By Ash Stevens
What’s fun for kids isn’t exactly fun for adults. I’m reminded of this each and every time we’re standing in a mile-long line at whatever school festival or “fun family entertainment” I struggled to get us all to. As I stand around hoping to catch a whiff of alcohol coming from the “water bottle” of a smarter, more-prepared parent, I remember why I don’t do these things. They’re not fun. Because, let’s be honest, these kinds of things cater to kids. There aren’t any jump houses, or craft tables, or fun zones for adults. Instead, adults double as line holders and coat racks.
If you’re like me, this kind of “family fun” just ain’t cuttin’ it. Vacations need to be about more than waiting in lines and shaking hands with cartoon characters. We need legitimate quality time that as much about fun as it is about family. And for all ages! So, whether you’re aching for a hands-on fun, movie-inspired experiences, or a spiritual vacay, these ideas can do it all…
Explore The Outdoors On A Dude Ranch
Whether you’re looking to shake off the stress of work or school, an escape to the countryside is the surest way to do it. Modern life has us lost in our phones, tablets, and computers, but that’s not an option at a Dude Ranch. Fresh country air and lush hills provide scenery and peace that will awaken something in everybody. A Dude Ranch gets families tapped back into nature with fun activities and exciting new challenges like archery, hiking, western dancing, mountain biking, canoeing, snowshoeing, fishing, shooting, swimming, games, or even outdoorsy spa treatment. Families itching to lay beneath the starry sky of a great American forest can find a scenic Dude Ranch in a national park.
Hit The East Coast For Thrifty Fun
South Carolina may not be on the top 10 list of vacation spots, but the coastal scenes and local fun will turn Myrtle Beach into a must-visit. The city boasts miles of beaches for sunbathing, surfing, and snorkeling, and it comes with miles and miles of golf courses. The city is home to an array of theme parks for daytime fun, plus pirate and medieval themed dinner shows or live theater for entertaining evenings. Myrtle Beach is also home to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! It caters to kids of all ages with an Odditorium (complete with an 8ft tall car scrap robot and shrunken heads), an Aquarium, a 5-D Theater, a Mirror Maze, and their super-spooky Haunted Adventure. And admission only costs $15! Considering the beaches and entertainment, it’s no surprise that U.S. News rates Myrtle Beach #1 for best cheap spring break destinations.
Go On Holistic Hiatus For A Yogi-Family Vacay
Spiritual mamas and natural papas looking for some quality family time need look no further than yoga-inspired family retreats. Get ready to fly, because the ultimate may be Playa Viva of Juluchuca, Mexico. The family retreat boasts an organic garden, a wildlife estuary, tons of yoga workshops, sunny beaches to explore, a lively ocean for surfing (and, naturally, yoga surf training). Families can even fit in meaningful awakenings into their vacay by releasing baby turtles or volunteering at nearby schools (just the thought of it makes me teary!). If your soul is already aching at the thought of Spring Break, then stay away from the pictures of their tree houses. They’re just… too… good.
Of course, this kind of magical yoga-esque vacation amazing comes with an astonishing price tag. Beautiful moments are certainly worth a pretty penny, but then, a kid’s gotta eat. That’s okay though! Families itching for a spiritual getaway can pick from a list of treehouse resorts in America. They range from rustic and mystical, to upscale and modern, and they’re all equal parts fun and peaceful.
Take A Break From Entertaining With Legoland
Whether it’s Lego blocks, Lego movies, or Lego video games, family homes boast the brand in one form or another. Lego’s ingenious marketing and spot-on human makes Lego as cherished by children and adults alike; making San Diego’s Legoland a must. The theme park is packed with rides and attractions, including Miniland USA, toddler-friendly DUPLO Village, Dino Island, a water park, and their latest-and-greatest, Ninjago World. There are attractions and activities and LEGO models everywhere, which may make Legoland as fun for adults as it is for kids.
Legoland fits kids from toddlers to tweens. They even make family fun mom-friendly with their “Modern Mom Baby Care Center” that’s square in the middle of Fun Town (really). It includes amenities for easy diaper-changes, rocking chairs for nursing, and even high chairs and refrigerators. And if you’re staying overnight, seriously consider booking a room at the LEGO Resort. You’ll get exclusive early access to the theme park before it opens it’s doors to the public — a huge plus — plus a seriously amazing hotel. The hotel has themed rooms, building competitions, minifigure trading, life-sized LEGO playland, a treasure hunt, disco elevator, and on, and on, and on. Young or old, that’s just awesome!
Turn Family-Favorite Movies Into Real-Life Fun
Universal’s Islands of Adventure offer rides and attractions for every movie fan. As of today, they have eight different themed islands. Marvel fans can gawk at the sights of Marvel Super Heroes islands. Lovers of ancient myths and legends can immerse themselves in the world of The Lost Continent. Even adults and toddlers can join together for fun with the colorful rides and imaginative stops in Seuss Landing. And, of course, there’s the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter; a Potter fan’s dream come true. Of course, a trip to Hogwart’s ensures hours of walking and standing in line with fellow diehard fans (although this can be helped by booking a room in a Universal Hotel Resort), the Harry Potter attraction makes the Islands Of Adventure mandatory for Potter fans of all ages.
The immersive experience has everyone feeling as though they’re really at Hogwart’s, and it’s obviously working because tickets sell like hotcakes. But you don’t have to be a Potter fan to make the most of this credit card buy. Superhero fans and Seuss-lovin’ tots can meet a full-costumed Spider Man, Cat In The Hat, Captain America, Storm, or Betty Boop. The toy shops alone are an adventure!
Ash Stevens is a gardener, a writer, and a fan of all things green. Her love for health and sustainability began with her journey into motherhood, and it’s grown exponentially ever since. She’s passionate about living a healthy lifestyle through gardening, cooking, and spending time outdoors. If she isn’t writing or reading up on exciting green trends, she’s probably playing Connect Four or swimming in the river with the kids. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.