In the past, when couples with young children wanted to go on vacation, they’d often send their kids to grandma and grandpa’s house; this ensured that they got to spend some quality ‘alone time’ together. However, today’s fast-paced world – which often requires both parents to work – calls for family vacations to include the little ones. More and more couples are choosing to take their young children on vacation with them rather than carting them off to grandma and grandpa’s.
However, this means that a lot more planning needs to go into vacations: what sorts of activities can you and your kids enjoy together? Many couples envision themselves either stuck amidst a plethora of squealing children at a carnival, or dealing with their kids’ boredom when visiting attractions more suited to ‘grown-ups.’ Can you and your spouse really feel like you’re on vacation and entertain your kids at the same time? Of course; and rest assured that there are loads of family friendly destinations to choose from. For starters, why not introduce your kids to the splendours of a city tour?
A big city like Los Angeles, for example, has a great deal to offer families with kids. Attractions such as Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm provide perfect daytime leisure activities, such as rides, shows and tours that are guaranteed to keep the little ones entertained. Disneyland is also nearby, and is sure to thrill kids and give parents a chance to relive their memories of favourite Disney movies and characters. Griffith Park is another popular family attraction, encompasing an observatory, a zoo, a miniature train and more amidst a 4,000 acre park. Moreover, the beach is never far off: head to Santa Monica, Malibu, Zuma or Laguna Beach to build a sandcastle, swim or catch some California sun.
If you’d like to incorporate a bit of culture into your vacation, take your kids to Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, where they can sample some authentic Mexican cuisine and see the Avila Adobe – the oldest house in Los Angeles. And if there’s one museum you should visit with your kids while in Los Angeles it’s the La Brea Tar Pits which houses the largest and most diverse assemblage of extinct Ice Age plants and animals in the world.
New York City is another fantastic place to take your family on holiday; kids will be amazed by the tall skyscrapers and can even climb their way to the top of the Statue of Liberty. Family-friendly attractions in New York City include the New York Hall of Science, the Bronx Zoo and the American Folk Art Museum, which offers self-guided scavenger hunts.
Central Park is another popular attraction, offering 800 acres of fun for the whole family. Favourites for kids include boat rides from Loeb Boathouse and the Central Park Carousel. There’s even storytelling at the Hans Christen Anderson Statue during the warmer summer months.
There are also countless galleries and exhibits in New York which are perfect for children and parents to explore together: the Children’s Museum of the Arts, for example, offers hands-on creative activities to encourage the child’s imagination, while the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, started in 1899, holds all kinds of wonders to delight children – from live pythons and elephant bones to musical instruments with which visitors can play. The New York Aquarium on Coney Island is another popular family attraction, with 10,000 species of marine life to explore.
And while in New York, why not take advantage of the fantastic theatre scene? There are many family friendly musicals to see, such as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King or Wicked. With such fantastic attractions, you and your family are guaranteed a memorable trip.
When it comes to finding accommodation for your holiday, there are countless options to choose from. Many hotels are specifically suited to families, with large suite-style rooms, and you’ll often find special deals on offer. With such facilities, you can be sure that all your needs – as well as those of your little ones – will be met on your holiday.