I’d stay somewhere close to Times Square or a little north towards Central Park – good location for shopping, catching shows, buying tickets for shows, and hopping on the tour buses. If you do visit one museum make it the Natural History Museum. Otherwise the hop-on/hop-off tour buses that leave from stops around Times Square (one goes north, one south to the financial district, and one into Brooklyn) are great. One of the buses stops right at the Brooklyn Bridge and you can walk across to Brooklyn and catch a different bus (or subway) back. The Highline is also a fun walk for kids and adults. Central Park itself offers lots to do: good playgrounds and water play areas. Renting bikes is fun (and there are rental shops in and around Central Park) but the Citi bikeshare program is for people 16 and over. To buy tickets for Broadway shows visit the TKTS booth in Times Square for discount tickets 1 to 4 hours before show times. They’ll be able to tell you what shows are good for kids. The best way to the airport for a family of 4 is a taxi.
The first park built, the Magic Kingdom covers 107 acres and provides guests with the opportunity to explore six themed areas that focus on the classic Disney experience: Main Street, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Spend time exploring popular attractions at the park, such as It’s a Small World, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise. Dine with Cinderella and her friends inside her castle, located in the middle of the park. Plan to spend time watching the daily parades or nightly fireworks in the park.
Featuring panoramic views of Burj Khalifa, the luxurious Indian themed Taj Dubai is situated in the heart of the business bay area just a stone’s throw away from the Dubai’s famed Downtown area and…
Serendipity on the upper east side (not far from Central Park). Be prepared for a one hour wait. They take reservations for lunch and dinner but not just for dessert. Desserts are amazing. If the wait’s too long nearby Dylan’s Candy Bar has 3 floors of treats and desserts – though it’s not as good as Serendipity which is more of a sit-down indulgence.
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.
At Walt Disney World, the Treasure Island nature preserve pens opened on April 8, 1974,[CDW0 2]:569 renamed Discovery Island in 1977.[CDW0 1]:126 On July 1, 1975, the WEDway PeopleMover opened in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.[CDW0 3] The first water park, River Country, opened on June 20, 1976 at Disney World.[CDW0 4]:22 EPCOT Center’s groundbreaking occurred at Walt Disney World in May 1979.[CDW0 5]
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In late 2015, Disney confirmed the addition of randomized secondary screenings and dogs trained to detect body-worn explosives within parks, in addition to metal detectors at entrances. It has also increased the number of uniformed security personnel at Walt Disney World and Disneyland properties.
The resort’s tropical gardens, saltwater lagoons and two golf courses are tempting, but the most popular retreat is Dolphin Quest. It provides guests with a variety of interactive dolphin programs, including training adventures, a family experience and kids’ quest. Meanwhile, at Waikoloa’s 4-acre lagoon, water lovers can schedule kayak trips, snorkel sails and seasonal whale-watching tours. After dark, attend the Legends of Hawaii luau to experience traditional island dancing and music, as well as a buffet dinner.
With its jaw-dropping landscapes (larger-than-life glaciers) and abundant sea and wildlife (humpback whales, sea lions and polar bears), Alaska is a must-see bucket-list destination for all ages. Opting for a cruise is a no-brainer: The mix of family-friendly onboard activities will keep all generations entertained, and water- and land-based tours make exploring the Final Frontier a cinch.
