The 30 Best Types of Vacations for Toddlers

There are many different types of vacations that you can take with your toddler. It can be tough to decide which is best for your family.

That’s why we put together this list of 30 of the best types of trips!

From beach getaways to city adventures, we have something for everyone. And we didn’t just include the most popular destinations.

We also included some lesser-known gems that you and your family will love! So what are you waiting for?

Start planning your next vacation today!

1. Toddler-Friendly Resorts

Hilton Head Island Resort
Denise Kappa / Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a hassle-free vacation, look no further than a toddler-friendly resort. These resorts are designed with families in mind and offer plenty of activities for adults and kids.

It’s a good idea to find ones that have pools, restaurants, and babysitting services. You can spend a lazy day by the pool, take walks on the beach, and sign up for family-friendly activities.

For adults, these resorts often have buffets, spas, and bars. So, there is a little bit of everything for everyone.

However, the most important aspect is that many family-friendly resorts have daycare and play places.

If you’re looking for a specific type of resort, check out our list of the best all-inclusive resorts for families.

Check out these resort options:

  • Beaches Ocho Rios A Luxury Included Resort, Jamaica
  • Hilton Head Island Resort, South Carolina
  • Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Hawaii
  • Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, Florida
  • La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, California

2. National Parks

Acadia National Park, Maine
Brian Logan Photography / Shutterstock

A national park vacation is a perfect way to get your toddler outdoors. There are many different parks to choose from, each with its unique scenery and activities.

Kids get a chance to hike outdoors and look at plenty of unique plant life and greenery. Plus, there’s some chance to see amazing wildlife and learn about nature!

Adults will enjoy the scenic view, while the kids will enjoy running about on children-friendly trails.

Check out these national parks:

  • Acadia National Park, Maine
  • Glacier National Park, Montana
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho

3. Theme Parks for Kids

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jerome LABOUYRIE / Shutterstock

A trip to a theme park is always a good time for a kid, especially toddlers! Families will enjoy the many activities at theme parks, as they are designed to have a bit of everything for everyone. Plus,

Both adults and kids can ride the rides and enjoy festive fair foods. It’s a good chance to experience some thrills and excitement with your little ones while they’re still young.

Plus, theme parks have plenty of toddler-friendly rides and activities.

Check out these theme parks:

  • Disneyland, Anaheim, California
  • Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
  • Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
  • Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando, Florida
  • SeaWorld San Diego, California
  • Legoland California Resort, Carlsbad, California
  • Hersheypark, Hershey Pennsylvania

4. Small-City Travel

Asheville, North Carolina
Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

Small-city travel is a great option for families with toddlers. There are plenty of things to do and see, but it’s not as overwhelming as a big city.

This gives families a bit of leeway to walk around and visit shops.

It’s the best time to explore the shops and restaurants and visit the local attractions. The chance to experience a new place without feeling overwhelmed is definitely by traveling to a small city.

Below, we’ve found that these small cities are good for toddler travel:

  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Bend, Oregon
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Fort Collins, Colorado

5. Rural Farms and Bed & Breakfasts

Rural farm for toddlers
BGStock72 / Shutterstock

A trip to a rural farm or bed and breakfast is the perfect way to relax and unwind. There are plenty of activities for kids, and you’ll experience some true country living.

Plus, it’s a bonus to interact with all the farm animals!

Toddlers will get to feed the animals, go on hayrides, and pick apples. We believe this is a good opportunity to help kids learn different ways of life.

Check out these farms and bed & breakfasts:

  • Butterfly Farm Bed & Breakfast, Easton, Maryland
  • The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia
  • The Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
  • Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, New York
  • Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock, Vermont

6. State Parks

Smoky Mountain National Park
Scott K Baker / Shutterstock

A trip to a state park is a great way to see the best nature in each state. There are plenty of activities for kids, and similar to national parks, you’ll have a lot of family-friendly trails.

However, state parks will often be much bigger and preserve each state’s natural beauty.

Children and adults can hike, explore, and take in the views. Both will also have the chance to experience peace and quiet and be surrounded by nature.

Kids will also enjoy seeing active wildlife and running around all the trails.

Check out these state parks:

  • Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio
  • Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina
  • Yosemite National Park, California
  • Zion National Park, Utah
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah Arches National Park

7. Beaches

Clearwater Beach
Migclick / Shutterstock

If an ocean-side getaway sounds like a good idea, then you’re in luck! There are plenty of things to do as an adult, and the kids will love playing in the sand.

In fact, beach-side vacations often have some of the best kid-friendly activities, including amusement parks, boardwalks, and fun activities.

Kids can enjoy building sandcastles, swimming, and collecting shells by the beachside. This also allows parents and children time to relax and enjoy the sound and smell of the ocean.

