12 Irresistible Destinations Your Kids Will Never Forget

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Children on Royal Caribbean cruise
Courtesy Royal Caribbean
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Kids playing at Pandora in Orlando
Courtesy Walt Disney World

An obvious kid-friendly vacation destination is Orlando, where children first experience amusement park rides, pose for photos with various characters and have tea parties with princesses. If that's not enough to have your kids sharing their experience with their classmates, Toy Story Land opens June 30, 2018, at Disney's Hollywood Studios and kids will never forget the magic of Pandora: The World of Avatar.

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Girl playing in the ocean
©Leo Rivas/Unsplash
San Diego

The beach is the perfect place for family fun; build sandcastles, play in the water or teach your kids a water sport at San Diego's Mission Beach. When the sun goes down, treat the kiddos to arcades, laser tag, rock climbing, bumper cars and roller coasters at Belmont Park, the city's beachfront amusement park. 

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Children playing in a garden
Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden
Washington D.C.

Spark your child's creativity in D.C. where education and unforgettable excitement are intertwined. The U.S. Botanic Gardens introduces children to the world of plants. The National Museum of American History provides hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities for children in the Spark!Lab. Let's also not forget the KidSpy Zone in the Spy Museum.

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Paining at World of Coca Cola
Courtesy World of Coca Cola

A-Town boasts first-class attractions like the Atlanta Beltline, the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola. Adding to the excitement, a Great Wolf Lodge resort opens in May 2018, about an hour outside of the city.

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Seaworld water roller coaster
Courtesy Sea World San Antonio
San Antonio

San Antonio offers plenty of family fun. The San Antonio River Walk has dining, shopping and water tours but for thrills head to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Children will encounter Bugs Bunny on Bugs' White Water Rapids. Cool off at SeaWorld San Antonio on the Wave Breaker and Rio Loco water rides or swim with the dolphins in the lagoon. 

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Kids playing in snow
©Michal Janek/Unsplash
Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado is a winter hot spot that offers fun for the whole family. Kids can ski, snowboard and ice skate at CP Burger in addition to playing mini golf. Families can also bond over cooking classes. In the summer, activities include kayaking, horseback riding and more.

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Children on Royal Caribbean cruise
Courtesy Royal Caribbean
Family Cruise

This vacation is more about the journey than the destination. On Royal Caribbean, children can enjoy the DreamWorks Experience (including photo ops, parades and 3D movies), hang out in the H2O Zone water park, watch outdoor movies and play at the arcade. On Carnival cruises, children can experience “Hasbro, The Game Show,” a “WaterWorks” play area and “Seuss at Sea,” which displays the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss.

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Family on bikes in Williamsburg
Courtesy Visit Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia

Kids will always remember thrills from Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, but the greater Williamsburg area is filled with Civil War and American Revolution history. Families can enjoy taking in art and history museums, kayaking and canoeing at Powhatan Creek Park, listening to the symphony or going fishing with York River Charters.

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Children at water exhibit
Courtesy Children's Museum of Manhattan
New York City

In NYC, families can have educational fun at the National Museum of MathematicsChildren's Museum of ManhattanNew York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. Kids will also love experiencing Harry Potter, Aladdin or Frozen on Broadway. Before you go, visit a real-life candy land at Dylan's Candy Bar or M&M's world

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Children playing
Courtesy Visit Anaheim
Anaheim, California

You may need to plan a visit to Anaheim for a week or two in order to fit in all of the city's best attractions: Raging Waters, Aquarium of the Pacific, the Battleship IOWA Museum, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Six Flags, LEGOLAND and, seriously, the list goes on. Your children will be begging you to bring them back again and again. 

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Child at NASCAR Hall of Fame
Courtesy CharlottesGotAlot.com
Charlotte, North Carolina

Families who love sports will feel right at home in Charlotte. First, take the kids to a Charlotte Hornets NBA game or a Carolina Panthers NFL game. Next, explore Charlotte's race car culture at the GoPro Motorplex and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. To top it all off, take the family to Discovery Place ScienceU.S. National White Water Center or ImaginOn.

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Kid at petting zoo
©Daiga Ellaby/Unsplash

In Chicago, children can experience sea animal encounters at the Shedd Aquarium, explore Navy Pier's games and attractions, ride the endangered species carousel at the Lincoln Park Zoo and go dinosaur hunting during interactive tours and activities at the Field Museum. Kids can also have an awesome hands-on experience at the Kohl Children's Museum.

By Jasmyn Snipes Louis

Family vacations are important. They give parents and children a chance to bond over something new and exciting. Whether visiting amusement parks, relaxing on the beach, competing at an arcade or learning to cook together, there are many destinations families can visit that will provide fun for kids and adults alike.

Pack a bag, load up the car and grab the kids. From Orlando to San Diego, your family will never forget vacationing to these 12 destinations. 

Jasmyn Snipes Louis
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