The entire perspective of a vacation changes once you have kids. Traveling with kids can be quite a challenge as they get easily bored and do not enjoy a lot of the same activities that we, as adults do. Therefore, when planning a family vacation, it is important to make sure that there are ample activities and fun things for kids so that they are happily engaged and the adults can enjoy a little break too. Choosing the right place is the first and the most important step. Here are some amazing options of family vacation spots with fun things to do for all ages.
“I can’t think of anything that excites a great sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”-Bill Bryson
1. Walt Disney World
Possibly one of the most adored destinations of the world; Walt Disney World is universally loved by children and adults alike. Take your little one on a ride of the amazing, fascinating parks, its several exciting rides and enjoy all the yummy themed food, all the while reliving your own childhood dreams. There are tons of amazing activities and fun things that you can enjoy as a family. Don’t forget to pick up matching merchandise from the gift shop. However, do check the height requirements for the popular rides.
2. Disney Cruise Vacations
A cruise vacation is hands down, the most relaxing thing you can opt for. However the only problem is that children stuck on a ship on the water for a few days don’t make a happy vacation. But with Disney’s Cruise Line, you can have it all. Visit a number of exciting destinations such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mediterranean, Europe and more. With tons of activities and Disney characters onboard, both the adults and kids can have a gala time. Some cruise options also take you to Disney’s very own private island, Castaway Cay.
3. Yellowstone National Park
Introduce your little miracles to the miracles of nature at the majestic Yellowstone National Park. The sheer intensity of vibrant colors and striking beauty of Grand Prismatic Spring, Morning Glory Pool, Old Faithful and other striking exhibits of nature will leave them spellbound. Take a little hike around the trails of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and at certain times you can spot a rainbow over the waterfall. To wash off the exhaustion from the walk, go for a swim at Boiling River or Firehole River.
What can be more exciting for kids than to see the sets of their favorite shows! A vacation to Hollywood has so much of fun things to do for the little ones. Take them to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Madame Tussaud wax museum to spot their favorite celebs. Book seats a live taping of a show or take them for a studio tour. There are several fun things such as cooking classes for kids, yoga lifestyle classes for adults and more, so that everyone can enjoy a fabulous trip.
Ever since ‘Moana’, the beach paradise of Hawaii is even more popular among kids. A ride on an outrigger canoe would be perfect. Although there is no dearth of accommodation, the best place for families to stay in Hawaii would be Disney’s Aulani Resort, which organizes tons of activities, including Moana Meet n Greet for kids while you enjoy a little adult time. A family yoga retreat in Hawaii is also a great idea to unwind and rejuvenate in the tropical climate of this magnificent land.
If you are looking for an exciting tropical holiday within budget and close to home, Mexico is the place to be. The beaches here are absolutely amazing and the kids would love to swim, play or build sandcastles while you can relax and enjoy. Mexico is also the home to a number of stunning pyramids constructed by Mayan, Aztec, Olmec, and Inca civilizations, which can be absolutely fascinating for budding history lovers. You can even swim with whale sharks.
7. London, England
Take your little ones to the land of their favorite Peppa Pig. Go for a ride on the London Eye, the world’s tallest observation wheel. Apart from the number of educational museums, take a trip to Britain’s majestic castles for a fairy tale vacation. The Harry Potter Studio tour is a must do for all little wizards and witches. Legoland is a day trip from London and it is an amazing experience for all Lego lovers.
8. Paris, France
Paris is not just a romantic destination for adults, it also has an amazing Disneyland theme park your little ones will fall in love with. With the number of activities and excellent care for kids, you can even sneak in some sightseeing or solo time without the kids in tow. The yoga lifestyle and culture of Paris is fascinating and there are several options for kids as well.
If there is a heaven on earth, it is Switzerland. Take fascinating train rides through absolutely picture perfect landscapes; enjoy the charming villages nestled in the mountains and take scenic hikes around for an exciting nature adventure. Take your little ones on their first ski lessons on these heavenly slopes and it will be a vacation to remember.
Ever since ‘Frozen’ came out, Norway is a top choice of destination among kids. The Northern Lights of Norway are just as fascinating for kids as for adults and you can even stay in igloos for the experience. The fjords, colorful cities, troll forests and its white landscape, which inspired Frozen, are perfect for a family vacation.
