Florida Keys Cottages | Articles and Reviews at Family Travel Blog

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.
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.
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.
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.
Presidents Hall of Fame Clermont Lake Central Wax website, next to the Florida Citrus Tower, wax figures of U.S. presidents, authentic miniature replicas of rooms in the White House, and other representations of Americana
Tokyo Disney Resort, located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, opened April 15, 1983, with Tokyo Disneyland. On September 4, 2001, the resort expanded with Tokyo DisneySea. There are several resort hotels on site, but only three are actually owned by the resort, which boasts the largest parking structure in the world. Tokyo Disney Resort is fully owned and operated by The Oriental Land Company and is licensed by The Walt Disney Company. The resort was built by Walt Disney Imagineering, and Disney maintains a degree of control; Nick Franklin leads the Walt Disney Attractions Japan team at The Walt Disney Company, which communicates with the Oriental Land Company over all aspects of the Resort, and assigns Imagineers to the Resort. Its properties, listed below, are divided into parks, shopping centers, and lodging.
The Harn’s sizable collection consists of more than 10,000 works of art. As a fundamental part of the University of Florida, exhibitions are thoughtfully curated to pique the minds of visitors and students. Admission is free and the outdoor Asian gardens make the ideal spot to slow down and clear your mind.
Heritage Village Largo Pinellas Central West Living website, 21-acre (85,000 m2) site includes a school, church, sponge warehouse, railroad depot and store and a variety of historic houses, and displays about agriculture, coastal living, community life and tourism; adjacent to The Florida Botanical Gardens
Steps away are LEGOLAND’s theme park and waterpark. The theme park’s coasters, rides and Lego-themed sites keep the entertainment going nonstop. The waterpark’s lazy rivers, wave pools, slides, and other cooling spots offer a fun respite from the Florida heat.
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.[14] 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
Guests with a Disney Resort reservation (excluding the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin) that arrive at Orlando International Airport can be transported to their resort from the airport using the complimentary Disney Magical Express service, which is operated by Mears Destination Services. Guests can also have their bags picked up and transported to their resort for them through a contract with BAGS Incorporated on participating airlines. Many resorts feature Airline Check-in counters for guests returning to the airport. Here their bags will be checked all the way through to their final destination and they can also have boarding passes printed for them. Some participating airlines are Delta, United, American, Jet Blue, Southwest and Alaska Airlines.
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
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.
Tyler Place Resort’s formula for good, old-fashioned family fun features morning and evening children’s programs with afternoons free for families to bike, hike, canoe and sail together. Little ones fish for perch and play dress-up; preschoolers listen to stories and jump on trampolines; and grade-school kids go on nature hikes, participate in gymnastics and put on marionette shows. Tweens take to zip-lines and go on fishing trips while teens add bicycle trips and water skiing. The accommodations, whether in the resort’s Inn rooms or cabins, tend toward basic, but are comfortable. Kids and parents are separated at dinnertime, ensuring parents have time to relax, too.
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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
Have a little one (or maybe even a hubby) who loves fast and shiny things? With over 300 cars, the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing houses one of the largest collections of Fords in the state. The museum opened in 1984 and since has become home to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
History and nature lovers alike will appreciate the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. Explore the stunning waterfront architectural mansion grounds and stroll through the lush manicured gardens for a unique day trip to one of Florida’s historic landmarks.
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.
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.
Whether you’re looking to nurture a young chef with cookery classes, partake in sports (on and off water), or simply be able to guarantee that your darlings are having fun – and being well looked after – while you relax in the spa or enjoy some Michelin-starred dining, we’ve got it all. Our experts have rounded up the best family-friendly hotels in England, from Cornwall to Cumbria.
Toy Story Land due to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on June 30, 2018. This plans to feature various Toy Story themed rides and attractions including a Slinky Dog Roller Coaster and Alien Swirling Saucers, and Woody’s Lunch Box, a quick-service restaurant.
Family vacations create lasting memories of a slower pace of life, fun activities and new adventures. If your kids are young, it may be easier to drive to your weekend destination. Older kids can have fun exploring a new city, unique museums and historical sights. Be sure to leave plenty of time for family dinners, group activities and relaxation by the pool.
