Have Kids, Still Travel! with
Any suggestions on places to go with a toddler?
Thks in advance
Plenty of holiday locations nicely cater to families with kids. I think the toddlers would happy to spend their time at good fun filled spots like Disney, along the rim of the Grand Canyon, certain National or state parks that makes their vacation memorable. However, the world is full of new and unfamiliar sites; you can choose whatever the most suited option, in terms of comfort, safety and budget.
With toddlers around, there's no room for uncertainties and experminatation. Go for something proven, safe, and enjoyable.
I was looking for the same thing you are a year ago, so I decided to take on a challenge to find the best luxury resorts for families traveling with toddlers. I felt like I was stuck with a Club Med or Beaches vacation to be able to take my toddler on vacation and spend time with my older children or actually relax. Thus, I took it on as a challenge to find luxury resorts that have kids clubs for toddlers under 3 years old and I wrote a blog post on the top 5. To be honest, I am still working on #5 :) It was not exactly an easy thing to find! Anyway, check out the top 5 (or 4) luxury resorts for families traveling with toddlers here
With toddlers you can go Disney land, laguna beach, redondo beach and Go someplace where the climate is the same as where you live. Go to a city or town that is similar to your town or city...
A trip to a nearby park,with Toddlers where they can roam freely without any restrictions. like the one to any botanical garden will bring a smile on your toddlers face. Let him enjoy the natural beauty.
shermon21 is right on track. Many of the hotels we've stayed in have required our kid to be potty-trained in order to enjoy the kids activities in the premises. Thus, I suggest you call prior the trip and check what the hotel requirements are.
I would suggest Durban in South Africa, more specifically a place called Umhlanga Rocks. The area is quiet and has alot of natural entertainment like beaches and whale watching which your toddler would enjoy.
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When we take children to vacation its really more enjoyment rather than other.But at the same time you have to take proper measures,especially in food and water,only give boiled water to children because there may change in atmosphere.If you are going to some coolest places, don't forgot to bring winter clothes.If you going to beaches (this is the favourite place for children) bring another pair of dress.
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We have a one and two year old and it goes without saying that we keep our vacations local. We have found that they love children's museums which are interactive and give them something to touch and see. Also, during the summer anything with water is always a hit.
One thing that's important to note is that with the age of digital bringing a dvd player along with you for the ride is a great asset. It helps to keep them quiet and content until you reach your destination.
This year we are staycationing and it is both fun and educational.
Thanks for this post. Sharing like this definitely help parents with toddlers in traveling.
What age do you think children should be before they can really enjoy DisneyWorld? I have really been wanting to go, but am not sure of what age my child would have the most fun.
I agree with this poster -- lots of toddlers fall asleep just as they arrive at your destination. think small when you plan - -allow plenty of rest time between activities (we do ONE activity per day or if we're ambitious, 1 before lunch and 1 after a nap) and everyone will have a good time.
i just met a man who took his 4 kids under 10 (2 under 3 years old) to Disney World with his parents -- the grandparents sat with sleeping toddlers while everyone else went on the rides. this guy said he needed a recovery vacation.
specially in summer, toddlers will sleep a lot because of the heat!
Toddlers love places where they can roam freely without any restrictions. Make sure these places are close to your home since excessive traveling can strain your toddler and he might doze off on reaching the destination. A trip to a nearby park, like the one to any botanical garden will bring a smile on your toddlers face. Let him enjoy the natural beauty. Just try to make his trip as entertaining as possible instead of making it a hectic for him.
I took my 2 year old and her 4 year old brother to Destin, Florida. Even though my daughter hated the beach, the hotel had a swimming pool and there are a ton of fun places close by. I would definitely return there for any future vacations.
Just got in some late season skiing at Squaw Valley. Their ski school does a fantastic job with young kids, teaching them but equally important keeping them happy and entertained all day. Recommended!
It would be nice if you will bring him to Disneyland. Your baby would definitely love it.
I think that toddlers and their parents will enjoy vacations that are close to home, or even staycations. As most anyone who has spent time with toddlers can tell you, they are likely to find fun and wonder in nearly any activity. A walk in the park, a trip to a different playground, or a stroll in the botanical gardens in your town can all bring a smile to a toddlers face.
Without a long car, plane, train or bus trip, you take a lot of stress out of the situation. Whatever type of vacation you decide on, keep your toddlers slower pace in mind, and don't over plan. Allow free time to explore and wander. Enjoy time together!
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Disney World!! You can't beat it for kids.
Museums is okay if your kids are not hyper and behave. But if your kids are so naughty and always move around it is hard. Disney is the best for kids if you want them to enjoy and Zoo if you want them to learn. It is also to travel with car based on my best friend experience especially if you have kids. She get [URL="http://www.crownrentals.com.au/"]car rentals Melbourne[/URL] for more convenient travel with kids.
