The Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac) caters to those seeking endless beach time, as well as those in search of history, culture and a chill Caribbean vibe. Nonstop flights to the main island of Grand Cayman from several major hubs means getting here is as easy as being here.
Meander the tranquil gardens along the St. John’s River to observe the integrated sculptures on display. Once inside, visitors can view the permanent collection which spans works from 2100 B.C. through the 21st century and includes masterpieces from the likes of Winslow Homer and Norman Rockwell. Education is paramount to the museum and families love the engaging interactive technology for all ages, kids can create their very own piece of art or a self-portrait without ever squeezing a smear of paint.
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Of course, the best hotels for families also understand that it’s not all about the little ones—which is why so many of the properties that made our list offer indulgent spa treatments, gourmet restaurants (like the boozy, for adults-only Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar at Disney’s Polynesian Resort) and views that will captivate even the most jaded traveler.
In Hawaii, the Hilton Waikoloa Village promises endless activity and unprecedented luxury. Parents hoping to find a child-friendly haven can sign their tykes up for Club Keiki. During its day and night camps, kids can feed koi and swans, hunt for treasure and explore tide pools.
Lovely any time of year, Fiji’s more than 300 islands are at their absolute best in July through September. This is the dry season when temperatures are cooler, humidity is lower, waters are clearer, and rainstorms are fewer. Divers revel in one of the world’s best underwater environments, with coral reefs, whales, manta rays, and an array of colorful tropical fish. Warm water, white sand beaches, friendly people, and spectacular scenery attract families, couples, and honeymooners. The annual Bula Festival (Bula means welcome or hello), a week-long celebration of Fiji’s culture, food, and history, will be held this year from July 14-21 in Nadi. Guests will feel welcomed — as well as pampered and renewed — at Fiji’s Kokomo Private Island, a luxurious resort featuring diving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, tennis, spa treatments, children’s activities, and more.
Sandoway Discovery Center Delray Beach Palm Beach Southeast Natural history Exhibits include a large shell collection, local natural and cultural history, tortoises and turtles, live animals and marine creatures
Easily among the most luxurious resorts in Central America, The Four Seasons is as close to tropical perfection as it gets. With two beautiful beaches, ocean views from each one of the sumptuous rooms — decorated in materials including wood, bamboo, and stone — and an 18-hole golf course, the resort makes it possible for guests to spend their whole vacation on-site. The Kids For all Seasons kids’ club, for children ages four to 12, is equipped with numerous toys, games, and puzzles, a TV and video game controllers, computers, and — in an outdoor area — ping pong, foosball, air hockey, and a kiddie pool. Hotel staffers supervise the play area and excursions, which include sand castle building and soccer. The Tuanis Teen Center is equipped with a long row of computers and video game consoles, a large flat-screen TV with DVDs, foosball, a pool table, and an outdoor court where basketball or volleyball can be played.
Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort offers plenty of fun for adults and children! Swim in any of the three pools, go snorkeling, or take a yoga class, among other exciting daily activities. Kids ages 3-17 will always find something exciting at the Explorer’s Club or Core Zone!
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.
Inhale the refreshing ocean spray and the essence of Gatsby-era glamour at this stunning property dating back to 1868. The Ocean House, which underwent a modernization not too long ago, is perched on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and has a private white sand beach for sunning, swimming, and sandcastle building. During the summer, kids ages 5-10 can go sailing, take nature walks, make crafts, and go scavenger hunting with the resort’s Sand Castles supervised children’s program. Special outings, such as clamming at local farms, can also be arranged.
The vibe on the Florida Space Coast is, overall, beachy and relaxed, but a vacationer’s experience depends largely on the activity you choose. Of course, they don’t call it the “Space Coast” for nothing. The thrill of watching rockets launch from Cape Canaveral, whether up close or miles away, never gets old. In fact, launches still occur, with SpaceX rockets on the launch calendar for 2017. Kennedy Space Center reveals space-centric surprises, from the earliest days of space exploration to the exciting Shuttle Launch Experience and behind-the-gates tours.
More than 50,000 islands and 25,000 miles of shoreline in the Archipelago Sea (part of the Baltic) southwest of Finland make this a unique destination for a July trip. Summer days are long at this northern latitude with sunset around 11 p.m. and sunrise about five hours later. Temperatures are moderate, typically in the 60s or 70s. Visitors can explore the islands via the Archipelago Trail, beginning in Turku, Finland’s medieval capital, where the sights include an ancient castle, the River Aura, and a grand cathedral. From there, touring continues by boat, car, or bicycle, taking advantage of bridges and ferries for island-hopping. Kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, swimming, camping, and fishing opportunities abound, but simply enjoying the scenery and seclusion are popular activities as well.
A great budget hotel for families in Midtown Manhattan with $10/day parking (very cheap for NY). Kids will love the heated indoor pool. Rooms are basic but recently renovated and a good size in this price range. Fridges in every room. Phone: 212-586-3400
Lara is a travel writer and editor with a closet full of musty thrift store finds from all over the world. Her ideal vacation is a big city one packed with live music and good food, but she admits there’s also a place for relaxing by the pool. Her all-time favorite getaway was a month hiding out in Brooklyn, getting the best museum, gallery and foodie fixes. The udon noodles at Samurai Mama still haunt her dreams…
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?
