What makes a family vacation the best? Is it having great places for parents to chill, or is it the best theme parks for your children to enjoy? Or maybe it is the place with the party spirit that keeps the family entertained.
Traveling with adults, teenagers, and kids can be pretty tricky. And making sure that nobody gets bored becomes a priority to every parent hosting the tour.
I researched far and wide over the internet to get you the best destinations for a family vacation. This list consists of places suitable for families with young kids, teenagers, and old aged people.
So hop on as I take you to the ten best family vacation spots. It comes with a list of the best family accommodations and places. It is where you and your kids can swim, be adventurous, or just sightsee.
1. Phuket, Thailand
Thailand itself is one of the biggest travel hubs in the world. From backpackers to luxury travelers, everyone loves Thailand. The best thing is, Thailand is also a family-friendly country.
Among the best family vacations spot in Thailand like Bangkok, Koh Phi Phi Island, and Hua Hin we will be focusing on Phuket—the most significant island in Thailand. We will also be finding why this place is worth the travel for families.
Phuket is an island with beautiful beaches and gorgeous resorts. It is a beachy place where you can choose to relax or do some fun activities with your children. Plus, the food is also excellent here.
The best time for you to travel to Phuket is from November to April. These months offer cooler temperatures with clearer skies.
Phuket has a lot of attractions to visit, like:
i. The Beaches
As I said before, Phuket has beautiful beaches which are also less crowded. Go to the beaches at Mai Khao, Surin, Freedom, and Naithon. Avoid Patong Beach as that area is not children-friendly and tends to be overcrowded.
ii. The Temples
Visit the Big Buddha Temple, Wat Swan Khiri Khet, and Wat Chalong Temple with your family while in Phuket. You will get to know a lot about the Thai-Buddhist religion and the principles this culture holds.
iii. Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay, best known as James Bond Island, is where the ‘Man with the Golden Gun’ was shot. You can see the beautiful coral reefs and limestone cliffs on this island.
You need to hop on a cruise ride to reach here, which I’m sure will be an exciting experience for you and your children. Tickets cost $45 per person.
iv. Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre
Trust me when I say that your kids will surely love you more for taking them to this place. Gibbon Rehabilitation Center houses rescued gibbons, and oh, they are cute.
The entrance is free. But remember that you can see these animals from afar, and touching them is prohibited.
The rehabilitation center also has a National Park Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department. You can visit this place to see more animals than just Gibbons. The entrance fee is $1.25 only.
Phuket has some fantastic beaches with sea waters that are best for snorkeling. It is an excellent way for your family to see some exotic marine animals in their habitats.
Some of the best beaches to snorkel in Phuket are Ao Sane, Kata Noi, Ya Nui, Laem Ka, and Similan Islands.
Best family accommodations
• Thavorn Palm Beach Resort
• The Marina Phuket Hotel
• The Shore at Katathani
2. Bali, Indonesia
Also known as the world’s largest island country, Indonesia is one of the best places to go on a family vacation in Asia. Out of all the islands in this country, Bali will be the best choice for you to go on a family getaway.
From beaches, cultures to the best family resorts, everything is family-friendly in Bali. The island is especially welcoming to kids.
You do not have to worry about keeping your kids entertained. Bali has a crazy lineup of activities that you can enjoy with your kids.
Not to forget, Bali also has excellent cuisines, which are suitable for young children. The best time to visit Bali is around April to June or September. The weather during these times is dry, and the areas are busy with tourists.
There will be plenty of rooms for everyone and plenty of activities to carry out.
i. Waterbom Bali
Waterbom Bali is the number one water park in Asia and 5th in the world. It has waterslides with a staggering height of 250 meters that will give you lots of thrills.
On the other hand, smaller slides are called the ‘Funtastic Water Area,’ designed for young kids. Attendants supervise these areas. The design allows the parents can sit back, relax, and watch over their children.
This waterpark deserves five stars for its entertainment and architectural setup.
ii. Bali Safari and Marine Park
This safari park gives you the experience of adventure, fun, and learning, all in one. Bali Safari and Marine Park house over 100 species of animals and birds.
There are lots of safari packages that you can buy like the Jungle Hopper, Elephant Back Safari, Breakfast with the Lions, etc. You can choose to buy the package which is most suitable for you.
The best thing about these safaris is that they come combined with Balinese culture.
iii. Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud
This forest in Ubud is a famous destination. It is a sanctuary for Balinese long-tailed monkeys. This forest has exquisite art and architecture amidst the natural setting.
Be cautious of the monkeys if your child is below the age of 6. They may try to attack your child. The entrance fee for adults is $6 and $4.50 for children.
iv. Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is another place in Bali where there are plenty of activities that you can do with your family. Take a day off, and sunbathe on the beach or take a boat to Serangan Island.
You can also go for a camel ride with your kids. Most of all, go jet skiing while at Nusa Dua. This place is the most comfortable place for jet skiing, and I am sure your kids will have the time of their lives too.
v. Bali Zoo
Bali Zoo is a great place for you and your children to connect with friendly animals, great food, and shows. You can have breakfast with the Orangutans or have a mud bath with the elephants. If you want more thrill to your day, then go on a night safari at the zoo.
