Looking for the perfect family vacation for summer break? Make the most of your yearly trip with these family-friendly destinations – perfect for all ages, with fun activities for everyone in your group!
Although Las Vegas may be known as an adult playground, there is a large mix of activities available for families with children as well. Picking a family-friendly hotel will be the make-or-break decision, as some hotels cater to children: For example, Mandalay Bay boasts a giant Shark Reef aquarium and multiple pools with a lazy river and an actual sandy beach. The Circus Circus hotel, true to its name, includes an actual circus with world-class jugglers and a variety of performers—as well as indoor roller coaster rides, a 50 foot waterslide tower with 3 slides, and a Splash Pad with waterfalls. Other must-see attractions you and your children will love include M&M World where they have different floors of very mouth-watering candies; the Wet ‘n Wild water park, a perfect way to cool off on a hot day; and the Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat animal sanctuary at the Mirage. With a plethora of fun attractions, and the buffets that accompany being one of the world’s culinary capitals, Vegas is a surprisingly wonderful place for families.
The great thing about taking a cruise is that you have multiple destination choices, and accommodations, food and entertainment are already included! With multiple family members and possibly kids in tow, having everything set out and planned for you can be a major bonus. Satisfy anyone’s appetite at any time with set course meals, high tea in the afternoon and multiple eateries across the ship, some of which are open 24 hours. Every afternoon and evening is filled with competitive games, celebratory events, live game shows, casino competitions, karaoke, or performances. Depending on the cruise ship, you may have the chance to skate on an ice rink, go rock climbing, try a surf simulator, and instead of a steam sauna, step into a snow grotto. Most cruise lines also come with a center just for children so adults can play too. With the busiest ports in Florida docking the popular cruise lines Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Princess, Celebrity, and many more, you can choose to sail to the Caribbean, Panama, Bahamas, and even Los Angeles. Take a short trip of up to 15 days, or opt for a long cruise of at least 127 nights and go all the way to Europe to tour ancient dynasties and world wonders. Another option is to fly to your destination country and take a cruise from their port to other parts of the world.
Orlando: A place for children and adults alike. Home of Disneyworld and Universal Studios, Orlando allows you to make family memories in a world of fairytales come to life. Visit Disneyworld’s many parks including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach Water Park, and Universal Studios as well as Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay. Staying at one of the affiliated hotels will allow you proximity to the parks as well as free shuttle buses to get you there and early admission. To beat the lines, you can purchase a Fast Pass at Disneyworld or an Express Pass at Universal Studios. Both Disneyworld and Universal Studios have their own Boardwalks where you can find plenty of entertainment, shopping, and restaurants. Insider tip: Get a refillable mug (even comes with a handle for easy carrying) for around $15USD and take advantage of unlimited refills of water, soda, slushies, etc. With the Florida heat, you’ll need to keep refilling on your liquids and this is the best way to save money on drinks!
Another option is an all-inclusive 5 star luxury resort in the Caribbean – with a Nickelodeon TV theme! An all ages, non-smoking resort where playtime is all the time and fun activities will release your inner child. You can have breakfast with your favourite Nickelodeon character, enjoy photo opportunities, beat the heat with multiple water slides, spray grounds and lazy river, jump in a mega ball pit, and much more. If you’re a parent with kids and need a break, this resort also has supervised activities available. If you want a little exercise, the resort’s sports hub is free, and offers tennis, archery, basketball, soccer, ping pong, and much more. Take your pick of over 9 dining spots during your stay – whether you’re after a quick bite or fine dining, Nickelodeon has it all. And if after all that excitement you need a little relaxation, the spa offers luxurious massages and pampering time amidst all the fun.
Travelling with family without a cruise or an all-inclusive package can be challenging, but Japan is actually a very family-friendly destination. With Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea (a little more adult-friendly) next to each other, you can enjoy both the classic Disney experience and a theme park inspired by sea myths and legends. In Tokyo, the Ghibli museum is a magical place themed after the nation’s most popular animated films, hosting exhibitions, special screenings, a playground, and a rooftop garden. Snap up tickets early—they sell out quick! Another popular amusement park is Osaka’s Universal Studios, but Hanayashiki is Japan’s oldest with classic style rides, and is a bargain at a $10 USD entrance fee with each ride you choose to go on costing about $1-2 USD. An hour out of Tokyo, Moominvalley in the mountains of Saitama prefecture is built around the cute Swedish characters. You can explore their houses, play in their playgrounds, and explore the countryside of this little city. Not only does Japan offer multiple amusement parks, museums, and aquariums fit for all of the family, but even taking a trip to the grocery store is a fun activity. You will see the most unique foods and spot toys you will not see anywhere else!
For the family that likes to explore and really indulge in the country, Australia is full of nature, great food and amazing activities to try out. Landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House are a must-see, and the ferry tour of Sydney Harbour’s stunning waterways can be fun too. Visit aquariums and zoos to take a look at Australia’s wildlife up close, or visit national parks where you can cool off under waterfalls. Take a nice swim and kayak around beautiful beaches and gorges in Darwin. You can dive in the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy kangaroo encounters or even go skiing in Victoria. Learn about the continent’s history in museums, enjoy authentic Australian food, escape the heat of the Australian outback in a water park, explore underground caves in Western Australia, and more! There is an activity available for everyone in your family during this vacation!
If you’re bored of America and Europe, why not visit South Africa? It is relatively cheap and family-friendly and you won’t need extra vaccinations to visit this country. You don’t even need to travel far distances to see a lot in this country—and the magnificent scenery, food, and weather will have your whole family enjoying this beautiful country. In South Africa, you can hike, take a gondola, or even drive up certain mountains if anyone in your party is unable to get through a long walk. The views from the mountains are always beautiful and great for photo ops. Not only can you visit a penguin colony in Cape Peninsula where you can see these marine birds up close in their natural habitat, but you can also visit a lion park by Cape Town. Visiting national parks such as Kruger national Park and Addo Elephant National Park give you a chance to see Africa’s enormous eco-system of wildlife and nature. With museums and gardens, mountain ranges and oceans, caves and safaris, South Africa will be a family adventure to remember forever.
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