From the white sand beaches of Pebbles, Jamaica, to beds in the trees of southern Oregon, summer vacation options for kids have never been so varied. While an Arizona dude ranch caters to little cowpokes, California's LEGOLAND welcomes little builders-to-be. The important thing is to consider your kids' particular interests when deciding on a summer vacation destination.
Disney Wonder and Disney Magic cruise ships sport horizontal rails, round portholes and multiple funnels. While the Goofy Pool is for families, the Mickey Mouse pool is for children only and features a giant water slide. Children three years old and up can enroll in the Ocean Air Club and Ocean Air Lab; for teenagers, the Common Grounds Club is the place to be.
Disney Cruise Line P.O. Box 10238 Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-0238 800-951-3532 disneycruise.disney.go.com/
This all-inclusive Jamaican resort assigns each family with a round-the-clock vacation nanny. Activities include swimming, snorkeling and parasailing, fishing, windsurfing, biking, hiking and teen beach parties. FDR Pebbles has many seasonal offers, including a Families Fly Free deal and Bring the a Grandparents for Free package.
FDR Pebbles P.O. Box 1933 Falmouth, Trelawny Jamaica W. I. 888-FDR-KIDS fdrholidays.com/
LEGOLAND, located one hour south of Anaheim, is home to 30 million lego blocks and over 50 rides and attractions. Sea Life Aquarium, one of the park’s newest attractions, boasts a seven-foot long lego submarine, in addition to Octopus, Sting Ray and Shark Pup feedings, while the Lost Kingdom Adventure-Land of Adventure is an interactive exhibit that allows children to search ancient ruins for buried treasure.
LEGOLAND 1 LEGOLAND Drive Carisbad, California 92008 760-918-LEGO legoland.com/California.htm
Disney's Animal Kindgom Theme Park
Occupying 500 acres of a protected wildlife reserve, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park is home to 250 animal species, including primates, exotic birds, wild felines and several other animals from the African savanna. The Animal Kingdom Lodge, located within the park, features a Uzima pool and a 67-foot waterslide, in addition to a wading pool, playground, 24-hour gaming room and Simba's Clubhouse.
Animal Kingdom Theme Park 2901 Osceola Parkway Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830 407-824-4321 disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/animal-kingdom/
Out 'n' About Treehouse Treesort
Situated just thirty minutes from the Redwood Forest and 20 minutes from the Oregon Caves, this bed and breakfast consists of twelve treehouse suits, sleeping two to eight people comfortably. Treesort activities include hiking, horseback riding, rafting, swimming and zip-line training. Treehouses are reached by ropes, ladders, bridges, spiral tunnels and staircases. The Tarzan Swing--a fifty-foot pendulum swing--is especially popular with children and daring adults.
Out 'n' About Treehouse Treesort LLC & Treehouse Institute 300 Page Creek Road Cave Junction, Oregon 97523 541-592-2208 treehouses.com/
Tanke Verde Ranch
Tanque Verde--meaning Green Pool--lies on 640 acres of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Offering guided desert hiking, canyon exploring, western riding lessons, tennis, swimming and arts and crafts, Tanque Verde’s Kid’s Program is suited for children ages four to 11.
Tanque Verde Ranch 14301 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, Arizona 85748-7100 520-296-6275 tanqueverderanch.com/
Hilton Waikoloa Village
Located on 62 acres of Hawaii’s big island, Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort features the children’s Camp Menehune and Kohala Spa. Activities include tennis, mini-golf, swimming, water sports and the interactive Dolphin Quest, in which the whole family can interact with the beautiful Dolphin fish. Dolphin Quest programs range from Wee Tots, suitable for children of two to four years of age, to Trainer for a Day, suitable for children 10 and older.
Hilton Waikoloa Village 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738 808-886-1234 hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/
Turtle Bay Resort
Turtle Bay Resort, located on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, offers kayaking, horseback riding, helicopter tours and the Keiki Turtle Club for kids. Turtle Club activities include swimming, reef walks, nightly crab hunts, arts and crafts and Hawaiian games.
Turtle Bay Resort 57-091 Kamehameha Highway Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii 96731 800-203-3650 turtlebayresort.com/
When headed to Vegas with the kids, consider the Excalibur Hotel-Casino. Featuring a SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D coaster ride, carnival games, a Wizards Arcade and several pools with waterfalls and slides, Excalibur Hotel-Casino keeps the little ones entertained while the parents game.
Excalubur Hotel-Casino 3850 Las Vegas Blvd. South Las Vegas, Nevada 89109 877-750-5464 excalibur.com/
Yosemite National Park
In addition to the hiking, camping, horseback riding and water sports, Yosemite’s Wee Wild Ones program caters to children ages six and under. Activities include singing, storytelling, arts and crafts and interactive games all pertaining to the area’s indigenous wildlife.
Yosemite National Park 9039 Village Drive Yosemite National Park, California 209-372-0200 yosemitepark.com/