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. 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.
This luxury lodge is on the slopes of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, steps from the entrance of Grand Teton National Park, and a 90-minute drive from Yellowstone National Park. Skiers and snowboarders will delight in the fresh powder; in the warm months, there’s hiking, horseback riding, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, and animal spotting ( buffalo, moose, and elk). A National Parks Explorer Package includes three nights in a Lodge Room (with granite countertops and a mini fridge to store snacks), a seven-day pass to Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks, field guides written by the resort’s in-house naturalist, and a $100 resort credit that can be used for a post-hike massage at the resort’s new 16,000-square-foot spa.
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!
All tickets and options are nontransferable and nonrefundable and exclude activities/events separately priced. Water Parks subject to rehabilitation, seasonal and weather closures. Tee times are required for Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course and are subject to availability. ESPN Wide World of Sports admission valid only on event days; some events require an additional admission charge; there are no events on certain days; days and hours of operation of concessions, venues and attractions vary. Visit www.espnwwos.com for more information.
Guests climb stairs, ladders, even a 90-foot-long suspension bridge. At the Swiss Family Complex, a swinging bridge separates child and adult units, and a fire pole and rope swings provide kids with ground access. Luxury lovers will enjoy the Tree Room Schoolhouse Suite, which fits four and has a bathroom, kitchenette, master bedroom, sitting area and loft. Fun perks include lessons in treehouse building, horseback riding, rafting, ropes courses, pools and arts and crafts classes.
A well-located seaside hotel with a loyal following of returning guests of all ages. Although a no-surprises, traditional place, it benefits from friendly, long-serving staff and a refurbishment that has freshened up public areas and rooms. A big plus-point here is the indoor swimming pool, a boon for families looking for entertainment on rainy days. Very few Norfolk hotels offer this useful fallback. Children can share parents’ rooms for free. There’s a games room, and a children’s menu or half portions from the table d’hôte menu are available. Read expert review
Unique Museums: If you are traveling with someone who considers museums boring, you can change their mind by taking them to someplace unique and exciting, like the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC or the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin.
‘If you are an adventure family that loves the outdoors but wants to experience a holiday where you also feel looked after, treated and the workload is non existent, this is the place. An incredible location this is truly the perfect scenario for the whole family to connect to each other and the unparalleled landscape that is Colorado.’
Holiday Weekends: During most times of the year, you can get away with last minute vacation planning, but major holidays like New Year’s, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Christmas often mean sold out airline seats and hotel rooms, so it’s a good idea to do your research and reservations ahead of time. People often postpone trip planning because it’s difficult to decide where to go and what to do. Browse our ideas by month section which includes suggestions for every month of the year as well as Valentine’s Day, Mothers & Fathers Days, fall foliage trips, 4th of July events and other trip ideas for families and couples.
Yesteryear Village West Palm Beach Palm Beach Southeast Open air Heritage park at the South Florida Fair, includes a school, farm, blacksmith shop, general store, several historic houses, and the Sally Bennett Big Band Hall of Fame Museum
Our selection of fun family vacation spots proves that it is possible to plan an awesome summer vacation without dipping too far into the savings account. Whether your crew is looking to relax on the beach or ride the whitewater rapids, we have affordable vacation suggestions for every taste.
Crowley Natural and Cultural History Center Sarasota Sarasota Southwest Multiple website, includes museum of pioneer history, pioneer cabin, blacksmith shop, working sugar cane mill, restored 1892-period Tatum House, nature trails and boardwalk
California’s sunny San Diego has tons of activities for families, with theme parks, water parks, kid-friendly museums, and 70 miles of beaches. The Go San Diego Card can be used for top attractions like the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the nearby Legoland California, harbor cruises, and museums in Balboa Park at a discount of up to 50 percent. Passes, which range from one to seven days, also include unlimited access to SeaWorld San Diego.
Days should include time on the white sands of world-renowned Seven Mile Beach. The Public Beach, near the center of Seven Mile, has a playground, picnic tables and bathrooms. The waves are usually small, and the sand gently slopes from the shore, making this an ideal spot for little ones.
Ready to explore the world with your kids? In Lisbon, families can enjoy and a city and beach vacation in one. Explore the different neighborhoods, castles, and palaces, or hop onboard a funicular to climb the city’s steep hills. The trams cost less than $4, giving you a cheap and scenic tour of the city.
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.
Located in the Barceló Maya Beach Complex, children will enjoy the Barcy’s Kid’s Club, Teen Club, waterpark, and miniature golf course. A playground, game room, and children’s pool are also included.
This Rocco Forte-designed hideaway features an entirely separate world of fun for children. At Verdùland, hotel mascot Verdù the hedgehog hosts lively themed activities focused on education (Sicilian history, mythology, gardening), arts and crafts (painting, pottery, dance, short-film making, a Verdura’s Got Talent competition), and food (learning to cook a range of globally inspired dishes in a tot-tailored kitchen), with beach trips in between. In short, it’s bliss for mini-Smiths.
