What a great time to take the family on a vacation. Today, you can easily combine all the fun of adventure with the comforts of home, thanks to kid-friendly museums, cruises and restaurants. Even if you don’t have children, try out our suggestions below to help you find your inner child.
New York City - Take Manhattan by storm. For a fun and educational trip to see where many American stories began, ride the ferry to visit Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. On Ellis Island, check out the 10,000 square foot Ellis Island Immigration Museum where you can search the Wall of Honor, the world’s largest wall of names, for your ancestors. Then, for a more playful outing, try crawling through an intestinal tract at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. The museum has five floors of interactive displays, games and art work.
Boston - The Children's Museum of Boston is an adult-friendly adventure for kids, complete with rock climbing, a theater and a host of interactive and tactile exhibits. After you fill your brains at the museum, head to Cambridge to fill your stomachs at Full Moon. This award-winning, family-friendly restaurant has a play station complete with kitchenette, dollhouse and games for the kids while the parents or grandparents enjoy gourmet dishes such as grilled sirloin with blue cheese butter and cod cakes with greens and caper mayo.
San Francisco - San Francisco is easy to navigate –a great walking city with cable cars thrown in for extra fun. With over 1,000 acres of activities, Golden Gate Park is packed with days of busy amusement. Rent pedal boats on Stow Lake, ogle the fishes and reptiles at Steinhart Aquarium, hitch a ride on one of 62 menagerie animals on the historic carousel, or see the real things, at the San Francisco Zoo, just south of the Park. For some indoor fun, try out your science skills at the Exploratorium, one of the best science museums in the world. Every exhibit is hands-on and teaches children (and you) about science through fun and interactive displays.
Philadelphia - Kids love those creepy crawly critters? The Philadelphia Insectarium is the place to go, with both live and preserved insects on display. Children will have the chance to look at, hold, play with and even eat the inhabitants of the insect world. The museum’s exhibits range from Madagascar hissing cockroaches to Mexican tarantulas and glow-in-the-dark scorpions. If you think it’s hard to get children to eat their vegetables, try offering them the Insectarium house specialty – chocolate-covered crickets
Los Angeles - So much to do…and so much room to do it. Go to the beach (look for movie stars in Malibu), visit the mastodons at the La Brea Tarpits, stargaze with the amateurs and professionals lined up at the Griffith Observatory, learn about the Wild West at The Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Griffith Park, compare hand- and footprints at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, go to the Hollywood Bowl, spend the weekend going to all the newest movies, take a studio tour, shop, eat and enjoy.