Check out these beaches:

  • Clearwater Beach, Florida
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Fort Myers Beach, Florida
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Kauai, Hawaii

8. Train Rides

The Empire Builder
Ian Dewar Photography / Shutterstock

A trip on a train is a great way to see the country and surrounding area. A train ride is perfect if you’re looking for a more low-key and short vacation.

Most train rides only take a few hours to a few days, depending on length.

Adults will enjoy the scenery, reading a book, and listening to music. Toddlers will enjoy having a packed lunch and staring outside the train at the passing scenery.

Check out these train rides:

  • The Empire Builder, Chicago to Seattle/Portland
  • The Coast Starlight, Los Angeles to Seattle
  • The California Zephyr, Chicago to San Francisco
  • The Southwest Chief, Chicago to Los Angeles
  • The Sunset Limited, New Orleans to Los Angeles
  • Amtrak’s Auto Train, Virginia to Florida

9. Staycations

toddler biking
FamVeld / Shutterstock

A staycation is a great way to save money and still have a great time. We’ll give a brief breakdown for those unfamiliar with what a “staycation” is.

A staycation refers to staying at home but going out for daytime activity. Simply, this means you can find activities close to home and won’t require you to book a hotel overnight.

Staycations will change depending on where you live. So, we’ll provide you with some ideas of what you can do.

Check out these staycation ideas:

For a small town:

  • Take a walk or bike ride around town
  • Visit the local museum, conservation center, etc.
  • Have a picnic at a park, playground, etc.

For a big city:

  • Visit the local zoo or aquarium
  • Find local kid-friendly outings
  • See a movie, play, etc.

10. Cruises

The Disney Cruise
GTS Productions / Shutterstock

A cruise can be fun if you want to be out on the open sea. Cruise ships often have themes, and some of them are geared toward families with toddlers.

These cruises have daycare and plenty of family-friendly activities and events onboard.

Everyone will enjoy going to different countries or states, swimming, and eating at the buffet. Depending on your cruise type, you can also expect fun and festive activities, catering, and summer camps for your kids.

Check out these cruises:

  • The Disney Cruise, Caribbean
  • Norwegian Epic, Mediterranean
  • Carnival Breeze, Bahamas
  • Holland America Westerdam, Alaska
  • Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, Western Caribbean
  • Princess Cruises Emerald Princess, Europe
  • MSC Divina, Mediterranean Sea.

11. Waterparks

Noah's Ark waterpark
Aaron of L.A. Photography / Shutterstock

A trip to a water park is a great way to cool off in the summer or an indoor pool during the winter.

There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will love splashing around in the water.

You’ll enjoy seeing your toddler swim, ride the slides, and play in the kiddie pool. You can also join in the fun or sit back and relax and watch them from afar.

Ensure the waterpark is geared toward young kids, families, or toddlers, as they will have more options than a standard waterpark.

Check out these waterparks:

  • Schlitterbahn, Texas
  • Water Country USA, Virginia
  • Dollywood’s Splash Country, Tennessee
  • Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Wisconsin
  • Hurricane Harbor, California
  • Kalahari Resort, Ohio
  • Wilderness Territory, Wisconsin

12. Museums

The British Museum
FenlioQ / Shutterstock

A trip to the museum is a great way to learn about different cultures and history. There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will love being in the museum.

You can also change up the museum and find one that aligns with your toddler’s interests.

You can look at the exhibits, participate in hands-on activities, and attend a show or lecture. The chance to learn about different cultures, history, and art is something families should do once.

Check out these museums:

  • The British Museum, London
  • The Louvre, Paris
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  • The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
  • National Palace Museum, Taipei
  • Vatican Museums, Vatican City

13. Aquariums

The Georgia Aquarium
f11photo / Shutterstock

A trip to the aquarium is a great way to learn about different sea creatures. There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will enjoy seeing a wide variety of aquatic life, such as sharks, penguins, etc.

Kids can look at the exhibits, participate in hands-on activities, and attend a show or lecture. Adults can also enjoy the activities and learn about each aquatic creature.

Check out these aquariums:

  • The Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta
  • The Shedd Aquarium, Chicago
  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium, California
  • The Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver
  • The Toronto Zoo, Toronto
  • SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

14. State Zoos

The Bronx Zoo
littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock

A trip to a state zoo is a great way to learn about different animals. There are plenty of things to do for toddlers, as most zoos include petting zoos and “meet and greet” with different wildlife.

Kids can look at the exhibits, participate in hands-on activities, and attend meet and greets with the animals and trainers.

Parents can introduce toddlers to different animals and help increase their toddler’s worldview and vocabulary.

