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!
Like its sister members in the Luxury Family Hotels range, Woolley Grange is ideal for young children: two hours at the on-site crèche are included in the price of a room, and the clever monitor service means parents can dine while children sleep upstairs. Kids will love the indoor pool – parents perhaps less so – but this is a hotel designed for young children. The style of the rambling, multi-gabled mansion is of a lived-in, casual but comfy country retreat. Virtually no areas are out of bounds at any time for youngsters – though dinner in the main dining room is a civilised affair. Read expert review
Constitution Convention Museum State Park Port St. Joe Gulf Northwest History Recreated hall with life-size audio-animated figures telling the story of the first Constitution Convention of Florida, also exhibits of 19th century life
Two hotels that might fit your needs with family accommodations that can sleep 5 or 6 people are the Belleclaire, on the Upper West side, convenient to subways, or the Skyline on West 42nd street, a three block walk to Times Square and multiple subways. The motel-like Skyline has an unusual New York amenity, a swimming pool. The Belleclaire offers discounts for stays of 3 nights or more. The alternative is to book two rooms with two beds, one for you and your wife and younger daughter, the other for your older daughter and her aunt. You may find good rates on weekends at hotels in the Wall Street area that cater mostly to weekday business travelers such as Aloft Manhattan Downtown or Doubletree by Hilton. In the Times Square area, Days Inn Broadway is a possibility and the Radisson Martinique or NYMA hotels near Macys and many subways are other budget choices. Hotel rates vary with the seasons. When you know your travel dates, try using discount services such as Booking.com or Hotelscombined where you specify travel dates and the number of guests and see which hotels are offering buys when you want to visit And remember to add 14.75% NY hotel tax to the rates you are quoted. If you can find a lodging with free continental breakfast, that is a big saving for 5 people.
Stretching over 3,000 acres of Virginia wilderness, Kingsmill Resort boasts its own long list of recreational activities, as well as close proximity to the fun found in nearby Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. Active families can enjoy the resort’s two 18-hole golf courses, 15 tennis courts and Sports Club, which features indoor and outdoor pools, exercise classes, personal trainers and a billiards and game room.
Kids can learn patois, the local dialect in Saint Lucia, as part of the Kids Club offerings at St. James’s Club Morgan Bay. Tots’ yoga classes, cooking classes and mocktail lessons are here too, all aimed at giving kids a taste of the local culture for no extra fee.
Overnight Trips with Kids: Most kids love to travel. Teach them to pack their own bag and allow them to participate in choosing the next destination by asking about their favorite things to see and do. While some romantic inns require guests to be over a certain age, most hotels and resorts not only welcome kids but also pamper them with special gifts and amenities. If you want to bring your family dog or pet with you, it’s a good idea to research any additional fees and restrictions ahead of time, especially if you have to fly to get to your vacation destination.
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
A Star Wars-themed section of Legoland California’s Miniland USA opened in 2011, with a similar version opening at Legoland Florida in November 2012, just weeks after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise.
In Hawaii, the Hilton Waikoloa Village promises endless activity and unprecedented luxury. Parents hoping to find a child-friendly haven can sign their tykes up for Club Keiki. During its day and night camps, kids can feed koi and swans, hunt for treasure and explore tide pools.
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.
Rising above its associations with the annual hot-air-balloon festival, Albuquerque will this year set out to prove itself as a fully-fledged destination. The Sawmill District, just north of the historic Old Town, is being revived as a creative center, anchored by the arrival of the Hotel Chaco. The design of this boutique property, which opened in April, is inspired by the state’s indigenous culture, with handmade Navajo wool textiles and pueblo-inspired motifs. Come spring, downtown ABQ will also see the arrival of a new entertainment hub: the $40 million One Central, which will have a sleek bowling lounge, as well as upscale stores and restaurants. And just outside town, visitors will soon be able to experience the striking Sandia Mountains in a nail-biting new way. The proposed Mountain Coaster, an alpine sled-style ride that plunges riders down the mountainside in a total vertical drop of 380 feet, is due to open this fall. Getting to Albuquerque is becoming even easier, thanks to new nonstop flights from major U.S. cities via Southwest, United, and Alaska Airlines. —Melanie Lieberman
Disneyland was founded as a single park by Walt Disney and opened on July 17, 1955, in Anaheim, California. Disneyland Hotel opened to the public on October 5, 1955. In 2001, the site expanded significantly and was renamed the Disneyland Resort with the opening of Disney California Adventure Park on February 8, 2001, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa on January 2, 2001, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel on December 15, 2000, and Downtown Disney on January 12, 2001. Disneyland was rebranded Disneyland Park to distinguish it from the larger resort complex. The resort focuses on Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters and occupies 500 acres (2.0 km2).
