Taking a weekend for a family trip is fun. The change of scenery and living habits though short-lived is just what the doctor prescribes to get out of the daily grind. Family weekend trips should be fun for kids and adults alike, so take a peek at the selection we have for you and start planning your next weekend away. We’ve divided this selection in terms of part of the world you live in, as weekends spent on a plane are never interesting, however, feel free to consider our worldwide suggestions for a more extended family holiday.
20 Fun Places to Go with Family for Weekend Fun
Disneyworld, and the likes are all very good, but here’s something if you need a change of scenery.
1. Mystic, Connecticut
This seaside city is all about water and sea life. Visit the seals and the dolphins at the Aquarium, or explore the Seaport Museum, for a taste of sea life. If thrill and adventure is more your thing, look no further than the Fields of Fire Adventure park, filled with zip lines and aerial courses, or go for a speed boat race at the Mystic Boat Adventures.
2. Rapid City, South Dakota
Famous for and home to, this Midwestern spot is rich in hiking trails and camping spots, as well as Native American heritage and cowboy history. A stone throw away from Badlands National Park, this thriving city is home to the , , and, a quaint wonderland and playground where kids happily spend hours.
3. West Yellowstone, Montana
Though it may be a small town (especially in comparison to the vast mountains that surround it), West Yellowstone packs massive opportunities for fun. Scavenge for gems in Yellowstone National Park and experience the most famous geyser in the world, Old Faithful, or step it up a notch with down Yellowstone River and getting up close with bears and wolves at the. A weekend getaway with kids to this Montana locale will definitely be filled with excitement.
4. Riviera Maya, Mexico
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If your dream weekend getaway is by the sea, look no further than the Mayan Riviera. Lovely beaches with an array of water sports to try, together with Mayan ruins exploration in Coba and Tulum, topped off with some hiking and swimming with dolphins at the eco-adventure parks of Xel-Ha and Xcaret. There’s plenty to do and see at Riviera Maya.
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Immerse yourself and your kids in American history, in the city where the founders met to write and sign the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States. Visit the historic districts to see the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin’s house and Independence Hall. Check out the science and natural history museums and let your kids run wild in Fairmont Park.
If you live in Europe, the most amazing places are only a short flight, and/or drive away.
6. London, England
A favorite with my children, it offers an amazing amount of mind-boggling experiences for young and old. Great destinations for kids include the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, both full of fun facts and activities to try andThe British Museum with its authentic mummies and Roman artifacts. The Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace should not escape your notice. A short train-ride away you can find Hogwards, for all those Harry Potter fans out there.
7. Rome, Italy
For history enthusiasts, or simply because gladiators are cool, Rome with its ancient ruins, its lovely piazzas, and its fantastic food is a definite family destination. The Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, and even the possibility to attend gladiator school will keep your children entertained and begging to return.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
Hans Christian Anderson tales come to life in this Nordic city, just ask the sad little mermaid in the harbour, or the magical Round Tower, with its amazing equestrian staircase. Copenhagen's amusement park, Tivoli, features a handful of adrenaline rides, but also flower gardens, funfair booths, a lake, good dining venues and a romantic air in the evenings. Some spectacular castles are just half an hour's train ride away, so make the most of your stay.
9. Munich, German
This Bavarian city is famous for its Oktoberfest, but also for the handcrafted toys you can admire in the Toy Museum. This city is also home to Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's fairy castle, and the Deutsches Museum, one of the largest and oldest science museums in the world. An hour drive away, you can also visit Europa Park, an amusement park where all rides and attractions are themed after different European Countries.
10. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The city with its lovely canals is picture-postcard perfect, so start by touring it by bicycle or by boat. Visit Van Gogh museum, the flower markets, and if your children are older, you might want to visit Anne Frank House. If you've got extra time, why not squeeze in a side-trip to Efteling, Holland's favorite theme park - and the best for under-8s in Europe, according to the Daily Telegraph.
With its temperate climat, Lisbon, with its century-old wooden trams and iron funicular, is a child-pleasing year-round destination. Visit the Oceanarium and the Science Museum and after winding through the medieval streets of Lisbon's most ancient neighbourhood, Alfama, go for a tram ride all the way to Belem with its unique architecture and world-famous custard pies.
12. Zermatt, Switzerland
If you’re looking for chocolate-box perfection, look no further than Zermatt. This Alpine village offers view to the Matterhorn, Europe highest peak, and amazing ski facilities in winter. Don’t leave without learning to ski, trying the fondue and going for a ride in its fantastic cable cars.
13. Tokyo, Japan
With 25+ amusement parks, 500+ gardens and parks, and 11 Zoos and Aquariums, there will be no shortage of ideas on how to fill your weekend, or maybe you should consider a full week, or two?
15. Shanghai, China
Packed with amusement parks and a short distance away from picturesque ancient villages such as Zhujiajiao, a village on water, and Zhouzhuang with its fantastic oriental style gardens, Shanghai is sure to please both young and old.
Singapore is loaded with fun activities for families. It’s easy to get around, has colorful neighborhoods, and a mind-boggling array of food, shopping, and entertainment options. Kids will be most interested in the Night Safari, Sentosa Island, and the Science Centre but you could spend a week here and not be bored.
17. Bali, Indonesia
Apart from the beach, the fabulous food and the amazing weather, Bali also boasts an incredible amount of water-parks and tree-top parks for kids, as well as lots of opportunities to get up close and personal with elephants, zebras, dolphins, etc.
Middle East and Africa
18. Dubai, UAE
A modern city through and through, Dubai offers wonderful beaches, desert safari adventures and colorful Souks where you can haggle for virtually anything. It boasts several water parks, but the most iconic is Aqua-Ventura, in Atlantis the Palm Hotel. It’s a huge water park, with amazing rides, and where the balmy temperature allows kids to splash away for an hour on end.
19. Cairo, Egypt
Cairo is a bustling city, where Egyptian ancient culture and atmosphere coexist with modern city life. Museums, mosques and souks aplenty, but the main attraction for kids is Giza and its pyramids. Book a day trip and travel on camel back, visit the ancient tombs of pharaohs and soak in ancient Egyptian culture.
20. Kruger National Park, in South Africa
Animals galore, of all shapes and sizes, are to be found at this amazing national park. Pack your camera and your kids and go for a fun-filled weekend in the jungle.
Activities and Ideas for Weekend Fun
If your budget or commitments don’t allow for a weekend getaway, there’s always tons of activities you can indulge in for some family weekend fun. Why don’t you give one of our suggestions a go for the following weekend?
- Try learning a new sport with the kids, like golf, or white-water rafting, and prepare to laugh your head off with all the antics.
- Go for a nature walk, where you try to identify different species of plants and insects, wildlife, etc. Bring a picnic and make a day out of it.
- Stay indoors and plan a trip down memory lane, using all the photos you’ve taken from them since birth. You’d be amazed at how entertaining they think they are.
- Go to the beach, even during winter time - weather permitting, and fly a kite, or hunt for shells or pretty pebbles.
- The library is always a good idea.
Google up all the possibilities in your region and consider that a fun afternoon is better than no fun at all. It doesn’t take much to entertain kids, as long as the mood is right, and believe me these memories will last for much longer than a weekend.