Beyond Family Cruises: 10 New Multigenerational Vacation Ideas

Forgo a cruise or Disney vacation for these enticing alternatives.

Beyond Family Cruises: 10 New Multigenerational Vacation Ideas
Beyond Family Cruises: 10 New Multigenerational Vacation Ideas
Three generations of family by motor home on side of road at dusk, smiling.
Cincinnati at sunrise watching cars cross the bridge.
Cowboy and cowgirl on horseback in the morning sun.
A girl riding on a train with her grandpa.
Boy river rafting with family.
A smiling woman stands in a swimming pool in front of her family playing with a beach ball in the background.
Mother and three kids hiking through a sunny forest.
A multigenerational family bikes through a park.
Idyllic farm under blue skies.
Family eating lunch while camping.
Volunteers carrying potted plant and tools.
|

Satisfy groups of all ages and sizes with trip that will pique all family members' interests.
Multigenerational vacations are more popular than ever. Sure, you can spend the week at Walt Disney World or take a family cruise, but how about something a little different? Bike tours are a great pick if you're looking for new ways to explore cities, national parks and even vineyards. Or, how about a stay at an all-inclusive lakeside resort? Here are 10 outside-the-box multigenerational vacation ideas to consider as a family.
(Getty Images)

Get lost in a midsize city
Big cities, like New York and Los Angeles, can be intimidating when traveling as an extended family, so look to a midsize city for multigenerational fun and less hassle. And ideal choice is Cincinnati. The city is easily walkable with most attractions, such as the Newport Aquarium, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Fountain Square, all within a few minutes' walk of each other. Start your day at Holtman's Donut Shop to savor maple bacon donuts with the group, before taking a walking tour to find must-see public murals across the city.
(Getty Images)

Saddle up at a guest ranch.
Children, parents and grandparents alike will love a week of horseback riding, skeet shooting, line dancing and cattle drives at a guest ranch. Go west to a dude ranch like Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork, Montana, for daily trail rides, a family rodeo and even a junior wrangler program, which teaches children the basics of horse care. You'll find ranches on the East Coast too, such as Rocking Horse Ranch Resort tucked in the Hudson Valley in Highland, New York, which offers daily horseback rides, along with an indoor waterpark, scavenger hunts and a spa.
(Getty Images)

Embark on a family rail vacation.
Whether you prefer to take in the scenery of national parks such as Yellowstone or Utah's Bryce Canyon, or you'd rather explore urban destinations, including Boston or Los Angeles, there are a variety of ways to explore both as part of a multiday adventure by train. Try a six-day getaway from Chicago to Glacier National Park in Montana aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder followed by three nights at hotels inside the park. Or, try a four-day family adventure from New York City to our nation's capital, which includes ample sightseeing and educational opportunities.
(Getty Images)

Try a whitewater rafting adventure.
West Virginia is known as a whitewater rafting destination, so spend a week with Adventures on the Gorge in New River Gorge National River. Go rafting on the mild waters of the Upper New River before spending the afternoon on a mountain bike or spelunking at Lost World Caverns. Kids will love the Learn to Adventure programs that teach them how to kayak, fish or rock climb. And the three- and four-bedroom deluxe cabins are perfect for families who want extra space to stretch out.
(Getty Images)

Book a stay at an all-inclusive resort designed for families.
Some all-inclusive resorts cater to extended families with diverse amenities and activities, including Woodloch Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, which you will definitely want to explore with your entire family. Look for a daily activity schedule packed with activities ranging from knockout basketball tournaments to nightly bingo to "Family Feud"-style games. In between, plan on go-karts, zip lining, bumper car rides, pony rides, kayaking, swimming and walks around the lake. Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, is another lakeside resort perfect for a multigenerational getaway.
(Getty Images)

Enjoy the summer scenery at a mountain resort.
From scenic gondola rides to hiking to splashing around in local swimming holes, there's plenty to do, see and explore as a family at mountain resorts in the summer. At Colorado's Keystone Resort, kids will love Kidtopia, a daily program on the mountain that's packed with fun activities such as kite building workshops, family dodgeball and fishing derbies. Or, try The Whiteface Lodge in New York's Adirondacks region for catch-and-release fishing at the lodge's pond, as well as access to on-site canoes, kayaks and paddleboats.
(Getty Images)

Get away on a cycling vacation.
Cycling is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and explore as a family. Even better, there are several outfitters that offer cycling vacations tailor-made for families. Reputable outfitter Trek Travel offers a six-day cycling vacation in Vermont that includes daily cycling, as well as canoeing and kayaking. Some tour companies like VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations even make electric pedal-assist bikes (or bikes equipped with a small electric engine) available to riders on select cycling vacations, allowing for a more comfortable and stress-free ride.
(iStockphoto)

