Family Resorts East Coast | Articles and Reviews at Family Travel Blog

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.
Nestled into treetops and branches is one of the world’s most unusual bed-and-breakfasts. This high-in-the-sky treehouse resort proves that trees aren’t just for the birds. Fifteen treehouses, which sleep anywhere from two to eight people, make up the “treesort” (but because of legal issues, not all 15 are available for overnight lodging).
At Walt Disney World alone, you’ll find four distinct theme parks, including Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot® , Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and Disney’s Animal Kingdom®. And that’s in addition to Disney’s Blizzard Beach® and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon® water parks!
Regular Magic Your Way Tickets expire 14 days after their first use. The No Expiration option means the unused days never expire. You can come back and use them any time. If you find one of these in a drawer, it is still good (if the days haven’t all been used).
Naturalist guides offer hikes through the desert wilds, exploring canyons, cacti and even secret waterfalls. The popular kids’ program offers little cowpokes (ages 4-12) the chance to “ride ’em cowboy!” Children are divided into three age groups — the Buckaroos, Wranglers and Outlaws — and treated to riding lessons, tennis, swimming and arts and crafts.
Geared toward children ages 13 and under, the Pensacola Children’s Museum allows kids to explore history through hands-on play. On the first floor, the Discovery Gallery is designed to recreate life in Colonial-era Pensacola. Younger children can dress up and romp through a Colonial cottage, military fort, trading post and ship. On the second floor, older children can delve into interactive and interpretive exhibits that trace our diverse local history from its Native American roots and European exploration, through early American history and the Civil War, to the Industrial Revolution and our modern-era ties with the U.S. Navy.
The Shake Shack at Madison Square Park is my favorite and not too far from where you’re staying. There are seats and tables spread around an area of the park and it’s a great setting for a outdoor lunch or dinner. Lots of fun. There are lines, of course, this is Shake Shack but at least you’re waiting in a park and not on a busy sidewalk. And FYI, all Shake Shacks have a C-Line where you can get drinks, shakes, beer, and other non-food items. There’s typically no or a very short line, so I like to grab a beer/drink to start off then get in the big line for food. Even if the line is 20+ minutes long if you’re sipping a beer or milkshake it’s not so bad – sort of fun actually. Once you order, the food arrives quickly. And yes, it’s worth the wait. The Theater District Shake Shack on 8th between 43rd and 44th and near Times Square is my second favorite. This one has much more of a big-city vibe. If you can get the seats that face 44th it’s fun to sit, eat, and watch the crowds pass.
For a chic boutique vibe, book a two-bedroom suite at The Cove, with onsite activities including boating and paddle boarding. Another option: The centrally located Pineapple Fields Resort features self-catering condos that offer conveniences like washers and dryers.
Hello! Thank you so much for the great article. My husband and I are travelling to America from Scotland in May for a family wedding in Washington DC then we are heading to New York in late May for four days with our 3 year old daughter.
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New York offers some other unique walks that won’t cost a dime. One adventure not to be missed is the 1.3 mile walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, high above the East River with endless panoramas of the skyscrapers of Wall Street and Lower Manhattan. The photos will be your favorite souvenirs.
New Hampshire’s White Mountains are considered the crown jewel of the state, home to the highest peak in the Northeast, and filled with pristine lakes and dense forest. By staying at the American Mountain Club’s rustic Highland Center lodge, you’ll have access to all types of activities, from guided scenic hikes to spots like the gorgeous Presidential peaks while learning about the area’s geology, nature and picking up some outdoor skills. You can also enjoy splashing around in the pools underneath Arethusa or Ripley Falls, and even rock climbing on the nearby Frankenstein Cliffs. The lodge itself serves hearty home-cooked meals to fuel those adventures, with all meals included in room rates.
Children’s Museums: Children’s museums, science museums and planetariums offer a great way for younger kids to have fun, meet new friends and learn with hands-on activities. Many cities and towns offer a kid-friendly museum. Find more family vacations.
Disneyland expanded in 1972 with a seventh themed land, Bear Country, replacing the Indian Village of Frontierland, and later renamed Critter Country. In 1979, the Disneyland crafts and maintenance union workers went on strike for 15 days, at first rejecting and then accepting the park’s contract.[17] Space Mountain opens at Disneyland in 1977.[17]
We’ll be in New York for the weekend in early July 2015 and are planning our days as we don’t have much time and want to make the most of it. We’ve heard a lot about great desserts places with fun treats – if we can only visit one shop or restaurant which one would you go to?
A lot will depend on the ages of your party members, a lot on what types of rides they like — thrilling coasters or sedate rides, for example. Get a sense of what the rides are like by checking out the sections on each of the theme parks. We also have photos of the ride vehicles, as well as some information for folks who are not “one size fits all.” And don’t forget to leave time for visiting with the characters!