Some hotels in the U.S. provide all-inclusive accommodations, while others offer packages and plans with accommodations, meals and activities included in one easy price. These are our favorite all-inclusive resorts in the U.S. for 2018.
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.
Best Beach Vacations for Couples: Couples often like similar things: spas, golf, hiking, swimming or just relaxing by the pool. The best way to find your perfect vacation is to make a dream list of 10 things that would make you most happy. Bucket list destinations in the U.S. include Key West, New York City and Sanibel Island.
Walt Disney World sells 1-day tickets in three different varieties depending on the season. The three tiers are called Value, Regular and Peak. Value tickets are for off-season dates in early spring and early fall. Peak tickets are for midsummer, spring break and big holiday seasons like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
One-Day Admission: $19.70 Adult (10+), $14.38 Child (3-9) – Note that this just allows you to check out the complex. Games and events held here will usually have separate tickets at various prices, and those tickets include admission to the complex.
Walt Disney died from circulatory collapse caused by lung cancer on December 15, 1966, before his vision was realized. His brother and business partner, Roy O. Disney, postponed his retirement to oversee construction of the resort’s first phase.
Disney Publishing Worldwide started mining Disney Parks with its The Kingdom Keepers series. The first novel of the series, Disney after Dark, was released in 2005. A five-book series was laid out by Pearson, but was extended to seven with the first book’s success.
In 1959, the WED-owned Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System was installed at Disneyland. Disneyland’s first new themed land, New Orleans Square, opened in 1966. Tomorrowland was revamped in 1967 with seven new attractions. The design and architectural group and the WED Enterprise name was purchased from Walt’s corporation, renamed as Retlaw Enterprise.
A room at this centrally located, Craftsman-style hotel guarantees you VIP-access to the California Adventure Park. By using the hotel’s private entrance, you can beat the morning crowds (sometimes by as much as an hour) and get back to your room with minimal hassle. Request a room with a bunk bed, which is arguably more fun for the kids and also clears space in the room for all of their stuff. Kids love the hotel’s three pools, waterslide, and the crafts offered at Pinocchio’s Workshop. Parents, meanwhile, appreciate the espressos at the Heartstone Lounge and the extensive wine list and regional cuisine at the Napa Rose restaurant. The children’s menu is unusually highbrow, offering dishes such as roasted chicken with lemon-whipped potatoes and Pacific salmon with basmati rice.
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.
Disney expanded into attractions at the 1964 New York World’s Fair with It’s a Small World and costumed character appearances. When the characters proved a hit at the 1964 World’s Fair, Walt wanted another outlet for “live” characters; thus, Disneyland put on Disney on Parade, a self-produced live arena show starting in 1969. Small World and its famous song lasted two years at the fair; it was then moved to Disneyland as an expanded major attraction in 1966 and later duplicated in the other Disney theme parks.
Located on the Italian island’s northwest coast, Palermo is the capital of Sicily. Founded by the Phoenicians and dominated through the centuries by the Greeks, Arabs, Normans, and Italians, the city was one of Europe’s most prosperous centers. Its diverse history is apparent today in its art, architecture, cathedrals, customs, language, and even its cuisine. Outdoor markets, crowded alleys, and street food such as arancine and panelle make strolling the city the perfect way to explore. Each July, Palermo celebrates the Festa di Santa Rosalia, the city’s biggest festival, honoring the saint for having saved the city from the 17th-century plague. This year’s 394th celebration begins on July 14 with a procession led by Palermo’s mayor with St. Rosalia’s relics carried in a decorated chariot. Fireworks, music, dance, food, and thousands of celebrants create an exciting event that should be on your travel wish list.
Disney’s property includes four golf courses. The three 18-hole golf courses are Disney’s Palm (4.5 stars), Disney’s Magnolia (4 stars), and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista (4 stars). There is also a nine-hole walking course (no electric carts allowed) called Oak Trail, designed for young golfers. The Magnolia and Palm courses played home to the PGA Tour’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Arnold Palmer Golf Management manages the Disney golf courses.
Manatee Village Historical Park Bradenton Manatee Southwest Open air Includes 1903 Wiggins General Store, boatworks, 1912 Florida pioneer farmhouse, smokehouse and sugar cane mill, barn, church, school, courthouse, Cow Hunter’s bunkhouse, steam engine
Sure, Iceland is cold, but there’s still plenty to do on a Winter Iceland Family Adventure. Kids age 12 and up can snorkel with you in the crystalline waters of the Silfra fissure, an opening between the North American and Eurasian continents. Explore the old harbor and famous Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, the capital city, and then venture into the largest man-made ice cave in the world, at Langjokull Glacier. The whole family can learn how the island’s natural phenomena were formed by volcanic and geothermal forces when you hike at scenic Skaftafell National Park.
