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.
With its central location in the Piscataway-Somerset area, the Radisson offers easy access to top regional destinations, including New York City, situated less than an hour away. If you have a free afternoon or evening, check out these local favorites:
With ten pools, a sprawling (45,000-square-foot) water park, a shopping center, a spa complex, and more restaurants than you can shake a breadstick at, the family-friendly Beaches is one of the most features-heavy resorts in Turks and Caicos. With a pirate-themed Sesame Street Treasure Caravan; 12 miles of white sand beach; pools staffed by lifeguards; Pirate’s Island Waterpark featuring two waterslides; AND Crayola Art Camps (whew!), your little ones can be entertained while you head for a rum punch. For the tweens and teens, there’s a Martha Stewart Crafts Studio, a (teen-appropriate) nightclub and lounge, an Xbox games garage, and even a DJ academy.
This is where this section of this site comes in! Everything you need to know about the Walt Disney World theme parks, including a brief overview and pictures of each and every ride, attraction, show, and parade is here! Plus you’ll find information on which rides are closed for refurbishing, which might be opening, and a calendar of upcoming events.
Walt Disney had originally planned to publicly reveal Disney World on November 15, 1965, but in light of the Sentinel story, Disney asked Florida Governor Haydon Burns to confirm the story on October 25. His announcement called the new theme park “the greatest attraction in the history of Florida”. The official reveal was kept on the previously-planned November 15 date, and Disney joined Burns in Orlando for the event.
Remodeling and redecoration has led to Watergate Bay taking its place as the pre-eminent Cornish hotel for a contemporary family seaside holiday. Set on a spectacular surfing beach, it has a great, easy-going atmosphere, cool, breezy décor and fun places to eat nearby, including Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. Adults can also spoil themselves in the Swim Club spa, while children will be entertained with organised games, crafts and activities. There’s evening entertainment, and not forgetting the hotel’s Extreme Academy for surfing and other watersports. Read expert review
What’s the secret to a great family vacation? Finding a location that allows everyone to explore and have fun — at their own pace. A spot where the kids (most likely bursting with energy) can have a blast while you enjoy a relaxing massage and a margarita…or several margaritas. (Go ahead — it’s vacation.) And generally a beach destination can deliver on all these fronts. So we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly, tropical vacation spots that feature safe and fun places to play, kid-friendly restaurants, and all sorts of activities, even if the sun goes into hiding for a day or two. And Mom and Dad will be just as happy at these spots as well.
Calcot is a shining example of how luxury and family-friendliness need not be mutually exclusive. There is a good choice of family rooms – these have baby listening devices tuned into the reception desk so you can dine at ease, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be alerted if there are any problems. As well as the indoor kids’ section, there’s a pirate ship outdoor play area. In addition, there’s an Ofsted-registered creche and indoor and outdoor play spaces. The brasserie-style Gumtree Inn restaurant has a specially devised children’s menu. Read expert review
Rooms are decorated with a traditional African ambience: earth-tone walls, handcrafted furniture, tapestries and mosquito nets. But true historical value can be found in the 4,000 native handicrafts placed throughout the lodge. When it’s time to dine, experience the tastes of Africa at one of the resort’s inspired restaurants, including Jiko, which features wood-burning ovens, and Boma, a buffet under a thatched roof.
Hi! What a great article and advice you have offered. Wondering if you can advise best family hotel /apartments in NYC for family of 4 (2 adults, 2 teens). We are visiting the east coast for college visits. In NYC, we are headed to Pace and NYU. We also hope to catch a play and museums. Hoping to find a place that has a kitchen of some sort to save money on meals. Do you have any suggestions considering the areas we intend to visit. Thank you!!!
Between Christmas and New Years is very busy in NYC. It does start to quiet a bit into January but stores and sidewalks will still be packed. The Christmas lights will be in the department store windows (at least for a few days) and there will be ice skating but otherwise I would go in October. The weather is nicer and not as busy.
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:
Tiffany pieces take center stage here but the museum includes a nice assortment of late nineteenth-century portraits like John Singer Sargent’s Richard Aldrich C. McCurdy, furnishings by Gallé and art objects by European artists such as Carl Fabergé.
Sure, Iceland is cold, but there’s still plenty to do on a Winter Iceland Family Adventure. Kids age 12 and up can snorkel with you in the crystalline waters of the Silfra fissure, an opening between the North American and Eurasian continents. Explore the old harbor and famous Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, the capital city, and then venture into the largest man-made ice cave in the world, at Langjokull Glacier. The whole family can learn how the island’s natural phenomena were formed by volcanic and geothermal forces when you hike at scenic Skaftafell National Park.
Over the past few years, South Korea’s Gangwon Province has shed its sleepy past and come into its own as a prime winter-sports destination — a transformation that will take center stage during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics (February 9–25). Ahead of the big event, the region will debut a new high-speed rail line that will whisk travelers from Incheon International Airport to the resort town in just 70 minutes, making it easier to access the Taebaek Mountains’ panoramic pistes and tourist-friendly attractions. Powder hounds will want to lodge at the InterContinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort, which commands a prime location at the foot of the Alpensia ski slopes, steps from two Olympic-class runs, and is one of a handful of hotels built for the games. Break from all the outdoor action at the Ocean 700 indoor water park, complete with wave pools and tubing rides. —Talia Avakian
The first Disney Vacation Club Resorts, Vacation Club Resort, opened on October 1, 1991, and was renamed Disney’s Old Key West Resort in January 1996. These vacation club hotels were operated by Disney Vacation Developments, Inc. as vacation timeshares.[CDW2 4] The first off-resort vacation club hotel was Vacation Club Resort, which opened on October 1, 1995, in Vero Beach, Florida.[CDC 7]
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.”
