Can you imagine if your grandparent was a travel writer? The journey awaits you The writers’ grandchildren are in luck! We turned to our experts for the best multigenerational vacations grandparents and grandchildren can enjoy together. Some are attractions and some are cities – all of them are great fun for young and old!
1. The Indianapolis Children’s Museum
Freelance writer and traveler Robin O’Neal Smith says the Indianapolis Children’s Museum is a great place for a multigenerational visit. “There is so much to see and do that the grandchildren will be entertained all day and won’t want to leave. As an adult I found it interesting and had fun. There are phenomenal exhibits, indoor and outdoor activities, a snack bar and more, ”says Smith.
“Some of the fun things to do for kids include Carousel Wishes and Dreams, Lilly Theater, Glass Fireworks, Playscape, Science Works, Treasures of the Earth, and more,” says Smith. Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience will entertain sports fans. Adults and children alike will enjoy the “Take Me There®: Greece” and “Barbie, You Can Be Anything: The Experience” exhibits. Smith wrote about 15 careers in the travel industry that Barbie has had since 1959 and said it was great to remember Barbie’s past. Weather permitting, children and adults alike can enjoy outdoor activities such as baseball, football, soccer, running, hockey, basketball, golf, tennis, rock climbing adventure and more.
2. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts
Travel blogger Melody Pittman and her granddaughter took a motorhome trip to a Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park ™ camp-resort, which has multiple locations across the country. “We stayed at Yogi on the Lake in Pelahatchie, Mississippi, not far from his home. She had just turned two, so we wanted to stay close in case she didn’t survive a night, ”says Pittman.
They found a spot by the lake and enjoyed watching turtles, ducks and fish. As it was a Jellystone Resort, there were dozens of activities. Pittman says “They were even more fun since the Halloween festivities, like the S’mores and the Halloweenie roast, had started.” From karaoke and a jump ramp to a gorgeous pool and wading pool, “there’s not a dull moment at this family campsite,” Pittman says.
Pittman is an experienced RV, but you don’t need to own an RV or RV to stay at a Jellystone Park ™ camp resort. Camp in a tent or glamp in a cabin – some places even have yurts you can stay in! Pittman says the cabins at this particular campsite have great porches, furniture, and railings. “Rent a golf cart so you can properly explore every nook and cranny of this impressive property,” she suggests.
3. Alaska cruise
When freelance writer and travel blogger Kara Williams’ children were younger, the family went on a cruise to Alaska. “When my kids were 8 and 10, my husband and I took them and their grandmothers on a Holland America cruise to Alaska. A cruise is a fabulous multigenerational vacation, as the ship has activities for everyone to enjoy, from the spa and casino to the kids’ clubs and the pool. While there are plenty of opportunities to make memories together, separate cubicles also allow everyone to have their own private space! Williams remembers.
“Alaska is a particularly attractive destination for a multigenerational cruise, because shore excursions are so interactive and fun. We took the grandmothers on a helicopter tour of a glacier as well as a zipline in the forest. We all loved these active tours, but there are also gentler activities – including wheelchair accessible excursions – ”says Williams. She says standing at the ramp of an upper deck to “spot wildlife and see the glacier blue glaciers dotting the sea” is another fun activity for everyone.
4. The Maryland Zoo
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is travel writer Desiree Rew’s favorite place to spend time with her 2-year-old grandson. Formerly known as the “Baltimore Zoo,” the more than 135-acre zoo opened in 1876, making it one of the oldest zoos in the country. The Baltimore native grew up going to the zoo, then took her infant son. Now she enjoys sharing the experience with a new generation.
“Feed the penguins, stretch your neck like a giraffe, watch the elephants, move your arms like birds, go on safari in Africa and tell your grandmother the sound the monkeys make”, are some of the experiences that Rew enjoys living at the Maryland Zoo. share with his grandson.
With easy access from downtown Baltimore, the zoo is popular with both Charm City residents and locals alike. Rew notes that it has play areas where grandchildren can make new friends while grandparents rest. “Exceptional events throughout the year, [make] going to the zoo is a new experience with every visit, ”she says.