Forgo fancy duds and pack extra swimsuits for the Abacos’ endless water activities, including boating, snorkeling, swimming and paddleboarding in the clear, shallow waters. Island-hopping is a must: Green Turtle Cay offers plenty of shelling and a bit of history at the colonial settlement of New Plymouth, while the Sunday-afternoon pig roast at Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill in Guana Cay is a tradition — kids can build sandcastles and splash in the calm blue water while you wait. Abaco Beach Resort’s “Bahama Buddies” program introduces younger visitors to local children and invites them to spend the day together, learning how to catch and cook fish, make island crafts and crack coconuts. There’s a variety of accommodations for all family sizes: oceanfront rooms with two beds, and one-bedroom suites with a pullout sofa.
When you are traveling with young children, the Upper West Side has many advantages. You are within walking distance of playgrounds in both Riverside Park and Central Park, and near museums that are great for five-year-olds, including the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the American Museum of Natural History with its famous dinosaurs. Both the Hotel Beacon and the budget-friendly Milburn Hotel offer family suites with convenient kitchenettes and free wi-fi. The best shopping in this area is exploring the quintessential New York food emporiums on Broadway like Zabars, Fairway, and Citerella. If you want boutiques or department stores, you’ll have easy access to several bus and subway lines. You can spend a day shopping in midtown, Soho, or Tribeca, and come home to a peaceful neighborhood that is ideal for kids. By the way, when you visit the dinosaurs, don’t forget that there is a Shake Shack nearby at Columbus Avenue and 77th Street. Buses are a 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, buses will lower a ramp to make boarding easier but it’s still best to avoid crowded rush hours.
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.
Nearly everyone likes a diverse choice of things to see and do on vacation, from museums and historic attractions to tours and adventures. Popular actities include paddleboarding, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, golf, film festivals, skiing in Aspen, ziplining, kayaking tours, surfing, waterpark rides, amusement park rides, mini golf and other cool things to do.
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.
TKTS is great for getting discounted tickets but it’s not so good at going to see a particular play. And that makes it hard to do with kids. Adults who just want to see a show (any show) can walk up and get good deals on a variety of shows (though usually not the most popular ones). But for families, already restricted by the limited number of kid-friendly shows, it’s harder to make it work. If seeing a show is important to you I would book directly with the theater for a specific kid-friendly performance.
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.
Located in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, Club Med Sandpiper Bay is America’s only all-inclusive chain resort. It makes the cut for its renowned amenities and activities, all included in the price. The resort features three swimming pools, an 18-hole golf course, an International Tennis Academy, and kids’ programs for all ages, from infants to teens. The resort’s 337 rooms are divided between seven buildings along the St. Lucie River. Families can dine in three onsite restaurants and one casual sports bar, with the Marketplace restaurant featuring its Baby Corner for children to play in during dinner.
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.
Climb a sand dune to watch a fiery sunset on a Family Adventure in Southern Africa. And Botswana, in southern Africa. Tours leave from Windhoek, once a German colonial city and now the capital of Namibia. The land looks other-worldly, with its shimmering sand dunes and dried lakebeds, but this is a great place for kids (and adults) to learn about desert ecology and the region’s history. Guides lead interactive walks into the bush and explain the tracking skills and survival methods used by the San tribe, inhabitants of this area for over 30,000 years. You’ll pass hippos and elephants as you paddle canoes through the Okavango Delta, one of the best places in the country to spot animals and birds. The journey ends at Victoria Falls, known as the world’s largest waterfall, in Zimbabwe.
Ideal for both business and leisure travelers, each of our 206 rooms and suites offers free Wi-Fi and a comfortable work desk to help you stay connected. An in-room Keurig® coffee machine keeps you fueled and a microwave enables you to warm up snacks. Enjoy these standard amenities:
What child wouldn’t want to go coconut bowling amid the Nemo-like landscape of the eastern Caribbean? The kids’ club here hosts this and more: from board games and craft sessions to family-friendly movie nights. We’re guessing The Little Mermaid features highly, as aspiring Aerials can also learn how to swim like real-life merfolk – complete with requisite tails. It’s enough to make you shake a maraca, which you can also do.
California’s sunny San Diego has tons of activities for families, with theme parks, water parks, kid-friendly museums, and 70 miles of beaches. The Go San Diego Card can be used for top attractions like the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the nearby Legoland California, harbor cruises, and museums in Balboa Park at a discount of up to 50 percent. Passes, which range from one to seven days, also include unlimited access to SeaWorld San Diego.
A Family Zion & Bryce Hiking adventure begins in Bryce Canyon National Park, where you’ll hike to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The Staircase is actually a set of plateaus that lead to Lower Calf Creek Falls, where a green oasis has formed around the falling water. This is a great place to see Native American pictographs and granaries and learn about their culture. As you hike on to Zion National Park, you’ll see “hoodoos,” bright red, orange and white spires, some of which are over 200 feet tall. Legend says they were formed when ancient people behaved badly, drawing down a curse that turned them into stones. Take a refreshing dip in the Virgin River, and hike The Narrows, a stretch along the river considered one of the best hikes in the country.