Disney World in Orlando probably tops every kid’s list of most exciting destinations. This mega-complex of theme parks and attractions really has been tailored specifically to the interests of North American families. There are a wide range of accommodations to be found around Orlando, with better deals the further afield you’re will to go. If you’re willing to splurge, you can have a truly magical experience staying on-site at one of Disney’s over-the-top hotels located throughout the parks (the Animal Kingdom villas are extremely popular). Be sure to budget for your park entry fees – you’ll want to hit the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, Epcot (for the science and tech-oriented family), and MGM Studios. If you don’t mind paying a little more for a little less waiting, there is a FastPass option available for rides and attractions with separate, shorter lines for pass-holders.
If you’re looking for a wild West adventure, Tanque Verde Ranch in Tuscon Arizona might just be the place for your family. Located in the Sonoran Desert (right next to Saguaro National Park), the resort features traditional adobe walls and southwestern design. The ranch is home to over 180 horses and families can explore the desert on horseback. The ranch can provide experienced guides who will show you mountain trails and desert sights. There is also a daily kids program that offers Western riding instruction and activities. And for the non-riders, there is plenty to keep you occupied with biking, fishing, swimming, hiking, sports, and a nature centre. This could also be a great opportunity to introduce your kids to authentic Southwestern cuisine with three gourmet meals a day, plus an Old Homestead Breakfast Ride, Mexican Fiesta Night, and the Cottonwood Grove Ranch Barbeque. Yee haw!
Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario is over 100 000 square feet of indoor water park and resort. This place is built for fun, from the themed “wolf den” suites featuring bunk beds hidden in caves or the kids camp/cabin suites that provide safari camps or wilderness cabins with bunks, separate from the adult sleeping area. But the real thrills happen in the water park, where no matter what the weather’s like outside, you can splash in Otter Lake activity pool, leap the lily pads in the Frog Pool, ride an inner tube down Grizzly Falls, or brave one of the other many slides and water attractions. In the evenings the kids can hit the arcade, play some mini golf, get an ice cream themed manicure at the Kid Spa or gather in the Grand Lobby for a story by the fire.