Check out these state zoos:

  • The Bronx Zoo, New York
  • The San Diego Zoo, California
  • The Houston Zoo, Texas
  • The Lincoln Park Zoo, Illinois
  • The Detroit Zoo, Michigan
  • The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  • Reid Park Zoological Society

15. Lakeside Motels

The Sylvan Beach Resort
JAYA NAIR / Shutterstock

A trip to a lakeside motel is a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery. There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will love being able to run around the lakeside.

Adults can go swimming, fishing, canoeing, or kayaking. Young kids may also be able to do these activities with an adult present.

Some lakes even have classes for young kids that can help them learn how to do the above-mentioned activities.

Check out these lakeside motels:

  • The Lakeside Inn, Massachusetts
  • The Sylvan Beach Resort, Michigan
  • Lake George Resort, New York
  • Arrowhead resort, Wisconsin
  • Gunflint Lodge, Minnesota.

16. Toy Wonderlands

The Lego Store
Iryna Mylinska / Shutterstock

A trip to a toy wonderland is a great way to have fun and interact with their favorite things. There are plenty of things to do, and kids will be excited to meet and interact with their favorite characters.

Check out these toy wonderlands:

  • The American Girl Place, New York City
  • The Lego Store, Orlando
  • The Disney Store, Los Angeles
  • FAO Schwarz, New York City
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop
  • Toys “R” Us Times Square
  • M&M’S World

17. TV-Themed Getaways

The Sesame Place
JaysonPhotography / Shutterstock

A trip to a TV-themed getaway is a great way for toddlers to have fun and interact with their favorite TV shows.

Each amusement park or resort is full of life-sized characters with animatronics or people dressed up in costumes.

Kids will enjoy seeing popular characters from TV shows, and adults will get some everlasting photos.

Some of the perfect vacations include full packages to events, hotels, and amusement parks.

Check out these TV-themed getaways:

  • The Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Orlando
  • The Sesame Place, Pennsylvania
  • The Hershey Park, Hershey
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
  • Walt Disney World Resort
  • Disneyland Resort

18. World Wonders

The Great Wall of China
aphotostory / Shutterstock

A trip to a world wonder is a great way to have fun and learn about different cultures. World wonders aren’t just interesting for adults, but for kids as well.

Toddlers may have heard of some world wonders with peers or in children’s books. So, showing them these places in person can be a unique experience.

Check out these world wonders:

  • The Great Wall of China
  • The Taj Mahal, India
  • Petra, Jordan
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Chichen Itza, Mexico
  • Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
  • The Colosseum, Italy

19. Outdoor Concerts

Boston Symphony Orchestra
T photography / Shutterstock

Going to an outdoor concert is a great way to have fun and show kids their favorite tunes. There are children’s concerts out there that focus mainly on family-friendly music.

Kids will be able to bounce around to their favorite music while adults can sit back and relax.

Plus, some concerts are interactive and allow the kids to play instruments, etc.

Check out these outdoor concerts:

  • The Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • The New York Philharmonic
  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • San Francisco Symphony
  • Cleveland Orchestra

20. Educational Tours

The American Musuem of Natural History
Kamira / Shutterstock

A trip on an educational tour is a great way to have fun and learn about different topics. There are plenty of options, including science, history, etc.

Look at the exhibits, participate in hands-on activities, and attend a show or lecture. Adults will also enjoy learning about historic landmarks or new activities focused on young kids’ interests.

Check out these educational tours:

  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • The American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • National Gallery of Art

21. Holiday Getaways

Kwanzaa Celebration
5D Media / Shutterstock

A holiday getaway can be catered to not only be unique but personal. Plan a vacation near family and check out seasonal events during the holiday.

This can include seeing Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc.

Kids will enjoy seeing the fictional characters and participating in local events. Resorts and lodges also include holiday getaways, mainly during Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween.

Check out these holiday getaways:

  • The Thanksgiving Celebration at Plymouth Plantation
  • The December Nights celebration at Balboa Park
  • Christmas in New York City
  • Hanukkah Festival at the Skirball Cultural Center
  • Kwanzaa Celebration at the California African American Museum
  • Chinese New Year Celebration

22. Mountainside Hotels

The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel
Unai Huizi Photography / Shutterstock

A trip to a mountainside hotel is a great way to have fun and learn about different mountain ranges.

There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will love being in the mountainside hotel.

Kids will see new scenery, and adults can enjoy outdoor hiking. Hotels will also provide trails, meals, and comfortable lodging.

Planning ones around mountain ranges also gives a great view of mountain peaks which can be a great change from the city.

