Well, we’ve got some pretty great recommendations for kids old and young, families big and small. We know that lying on a beach will never cut the mustard when little ones are along for the ride, so we’ve chosen places that are full of action and adventure – and just so happen to pack a heck of a lot more culture than Disney World. You’re welcome!
If you’re living in North America and are looking for adventure close to home, Costa Rica is a fantastic choice. Think nighttime rainforest tours, surfing, ziplining, and racing along on quad bikes, before soaking in warm volcanic pools. Costa Rica is perfect for older kids and teens who love outdoor activities. You can travel easily around the country and see a few different spots in just a week, or set up base camp by the beach in beautiful Montezuma, or near the sloths under the shadow of a volcano in Arenale National Park. There’s a lot more to do in Costa Rica, take a look at these good places to eat and cool activities to do.
This one needs no introduction but let us at least list some of our favourite kid-friendly sights: For animal-lovers, the Natural History Museum is a full-day of fascination, while the New York Zoo is perfect when the weather’s warm. If you’re willing to splash out on new toys (or you can ignore the begging) then the famous FAO Schwarz toystore is a wonderland. For a close-up view of the world’s best-known landmark, take a ride on the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty or for a panoramic view of the city, take the elevator to the top of the Rockefeller Centre, where you can challenge the kids to point out the Empire State Building. And if you feel like a dip in the sea and some old-fashioned carnival rides, Coney Island is a must-visit.
While you may not want to take toddlers around Rome (especially in the heat of summer) Rome is perfect for tweens and teens, with sights guaranteed to impress – from the ghoulish bone-decorated Santa Maria della Concezione to the hulking Colosseum and the Pantheon. And when they’ve had enough of ancient history and show signs of getting restless, appease young ones at one of the incomparable gelato stops around the city, then toss a coin to make a wish at the Trevi Fountain.
There are so many great spots for families in this part of Mexico, but we particularly recommend Playa del Carmen – home to sandy beaches, Mayan archaeological sites and some really fun theme parks. For example, Discovery Jungle Park is as far from Disney World as you can get – Think rough-and ready rope bridges, fast-paced ATV rides down jungle paths and swimming in underground caves.
If you’re considering a winter getaway, then you can’t go wrong with a cozy log cabin in Mont Tremblant, about an hour and a half north of Montreal in the Laurentian Mountains. You’ll have skiing and snowboarding on your doorstep, as well as trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. You can also get the whole family out for snowmobiling, dog sledding, and tubing, then hit the quaint village for a tasty dinner before curling up at home by the fire. Take a look at these other fun things to do in Mont-Tremblant!
Family vacations can be a regrettable nightmare or the trip of a lifetime, it’s all about knowing your family and picking the right spot. Think about whether you want sights or activities, cool or warm temperatures, and beaches or mountains and you’re starting down the right track – good luck!