Booking a family holiday can be difficult; you might want to kick back and relax, but your kids will want to go somewhere they can have fun. There’s a huge range of destinations to choose from, so to help you make a decision, here’s ten of the best places to go on a family holiday.
Australia’s East Coast
It may be a long, long plane-ride away, but Australia is a truly unforgettable country and holiday destination. The beautiful beaches along the east coast (and all the other coasts too!) are perfect for relaxing on as well as trying out all sorts of watersports. Nature lovers are spoilt here too; you can go whale watching and see humpbacks playing with each other or visit one of many zoos and aquariums.
Sydney Sea Life Aquarium is particularly popular with children, as it gives them the chance to see all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures they may be unfamiliar with, including platypuses, moon jellyfish, sea dragons and more!
Thrill seekers of all ages will love Dreamworld Theme Park on the Gold Coast in Queensland, which features many of your kids’ favourite Dreamworks’ characters, such as Shrek, the animals from Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. The park is famous for its ‘Big 9 Thrill Rides’, but it’s also home to more than 500 animals native to Australia.
If you’re on a budget or would prefer to stay closer to home, Blackpool is a classic family holiday destination. What child wouldn’t enjoy a donkey ride on the beach or running around on the soft sand with an ice cream in hand?
Sunshine may not be guaranteed in Blackpool, but there’s plenty to do should rain try and ruin your day. Sandcastle Waterpark is the UK’s largest indoor waterpark, featuring more than 18 thrilling slides and attractions. It’s great for kids of all ages, and there’s a lazy river for all those knackered adults!
When the sun is out though, you should definitely pay a visit to Blackpool Zoo. Set in 32 acres of parkland, the zoo is home to all your favourite animals, including big cats, gorillas, giraffes, sea lions, elephants and much more. Kids can get hands on with their favourite animals in the Children’s Farm area, where they can take a llama for a walk, help groom a donkey or milk a cow.
Kids who love to stay active will adore Cornwall. Here, they have the chance to cycle, surf, camp and do so much more than just build sandcastles on the beach. However, it’s no secret that Cornwall is home to some of the UK’s (and the world’s) best beaches, so you’re sure to spend a lot of your holiday enjoying them.
One of the attractions that you must visit while you’re here is the Eden Project. It’s won multiple tourism awards and it’s easy to see why; kids will love exploring the huge tropical gardens found within the domes and will no doubt learn loads about nature during their visit.
Another attraction that will help you get close to nature is Tree Surfers. You and the kids can try and tackle four different high ropes courses of varying difficulty. Even very young children can get involved, as there is a course designed specifically for them. If, however, once you get there not all your kids are feeling brave, there’s plenty of other activities they can try, such as archery, den building and animal tracking.
Cyprus is famous for its gorgeous weather, stunning scenery and great beaches, but there’s so much more to discover here. Budding Lara Croft’s and Indiana Jones’s will be dying to explore all the amazing castles and ruins – Tomb of the Kings, Lemesos Castle and Kyrenia Castle are just some of the most popular places to visit.
Adventurous kids will also love the Palaeontology Museum, where they can find out more about their favourite dinosaurs and the bones of pygmy elephants and hippopotamuses that date back to before 10,000BC. Children who take part in the treasure hunt by picking up the various shells they can find across the museum will be rewarded with a prize, too.
In terms of waterparks, Aphrodite Waterpark is one of the best. It has everything from thrilling slides to baby pools and lazy rivers – so there’s something for everyone.
The state of Florida is perhaps most well-known for being the home to so many fantastic theme parks. Walt Disney World Resort alone comprises of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and two waterparks. Plus, there’s Bush Gardens, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
Of course, there’s more to Florida than just thrill rides and cartoon characters. Miami’s beautiful beaches are perfect for sunbathing on, and you’ll be thankful for the cool water after enduring Florida’s heat and humidity for a day.
The Everglades National Park is a must-visit if you’re in Florida. Spanning 1.5 million acres, this area isn’t just a huge swamp full of alligators, like some believe. There are many different ways to explore this impressive national park – you could go for a walk, get on a plane and see it from above or hop on an airboat.