Walt Disney flew over a potential site in Orlando, Florida – one of many – in November 1963. After witnessing the well-developed network of roads and taking the planned construction of both Interstate 4 and Florida’s Turnpike into account, with McCoy Air Force Base (later Orlando International Airport) to the east, Disney selected a centrally-located site near Bay Lake.[5] To avoid a burst of land speculation, Walt Disney World Company used various dummy corporations to acquire 30,500 acres (48 sq mi; 123 km2) of land.[5] In May 1965, some of these major land transactions were recorded a few miles southwest of Orlando in Osceola County. In addition, two large tracts totaling $1.5 million were sold, and smaller tracts of flatlands and cattle pastures were purchased by exotically-named companies such as the “Ayefour Corporation”, “Latin-American Development and Management Corporation” and the “Reedy Creek Ranch Corporation”. Some are now memorialized on a window above Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom. The smaller parcels of land acquired were called “outs”. They were 5-acre (2 ha) lots platted in 1912 by the Munger Land Company and sold to investors. Most of the owners in the 1960s were happy to get rid of the land, which was mostly swamp at the time. Another issue was the mineral rights to the land, which were owned by Tufts University. Without the transfer of these rights, Tufts could come in at any time and demand the removal of buildings to obtain minerals. Eventually, Disney’s team negotiated a deal with Tufts to buy the mineral rights for $15,000.[6]
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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.
“From looking at the outside of this vacation home, you would never believe what we found inside. We had eight adults and 12 children. It was amazing! Ample room for everyone, very well equipped, and beautiful. Pool table, foosball, and the theater room kept the younger children well occupied. The nearby Dells water parks, shows, and shopping kept everyone busy during the day.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Center Fort Pierce St. Lucie Central East Natural history Includes exhibits, marine creatures and displays exploring the marine environment and depicting the research efforts of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
Whether you are celebrating your birthday, anniversary, national holiday or just planning a relaxing mini vacation, there are many exceptional romantic getaways to choose from: castles, cabins, rooms with jacuzzis, luxury suites and themed villas. Check into a secluded inn, five star hotel, scenic resort or a romantic cabin and unplug for a few days in a new setting.
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
The Soho Grand Hotel is great. The one-bedroom comfortably sleeps a family of 4. Lots of style and a very cool bar off the lobby (2nd floor). Lucky Strike is a french bistro just around the corner (very good). Broome Street Bar is two blocks away and has a relaxed local vibe. Both allow kids.
Perfect for guests of any age, Dreams Sands Cancun Resort & Spa offers a luxurious spa, gourmet restaurants, and extras like dance lessons, live music, theme nights, and an Explorer’s Club for kids ages 3-12.
Designed to supplement Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which had opened in 1955, the complex was developed by Walt Disney in the 1960s. “The Florida Project”, as it was known, was intended to present a distinct vision with its own diverse set of attractions. Walt Disney’s original plans also called for the inclusion of an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” (EPCOT), a planned community intended to serve as a test bed for new city living innovations. After extensive lobbying, the government of Florida created the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special government district that essentially gave The Walt Disney Company the standard powers and autonomy of an incorporated city. Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, during construction of the complex. Without Disney spearheading the construction, the company created a resort similar to Disneyland, abandoning experimental concepts for a planned community. Magic Kingdom was the first theme park to open in the complex, in 1971, followed by Epcot in 1982, Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1989, and the most recent, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998.
Take a stroll through one of the world’s largest private collections of vintage aircrafts and go back to the days of Orville and Wilbur Wright. The magnificent thing about these planes is that they don’t collect dust, but instead catch air because they are flown daily. You can even snag a seat on a real biplane for a scenic tour over Central Florida for a cost of $70.
What’s not to love about the Caribbean? So many resorts, so little time. To help you make the most of your precious family vacations, we conducted the first-ever data-driven survey looking at the family-friendliness of Caribbean resorts. We worked with the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel Association to compile our initial list of 159 resorts. Then we dug in. We looked at the quality of the children’s programs, staffing and safety, and a multitude of other factors to come up with our final 10. These are the best of the best!
Star Wars Land 14 acres (5.7 ha) themed land for both Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios announced at the D23 Expo on August 15, 2015.[57] Construction began at both locations on April 14, 2016.[58]
Both are great hotels. The Meridien is more central and right in the thick of things – Times Square is a short walk (10 blocks) in one direction and there’s a great playground in Central Park just 3 blocks in the opposite direction. The Meridien has a nice rooftop pool (enclosed) with great views. The Beacon is in a quieter location that feels more neighborhoody and with a good market/grocery nearby. No pool but the suites do have kitchenettes (a decent breakfast in NY can easily run $80 for a family of 4, so this will save you some money). Also close to Central Park.