Visit Bali Zoo’s website for more ticket information.
vi. Cooking Classes and Food Tours
Joining a cooking class is a great family activity in Bali. You will discover Balinese cooking’s unique flavors through a native host.
Oh! Your kids will surely love the class too. The cooking classes cost around $30-$65.
There are so many other activities that you can do with your family. Some examples are sightseeing at the farms or hiking at the Bali volcanoes. Bali is also an excellent destination for you to learn surfing.
Best family accommodations
• Hard Rock Hotel
• The Jayakarta Bali Residence & Spa
• The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah
3. Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii is a state in the US with beautiful islands. Each island has unique beaches and lots of outdoor activities. Out of all the islands in Hawaii, I vouch for Oahu as the best family vacation destination.
Why you may ask – well, my friends, Oahu, has a fusion of laidback islands and vibrant cities. Plus, it is the most affordable and most accessible beach.
The best time to visit Oahu, Hawaii, is from mid-April to June, then September to mid-December. These are the months when the crowd is sparse and the festivals are full.
Read on to find out the best activities to carry out as a family in Oahu.
i. Diamond Head
Diamond Head is the best spot in Oahu for hiking with family. The hiking trails are great for young kids as well. After you reach the top of the Diamond Head, you will get a beautiful view of Waikiki and Honolulu cities below.
ii. Water Adventures
Oahu has the best sea life fit for babies in the United States. Go to Hanauma Bay to snorkel. This place serves as an excellent place for your kids to learn snorkeling.
If you are traveling with adults only, then do try out Shark Diving. I’m sure this activity will keep your heart racing.
Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure is also a great adventure activity for adults. You will get to see the turtles and tropical fishes up-close.
Another option is going to the Atlantis Submarine Adventure. You will see all the marine creatures in their habitat while staying dry.
iii. See a Luau
Luau is a traditional Hawaiian party with food and entertainment. The locals dance the famous Hula dance to their traditional music.
Some of the best Luaus that are also child-friendly are Toa Luau, Diamond Head Luau, Waikiki Starlight Luau, and Polynesian Cultural Center.
iv. Bishop Museum
The Bishop Museum is the best museum to learn about Hawaiian history and culture. What will make your kids excited is the Planetarium.
The museum also has a 15-foot walking T-Rex from the Jurassic Park movie. It is something that excites the kids.
Besides these, you can go on a Pearl Harbor tour. The tour has the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri Battleship, Pacific Aviation Museum, and many more. They were all a part of World War II.
Head to the Dole Plantation Tour and the Kualoa Ranch for some natural sightseeing.
Best family accommodations
• Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa
• Park Shore Waikiki Hotel
• Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club
4. Orlando, Florida
Orlando is the no. 1 place to go to make your child and your inner child happy. Orlando, Florida, is best known for its world-famous theme parks, warm climate, and shopping malls.
The best time for you to visit Orlando is from March to May. You will get pleasant weather and some terrific deals on attractions and accommodations. You can call Orlando a magical kingdom itself.
To find out why to read more below:
i. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World’s first theme park, the best for young children. It gives a classic Disney experience with its Cinderella Castle, fireworks show, animated parades, and roller coaster rides.
ii. Disney Animal Kingdom Theme Park
The Animal Kingdom is a zoological theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. It houses hundreds of animal species and exuberating park areas with restaurants.
The Animal Kingdom further has seven themed parks. Discovery Island is the central hub connecting other parks like Pandora, Africa, Asia, DinoLand U.S.A, and the Beastly Kingdom.
Rafiki’s Planet is the only section in the park not connected to Discovery Island. Children will love the animals as well as the theme shows of their favorite Disney movies.
iii. Disney’s Epcot
The two words used to describe Epcot is ‘Future World.’ Epcot is a theme park that is a mixture of science and art.
Disney’s Epcot has the ‘World Showcase’ section that exhibits 11 different countries. You and your kids will get to know about the world’s oceans while going on a slow ride inside the park. Nemo and friends from Finding Nemo will be assisting you.
The best thing about Epcot is that this park has more entertainment than any other park. Make sure to end your visit by watching the Epcot Forever fireworks display.
iv. Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a theme park and an operating film production studio.
The studio has seven themed areas inspired by the locations from Hollywood stories. The themed places are Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Grand Avenue, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, Animation Courtyard, and Sunset Boulevard.
Besides sightseeing, there are some activities suitable for both adults and children. Have an up-close Cars experience in “Lighting McQueens’ Racing Academy.” You can also have a sing-along celebration with Anna and Elsa.
You can even take roller coaster rides with your kids at Slinky Dog and Toy Story Land.
v. Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is a massive resort in Orlando. It consists of two theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure.
The resort also has a water park called Volcano Bay. It also flaunts a nighttime entertainment complex named Universal CityWalk Orlando.
Universal Island of Adventure has the best rides. Universal Studios gives you real-life experiences of your favorite TV shows and movies.
Volcano Bay gives you the time to relax at the beach and have fun with your kids. There are also a variety of water slides, each with its set of thrill.
But most of all, do not forget to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and wander around at Diagon Alley. The Potterhead in you will jump with joy upon coming to this place for sure.
These are only the five best places to visit on your family vacation to Orlando. Besides these, SeaWorld Orlando is also another theme park to visit. It has lots of aquatic shows and attractions that tend to be parents’ and children’s favorite.