Again, lots of families visit Paris purely to take their kids to Disneyland, but the city has so much more to offer. We recommend taking some time to explore the city of Paris and take in all its sights, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and Arc de Triomphe.
Also in Paris is the Jardin d’Acclimatation, an amusement park dating back to 1860. It’s a nice place to go and relax after walking around the city. There is a funfair with a number of different rides to enjoy here, as well as animals, a mini golf course and two playgrounds.
Paris isn’t short on museums either, and while some may bore your children to tears, the whole family will adore Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Featuring dinosaur fossils, a giant whale and a huge collection of stuffed animals, this museum is ideal for a rainy day. There’s even a special Children’s Gallery with a treasure hunt exhibition, which will no doubt keep the little ones well occupied.
The Canary Islands
Consisting of seven large islands and several smaller ones, the Canaries is the place to go if you’re after fine sand beaches, mild weather and spectacular scenery. Each island has its own personality and attractions, so it’s worth doing your research before you go.
Tenerife is one of the most popular islands to visit – more than ten million people flock here every year! It’s a great place to go whale or dolphin watching and enjoy some watersports on the beach.
In Lanzarote, you can dive into the depths of the ocean whilst staying completely dry, thanks to the Submarine Safaris. It’s one of the best ways to view sea creatures up close in complete safety. Plus, if you bring your camera, you’ll get some cracking photos too.
Fuerteventura has some beautiful white-sand beaches with relatively shallow waters – ideal for letting toddlers have a supervised splash in the sea. An unusual but recommended attraction is the Museo del Queso Majorero. This interactive goat’s cheese museum is a big hit with the kids and the adults (entry costs just €2 and children go free).
The Caribbean is the place to go if you want to escape the hum-drum of everyday life. Its gorgeous scenery, fantastic beaches and friendly locals make for a wonderful family holiday. The region consists of more than 7,000 islands, so deciding whereabouts to go in the Caribbean can be tricky.
One of the most popular destinations is The Bahamas – your kids will love it if they’re interested in pirates. The Pirates of Nassau museum is both educational and fun. It features a 130ft-long sailing ship, animatronic pirates and more!
If you have older children or would prefer to spend your holiday exploring the natural beauty of the Caribbean, head to Puerto Rico for a hike through the lush rainforest. Accompanied by a guide, you’ll get to see the incredible flora and fawna here, as well as stunning waterfalls hidden deep within the trees.
Don’t fancy walking that far? Take a Jeep Safari Adventure Tour in Jamaica. You’ll learn so much about the history of the island and will explore parts of it you never knew existed!
The Costa del Sol
It’s no secret that Spain is a great holiday destination for families. It’s only a short plane ride away, fantastic weather is guaranteed and the gorgeous beaches are bound to keep everyone happy.
Of course, the many waterparks here are extremely popular in the summer too. Aquavelis, near Malaga, is one of the best. It has rides to suit all ages and the queues for them are generally quite short, even when the park is busy.
Also in Malaga is Tivoli World, an amusement park with more than 40 attractions, including bumper cars, a giant ferris wheel, roller coaster and go-kart circuit. It’s not ideal for older children, but your little ones will have an absolute blast.
If your kids are mad on animals, Bioparc Fuengirola stands out from most other zoos. Its main priority is the welfare of its residents, so each of the animal’s natural environments have been faithfully recreated. The Sumatra Tiger, which is critically endangered, is the star of the show, but there are some 200 different species of animal to see in total.
Turkey has so much to offer – great food, hot weather, sandy beaches and awesome attractions. Its capital, Istanbul, is a must-visit and is where you’ll find many of the stunning palaces, mosques and ruins.
For the kids, there are tons of family attractions, including the typical waterparks, aquariums and zoos. For something a bit different, try Jurassic Land (not to be confused with Jurassic Park!). It’s one of the biggest dinosaur theme parks in the world and boasts life-size moving models of 70 different dinosaurs, a 4D theatre and a laboratory where children can observe dinosaur eggs up close. You and your kids could even try and take on the dinosaurs in the Dino Laser arena.
Any one of these destination would make for a fantastic family holiday, as there’s just so much to see and do! However, we wouldn’t blame you if you just spent the whole trip lying on the beach and making sandcastles. Whatever you choose to do make sure you’re covered.