Top Vacation Spots for Young Children

Family-friendly vacations do not need to be painstakingly planned. With so many available locations, resorts and activities that focus on fun for every age--the biggest task may be the packing. Many places have made it a point to include attractions that will please an array of ages, so families with numerous children can find vacation nirvana. Consider one location with all the amenities, or pick an area with many local easy-access activities.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has many family-friendly attractions. Spend one day at each place or several days at a favorite. Options include Adventure Park for some wet fun. The park features a lazy river, water sports, miniature golf, bumper boats, water slides and a baby pool; phone: (605) 361-9313. Visit Great Plains Zoo for some animal adventures; phone: (605) 367-7003. There's also Great Bear Recreation Park, with skiing, snowboarding, tubing and more downhill drama at the Kirby Family Tubing Park; phone: (605) 367-4309. Or pick apples at Country Apple Orchard. Indulge in their homemade pies, ride a pony and check out the children's barn; phone: (605) 743-2424.

Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida, may be the most popular place for families with young children to vacation. The abundance of theme parks, consistently warm weather and famous Walt Disney World make Orlando an obvious choice. Children can enjoy the company of their favorite characters--Nemo, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse--while adults will appreciate the options at 22 available resorts. More information is available at disneyworld.disney.go.com/.

Westcliffe, Colorado

For little cowboys and cowgirls, lots of excitement awaits at the Historic Pines Ranch. Activities include horseback riding, barn play, nature hikes, Indian dancers and mountain man storytelling sessions. Family-friendly features, such as cribs in the cabins and babysitting services, make for a leisurely trip; phone: (800) 446-9462, or email cowboy@historicpines.com.

Hershey Park, Pennsylvania

For award-winning shows, rides galore and a host of Hershey fun, visit Hershey Park. Take the factory tour and help yourself to some satisfying sweets. Kids can package their own Kisses or join the Cocoa Kids Club at Hershey Hotel. Seasonal packages may include admission to all attractions; phone: (800) HERSHEY, or email info@hersheypa.com.

A health-care professional for more than 10 years, Rica Lewis has obtained numerous certifications in the industry. In 2006 she began channeling her knowledge into health-related articles for print and online publications. Her work has appeared in "Metroparent Magazine," "Anew Heart Healthcare Magazine" and community newspapers. Lewis earned a diploma from LongRidge Writers Institute.