Any parent knows that planning a vacation presents a unique set of challenges. You want to go somewhere kid-friendly but also want to be able to escape for some adult time at least once or twice. And tried-and-true is great, but you don’t want anything too cliché.
Every family is different, which is why the list of themed hotels and vacation packages below has something for everyone. There’s something for Muggles who want to experience magic and something else for curious kids who want to explore early civilization. There’s an all-inclusive cruise or the more DIY option of staying in a fun themed hotel and building the rest of your vacation on your own.
No matter what you’re into, you’re bound to be inspired by one of the seven themed hotel and vacation ideas below. Plus, planning a getaway can be a great way to get through the holidays…
1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Orlando, Florida)
It’s hard to say whether a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is more fun for kids or adults. Either way, it’s the only way to experience iconic spots like The Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley and Three Broomsticks as a Muggle. And you’ll need to be 21 or over to order a witches brew, but anyone can sip the nonalcoholic butterbeer.
The five-day package comes with hotel accommodations plus day passes to Universal Studios, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay. You’ll get early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter so you can soak up the magic before everyone else arrives.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter exclusive vacation package, starting at $109 per night per person at Universal Orlando
2. 9-day Nile family adventure (Cairo, Egypt)
Now’s the time to take the whole family on a trip that no one will ever forget. During the nine-day tour, you’ll sail down the Nile River, see the ancient pyramids, ride a camel, tour Egyptian tombs and so much more. Everything will be taken care of for you, from itinerary to transportation, which is great news in a city that can be tough to navigate.
Nine-day Nile family adventure, starting at $1,319 per person at Tours 4 Fun
3. Tree house suite at Adventure Suites (North Conway, New Hampshire)
Just because your kids want a tree house doesn’t mean you want to build one. Or have to deal with maintaining one in the backyard for years to come. Luckily, you can assuage them with a few nights in this tree house suite, part of the Adventure Suites resort in North Conway, New Hampshire. The suite sleeps two parents and up to six kids, although the resort warns that up to three kids will be most comfortable. There’s an in-room hot tub for bubbly fun and an outdoor firepit where families can toast marshmallows and make s’mores on the resort grounds.
Tree house suite at Adventure Suites, starting at $279 per night at Adventure Suites
4. Disney by Land and Sea cruise and resort package (Orlando, Florida)
Disney Cruises has a great reputation for having the most family-friendly ships around, but why limit your experience to just a cruise? Stay a night or two at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, before shuttling to Port Canaveral and hopping on a three-night cruise to the Bahamas.
On board, you’ll have all-inclusive access to great food, live shows and a kids club in case you need some adult time. Then in the Bahamas, you’ll spend a day on Disney’s private island.
Disney by Land and Sea cruise and resort package (three-day cruise), starting at $2,500 for a family of four; hotels starting at $116 per night at Disney Cruise Line
5. Camp Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park, California)
Love Disney World but want something a little more low-key? Knott’s Berry Farm, located in Southern California, just outside Los Angeles, has plenty of rides and attractions but far shorter lines. Stay at the on-site hotel for easy access each day and opt for the Camp Snoopy wing, which is totally decked out in Peanuts-themed decorations and other touches.
Camp Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm classic package with park access, starting at $294 per day and night for a family of four at Knott’s Berry Farm
6. Dog Bark Park Inn (Cottonwood, Idaho)
Looking for an inexpensive, relaxing getaway kids will flip for? This two-bedroom B&B in Cottonwood, Idaho, is built in the shape of a beagle and has tons of canine touches throughout its interior. Breakfast is included with your stay, but you’ll need to venture out for other meals and activities. Luckily, the inn is near the historic Lewis and Clark trail, and there are spots to go whitewater rafting, jet boating, horseback riding, mountain biking and more.
B&B stay, starting at $132 per night at Dog Bark Park Inn
7. North Island family hobbits holiday package (Auckland, New Zealand)
You don’t need to be a Tolkien fan to appreciate the gorgeous scenery on this seven-day tour of New Zealand. You’ll start in the city of Aukland, then drive through Middle Earth (aka Matamata). Hobbits aside, stops include Napier, New Zealand’s art deco capital, and Taupo, where you can opt to bungee jump or skydive. On the last day, you can also opt into an official Lord of the Rings tour through Wellington.
North Island family hobbits holiday Package, starting at $3,800 per family at NZ Travel Organiser