Video: Best Family Adventures 2015

This year, embark on an adventure that the whole family will love.
Matelly / Cultura / Getty Images

Pile Everybody Into the Car

Family-friendly destinations accommodate all your travel companions — whether they include babies, pets, teenagers, grandparents, or all of the above. From the wide selection of parks in Orlando to the golfing, shopping and swimming in Myrtle Beach, family trips are a time for enjoying what you love with the people you love.

Get Inspired

Even the youngest family members can set off on a family-friendly hike at a local park. 960 1280

  

Fill up a bushel of crunchy, ripe apples perfect for apple pie or homemade applesauce. 960 1280

  

Pick the best pumpkin in the patch for decorating and pumpkin-carving. 960 1280

  

State fairs continue on into the fall. You can also head to a local amusement park for one more spin on the Ferris wheel. 960 1280

  

Check out family programs at local museums for a day of culture and fun. 960 1280

  

Cool museum exhibits expose kids to culture, art, history and science outside of the classroom. 960 1280

  

Head to the nearest zoo for an animal adventure in the great outdoors. 960 1280

  

An African safari may be out of the budget, but you can get close to extra-large animals at a local zoo. 960 1280

  

Don't pack away that swimsuit yet. Visit an indoor water park or hotel pool for wet and wild fun. 960 1280

  

Anthem of the Seas
1) Go on a Multi-Generational Family Cruise

1) Go on a Multi-Generational Family Cruise

Whether you set sail for the Caribbean on a large ship, like Royal Caribbean’s new Anthem of the Seas, or explore Alaska’s Inner Passage on-board a small ship, like the Admiralty Dream with Alaska Dream Cruises, it’s a must to cruise as a family. Enjoy on-ship activities together, like waterslides and hands-on programs, then disembark at each port for horseback riding, kayaking and exploration. A cruise is ideal for a multi-generational vacation, so invite grandparents along for the fun. 960 1280
2) Visit the Most Famous Mouse in the World

2) Visit the Most Famous Mouse in the World

Every family should visit Walt Disney World at least once for the rides, character meet-and-greets, parades and magic that is uniquely Disney. Spend time at each of the four parks, including Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, as well as Disney Springs. Seeing Cinderella’s castle in-person is truly indescribable. Stay on-property for Extra Magic Hours, which allow guests to arrive early or stay late at a different park each day. 960 1280
3) Take a National Park Vacation

3) Take a National Park Vacation

The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, so there’s no better time to introduce your children to our national parks. Peer into the Grand Canyon or watch Old Faithful erupt at Yellowstone. Pick up a Junior Ranger activity booklet at visitors centers so your kids can earn a badge at each national park. Kick the experience up a notch by booking with an outfitter like Tracks & Trails, which sets you up in an RV, arranges your camp sites and provides a personalized itinerary. 960 1280

Erin Gifford  

4) Explore Our Nation’s Capital

4) Explore Our Nation’s Capital

Every child should visit Washington, DC, to see our government in action. Take a tour of the U.S. Capitol and spend time in the House or Senate Gallery, peering down on legislators as they craft our nation’s laws. Head to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, then take a public tour of the White House (you’ll need to submit a tour request ahead of time through your Member of Congress). 960 1280
5) Take a Family Road Trip

5) Take a Family Road Trip

There’s nothing like piling into the minivan and taking a family road trip. It’s family bonding at its finest. Spend at least a week or two on the road and make stops at Instagram-worthy roadside attractions, like Wall Drug in South Dakota and Foamhenge in Virginia. Travel up the scenic coastline of California from Los Angeles to the Redwoods. Opt for a historical road trip from Boston to Washington, DC, making stops along the way in Mystic, CT, Gettysburg, PA, and Philadelphia. 960 1280
6) See the Big Apple and Lady Liberty

6) See the Big Apple and Lady Liberty

From watching a Broadway show to taking in the views from the top of the Empire State Building to marveling at Times Square all lit up a night, the New York City is a place that every child should visit. Take the ferry to Ellis Island and climb all 354 steps to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Once back on the ground, take a ranger tour at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum for a look at what it was like coming to America and seeing Lady Liberty for the first time.  960 1280

Erin Gifford  

7) Take a Family Heritage Trip

7) Take a Family Heritage Trip

Before your kids spread their wings and go out into the world, they should learn about and visit where they’re from. Do some research (a site similar to Ancestry.com can help) and plan a trip to the place where your family first lay down its roots. Beyond countries and villages, dig deeper to seek out the farms where family once lived and the cemeteries where they are buried today. Family Tree Tours offers private and group genealogy tours to see how and where your ancestors lived. 960 1280
8) Do Volunteer Work Abroad

8) Do Volunteer Work Abroad

Take your kids to see a part of the world where children are less privileged – without cell phones, iPads, even regular access to clean water – to put their own lives in perspective. Projects Abroad organizes short-term volunteer programs overseas for students as young as 16 to travel and work during school breaks. Or give back as a family during a cruise through a non-profit like Together for Good, which lists opportunities with schools, orphanages and shelters in the Caribbean and Mexico. 960 1280

Projects Abroad  

9) Try an Adventure by Train

9) Try an Adventure by Train

There’s something magical about traveling by train, experiencing the landscape of America through the big windows of a railcar. Vacations by Rail offers one- and two-week rail trips that enable families to experience national parks and urban destinations such as Boston and Chicago. Or head up to Alaska and board a train with the Alaska Railroad, which pairs train travel with stops for dog sledding, day cruises, even iceberg hikes and river floats. 960 1280
10) Go Camping

10) Go Camping

Get your kids out into the great outdoors for tent camping, foil recipes, s’mores and hiking. Start out at a campground, not at a backcountry site, and keep the adventure gadget-free (as best as you can). Many campgrounds, particularly KOA and Jellystone Park sites, have swimming pools and playgrounds, even mini golf courses. However, you may want to have some activities in your back pocket, like these 10 Fun Camping Games for Kids (scavenger hunts, obstacle courses, etc.). 960 1280

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