Western US

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.

Family-Friendly Farm Stays: Meet the Animals and Work the Farm

Farm stays provide guests of all ages with a taste of farm life. Whether by milking cows and collecting eggs, or gathering fresh fruit from a pineapple plant for breakfast, families who choose to stay at a farm hotel, which might be cabin, house, or even a tent, will likely have more fun than Old MacDonald led you to believe is possible.

Time your farm stay with the kids for spring, summer, or even fall. Check out which seasonal activities might be going on before picking the dates of your farm vacation, as well as the location. We've rounded up 10 of our favorite farm "hotels" around the country, from Maine to Texas to California.

I've found that farmer-hosts have a strong desire to educate little farmers on how to live a more sustainable and balanced life. Unplug, relax, and enjoy the fruits of a hard day’s work around a campfire. Lessons learned on these farms will stay with you long after you return home. 

Find more vacation ideas and weekend getaways in our Family Travel Guide, or check out your local Farm Fun Guide for local petting zoos, harvest festivals, and pick-your-own fun.

Temecula's Kid-friendly Wineries May Be the Perfect SoCal Family Getaway

Going wine tasting with kids in tow seems counterintuitive. How can you fully savor each red, white, and rosé, if you’re pulled in a thousand directions by your toddler? How can you go to a winery if children are not even allowed inside? It turns out that there are some kid-friendly wineries out there (hurray!), where being a wine enthusiast and a parent is totally feasible and enjoyable, too. Some of them are conveniently located just two hours away from LA in sunny Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country.

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