Whether you are going on a two weeks vacation or planning a weekend away with the whole family, picking the right destination is the key. We picked the best places for a perfect getaway that will please the whole family. Enjoy your trip, make great memories and don’t forget to preserve them in your holiday photo book – this way you will be able to relive the awesome times again and again.
This summer, get the most out of your vacations with kids. We scrupulously researched the best family holiday destinations of 2016 and picked the best ones – for any type of traveler. From jungle safari in Costa Rica to the world’s biggest Legoland in Denmark; from phenomenal volcanos in Hawaii to astonishing Broadway shows: what is your choice?
Legoland and wildlife in Denmark
This country is built for kids. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, interactive exhibits or pure unadulterated fun, you’ll find family attractions of all kinds in Denmark.
Reasons to go:
– Tivoli gardens – the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world that dates back to 1843. What’s the oldest amusement park in the world, you may ask. It’s Dyrehavsbakken, and it is also located in Denmark! Both parks offer numerous entertainment venues, free live music, fireworks and great food.
– Denmark is the home of Lego and Legoland. Visit this amazing world of tiny plastic bricks and reveal your inner child while strolling around the 20-million-piece Miniland of world icons – Statue of Liberty, Acropolis, Abu Simbel Egyptian temple, the Star Wars scenes, and many others. The reconstructions are made with an incredible attention to details, on a scale of 1:20 to 1:40.
– Watch Scandinavian animals having a wild time in Skandinavisk Dyrepark (Scandinavian Wildlife Park). Enjoy the exceptional opportunity to get close to wolves, polar and brown bears, foxes, elks and other big wild animals, feed playful deer, spend some time on a huge highly-praised playground and have a lunch in the picnic area.
– Ride the underwater roller-coaster “The Hurricane” in Fårup Sommerland theme park. The roller-coaster will take you to the height of seven stories and then will rush down, under the water, at a speed of 47 mph (76 km/h).
– Sail like a Viking in Vikingeskibsmuseet (The Viking Ship Museum). This is the only place in the world where you can see 1000-year-old Viking ships and then continue your excursion by sailing on their full-scale replicas in the open sea.
Jungle safari in Costa Rica
If your kids love animals and want to learn more about nature, do them a favor by taking them to Costa Rica. Smoldering volcanoes, rain forests, pristine coastlines – the trip to this small country can combine all sorts of adventures and family activities.
Reasons to go:
– The wildlife. This small country can claim to a startling 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity – you can spend the lifetime in Costa Rica and keep on discovering something new every day! Tropical rainforests in countless national parks are homes to over 200 mammal species including jaguars, ocelots, pumas, sloths, monkeys, armadillo… and don’t ever get us started about the diversity of amphibians, birds and insects!
– Get a chance to live in the middle of a rainforest. Many hotels and unique eco-lodges are located in the heart of the tropical ecosystems amongst lavish green gardens, with minimal impact on the environment. Most of the places have the access to the pristine beaches but some of them are hidden in the middle of the jungle which gives you a unique, rich experience of total and absolute connection with nature.
– The outdoor adventures. Costa Rica is a paradise for thrill-seekers: take the canopy tour and zip-line through the jungle like a monkey; crash down the white water on rafts; go on a horse-riding tour in a rainforest; try kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, cliff diving, sky diving and all the possible extreme activities you can think of.
– Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world. Costa Rica is totally army-free, and its foundations are the peace, neutrality and freedom. Everywhere you go, you will be welcomed with a smile and the local greeting “pura vida” which means “life is good” or literally “pure life”. Pura Vida is not just a saying, it is a motto, a mantra, a lifestyle: the ability of people to relax and enjoy their time.
Hospitality and relaxation in Hawaii
Hawaii is no longer just for honeymooners. The islands are fast becoming a paradise for keiki, the Hawaiian word for children.
Reasons to go:
– Perfect climate. Hawaii has probably the best weather on the planet. The islands lie at the edge of the tropical zone, and technically have only two seasons: both of them warm.
