Traveling with kids can be a super fun, super challenging undertaking, and it creates incredible memories that last a lifetime. Looking for a place to go for your next family vacation? Look no further. If any of these ten locations are not on your “been there” list, be sure to check one out on your next trip. You can’t miss these places when traveling with kids!
1 Washington, D.C.
With dozens of museums and an overload of history, a Washington, D.C. vacation is basically a glorified field trip—but your kids will never know it. They’ll be wowed to see the White House, where the President of the United States lives. Inspire them to aspire for greatness by visiting the haunts of long-gone heroes or the offices of modern-day politicians. Wander through the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History, and watch them have fun as they educate themselves on all sorts of interesting topics.
Okay, so this might seem a little cliché, but you really can’t miss taking your kids to Disneyland. After all, it is the Magic Kingdom. The little ones will be thrilled to see all their favorite Disney characters, and the older ones will be dying to try the big rides. Mom and Dad might not have a bad time, either, especially if reservations at the Blue Lagoon are involved!
While this may seem more like a romantic couple’s getaway, it’s actually a great place to take families! There are many bungalow rentals in less-traveled areas of the islands can cost a fraction of a hotel room on Waikiki. Teach your kids the science behind volcanos at a real-life volcanic site, swim with dolphins, and enjoy a traditional hula, roast pig and all! Maybe you can even book a surf lesson for the older kids.
4 New York City
There is something in New York City for everyone. Little girls will love The America Girl Place with its endless halls of American Girl dolls, accessories, and historical fiction for children. Boys (and let’s be real—girls too) will love the Lego Store, with its giant Lego figures and amazing Lego sets. Everyone will enjoy a trip to the Statue of Liberty, and who doesn’t like the M&M place in Times Square? Don’t forget to book a Broadway or Blue Man Group show.
5 Yellowstone National Park
Ah, the green mountains and endless forests. Sometimes, you have to get away from the business of life and take a trip to a place while the wild still reigns. Book a cabin near the park and enjoy living on the rougher side during trips to the park to see geysers, moose, and interesting geological faults. Your kids will love getting close to wildlife and far from the sounds of traffic and humanity. If they start getting screen withdraw, you can take them to see the IMAX movie about the park.
6 Niagara Falls, Canada Side
There is more to Niagara Falls than just some rushing water, although that in and of itself is very cool! You can take a trip on the boat to get close to the falls, or take a behind-the-scenes tour. When your kids are waterfalled out, walk up the hill to find wax museums, fun houses, arcades, and curiosity shops lining the street. If you have time, you can drive to Toronto to check out the aquarium and maybe see a Jays game.
7 The Grand Canyon
This impressive hole in the ground is sure to stun even the most hyperactive of kiddos. Enjoy the Wild West flavor of the area and take a tour of the rim, or put your athletic training to good use and take a hike down the canyon. If you have older kids, train for an overnight trip and make the bottom of the canyon your goal! If you’re driving north through Arizona to get to the Grand Canyon, be sure to stop at Flagstaff and Sedona on your way for more hiking and beautiful views.
8 The Badlands
The Badlands doesn’t exactly sound like a riveting time, but it’s actually fascinating. It’s a place in South Dakota that looks like the earth’s floor just dropped away, leaning random pillars of earth standing upright. You can take your kids to wander these seemingly endless formations. There are hikes ranging from flat walking paths to difficult climbing, so everyone will have something to enjoy. Also, visitors have been known to discover dinosaur bones here, so let your kids play paleontologist and who knows what they might find?
9 The Black Hills
Not too far from the Badlands, you’ll find the Black Hills. This is where Mount Rushmore is located, so you can take the family to see the famous presidents and do the obligatory presidential pose family photo while you’re there. Outside the park, you’ll find much more to do, like Sylvan Lake, where National Treasure shots were filmed, places to pan for gold, and horse riding trails.
Inundate your children with history, and let them think it’s all for fun! Boston is choc-full of American stories that will come to life when you visit. Walk aboard the USS Constitution, see where the Boston Massacre happened, and reenact the Boston Tea Party on the wharf. When you’re done will all that, check out the New England Aquarium.
It’s true – our children grow up way too fast. There are only so many opportunities for family vacations before they leave the nest. Plan on making the most of them with these amazing destinations for you and the kids.