Billed as the Waterpark Capital of the World, Wisconsin Dells is an obvious choice for fun-seeking families. It’s hard to experience every single one of the great attractions and activities here (because there are so many!). Take your pick of indoor and outdoor adventures, such as Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park, Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Timber Falls Adventure Park, Circus World, Timbavati Wildlife Park…the list goes on and on.
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.
The capital may be set on banks of the Potomac, but it’s never had a reputation as a great waterfront city. That could all be about to change, thanks to the $2.5 billion, 24-acre District Wharf, which opened in October just south of the National Mall. The shiny new InterContinental Washington D.C.-The Wharf offers access to the development’s new parks, music venues, 50-plus shops, and 20 restaurants — which include projects from area chefs like Fabio Trabocchi, Mike Isabella, and wunderkind Kwame Onwuachi. This is also set to be a banner year for culture: the Freer and Sackler galleries, sister museums that champion Asian art, recently reopened after a 20-month renovation, the National Gallery of Art will host the first-ever show dedicated to Cézanne’s portraits from March to July, and the Kennedy Center continues its inaugural season of hip-hop programming curated by Q-Tip. —Brooke Porter Katz
An inexpensive way to visit the Caribbean can be aboard a cruise ship. The cruise industry is constantly coming up with bigger ships packed with activities for vacationers of all ages. You can cruise Bermuda and the Bahamas with Regent Seven Seas, take a Nickelodeon-themed family cruise or pick one of the many affordable itineraries offered by the Royal Caribbean.
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
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.
Prior to 1971, Orlando was a rest stop en route to Miami, which means this center has plenty of kitsch Floridiana to enjoy. Of course, it also includes exhibits on prehistoric tribes, Spanish explorers, Florida Crackers, African-American history, the cattle and citrus industries, and the arrival of Walt Disney World, which sparked Orlando’s transition into a modern city. thehistorycenter.org
Hi. Wonderful article and gave me some good options for family-friendly hotels in NYC. I am currently booked in with free cancellation at the Four Points by Sheraton NY Downtown. Currently at $268 rate without breakfast, some of my discussions on Tripadvisor forums tell me thats it’s not the best deal and with a little more spend I can get better properties with breakfast. Breakfast is important since with kids its easier that way, I would be coming down in June, 1st week for 4 nights with my wife and 2 kids (aged 14 and 8, daughter and son). Considering it is not the right amount of time to see NYC, I would like to make the most of it and stay in a place which is accessible to sights and sounds my kids can enjoy. I understand the Hampton Inns have good deals with breakfasts and some of the ones which I did shortlist should I cancel the four points include: Hampton Inn Manhattan Times Square North, Best Western Premier Herald Square, Hampton Inn Empire State Building, Residence Inn NY Downtown WTC, and the Holiday Inn Express Chelsea. Considering I am bad with the NYC geography it would be great to get your views. Basically if I get something around USD 300/night, family rooms with 2 double/queen beds, inclusive of taxes it would be wonderful.
On Wednesday, admission is free at the Bronx Zoo, the largest city zoo in America, home to some 4000 animals. Many city museums also have free admission, usually in the late afternoon. Kids often are intrigued by the spiral design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum and it is free from 5:45 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. You can visit the famous Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) free after 3 p.m. on Friday (note that kids under 18 are free at MOMA anytime).
The Sea Pines Resort beckons golfers from around the world with its candy cane-striped lighthouse, which sits just behind the 18th green at the famous Harbour Town (known as the “must play” course on an island of 50 outstanding golf courses). But the links are just one option for family fun at this 5,000-acre upscale compound. There are also five miles of pristine beaches, 20 miles of bike trails and nature paths, and an extensive menu of year-round activities. Families can enjoy sightseeing by bike, crabbing, horseback riding, tennis, kayaking, fishing—even a boat safari to spot alligators in their natural habitat.
Washington, DC is a vibrant city with dozens of free attractions and events that make it an ideal destination for a family vacation. Once you’re near the Mall, major landmarks and iconic government buildings are everywhere you look: the Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and many more. Have your kids pull out their coins and dollar bills to see replicas of the very buildings they’re standing in front of. Book a line-skipping VIP tour and check them all off your list.
Family ski trips can be great fun and there are many unique destinations to choose from. In Canada, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort offers skiing on Blackcomb Mountain. Beginners and seasoned skiers alike can enroll in the Ski & Snowboard School which offers programs for kids. In British Columbia, Canada, The Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside provides all-suite accommodations which have plenty of space. Colorado ski destinations include Aspen, Vail, Telluride and Beaver Creek, all offering exceptional skiing.
Scottsdale, Arizona is renowned for its luxurious resorts, including the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, which offers an all-inclusive package. The package covers meals and accommodations for two guests, plus parking and a 20-percent discount at the spa. Kids can be added to the package for an additional fee. It also covers the resort fee. Of course, access to the hotel’s sparkling swimming pools and children’s club are also included in rates. If you want to get out and explore (not that you need to), consider booking an excursion with the concierge. Options include Jeep tours and trips to the Grand Canyon.
In June 2005, Disney Magic made the first cruise outside of the Caribbean, by moving its port for the summer to Los Angeles with a Mexican Riviera schedule. Disney Cruise Line ordered a new 2 ships class from Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany by February 22, 2007.[CDC 18] The Magic in May 2007 transferred its home port to Barcelona, Spain, for the lines’ first summer Mediterranean itinerary then returned to its permanent port in September.
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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.