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10 Fun vacation ideas for parents and kids

Jana Randall is a busy mother, loving wife, and active career woman from Arizona. In her free time, Jana writes to cover topics on home, living, and pets, while also working full time and blogging. As interests, Jana enjoys reading, wr...

Destination: Family fun

Looking for a vacation the whole family can enjoy? Here's a list that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest adventurers in your family.
Happy family at beach

Beach babes

The beach is timeless fun for any family. Regardless of which coast you choose, the beach can provide sun, relaxation, excitement and adventure for your family. Many coastal towns are hot spots in the summer -- look for deals during the week, or hang ten with crowds on the weekends. All you need is some towels, suits and flip flops for a vacation to remember.

Theme parks

Theme parks have family deals for the hottest vacation time of the year. Look for passes through your insurance carrier, place of employment or retail stores. If not all members of the family can decide on one park, many states or cities offer hopper passes so that the family can enjoy more than one adventure during their stay.

Top theme parks in the country >>

SmoresCamping

Pack up the car with sleeping bags, the tent and the Coleman and head to your favorite campsite. Go fishing with the kids for dinner, and make s'mores by the campfire. Be sure to involve kids in all of the camping festivities for a true bonding experience.

National monuments

If you're looking to give your children a little history about the great U.S., take them to a national monument. Parents can relax while teaching kids about George Washington at Mount Rushmore, or catch some Arizona sunshine rays in the Grand Canyon.

Top U.S. cultural vacation destinations for families >>

City dwelling

Not all vacations are out of the city. Look into places like New York City, Seattle or Los Angeles for urban family fun. Do your research ahead of time to see what makes the city a fun place to visit. Make a map of city hotspots, famous eats and celebrity hang-outs to enjoy all the flavors of the city of your choice.

Road trip

A road trip can be the best way to bond on a family vacation. Map out an adventure based on landmarks or fun sights. Play road-trip games, sing songs and take a lot of photos. Even without a specific destination in mind, the road trip can be the best part of the vacation.

Wild West

The family can learn to rope and ride in the Wild West. Ranches located in the western region of the U.S. offer family activities such as horseback riding, rodeos and hoedowns. For extra fun, take the western theme to the max and pack cowboy boots and bolo ties for the whole family.

Family camp

Camps aren’t just for kids anymore. Also referred to as family adventures, family camps are a great place for everyone to enjoy. Stay in a cabin with the family and enjoy activities like mountain biking, paintballing, kayaking and more. Some even offer separate adult and kids' events to keep the fun going all day long.

Staycation

If you're short on funds or you're avoiding sky-rocketing gas prices, search for deals at local hotspots. Book a resort for the weekend and spend the money saved on other amenities such as room service or hotel-specific amenities. Be sure to check the hotel's website beforehand, as most tend to have family activities planned for the summer. Find the one that works best to meet your family’s needs.

How to plan a kid-friendly staycation >>

Backyardigans

Another money-saving family vacation is right in your backyard. Turn your backyard into a campsite by setting up the tent and telling stories by the fire pit. Melt marshmallows in the microwave, or enjoy ice cream in the grass. To add pizzazz, get the kids crafting to make bears, trees and pretend RVs to make the experience feel as real as ever.

More summer tips and treats

Refreshing summer snacks to pack for an outing
Sweet indulgences: Favorite frozen treats
Tips for staying cool in the summer

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