A trip to Europe is for families who enjoy exploring historic sites, sampling local cuisine and learning about a different culture. Visit Florence, Italy, which is an easy historic city to explore with children. Another great city to visit with kids is New York. Younger children can explore a huge variety of playgrounds, climb on giant statues representing characters from children’s books, visit a zoo, ride on a carousel, visit a planetarium and watch a show at the Marionette Theater.
Locals refer to Long Beach as one giant playground, so families are certainly welcome here. And there’s one place you really can’t miss. More than 11,000 creatures await you at the Aquarium of the Pacific—you can even touch and feed some of them. Learn about all the animals of the ocean and the importance of conserving their environment. Long Beach also has lots of family-oriented places to eat and plenty of fun watery activities, including boat tours.
This stunningly set hotel has on-site stables (you can bring your own horse or borrow one), a cookery school, 500 acres to wander, and a beautiful spa with a pool that has children’s hours, plus bicycles, board games, and a spectacular play cottage filled with toys and activities (though children must be accompanied by an adult). The fine brasserie has a children’s menu, and the Michelin-starred restaurant is a treat and welcomes children over the age of five. Read expert review
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.
Any Nintendo fans in the family? Don’t miss a trip to Nintendo World, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, where you can try out all the newest games and visit a mini-museum upstairs displaying every console and character ever created. Admission is free but be prepared to be begged into a purchase.
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.
The district soon began construction of drainage canals, and Disney built the first roads and the Magic Kingdom. The Contemporary Resort Hotel and Polynesian Village were also completed in time for the park’s opening on October 1, 1971.[10][11] The Palm and Magnolia golf courses near Magic Kingdom had opened a few weeks before, while Fort Wilderness opened a month later. 24 days after the park opened, Roy O. Disney dedicated the property and declared that it would be known as “Walt Disney World” in his brother’s honor. In his own words: “Everyone has heard of Ford cars. But have they all heard of Henry Ford, who started it all? Walt Disney World is in memory of the man who started it all, so people will know his name as long as Walt Disney World is here.” After the dedication, Roy Disney asked Walt’s widow, Lillian, what she thought of Walt Disney World. According to biographer Bob Thomas, she responded, “I think Walt would have approved.” Roy Disney died at age 78 on December 20, 1971, less than three months after the property opened.[12]
Weekend on the Beach: Weekend trips that include relaxing on the beach are always a good idea. Visit the Florida Keys where you can check into one of the island resorts or explore fun attractions and restaurants in Key West. During the summer, many lake and ocean beaches are within driving distance on the East Coast, West Coast, the South and Midwest. During the warmer season it’s easy to plan a day trip or an affordable overnight stay. In the winter, inexpensive vacation spots may be harder to find and you may have to take a plane to get to a tropical beach in South Florida, Hawaii or the Caribbean.
Located just a four-minute walk from Epcot, this Cape Cod-in-Orlando resort has so many activities, one T+L voter admitted to skipping a day at the parks to hang out at the hotel. Like its slightly more buttoned-up sister, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, the Beach Club offers full access to Stormalong Bay and its sandy-bottomed swim zone, water slides (bigger kids love the one that starts from the top of a ship’s mast), and lazy circular river. Add an old-fashioned soda shop and a mini golf course, and it’s little surprise that families can have a hard time tearing themselves away.
$40 million worth of Walt Disney Productions Convertible Debentures were sold in January 1968 to fund Disney World (WDW). The next year in February, an agreement was made with multiple labor unions, in which the unions exchanged the right to strike for regular pay increases during the first building phase.[CDW 6] By 1971, chairman of the Park Operations Committee and vice president of park operations Dick Nunis was appointed executive vice president of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.[21]
Filled with reefs and blue holes (underwater caves), Andros is the least developed of the Out Islands. Days here are full of fishing excursions, hikes through pine forests, and diving at the third-largest barrier reef in the world. Crab catching is an island pastime; in June, don’t miss the All Andros Crab Fest, with land crabs cooked 101 ways.
A century ago, Shanghai was China’s star city, a cosmopolitan center of art, technology, and finance. Today, it’s reclaiming that mantle, parlaying the economic boom that began in the 1990s into a world-class array of cultural and culinary attractions. On the West Bund riverfront, Tank Shanghai will transform disused oil tanks into a sprawling arts complex with a gallery, an education center, and parks when it’s completed later this year. Farther north, the Norman Foster and Thomas Heatherwick–designed Fosun Foundation, with its façade of shifting bronze cylinders, began hosting performances and art shows last fall. The North Bund is being redeveloped with a park linking it to a new lifestyle development that’s anchored by the city’s first W Hotel. In the residential Minhang district, Cordis debuted in May, and Amanyangyun will open nearby after relocating Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, as well as 10,000 ancient camphor trees, from Jiangxi province. More luxury stays are still to come in 2018, including the Middle House, the Bulgari, and the Edition. —Samantha Culp
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.