Legoland Theme Park and Water Park are also some great places to take your children for a day trip. I mean, going to these places will surely keep your children off from gadgets for once and play like the kids.
Best Family Accommodations
• Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
• Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel
• Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Near Disney
5. Paris, France
Paris — the city of lights and love, is one of the world’s most visited capital. The city is a central hub of art and architecture, fashion, gastronomy, and culture.
Paris is one of the best places to travel with your family and no; this city is not only for adults. The town has lots of areas which have attractions suitable for kids. The best time to visit Paris is from June to August as the weather is perfect for traveling and sightseeing.
So where to go on your family trip to Paris:
Montmarte is a hill city in Paris. It is famous for the beautiful Sacre Coeur Basilica, located at the peak of the hill. I’m sure your family will get enthralled by Basilica’s interior designs and the view from the top.
Besides this, Montmarte is a city famous for its arts and artists. While you are here, pay an artist to draw your portrait. It would act as a souvenir that you can cherish for the rest of your lives.
And oh! There are plenty of parks for your children to stay entertained too.
ii. Notre Dame
Notre Dame is one of the most famous historic cathedrals in the world. It is a site worth visiting in Paris with your kids.
You will be in awe by the grandeur architecture and ornate stained-glass windows. This place is excellent for children to learn about history and religion.
The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art and history museum. It is best known for housing the painting of the Mona Lisa.
Being the world’s prominent cultural landmark, Louvre invites a significant number of crowds. The long lines of people can be annoying at times, but trust me, Louvre is a must-visit destination in Paris.
The museum has an interactive tour system that operates on Nintendo DS’s audio guide system. It makes the tour interesting for children as well. Your family can learn about the Greek Statues, Mona Lisa, Egyptian antiquities, etc.
iv. Eiffel Tower
One of the primary reasons to travel to Paris is to visit the Eiffel Tower.
People consider the Eiffel Tower as the ‘Symbol of Love.’ It is due to its splendid design and an outstanding view. Plus, if you are thinking about proposing to your soul mate to marry you, then do it here!
It is also the kid’s favorite place as it has playgrounds, a roller skating rink, and a great party atmosphere.
v. Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is an entertainment resort located 40 minutes away from Central Paris. Disneyland Paris has two theme parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.
I suggest you spend a day at each park because you don’t want to miss out on all the fantastic attractions.
Besides these, enjoy French cuisine. Yep, hoard yourself on the authentic French pastries, cheese, crepes, and the famous Bert Hillon Ice-cream Sundaes.
On your day off, take your kids to Parc Floral de Paris. You can relax here while your kids play at the park. Also, visit the Aquarium de Paris and have a picnic at Daumesnil and Rue Jacques-Hillairet.
Best family accommodations
• Disneyland Hotel
• Disney’s Newport Bay Club
• Hotel La Villa Saint-Germain
6. Rovaniemi, Finland
I’m sure most of you know Finland is the happiest country in the world. It is an ideal family vacation destination and home to Santa Claus, reindeers, and skiing.
All parents reading this article have children who look up to Mr. Santa. So I suggest you visit Rovaniemi and make their dreams of meeting Santa Claus come true.
The best time to visit Rovaniemi is between June to August. It is when the days are long and warm. If your motive is to see the Northern lights then, visit Rovaniemi around August to mid-April.
To be honest, Rovaniemi is a wonderland for kids and adults as well. Here is how:
i. Santa Claus Village
The first stop on your vacation to Rovaniemi will be to the Santa Claus Village. It is an amusement park where people can have fun with various attractions, such as the reindeer ride, kid-friendly snowmobile drive, and a large outdoor playground.
But the most special of them all is meeting Santa at his large festive studio and getting a family photo with him. Your children will surely cherish it for life.
Apart from that, visit Santa’s post office and send a postcard to your loved ones.
ii. Bearhill Husky Kennel
I am an absolute dog lover, and if you are too, you will love this place in Rovaniemi. Bearhill Husky Kennel is a family-run business that provides Husky tours and sledding tours. Just imagine sledding through the silent forests and lakes of Finland.
And, you can cuddle with the dogs too. Yep, as fierce as they might look, these dogs are human-lovers, as per the Husky operators. What a win-win situation!
iii. Arktikum Science Museum
Arktikum Science Museum will help you learn about the Northern culture and history. The kids have a slight chance of getting bored. But, to excite them, there is a video room which gives you an experience of watching the Northern lights.
The video room also showcases Lapland’s day-to-day life stories. It is an exciting way to learn about the culture and history of the country.
iv. Angry Birds Park
I know all of you have had fun playing the Angry Birds video game or watching the movie. An Angry Bird-themed park is suitable for kids and adults.
This fun park has rope walks, slides, swings, and climbing frames, all inspired by the video game. How cool is that!
v. Relax at a Sauna
Finland is famous for its hot steam and sauna. As parents, life can be very hectic juggling between job, children, household, and planning vacations.
I recommend you book a private sauna session for yourself and relax. Trust me, a sauna in Finland hits different.
Apart from these, take your children to the Moomin Snow Castle.
And, don’t forget to wild camp in Rovaniemi. This activity is something you must do while you are in Finland. If you are lucky, you may see the beautiful northern lights.
