You have the school vacation calendar in hand, and now you have to decide what to do and where to do it (you know, in between figuring out what to be for Halloween, which side of the family to spend Thanksgiving with and where you’re going to put your Elf on the Shelf this time). Here’s a short list of 8 family friendly trips to take this school year. Some are in the United States and some are overseas. Either way, they are all locales that your family — of all ages — will love.
- Paris, France: You’d think that this romantic city would not be great for kids, but the urban setting, and the great mass transportation system really helps you get around quite easily. The numerous bistros have the most delicious and kid-friendly sandwiches: a baguette with ham and cheese. Our girls couldn’t have enough. Plus every street corner has a crepe vendor selling Nutella crepes. Tip: The time difference for East coasters is fantastic, because you can have a civilized Parisian dinner at 9 p.m. without your kids having a meltdown because it’s only 2 in the afternoon!
- Spring Skiing in Snowmass: Yes, late March and early April for a ski vacation could be dicey, but when its good, its GOOD. And with crowds at a minimum, restaurants are empty and so are the ski slopes and ski schools. Which means you get empty runs and kids who get focused attention at ski school. Spring skiing at any mountain is probably a great deal just for that. Tip: Take the free shuttles to and from the ski resorts. We took it every morning and we got to the ski resorts within 30 minutes.
- Disney World: What’s a school year without a stop at Disney World? It’s a rite of passage for many families. And young or old, you’re going to love it, for years to come. Tip: Work with a Walt Disney World planner pro (you’ll see my recommendation in the link) who will make your trip a BREEZE.
- Family Skiing in Utah: If you’re a skiier (as opposed to a boarder), Park City, Utah has two mountains that cater only to skiiers: Deer Valley and Alta. Both mountains were fabulous but very different. And because they are on different sides of the mountain, they get different snow (but still both great). Tip: Deer Valley is definitely more of a “luxury” resort while Alta’s prices are more mid-range.
- Beaches Resorts, Turks & Caicos: What a beautiful island Turks & Caicos is. The water is warm without any waves (perfect for little kids), the weather seems to be 85 degrees year-round, and Jet Blue flies direct from NYC. What more can you ask for? Well, Beaches Resorts takes it a notch up. It is an all-inclusive resort which means you don’t have to whip out your wallet for anything, including tips. There are many restaurants to choose from for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. And there are numerous activities for both kids of all ages and the adults. If you’re not into the beach, there are pools, waterslides, a lazy river and a wave simulator. Tip: You can definitely over do it on a beach vacation. Read my 6 tips for a happy family beach vacation.
- The Jersey Shore: If you’re in the tri-state area, stay local and support The Jersey Shore. It’s family-friendly, with numerous activities and delicious seafood. Plus, you can rent a home in one of the beach communities for a reasonable price so that everyone is comfortable. AND, no airfare! That alone can save you thousands of dollars. Tip: When we go to the shore, we rent from Ocean Beach Rentals. They have a huge inventory of houses in different price points.
- Hershey Park, Pennsylvania: We go to Hershey Park every year. It’s one of those places that our girls can go to and they continually love all the rides. With two girls having a 4+ years age difference, I appreciate the various types of rides for different ages. Tip: Read my itinerary for the an efficient Hershey Park weekend (and everyone will be happy — promise!)
- Flagstaff, Arizona for Family Activities and Skiing!: Flagstaff, Arizona has action-packed activities for your whole family. We were happily exhausted at the end of each day from skiing to sleigh riding to visiting the observatory. They also have the the best chefs cooking the most delicious food. We seriously felt like we were in Brooklyn or New York City with the quality level of food that we ate. We loved it so much that we’re going back again this Christmas holiday!