Plans for a Hollywood-style theme park were announced in April 1985 for the Walt Disney World resort at a project cost of US$300 million.[CDW1 5] In April 1985, Disney signed a licensing agreement with MGM, giving Disney the right to use the MGM name, logo and movie library for this third park. Construction of the Disney-MGM Studios theme park began in 1986.[CDW1 6] Disney-MGM Studios opened on May 1, 1989,[CDW1 7] along with a Pleasure Island entertainment area;[CDW1 8] its second water park, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, opened on June 1.[CDW1 9] In 1983, Walt Disney World Village’s name was changed to the Disney Village Marketplace.[CDW1 10] A new themed area, Mickey’s Birthdayland, opened in the Magic Kingdom near Fantasyland on June 18, 1988.[CDW1 11]
The riverfront Nationals Park is a wholesome itinerary option for families who like major league baseball. The neighborhood has several names—including Navy Yard, Ballpark District and Capitol Riverfront—but is easy to reach from any area of the city.
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.
Nestled among towering pine trees, Disney’s rustic-meets-luxe resort lets families experience glamping without straying too far from the Magic Kingdom. “Disney is masterful when it comes to immersion experiences,” T+L reader Susan Knight said. “You can be in Florida, in July, when you can slice the humidity with a Boy Scout knife—but you will feel like you’re in the Great Northwest.” The lobby features multi-story totem poles, a replica geyser, and a waterfall-fed rock pool. Outside, there are more activities than you’d find at a summer camp, including rides in a horse-drawn carriage, boat rentals, a children’s activity center, and a waterslide carved from rock that splashes into a heated pool. There are also nature trails to explore, and campfire sing-alongs at the Wilderness Resort and Campground. Some of the fan-favorite attractions on this list, including the beach and playground, are currently closed for refurbishment. But come 2017, they’ll be better than ever.
Olas Verdes is the area’s first LEED-certified hotel, and its location near Playa Guiones makes it ideal for beach-lovers. The flexible layout lets you connect suites, depending on your family’s size. Two-bedroom units sleep up to seven, and rates include daily breakfast.
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.
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.
Surfers flock to the fantastically consistent waves of Playa Guiones, on the country’s Pacific coast, but you don’t need to be Laird Hamilton to experience Nosara’s excellent surf. Safari Surf School caters to all levels, even those who’ve never been on a board, and the gentle white water makes it ideal for beginners. Packages include two lessons per day over six days, plus accommodations, most meals and all equipment.
Just about every adventurous activity imaginable can be found in Costa Rica: kayaking, zip-lining and surfing, to name a few. Plus, there’s the opportunity to see fascinating wildlife — monkeys, sloths, hundreds of bird species — right outside your door. Bonus: This exotic destination won’t bust your budget. Zip-lining, mountain biking, whitewater rafting: that’s just some of the GoPro-worthy action you’ll find at Sky Adventures Arenal Park. Too extreme? Try the three-hour walk across hanging bridges high in the canopies, or glide 3,200 feet above the rainforest in the Sky Tram. Take a break from the hot Central American sun with a day pass to the water slides and pools at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa.
Over in Cocoa Beach, you can sink your toes into the sand—but if you have teens, be sure to pop in to Ron Jon’s massive surf shop for a ubiquitous (free!) sticker. You may want to pick up a bikini or t-shirt while you’re at it, too.
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
Bar Harbor offers swimming, like the freshwater beach at Echo Lake (with calm waves good for kids). Follow the signs labeled “Museum in the Streets” to take your own walking tour, and you can also find trails for hiking, walking, and cycling. At nearby Acadia National Park, enjoy hiking, camping, and coastline views.
Jump up ^ “Hurricane Irma causes Disney World to close for sixth time in nearly 50 years”. Fox News. September 10, 2017. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
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
Tickets of 3 days or longer cost $21.30 less (including tax) when purchased in advance online or over the phone, as opposed to buying in person at the Disney World ticket booths, hotel desks or guest services. Our tables show the “gate” price. There are ways to get even larger discounts for tickets of 3 days or longer: see our comprehensive guide to Disney World ticket discounts for more on that.
With their quiet sophistication, these two islands are the Nantuckets of the Bahamas. Explore the local history with a trip to Governor’s Harbour, or rent bicycles to pedal around Harbour Island. Shelling in the morning and stargazing at night are markers of a great day. The more adventurous can try horseback riding on the beach (ages 12 and up, or pony rides, ages 5-11) at Oceanview Farm.
Walt Disney Attractions, LLC changed its name to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, LLC on April 14, 2000, then to Disney Destinations, LLC on April 25, 2006. Tokyo DisneySea at Tokyo Disney Resort opened on September 4, 2001. The Walt Disney Company in selling its Japanese and US chains decided to keep the Disney Stores in Europe, along with the store in Manhattan, which was converted into a World of Disney store run by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in 2004.
Eastern Florida State College Planetarium & Observatory Cocoa Brevard Central East Science Exhibits are at Science Quest Exhibit Hall at Eastern Florida State College, also planetarium, observatory and art exhibits
The Florida Association of Museums is the non-profit professional organization for Florida’s museums and museum professionals. The mission of the Association is to represent and address the needs of the museum community, enhancing the ability of museums to serve the public interest. Learn More
This good-value small chain’s casual and convivial atmosphere belies its well-organised formula: comfort and style rule and, while the food is tasty, you can draw directly on the tables – so it’s a great place for children. The Odiham branch has excellent walking from the back door, and is set in a Grade II-listed 16th-century inn. Behind the car park there’s a footpath that leads through fields and along a canal up to the ruins of Odiham Castle. Alice Holt forest is nine miles (14.5km) away and has trails and a Go Ape ropes course for daredevils. Read expert review
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’.