It will surely be a feast to the eyes. If you are on an adult vacation, then visit the Rovaniemi Art Museum. You can admire the Finnish contemporary and Northern arts there.
Best family accommodations
• Santa’s Igloos Arctic Circle
• Ounasvaaran Lakituvast
• Santa Claus Holiday Village
• Lapland Hotels Ounasvaara Chalets
7. Barcelona, Spain
Spain itself is a beautiful country with diverse geography and culture. With so many beautiful cities to travel to, I believe Barcelona is the best family vacations destination.
What makes Barcelona famous besides football is its history, architecture, and cuisine. And yes, this city is children-friendly too.
The perfect timing to visit Barcelona with your family is from May to June. The temperature is mild, and you will enjoy the attractions without the worry of rain.
So what all to do and where all to go with family in Barcelona:
i. Explore Gaudi’s architecture
Antoni Gaudi is a famous architect. He has made considerable contributions to the city’s architecture. Explore his masterpieces at Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Casa Batllo, and Park Guell.
Park Guell is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful gardens and sculptures. Kids love to play around the park and, thus, won’t get bored as you stroll around admiring the charming beauty.
ii. Aquarium de Barcelona
Aquarium de Barcelona is an excellent place for people to get an up-close experience of marine creatures. This aquarium houses over 100 types of aquatic species from all around the world.
You will see some majestic sharks and penguins too. One of the best activities for your kids here is ‘sleeping with sharks view.’
Not to forget, there is a children’s playground with a real-looking submarine. Your kids are free to touch and push all the buttons. Who knows, maybe your child will be a submarine captain in the future?
The aquarium also has a restaurant where you can grab a bite.
iii. Montjuic Hill, Cable Car ride, and the Castle
Getting to the Montjuic hill itself is a great experience. Why? Because you get to go on a 10 minutes long cable car ride overlooking Barcelona’s exceptional views. The trip will take you straight to Montjuic Castle.
Head towards the Castle and enjoy the exhibitions about its history. You can also visit the Grec Theatre Gardens, featuring a theater that hosts the Barcelona Grec Festival.
Then, visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuic at night to see the light show of dancing fountains. It is a magnificent sight to see while in Barcelona. The best thing is that it is free of charge.
iv. Tibidabo Theme Park
Barcelona has fantastic cathedrals, architecture, views, and food. And then, there is the Tibidabo Theme Park.
Tibidabo Theme Park is an amusement park that kids, teenagers, and adults can enjoy. Plus, you also get to enjoy the splendid view of the city from this park.
While enjoying the rides and attractions, you can also eat at the restaurant or have a picnic at the park.
v. Barcelona Zoo
Barcelona Zoo is one of the most prominent zoos in Europe. It is a great way to teach your children about the various species of animals, birds, and aquatic animals.
The kids will love the cute penguins, elephants, giraffes, and not forget the mighty gorillas, tigers, and lions. It also has a Dolphinarium. There you can watch the bottleneck dolphins get trained by caretakers.
vi. Camp Nou
Now this one is for every football lover, be it the parents or the kids. Camp Nou is the home stadium of the legendary Barcelona Football Club. Even if you are not a football fan, you can visit the stadium to learn about Barcelona FC’s history.
While you are in Barcelona, book a ticket to watch a match and witness Lionel Messi and his team play the game. It is an experience every football fan has to have in their lifetime.
I suggest you also hit the beaches and help kids make sandcastles in Barcelona. Barcelona and its beaches are a great place to lay back and sip a glass of Sangria. Also, visit Port Aventura World if you haven’t had enough of theme parks.
Best family accommodations
• NH Collection Barcelona Podium
• Hotel Grums
• Novotel Barcelona City
• Abba Sants Hotel
8. San Diego, California
San Diego is the number one destination in America for family vacations. The city is always at the top of hotels and resorts that offer special children’s programs. It also attracts people with fabulous weather, a world-class zoo, and great beaches.
The best time to visit San Diego is from March to May and September to November.
I feel every place is worth visiting with our family, but one can only see limited areas on a short vacation. So here are some destinations which you should not miss on your family vacation to San Diego.
i. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
This animal kingdom is a favorite to many families. This vast zoo houses many wild animals from across the globe.
Go on a safari to see some animals up-close and get some real adventure experience. There are five different safari packages that you can choose from:
a. Wildlife Safari
b. Cart Safari
c. Behind-the-scenes Safari
d. Roar & Snore Safari
e. Ultimate Safari
ii. Legoland California
Take a day trip to Carlsbad, California, and visit Legoland. This place is heaven for kids and adults like us. Here we can reminisce about our childhood and have fun with the kids.
Legoland has Lego-themed rides, water parks, aquariums, and Lego stores. The park has life-sized recreations of cities, animals, and cartoon characters all made from Legos.
iii. SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego is another great place for animal lovers. It is an animal conservation institute/oceanarium and a theme park.
You can meet cute marine animals like penguins, seals, and orcas. Visitors can also enjoy thrilling rides or learn about marine ecology.
iv. USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is a historical aircraft carrier ship that used to be the largest in the world until 1995. Why go to this museum with your kids?
The museum is on the Top 10 museums of America list for its fascinating exhibits and authentic learning. You will have the time of your life while touring this warship. I mean, how many people get to do that?
