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10 Vacation ideas for thrill seekers


While family activities like Legoland and aquariums are fun (fun-ish, anyway), how can you satisfy the thrill-seeking itch of your more adventurous kids? Without further ado, here are 10 amazing adventures to try with your slightly older, slightly daring kids.

Father and son kayaking |

Photo credit: Ruth Black/Hemera/360/Getty Images


Rent a kayak to paddle through almost any river in the U.S. Courses range from slow and lazy to completely wild (and wildly dangerous). Start with a slow course to see how your kids enjoy it before trying any whitewater courses, and make sure your kids are equipped with safety training and gear before heading out.


Canopy tours

Modern-day zip-lining adventures are a different kind of thrill. You and your kids have the opportunity to view giant swaths of jungles and forests by hooking onto zip lines that extend through canopies of trees. Called “canopy tours,” these zip lines afford you the chance to see the world literally from a bird’s eye view.



Snorkeling is a cousin of scuba diving, without the same risks. If you head to the beach, you’ll be able to find snorkeling tours in which lifeguards watch out for hazards while you and the kids view coral reefs, sea turtles and dazzling fish from just an arm’s length away.


Roller coasters

Maybe your tastes are a little tamer than jungle and ocean adventures, but you and your kids still like to feel your hearts race. Check out a theme park for wild roller coaster rides that will make your adrenaline surge at a rate of 70 m.p.h.


Whitewater rafting

Take on this country’s wildest rivers from the reasonable safety of a whitewater raft. River guides equipped with kayaks run interference for any participants who fall out of the raft, while the raft’s captain barks orders to make sure everyone arrives safely at the final destination. The adventure is cold, wet and amazing.


Mountain climbing

Head to a climbing gym to give this adventure a try before taking it to the mountains. Before feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of climbing Mt. Everest, remember that most expeditions are to smaller rocks and cliffs that are safe for most well-prepared adventurers.



Unless your kid is claustrophobic, spelunking into the inner earth is as fascinating as it is magical. Traversing through a cave certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, but spelunking trips can range from beginner to advanced levels, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.


High ropes courses

Low ropes courses are fairly lame, but high ropes courses will get your family’s hearts pumping while you work as a team. Imagine working with your kids to come up with a plan to scale walls, swing from high ropes and wobble across trapeze lines while suspended 30 feet above the ground.


Scuba diving

You and your kids will need to take courses and obtain certifications before going scuba diving, but the extra effort is totally worth it. You’ll be able to see coral reefs and wildlife more brilliantly than the vast majority of the population (not to mention all that quality time you’ll spend together as you train).


Horseback riding

Saddle up a horse the next time you and your kids travel out of town for a vacation. You can usually find stables for horseback riding if you visit the beach, the mountains or really anywhere in-between — the horses can afford you adventure and additional sightseeing opportunities since they can hike where humans often can’t.

Tell Us:

How do you seek thrills while travelling as a family?

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