Museums is okay if your kids are not hyper and behave. But if your kids are so naughty and always move around it is hard. Disney is the best for kids if you want them to enjoy and Zoo if you want them to learn. It is also to travel with car based on my best friend experience especially if you have kids.
When traveling with toddlers, our family has found extended stay hotels with full kitchens the easiest way to travel. You have everything you need, and that's a tough age to be taking kids out to restaurants. We did an Oregon trip and got two good recommendations on [url]http://www.portlandextendedstay.com[/url]. You can also check out the web sites of the major national extended stay hotel chains.
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You can go just about anywhere. It doesn't have to be kid specific. Think of some place that is relaxing for you. At that age, children are just happy being with the family. They have just as much fun on the playground here as they do a playground abroad. One caveat is that too much jetlag for a child is not relaxing for the parents if the trip is not long enough for the children to adjust. We struggled after a 9 hour flight to Europe but did fine after a much longer flight to Australia where we basically lapped a day.
Beaches are a must with little ones, that is if they don't mind the water! The Zoo is great as well. Some even have petting zoos in them as an added bonus.
Yep, Disney can definitely be too much for a toddler. And I've not found many resorts that have kids programs for the toddler age group. Most of the resort kids' programs are for children starting around age 5. The exception to that is ski areas, where there are often childcare programs for many ages, including infants and toddlers. Some Club Meds have toddler programs as do a few other places, but it's not all that common. And parents of toddlers need a break more than anyone!
I agree that Disney is really too much for a toddler. They are too young to appreciate it for the full day. Wait til they are a little older. I can't tell you how many tired and cranky parents I've seen at Disney pushing tired toddlers around. I've always thought that it 's the parents who can't wait to go to Disney with their toddlers and they think it will be magical for their child but it's overwhelming and exhausting. It's expensive too!
[QUOTE=neuromri;15116]Any suggestions on places to go with a toddler?
Thks in advance[/QUOTE]
I guess it depends on how old your toddler is. If you're looking for something close to home, here are some things we did with my boys that they loved:
*story time at the local library
*trips to the zoo
*trips to the museum (ours has a great area for kids)
*lunch at the park - we'd eat lunch up in one of the tall "hide-out" areas
*pet stores - usually I combined this with an errand for our dog
*The arboretum has fun insects and beautiful flowers and walking paths. Ours has a pond and the boys like to watch the fish.
Always a good idea to find a hotel/resort with something fun to do. I find that just playing at the pool can be fun and make them tired enough for a nap.
*Ski trips are fun - put them in a toddler ski school.
*Beach vacations are low key and fun. Just be sure to bring lots of sun screen.
*Disney was a lot of fun for my 4 & 6 yr. olds, but we still tried to make it back for an afternoon nap. Might be a tough trip if they aren't potty trained.
*All inclusive resorts are nice too. Especially nice if you can put them in a 'kid camp' for part of the day.
We also loved Great Wolf Lodge. My kids, 3 & 5, had a great time. We spent 3 days and 2 nights there over spring break and they still didn't want to leave. It was so cold during the week that we didn't leave the resort from the time we walked in the door. We went back this summer for my son's birthday and enjoyed using the outside park as well. Lot's of fun to be had at GWL.
[QUOTE=Max;20287]There is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon. Not far from there (the beach is popular with small kids anyway) is the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Air Museum in Tillamook (the Spruce Goose is there). As you head down the coast there are hundreds of kid-friendly attractions, from the Devil's punchbowl and Depoe Bay's waterfront, to Newport Bay's Ripley's Believe it or Not, the Wax Museum, Undersea Gardens, etc. and of course the Oregon Coast Aquarium, keep going and you'll find the Sea Lion caves.
That should be enough to keep anyone busy for a while. If you need any specifics on places to eat or stay, let me know.[/QUOTE]
We love the Oregon Coast and used to vacation there every summer growing up. A great place for kids is Seaside, OR. There are plenty of great ocean front hotels to stay at and everything is walking distance to the 'downtown' area. There is an aquarium, bumper cars, putt-putt golf, an arcade, merry-go-round, etc. One breakfast place, not to miss, is Pig-in-a-Pancake. It's nothing fancy, but the food is good and for some reason, my kids LOVED it.
Just a short drive from Seaside is Canon Beach with a more upscale shopping and dining experience. I love this little town, but it's not as kid friendly.
Have fun in Oregon. I now live in Texas and miss the trips to the beach. Last summer was the first time back to the Oregon Coast in many year. :)
Just make sure that whenever you stop as you're traveling, whether in an airport or in the car, that you give toddlers plenty of time to run around and run off steam. If you can exhaust them, your travels will be easier. And skip the city visits to museums with toddlers. It's torture for them unless you time it just right and visit during their naptime and they actually fall asleep.