Plus, looking at the 30 restored aircraft makes you question how life used to be in the past. You start wondering how much technology has developed and made everything easier.
v. Balboa Park and Museums
Balboa is the largest cultural park in the United States. This park has over 16 museums, multiple performing art venues, gardens, shopping centers, zoos, and attractions for kids.
There are park trails, golf courses, a tennis club, and other outdoor activity centers. So where to visit and what else to do in Balboa depends on you and your family’s preferences. However, make sure to picnic at the park for a laid-back day with your family.
You should also visit Belmont Park and enjoy all the rides, be it the sky ropes, roller coasters, or zip-lining. Do it all! While in San Diego, do not forget to go on a whale-watching cruise too.
However, if you feel seasick, then watch the sea creatures at Birch Aquarium.
Best family accommodation
• Omni San Diego Hotel
• Old Town Inn
• Catamaran Resort & Spa
• Loews Coronado Bay Resort
9. Ontario, Canada
Canada is one of the safest destinations to travel to in the world. It is a great vacation spot for families. This country has plenty of places to visit and activities to carry out.
It can be pretty hectic to travel around the country with kids, so I recommend visiting one state at a time. You should come from Ontario first.
The best time to visit Ontario is from May to September, as the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. Other months will be too cold unless the purpose of your visit is skiing or snowboarding.
So where to go in Ontario?
i. Royal Ontario Museum
Royal Ontario Museum is the largest museum in Canada. The museum houses art, world culture, and natural history. It has more than 6 million items in its collection, and each has an exciting story to tell.
The first section in the museum that you don’t want to miss is the Gallery of the Age of Dinosaurs. This gallery contains skeletons and fossils from the Dino-Age. The main highlight is the full skeleton of a 55-inches long Barosaurus.
Take your kids to the CIBC Discovery Gallery and dig for dinosaurs’ bones or play inside a tipi. Help them try on some ancient costumes and take a picture for your album too.
Other attractions at the museum are the Martian Meteorites, the 2000-year old painting of a striding lion, etc.
ii. CN Tower
CN Tower is one of the famous buildings that introduce Canada to the world. CN Tower to Canada is what Eiffel Tower is to France.
Make a plan to visit this tower and participate in all the attractions with your family. The first attraction is the high-speed elevator that takes you 22 kilometers up from the ground in 58 seconds.
Then there is the glass floor. Even the people who are not afraid of heights will need help staring 1,122 feet down. Don’t worry; the Glass Floor is strong enough to even jump on it (if you have the nerve for it).
A more extreme attraction is the Edge Walk. It is a daredevil activity because you encircle hands-free on top of the tower’s central pod.
Yep! You heard it right. It is a Canadian Signature experience that is suitable for big kids and teenagers. Don’t worry; there will be safety harnesses.
If you are not much into daredevil stuff, just sightsee from the LookOut Level or go to the Sky Pod, 33 stories higher.
iii. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a dream destination that everyone should visit once in a lifetime. This majestic waterfall is suitable for kids as well. Just make sure to have a raincoat on.
In Niagara Falls, go on a 30-minute boat ride to be closer to the thundering waterfalls. Also, visit the Guinness World Records Museum and the Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars.
iv. Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory
Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is a tropical paradise. It has trickling waterfalls and lots and lots of butterflies. Set yourself loose in the indoor gardens as your child enjoys playing around with the butterflies.
Make sure to make your kids watch the day’s newest butterflies hatch from their cocoons.
v. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
I’ve written a lot about waterparks already. But, what makes Fallsview different is that it is a massive indoor waterpark with 16 thrilling waterslides. The best thing is it directly connects Falls Avenue Resort featuring three hotels.
The waterpark has a giant indoor wave pool, hot springs, and outdoor sundeck with a pool for adults. You can also rent a private cabana which accommodates up to 6 people.
Ontario has so many more activities to carry out. Some are going on a Hornblower Niagara Cruise or soaring above Niagara Falls on a helicopter. The Bird Kingdom is also a beautiful tropical sanctuary to take the kids to look at some birds and animals.
Best family accommodations
• Fern Resort
• Severn Lodge
• Blue Mountains Resort
• Niagara Falls Marriott on the Falls
10. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo — the capital city of Japan, is a modern city booming with board lights and robots. But, it is a city of traditional tranquility, too.
Tokyo is the most favored destination in Asia for families. This city is easy to get around. Everything is clean and super organized. To make it even better, every facility, from transportation to accommodation, is a bomb.
The best time to visit Tokyo is between March and April. These are the best months to see the beautiful cherry blossom trees. September to November is also an excellent time to visit this country.
So where to go around Tokyo?
i. National Museum of Nature and Sciences
It is a beautiful natural history museum. The museum exhibits animal and plant kingdoms from the current and prehistoric world. People of all ages will have a great time at this attraction.
The National Museum of Nature and Sciences is the best place for a family tour. Every floor of the museum has kid-friendly exhibits that will add fun to the learning process.
ii. Pokemon Centre Mega Tokyo
Why is a toy store listed as the place to visit with your family in Tokyo? The thing is, we all were or still are Pokemon fans. Pokemon was what we loved during our childhood and what our children love now.
This store is enormous, and your kids will love all the merchandise, toys, food, and games. You will not find these one-of-a-kind toys and merchandise anywhere in the world.
