Parents should note that although the LEGOLAND attractions are decidedly for youngsters, the ease with which you’ll be able to move from one to the next make it appealing for parents looking for recreation that’s a little more self-contained. As a bonus, you can also enjoy a tropical cocktail by the pool while watching your kiddos.
Heckscher Playground is near the southwest corner of Central Park and Columbus Circle and is great (one of our kids’ favorites). There are slides, swings, climbing structures, a sand area to play in, and water jets in the summer months. Lots of room to run. It’s definitely walkable from Times Square. Much of New York is stroller-friendly. The problem is crowds in certain areas. Certainly Times Square and neighboring streets can be very hard to get a stroller through at pretty much anytime of the day.
Hawaii’s Napili Kai Beach Resort, located on Maui, comes close to an all-inclusive resort. Kids’ activities are provided free of charge during the summer and peak seasons, kids ages 12 and younger eat free, and the resort is one of few that don’t charge a resort fee, meaning parking, beach gear and Wi-Fi are all included in nightly rates. The resort prides itself on its intimacy and family-friendly environment, and it shows in the number of guests who return year after year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
In 1987, Disney and Ron Brierley’s Industrial Equity (Pacific) Ltd., already a 28% owner of the Wrather Corporation, agreed to purchase the remaining Wrather Corporation stock with a 50% share each. Wrather Corporation owned the Disneyland Hotel and operated the Queen Mary and Spruce Goose tourist attractions. In March 1988, Disney purchased Industrial Equity’s half of Wrather Corporation.
Tallahassee Automobile Museum Tallahassee Leon North Central Automotive Historic cars, toy cars, pedal cars, antique boating items, golf memorabilia, motors, cash registers, clocks, bicycles, sports memorabilia, motorcycles, can openers, spark plugs, artifacts
This genteel property opened in 1887 as a summer retreat for vacationers, who arrived at the pedestrian-only island by lake steamer and by rail. Since then, generations of families have enjoyed lawn games, after-dinner dancing, and promenades along the hotel’s 660-foot-long front porch. Kids today—who stay at the hotel free or at a significantly discounted rate—can also engage in more modern activities, like Quidditch matches, butterfly house visits, duck pin bowling, movie nights, and arts and crafts. Swimming in the hotel’s serpentine-shaped pool offers hours of fun for a budding Esther Williams—it is named after the pool-and-screen star, whose 1947 movie This Time For Keeps was filmed on the island.
1-day tickets are subject to price tiers: you have to pay a different price depending on the day of the year you are going, and whether it falls in Value, Regular or Peak season. Multi-day (2-day and longer) tickets are not currently subject to price tiers; days on a multi-day ticket can be used on any day of the year. Disney has announced that price tiers are coming for multi-day tickets, but we don’t yet know exactly how that will work.
Due to its acquisitions of Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012, some Disney-owned franchises are represented in its competitors’ parks. Marvel Super Hero Island, a themed land featuring characters and settings from Marvel Comics, has operated at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure park since 1999, as well as the Islands of Adventure cloned ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Studios Japan since 2004. Under Marvel’s 1994 agreement with Universal Parks & Resorts in regional terms, none of the Marvel characters and other persons related to such characters (e.g., side characters, team members, and the villains associated with the Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spider-Man, etc.) connected with Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Japan can be used at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disney Resort. Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disney also cannot use the Marvel name as part of an attraction or marketing and the Marvel-themed simulator ride. This clause has allowed Walt Disney World to have meet and greets with Marvel characters not associated with the ones at Islands of Adventure, such as Star-Lord and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy as well as Baymax and Hiro from Big Hero 6. Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris either have or planned to incorporate meet and greets as well as attractions relating to the Marvel characters, as well as using the Marvel name and the Marvel simulator ride.
Ever since Tolminc raw-milk cheeses and Slovenian marbled trout were featured on an episode of the Netflix series Chef’s Table with chef Ana Roš, Slovenia’s culinary star has been on the rise. Hiša Franko, the Soca Valley inn and restaurant that Roš runs with her sommelier husband, is now one of the region’s hardest tables to get — prompting the pair to open a small brewpub, Hiša Polonka. Surging demand for Slovenia’s natural and orange wines has driven local winemakers like Burja Estate and Movia to expand. And in the capital of Ljubljana, adventurous chefs at Monstera, Atelje, and Restavracija JB are helping redefine modern Slovenian cuisine, while the experimental farm and eatery Gostišče Grič has brought in a Swedish celebrity duck farmer and full-time forager to create one of Europe’s most unexpected dining experiences. —Nicholas Gill
Appleton Museum of Art Ocala Marion Central Art Part of College of Central Florida, collections include sculptures, 19th-century paintings, Pre-Columbian, African, European and Asian arts and antiquities
Catch behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood-style TV and movie magic with live performances, thrilling attractions, backstage tours and special events in a theme park with the vibrancy of a bustling film set. Explore 8 sections: Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Sunset Boulevard, Streets of America, Commissary Lane, Pixar Place, Mickey Avenue and Animation Courtyard. Be part of the action and take part in entertainment that puts you center stage!