– The adventure islands. Volcanoes, snorkeling, sea turtles, white sands, crystal seas, submarines, ziplines, surfing and all sorts of different adventures for children and grownups.
– Aloha spirit. People in Hawaii are sweethearts: there is probably no other place in the world where you would feel more welcomed. Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect, and in Hawaii Aloha is practically a law. According to The Hawaii Revised Statutes, all the government officials, citizens, and tourists are obliged to be in accordance with the Aloha Spirit on a daily basis.
– Family friendly resorts and beaches. Traveling with kids is easy if you travel to Hawaii. Toddlers will enjoy sandy beaches, older children will learn how to surf, zip-line through forests and maybe even seeing red-hot lava flow on The Big Island.
PortAventura in Spain
If you have already been to America’s most famous Disneyland in Orlando, try going overseas and visit Spain’s biggest theme park PortAventura. It’s a modern, family-friendly theme park and resort with six dedicated zones plus the water park and a classy set of restaurants and hotels.
Reasons to go:
– PortAventura is enormous and will definitely keep you and your kids busy for several days. There is a lot to explore – the park is divided into 6 areas: Mexico of the Aztecs, exotic China, wild Far West, exotic Polynesia, warm Mediterrània and SésamoAventura themed to the Sesame Street characters – for the youngest visitors. Each area has its own attractions, performances, and activities dedicated to the theme.
– You can try food from all over the world. Each area mentioned above has its own cuisine: you can tuck into delicious ribs in the Far West, continue your meal with paella from the Mediterrània and finish up with a tropical fruit juice in Polynesia.
– PortAventura is not as commercial as Disney and children aren’t nagging you to buy something every few minutes. Nevertheless, there are a lot of small shops where you can get cute authentic souvenirs.
– Stunning Barcelona is just one hour away. Hop on a train and explore one of the most beautiful European cities with boundless culture, world-class dining scene and all sorts of family leisure activities. Visit the largest in Europe Barcelona Aquarium, take a cable ride to Montjuïc Castle, go to Bosc Urbà (Urban Jungle) adventure park with ziplines, nets, rope swings and bungee jumps. Exploring this beautiful city is a great fun for both: children and parents.
The ultimate family city break in New York City.
While you can spend weeks there, New York works well if you have only a short time for a break. Plenty of iconic museums, zoos, parks, landmarks, playgrounds, shows and concerts make this city a perfect destination for families of all ages.
Reasons to go:
– One-of-a-kind NYC vibe. Although the city might seem intimidating for families from the rural areas and small towns, many of them are pleasantly surprised at how navigable and accessible it is. Kids, with their inexhaustible energy, tend to click with New York: the city is as fast, dynamic, imaginative as they are. It is like a giant playground filled with the latest toys – everything has to be touched, tasted and played with.
– Explore the Asian wilderness taking a monorail ride in Bronx Zoo. A cabin takes you through a vast green area that recreates the ecosystem of Asia where Asian animals freely walk around while you sit steadily in your “cage” and enjoy the view. You will see Siberian tigers, Indian elephants, rhinos and wild horses in their natural habitats. Bronx Zoo, one of the largest zoos on the planet, is home to more than 5000 different animals.
– Have fun while learning in NYC museums. Although the word “museum” for many children is associated with the word “torture”, there are plenty of interactive museums and exhibitions in New York that your kids will just love. American Museum of Natural History – for those who are fascinated by the World’s wonders; Sony Wonder Technology Lab for techies of all ages; Brooklyn Children’s Museum where your little ones can play, smell, draw, learn, discover, climb, wander around, swing, and jam out – the list can go on!
– Enjoy a Broadway show. No family can come to New York and not see at least one Broadway show, and there are lots of choices to please everyone. While Disney juggernauts The Lion King and Aladdin are popular options, there are other kid-friendly choices that aren’t as obvious: do your research beforehand and have an unforgettable night together with the whole family!
Confucius once said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Whatever your next destination is going to be, the important thing is that you are traveling together with the most important people in your life – enjoy your trip as much as possible! Take a lot of photos along the way and bring your adventures home: preserve the memories of the vacations forever in a vibrant and stylish photo book.