Western US

12 Best California Family Vacation Ideas Kids Love

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that California is also known as the Golden State. With breathtaking sceneries extending from mountains to desert and ocean, a mild climate, and exciting big cities and quaint towns, California offers golden opportunities to experience different worlds within its borders. The best part is that no matter where you go, the kids will be alright; these 12 destinations are perfect for families who want to create memories for a lifetime.

Cheap Spring Break Travel Ideas for Families on a Budget

Is there a way to travel for cheap with kids during spring break? The short answer is... yes!

While some might automatically head to Orlando or even the Caribbean for spring break, airfare for a family of four can quickly add up to waaaay over budget. Families-in-the-know deploy a few tricks to plan a fun spring break vacation for the kids without blowing their mortgage payment, from scoring a secret deal to compromising a bit on the location.

There are plenty of family-friendly cities and destinations that cost a bit less but don’t scrimp on the family attractions, including top museums, eateries, beaches, and even amusement parks.

Read on for some of our editors’ favorite hacks in planning a cheap spring break and where they like to vacation as a family!

Visiting Dallas, TX With Kids: Top 20 Things to Do

Visiting one of Texas' largest cities is just as daunting as visiting the state itself - it's so huge! We've narrowed down our favorite things to do and places to go in Dallas with our kids. Our biggest takeaway each time we visit friends in the area is how there is always something new to discover. The museums and gardens are top-notch, and because it's Texas you'll find delicious barbecue and Tex-Mex at virtually every corner. There's no shortage of reasons to love this city.

For more Texas-sized fun, check out our kid-friendly guide to San Antonio, Austin, and a plethora of things to do in Houston.

Best Family Travel of 2018: Great Cities, Beaches, Hotels, and Memories

Our Mommy Poppins families really traveled this year! We scoped out some amazing cities with our kids in tow, from New Orleans to Santa Barbara, up to Vancouver and over to Chicago.

There were some epic science museums to explore, Christmas towns to make us cheery, gorgeous beaches, fun at amusement parks, and of course, a slew of entertaining family-friendly resorts, from Mexico and the Caribbean to Los Angeles and New England ski resorts.

So if you’re planning your next family vacation, take a look at our favorite destinations from the last year, including these warmer climates for February or spring break. In each profile, we highlight the most kid-friendly activities and events and let you know what to skip with toddlers or what to see with the teens.

25 Fun Things to Do in Jackson Hole with Kids

Old West charm? Check. Rugged natural beauty? Check. Toss in four seasons of family-centric fun, and Jackson Hole is an ideal place to introduce kids to the American West. Our extended family—including eight kids between the ages of 3 and 13—went to this postcard-perfect Wyoming valley situated south of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park over the summer. But we're already dreaming of returning in the winter for ski and sleigh-ride adventures. 

To quote my 6-year-old during one action-packed July day that started with a zip on a "cowboy coaster" and ended with a moose sighting in the backyard of our rental house: "There's just too much to do in Jackson Hole!" To help guide little cowpokes and parents, we've handpicked 25 special activities that will see you through both warm and wintry weather in Wyoming.

For a Mountain West adventure in a more urban setting, read our guide to Denver. Happy trails!

Top 10 Christmas Towns and Villages That Absolutely Sparkle

When it comes to the best places to visit for Christmas as a family, there are plenty of holiday travel options. You can head to Rome and Vatican City to soak in the religion of it all. Vienna, beautifully drenched in festive lights, boasts first-rate Christmas markets and concerts. Head north to Lapland, Finland, to visit Santa’s official hometown. Or, if you want to lie beneath Christmas-lit palm trees, a Caribbean vacation might do the trick.

Yet, some of the best Christmas towns and bedecked Christmas villages are actually right here in the US, offering those traveling with small kids a way to save on money and time. These local destinations go all out for Christmas with unique holiday light shows, special performances, and plenty of opportunities to meet with Santa Claus.

Read on for some of our favorite Christmas vacation ideas for those looking to get into the holiday spirit in a big way, from New York City to Williamsburg, Virginia, to Newport Beach, California. Find even more ideas in our Family Travel Guide.

7 Best Train Ride Day Trips To Take from Los Angeles

One of the best parts about living in Los Angeles is getting out of Los Angeles. With an unending supply of beaches, mountains, deserts, and historic highways just a short distance away from the city, there’s always an excuse for a day trip. But what are the options if you’re looking to leave cars out of the equation and travel by train to your favorite SoCal destination? Here are a few of the best spots Angelenos can get to by rail and still be home by bedtime.

Is Your Family Ready for a Ghost Town Vacation at this Popular SoCal Tourist Spot?

If you thought vacations in ghost towns were only for sitcom families, think again! Just a short drive from LA is the Calico Ghost Town, an old mining town that boomed in the 1880s but was abandoned not long after. Walter Knott, of Knott's Berry Farm fame, restored the town in the 1950s into a Wild West locale perfect for a family vacation. And while Calico may or may not have actual haunted houses, it can be a wonderful Halloween month outing all the same.

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