The Best Vacation Spots for Kids

The Best Vacation Spots for Kids
Everyone needs a break sometimes, and that includes kids. Finding a location that combines the natural world with educational opportunities is a sure way to keep the kids happy. Whether exploring the coastal redwoods of California in Big Sur, kayaking in one of Minnesota's many lakes or gliding over the Florida Everglades in an airboat, there are numerous options for kids.

Hawaii

Explore volcanoes in Hawaii after making sand castles along the tropical shore. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers lava viewing, cycling, hiking trails, camping sites at 2700 and 4000 feet, a museum with educational exhibits and a Volcano Art Center. Though the park can be driven through along Crater Rim Drive, the best way to experience the park's seven ecological zones is by camping. Aftter the heat of all that lava, cool off by carting the kids to Dolphin Quest, where children can get up close and personal with friends from the sea and learn a little about marine ecology in the process.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawai'i NP, HI 96718
(808) 985-6000
http://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

Dolphin Quest
Hilton Waikoloa Village
425 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa, HI 96738
(808) 886-2875

New York City

Visit the urban monoliths of Manhattan and New York City. Though sometimes thought of as a purely adult place, New York City offers numerous options for children. For little ones who crave dinosaur knowledge, a trip to the American Museum of Natural History is in order. Exhibits focusing on the oceans, mammals, birds, geology, human origins and many others as well as the inspiring Hayden Planetarium are certain to keep them interested. Afterwards, head across the street to Central Park to let out some steam and picnic under a tree. Alternatively, when the weather gets warm, catch the subway out to Coney Island and stroll down the boardwalk. Along the way, kids can visit the New York Aquarium, ride the scream-inducing Cyclone Rollercoaster or splash around in the surf.

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West and 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-5100

New York Aquarium
Surf Avenue and West 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11224
(718) 265-FISH

Yellowstone National Park

Discover just how high the Rocky Mountains really are during a trip to Yellowstone National Park. In addition to the stunning natural scenery of the nations first national park, kids ages five to 12 can become junior rangers or a young scientist. Activities are available year-round and include programs for classrooms on field trips, canoeing, bicycling, horseback riding, llama packing, day hikes, ranger led tours focusing on historical and natural points of interest, wildlife viewing, backpacking and campsites. Yellowstone Lake, geysers like Old Faithful and the odd formations of Sheepeater Cliffs are other must-see highlights.

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
(307) 344-2014

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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