Ideal for both business and leisure travelers, each of our 206 rooms and suites offers free Wi-Fi and a comfortable work desk to help you stay connected. An in-room Keurig® coffee machine keeps you fueled and a microwave enables you to warm up snacks. Enjoy these standard amenities:
There is no shortage of excitement at Grand Sunset Princess All Suites Resort & Spa! Kids can choose from four different pools to swim in or socialize at the Mini-Club or Teen Club during the evening.
We are thinking about NYC for a 3 day trip. We are a family of 5, my wife, me, her sister, our two daughters, 18 and 9. We have a very limited budget and would like to stay somewhere we could catch the subway in a safe area. We do not want to try to drive in the city. We would like to see Times Square, China Town, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and possibly some other well known sites. We are traveling from southwest, VA. Please help us!
Rockcliffe Hall is a five-star golf and spa resort that also welcomes children. There are generous dedicated times at the swimming pool for young people, plus cycling and falconry. Look out for the Alice in Wonderland-themed play cabins, adventure playground and seasonal nature trail. The much-anticipated Mischmasch gardens opens in spring 2018. The parkland, dubbed ‘A Wonderland of Curiosities’ will include a nature trail, an adventure playground, ‘interactive’ water features and a beautiful new glasshouse hosting tea parties. Read expert review
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
Located downtown, Historic Pensacola Village includes 27 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Eleven historic homes and sites are open to the public, including the Lavalle House (1805), the Dorr House (1871), Lear/Rocheblave House (1890) and Old Christ Church (1832), one of Florida’s oldest surviving church buildings. Visitors can explore them all to get a sense of local life in the 18th and 19th centuries and encounter a wide range of architectural styles – French Creole, Victorian, Greek Revival and more. Tours can be self-guided or taken with costumed staff who bring local history to life through reenactments, demonstrations and audience participation activities, such as butter churning, woodworking and candle making. It’s a fascinating way to experience various periods of local history, from the early Colonial era through World War II.
More like a home than a hotel. Generously sized rooms on upper east side – close to Central Park, shopping, and Museum Mile. Suites have kitchenettes or full-size kitchens. Some have terraces and many have working fireplaces. Service is friendly and second to none. Although there is no pool, babysitting services are available and Central Park is just a block away. Phone: 212-838-1400
The land where Walt Disney World resides is part of the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), a governing jurisdiction created in 1967 by the State of Florida at the request of Disney. RCID provides 911 services, fire, environmental protection, building code enforcement, utilities and road maintenance but does not provide law enforcement services. The approximately 800 security staff are instead considered employees of the Walt Disney Company. Arrests and citations are issued by the Florida Highway Patrol along with the Orange County and Osceola County sheriffs deputies who patrol the roads. Disney security does maintain a fleet of security vans equipped with flares, traffic cones, and chalk commonly used by police officers. These security personnel are charged with traffic control by the RCID and may only issue personnel violation notices to Disney and RCID employees, not the general public.
Of the thirty-four resorts and hotels on the Walt Disney World property, twenty-eight are owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. These are classified into four categories — Deluxe, Moderate, Value, and Disney Vacation Club Villas — and are located in one of five resort areas: the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Wide World of Sports, Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs resort areas.
Park Hopper Prices (gate price for admission to any of the four theme parks, including visiting more than one per day, including tax) – 3-day or longer tickets will be $21.30 less when purchased in advance.
Area tourist draws include the Garden of the Gods Park with its red rock formations and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which climbs to the 14,115-foot summit offering views that inspired “America the Beautiful.” Colorado Springs is home to the Broadmoor, a Forbes Travel Guide five-star and AAA five-diamond resort, marking its 100th anniversary in 2018. Visitors can stay there in style or just tour its beautifully landscaped grounds, have a bite at its inviting restaurants, book a massage in the spa or take a spin on zip lines. The Broadmoor boasts three golf courses and hosts the 2018 Senior Open on June 28 to July 1.
In addition to more than 100,000 artifacts, including pieces currently stored in the vaults of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the new museum will sport a Modernist design courtesy of Heneghan Peng Architects. Chosen from more than 1,550 design proposals from architects in 82 countries, the final building will echo both the geography of the plateau on which it rests as well as the Pyramids themselves. When the museum partially opens in 2018, visitors in the immense atrium can soak in the majestic sight of both the Pyramid of Menkaure and the Great Pyramid of Khufu from a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. —Diana Hubbell
The first place you might head is Central Park, the city’s beautiful back yard. Stop for a park map at the information center at Central Park West and 59th Street or The Dairy Information Center at Mid-Park between 64th and 65th Street and get ready for some fun. Climb the stairs up to Belvedere Castle for the view. Stop at Conservatory Water where you can rent a model boat and the kids can take turns with the remote control, moving it around the pond. Sounds like your children may be too old for playgrounds, but they can work off some energy hiking a path through the Ramble, a section of the park that is still deep woods and streams. You’ll never believe you are in the heart of the city. It’s also fun to join the joggers around the park’s reservoir. If you want to splurge a bit, you can rent bikes and pedal around the park’s 843 acres, stretching from 59th to 110th streets.