Most of the royal wedding excitement will have settled down, and warmer weather will arrive in July. It’s the perfect time to take an open-top bus tour or stroll through Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens. Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence, opens its staterooms for tours on July 21, the beginning of only 10 weeks when visitors are permitted inside. The Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Palace should be on every visitor’s agenda as well. Wimbledon, London’s prestigious tennis tournament, begins on July 2 for two weeks of world class tennis and tradition, including the time-honored strawberries and cream. July events also include the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the largest annual flower show in the world. Music fans will enjoy Lovebox at Gunnersbury Park, British Summertime in Hyde Park, All Points East in Victoria Park, and more.
Provides one year of unlimited admission to the four major parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) and the water parks, plus free parking and free Photopass downloads (basically it’s equivalent to having Memory Maker). All prices listed include tax.
The city has cemented its reputation as a must-visit destination with its most recent honor: it’s been named 2018 World Design Capital, the first ever in the Americas. It’s no wonder: despite challenges like the recent earthquake, young Mexican creatives are no longer searching for opportunities abroad but staying to build something meaningful at home. Their success is evident in arts initiatives like Zonamaco and the Material Art Fair in February, Design Week Mexico in October, and the Condo Fair, which will debut in Mexico’s capital in April. Aesthetes have plenty of design-forward places to stay and eat, too. Bed down at Downtown Mexico, the newest hotel by Grupo Habita, which plans to open another property, Catedral M X, nearby in 2018. Or book a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, which unveiled an ambitious redesign by Gilles & Boissier in 2016. Dine at Enrique Olvera’s world-famous Pujol, which relocated last year to a mid-century house and has a fresh, pared-down look. The new space is outfitted in natural materials — a fitting design for a restaurant that celebrates wood-fired cooking. —Laura Itzkowitz
Everything’s truly up to date in the redeveloped Missouri side of Kansas City, which also spills into Kansas. Downtown is home to the Power & Light District, a nine-block dining and entertainment destination. In 2017, Outside magazine named Kansas City one of 25 “Best Towns Ever,” citing its “newly revamped downtown, a low cost of living, and emerging food and art scenes.” Add to that dozens of fountains, tree-lined boulevards, verdant parks and miles of bike trails. Known for barbecue, the city now is on the craft-beer map. Take the self-guided KC Tap Tour, which encompasses 19 breweries. The KC Streetcar running through downtown doesn’t cost a cent.
When it comes to finding a great place to stay in Boston, one TripAdvisor reviewer stated this about their rental property: “We regularly stay in rented accommodation rather when we go away, and this was one of the best we’ve experienced. The house is very comfortable, and well furnished and equipped.”
It’s no secret that Fiji is home to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery — powdery beaches fringed with palms, crystalline waters with colorful reefs, and rugged coastlines covered in greenery. But the islands’ new crop of luxury accommodations is making a case for the archipelago’s man-made phenomena as well. At the exclusive, family-owned Kokomo Private Island Resort, which is spread across 140 acres of dense tropical rain forest and white-sand beaches, guests will have their pick of 21 beach villas (among the most spacious in Fiji) and four hilltop residences featuring infinity pools and walled tropical gardens. If you’re a diver, you’re in luck: the Great Astrolabe Reef, which is teeming with kaleidoscopic corals and exotic marine life (like reef sharks, rays, and dolphinfish), is in the resort’s backyard. The luxury ante will only be upped in March when a Six Senses debuts on Malolo Island. Set on a private beach, the boutique property will offer the brand’s namesake spa and wellness offerings (including yoga, meditation, and nutrition and sleep counseling), plus a restaurant with ingredients sourced from the resort garden. Also slated to open in 2018: Nihi Fiji, from hotelier James McBride and Christopher Burch — the same duo behind Nihi Sumba Island, which Travel + Leisure readers named the best hotel in the world for 2017. —Melanie Lieberman
This piece received some contributions from A.D. Thompson, Rachel Cooper and Libby McMillan—writers for Apartment Guide and local experts who know their way around the nation’s kid-friendly hot spots.