You can also play video games for 10 minutes by paying 100 Yen. Even if you do not buy anything, visiting this place to see some fantastic toys and sculptures will be fun.
iii. Tokyo Disney Resort (Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea)
Tokyo Disney Resort is an amusement park. It consists of two theme parks: Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea.
Tokyo Disneyland is a theme park targeted towards young kids. Whereas DisneySea is more targeted towards teenagers and adults.
Both Disney parks have amazing rides. However, DisneySea has more adventurous rides than compared to Disneyland.
Disneyland has fairy-tale-like performances. Each performance showcases the stories or songs from your children’s favorite Disney cartoons. On the other hand, the DisneySea shows have some musical extravaganza with lots of stunts going on.
You can visit both theme parks in a day. But, make sure to watch the night show at Disneyland for a magical ending to your day.
iv. Fire Museum
Tokyo’s fire museum offers some great insights into fire-fighting efforts. It is an impressive fire museum that your kids will enjoy. They can learn about the history and how the fire department works.
You can look at all the fire trucks, fire fighting helicopters, and Samurai firefighter’s uniforms from the Edo period. Activities like dressing up as a Japanese firefighter and driving a simulator fire engine or a helicopter are also available.
The museum also has a gift shop if you want to buy a souvenir to take home.
v. Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is an excellent place for you to go with your family. Even the kids love to gaze into the city’s lights from the observatory.
Besides looking at the view, you can also try and walk the glass floor known as the ‘Lookdown Window.’ It is a thrilling experience.
vi. Kawaii Monster Café, Harujuku
The Kawaii Monster Café is what happens when cute meets crazy. It is a restaurant with lots of neon lights, waitresses in costumes, and cartoon/anime paintings.
Kids will love this place for its setting and its creative food menu. This cafe has distinctive dishes like chocolate chicken, rainbow painter spaghetti, and more.
The café hosts a burlesque performance, which is not family-friendly. But if you are above the age of 20, you can go here at night to drink and watch the performance.
Besides the Kawaii Monster café, do eat crepes at Harajuku, Tokyo. Also, have a picnic at Inokashira Park, which has a petting zoo and a small aquarium.
Best family accommodation
• Hilton Tokyo Bay at Disneyland
• Mimaru Tokyo Akasaka
• Park Hyatt Tokyo
• Hotel Empire
11. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburg is a city in Pennsylvania, best known as ‘The Steel City.’ It is due to its large number of steel-related businesses, which only keeps growing. You may ask why a steel-producing city is on the list of a family vacation list.
Well, Pittsburgh is a great spot to travel with kids. The city is safe. You should avoid some neighborhoods like the Penn Hills, East Liberty, the Northside, and the Hill District.
July to August is a great time to visit Pittsburgh. You can also come to this state in the fall season (September to November). It is when the weather is calm and perfect for roaming around the city.
Now let us go in-depth about why Pittsburgh is a place to go to with your family.
i. Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is a central zoo and aquarium combination in the US. The mixture is also a famous destination for family trips.
The zoo is a great place to learn about animals. You will see Cheetahs and their cubs, Sea Lions, Elephants, Manatee, and even gorillas at this zoo.
The zoo also has various interactive programs made for both young kids and adults. The best thing about visiting this place is that you will indirectly contribute to help make the world a better place. This zoo works to diminish a lot of environmental issues.
ii. Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Museum Lab
It is an excellent place if you have kids of 3-9 years old. The museum has theatre rooms where your children can play dress-ups.
There are so many other sections, like the big art room where your children can paint and stamp. They can play at the climbing forts, check out the art installations, and watch the water exhibit.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh will bring out the creative side of your children.
iii. Kennywood Amusement Park
Kennywood is one of the best amusement parks in Pennsylvania. Visit this park for a day full of rides, laughs, and an exclusive food menu.
Kennywood Amusement Park is for all adults who want to have fun with their kids. It has over 40 rides at the amusement park. I believe Aero 360, Steel Curtain, Black Widow, and Sky Rocket have to be the most thrilling ones.
iv. The Duquesne Incline
The Duquesne Incline is a short funicular ride that takes you up the hill. You will get to see the city’s spectacular view. You will also have the chance to learn about the history of this place through the wall posters.
The ride is quite expensive— $5 for adults and $2.50 for children. However, make sure to keep the exact cash ready while paying the cashier.
v. Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is a place that entertains both adults and kids. There are all sorts of activities to enjoy with kids at this science center, such as the Rope Challenge, Space Place, Miniature Railroad and Village, Robot exhibits, etc.
It also offers programs for adults like laser shows and lectures from science and technology experts. Also, see the celestial objects on SkyWatch and FabLab Workshops.
I feel like this is a great way to put fun and learning in one place for the whole family. Oh! You can also watch an IMAX show. Or, you can learn about the extraterrestrial objects at the Buhl Planetarium.
By now, you know Pittsburgh has everything from amusement parks to historical places. Now, I want you to try one more activity while you are in Pittsburgh. You should watch a baseball game with Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Best Family Accommodations
• Fairmont Pittsburgh
• Homewood Suites by Hilton Pittsburgh Downtown
• Hyatt Place Pittsburgh NorthShore
• Drury Inn & Suites Pittsburgh Airport Settlers Ridge
12. Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. It is famous for its great diversity and stunning landscapes. New Zealand itself is the world’s safest country to visit. And, traveling to this country with kids and family is worth the price.