Disney had plans to build a Disneyland in Sydney, Australia, between 2007 and 2008 with the proposed name “Disney Wharf at Sydney Harbour”, but the concept was abandoned due to mixed responses in the New South Wales Government.
Keeping them occupied requires more than a few PlayStations. Are there lots of opportunity for play, supervised activities or bikes to borrow? Is the pool family-friendly, the beach perfect for paddling? We love a kids’ club that embraces local culture, with educational pizza-making, bug safaris or language lessons.
4) The Soho Grand has a very cool/trendy bar in the lobby area. Good beer and funky music. A block north from the Soho Grand is Lucky Strike – sort of a french bistrot/bar. Delicious food and open late.
California Adventure completed its overhaul in 2012 adding two new lands: Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. The overhaul also included a re-themed of several attractions plus a pair of classic dark rides. In 2017, it was announced that Paradise Pier land would be replaced by Pixar Pier, with four neighborhoods, and Paradise Park (remainder not in Pixar Pier). Pixar Pier would open in summer of 2018.
What are you waiting for? Purchase your tickets today and make your FastPass+ selections for popular attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage, Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, Toy Story Mania! or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Children are always welcome on Alaskan Dream Cruises’ smaller ships, but even more so on the Become a True Alaskan Family Cruise sailings (July and August). For ages 7 and up, the eight-day Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Island Adventure trips feature an onboard youth-expedition leader who guides photo scavenger hunts, teaches navigation basics, and heads hiking and kayaking excursions. You’ll sail on the 74-passenger Chichagof Dream, which offers convertible family cabins. Bonus: Kids under 15 save 30 percent.
Founded with the works collected by Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, the Dali Museum brings together a collection of over 2,100 breathtaking pieces that include 96 oil paintings, original drawings, photos and of course that famous portrait of Abraham Lincoln that makes you look twice. The Dali’s calendar of events showcases daily story times and creative activities to engage and educate children while at the museum.
Located on Pensacola Naval Air Station, the National Naval Aviation Museum is one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida and Pensacola’s #1 attraction. See more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft, including rare and one-of-a-kind planes like the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean, the first to land at the South Pole, and a World War II-era trainer flown by President George H.W. Bush. Explore more than 350,000 square feet of indoor space, brimming with interactive exhibits, vintage uniforms, historical documents and immersive dioramas that bring the past to life. Take a free guided tour with a retired or active duty airman and hear stirring tales that capture the human element of our shared history.
This unique, castle-esque property, with its turrets and gables, overlooks a pristine, mountain lake and has been enticing families to the Hudson Valle. The surrounding hills boast sweeping views of the Catskills, and can be explored on foot, mountain bike, horseback, or cross-country skis. From Thanksgiving to early spring, parents can wear the kids out before bed at the 9,700-square-foot ice rink meant for skating, broomball, and curling. When the weather warms, guests amble down to Lake Mohonk, a half-mile long, 60-foot-deep mountain lake, and enjoy swimming, boating, and fly-fishing. The surrounding Shawagunk Ridge (known fondly as “the Gunks”) is a favorite with rock climbers. On the hotel’s grounds, there’s a historic barn museum with local antiques and a heated pool. Look out for discounted kids travel packages, which are offered regularly throughout the year, and include meals and scheduled children’s programs.
Zany and kitschy, WonderWorks in Orlando has over a 100 educational and interactive exhibits focusing on math, physics, and space. If that doesn’t impress you, they also hold comedy shows and laser tag adventures. The kids will love this.
Working strictly in secrecy, real estate agents unaware of their client’s identity began making offers to landowners in April 1964 in parts of southwest Orange and northwest Osceola counties. The agents were careful not to reveal the extent of their intentions, and they were able to negotiate numerous land contracts with some including large tracts of land for as little as $100 an acre. With the understanding that the recording of the first deeds would trigger intense public scrutiny, Disney delayed the filing of paperwork until a large portion of the land was under contract.
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.
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A prettily situated, riverside coaching inn turned family-friendly hotel with exuberantly coloured rooms, and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. For children, there’s an adventure playground and nature trail plus indoor playroom with lilac pool table, games and toys. Packed lunches, secure bike storage and clothes-drying facilities are provided for the energetic. Little ones also benefit from welcome toys and books, children’s menus, and night-time milk and cookies. Read expert review
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, families experience the thrills of an African safari without ever leaving their hotel. If a trip to the Serengeti is out of your price range, a visit to this wild lodge will more than suffice. Strolling throughout the property’s 33 acres of savannas, guests will see more than 200 animals representing 100 different species, including antelopes and gazelles.