Beginning in 1958 with the contracting of Economics Research Associates (ERA) to find a location for another Disney resort, Disney Productions moved beyond a single park. ERA recommended Florida; another study in 1961 named Ocala or Orlando in Florida as possible locations. In November 1963, Walt Disney made a trip to Florida for final site selection.[CDW 1]:333, 334 In 1962, Disney Productions purchased Celebrity Sports Center (opened on September 17, 1960, in Denver, Colorado) from its owners, including Walt Disney, Art Linkletter, and John Payne, to use as a staff training center for its second resort. In 1963, Roy made plans to buy from 5,000 to 10,000 acres (2,000 to 4,000 ha), which was carried out in 1964, amassing 27,443 acres (11,106 ha) by October 1965.[CDW 2][CDW 3] Plans for the Florida project that would eventually become Walt Disney World were announced to the public in November 1965.[CDW 3] Legislation forming the Reedy Creek Improvement District was signed into law by Florida Governor Claude R. Kirk, Jr. on May 12, 1967, allowing Disney to build the infrastructure for the second park.[CDW 4] Ground breaking followed for the future Reedy Creek park on May 30.[CDW 5] In Roy O. Disney’s last act as CEO in 1968, he officially named the second park Walt Disney World.[CDW 1]:357
The Moroccan city has attracted an artistic crowd since the 1960s, when everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Mick Jagger fell for its vibrant sensory landscape. Now the city’s cultural scene is being reinvigorated, thanks to two landmark happenings in the world of art and design. First came last October’s launch of the YSL Museum — a striking geometric building next to the Jardin Majorelle, which Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, bought and restored in the 1980s. Then, in February, the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair will debut at the storied hotel La Mamounia. Marrakesh has had an art biennial since 2005 — the next is slated for 2020 — and the city is home to a number of well-regarded galleries. But the arrival of 1:54, which has editions in London and New York and draws names like Billie Zangewa and William Kentridge, is set to position the city as a hub for African art. There’s also hotel news. Oberoi is poised to open its third African property here, a lakeside resort surrounded by citrus orchards. And Royal Mansour has added a 6,450-square-foot pool flanked by seven air-conditioned cabanas. —Flora Stubbs
To better accommodate the millions who visit Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO site of 275 mighty waterfalls straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil, nearby Cataratas del Iguazú Airport is being modernized and enlarged. Within Iguazú National Park, the Ecological Jungle Train, which takes visitors on a 25-minute journey to the epic Devil’s Throat cascade, is converting from gas to environmentally friendly electric trains. Starting this February, travelers will be able to bed down at the long-awaited Awasi Iguazú resort where 14 rainforest villas will each have plunge pools and guests will have access to a personal excursion guide and 4WD vehicles. Expect visits to native Guarani tribes, river kayaking, and jungle treks led by a resident biologist. Selvaje, an upscale 12-room lodge, will also open early this year and will offer a menu of couple-friendly activities, from picnics to spa treatments. For the ultimate in romance, though, Argentinean travel outfitter Mai 10 (run by Travel + Leisure A-List Agent Maita Barrenechea) can arrange private dinners alongside the falls under the light of a full moon. —Nora Jean Walsh
Eliminate the stress from your next family vacation by reading our frequently asked questions. Learn how to pick the best family vacation destinations for traveling with children, learn how to survive a long airplane flight and read our easy tricks for getting the best hotel or resort deal. Planning a trip with kids can be a fun project for everyone involved. The best way to get started is to consider everyone’s favorite activities and narrow it down to top family vacations & ideas that are best for you. Younger kids usually like sandy beaches where they can build sandcastles and surf gentle waves in the shallow waters. Pre-teens and teens tend to like resorts with many attractions such as water slides, activity centers that rent kayaks, teen spas, and kids’ clubs with games. Since every family is different, fining the best spot for yours involves a bit of careful planning. Last but not least, families can save a lot of money on vacation by looking for last minute hotel deals and packages. Before you leave, call ahead and book all the favorite activities because they often sell out, especially during peak holiday weeks.
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.
^ Hill, Jim (April 3, 2011). “Keeping up with Disney’s “Kingdom Keepers” : Ridley Pearson talks about all the research that goes into this popular book series”. jimhillmedia.com. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
Family resorts abound in Hawaii where you can spend your days playing in the waves and building sand castles. Grown-ups can indulge in a few rounds of golf and relaxing spa treatments. The Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island of Hawaii has a sandy beach which is very kid friendly because it’s well protected from the waves year-round. The Four Seasons Resort Maui offers luxury accommodations and access to the golf courses and beach in Wailea. Maui offers many family-friendly beaches, such as the top rated Kapalua, Napili and Makena Beaches. Sometimes you just need to get away quick family weekend when you need to recharge but don’t have time for a longer trip.
