25 Best Kid-Friendly Vacations in the USA for 2023

Last Updated on July 12, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Looking for a vacation that the whole family will love? Check out our list of kid-friendly vacations in the USA that will keep everyone happy.

Travel is for everyone! And everyone loves to travel. However, traveling with kids can often seem harder to plan than ideal, and some locations may not fit every family’s preferences.

But don't let that discourage you from taking the big leap. Kid-friendly vacations in the USA are surprisingly easy to find and even easier to tailor.

From museums to rollercoasters to national parks, people of all ages can enjoy their time together. Take a peek at some of the best attractions for kids in the USA and find what fits your family best.

Kid-Friendly Places in the US

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1: Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

There's no better place to take your kids than to the happiest place on earth.

Magic Kingdom is one of the best theme parks in the US for kids to not just enjoy but embark on an adventure of education, whimsy and everything in between.

Rollercoasters may be a given, but Magic Kingdom is especially noteworthy for its numerous shows and character greetings that leave a lasting memory in young minds.

Families can wander all about the park in search of the next great all-ages adventure, and with so many options, you'll have plenty to do for hours on end.

Magic Kingdom is famous for many reasons. Space Mountain, Frontierland and of course: Disney food. There are art stations, picture galleries, all the shops under the sun, and so much more inside these magical walls.

Everything here is tailored to have a good time, regardless of age.

From staring up in wonder at Cinderella's castle to the awe-inspiring fireworks show to end the night with a bang: Magic Kingdom is easily one of those most kid-friendly places in the USA.

Accommodation: Where to stay near Magic Kingdom

Address: 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Website: disneyworld.disney.go.com

Also Read: Top 5 Things To Do In Walt Disney World, Florida

2: Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Take a walk on the wondrous side! The Grand Canyon is one of the most breathtaking family-friendly vacations in the US.

This site spans over miles of northern Arizona land, opening up in a dazzling array of colors, sinking all the way to the bottom of the aptly named Grand Canyon.

This is a very family-friendly location with several scenic points, rest and food stops, and long miles of safe trails for families to stroll.

There are even hikes to the center of the Grand Canyon for those feeling daring enough.

Kids can make their special voyage by joining a junior ranger program, where they can learn about the park's history and discover its exotic plants, animals, and rocks.

Kids also get to learn how to help conserve the environment through the program.

Accommodation: Where to stay near Grand Canyon

Address: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Website: www.nps.gov

Also Read: Top 10 Things To Do In The Grand Canyon National Park

3: San Diego Zoo – San Diego, California

San Diego Zoo – San Diego, California

Nestled in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is a wide world of adventure, education, and wildlife.

Home to over 12,000 animals from 600 species, this location is popular amongst visitors of all ages.

Little ones can marvel at the wonders of Mother Nature, take a page out of one of the most incredible outdoor coloring books or check out some of the safari activities.

Zoos are even great for adults, who can spend the day strolling such a fantastic San Diego spot with the peace of mind that kids are both entertained, excited and, of course, safe.

All of this and more is just what makes the San Diego Zoo one of the most fun places in the US to go as a family.

Accommodation: Where to stay in San Diego

Address: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Also Read: Top Attractions & Things To Do in San Diego, California

4: Niagara Falls State Park – Niagara, New York

Niagara Falls State Park – Niagara, New York

Let your children experience the beauty and grandeur of Niagara Falls. Aside from having your photos taken at the viewing deck, there are many fun activities that you can do with your family.

Sign up for the Cave of the Winds Tour for the ultimate water park experience.

Go on board the Maid of the Mist boat ride, which will take you right up to the falls for an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind experience.

Old Falls Street is another excellent stop stretching for three blocks! If you and your loved ones are going that way, don't forget to check out the glorious entrance at Prospect Park.

Eat at some of the tastiest restaurants with a wide variety of menu options for every family member under the sun, and fill your camera up with group shots in front of that dazzling natural display.

Accommodation: Where to stay near Niagara Falls

Address: 24 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY, 14303

Also Read: 10 Best Things To Do In And Around Niagara Falls, New York

5: Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia

Don't just learn history; immerse yourself in it! Colonial Williamsburg is one of the best places to visit for families looking for a relaxing and exciting getaway to stimulate the young mind and expand their realm of history.