5. Marble falls
“Tucked away in the Texas Hill Country, about an hour’s drive northwest of Austin, is the quaint town of Marble Falls,” says Kim Croissant, journalist and travel enthusiast. “The city has many lakes, child-friendly parks and a charming historic city center within walking distance. But the fun doesn’t end there. There’s something to keep families busy for an entire weekend, from guided cave tours, hiking and biking trails, and kayaking on Marble Falls Lake, ”she explains.
The proud Texas native is raising her 11-year-old grandson and taking him and her puppies on as many trips as possible. Last year, they visited the city of Texas in October and stumbled upon some fun fall festivities at Sweet Berry Farm. They picked beautiful zinnias, took a hay walk, gobbled up roasted corn, and stuffed a scarecrow for the first time. In the spring, the area is also one of the best places to see blooming blue caps. “We both think Marble Falls is a place to visit more than once,” exclaims Croissant.
6. Vero Beach, Florida
Pittman’s granddaughter, Scarlett, loves visiting her grandparents in Vero Beach. The 3-year-old came for a vacation last summer. “Vero Beach has a great family attraction,” Pittman proclaims. The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) is not only educational, but it is also ideal for nature hikes and water trips. “We also have many parks with great playgrounds,” says Pittman. “Scarlett loves to go to the wading pool at Royal Palm Pointe (fishing is also available) and eat by the ocean at Waldo or have an ice cream at Kilwin.”
“Vero Beach has great beaches, and any kid would love to splash in the waves and build sandcastles. We drove to Round Island around 4pm each evening to see the manatees and often visited the independent Vero Beach Book Center. Depending on the time of your visit, there may be performances at the Riverside Children’s Theater. The next time Scarlett visits, I want to take her to Skate Factory and see what she thinks about roller skating, ”says the proud grandmother.
7. Saint Augustine, Florida
“If you’re heading south, St. Augustine is a great place to take your grandchildren when they’re around 8 or older,” says Smith. “There is so much to do and learn, your grandchildren won’t be bored and you will enjoy it too. There is so much history in the St. Augustine area that children are not taught in schools. I learned new things when I was there and found it fascinating.
“There are over 60 historic sites and attractions to discover in the country’s oldest city. Take the tram around town to see the highlights and find out what interests your grandchildren most, then come back to these places. A few that I recommend are the Fountain of Youth Park, Ripley’s Believe it or Not (the original), the iconic Fort Castillo de San Marcos, the Lions Bridge, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse. If your grandchildren are animal lovers, they will enjoy the GTM research reserve for spotting turtles, fish and snakes. There are beaches, golf courses, art and culture, and so much more, ”says Smith, who assures us that“ St. Augustine will delight visitors of all ages.
8. The Durango & Silverton narrow gauge railway
“Our grandchildren were in town for the best train trip ever,” says Janie H. Pace, Fort-Worth-based travel journalist and photographer. “The Knight Sky Car, pulled by the famous locomotive # 473, was a lovely ride, allowing for beautiful photos of the tracks, the Animas River, and the snow-capped San Juan mountains,” Pace says of the experience.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s historic coal and steam locomotive has been carrying passengers through the scenic Rocky Mountains since 1882. The mighty train whistling in and out of canyons along the same tracks as cowboys, miners and the first settlers borrowed more than a century ago. It pulls 8-10 cars on the 45-mile branch of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad line.
The trip from Durango to Silverton, Colorado, and back takes 3.5 hours each way. Altitudes range from 6,520 to 9,300 feet. While the train can travel up to 18 miles per hour, it slows down to 5 miles per hour for the steepest climb. Two hours are allowed in the historic mining town of Silverton for lunch and a brief exploration. Tickets include entry to the D & SNGRR Museum.
“We made the return coach trip along the 52 miles of beautiful snow-capped mountainous terrain on the San Juan Skyway,” Pace explains. “You also have the option of returning to Durango on the train at your exact seat, learning more about the history of the area.”