On Wednesday, admission is free at the Bronx Zoo, the largest city zoo in America, home to some 4000 animals. Many city museums also have free admission, usually in the late afternoon. Kids often are intrigued by the spiral design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum and it is free from 5:45 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. You can visit the famous Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) free after 3 p.m. on Friday (note that kids under 18 are free at MOMA anytime).
From inexpensive options near your home to luxury suites at full service resorts, there are many great weekend trips to choose from. We’ve included great ideas based on traveler interest, such as vacation spots for garden lovers, amazing aquariums in the U.S., family vacation ideas, honeymoon escapes, inexpensive bachelorette party ideas, overnight spas and gourmet vacations. You can often find some nice vacation spots that are on other people’s bucket list quite close to home. If you are wondering where to go on vacation, our weekend getaways section is the best place to start.
For families with young children, the Upper West Side bordered by Riverside Park and Central park is an excellent choice, with many playgrounds and scenic paths for strollers in both parks and good public transportation facilities if you need them. The Excelsior is ½ block from Central Park, as is a New York branch of the La Quinta chain. The Hotel Beacon, midway between the parks, has kitchenettes in every room. If the wedding location makes the East Side more convenient, you could consider the Courtyard New York Marriott near Carl Schurz Park on the East River or the boutique Hotel Wales near Central Park. No hotels have dedicated play spaces, but many do offer cribs and high chairs for families. Ask when you book.
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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.
Nighttime is perfect for The Island in Pigeon Forge, an entertainment hub with lighted water shows. Pleasant evenings also draw families to the area’s multiple mini-golf courses, including one in nearby Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg is also home to a surprisingly wonderful aquarium given its mountain location; penguins typically steal the show at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
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
You can use a Regular ticket on Value days as well, and you can use a Peak ticket on any day, but you can’t get a refund of the difference in cost if you use, say, a Peak ticket on a Value date. You can upgrade a Value or Regular ticket if you decide to go on a higher-tier day, by paying the price difference at any ticket booth or Guest Services location.
Art Museums: Visit top art museums in the U.S. on your romantic getaway, such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Cincinnati Art Museum. Look up best things to do in a city near you or travel across the continent or to Europe to view famous art.
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.
As for dining near Times Square, a great choice is Carmines, 200 West 44th Street between 7th and 8th avenues, with big family-style servings of Italian favorites. On that same block, John’s Pizzeria, 260 West 44th, is a New York classic and Shake Shack on the corner at 691 8th Avenue, has great inexpensive burgers—as you might guess from the long lines outside.
Rutgers University – Tour the exhibits at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, which houses more than 60,000 works, or join locals to cheer on the Scarlet Knights as they aim for victory. The 18-hole Rutgers Golf Course is also open to the public if you’re feeling competitive.
Just an hour and a half north of Melbourne, Nagambie Lakes is one of Australia’s oldest viticulture areas, with some vines dating back to the mid 19th century. This part of Victoria has long been considered a great day-trip destination for its outdoor activities — waterskiing, rowing, and sailing — and renowned wineries. Now there’s reason to linger, thanks to the November debut of the Mitchelton Hotel, a 58-room resort and spa at Mitchelton Winery. With its fine-dining restaurant, the Ministry of Chocolate, and 5½ miles of trails circumnavigating the vineyard, it’s the perfect base for a weekend in the region. Start your trip with a tasting on-site — Mitchelton is known for its Riesling — before venturing to other nearby wineries like Tahbilk, which has been producing quality vintages since 1861, and Goulburn Terrace, which specializes in natural wines. Other popular local vintners include McPherson Wines, David Traeger Wines, and Box Grove Vineyard. —John Scarpinato
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.
The Big Easy is celebrating its 300th anniversary all year. So don’t miss out — if any city knows how to toss a party, it’s NOLA. Mardi Gras revelry will be frenzied Feb. 13, when the elite Krewe of Rex parades numerous elaborate floats honoring people, places and events that shaped New Orleans — including A Streetcar Named Desire and voodoo queen Marie Laveau. The Prospect.4 art expo, now through Feb. 25, features tricentennial-themed artwork by 73 international artists scattered around the city. Catch the extensive offerings of jazz concerts at intimate Preservation Hall in the French Quarter. Raise a Sazerac or Hurricane cocktail and join the festivities.
Billed as the Waterpark Capital of the World, Wisconsin Dells is an obvious choice for fun-seeking families. It’s hard to experience every single one of the great attractions and activities here (because there are so many!). Take your pick of indoor and outdoor adventures, such as Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park, Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Timber Falls Adventure Park, Circus World, Timbavati Wildlife Park…the list goes on and on.
Although the former Soviet republic might seem remote, Uzbekistan once sat at the very center of the world. In the first millennium, no traveler could pass from Asia to Europe without stopping in the Silk Road strongholds of Bukhara and Samarkand, and as a result these cities evolved into rich cultural centers. For intrepid travelers, today’s Uzbekistan is a promised land: a Muslim-majority nation that’s both safe and affordable, with few tourists and an abundance of well-preserved mosques and harems. And since the death of authoritarian president Islam Karimov last year, the new regime has taken steps toward reform that have given both Uzbeks and the international community reason for optimism. Improving relations with Iran could soon bring a rail link to the Persian Gulf, and in 2016, the Afrosiyob high-speed-train line began connecting the country’s major cities. Meanwhile, Uzbekistan should benefit from the so-called Iron Silk Road, or Trans-Asian Railway — a Chinese-funded network of routes knitting together Beijing and Europe — once a segment connecting the country through Kyrgyzstan is completed. Book a customized journey with Exeter International, which specializes in the region. —Heidi Mitchell