By Joy Martin /

All about the kids

All About the Kids: Five Awesome Adventures They’ll Love

When it comes to family travel, theme parks are not the only option, nor necessarily where your kids will be happiest. So if your clan isn’t really into overpriced, crowded places, opt for something different, an experience that will stay with them – and you – longer than Mickey Mouse’s tail.

Whether you have curious eight-year-olds or athletic teens, this list represents the expert opinions of the next budding generation themselves. Here are the five most kid-approved destinations to consider for your next family trip-of-a-lifetime:

5. Galapagos Islands

Wit39gps_piqueros_hi-res_4863054181_oh endless exploration and unrivaled moments of discovery, beach destinations speak for themselves, and the Galapagos are the absolute ultimate in island getaways. Snorkel with lizards, gawk at blue-footed boobies, crab walk, cross the Equator multiple times, and get used to grinning from ear-to-ear as you and your offspring come face-to-face with one of the planet’s most animated backdrops. All the while, learn together the magic of science, the wonder of wildlife, and the thrill of sailing around a true world wonder. After this trip, be prepared for your budding young naturalist to skip college and go straight to interning at a real-life marine biology lab…

4. Germany’s Mosel Valley

For the royal offspring in your family, nothing captivates the spirit more than the towering spires of a magnificent castle. If your kids like pedaling bikes (and who doesn’t, really?), then it’s time to cross the pond for a step back in time. Pedal past Roman ruins, climb the crumbling steps of a medieval fortress, and wander the cobblestone streets of enchanting villages as you roam the German countryside with your knights and ladies-in-waiting. At road’s end, they’ll savor that apple strudel with ice cream as much as you’ll cherish a pint of beer or bottle of locally-sourced wine. Nothing but happy endings on this fairy tale adventure.

3. Arizona’s Grand Canyon

PT6A7979A trip that’s guaranteed to please the spectrum of your kin is right in your backyard. Gaze upon the soul-stirring expanse of Grand Canyon before trekking down through millions of years of geologic history to the turquoise-blue waterfalls of Havasu Creek. After one plunge in the 72-degree water, emerge as your eight-year-old self and join your kids in the playful spirit of boundless adventure as you swim, fossil hunt, and stargaze in this genuine desert oasis. This refreshing surprise nestled at the bottom of America’s greatest treasure is a must-see, must-do for families that are looking for an undeniably remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

2. Whistler

From oceans to glaciers and the rivers between, British Columbia presents North America’s premier outdoor playground. For families looking for action-packed days spent exploring fern-laden forests, alpine lakes, and pine-studded mountains, all roads lead to Whistler. Hike wildflower-bedecked meadows, bike Whistler’s winding paths, and raft Cheakamus whitewater as you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and that riverside barbecue around the bend. (And don’t worry about missing Whistler’s epic singletrack; there’s plenty of horseback riding, rock climbing and bungee jumping for the kids to stay busy with while you shred the gnar or hike to the top of whatever peak is calling your name.)

1. Yellowstone

IMG_0530 copyIf you have any animal-lovers in your brood, then a journey through Yellowstone National Park will be like waking in dream-land. From the burping Mud Volcano to somber, majestic bison, their eyes won’t believe what they’re seeing in this menagerie of natural wonders. The land of Old Faithful’s spouting bursts delivers in every sense of the word, as you explore via horse, boat, and foot. While your appreciation for national parks swells, so do your child’s insights grow deeper by the day as they put their hard-earned Junior Ranger skills to use identifying elk, bear, moose and maybe even the elusive wolf. And just think of your family photo for the holiday cards next year!


Looking for more family travel inspiration? Check out Outdoor Families Magazine, MiniTime, and Flashpacker Family.

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