Kick Your Family Fun into High Gear
Family-Friendly Vacation Ideas
by Kwin Mosby
OMG! It’s that dreaded time when you need to decide where you’re taking the kids for a mind-blowing vacay. And on most occasions, this can be a herculean task that no one wants to tackle. Should you head to across the Atlantic for a trip to Paris, pack the car up for a beach trip to Miami Beach, or check out the new rides at an amusement park nearby. Well, let’s get the creative travel juices flowing…here are a few ideas to kick-start your plans for a fun family vacay.
Get Amped Up for the Thrills of a Theme Park Getaway
Whizzing around in the Krazy Kups at Six Flags Great America, strolling through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, or watching your kids slide down Lakeslide Landing at Cedar Point Shores are all experiences that exemplify a fun family vacation. And let’s be honest…theme parks are really built for adults and kids who enjoy sensory overload, right? It’s an experience that parents can take advantage with package deals – some that include hotel accommodations in addition to admission tickets to the park. Enjoy amusement or water park fun with the kids during a quick weekend getaway or for an extended vacay to visit multiple parks.
Hey, why do you think families flock to Orlando? It’s home to so many theme parks – such as Disney World, SeaWorld and LEGOLAND – that there’s no shortage of things to do to keep parents and their antsy kids busy. And even if you don’t have the option of visiting multiple theme parks, then consider exploring a city near a popular theme park. Take the kids to Chicago to explore the sights, food and festivals in the summer, but make sure you tack on some extra vacay time to spend a day at Six Flags Great America, located only an hour outside of the city. Remember you can maximize your theme park fun and quality time with the kids at the same time!
Get Lost on an Outdoor Adventure in a National Park
Ah, the Great Outdoors! It’s the perfect getaway to commune with nature while spending quality time with your family. The U.S. National Parks system offers limitless fun activities that include everything from a leisurely walk along the National Mall to see the historical monuments, memorials and museums in Washington, DC, to a family vacay to explore the easy hiking treks and trails found in West Glacier National Park in Montana. Kayaking, canoeing, biking, camping, swimming and birdwatching are just a few ways families can explore 417 national park sites on more than 84 million acres – making this vacation idea easily accessible no matter where you live in the U.S.
Several national park sites encourage families to visit by offering kid-friendly programs like the Junior Ranger Program. For example, at the Dinosaur National Monument, children get a free activity book they must complete to be sworn in as a Junior Ranger. But wait, there’s more! Children also get a cool badge from a U.S. Park Ranger. The family-friendly activities don’t stop there. Yellowstone National Park has a variety of activities to keep curious young visitors preoccupied: test your skills and compare your abilities to animals in the Wildlife Olympics, take the proper steps to be awarded a Young Scientist badge, or stay up late – with a parent’s permission of course – to see the night sky light up by participating in the stargazing program. The opportunities available to create and plan an unforgettable family vacation are out of this world…literally!
Reconnect with Fam on Beach Getaway
A beach vacay is usually the go-to summer vacation that some families plan every year. And yes, if it’s a road trip, parents may have to hone their ninja-like conflict management skills to resolve the sibling squabbles in the back seat, or may have to muster up enough patience to ignore the endless cries of “Are we there yet?” from the peanut gallery. But the thought of relaxing on a beach and getting some vitamin D is what’s really helping parents hold it all together, right? Depending on how far you travel, a family trip to the beach can be and inexpensive vacation with minimal logistics and a very simple agenda…beach, eat, sleep and repeat.
So, go to a local beach or aim for a new sand-and-sun experience at Coligny Beach (Hilton Head, South Carolina), Sunset Beach (Cape May, NJ), Cannon Beach (Oregon), Rehoboth Beach (Delaware) or Coronado Beach (San Diego). Maximize your quality time with family by tossing a Frisbee, building a sandcastle, eating fresh crab cakes at a beachfront restaurant, or chatting about the fidget spinner craze while staying afloat in the ocean. Hey, there’s a reason why some funny family memories include a riveting beach story, or is that just us? Either way, it’s time to plan your next beach getaway to create those unforgettable memories with the fam.
Whisk the Family Away for an All-Inclusive Vacay
How do I save money on my next family vacation? Can you say “all-inclusive?” Yep, we knew you could. An all-inclusive resort, cruise or exclusive vacay package is a great vacation idea if you want to whisk the family away for an extended weekend or for a week during the summer when the kids are out of school. Most all-inclusive vacations not only include your accommodations, but also – in some cases – the cost also covers activities, excursions and meals…because those kids can eat, right?!
Pick a great beachfront resort that offers a variety of amenities for parents and children of all ages.
The next step is choosing the right all-inclusive vacation for you and your family. Pick a great beachfront resort that offers a variety of amenities for parents and children of all ages. It’s always a good sign if a vacation destination offers kid-friendly perks, such as programs that keep children entertained through unique experiences, or have kid-friendly amenities such as a kid’s pool or video game arcade. It’s a good sign if you have some breathing room to relax while the kids stay busy. Remember…you’re on vacation, too!
Or set a course for a new adventure and hop aboard a family cruise that caters to the needs of parents and children. It might be rare, but sometimes there’s an overlap in fun experiences for both parents and kids. What adult or kid wouldn’t be stoked about a Marvel or Star Wars Day on a Disney Cruise? Come on! And if not, there are hip bars for adults to unwind and commiserate with other parents onboard. Just remember that an all-inclusive vacay is the way to go to help make a getaway with family or group of friends a little easier. And at the end of the day, isn’t it more about having a fun experience and less about the complicated logistics? Aye, aye!