Great Vacation Places With Young Kids
with young kids can be a lot of fun or they can quickly turn sour. Knowing the likes and dislikes of your children and understanding their tolerance level for things like crowds, heat and noise are important factors in determining the type of vacation place that will be ideal for your family.
The other important issue to consider is the family budget. Remember that spending more money doesn't necessarily translate into a better vacation for young kids. Children are not that hard to please. They can enjoy the simple pleasures of making sandcastles on the beach
or collecting ants in a pail at the campground. As long as the little ones are busy and happy, the parents will be more likely to find the rest and relaxation they are longing for.
Below is a list of family friendly destinations that may please even the youngest member of your family.
Beach Vacations for Young Children
One of the most anticipated trips for families with young kids is a vacation to the beach. Sand, water, mud, amusement park rides and fried food galore: it is truly a young child's paradise.
One of the best northeast beaches is in Maine. Old Orchard Beach in Saco, Maine, has the amusement rides and carnival games that one might expect from a great beach destination. There is also a variety of downtown shopping boutiques, candy shops and every kind of beach food you can imagine from pizza to fried dough, to Asian cuisine. For quieter activities, children will enjoy feeding French fries to the seagulls atop the seaside pier and walking along the sprawling shore that seems to go on endlessly.
With crocodile exhibits, botanical gardens, a childrens museum and crystal beaches, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is another great beach destination for young families. See Resources below for a link to more information on this popular vacation spot.
Camping Destinations for Young Families
Camping is a really fun way to spend the summer holidays and it is also an economical vacation for those on a tight budget. National and state-run parks offer campground sites at cheap prices with the added benefit that the locations will be well taken care of, clean and monitored for pests, wildlife and other issues that may hinder the outdoor experience.
In New Hampshire, there is no better destination for nature lovers than White Lake State Park in Tamworth. This is a location with no electrical or water hookups, but there is a large, beautifully kept lake that is crystal clear. Campsites are well spread out for privacy and completely wooded, but a mere 20 minutes down the road families will find a town called North Conway. The gateway to the White Mountains, North Conway offers great childrens activities including an indoor water park, Santa's Village, Story Land and much more. For a more open, field-style campground, try Lantern resort Motel & Campground, which is just seconds away from Santa's Village.
City Destinations for Families with Young Kids
If the children are older and ready to do some walking, a visit to the city might be just the vacation for the family. Full of museums and other educational experiences, cities offer a wide variety of activities for both young and old adventurers. Boston, Massachusetts, offers the historical value of being the oldest city in the United States. The Boston Museum of Science, Boston Childrens Museum and the Boston Aquarium will keep kids busy for hours.
New York City may seem intimidating, but a bit of planning is all that is necessary for a wonderful New York City vacation with kids. Many of the most exciting toy stores are located here, including FAO Schwartz and a multi-level Toys R Us in Time Square that will be hard to leave. Central Park, with its great family-friendly zoo, carousel and Alice in Wonderland statue, will be another must-see destination.
The Ultimate Amusement Park for Small Children--Disney World in October
Children will love visiting Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and parents won't have to deal with the crowds (or the heat) when they visit in October. Before kids start school, the perfect time to visit Disney World is during Halloween week. Imagine taking the kids trick-or-treating at the Magic Kingdom, or bringing them to a not-so-scary Mickey Mouse-Ka-Rade costume party. There are many benefits for families of young children who decide to vacation at Disney World in October.
Karen Plumley, a freelance writer since 2004, specializes in parenting, children's issues and special needs. She is a regular contributor to several printed publications including "Parenting New Hampshire" magazine, "Seacoast Life" magazine, "KidBits" magazine, "Kidz Rule USA" and various websites. She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of New Hampshire.
Photo by Ned Horton, http://www.sxc.hu