The place is full of historical sites, taverns, and art museums. Kids can pretend to join the army and have a feel of what it is like to live as a soldier. They can also play fun and imaginative colonial games at the Benjamin Powell House.

The town of Williamsburg is especially great because once you've had your historical fill, you can treat the whole family to some modern-day fun.

Go-karts, movies, and Busch Gardens entertainment park are all within a short, family-friendly drive away.

For the best of both worlds: educational and entertainment, Williamsburg might just be your new favorite family-friendly vacation in the US.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Williamsburg

Address: 310 S England St, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Website: www.colonialwilliamsburg.com

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions In Williamsburg, Virginia

6: Shedd Aquarium – Chicago, Illinois

Shedd Aquarium – Chicago, Illinois

Dive deep into a whole new world of adventure! Chicago's Shedd Aquarium is an expansive, jaw-dropping exploration of all things aquatic.

Stare up in wonder as dolphins dip and glide through the water, show your kids the dazzling colors of the jellyfish display, or make it to one of the many events and showtimes offered.

Visit the 'Waters of the World' exhibit to see a wide variety of sea creatures, and watch the One World Aquatic Show to get up close with your favorite animals like sea lions, dolphins and beluga whales.

Drop by the Polar Play Zone, where kids can wear penguin suits and waddle like penguins, then they can hop on board kid-sized submarines to explore the belugas.

They can also touch starfish in the touch ponds. Play, learn, and discover all about the marine world right here at Shedd Aquarium.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Chicago

Address: 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

Website: www.sheddaquarium.org

Also Read: 25 Best Aquariums in the US

7: Hersheypark – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hersheypark – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Take a trip that’s as sweet as your family! Hersheypark is a sprawling expanse of fun for the whole family.

With 70 rides and attractions, including 16 water rides, there's a little something for everyone: all day!

Especially if you're interested in a summertime getaway, there's nothing quite like letting loose in a place specifically designed for screaming enjoyment.

What's especially nice is the ability to find your own magic, even if rollercoasters aren't your thing. A dozen different food stands to sample from and even more artistic attractions ensure everyone in your party has a good time.

Looking to work off some of your kid's summer energy? There's no better place than the screaming exciting, daring adventures and splash-making fun all found at Hershey Park.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Hershey

Address: 100 W Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033

Website: www.hersheypark.com

8: The Freedom Trail – Boston, Massachusetts

The Freedom Trail – Boston, Massachusetts

Spanning a total of 2.5 miles, the Freedom Trail is an excellent choice for the freedom of options.

Every family is different; every little thing strikes a different interest. Along this trail, you and your loved ones will pass by a grand total of 16 different sites fairly significant to U.S. history.

Spanning all the way from downtown Boston to Charlestown, the Freedom Trail is one of the best family-friendly vacations in the US for education, activity, and fun.

For a quick run-down on attractions you'll see or maybe are interested in seeing, the Freedom Trail includes the Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, King's Chapel, Old Corner Bookstore, Old South Meeting House, Paul Revere House and the USS Constitution.

Take your kids on a walk through old and new history and do it all in luxury and comfort of Boston.

Once you're done with all the exploration, stop for some of that famous Boston cuisine and culture. There is so much to enjoy on the Freedom Trail!

Accommodation: Where to stay in Boston

Address: Freedom Trail, Boston, MA

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Boston

9: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Located just off the Wisconsin River, this small Wisconsin town is an excellent choice for an out-of-the-ordinary family getaway.

Here, there are so many different ways to make your next trip memorable.

From scaling down a water slide with the sun-soaked smiles you can only get from Noah’s Ark waterpark to embracing the softer parts of nature and going to the 40-acre petting zoo called Wisconsin Deer Park, nobody in your family will be bored.

From children to parents, Wisconsin Dells will always deliver, making this one of the best kid-friendly vacations in the USA.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Wisconsin Dells

Address: 701 Superior St, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965

Website: www.wisdells.com

Also Read: Top 5 Water & Amusement Parks in Wisconsin Dells

10: Cedar Point Amusement Park – Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point Amusement Park – Sandusky, Ohio
Flickr/Jeremy Thompson

Take a ride on the wild side! Cedar Point Amusement Park is your next go-to for celebrations, getaways, and everything in between.