Check out these mountainside hotels:

  • The Omni Mount Washington Resort
  • The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel
  • Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa
  • Whiteface Lodge
  • Deer Path Inn Primland
  • Skytop Lodge

23. Desert Hot Spots

Saguaro National Park
high fliers / Shutterstock

A trip to a desert hot spot is a great way to have fun and learn about different deserts. These areas have plenty of drives, national parks, and museums.

Kids can participate in tours, run around outdoors, and play around in the sand. Adults can enjoy being outdoors and seeing the natural beauty of the desert.

Check out these desert hot spots:

  • Saguaro National Park
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve
  • White Sands National Monument

24. City Adventures

New York City
Luciano Mortula – LGM / Shutterstock

A trip to a city is a great way to have fun and learn about different cultures. There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will love being in the city.

A city vacation is essentially anything you want it to be! This can include booking a hotel, visiting a museum, and participating in tourist activities.

Check out these city adventures:

  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego

25. Barrier Island Getaways

Padre Island National Seashore
Johnny C Brown / Shutterstock

A trip to a barrier island is a great way to have fun and learn about different ecosystems. Barrier Islands are a bit different from your normal everyday environment.

So, kids will enjoy running around in the sand and seeing the bright blue ocean.

Some islands also include cultural activities and food. Children may also take parasailing and surfing lessons.

Plus, barrier islands are also off the coast, meaning toddlers can enjoy sailing on a boat to get to the destination!

Check out these barrier island getaways:

  • Padre Island National Seashore
  • Fire Island National Seashore
  • Assateague Island National Seashore
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Cumberland Island National Seashore

26. Aquatic Getaways

Virgin Islands
NAPA / Shutterstock

A trip to an aquatic getaway is a great way to have fun and learn about different marine life. There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will love seeing all the different plant life and wildlife.

The open ocean is also very mesmerizing and often includes some fabulous things to do for all age ranges.

Young kids can participate in ecological outings and learn about geology. Adults can spend their time lounging by the sea and walking on the beach.

Check out these aquatic getaways:

  • The Florida Keys
  • Hawaii
  • Puerto Rico
  • Virgin Islands

27. Out-of-Country Adventures

museum in NSW
LIGHTITUP / Shutterstock

A trip to another country is a great way to have fun and learn about different cultures. There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will get to widen their worldview and experience another culture.

Check out these out-of-country adventures:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

28. Fossil Exploration Sites

Dinosaur National Monument
Michael Rosebrock / Shutterstock

A trip to a fossil exploration site is a great way to have fun and learn about different types of fossils.

There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will love being at a fossil site.

Plus, what kid doesn’t enjoy learning about dinosaurs or previous animals? Excavation can be a good way to get them into history and also is a good hands-on activity.

Check out these fossil exploration sites:

  • Dinosaur National Monument
  • Badlands National Park
  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park

29. Ski Resorts

Vail Ski Resort
Steve Boice / Shutterstock

A trip to a ski resort is a great way to have fun and learn about different types of skiing. There are plenty of ski resorts, but not all are kid friendly.

Ski lodges offer some family-friendly hills that are perfect for beginners or young children. Aside from that, some lodges also include indoor and outdoor activities for families.

Check out these ski resorts:

  • Vail Ski Resort
  • Beaver Creek Ski Resort
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort
  • Keystone Ski Resort
  • Copper Mountain Ski Resort

30. Sightseeing Spots

The Grand Canyon
iacomino FRiMAGES / Shutterstock

A trip to a sightseeing spot is a great way to have fun and learn about different types of landmarks.

There are plenty of things to do, and the kids will enjoy seeing the different places unique to the area.

Sightseeing can be different depending on what region you’re in. So, we highly recommend choosing one your child might be interested in!

Check out these sightseeing spots:

  • The Grand Canyon
  • Niagara Falls
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Mount Rushmore National Monument
  • Statue of Liberty

Frequently Asked Questions: Toddler Vacations

What are some good vacation ideas for toddlers?

A few good vacation ideas for toddlers are going to the beach, taking a road trip, or visiting a theme park.

Is it better to go on vacation with just my toddler or with other families with young children?

It depends on what you’re looking for and what your toddler is like. If your child is social and enjoys being around other kids their age, then it might be worth considering going on vacation with another family with young children.

However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed trip where you can focus on spending quality time with your toddler without having to worry about entertaining other kids as well, then it might be better to go with just your family.

toddlers vacation
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

What are some things I should keep in mind when planning a vacation with my toddler?

A few things to keep in mind when planning a vacation with your toddler are to choose a kid-friendly destination, make sure there are plenty of activities for them to do, and bring along any necessary items such as formula or diapers.

Additionally, having an extra set of hands on deck is always helpful. If you’re traveling with another adult, consider taking turns watching the toddler, so each person gets a chance to rest and enjoy the trip.