Nearly 3 million visitors come to Waikiki, Oahu’s iconic resort area, each year. Why? Because it boasts one of Hawaii’s best beaches, with tons of watersports, dining and shopping options. Plus, attractions like a zoo and an aquarium promise fun for all ages.
An Italianate country house set in 55 acres of parkland with contemporary-cool interior styling. Cowley Manor has dreamy and extensive grounds – ideal for family picnics – chic interiors, and a wacky bar where children can eat (they’re less welcome in the main restaurant). The icing on the cake is the exceptional spa with two swimming pools, which have special times for children. Families are encouraged to book the interconnecting ‘Great’ rooms in the main house. Read expert review
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
If you and your kids love the water, head to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At properties like Sea Mist, guests can get free unlimited access to its water park as well as discount passes to the Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Splashes Oceanfront Water Park.
The last of the four main parks built at Walt Disney World.  Disney is quick to remind us that Animal Kingdom is nahtazu (not a zoo) but this themed park has many animals from all over the world, mainly from Africa and Asia like elephants, tigers, lions and crocodiles.  There are fun shows, rides and now even nighttime laser shows as the park is open after dark!
Originally, entry into the theme park and travel business was a side project of Walt Disney himself. As the Disneylandia project started to become a reality, Walt Disney Productions at Walt’s request set up Disneyland, Inc. (DLI) in 1951 and agreed to a design deal in March 1953 with WED Enterprises (WED), Walt’s personal corporation, which then included what would now be called Disney Imagineering.[8][CDL 1] With the WED concept designs and prospectus for Disneylandia, Roy Disney in September 1953 met with TV networks in a deal for Disney-produced TV show and Disneyland investment. American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres (AB-PT) agreed to the Disneyland, Inc. investment.[8] Joining AB-PT as Disneyland investors were Walt Disney Productions (WDP), Western Publishing and Walt Disney.[CDL 2] Walt Disney Productions had the option to repurchase the Walt Disney, WED and Western Publishing shares (31%) by May 1, 1959, for $562,500.[9]
Last summer, the museum expanded its artistic footprint by over 130,000 square feet, making it the largest contemporary art space in the country. The new Building 6 houses long-term installations by artists like James Turrell, Louise Bourgeois, and Jenny Holzer. Two new museums are still in the works for North Adams, both spearheaded by former Guggenheim director Thomas Krens. At the Global Contemporary Art Museum, curators will work directly with artists to acquire and commission site-specific pieces, while the Extreme Model Railroad & Contemporary Architecture Museum will showcase works by the likes of Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid, all built in miniature as part of an elaborate model train system. Design is also top-of-mind at Tourists, a modern take on the roadside motel that’s set to open this summer. The resort — situated on 55 acres at the convergence of the Appalachian and Mohawk Trails — will have 48 rooms, each with floor-to-ceiling windows that put the focus on surrounding vistas. —Fiorella Valdesolo
A family vacation is no longer about loading the kids in the car and heading to the nearest beach. Today’s families are looking to stretch their imaginations, sharing their passion for travel with their loved ones. Organized by age group, our guide shows the best destinations and activities for kids of all ages. Find the right getaway for your crew, no matter who’s tagging along for the ride.
While relaxing under the palm trees at this South Seas-styled paradise, families feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of Disney—even though they’re just a Monorail ride away (two stops to the Magic Kingdom; six to Epcot). Torch-lined walkways wind around koi ponds and beaches; rooms are in bungalows perched over water. The main draw for kids is the steaming faux volcano with its three-story waterslide, but there’s also an on-site supervised kids activity center (one sample art project involves creating an exploding mini volcano). Nighttime offers another awe-inspiring event—after the family-style luau—a beachside viewing of the Electric Water Pageant, a parade of illuminated floats.
Historic Pensacola Village Pensacola Escambia Northwest Multiple Includes the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, Museum of Commerce, Museum of Industry, Lavalle House, Dorr House, Old Christ Church and Lear-Rocheblave House
Tribeca is a great neighborhood for kids and Washington Market Park has 2 good playgrounds. Just down the street is the wonderful Smyth Hotel. The subway is steps from the hotel’s front door. Of course, any hotel close to Central Park (recommended hotels above) will be spoiled for playground choices.
Best Family Beach Vacations: Dream vacations with kids often include plenty of play time on the beach. Popular family beach destinations on the East Coast include Daytona Beach, Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island. On the West Coast, visit the beautiful beaches in Southern California, including Laguna Beach, Encinitas and Newport Beach.
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.[25] 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]

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