Family Fun Places
- Fun Things to Try on Family Vacations (11)
- Theme Parks (11)
- Zoos and Aquariums (13)
- Family Farm Stays (8)
- Children's Museums and Science Museums (14)
- Top Things to Do in New York, Orlando, Montreal, and More (12)
- Seasons and Holidays (105)
New York City Toy Stores
Several toy stores in the Big Apple are especially fun places to visit with kids, as they're more like entertainment venues than mere retail space. Families will find games, crafts, and restaurants, and even a ferris wheel.
Where to have Nickelodeon Themed Fun
Nickelodeon is the kids' TV channel that's home to popular characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, to name just two. Nickelodeon has partnered with several travel destinations to offer Nick-themed fun places for families: Nick Hotel in Orlando, Nick-themed water park resorts, Nick Cruises, and more.
Water Park Resorts
Water park resorts are fun places to visit with kids: many families can just point the car towards the nearest one, where they'll find a giant indoor water park with water-slides, wave pools, squirters, and giant dunking buckets. Some properties add an outdoor water park in summer months.
Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group performances are an indescribable mix of mime, percussion, and antics involving the audience. Teens and tweens will find them hilarious. Blue Man Group has a permanent venue in several locations; attend in New York City or Orlando...
Cirque de Soleil, La Nouba, in Orlando
Cirque de Soleil reinvented the "circus" as a celebration of human movement in stylized new and old circus arts, plus phantasmagorical costumes and characters. Read about the "La Nouba" permanent show in Orlando: a fun place to visit in the evening, after a day at the theme parks. Cirque de Soleil has touring shows, as well.
Build-A-Bear Workshop® is an innovative retailer whose stores are places where kids have fun creating customized furry friends. New York City has the flagship store, but there are hundreds of locations. "Guests" create their own stuffed animals through an eight-step process, with the assistance of "master Bear Builder associates."
This equestrian touring show -- by the creators of Cirque du Soleil -- offers utterly an unique experience for audiences, showcasing many different types of performances by horses. Human riders, acrobats and gymnasts are also part of the show.
Family Fun Centers
A Family Fun Center is typically an outdoor entertainment zone with go-karts, mini-golf, and various other kid-pleasers. There are countless such places across the US; the link above, at TravelingUSA.com, has a clickable map that you can search by state. For more choices, try searching at Google.com for "Family Fun Center [city name]."
Families can find colorful performances, clowns, crafts, and general good fun for kids at a number of children's festivals held in various cities, usually in the month of May.
Indoor Flying (Vertical Wind Tunnels)
Okay, now you really can fly... and zoom up 30 feet high, and roll and flip in the air. Kids over three years old can too, thanks to giant electric fans in wind tunnels. Many places now offer this kind of fun for families. Check out iFLY, near Universal Studios Hollywood in southern California, or Paraclete XP SkyVenture in North Carolina.
Ziplines (aka Canopy Tours)
Zipline adventures, aka "canopy tours", are fun thing to try on a family trip. Basically, a person straps into a harness and zips along a cable for several hundred feet. Kids as young as seven can fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Many places offer this type of fun family outing; typically, visitors do a series of ziplines (in a rainforest, for example), but sometimes the thrill is a single jump such as this zipline over the Colorado River.
Indoor Water Parks in North America
Indoor water parks are fun places to visit when on a trip. About.com's Guide for Theme Parks tells you where to find these attractions, in the US and Canada.
World's Largest Indoor Water Park
The world's largest indoor water park is in the Seagaia complex in Japan, and the second-biggest is at the colossal fun-plus-shopping palace, West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada.
Ice Hotels are totally unique and fun places to visit with kids -- and "visit" doesn't necessarily mean an overnight stay. The Ice Hotel in Quebec is just ten minutes from downtown Quebec City and the vast majority of its visitors come just to tour for an hour or two. Sweden and several other Scandinavian countries also have ice hotels.
Snow Domes! Indoor Skiing Parks
What'll they think of next? See a list of snowdomes around the world. Most are in Europe and the Middle East.
More and more corn mazes are dotting the countryside and providing great family outings. Read about how to find a corn maze and what to expect when you visit. Prime time is September through October, but some fields open as early as mid-July. Many also have pumpkin patches and other fun.
Christmas Trains, Easter and More Holiday Trains
Many tourist railroads offer themed train rides that celebrate different holidays throughout the year. The "Polar Express" trains rides are the best-known examples, but there are many other Christmas trains, along with Halloween trains, and "Bunny Express" and other Easter trains.
Swim With Dolphins, and Other Dolphin Encounters
"Swim With Dolphins" and other types of dolphin encounters are very appealing for families. Ethical issues surround these programs, however, especially when the dolphins are kept in captivity.
Family Camps: Affordable Summer Getaways
"Family Camps" are fun places to go in summer: like summer camps for kids,they provide plenty of outdoors fun, with lodgings and meals included. Lodging might be as rustic as a tent-cabins; some family camps, however, have lodges or even inn-style accommodations.
Wanderlust Yoga Festivals
Head to a beautiful mountain ski resort in summer for terrific yoga, kid- outdoor music concerts, daily kids programs, and more.