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
Coworth Park is the only hotel in Britain to have its own polo club and fields; the equine theme dominates activities and décor, but there’s also biking and tennis to balance all the riding. Coworth Park Kids’ club is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday (£25 per day), and there’s a teen den with games room, and designated children’s hours at the pool. Grown-ups will love the Michelin-starred restaurant. Big families should go for the Dower House, a private, Grade II-listed, three-bedroomed cottage. Read expert review
Claiming Collier County has a story too big for just one museum, they prove it with five separate and unique history museums in Florida. Learn about the Calusa and Seminole Indians, saber-toothed cats that once roamed the area, curious inventions, weird vehicles and early settlers who forged the foundation of southwest Florida. colliermuseums.com
As Canada’s token middle child, Edmonton has long gotten short shrift amid its glitzier sisters (we’re looking at you, Toronto and Vancouver). But no longer — food and museum news is casting a spotlight on Alberta’s capital city. After stints at Noma in Copenhagen and Manhattan’s Daniel, chef Scott Downey returned to his hometown to open the Butternut Tree in September, with a focus on indigenous foods — grilled bannock with wild mushrooms and winged kelp; bison served with Saskatoon berry jus; maple-butter cake with black-currant jam. We’re waiting to make our dinner reservations until the new Royal Alberta Museum opens its doors. Designed by Dialog architects on the site of a former Canada Post distribution center, the 419,000-square-foot space will include Ice Age horse fossils and a dig pit for children. To experience Edmonton’s indie side, stay at Crash Hotel, an homage to the Ace, which opened last winter. Its themed Hi-Fi room walls are lined with vintage speakers, and hangover pills are at the ready in the mini-bar. —Kathryn O’Shea-Evans
Visitors may want to return to the Belgian capital in 2018 to visit two cutting-edge museums. The Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art opened in the once-infamous Molenbeek district’s old Belle-Vue brewery this past spring, to showcase contemporary art from around the world. There’s also the Citroën Cultural Centre, a new collaboration with Paris’s Centre Pompidou, which will launch its first exhibition in May. The edgy JAM Hotel, an industrial-chic property with exposed brickwork and concrete beams housed in a former art school, is the perfect place for culture-lovers to stay. Don’t leave town without paying homage to Belgium’s UNESCO-recognized beer culture at youthful breweries like Brasserie de la Senne or Brussels Beer Project, both of which are shirking brewing traditions in favor of more experimental microbrewery techniques. —Meredith Bethune
The first of three expansion theme lands at Hong Kong Disneyland, Toy Story Land, opens on November 18, 2011. Grizzly Gulch opens at Hong Kong Disneyland on July 13, 2012. The final land of this expansion, Mystic Point, opened at Hong Kong Disneyland on May 17, 2013.
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When is the best time to go? You will be less limited with a baby or a toddler because they don’t yet go to school, allowing you to plan a trip in September or early May when places are less crowded and room rates are lower. If you have older children that are in school, you will need to get away during their school holidays like spring break and summer. During the summer season, most beach destinations are quite crowded while cities tent to be emptier and a good choice as vacations for kids. If you have a teenager who is learning about the U.S. history, take her to Washington D.C. and spend a few days at the Smithsonian Museums.
Set in 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, Soho Farmhouse offers a bucolic setting, spacious Nantucket-style accommodation, the facilities of a Center Parcs on steroids and indulgent food and drink. The result? The ultimate ‘country-lite’ retreat. Electric milkfloats whisk guests around the estate, while families pedal by in matching dressing gowns and cow-print wellies. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool, boating lake, tennis courts, football pitch, horse riding and the outstanding “Teeny Barn” kids’ club (an old horse box is the library, kids can collect real eggs from the coup and so on). Read expert review
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.
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
In October 2007, Disney announced plans to build a resort at Ko Olina Resort & Marina in Kapolei, Hawaii, featuring both a hotel and Disney Vacation Club timeshare units. The 800-unit property, named Aulani, opened in 2011 and joined the other resorts not associated with a theme park, such as Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina.
Prices on this page include tax! Note that ticket prices quoted at DisneyWorld.com do not include tax. On the Disney site the tax is added to the price during the ordering process, which is why the prices look lower than the prices below. Sales tax of 6.5% is charged regardless of where you buy the tickets.
Alexander Brest Museum and Gallery Jacksonville Duval Northeast Art Part of Jacksonville University, includes changing exhibits of contemporary art, collections of carved ivory, Pre-Columbian artifacts, Steuben glass, Chinese porcelain, Cloisonné, Tiffany glass, and Boehm porcelain