Lastly, what would be your suggestion for seeing the main attractions (central park, statue of liberty, times square, empire state building, Brooklyn bridge, The National September 11 Memorial)? How long would we need to stay to visit the sites and not feel like we’re in the NYC marathon?
The Whitewater rafting on Kicking Horse River, in Banff, is awesome. Choose from a variety of family packages; options include passes to Banff Hot Springs, a ride on a gondola for a 350-degree view of Sulphur Mountain and the Canadian Rockies; a canoe ride or a tour of a grizzly bear refuge. Packages can also include certified rafting guides and equipment. Kicking Horse, which flows from a glacial lake, is considered one of the most exciting whitewater runs in the Canadian Rockies, with a drop of about 50 feet about every 6/10 of a mile. You’ll enjoy stunning scenery as you journey down this Canadian Heritage River.
This Four Seasons sits on a large, attractive beach on the small island of Nevis. The gorgeous rooms here may be the highlight; the updated decor has a Ralph Lauren-like look, with a blue-and-yellow scheme accented by pops of color and dark wood furniture; the massive bathrooms feature separate showers and tubs. Plus, almost all rooms have beautiful views, of either mountains or the ocean. The hotel’s remote location makes this a popular pick for couples on a romantic getaway. But with its long list of on-site amenities, this resort is well-suited for families as well. There are three pools, multiple tennis courts, a golf course, and a kids’ club. Other family features include child-size bathrobes, milk and cookies upon arrival (as well as a plush turtle toy and a turtle treat made by the resort’s pastry chef), a free-form infinity pool for families, baby-proofing kits upon request, 17 family suites, and DVD player in all rooms.
One of three beachside Marriott resorts sitting in a row on the sand, the family-oriented Surf Club has clean, comfortable rooms, an excellent gym, a huge waterslide, a teen lounge with Nintendo Wii video games, and the winding “Lazy River” pool (possibly the best pool in Aruba). Beside the Lazy River pool, the hotel has a huge waterslide. In addition, the hotel has a teen lounge off the lobby for 12- to-17-year-olds. On-site dining is limited, but excellent restaurants are just a short walk away.
Multi-day tickets (2-day tickets or longer) do not have tiers and are good 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.
Located in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, Club Med Sandpiper Bay is America’s only all-inclusive chain resort. It makes the cut for its renowned amenities and activities, all included in the price. The resort features three swimming pools, an 18-hole golf course, an International Tennis Academy, and kids’ programs for all ages, from infants to teens. The resort’s 337 rooms are divided between seven buildings along the St. Lucie River. Families can dine in three onsite restaurants and one casual sports bar, with the Marketplace restaurant featuring its Baby Corner for children to play in during dinner.
Disney Security personnel in Florida have investigated traffic accidents and issued accident reports. The forms used by Disney Security may be confused with official, government forms by some.
St. Augustine’s picturesque and historic center appeals to all sorts of visitors. Many families come here for the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, a fabulous swashbuckling resource offering interactive exhibits, treasure hunting, and more. For some outdoor fun, you could see the town on one of Ripley’s Red Trains, hit the play areas at Davenport Park or Project Swing Park, or turn towards the beach for a kids’ surf session. And for a truly unforgettable introduction to the locality, there’s always a helicopter tour over St. Augustine and Fort Matanzas.
Walt Disney Imagineering created Disney Fair, a U.S. traveling attraction, which premiered in September 1996. The fair was poorly attended and was pulled after a few stops. Disney Entertainment Projects (Asia Pacific) Inc., a new Disney Asian Pacific subsidiary, selected a renamed fair called DisneyFest as its first project, taking it to Singapore to open there on October 30, 1997.
A clownfish-shaped pool, pirate ship, ping-pong hut, trampolines, mocktail bar, lego room, dress-up area, zip line and a water slide from the main building – there’s every chance this is the greatest kids’ club in the world. But we should also mention the on-island chocolatier, telescope-equipped observatory, enlightening eco centre and on-site reef for all ages, too. With all those distractions, us grown-ups will be in the life-affirming spa…
Head to Universal Orlando for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, which is part of the action at Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™. Then, experience wild thrills and complete relaxation at Universal’s Volcano Bay™.
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With Magic Your Way Tickets, you first choose the number of days you want on a Base Ticket that allows you to enter one major theme park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom) each day. (You can leave and enter that same park multiple times on the same day.) You can add optional features at extra cost if you like, specifically Park Hopper (the ability to visit more than one park per day) or Park Hopper Plus (extra admissions to water parks and other activities other than the four main parks).
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.
Disney reportedly had plans to build a park named Disney’s America. The park was to have been located in Haymarket, Virginia, but local opposition to the idea persuaded Disney to abandon the idea in 1994. On September 28, 1994, Michael Eisner announced that Disney was canceling its plans to build Disney’s America after a bruising national media fight with Protect Historic America and aggressive local opposition in Virginia from Protect Prince William and other citizen groups.