The 640-acre Tanque Verde Ranch is a serene oasis nestled in the Sonoran Desert, near Saguaro National Park. With more than 120 horses, it’s no surprise that this dude ranch offers ample riding opportunities. Specialty options available include breakfast rides (with a meal at the Old Homestead), six-hour-long day rides, and picnic rides with lunch in Cottonwood Grove. Newcomers can take riding lessons at a variety of levels.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. was incorporated on September 29, 2008, buy out and took over the parks and resorts business segment. Disney Parks and Resorts reorganized in early 2009 which included layoffs in all units due to recession-induced falling attendance. 600 U.S. managers in January were buyout packages. Worldwide Operations was formed under President Al Weiss in 2009. Worldwide Operations would take over various back office functions previously performed by both Disney World and Disneyland including training, procurement, menu planning and merchandise development. While its Walt Disney Imagineering subsidiary combined its three development units.
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
On January 21, 2016, the resort’s management structure was changed, with general managers within a theme park being in charge of an area or land, instead of on a functional basis as previously. Theme parks have already had a vice-president overseeing them. Disney Springs and Disney Sports were also affected. Now hotel general managers manage a single hotel instead of some managing multiple hotels.
On February 5, 2015, it was announced that Tom Staggs had been promoted to Disney Company Chief operating officer but would continue as chairman of Parks and Resorts until his successor was named. On February 23, 2015, Robert Chapek was named chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts effective that day.
The toughest part about being a pint-size tourist in Costa Rica is that many of the activities are often — literally — out of reach, with size, weight or age restrictions. Instead, peg your adventure to nature. Manuel Antonio National Park, which stretches from the Pacific coast up into the mountainous rainforest, is brimming with wildlife: Hundreds of species of mammals and birds live within its 1,700 acres. (If you don’t spot a few white-headed capuchin monkeys, you aren’t looking.) Visitor numbers are capped, so start early, and take the flat, easy main trail. Pack a swimsuit for this family vacation: Off the trail is the famous Playa Manuel Antonio, with warm blue waters and a crescent-shaped ivory-sand beach. (Note: The park is closed on Mondays.)
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.
*Unless otherwise noted, fares include ROUNDTRIP AIRFARE via U.S. certified air carrier, hotel transfers (in Mexico and the Caribbean), hotel tax, resort baggage handling, fuel surcharges and all pre-collected U.S. and foreign taxes and fees including September 11th Security Fee. Packages in Turks and Caicos or San Juan, Puerto Rico do not include airport transfers. Packages flying into Cancun but staying in Cozumel require supplemental ferry transfers at an additional cost. More details
Williams has all sorts of activities to make your vacation a memorable one. Watch a thrilling rodeo show, drive through graceful pine forests to spy on cute bear cubs and other fauna at Bearizona Wildlife Park, or take to the railroad and spend a day on the Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Package.
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Lyme Regis’ answer to a boutique coastal break with children is this luxury hotel with lovely views of the bay and the surrounding Jurassic coastline. Opt for a sea view Poulett or Gould room to make the most of it. Nearly all of the 24 rooms can accommodate children, plus there are two apartments that can host families of four or six. From its perch overlooking spectacular Lyme Bay you get road-free access to the shore (borrow buckets and spades from the hotel). Outside is a play area with swings, climbing frames and trampolines; in poor weather, try seaside-themed mocktails and board games in the lounge. Read expert review
We’ve rounded up destinations where you can have a great vacation at a great price, whether you want a relaxing beach vacation, a bustling city excursion, or a trip that combines both. There are domestic and international options, so you’re sure to find something right for your family whether you want a long weekend away or an all-out adventure. As for what makes these family vacation spots so great, the key is having great free and cheap attractions, while also having properties that welcome kids with complimentary amenities, from unlimited water park access to mermaid lessons right on the beach.
Until now, Zambia has had little recognition as one of Africa’s great safari destinations. Yet experts know it as the birthplace of the walking safari — as well as the home of some of the most highly trained guides on the continent. In South Luangwa National Park, visitors can expect to see more animals than baobab trees, while Liuwa Plain National Park is the setting for the world’s second-largest wildebeest migration, when tens of thousands of the creatures head across the plain from neighboring Angola. Last year saw the arrival of Liuwa’s first permanent camp: King Lewanika Lodge, a six-villa safari lodge overlooking a watering hole where hyenas and antelope gather. —Mary Holland