We were recently in NYC and visited a couple of museums where out-of-town parents with toddlers had hoped to catch a museum show. They kids were miserable and the parents even more miserable. They would have been better off waiting until the kids were older or leaving them at home or simply changing the places they visited to more kid-friendly places. Toddlers need lots of exercise and hate being chained to the stroller for very long.
We recently took our daugter to Great Wolf Lodge for her 3rd birthday. GREAT IDEA!
More than half of the waterpark is toddler friendly - even toddler sized water slides. Entire thing is family friendly. One family flat-bottom tube ride is so family friendly that as long as they are big enough to hold on, they can ride! And it's great that you can stay inside out of the sun or snow!
There are themed restaurants, arcades, full service spa (and even a version for kids!). Every morning and evening there are pajama friendly story times followed by a clock tower show. There is a Cub Club area for young kids with arts and crafts and games. You almost don't even have to leave the resort!
Grand Mound, WA
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Niagara Falls, Canada
Pocono Mountains, PA
Traverse City, MI
Wisconsin Dells, WI
We used repeat visitor coupon code GREEN from a friend of ours and got a significant % off!!
We went to the Mason, OH location which is right next to Kings Island amusement park, which is also a great source of endless family fun!
I would also recommend visiting the Smokies and going to Gatlinburg to the aquarium and other fun musuems. The mini-golf options are very unique and my little ones really enjoyed them.
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There is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon. Not far from there (the beach is popular with small kids anyway) is the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Air Museum in Tillamook (the Spruce Goose is there). As you head down the coast there are hundreds of kid-friendly attractions, from the Devil's punchbowl and Depoe Bay's waterfront, to Newport Bay's Ripley's Believe it or Not, the Wax Museum, Undersea Gardens, etc. and of course the Oregon Coast Aquarium, keep going and you'll find the Sea Lion caves.
That should be enough to keep anyone busy for a while. If you need any specifics on places to eat or stay, let me know.
I'll put in a vote for Hawaii too. Of course Florida beaches are lovely, but Hawaii is so much more exotic. It's also really relaxing and easy. There's not the hard edge or hustle that you find on some of the Caribbean islands. And obviously you don't need a passport since it's in the US. I think a lot of East Coasters think it's too far, and it is a 6 hour time change which is kind of tough on toddlers. But if you fly to somewhere on the West Coast for a couple of days first, like San Diego and hit the world famous zoo and the beach there (water is not nearly as warm as Hawaii tho) and then go to Hawaii it's worth it. Plus if you stay in Hawaii a couple of weeks you can visit a few different islands. Hawaii is also much safer than the Caribbean islands. We just rent a condo there - one affodable area that is full of condos is Kihei on Maui - and park ourselves. It's so relaxing.
I don't think Disneyworld is such a great place to go with toddlers. It's really exhausting and really expensive and best visited when the kids are a bit older. Toddlers wear out there really fast and don't wait in line very well. Wait til kids are five or older, or maybe four or older.
If you want an amusement park of some sort, look for someplace really simple and near your home.
Just ran into a friend of mine who was on Waikiki with her college age daughter at the Marriott. She said there were quite a few Japanese tourists with toddlers at the hotel. Tons of 2 year olds walking out with their parents to the beach to spend the day splashing in the warm water and digging in the sand. It's a bit of a flight from Japan, but not quite as far for Americans living on the west coast or in the western states of the US. And Hawaii is so easy and relaxing. Waikiki has numerous hotels right on the beach or a very short walk away and some excellent prices. Maui has condos and is reliably sunny, especially in the Kihei area, which is filled with affordable condos.
I do think if you're traveling with toddlers it can be worth it to spend a bit more to make sure you're close to the beach to eliminate some of the hassle of running back to your room to grab whatever items you forgot. Just make the trip shorter to make it work with your budget.
I agree that the beach is the best possible place iwth a toddler. They are a really challenging age to travel with. If not the beach, then someplace that has a kids program that allows ages that young!> I've found most kids programs to start at age five, which is too bad. I think the parents of toddlers need a break more than any other age.
It doesn't have to be an ocean beach, but it does need to be somewhere you can park yourselves and play in the sand and splash around safely. Just somewhere that the parents aren't jumping up every minute to save the kids from drowning or injuring themselves. Since sand and water can keep toddlers busy for awhile, it does allow parents a bit of a break. You don't even need that many toys, just yogurt containers, plastic spoons, that kind of thing. Start collecting containers before you go and don't bother to buy any fancy toys except maybe a small shovel or two. We bought a cheap garden trowel that lasted for years at the beach.