Get summer started right with a trip to one of the best amusement parks in the country.

Cedar Point is every child's dream vacation with skyscraping rollercoasters and all the best fun-in-the-sun foods.

Given this is a massive location spanning over 350 acres, you and your family can make a trip out of the whole weekend.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Sandusky

Address: 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870

Website: www.cedarpoint.com

Also Read: 25 Best Amusement Parks in the US

11: LEGOLAND Resort – Carlsbad, California

LEGOLAND Resort – Carlsbad, California

Build your own adventure at LEGOLAND resort, California! This immersive, intuitive, and interesting attraction is what your vacation has been looking for.

From rides to shopping and all the way to, you guessed it: lego, this is a great place to really explore your or your child's passion, or maybe even ignite a new one.

LEGOLAND is even full of surprises, with much more to offer than may be assumed.

Check out lego NINJAGO: 4D show or Story Brook. Ride the rollercoasters, dip your toes in the water rides and marvel at the architectural genius of such a long-standing interest.

LEGOLAND Resort is just what your next family vacation needs!

Accommodation: Where to stay in Carlsbad

Address: One Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Website: www.legoland.com

12: Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company – Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company – Bar Harbor, Maine
Dreamstime/David Wood

Water activities are everyone's favorite, and what better way to spend it than the whole family watching whales slowly crest the tide.

Whale watching is one of the most relaxing and adventurous activities but is often overlooked.

Guided tours by Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company are always a crowd favorite, and paired with some of nature's most majestic, massive and awe-inspiring creatures makes the whole experience unforgettable.

Once you're done with the tour, take some time to explore Bar Harbor! A cute, trendy and interesting seaside town that holds even more fun for the whole family.

Delicious restaurants, shopping centers, parks, and so much more are all available just minutes from the shoreline, making this a must-see stop.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Bar Harbor

Address: 1 West St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

13: Houston Space Center – Houston, Texas

Houston Space Center – Houston, Texas

Houston, we have a vacation! As the center for all things to infinity and beyond, the Houston Space Center is one of the most fun places to go with the kids.

Everybody in the family can embrace the educational side of wonder and take a step into some coolest exhibits for a fun learning experience.

The Starship Gallery, Independence Plaza and the Artemis Exhibit are just some of the title attractions at this unique location.

This Houston gem is constantly changing, updating and renovating, and every time is like a new world of adventure.

This makes revisiting your family's favorite vacation oh so easy and even more exciting. When you're thinking of vacationing, don't forget to shoot for the stars.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Houston

Address: 2101 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

Website: www.spacecenter.org

14: The Smithsonian Museums – Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian Museums – Washington, D.C.
Dreamstime/Sean Pavone

If you're looking for attractions for kids in the US, look no further than a bunch of them at the Smithsonian Museums in DC.

What's so great about this place is the ability to pick and choose your own adventure.

You know your family best, and what's better than options, whether it's the museum of Air and Space, American Art or even the National Zoo.

These are just three of many great options spanning a wide array of topics, interests and artifacts.

Given learning is open to all ages, this is one of those great kid attractions that doubles as a getaway for you too.

Find something you never knew or celebrate your favorite topics with your loved ones; this getaway is for all!

Accommodation: Where to stay in Washington DC

Website: www.si.edu

15: Kennedy Space Center – Merritt Island, Florida

Kennedy Space Center – Merritt Island, Florida

Embrace a whole new world! Or, galaxy, even! The Kennedy Space Center is a great place to explore the great unknown right here on Earth.

It's especially great for families with children, as many exhibits are geared towards keeping young minds engaged.

Take a walk through space and time as some of the most incredible feats of science are wrapped up in fascinating exhibits.

Maybe even check out the shuttle simulators and IMAX theater for a full, out-of-this-world experience with the whole family.

Accommodation: Where to stay near Kennedy Space Center

Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32899

Website: www.kennedyspacecenter.com

16: The Mall of America – Bloomington, Minnesota

The Mall of America – Bloomington, Minnesota

"Mall" is a bit of a loose term in this case. Really, it's just the beginning of this whirlwind amusement park, shopping extravaganza.

Travelers come from all corners of the world just to see what all the love is about, and they couldn't be more correct.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, is one of the best kid-friendly vacations in the USA for the ability of your kids to choose their own adventure, find their own style, and maybe even enjoy the rides together.