Escape the city with a farm stay.
Farm stays are becoming more widely known in the U.S. as a new vacation option that allows for plenty of fresh air, time to soak in the great outdoors and unwind on a serene farmhouse porch. Available in all 50 states (and around the world), travelers stay on a farm, whether in the farm house or in a cottage on the property. Many farms allow guests to bottle feed baby calves, milk a cow or collect eggs from the chicken coop. Some farm stays, like Verdant View Farm in Paradise, Pennsylvania, also offer a daily farm breakfast.
(Getty Images)

Stay at a family campground.
Whether you want to pitch your own tent or rest your head in an air-conditioned cabin, a family campground such as KOA Campgrounds or Jellystone Park campgrounds offers an ideal place for an extended family vacation. You'll find lots of organized activities such as trout fishing derbies, bike-decorating parties and disc golf competitions, as well as plenty of amenities, including waterslides and mini-golf courses. At Jellystone Park, kids can participate in a flag raising ceremony each morning with Yogi Bear.
(iStockPhoto)

Seek enrichment on a volunteer vacation.
Volunteer vacations are not only for adults. In fact, children ages 6 and up can participate as part of a family volunteer program in countries such as Ecuador, Poland and Greece through a nonprofit such as Global Volunteers, which devotes 30 percent of volunteer placements to multigenerational combinations (e.g., grandmother and granddaughter). Kids and families can serve as daycare volunteers, engaging children one on one and explore local cultural attractions and architectural sites in their free time. Best of all, families can embrace quality bonding time and unique cultures in a very different way than they would on a typical vacation.
(Getty Images)

Three generations of family by motor home on side of road at dusk, smiling.
Cincinnati at sunrise watching cars cross the bridge.
Cowboy and cowgirl on horseback in the morning sun.
A girl riding on a train with her grandpa.
Boy river rafting with family.
A smiling woman stands in a swimming pool in front of her family playing with a beach ball in the background.
Mother and three kids hiking through a sunny forest.
A multigenerational family bikes through a park.
Idyllic farm under blue skies.
Family eating lunch while camping.
Volunteers carrying potted plant and tools.

Satisfy groups of all ages and sizes with trip that will pique all family members' interests.
Multigenerational vacations are more popular than ever. Sure, you can spend the week at Walt Disney World or take a family cruise, but how about something a little different? Bike tours are a great pick if you're looking for new ways to explore cities, national parks and even vineyards. Or, how about a stay at an all-inclusive lakeside resort? Here are 10 outside-the-box multigenerational vacation ideas to consider as a family.
(Getty Images)

Get lost in a midsize city
Big cities, like New York and Los Angeles, can be intimidating when traveling as an extended family, so look to a midsize city for multigenerational fun and less hassle. And ideal choice is Cincinnati. The city is easily walkable with most attractions, such as the Newport Aquarium, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Fountain Square, all within a few minutes' walk of each other. Start your day at Holtman's Donut Shop to savor maple bacon donuts with the group, before taking a walking tour to find must-see public murals across the city.
(Getty Images)

Saddle up at a guest ranch.
Children, parents and grandparents alike will love a week of horseback riding, skeet shooting, line dancing and cattle drives at a guest ranch. Go west to a dude ranch like Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork, Montana, for daily trail rides, a family rodeo and even a junior wrangler program, which teaches children the basics of horse care. You'll find ranches on the East Coast too, such as Rocking Horse Ranch Resort tucked in the Hudson Valley in Highland, New York, which offers daily horseback rides, along with an indoor waterpark, scavenger hunts and a spa.
(Getty Images)

Embark on a family rail vacation.
Whether you prefer to take in the scenery of national parks such as Yellowstone or Utah's Bryce Canyon, or you'd rather explore urban destinations, including Boston or Los Angeles, there are a variety of ways to explore both as part of a multiday adventure by train. Try a six-day getaway from Chicago to Glacier National Park in Montana aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder followed by three nights at hotels inside the park. Or, try a four-day family adventure from New York City to our nation's capital, which includes ample sightseeing and educational opportunities.
(Getty Images)

Try a whitewater rafting adventure.
West Virginia is known as a whitewater rafting destination, so spend a week with Adventures on the Gorge in New River Gorge National River. Go rafting on the mild waters of the Upper New River before spending the afternoon on a mountain bike or spelunking at Lost World Caverns. Kids will love the Learn to Adventure programs that teach them how to kayak, fish or rock climb. And the three- and four-bedroom deluxe cabins are perfect for families who want extra space to stretch out.
(Getty Images)

