Western US

Why Legoland Is My Favorite SoCal Theme Park

Southern California is blessed with some of the world's most famous theme parks; families travel from all over to experience Disneyland and the original Universal Studios Hollywood (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)—but just 90 miles to the south, in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, is a park that has at least as much to offer as the mouse and the wizard. There is a whole lot more to Legoland California than bricks, and truth be told I prefer a day there to any other major theme park.

Driving Big Sur with Kids: 10 Spots Not To Miss Along the Way

California's rugged, woodsy, 90-mile-long Big Sur coastline is an enchanting and iconic wonderland of beautiful beaches, unspoiled state parks, and redwood forests we've recommended for families before. No doubt, Big Sur is an ideal destination for nature lovers—and perhaps in your pre-parenting days, just lovers. But while traveling this road with kids might be a little less romantic, it can be just as memorable. From hiking to exploring, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy this Central California paradise.

Santa Ynez Valley: a California Paradise of Kid-friendly Wineries

Located near Santa Barbara and just two hours away from LA, Santa Ynez Valley feels a world away — it features a cluster of picturesque towns with distinctive charm and hills that stretch for days. Its unusual mountain range orientation (from east to west, rather than north to south) creates microclimates that allow the growth of more than 50 varieties of grapes, making this region (like kid-friendly Temecula) every wine aficionado’s Valhalla.

Last Minute Campgrounds for Escaping LA on a Moment's Notice

Wouldn't it be great if you could go camping this weekend? Well, guess what—you can! Just because you didn't plan your camping trip months in advance—like all of those annoyingly organized people on Catalina Island this weekend probably did—doesn't mean your tent has to stay in the bag. Pitch that tent tomorrow at one of these SoCal campgrounds that accommodate last minute campers, and then break out the marshmallows.

15 Best Campgrounds for Tent Camping with Kids Near LA

Marshmallows. Check. Bug spray. Check. Air mattress. Check. Camping season is upon us. Hurrah! And thankfully in this multi-terrain region of ours, you don't need to go far to enjoy a night or two under the stars. A weekend without electronics, breathing fresh air, and enjoying meals over the campfire: all this can be yours without driving more than an hour or two—in some cases even less! Read on to find an easy destination for you and your happy campers. (And if the one you want is full this weekend, check out a few last minute camping spots.)

Insider’s Guide to Haines, Alaska: 21 Top Things to Do with Kids

Alaska is a dream destination on many family travel bucket lists. The way most people experience the state is to hop on one of the many cruises that travel up the Inside Passage. Cruising is particularly suited for Alaska travel because the scenery from the ship is beautiful and the destinations are hard to reach otherwise. But, as with many things in travel, the easiest road often passes by the best destinations.

Haines, Alaska, is one of those gems that is often missed by family cruisers. If you have the option to take a cruise that stops in Haines, or can take an excursion to Haines (an option from Skagway), I highly recommend it. Or, if you want to plan your own Alaska trip, you could easily spend a week in Haines without running out of amazing things to do with the kids, from bear watching and fishing to exploring some really unique museums.

Star Wars, Potter, and More New Theme Park Rides at Disney and Beyond

Amusement parks are a spring break and family vacation staple. From coast to coast, amusement and water parks abound, offering fun and thrills to parents and children ranging from toddlers to teens alike.

While there's never any shortage of excitement, having an opportunity to check out new attractions only adds to the kids' enjoyment. Take a look at which popular destinations are introducing everything from state-of-the-art roller coasters to gentle kiddie rides, and which are celebrating the opening of entirely new sections of their already-enticing parks in 2019. We've rounded up new rides (including water park fun) from California's Disneyland to Orlando, Florida and even along the New Jersey Shore boardwalks and in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Texas.

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