One thrilled guest reported to T+L, “we started planning our return trip before we even left—and our ids talk about returning at least once a week.”
Ready to explore the world with your kids? In Lisbon, families can enjoy and a city and beach vacation in one. Explore the different neighborhoods, castles, and palaces, or hop onboard a funicular to climb the city’s steep hills. The trams cost less than $4, giving you a cheap and scenic tour of the city.
Established in 1957, the Tallahassee Museum intertwines North Florida’s history, nature and wildlife through exhibits, special events and more. The Tallahassee Museum offers about 30 permanent exhibits and a wide range of opportunities to see native animals, such as the Florida panther or the red wolf, in their natural settings. The museum also offers zip-lining courses designed for the whole family.
Rooms are decorated with a traditional African ambience: earth-tone walls, handcrafted furniture, tapestries and mosquito nets. But true historical value can be found in the 4,000 native handicrafts placed throughout the lodge. When it’s time to dine, experience the tastes of Africa at one of the resort’s inspired restaurants, including Jiko, which features wood-burning ovens, and Boma, a buffet under a thatched roof.
Free attractions in St. Louis include Purina Farms, where children can enjoy dog agility shows and animal barnyards, and the Saint Louis Art Museum, where there are art activities and free 30-minute tours. Admission to the City Museum, with its 10-story slide, huge ball bit, and 30-foot high Ferris wheel, is $14 for ages three and up. Afterwards, stop by at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, which its popular custard shakes that are so thick, they can be served upside down.
Beyond offering a glimpse into ancient history, Jordan is also making a name for itself as a luxury destination. Hilton opened the Dead Sea Resort & Spa in March 2017, making it the first Hilton in the country. Located at the lowest point on earth, some 1,345 feet below sea level, the resort offers beach access, Middle Eastern cuisine, and treatments containing the mineral-rich black mud. —Jess McHugh
The Walt Disney World Resort is serviced by Disney Transport, a complimentary mass transportation system allowing guest access across the property. The Walt Disney World Monorail System provides free transportation at Walt Disney World. Guests can aboard the monorail from select on property resorts including The Grand Floridian and The Polynesian. The system operates on three routes that interconnect at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), adjacent to the Magic Kingdom’s parking lot. A fleet of Disney-operated buses on property, branded Disney Transport, is also complimentary for guests.
The massive Hawks Cay Resort is packed with tasteful rooms and family-friendly amenities. Many guests arrive by boat, as the resort is located on Duck Key, a secluded spot far from Key West’s main airport. The resort is a good pick for families, as it offers amenities for youth of all ages — from a kids’ club to a teen lounge. Other family-friendly features include a basketball court, playground, and a pool with a pirate ship that has its own water slide. The beach is also tranquil, with calm waters.
This upscale modern resort tucked in the scenic Marin Headlands, has an unusual pedigree: it was once an army base. The guestrooms are located in former officers’ residences, and open up to wide green spaces with plenty of room for playing tag, tossing Frisbees, and flying kites. No matter how you choose to keep yourself (and the kids) occupied, you’re always within view of the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. There are miles of hiking and biking at nearby Golden Gate National Park, and many of the trails are easy for even tiny trekkers. Right next door (in the same cove as the resort), is the Bay Area Discovery Museum, with its Imagination Playground full of foam blocks for creative building, a 2.5-acre outdoor, interactive exploration area, and the new FabLab, a high-tech maker-space for kids opening in May 2016.
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Set in the Northern Catskills, where there’s lots of fresh air and space to run around, Durham makes a top family vacation base. Show your brood the best of the rural life on a tour with Farmer Frank of Hull-O Farms, where you’ll meet all sorts of friendly animals, including bunnies, piglets, and chicks. For something completely different, book day tickets for the Zoom Flume Water Park, where you can rent a cabana and spend the day crashing into the water via various high-speed slides.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Clewiston Hendry Southwest Ethnic-Native American Managed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida at the Big Cypress Indian Reservation, artifacts, culture and life of the Seminole in the swamps of Florida
When Easter falls in April (April 16 In 2017), visitors can enjoy the fantastic hats that strollers show off for the annual Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th streets. Even the dogs don bonnets for the occasion. The parade runs from around 10 a.m. to mid-afternoon.