Book a stay at an all-inclusive resort designed for families.
Some all-inclusive resorts cater to extended families with diverse amenities and activities, including Woodloch Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, which you will definitely want to explore with your entire family. Look for a daily activity schedule packed with activities ranging from knockout basketball tournaments to nightly bingo to "Family Feud"-style games. In between, plan on go-karts, zip lining, bumper car rides, pony rides, kayaking, swimming and walks around the lake. Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, is another lakeside resort perfect for a multigenerational getaway.
(Getty Images)

Enjoy the summer scenery at a mountain resort.
From scenic gondola rides to hiking to splashing around in local swimming holes, there's plenty to do, see and explore as a family at mountain resorts in the summer. At Colorado's Keystone Resort, kids will love Kidtopia, a daily program on the mountain that's packed with fun activities such as kite building workshops, family dodgeball and fishing derbies. Or, try The Whiteface Lodge in New York's Adirondacks region for catch-and-release fishing at the lodge's pond, as well as access to on-site canoes, kayaks and paddleboats.
(Getty Images)

Get away on a cycling vacation.
Cycling is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and explore as a family. Even better, there are several outfitters that offer cycling vacations tailor-made for families. Reputable outfitter Trek Travel offers a six-day cycling vacation in Vermont that includes daily cycling, as well as canoeing and kayaking. Some tour companies like VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations even make electric pedal-assist bikes (or bikes equipped with a small electric engine) available to riders on select cycling vacations, allowing for a more comfortable and stress-free ride.
(iStockphoto)

Escape the city with a farm stay.
Farm stays are becoming more widely known in the U.S. as a new vacation option that allows for plenty of fresh air, time to soak in the great outdoors and unwind on a serene farmhouse porch. Available in all 50 states (and around the world), travelers stay on a farm, whether in the farm house or in a cottage on the property. Many farms allow guests to bottle feed baby calves, milk a cow or collect eggs from the chicken coop. Some farm stays, like Verdant View Farm in Paradise, Pennsylvania, also offer a daily farm breakfast.
(Getty Images)

Stay at a family campground.
Whether you want to pitch your own tent or rest your head in an air-conditioned cabin, a family campground such as KOA Campgrounds or Jellystone Park campgrounds offers an ideal place for an extended family vacation. You'll find lots of organized activities such as trout fishing derbies, bike-decorating parties and disc golf competitions, as well as plenty of amenities, including waterslides and mini-golf courses. At Jellystone Park, kids can participate in a flag raising ceremony each morning with Yogi Bear.
(iStockPhoto)

Seek enrichment on a volunteer vacation.
Volunteer vacations are not only for adults. In fact, children ages 6 and up can participate as part of a family volunteer program in countries such as Ecuador, Poland and Greece through a nonprofit such as Global Volunteers, which devotes 30 percent of volunteer placements to multigenerational combinations (e.g., grandmother and granddaughter). Kids and families can serve as daycare volunteers, engaging children one on one and explore local cultural attractions and architectural sites in their free time. Best of all, families can embrace quality bonding time and unique cultures in a very different way than they would on a typical vacation.
(Getty Images)

×

By Erin Gifford | Contributor May 19, 2016, at 10:38 a.m.


Recommended Articles

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2019

Feb. 5, 2019

U.S. News ranked 3,877 top properties for 2019. Check out the 50 best.

17 Amazing Kid-Friendly Hotels

Feb. 5, 2019

Discover which properties offer ample amenities for children.

New & Revamped Caribbean Hotels to Visit

Feb. 5, 2019

These island properties are sure to impress travelers.

10 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA

Feb. 5, 2019

Go all-in for these luxe resorts flush with amenities.

30 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

Feb. 5, 2019

See which new properties offer surprising and fun features.

AAA Announces 2019 Diamond Award Winners

Zach Watson | Jan. 31, 2019

Of the more than 27,000 properties evaluated, 1,843 hotels earned Four and Five Diamond awards.

30 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget

Jan. 24, 2019

See which waterfront escapes won't burn a hole in your wallet.

The 14 Most Exotic Black Sand Beaches in the World

Jan. 14, 2019

Explore unusual shorelines across the globe.

30 Great Girls Weekend Getaways

Dec. 21, 2018

See which amazing locales around the globe are ideal for a girls-only vacation.

How to Find Cheap Flights

Holly Johnson | Dec. 13, 2018

These tips can help you see the world at prices you can afford.