Vacation Ideas for Families With Young Children

Vacationing with young children requires planning, patience and flexibility. A vacation filled with a heavy sightseeing schedule may result in temper tantrums, missed naps and stress. Relying on public transportation is difficult because of car seat issues and limited schedules. Young children are often happier with vacations that allow lots of activity and less structure. Choosing child-friendly hotels and activities that allow for nap time will be more relaxing for kids and parents.

Zoo Tour

Zoos appeal to children of all ages and allow up-close encounters with your child’s favorite animals. Research zoos within driving distance for a family vacation. If several zoos are within driving distance of each other, plan a tour of the zoos, spending a day or two in each city. Choose child-friendly hotels and find other fun activities for kids in the area to round out the vacation.

Indoor Water Park

Many hotels now offer indoor water parks on the premises. Admission to the water park is generally included with the cost of the hotel room. Research the water park to ensure there are activities for young children. Most water parks offer a toddler play area for the younger guests. The Great Wolf Lodge hotel chain is a popular choice for indoor water parks. Many of the hotel rooms offer a separate sleeping area for children with a lodge theme, making it more of a vacation experience.

Children’s Museums

Children’s museums are an ideal location for young children because active play and interaction with the displays are encouraged. Children can run and explore a variety of displays within the museum walls. Research children’s museums in the area or within driving distance. Choose a child-friendly hotel in the area. Other child-friendly activities such as zoos or amusement parks can also be added to the itinerary.


A beach vacation offers a relaxed setting, ideal for families with young children. Parents won’t have to worry about using public transportation with young children. Nap time is easier to handle when you’re on a more relaxed schedule. Beaches offer a variety of activities such as building sand castles, collecting sea shells and walking along the beach.


Camping in a tent with young children can be a challenge. A cabin with a kitchen and bathroom offers a more relaxing vacation when young children are involved. Staying in a cabin allows exploration of the woods, lakes and other natural features. Like a beach vacation, a trip to a cabin allows a more relaxed schedule, and nap time is compatible with this type of vacation.

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