4 Best Spring and Early Summer Kid-Friendly Vacations

Family vacations are an important part of growing up for many children as these travels bring about some of the best memories of their childhood.

That’s why, when choosing a family vacation destination, it’s important to choose somewhere that offers the opportunity for unforgettable memories to be made - a place that both the kids and the adults just can’t help but brag about to their friends.

With spring and summer breaks on the horizon, here are a few of our favorite kid-friendly getaways that have some amazing perks for adults, too.

Southern California

The Ranch at Laguna Beach is an upscale boutique ranch located in the valleys of coastal Orange County, California, that offers both surf and nature to visitors of the historical property.

Kids will love...

In the summer, the ranch has perhaps one of the most amazing kids programs I have ever seen called “Junior Rangers,” which encourages kids to learn, create and explore. Children learn about topics through interactive and hands-on opportunities and then create related projects. Each day of the week even has its own theme!

Ranch at Laguna Beach Children get up close and personal during the birds of prey course.

The Creatures of the Canyon theme, for example, lets kids make plasters of animal tracks, and then explore the local area to search for real animal tracks.

Adults will love...

The luxurious cottage-like accommodations, couples cooking classes and “Ben Brown’s Golf Course,” a 9-hole (par 32) course that takes you into the heart of quiet nature.

Cancun, Mexico

Although Cancun is typically known as the ultimate Spring Break party destination, I recently discovered a family-friendly luxury resort that is in a prime downtown location, but somehow manages to make you feel like you’re not in the middle of all the hustle and bustle.

The Grand Fiesta Americana

The Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun gives you the feeling of being at home while you are away. This high-end resort is perfect for the more discerning family who enjoys a more luxurious vacation experience.

Kids will love...

At a jaw-dropping 50,000 square feet, the state-of-the-art Coral KidZ Club is one of a kind. It’s clear they spared no expense during their recent $2 million renovation and really paid attention to the details. From fun cooking classes led by the resort’s executive chef, to designing your own remote-controlled car racetrack, children aged 3-12 will never want to leave this adventure land designed just for them.

Coral KidZ Club

Adults will love...

Daytime: While the kids are getting in their "me" time at the Coral KidZ Club, Mom and Dad can enjoy lounging in the sunshine at the adults-only VIP beach or pool areas, complete with full service private bar and upscale snacks.

Evening: The on-site Five Diamond-rated restaurant, Le Basilic, serves award winning delights by French Chef Henri Charvet with smooth live jazz for atmosphere and is a must-dine for a luxurious gastronomic experience.

Costa Rica

Dreams Las Mareas, in the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica, is an all-inclusive destination on a secluded private bay. It’s perfect for families who love water activities and nature, as well as the ease of unlimited access to food and drink.

Dreams Las Mareas

Kids will love...

The Explorers Club at Dreams Las Mareas is designed with children 3 to 12 years old in mind. The fully trained staff, which has Red Cross certification in both CPR and first aid, is friendly, kind and genuinely interested in interacting with everyone.

I especially loved that there were several core staff members that were present daily, offering a consistent friendly face for children to bond with. Upon check in, parents receive a beeper so they can be contacted should they be needed for any reason.

water slide The gentle water slide is fun for both children and adults alike.

BONUS: The staff at the Explorer’s Club take the children to eat lunch and dinner at the restaurant daily at scheduled times. This is a huge bonus since it’s a rarely offered amenity of resort kids programs.

Adults will love...

Leaving their wallets in the safe, because it’s all-inclusive. You have access to seven restaurants, three bars/lounges, Wi-Fi, water sports activities and the kids club. My favorite parts of the resort were our suite with swim up pool access, lobster dinner and stunning sunsets on shimmering gold beaches.

Oh and I loved the spa relaxation area. I mean, come on!

The water slide, kayaking in the bay with baby stingrays and our rainforest hiking excursion (fee applies), where we saw howler monkeys and a sloth in the wild, were also big hits!


Most people think of a vacation in Orlando as being synonymous with theme parks, but I love the idea of using a family vacation in Orlando to seek out the cool stuff that you missed the last time you were there.

You could easily fill a week of vacation with these activities that are a bit off the beaten path.

Kids will love...

If you’ve never tried wakeboarding, it’s a fast-paced thrill mixing balance, agility and speed that will have you grinning from ear to ear. Traditionally performed behind a high-speed motorboat with a sturdy cable set-up, Aktion Parks is a water sports complex that gives wakeboarding a bit of a twist. By using an automatic cable/pulley system, they have eliminated the need for a boat, and allows beginners an easier go at it. But that doesn’t mean experts won’t enjoy the park too; they have advanced cables to challenge even the world’s top athletes.

However, the biggest lure for us was that they offer family-friendly courses and one-on-one lessons for kids under 10, which includes a 1-hour safety lesson and all your basic gear to ride.

For the hard-core adrenaline junkie family, iFly will get you suited up and feeling like you’re free falling through the air, but minus the butterflies and plane. How do they do it? That is not for me to question, but the look on our children’s faces was all I needed to add this experience to the list of “do again” and “recommend to everyone”.

Just a short drive from Orlando’s city center you’ll find an ecotourism ranch that combines both thrills and ecology, with a smattering of animals mixed right in. While Forever Florida prides itself on being Florida’s largest zipline and horseback adventure park, we loved that the ecotourism ranch offers more than just thrills. Sitting on 4,700 acres, which encompasses nine distinct ecosystems, the park is home to a variety of locally found critters including wild boar, alligators, black bears, whitetail deer and the endangered Florida panther.

Adults will love...

Everything that the kids will love, with the added bonus of avoiding the theme park crowds and prices.

With more accommodations than you can shake a stick at, along with year-round sunshine and reasonable airfare, Orlando is always a good choice for family vacations. While there’s nothing wrong with spending a day at a large theme park, be sure to keep this list handy for those days you’d like to try something different.

We will spend most of our lives working and doing the everyday mundane necessities to keep our worlds turning, but family vacations are the chance to slow down if only for a brief period of time. Make those trips special for each member of the family. From making childhood dreams come true to finding time for Mom and Dad to enjoy themselves, these are the moments that shape a family.

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About the Author

Jeana Shandraw

Jeana Shandraw describes herself as an adventurous traveler, with a passion for people, cultures and food all over the world that she documents on her blog Surf and Sunshine. When Jeana is not traveling the world, Jeana enjoys crafting delicious recipes and cuddling with her son.