Traveling is an incredible way to bond as a family and experience new places and activities. By taking a family vacation, you’ll be able to relax, explore and enjoy quality time together. For inspiration on fun places to go with kids, check out our 25 family trip ideas. We offer suggestions on where to go, what to do and how to make the most of your time. From outdoor adventures to historical sightseeing, there’s something here for every personality.
Once you’ve returned from your trip, transform your photos into wall art by creating canvas prints. Not only will you have memories to last a lifetime, but beautiful photos to remind you of the special times together.
1. Camp at a State Park
Spending time together in the great outdoors allows you to experience unique happenings: stunning landscapes, active wildlife and unpredictable weather. Build nightly campfires (with s’mores, of course!), go swimming, explore trails and stargaze at night.
2. Take a Multi-Destination Road Trip
Who says a trip has to be just one location? Consider planning a road trip with several stops built in. For example, you could travel from Boston to Acadia National Park in Maine, seeing Portland and Augusta along the way. Or, you could journey to West Virginia for white water rafting, but make a pitstop at Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. Create a map with the places you’ll go as a fun way to see the country and experience plenty of new things all in one trip.
3. Hike a Mountain Trail or River
Stretch your legs to see the summit of a mountain or a serene river bend. Choose a local route or go somewhere further away to capture nature’s beauty. Want ideas of fun places to go with kids? Opt for a National or State Park that offers kid-friendly educational activities and explorations.
4. Visit Legendary Museums
Whether you’re heading to New York City or Washington, D.C., there are plenty of fascinating museums for the whole family in every city. From the Guggenheim to the National Air and Space Museum, there’s plenty to learn and explore together.
5. Attend a Fair or Festival
Pick your destination based on a fun event you’d like to experience as a family. Find an art, music or food festival that’s family-friendly. Try searching for festivals based on the season. For summer vacation ideas, search for outdoor festivals like tulip celebrations or sand castle contests. In the winter, an indoor event themed around the holidays can be just as fun.
6. Go Canoeing
Take a ride down a flowing river in a family-sized canoe. Everyone can pitch in and take turns with the oars. Pack snacks and lunch for a relaxing, unforgettable day.
7. Head to an Island
Set off on an exciting journey in a ferry. Whether it’s to Mackinac Island in Michigan or Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles, a boat will bring you to a whole new world. Spend time on the beach, investigate island life and soak in the exclusive experience.
8. Play at a Water Park
Bursting with entertainment for everyone, water parks provide huge waves of fun. From slippery slides to lazy rivers, the family can kick back, relax and enjoy the sunshine. Pack your lunches ahead of time to save on cost.
9. Ride Horses or Donkeys
Whether it’s on the beach or in the mountains, horseback riding is an easy way to explore a new location. Plan a day trip with horses or consider a donkey in a gorgeous spot like the Grand Canyon. Being with animals is exciting for kids and gives their legs a rest from walking.
10. Take a Cruise
Cruise ships are often family-friendly and provide kid-oriented activities. Ranging from 4 to 12 days (or more), a cruise will bring you to remote places and cultural havens. Most cruises also offer excursions, like snorkeling or sightseeing on bicycles.
11. Volunteer to Help Those in Need
Family vacation ideas don’t have to be all about leisure. Consider adding a volunteer component to your trip, like building houses or working a shift at a food bank. You’ll make special connections to people in the area and feel good about your time together.
12. Rent a Cabin or Cottage
Plan a true getaway near the beach or in the wilderness. A cabin or cottage is accessible for those who enjoy the outdoors but prefer not to camp. You can even invite extended family and friends to join you for some relaxation.
13. Spend Time at a Historical Site
Places rich with history make for interesting, life-changing vacations. Consider these destinations: Boston, Philadelphia, the Alamo and Washington, D.C. Your family will learn about significant people with the chance to see beautiful architecture and important monuments.
14. Tour a Destination by Bike
Get some fresh air and exercise as you explore a new city or countryside. Many cities and tourist destinations have bike rentals if you’re unable to bring your own. Make sure to stay road-safe with helmets and be careful when crossing streets. Stop along the way for beautiful photos and action shots.
15. Visit Friends or Relatives
Have old neighbors that moved away? Or a fun aunt who lives across the country? Consider making their location your vacation destination. If you’re making it a road trip, plan for stops along the way for sightseeing. Remember, the best family vacations focus on the journey.
16. Explore a National Park
National Parks are full of treasures: wildlife, geysers, waterfalls, mountains and lakes. You’ll get to see some of the most stunning backdrops in the country, all while learning about the importance of protecting precious national lands.
17. See a Favorite Sports Team
Have a love for the Arizona Diamondbacks or the San Francisco 49ers? Design your trip with the sports schedule in mind. Purchase your tickets in advance, then choose other activities you’d like to experience in the area.
18. Have Fun at an Amusement Park
Head to an amusement park for the rides, mascots, carnival games and cotton candy. With activities for every age, each kid can choose something they’d like to try.
19. Live on a Houseboat
Give the family an experience they’ll never forget. Rent a houseboat on a pristine lake for a long weekend or a full seven days. The kids can swim and fish right off the porch.
20. Seek Out Zoos and Aquariums
Do your kids love animals? Consider designing your trip around their fascination with wildlife. Opt for a famous spot, like the San Diego Zoo or Shedd Aquarium in Chicago—or find a location that’s home to the animals your little ones love the most.
21. Stop By an Old Hometown or Special Location
Maybe it’s been 10 years since you visited your college town or 20 years since you lived in your first home as a couple. Take the family to see your old stomping grounds and bring them to your favorite restaurants and ice cream shops.
22. Kayak a River
Kick back and coast down a river in kayaks. Photograph wildlife on your way, and pack plenty of food and water for your scenic adventure.
23. Enjoy a Show
A concert, ballet or theater performance can turn your family vacation into an unforgettable experience. Aim for entertainment everyone will appreciate, and see if you can head backstage to meet some of the performers.
24. Take a Food Tour
Choose your destination based on the food you’d love to experience, and consider scheduling a restaurant tour or cooking class. For seafood specials, choose a coastal town. For barbeque sandwiches, head to the south.
25. Relax at the Beach
The best family trip ideas are ones where you know you’ll be able to unwind. Head to the beach—whether it’s a lake or ocean—for sunbathing, frisbee tossing and ice cold lemonade.
When you look back at your time together as a family, you’ll be thankful for the trips you took together. Taking photos can help capture the smiling faces, beautiful backdrops and lasting memories. Remember to compile your trip photos, then choose your favorites for a family photo wall.