If you have more than one child, it can be difficult to find a destination that will make everyone happy, and harder yet to find a place that parents will enjoy, too. Here are a few spots that anyone at any age will enjoy.
Disneyland or Disney World
There’s a reason these places are some of the happiest places on Earth. If you’re closer the West Coast or the East Coast, the parks are accessible for a weekend trip. The great thing about Disney parks is that they manage to be entertaining at any age, so the whole family will be happy.
Kids who are around 10 and under will love meeting their favorite characters, and as kids age, their nostalgia for the parks will grow. Plus, the rides only get more and more fun–little kids might think the teacup ride is exciting, but once they’re tall enough for Space Mountain, there’s a whole new definition of thrilling. Winter is a great time to visit the parks, as long as it’s not during a holiday break. Take your kids in early November or early January, and though it might be chilly, you can stay warm by running from ride to ride with shorter lines.
While Disney parks might require a plane ride, most cities have national parks that are just a car ride away. The United States has 58 national parks, so there’s no shortage of potential adventures. Try a national park close to home to help your family connect their hometown with nature. If your family has already seen close by national parks, other sites are worth the extra travel for a weekend jaunt. Try Denali National Park in Alaska, Glacier National Park in Montana, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and Joshua Tree National Park in California.
National parks are particularly great because kids will be so busy exploring the outdoors that they’ll burn enough energy to keep them happy through the trip. During the Winter, most parks will be too cold for camping, but this means crowds are smaller and hotels often offer discounted rates.
Learn While Exploring
One of the best things about traveling is that it can be educational without feeling like school. Few places in the United States are as educational yet fun as Washington D.C. The Smithsonian alone has 19 museums, from the Natural History Museum to the African American Museum and the American Art Museum. For kids with less of an interest in museums, there’s the National Zoo, with the famous pandas and 300 other species from around the globe. As a bonus, the National Zoo has free admission, so you can take the whole family.
Washington D.C. is a great family weekend getaway for people living on the East Coast, since they can see everything D.C. has to offer in small increments. Try staying at The Virginian Suites, which kids will be happy to know has a pool.
A Giant Playground
St. Louis, Missouri is known for the Gateway Arch and quirky foods like toasted ravioli. However, kids will remember it as the place with the never ending playground. The City Museum in St. Louis is often high up on lists for the best attractions for kids–and for good reason. It’s essentially a huge playground that kids and kids-at-heart get to climb, crawl, walk, and adventure through.
There’s a daily circus on one floor, a cave system throughout the museum, and an aquarium on another floor. And those are just the main attractions– the museum has something to discover in every corner. Try staying at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel. It’s within walking distance of the City Museum, plus kids will love the pool and parents will love the decor.
Activities for Anywhere
As you plan family weekend getaways, try to focus on flexibility. Figure out what everyone in your family wants to do, and see how you might be able to make that work. Then, while you’re traveling, continue to focus on flexibility. The younger your kids, the more likely you might run late or have to change plans. Remember that traveling is all about going with the flow and learning how to solve problems as they come up.
When you’re not touring museums, hiking mountains, or riding roller coasters, take the time to enjoy being with family. Play board games, cook a family dinner in a new town, and explore small local shops. Any of these things just might become a new family tradition.
No matter where you travel, family weekend getaways are all about reconnecting with loved ones. During your vacation, take some time each evening to continue spending time with your family. Talk about what you learned during the day and your favorite parts of the trip.
At the end of a day filled with fun activities, the right hotel room can make all the difference. So on your next family adventure, book your room with Reservation Counter and get a good night’s sleep wherever your travels take you.