We’ve hit that time of year when parents are contemplating a quick spring family getaway or tossing around ideas about where to go for the annual summer vacation with the kids. Inspired by Lonely Planet’s list of hot new attractions for kids this year, we decided to throw in a couple hotel ideas, too, to complete the perfect family vacation. Here are the most amazing attractions to add to your family’s travel bucket list, and where you should stay when you’re visiting these new spectacular sights – from Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in Florida to the Lego House in Denmark to the Monopoly Mansion in Kuala Lumpur.
1. LEGO House (Billund, Denmark)
If parents and kids are fans of the blockbuster hit, Lego Movie, then consider a trip to Denmark to visit the Lego House also known as “The Home of the Brick.” Almost 3 acres filled with 25 million LEGO bricks, this museum and experiential space is specifically constructed to focus on learning through play, with different zones for creativity, cognitive ability, emotion and social play. The LEGO House features a Masterpiece Gallery and History Collection to explain how it all began. There’s also plenty to explore both within and outside the ticketed zones so you don’t have to break the family bank. Visitors can explore the LEGO shop, the LEGO forum, eat at the 3 restaurants, and have fun in the play areas located on the rooftop terraces!
Where to Stay: Although it’s a 3-hour drive away or a 50-minute flight, Copenhagen should also be on your list of places to visit while you’re in Denmark. Consider an extended vacation and stay at the family-friendly Hotel Sanders or Nimb in Copenhagen. Book your stay with a Vacation travel agent to receive added-value perks such as a food and beverage credit, wellness credit, and an upgrade upon availability at time of check-in.
2. Live Wire Park (LORNE, VICTORIA, Australia)
Spend your family vacation outdoors at the family-owned, environmentally-friendly Live Wire Park. This new attraction in Lorne, Australia, features the 1,715-foot-long Shockwave Zip Coaster, an extreme zip line experience. Test your physical fitness on the Super Circuit, with 53 mid-air trails, suspended bridges, tree-scaling activities, Tarzan swing and a QuickJump bungee. For kids between 7 and 15 years old, the Short Circuit has 26 activities, including a range of kid-friendly obstacle courses. Once everyone’s heart rates have returned to normal, you can chill out on the beach in the beautiful coastal town of Lorne on the Great Ocean Road.
Where to Stay: Consult a travel agent to book your stay at the luxurious Park Hyatt Melbourne located in the heart of the city and also include a private transfer for the 2-hour drive to and from Live Wire Park. Book your stay with us and get perks, including a $100 food and beverage credit as well as complimentary continental breakfast for 2 for every day.
3. Sports Legend Experience (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Families can plan a whole day at the Riley Children’s Health and Sports Legend Experience, a new addition to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. The permanent fixture of the museum includes 12 outdoor sports experiences, 3 outdoor exhibits and inspiring sports history. Adrenaline-pumping, fun itineraries are available for Varsity Teams (Family), Junior Varsity Players (Ages 7-13) and Little Sports Legends (Ages 2-6). Some featured activities include creating your own sports art at the National Art Museum of Sport, the pit-stop challenge at the World of Sport, learn how to become an accurate field goal kicker at the Colts Football Experience and brush up on your hockey skills at the Indy Fuel Hockey Experience. The family can explore this new sports experience and all 5 floors of the Children Museum all on the same ticket!
Where to Stay: Consult an expert travel advisor to help you arrange an amazing stay at one of our hotel partners in Indianapolis, such as the La Quinta Inn & Suites Indianapolis Downtown, located 3 miles from the Children’s Museum. Vacation’s team of travel agents will recommend family-friendly hotels to ensure that your family vacation is perfect.
4. KidZania (Doha, Qatar)
Welcome to KidZania in Doha! It’s just one of 12 new sites – of what will be a total of 36 venues around the world – where kids play grown-up and try more than 100 different careers, including a firefighter, doctor, chef or artist. This progressive experience empowers children – from 1 to 14 years old – to learn real-life tasks through more than 60 exciting hands-on activities. Children under 8 need to be accompanied by an adult to explore this interactive city that includes activity hubs, including an aviation academy, culinary school, fashion boutique, construction site, TV studio and the Qatar Rail Training Program.
Where to Stay: Consider a stay at the InterContinental Doha, located on the longest private beach in the city. Consult one of our travel agents to book your stay here and get SELECT Perks, including a $100 Spa credit, complimentary meal(s), high-speed Wi-Fi and the property will offer an upgrade upon availability at the time of your check-in.
5. Dippy on Tour (United Kingdom)
The world-famous cast of the iconic Diplodocus – affectionately known as Dippy – is on a leisurely tour across the UK, making stops in places such as Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Ulster Museum in Belfast and the National Museum in Cardiff. Children not only get to see Dippy, but they also have the opportunity to see incredible natural history collections and learn about animals under the threat of extinction, and the steps taken to protect them through conservation.
Where to Stay: Because this is a mobile tour, it may be helpful to consult a travel agent who can make your arrangements for a stay depending on where you want to visit this unique attraction. There are dozens of our preferred hotel partners and properties that are part of our special SELECT Hotels & Resorts program located in UK, including the family-friendly Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast. Ask our travel agents about the SELECT Perks upon booking your stay.
