Ideas for Family vacation with 5year old-we have not been anywhere as a family! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-14-2011, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Disney? Disney 3 night cruise? St Pete's beach Florida with a day trip to Disney? Hershey Park Penn? Any experiences out there? We've never been on a family vacation-DS has never been on a plane! . Looking to stay on East Coast and in the US. DS has food allergies-I know Disney is good about this and if we did a beach vacation in FL we'd stay at a place with a kitchen. We are thinking March or April. Where have you been and would you do it again?

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#2 of 8 Old 01-14-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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March and April can be really busy at Disney because of everyone having spring break then.  Early March and after Easter are better times, though Easter is so late this year that it doesn't help April at all.  That being said we love Disney World.  There is a ton to do and see, and they are wonderful with allergies.  I am not sure I would only do one day at Disney World though, it is so big one day is kind of overwhelming since most people want to get the most out of their ticket, since 1 day tickets are expensive and overload on it.  I probably won't go for less then 3 days and more likely for less then 5 days with a down day in the middle.

 

The beach is nice, it is fun it tends to be relaxing, you have no plans and you can do what you want when you want.  Which makes it a nice relaxing vacation.

 

I have heard wonderful things about Disney Cruises as well, if I could afford it I would probably do a 3 night cruise and a couple of days at the beach.  It would be nice and relaxing and you have both the cruise to see new places and the beach to relax and have fun.

 

Hershey's Park is a nice amusement park from what I've heard, but looking at it, it has a lot of thrill rides, does your DS like thrill rides?  Is he even tall enough for most of the ride at Hershey's Park?

 

Since I don't know where you are, another suggestions is DC.  Fly into DC visit a bunch of the museums and make take a trip up to Baltimore to visit the Aquarium and Children's Museum.   There is a ton to do and lots of tourist attractions.  The zoo is a great place to visit as well.

 

Another suggestion is Bush Gardens and Williamsburg, maybe spend a night or 2 at Great Wolf Lodge for the waterpark there then stay in Williamsburg and visit the historical village and Bush Gardens as well.

 

We haven't done any of my suggestions other then the beach, which is wonderful and relaxing, day trips to DC (we live right outside the city), and Disney World.  The other ones are trips we have considered once our kids are older.  DS is a huge thrill rides type kid and not tall enough for most of the thrill rides at Bush Gardens or Hershey Park yet, which is why we haven't visited them yet, we're waiting till he is tall enough to enjoy more of those parks.


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#3 of 8 Old 01-14-2011, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! DS is 5 and NOT into thrill rides at all-very cautious-shy and sensitive. DC would be a possibility-it would be a much shorter flight for us actually. Thanks for the suggestions....we are just itching to do something.....and it's COLD and SNOWY so I'm pushing for beach..but then again we live by the beach and spend our summers there so he's not thrilled about a beach vacation during snow season!

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#4 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 06:43 AM
 
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We've been to Myrtle Beach, SC in May and June (different years); if you actually want to lay out on the beach, I wouldn't recommend March or April.  However, we don't spend much time at the beach (my DH loves it, but I don't).  We stay someplace with a pool and a kitchen.  For March or April, I'd recommend a heated pool, possibly indoors.  There are tons of miniature golf places, tons of shopping and restaurants (Broadway at the Beach has a nice little Ripley's Aquarium and a Magic Quest--my DS loved both).  Last May we visited the fabulous (huge) Brookgreen Gardens.  They also have a small zoo onsite, but we didn't make it over there.

 

If you do decide to visit Washington, DC, be sure to check the dates for this year's Cherry Blossom Festival first.  It's supposed to be super crowded then (we haven't been yet).  If crowds don't bother you, then it might be fun to attend during the festival; but if you can't stand tons of people, avoid those couple weeks.