An integral part of the Historic Pensacola Village complex, the Museum of Industry is housed in the historic “Hispanic Building” constructed in 1884 for the Pensacola Ice Company. Today, the site serves to illustrate the lumber, brick making, railroad, fishing and other vital industries that transformed Pensacola from a colonial wilderness into a thriving commercial center.
With the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration starting on October 1, 2000, sanctioned Disney Pin Trading was started.[CDC 20] In 2001, the Themed Entertainment Association gave Disney Parks and Resorts the Thea Award for Breakthrough Innovation for the park’s FastPass system.[CDC 21]
Located about an hour north of Pensacola, right on the Alabama line, sits the small town of Century, previously known as the village of “Teaspoon.” An old timber mill, retired railroads, and other preserved sites keep the memories alive of a Southern mill town that was built on the hope for a successful, lasting settlement that would exist long beyond the economically booming years of the timber mill. In the heart of century lies the James Houston Jones Historic Park, home to three museums operated by the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society, which are free of charge and open to the public. Starting with the Leach House, explore the everyday life of century natives at the turn of the 20th century in the original Leach home place. Next, take a tour of the boxcar museum, which features actual railcars, parts, pictures, and maps that demonstrate countless miles of travel throughout the southeast dating back to the 1800s. Lastly, stop by the 1913 post office museum, a dedication to memorabilia from the old mill, past post offices, and other sites that played a huge role in Century’s development. After the tour, books written by members of the historical society allow you to continue your journey through time as you learn about how one small piece of the South endured through a changing industry, as well as other obstacles of that time period. These books are available for your viewing on-site or for purchase. One of Escambia County’s best-kept secrets, a day-trip to Century is a great way to expand your knowledge of our Gulf Coast history. For available hours, call the society President, Jerry Fischer, at 850-256-3980
Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science Tallahassee Leon North Central Multiple Science and art, with collections in American Folk art, photography, sculpture, paintings and drawings, prints, and Pre-Columbian art
Theaters in New Brunswick – A thriving theater district and the American Repertory Ballet help give New Brunswick a reputation as an excellent spot for regional performing arts. Attend a production at the George Street Playhouse or the State Theatre New Jersey, both within 15 minutes of the hotel.
A family-friendly gem in Lower Manhattan. Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial, Brooklyn Bridge, and ferries to the Statue of Liberty are nearby. Subway just out the door. Standard rooms are comfortable and stylish or upgrade to a suite and enjoy extra space with separate sleep and living spaces. Glass-enclosed heated pool is very kid-friendly. Phone: 212-693-2001
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
The Hilton Waikoloa Village offers the fantasy version of Hawaii—swimming with dolphins, a kaleidoscopic Luau show with hula and fire dancers, a 175-foot-long twisting waterslide—and kids go crazy for it. The sprawling 62-acre resort on the Big Island’s sunny Kohala Coast has its own saltwater lagoon filled with tropical fish and rare sea turtles. Mahogany wood boats glide through the canals between buildings, shuttling guests from the 1,240 guest rooms and suites to the 14 restaurants and bars and three swimming pools. Visitors can also opt for the air-conditioned trams that traverse the property. There are two golf courses (for grown-ups) as well as a putting course with glow-in-the-dark mini golf tournaments (for kids and grown-ups). Adults can also slip away to the oceanfront beach and rent snorkeling equipment or simply camp out in a cabana. The Waikoloa Village is also known for being one of the more affordable places for families to stay.
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.”
The Emerald Isle has seen a rush of American visitors recently, spurred by favorable exchange rates and increased airlift. If you haven’t yet made the trip, now’s the time to go. Adare Manor, a hotel set in a grand 19th-century mansion on 840 acres of rolling County Limerick countryside, reopened in November after an 18-month overhaul. The picturesque estate now has a new 42-room wing, a redesigned golf course, and the first La Mer Spa in the British Isles. Ireland’s whiskey scene has been quietly blooming for the last decade, and recently historic estates have embraced the trend. In August, Slane Castle in County Meath opened its new distillery to the public, and later this year, the iconic Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow will debut its own craft facility. In Dublin, Pearse Lyons, a wealthy Irishman with Kentucky-bourbon bona fides, recently opened his namesake distillery in the former St. James’s Church, and more whiskey destinations with visitor centers are soon to come from the Dublin Liberties and Roe & Co. And now that Luas, Dublin’s light rail system, has finally completed its latest expansion, getting around the city is a breeze — the $433-million project has linked two lines and added new stops near many of the city center’s most popular sights. —Lila Battis
Whether the kids are cooling off at the pool, having a blast at the splash park, or hanging out at the Lucky Kids’ Club, the all-inclusive IBEROSTAR Playa Mita offers tons of activities and events that will make your family vacation one to remember.