Another plus point, Auckland’s major attractions are free of cost. It is a stunning place with family-friendly sightseeing destinations, eateries, and green spaces.
Travel to Auckland from March to May than between September and November. These months will have mild temperatures. There will be no rain plus less crowd.
So, where to travel around Auckland?
i. Auckland Zoo
Walk around the zoo with a volunteer as he gives you some interesting facts about zoo animals. The kids will especially enjoy the experience as it also has a kid zone where they can play after the zoo tour.
The zoo also has an eatery called the Food Village, which serves palm oil-free and free-range food. You can even sit back and have a picnic at the picnic areas around the Auckland Zoo.
Get yourself a souvenir made of recyclable and sustainable materials from the Wild Zone gift shop.
ii. SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium is an exciting aquarium for children and adults. It is home to New Zealand’s only sub-Antarctic penguins. You will love watching them up-close.
The Shark Tunnel is an exciting feature of this aquarium. It lets you walk under some of the world’s most giant sharks like the Sandtiger, Broadnose Sevengill Sharks, and Wobbegong Shark.
Attractions like the Turtle Bay, Scott’s Hut, and NIWA Southern Oceans Discovery will give you an incredible marine experience.
The aquarium also has two zones called Amazing Creations and Shipwreck Shores. These zones are fun for kids as they engage in creative activity and play in the indoor playground.
iii. Hobbiton Day Tour
I am a great ‘Lord of the Rings fan, and if you are too, I believe you have already made your whole family watch the movie. Now, why not visit Middle Earth, right?
Get the tickets and go on the Hobbiton tour with your family. Here you will get to see the gate to Bilbo’s house overlooking the entire movie set. While on your visit, you can taste some ale, cider, or ginger beer at the Green Dragon or eat at the Party Marquee.
As a fan, I believe this would be the best part of your visit to Auckland.
iv. Rangitoto Island
Auckland has over 48 volcanic cones. Visiting one and learning about it is an excellent activity for a family, especially kids.
Rangitoto is New Zealand’s youngest volcanic island. The climb to the summit is pretty gentle. While you are here, do have a picnic.
Have a ferry trip to the islands and experience the lava fields. You can also visit the tube-shaped lava caves, only a simple hike away.
If a single hike is not enough, then there are many other extinct volcanoes you can visit. Some of them are Mount Eden, One Tree Hill, and North Head, with fabulous cities’ viewpoints.
v. Auckland War Memorial Museum
This museum is one of the most important museums and war memorials in New Zealand’s history.
Go to Level 2 to learn about New Zealand’s world war history. You can look at the exhibits from WWI and WWII and pay your respects to the fallen heroes at the WWI Hall of Memories.
For natural history, go to the Pacific Lifeways Gallery. It gives you knowledge about the island groups in the Pacific. It also tells you about the Arts of Asia and collections of the Ancient World.
You will also get to know more about the natural history at Level 1 of the museum. They have preserved an enormous shark tooth and fossilized remains of the marine creature, a plesiosaur. There are many other plants, insects, and birds from the prehistoric past.
You will also get to see some masterpieces-for example, the Carved Statue of Kave, a canoe, the Red Feather Cloak, and the mountain ax used by Sir Edmund Hillary to climb Mount Everest.
Besides these, learn about the Maori tribe, and watch the Maori cultural performances. A visit to this museum will surely be educational and fun.
Visit the ‘Weird and Wonderful Discovery Centre.’ Kids can have fun trying out digital interactive sessions, story-times. They can also experience touching natural sciences collection.
There are also family-suitable places like the Kai Room. Here a family can eat and drink and use the toilets with lockers.
Also, I suggest you go on an Auckland Whale and Dolphin watching cruise. You can wander around Waitemata Harbor. Everyone will indeed have a great time overlooking sea views.
Best Family Accommodation
• Hilton Auckland
• The Langham Hotel
• Adina Apartment Hotel
Most people don’t put Dubai on their list for a family vacation. It must be because they have not done enough research.
I mean, this country is different from all the countries I have listed above. It is also different from all the countries you have already visited.
And believe me, folks, Dubai has a line of one-of-a-kind attractions. For example, the world’s tallest building, deserts, unique activities, and relaxing getaways.
The best time to visit Dubai with kids is during the winter months of November to April. Summer months tend to have unbearable heat, which may not be suitable for kids.
So which attractions to visit in Dubai?
i. Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is a masterpiece that you should not miss while you are in Dubai. It has recorded the ‘Tallest building in the world,’ ‘Tallest free-standing structure in the world,’ etc.
The elevator takes you way up to the 127th floor, where you can see the city’s 360 views. The design of the building itself is something of admiration.
I feel that the kids may get bored, but please encourage them to learn about the building’s story. It is worth hearing.
While you’re here, visit the souvenir shop, buy the postcards and post them in the post box.
ii. Ski Dubai
Dubai is a relatively warm place. Skiing in Dubai is something nobody can imagine, even in their wildest dreams. But you know, Dubai is a city of fascination, and one of its attractions is Ski Dubai— an indoor ski resort.