I think the best time to go with a 4 and 7 year old would be either winter, so you can ski (there are many of excellent children's ski school programs at ski resorts in the Tahoe area) or in August when it's really hot. Actually, anytime in summer is good. But remember, the lake is quite chilly, but kids don't care. I vacationed there with my family when I was a child for many years, and we swam, played in the sand and water skied, hiked and enjoyed nature. We stayed in a funky cabin within walking distance of the beach.
Lake Tahoe allows children such freedom, mostly because there are so many outdoor activities. With just a bucket and a shovel, kids can enjoy beautiful beaches. For detailed information about what to do with children at Lake Tahoe: TahoeKidsGuide
This is kindof goofy, but I would take my kids to the pet stores and just look at the fish, and birds, and rodents, etc. They loved it, and it was free. The zoo is good too, but our zoo is tiring (too many hills) and the pet store is nice and flat, and warm, and fun too!
It may seem like it wouldn't be the best destination for toddlers, but I've been to Disney World several times, the first was when my son was 10 months. There are plenty of very tame rides that even little ones can enjoy.
I asked a travel agent specializing in family vacations to write a section on my site about the number one place she'd recommend to travel with kids. This month's pick was Hawaii. Kimberly Wilson Wetty has outlined a great itinerary here: [url]http://www.mytravelingbuddy.com/t_planner.shtml[/url].
I have taken my son there twice in his first 14 months, and we all get to do what we love. We used [url]www.BabysittersofKauai.com[/url] while on Kauai, and they were great! My husband and I got to enjoy dinners out in the evenings, after playing at the beach and in the pool with our son.
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I usually plan stops at Cracker Barrels when on long driving trips. They are safe because they are usually set near to but back from the highway exit. The clientelle are usually older and not so shady. The bathrooms are always emmaculate. The baby changing tables are clean sturdy structures with easy access to the trash can.
The best part about Cracker Barrel is the rocking chairs. When I was nursing my daughter, I would use the rocking chairs as a private, nice place to feed my daughter. Just rock and put a blanket over your child for added privacy.
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When my boys were toddlers (I have four of them, currently 12, 10, 5, and 5), they really enjoyed going to children's museums and zoos with lots of hands on, interactive activities.
Beaches are a good idea, too, but you might want to look at going to someplace like Wisconsin Dells if it isn't too far away from you. I don't know that it would be worth spending the money to fly there, but is worth a short drive.
Wisconsin Dells has a number of attractions and is most known for its water parks. We stayed at the Kalahari Resort when we went, which has the biggest indoor water park in the country. This park includes a very large indoor water play area where little ones can safely splash around in a controlled environment. Personally, I prefer that to playing in the water at the beach, which can be unpredictable at times. Also, other water slides are positioned around this play area so you and your spouse can trade off watching the toddler while you go enjoy the slides with the older kids if you have any.
Wisconsin Dells also has the Storybook Gardens with a petting zoo that allows you to pet and feed animals such as giraffes and other animals that you don't find at your typical petting zoo. There are many other attractions, such as boat rides, that toddlers enjoy doing.
If you want to do a bit of hiking and visit a beach, Devils Lake State Park is nearby. It is a beautiful lake with some very nice trails.
I would also recommend visiting the Smokies and going to Gatlinburg to the aquarium and other fun musuems. The mini-golf options are very unique and my little ones really enjoyed them.
We're planning for PA/Bucks County right now. It seems like a great area for many age groups. Sesame Place, Philadelphia Zoo, Peddler's Village, a lot of outdoor activites, parks, trains, riverboats and farms. Plenty of shopping too.
We have found that zoos and aquariums are fantastic.
There seems to be talk about San Antonio, TX - riverwalk and Sea World.
I like making sure there is a pool at the hotel. I prefer a suite with kitchenette if possible. It's nice to have a room with a door to make it easier for you to stay up a bit later maybe sit out on a balcony and unwind. Kitchen is nice for all the little snacks.
With a toddler there doesn't seem to be much time to rest. A lot of hotels with toddler activities need them to be potty trained (just like summer programs at home), something look into if that's your line of thinking.
When my children were toddlers we enjoyed the beach more than any other type of vacation. They loved splashing in the water and digging about in the sand, and for some reason it seemed slightly more restful for us parents as we could just sit there and watch them play. We tried to find beaches that had calm water so the kids didn't get knocked down by the waves. We liked to stay in a condo type property with a pool so we had extra space, a kitchen, and a pool. After playing on the beach, we'd hose off, take a quick swim, and the kids would be clean enough to avoid baths!
We did have quite a bit to carry to the beach such as a beach umbrella, food, toys, towels, etc., and often a lgihtweight porta crib so we could try to get the youngest to nap on the beach in the shade of the umbrella
Many parents also like inclusive resorts with built-in children's programs so they get a bit of a break. I'm curious to hear what other families have found both fun for the kids and remotely restful for the parents with toddlers in tow!