Excited for the long weekend ahead but don’t know where to go? We’ve got some fun ideas you and your kids will love!
By Mimi Slawoff
Witness a reinactment at The Alamo (Courtesy San Antonio Tourism Board)
For some families, Memorial Day weekend is a time for backyard barbeques and downtime while others jump at the chance to get out of town and explore new surroundings. One thing is for sure, Memorial Day is a holiday weekend that marks the start of summer.
Escape to the beach, relax in the country or spend the weekend in a city with kids at these five diverse Memorial Day getaways and you’re guaranteed some good R&R you won’t soon forget.
Disneyland, Anaheim, California
Meet Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland (Courtesy Disney)
Disney kicks off the Memorial Day holiday weekend May 22 with the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. Count on Disney to celebrate its 60th birthday in style with a 24-hour party and three new nighttime spectaculars: ‘Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Paint the Night” parade and “World of Color – Celebrate!” The family-friendly party includes special character encounters at both Disneyland and California Adventure. This big of a celebration deserves spending a night or two at the Disneyland Resort.
San Antonio, Texas
From historic sites to theme parks, there’s plenty of Texas-size family-fun in this pedestrian-friendly city. Schedule a morning tour of The Alamo, the historic site where 189 Texan heroes battled General Santa Ana’s army of thousands. Zoom to the top of Tower of Americas, built in 1968 for the World’s Fair, for spectacular city views. For a laid-back outing, enjoy a narrated river cruise. Wind down the day with a meal at the popular River Walk, lined with restaurants and shops. Located on the waterfront, a stay at the Drury Hotel Plaza Riverwalk includes free breakfast.
Explore Chicago (Courtesy Chicago Tourism Board)
Beaches, zoos and cultural attractions are among the many fun things to see and do with kids in Chicago. Not only is the Lincoln Zoo one of the oldest zoos in America, it’s also free. The Garfield Park Conservatory (also free) has different educational activities throughout the year. The most popular attraction is Navy Pier, a 3,300 foot long pier jam-packed with attractions and entertainment. Fireworks shows are every Wednesday and Saturday evening from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The centrally-located Talbott Hotel Chicago is steps away from major attractions.
Stay at the Southbridge Hotel (Courtesy Southbridge Hotel)
For an off the beaten path getaway – about an hour outside Boston — bring the kids to the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, a restored optical factory nestled by the Quinebaug River. Activities include hiking and apple picking at nearby orchards. The Family Fun Package (rates start at $170) includes accommodations for three, milk and cookies upon arrival, daily breakfast for three, complimentary use of pools and fitness center, and passes to Old Sturbridge Village, which depicts life in early 19th century. During Memorial Day weekend, visitors can see sheep get their hair cut, herding demonstrations and more.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Beach at Fort Lauderdale (Courtesy Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Warm beaches and outdoor activities make this a fun city to explore with kids. Ride an airboat through the Everglades (yes, you’ll see gators), see colorful fish and reefs while snorkeling and relax on a narrated water taxi tour of homes of the rich and famous. The Harbor Beach Marriott is an ideal home base, with a private beach for swimming, kayaking and standup paddle boarding. Guests get a 10 percent discount and a $25 credit nightly. Rates start at $233/night. Promo code: MRP. Valid through July 10, 2015
Mimi Slawoff of WriteMimi.com contributed this to MiniTime. She is a Los Angeles-based journalist and a seasoned family travel expert who explores the world with her three children and writes about their journeys.