6. Monopoly Mansion (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
One of the world’s most famous board games comes to life at the Monopoly Mansion. More than 200 million sets of the board game have been sold worldwide, and it has been printed in 26 languages. So, it’s no surprise that excitement levels are heading straight past “Go.” The Monopoly Mansion – said to have a 1920s Great Gatsby feel – will be part of a 27-story, 255-room hotel, making it the world’s first Monopoly hotel. The hotel is located near the Bukit Bintang City Center and Tun Razak Exchange, with access to the LRT and KL Monorail. This attraction may be better suited for older children.
Where to Stay: Our travel agents can help families plan an extended stay in Kuala Lumpur and to visit popular travel destinations located nearby – that includes finding family-friendly accommodations at one of our preferred hotel properties. Couples, who are kids at heart, can also arrange a 2-hour flight to Cambodia for a romantic getaway to stay at the romantic, all-inclusive Song Saa Private Island. Book your stay here and get SELECT Perks, including a $100 Hotel credit (4+ nights), $100 Spa credit, an hour Private Yoga Session for 2 and complimentary full breakfast for two every day.
7. Sloth Preserve (Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica)
If you’re taking your kids to Costa Rica, chances are that watching wildlife is high on your list of things to do. Consider a visit to this luxury resort in the Arenal Volcano National Park, one of the country’s must-see attractions. A Vacation travel agent can help plan your stay at the Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens, where they’ve planted 300 cecropia trees to create a preserve for 15 sloths and counting. Watching these furry creatures in slow-motion won’t keep the kids entertained for long; so, this award-winning resort offers other fun activities, including canyoning, biking, birdwatching, a sky tram/trek tour, whitewater rafting, a lava field walk and frog-watching night tours.
Where to Stay: One of our expert travel advisors can arrange your stay at the Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens, part of our SELECT Hotels & Resorts program. Book with us and get special SELECT Perks, including a $100 Spa credit, Cava wine upon your arrival, complimentary breakfast daily, hi-speed wi-fi, and an upgrade based on availability when you check-in.
8. Driving School (Tayto Park, kilbrew, Ireland)
A trip to Tayto Park is a great way to increase the family fun factor when visiting Dublin. The park not only includes fun amusement park rides – like the Windstar, Shot Tower and the Cú Chulainn Coaster – but there’s also an on-site zoo and a new driving school. Kids enjoy a short video at the new Learning Theatre before hopping into one of the 20 miniature battery-operated cars to learn the rules of the road and test their driving skills. Young drivers who complete the course and prove to their parents that they have what it takes to move from the backseat to the front seat, can pick up a faux ‘driver’s license.’
Where to Stay: Just a 32-minute drive away, Tayto Park is located close to Dublin, which makes it the perfect spot for a home base. Stay at one of the 8 properties that are part of our exclusive SELECT Hotels & Resorts program, including the family-friendly InterContinental Dublin and the Fitzwilliam Hotel. Talk to one of our agents to see what SELECT Perks come with booking at one of our partner properties.
9. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California)
A Vacation travel agent will be helpful in planning a trip to the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge slated open at California’s Disneyland Resort in May, and Florida’s Walt Disney World in August. Star Wars fans – young and old – will be introduced to Batuu, a new planet not yet seen on film that will be filled with rogue traders, droids and unique alien species. Get your chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon or take part in the epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance in 2 state-of-the-art rides! This new Star Wars attraction is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, making it a good idea to consult an expert travel agent to help plan the ultimate Disney vacation that includes not only a trip to Batuu, but your chance to explore the rest of the Magic Kingdom theme park.
Where to Stay: Plan your extended family vacation to Orlando, and stay at family-friendly SELECT Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes or the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Our travel agents travel can arrange a private transfer to and from this attraction in Anaheim, located an hour-drive away from Los Angeles. Splurge on this unique family getaway and stay at the family-friendly, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, or consult a Vacation travel agent to help you find the right hotel for you and your family!
10. Bear Grylls Adventure (Birmingham, UK)
Parents with active teenagers should consider a vacation that includes this new $27-million indoor adventure center. It’s the perfect way for the whole family to bond. In the spirit of survival specialist Bear Grylls, engage in unique, jaw-dropping experiences: feel the rush of a free fall in a wind tunnel, snorkel in a see-through cage to see more than 1,000 tropical fish or climb more than 20 different terrains and routes inspired by natural giants Yosemite’s El Capitan or epic Mt. Everest. It wouldn’t be a complete Bear Grylls experience without basecamp activities that include target archery, an assault course, and a survival maze to sharpen your mind and test your inner strength. By the time you’re done, you will face your own fears, while mastering core survival skills as individuals and as a family.
Where to Stay: The Hyatt Regency Birmingham is just one recommended hotel to stay for this fun family trip to experience the Bear Grylls Adventure. Our travel advisors will help you choose the best hotel to match your family’s travel style.
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable family vacation to one of these spectacular attractions? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with a family travel specialist, who can customize the dream itinerary your family deserves.