You read it right! The resort maintains a temperature of -1 degree to 2 degrees Celsius.
Ski Dubai is kid-friendly. You can enjoy building a snowman or play with snow at the snow park with your kids.
Not to forget, the resort also houses King and Gentoo penguins.
In terms of activities, you can go sledding and tobogganing. And just when you think it can’t get better, you can also take a skiing or snowboarding lesson. Giant Ball Runs, Snow Bullet Rides, and Dual Indoor Zip Lining provide the thrills.
Ski Dubai is an attraction like no other.
iii. iFly Skydiving
Just as you thought Dubai couldn’t get any crazier, here is Skydiving, but without a plane and a parachute. Experience the feeling of flying as you fly on a cushion of air.
iFly Skydiving is appropriate for kids and adults. Plus, the instructors at iFly have a knack for being outstanding. So you see how this place and activity is safe and fun.
iv. Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark
A top resort surrounded by Dubai’s waters, the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark gets your heart racing. It has about 30 waterslides and attractions.
Kids can enjoy playing at Splashers Island. Teenagers can head towards some thrilling water slides.
And, adults can relax on the human-made beach. This water park also has an aquarium where you can get close to the dolphins, sharks, sea lions, and stingrays.
Make sure you bring your towel, though!
v. Dubai Museum of Illusion
This museum offers some impressive visuals and educational experiences.
From kids to retirees, people of all ages are welcome to get their mind-boggled by optical illusions. The Anti-Gravity room, The Chair Illusions, The Infinity Room, and more are some of them.
A family ticket which includes two adult tickets and two child tickets, costs only about $56.
vi. IMG World of Adventure
IMG World of Adventure is a mega-themed entertainment destination. It is also the world’s most massive indoor theme and amusement park.
Enjoy some heart-pumping attractions based on Marvel and Cartoon Network’s famous characters. You can also visit the Haunted Hotel to get some paranormal experience. If you’re a bit chicken-hearted, you can enjoy yourself with the dinosaurs at the Lost Valley.
IMG World of Adventure offers an extensive range of retail outlets and restaurants.
Best Family Accommodations
• Best Western Plus Pearl Creek
• Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
• Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens
14. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a beautiful country that is one of the best countries to travel with family. The nation is highly children-friendly and safe.
If I could, I’d travel the whole country, but again, one has to earn for the family’s livelihood, right? So, I’m choosing Manuel Antonio as my destination in Costa Rica for a family vacation.
Manuel Antonio is a gorgeous resort town that sits amidst the rainforests of Costa Rica. Not to forget that the city is dedicated to wildlife preservation. Plus, it has lots and lots of beautiful beaches.
The best time to visit Manuel Antonio is from December to the end of March. These are the months when the weather is dry. But, be aware and carry an umbrella as the rainfall may occur anytime, even during the dry months.
i. Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park is the top choice when it comes to seeing wildlife in Costa Rica. This park has a lush green jungle and a fantastic ocean view with sand beaches. It acts as a backdrop to the diverse flora and fauna that lie beneath these settings.
Take a guided tour to see the howler monkeys, 3-fingered sloths, crabs, and other animals. The park also offers plenty of other activities besides sightseeing. They are hiking, a catamaran cruise, mangrove kayaking, and just relaxing on the beach.
ii. El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour
Costa Rica is famous for having a series of Ziplines. What is better than having an experience at the Longest Zipline in Costa Rica?
Book a tour for $75 per person. It includes a thrilling zip lining trip over 4,300 feet, fourteen tree platforms, six hanging bridges, and many more.
You will enjoy the beautiful view without feeling scared about safety. The zip-line infrastructure is of the latest technology.
Prepare to have 5.5 hours of thrilling adventure with your family. The zip lining tour is suitable for kids above four years old.
iii. Damas Island Mangrove Tour
Another unique experience to have in Manuel Antonio is the Damas Island Mangrove Tour.
First off, what are mangroves? Mangroves are shrubs that form habitats on seashores, rivers, and estuaries. Mangroves live in hot and humid places only.
You can explore the mangrove forests around Damas Island by canoeing or kayaking. It will be a fantastic activity to do with your family. However, a motorboat tour is highly recommended if you are traveling with children.
You will see plenty of animals, reptiles, and birds. Not to forget, some crocodiles are lurking in the water with you, but don’t worry, they will not come close to you.
Playa Manuel Antonio, Playa Espadilla Sur, and Playa Biesanz are famous beaches in Manuel Antonio. These beaches are excellent for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, and paddleboarding.
If you are not up for any activity, then you can also relax at the beach while your kids make sandcastles.
v. Mulguri Waterfalls
The Mulgari Waterfalls is a heaven for all nature lovers. You can visit the waterfall for sightseeing or explore the rainforests. You can also swim in the waterfall’s stunning natural swimming pool.
But most of all, you must take a horseback riding tour. You can learn about flora and fauna as well as the Costa Rican culture. Horseback riding is also suitable for kids and toddlers, and yes, it is safe.
Best family accommodations
• Tulemar Resort
• Espadilla Ocean Club
• Jungle Creek Villas
• Hotel La Mariposa
So, this is the list of the 14 best destinations for a family vacation. I hope this helps you decide which place you want to travel to next with your family. If you have anything else you’d like me to add, please feel free to comment below.