This is an especially great spot for parents alike, as there are bound to be many things that catch the eye here, from shopping to amusement parks to a wide range of food.

Take a trip meant for all of you, and make the Mall of America your next go-to getaway.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Bloomington

Address: 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425

17: Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming
Dreamstime/Wisanu Boonrawd

Often lauded as one of the greatest gems of America, Yellowstone National Park is a can't-miss attraction for just about everybody.

Home to the Old Faithful Geyser, this park has so much to offer. Waterfalls, expansive hikes and hot springs are just the beginning; the true magic is all at the moment.

Kids, adults, families and everybody in between can find a hiking path that best suits them and be bound to see something worth a thousand photos.

Get the whole family to breathe fresh air, and make your next family vacation to Yellowstone National Park.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Yellowstone National Park

Address: Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Also Read: 10 Tips for Visiting Yellowstone National Park

18: Mount Rushmore – Keystone, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore – Keystone, South Dakota

See something you might not have seen before! The whole family will enjoy a trip to Mount Rushmore for the sheer sake of being blown away.

These etched faces in the mountain stand tall against the horizon and come with detailed historical significance on sight as well as around the park.

This is especially a great site for children as there are so many places to run, play, explore and even some great hikes that make this adventure an all-day affair.

As a spot that sees over 2 million visitors a year, come for yourself to see what all the hype is about and find all the little things that make this location so special for your family vacation.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Keystone

Address: 13000 S Dakota 244, Keystone, SD 57751

19: The National Mall – Washington, D.C.

The National Mall – Washington, D.C.

As a massive, 146-acre park, the National Mall is one of the best vacation spots for kids in the US.

There are many monuments, statues and other attractions all on this walkable strip, and plenty with incredibly significant historical value.

Take the kids on an educational and fun walking tour of everything there is to offer in the National Mall, like the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial.

Once you've gotten your historical fill, take the kids to one of the ice cream parlors around town, or maybe even save a few extra days for all the museums available in such close proximity.

The National Mall is an ideal choice for family vacations thanks to the vast number of activities available at such a close distance.

Address: Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20565

Also Read: 12 Famous Landmarks in Washington, D.C.

20: Statue of Liberty – New York City, New York

Statue of Liberty – New York City, New York

Considering the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable and visited landmarks in the United States, it should come as no surprise it doubles as a great place to take the kids in the US.

This trip is marked by several different ways to enjoy: from a distance, from land, from water, but always together.

A ferry ride to get a closer look is always a fan favorite, as eager eyes marvel at the beauty of this 305-foot statue.

Take all the family photos that'll be used in scrapbooks for years to come, and absolutely don't forget to treat the whole family to some of that delicious New York cuisine.

This is a great place in America for the entire family.

Accommodation: Where to stay in NYC

Address: Liberty Island, NY

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in New York City

21: Gateway Arch – St. Louis, Missouri

Gateway Arch – St. Louis, Missouri
Dreamstime/Patricia Elaine Thomas

As a famous and beloved American landmark, the St. Louis Gateway Arch is a fantastic family vacation. This massive 630-foot-tall beacon acts as the warmest welcome in the midwest.

There's a beautiful, open space park at its base and a lovely walking path that makes getting around with a family relatively easy.

What's particularly nice is the proximity to the city and all the benefits of being so close.

Take the kids for a delicious treat, find the family's favorite shopping store or take your lunch to the Gateway itself for the best 'meal and moment' of the year.

Accommodation: Where to stay in St. Louis

Address: 100 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in St. Louis

22: Carlsbad Caverns – Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns – Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Dreamstime/Ralph Brannan

Nature is the best teacher! For one of the best family-friendly vacations in the US that doubles as another tick off the national park bucket list, go where the adventurers do.

Carlsbad Caverns is a dazzling sight in the Chihuahuan desert, featuring over 100 caves over its expansive stretch of land.

With the ability to drive, hike, or find some beaten path trails, Carlsbad is a great option for free-spirited families looking to see something new.

Even when the sun goes down, the fun doesn't stop! If you're a family who likes to look up, especially when the stars are shining, there are few better places than far removed from bright lights and the big cities.