While summer is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, it’s winter south of the equator. For travelers who can’t wait to get onto their snowboards or skis, a trip to Chile could be just the thing, especially if they’d like to brag about skiing down the side of a volcano. Several popular resorts, Portillo, El Colorado, and Valle Nevado are just hours away from Santiago, and there’s more to Chile in July than snow. Excellent wine is produced in Chile, waiting to be sampled along with their outstanding meat and seafood cuisine. Hiking and mountain biking attract visitors for outdoor adventures, and with clear skies and little light pollution, many stargazing sites are popular with tourists as well. Admirers of art, architecture, history, and shopping will find lots to enjoy in Santiago.
Kids love the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that await them upon arrival. Parents will love the central location in Times Square, surrounded by Broadway theaters yet still walking distance to Central Park. An all-suite hotel each room has a microwave and mini-fridge and there’s a kid’s menu for room-service. Suites easily fit a family of 5. Phone: 212-719-1600
Visiting NYC in late May for 3 nights with an active 5 year old boy and 8 month old baby. What hotel would you suggest? $300 usd/night is our budget. My husband and I have been before and stayed in Times Square both times but would like to try a different area. Soho? Chelsea? Tribeca? We love shopping so want to do a bit of that but also want to do something fun our son would enjoy. Suggestions on what to do are also welcome 🙂
With an exciting influx of new and revamped hotels, an up-and-coming restaurant scene, and a blossoming wine industry, Idaho’s capital city—traditionally known as a convention destination — has started to attract the attention of leisure travelers. Boise’s invigorated downtown is evidence of the trend, with the newly opened Inn at 500, a 110-room boutique property whose perks include balconies overlooking the capitol, and its on-site restaurant, Richard’s, owned by James Beard Award-nominated chef Richard Langston, leading the way. (Meanwhile, Hotel 43 and The Grove both recently unveiled swank renovations.) The city’s craft-beer scene continues to impress; one noteworthy newcomer is White Dog Brewing, whose rustic taproom features a 24-foot “frost rail” that keeps your beer, well, frosty. In other toast-worthy news, Boise has become a hub for Idaho’s growing wine industry. Oenophiles shouldn’t miss a stop at the new downtown tasting room of Coiled Wines. Owner Leslie Preston — a native Idahoan who sharpened her skills at Clos du Bois and Stags’ Leap in California — makes a spectacular dry Riesling. Getting there is easier than ever: to meet rising demand, American Airlines has launched new nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare, while Southwest now runs a nonstop from San Diego. —Blane Bachelor
The Disney Dream began service in January 2011 and Disney Cruise Line (DCL) announced the maiden voyage of the Disney Fantasy to be March 31, 2012. The Dream deployment allowed Disney Wonder to be permanently stationed at Port of Los Angeles for Mexican Riviera cruises,[64] but initial served in the short Alaska cruise season.[28] Magic moved to New York for Canadian or Bahama cruises starting May 25, 2012.[CDC 22] DCL’s Magic was refitted in late 2013.[65]
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.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, officially Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and informally known as Disney Parks, was one of The Walt Disney Company’s four major business segments and a subsidiary.[1] The company was responsible for the conception, building, and managing of Disney theme parks and vacation resorts, as well as a variety of family-oriented leisure enterprises. It was founded in 1971, following the opening of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida.
We have 4 unique theme parks to explore. Consider how many days – Opens a dialog you’ll need to enjoy it all. Be sure your visit includes Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and our all-new Toy Story Land opening June 30, 2018!
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.
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.
The month begins with Canada Day, a national holiday, and continues with festivals, outdoor activities, and the best weather of the year. It’s a popular destination in summer, so be ready for crowds and consider your fellow visitors to be part of the fun. Outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, golf, boating, and much more. One of the finest city parks in the world, Stanley Park, should be on every visitor’s must-see list. There are beaches, a huge pool, nature trails, paths for biking and walking, all with spectacular views. For scenery, it’s hard to beat a ride to the top of Grouse Mountain on the Skyride, or for the more daring, several zip line routes take riders over valleys and lakes with views of the ocean, mountains, and forests. This year’s Vancouver Island Music Fest, July 13-15, features names like Ry Cooder, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie, and Walk off the Earth.

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