 

We've also stayed in Williamsburg, VA, but we didn't visit Colonial Williamsburg--we went to Jamestown instead, which was a better fit for our friends' kids, who were with us. All my DS wanted to do there was throw rocks in the water (it turned out later he was coming down with a cold).  But there's an awesome Air & Space Center in Virginia Beach, VA.  We were all geeking out there.

 

Have you considered going camping?  We did that a lot when I was a kid.  I guess it depends on the interests of your family and how you'd like to spend your time.  Do you just want to chill out and hang out?  Cruising would be great for that, or any hotel with a pool.  Do you love museums and art galleries?  Any major city would have plenty to choose from (from NY to Boston to DC, etc.).  Do you like to be active (hiking, biking) in a natural setting?  I know March and April can be chilly in the Northeast, with the occasional warm day to give hope.  If you're seeking warmth, though, you really need to go south.

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#5 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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What about heading North to the Boston area? Plimoth Plantation is short drive as is the mountains. There is a great Children's and Science Museum. Lots of family friendly fun!


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#6 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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We got to Disney World yearly.  Presently my boys at 5 & 8.  My 5 yr old LOVES it.  None of us are into thrill rides and Disney is much more then just rides and is 4 parks.  We spend 1/2 day in the parks and 1/2 day at the pool for a week.   If you do want more info on Disney as to when to go, where to stay, saving money etc check out the disboards.com.  Easter is the second most popular time of year at Disney after Christmas.  My oldest had an anaphylactic dairy allergy and Disney was fabulous.  First time ever he was able to go out to eat and have a "milkshake" made special for him and then go to an ice cream parlor and get rice dream on a cone.  We are signed up for a Disney cruise this fall for 3 days - so looking forward to it :)

 

If you want a shorter get away there are places near home.  Storyland in NH is great for young kids.  There is also a hotel near Storyland with an indoor water park that we love to stay at during a weekend in the winter to "get away".  

 

Hershey park I have been told is great but more of a rides kind of place.  We have looked into Colonial WIlliamsburg for us but I have been told we will get more out of it when the kids are a little older.  A friend of mine went recently with a 7 & 10 yr old.  The 7 yr old was bored.    

 

Hilton Head in SC has great beaches but would still be chilly in March & April.

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#7 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:

If you want a shorter get away there are places near home.  Storyland in NH is great for young kids.  There is also a hotel near Storyland with an indoor water park that we love to stay at during a weekend in the winter to "get away".  

 

Kahuna Laguna *is* awesome.  Very clean, the staff was very friendly and the hotel "mountain view" rooms did have a great views of the white mountains. Keep in mind that Storyland does not open until the end May but there is lots to do in the North Conway area


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#8 of 8 Old 01-16-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucyem View Post

If you want a shorter get away there are places near home.  Storyland in NH is great for young kids.  There is also a hotel near Storyland with an indoor water park that we love to stay at during a weekend in the winter to "get away".  

 

Hershey park I have been told is great but more of a rides kind of place.  We have looked into Colonial WIlliamsburg for us but I have been told we will get more out of it when the kids are a little older.  A friend of mine went recently with a 7 & 10 yr old.  The 7 yr old was bored.    

 

 

Is Storyland really great? I haven't been there for ...37 years. DS is 3, and we go to southern NH/Boston each summer. Wondering if it is worth a (day?) trip up there this summer.
 

Does Hershey Park still have the chocolate factory you can visit? I would suggest that and the park once the child is "into" thrill rides.

 

Agreed that Williamsburg is much better once the child has an appreciation of history, but before "I'm a bored adolescent, no matter where we go." We went when I was 11-12, and it was GREAT. I was thrilled with an archeological investigation they were doing. I think we did Busch gardens during one of those trips.

 

I wouldn't bother with DC if your LO is only 5. Give it a couple of years so they can understand some of what it is about.

 

Boston does have a great Science center and children's museum. We did a whale watch this past summer and DS (3) really liked it. I used to think they were overpriced, but this is something  I would do once every 3-5 years.


DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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