New Mexico is a great place to do some star-gazing, and night sky programs at Carlsbad Caverns are just the place.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Carlsbad

Address: 27 Carlsbad Caverns Highway, Carlsbad, NM, 88220

23: Indianapolis Children’s Museum - Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis Children’s Museum - Indianapolis, Indiana
Dreamstime/James Kirkikis

If you're looking for some places of interest for kids, look no further than the world's largest children's museum.

With the vast number of exhibits, it would be difficult to try them all or list the greats.

However, some of the crowd favorites are Scooby-Doo Mansion Mayhem, the new Dino-Sphere, an immersive dinosaur expedition, and Science works, where learning comes alive.

This isn't just a museum where information is read off plaques; this is a whole experience, making the memory and the information stick with your family forever.

The Indianapolis Children's Museum is great for all go-getters and trendsetters.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Indianapolis

Address: 3000 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Website: www.childrensmuseum.org

24: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo - Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo - Omaha, Nebraska

For a combination of things sea and land brought together by the quest for all-ages fun, check out Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.

As research, conservation and education institution, this zoo and aquarium is a wide world of knowledge just waiting to be explored.

From tunnels that take you underneath breathtaking aquatic tanks all the way to spotting some animals the kids may have never seen before, this is one of the best places for a whole lot of learning.

Some of the top attractions inside the zoo are Glacier Bay Landing, Stingray Beach, Alaskan Adventure and even a tram.

This massive expanse of all things Mother Nature is just the beginning of an exciting trip that is the zoo, complete with child-friendly opportunities to release some energy.

Spark that thread of wonderment and enjoy your own time while you're at it, all at one of the best vacation spots for kids in the US.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Omaha

Address: 3701 S 10th St, Omaha, NE 68107

Website: www.omahazoo.com

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Omaha

25: Tennessee Aquarium - Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tennessee Aquarium - Chattanooga, Tennessee
Dreamstime/Sooth Sayre

Housing over 12,000 animals and welcoming millions to its gates, it's no real wonder why the Tennessee Aquarium is regarded as one of the best public aquariums.

Here parents and children can enjoy their day as they peruse new exhibits, wander around magnificent tanks and even such exhibits as the “secret reef” and other marvels of the world just waiting to be explored. 

The biggest draw to this location compared to others is the diversity of its animals.

Best demonstrated through a wide array of exhibits that make spending a whole day here seem like the insufficient time.

This location offers a spectacular view of amphibians, birds, mammals, butterflies, fish and reptiles. Go from Tropical Cove to the Butterfly Gardens and never lose an ounce of astonishment.

Have some peace of mind while your children expand their knowledge of different animals and their habitats at this one of the best kid-friendly places in the US.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Chattanooga

Address: 1 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Website: www.tnaqua.org

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Chattanooga

FAQs about Kid-Friendly Vacations in the US

What is the best place to have a family vacation in the United States?

One of the perfect destinations to enjoy a family vacation in the US is Orlando, Florida. Home to some of the world's best theme parks, like Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios, Orlando offers endless entertainment options for kids and adults alike.

Where are the best summer family vacations in the US?

Outer Banks in North Carolina offers an incredible experience with its miles of pristine beaches, water sports, and historic sites. San Diego is another ideal destination for summer family vacations. It boasts sunny weather year-round with plenty of outdoor activities. Lastly, Niagara Falls offers breathtaking scenery that is sure to leave any family in awe.

What are the most affordable kid-friendly vacation places in the US?

One of the most affordable kid-friendly places in the United States is Yellowstone National Park. The park offers stunning landscapes, such as geysers, hot springs, canyons, rivers and lakes. Entrance fees start at just $35 per vehicle or $20 per person, which gives you access to the park for seven days. Another great option is Myrtle Beach which offers a variety of activities ranging from beautiful beaches to amusement parks. In terms of accommodations, Myrtle Beach has a range of options to fit any budget.

Plan a trip to these kid-friendly places in the USA soon!

Getting out with the kids is a wonderful way to help your family bond and deepen their relationship ties. Luckily, there are many kid-friendly vacation spots in the USA that provide an opportunity for you and your kids to have an adventure away from home.

These kid-friendly places in the USA are constantly updating to provide year-round excitement for whatever the occasion may be. Car, train, plane, or more, start booking your next family vacation with these special locations in mind.

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