11. Machu Picchu, Peru
Introduce the love for history to the young with an amazing trip to the Incan lost city of Machu Picchu. It is a fun and exciting hike at the end of which lies the majestic ruins. This trek is a little hectic so it is best to wait till the little ones hit the double-digit age to visit. The experience is very Indiana Jones as you navigate through the pages of history.
The world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, is fascinating for adults and kids alike. The snow like white landscape and the reflective natural pools are absolutely magical. Another thing, which is hugely appreciated by kids, is the dinosaur tours where they can enjoy educational tours of the dino museums, have fun at dino theme parks, and witness the real-life dinosaur footprints at various locations.
13. Masai Mara, Kenya
In the Masai Mara National Reserve of Kenya your little ones can witness the overwhelming majesty of the wildebeest migration, as seen in the movie, The Lion King. This is a majestic sight, which fills people of all ages with unadulterated awe. Witness the phenomenon as hundreds of thousands of beasts run across the forest, right in front of your eyes, at a safe distance, of course! Stay in the tents in camps, enjoy safari rides, spot wild animals and give your little animal lovers a vacation to remember.
The wildlife of Australia is absolutely amazing and unique, something which you cannot find elsewhere. Animals such as kangaroo, koala, dingo, echidna, platypus, quokka, wallaby and others are incredibly fascinating. Visit the coral reefs and you can enjoy stunning snorkeling, diving, scuba diving experiences with your family.
15. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an absolute delight for family vacations. Take a romantic and exciting tram ride to the Victoria Peak for stunning panoramic views of the city. Visit the educational museums, parks, geopark, go hiking, biking and ride the ferries for a fun filled trip. The Hong Kong Disneyland is a must visit for Disney lovers of all ages.
16. Bangkok and Pattaya, Thailand
A paradise for shoppers, Bangkok and Pattaya are immensely popular for family vacations. Book an affordable family villa with private pool or a fancy hotel with pools, slides and fun kids’ activities for your stay. Visit the Safari World for a close encounter with animals where your little ones can safely feed animals. There are several places where you can watch dolphin shows, feed tiger cubs and take photos with tigers. A visit to the world’s largest market, Chatuchak Weekend Market is a must for shopaholics.
If you are looking for a place with round the clock entertainment and activities for kids, Singapore is the place. Your tour starts right at the airport which has tons of fun stuff to see and do inside. Visit the stunning Gardens by the Bay, Universal Studios, Night Safari, Singapore Discovery Center, Wild Wild West, Adventure Cove Water Park and several other attractions, which will definitely leave your kids with no chance to get bored.
The vast country of China is a delight for food and nature lovers. Take a hike up the Great Wall, witness the rich historical and cultural sites, visit the giant pandas at the zoo and your kids will fall in love with the fascinating land. The Shanghai Disneyland is an excellent place for kids and adults as well. Take a walk on the glass walkways for a thrilling but safe experience. Chinese street food is an out of the world experience you absolutely must try.
19. Tokyo, Japan
If you are a lover of all things cute and quirky, Japan is the place to be. It is a paradise for children as they have amazing amusement and theme parks such as Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Hello Kitty Park, Hanayashiki Amusement Park, Tokyo Joypolisetc, hundreds of varieties of candy, the cutest and most adorable toys you can think of.
20. Mumbai, India
Home to one of the biggest movie industries of the world; Mumbai is an absolute madness you must embrace. Visit the Versova beach, see baby turtles hatching, take a ferry to the Elephanta caves and enjoy Indian food. Visit the Film City and you can see the fascinating filming locations. It also has the country’s largest Amusement park, Essel World that is a hot favorite among kids. Even if you are not into the yoga lifestyle, a yoga class in the land of yoga is a must!
Family Vacation Planning
The first step to a great family vacation is choosing the right place to go. Look into various things to see and do for kids might be interested in, to help you find the best place. Book a hotel or resort which has activities, packages, camps and babysitting options for children so that you can have a little child free adult time with your significant other or yourself, go for some sightseeing or simply to relax. Planning in advance is the key to a successful family vacation.
Om Singh is blogging at Retreat Kula, a website that offers the best yoga retreats and yoga teacher training courses for yogis around the world. He is always on the lookout for interesting places to visit. It took him 25 years of his life to realize where his true calling lies, but once that was done, there’s been no looking back. Since the last ten years that he is on the go, he is sharing his travel experiences by writing about them.