There’s nothing like Facebook’s memory notification reminding you what you were doing some 10, 15… maybe even 20-years-ago before your kids were around. The photographic evidence is there that you were exploring cities like New Orleans and Las Vegas without a care in the world.
You may not be able to recapture your 20s without little ones asking for a snack and interrupting your daydream, but you can still go to those favorite destinations from your young adulthood and introduce them to your kids. From New York City to Panama City Beach, the places you went in your 20s are surprisingly kid-friendly.
Austin’s position as a thriving music town with plenty of bars coupled with its bullhorn call to millennials makes it a paradise for 20-something-year-olds. But kids can get in on the fun too without eating brunch at a pub at noon.
Little ones learn more about wildlife and nature at The Austin Zoo with opportunities to interact with the animals and see 35 exhibits and thousands of species at the Austin Aquarium. Over at the Austin Toy Museum and Peter Pan Mini Golf, kids are treated to some good old-fashioned fun. Make sure to explore the Inner Space Cavern where construction workers discovered stalagmites and stalactites with Ice Age animal fossils. And for a truly quintessential Austin experience, the kids will enjoy, the Cathedral of Junk turns garbage into dazzling sculpture treasures.
Chances are high you ended up in Los Angeles post-college trying to figure out if it could be your home in between clubbing and posing with the “stars” at Madame Tussauds wax figures. And although the City of Angels attracts scores of aspiring Hollywood starlets, music lovers, and young adult knuckleheads alike, it’s also fun for kids.
Families typically make the short drive from Los Angeles to Disneyland, but there’s still plenty to see and do beyond the Mouse. Universal Studios, Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountains also hosts thrill-seeking families looking to spend the day soaring on roller coasters and pint-sized rides. For something more laid back than the expansive Aquarium of the Pacific, try the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and then stay and explore the area afterward with a fascinating experiment in people watching. But if you’re short on time, drive over to the city’s Griffith Park to see the LA Zoo, Travel Town Train Museum, and a pony ride before spreading out for a picnic.
Everyone who made it out of their 20s has that “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” photo after staying out all night and spending too much money at the casino. So we’ll let it slide that you may not realize Las Vegas is an amazingly kid-friendly town.
Let the kids loose at the Children’s Park at Town Square with a thrilling splash pad, maze carved out of hedges, and tree house. For a fun lodging option that embraces Las Vegas casino culture with a kid-focus, stay at Circus Circus and explore the Adventuredome for a 5-acre indoor amusement park complete with roller coasters, mini golf, and bungee jumping. To get back to nature, the nearby Las Vegas Farm offers a day of interacting with peacocks, cows, llamas, and classic farm animals with the option to buy fresh eggs and honey.
We love this Las Vegas adventure that shows any age works from the blog Glitter and Bubbles.
Remember when a trip to Miami meant relaxing at South Beach and staying out until dawn before getting a slice of pizza at Pucci’s? Although Pucci’s is still a tasty lunch for kids, there’s more kid-friendly fun to do in Miami than pizza and beaches.
For a science lesson on the road, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science boasts a planetarium, aquarium, and science museum in one place. Kids flock to the Castle of Dreams at the Miami Children’s Museum while Mini Mondays give infants and toddlers a chance to play and learn without the scores of big kids on field trips. For some outdoor fun, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park makes the list for sunshine, sand, and a climb to the lighthouse. But if your kids ages three on up are swimmers at heart, take them to the stunning Venetian Pool created in the 1920s from a coral rock quarry.
Honky tonks are still alive and well in Nashville, but Music City also appeals to 20-somethings looking for concerts, events, and the history of live music. Kids get in on the fun with their own version of a weekend getaway in the rapidly growing heart of Tennessee.
The best time to hit the honky tonks with kids in tow is mid-morning or early afternoon. Start by grabbing an afternoon ice cream at Mike’s and walk down Broadway while popping into a few bars to hear live music. ” Got teens? Let them rock out at Rocketown with stages for live entertainment and an indoor skatepark. Over at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, the 55-acre botanical garden and historic estate features art galleries, seasonal festivals, and a TRAINS! exhibit with an enchanted woodland theme with fairies and waterfalls, special kids’ tunnels, dioramas of miniature worlds, and lots of interactive sounds. Kids can also tap into their inner astronauts at the Adventure Science Center and Sudekum Planetarium. Before you go, set a family goal to climb to the top of the Adventure Tower and look out over downtown Nashville from the glass pyramid.
Mardis Gras has been calling our names since we were old enough to know what a real party is. And although those shiny beads and necklaces are super appealing to kids, there’s more to New Orleans than a weekend of debauchery.
The unique Audubon Aquarium of the Americas features four major sea life habitats to explore and even features a touch pool with Cownose rays. Over at the Louisiana Children’s Museum features 30,000-square-foot interactive museum with over a 100 hands-on exhibits. Get some fresh air at City Park and head over to the historic carousel with 15 rides including hand-carved horses for a whimsical ride. And don’t worry, kids do get a taste of the real Mardis Gras with a behind-the-scenes look at costumes, floats, and parade decor for that pinnacle annual event.
New York City
Remember when New York City was all about discovering our dreams, daydreaming about our besties on Sex in the City, and indulging in a Broadway show? That New York City still exists, but so does a magical kids’ wonderland.
Although the Bronx Zoo dwarfs the Central Park Zoo, the latter is a more manageable day with the kids and even features sea lion feedings, plus gives direct proximity to Central Park for a day of playing afterward. Stop for a treat of biscuits and cookies at Alice’s Tea Cup where the pages of Alice in Wonderland springs to life. Over at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, kids can run along the shoreline on mixed-use paths, test their wherewithal with seasonal kayaking, and hop a ride on the historic Jane’s Carousel.
Explore these top picture spots for great photo opportunities with the kiddos.
Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach was once known as the spot where college kids flocked on spring break and took part in things they hoped their parents never found out about. In reality, Panama City Beach is the perfect spot for a family vacation with kids.
Look for the building that resembles a shipwreck to find the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum where kids explore a mirror maze challenge and a 7D moving theater. Coconut Creek delights visitors with two 18-hole mini-golf courses, maze, evening putt-putt after a trip down the lazy river at Shipwreck Island Waterpark. Of course, Panama City Beach is synonymous with outdoor fun at the beach, and a trip to Shell Island is a must with snorkeling, dolphin sightings, and seashell collecting.
We all know what once happened on the corner of Haight Ashbury when hippies reigned before the glorious fine dining and high culture of San Francisco sprang forward. With kids in tow, fine dining might be out, but there is still plenty to do.
For an adventure with kids, starting at the Presidio makes for a kid-friendly hike with tree sculptures, hidden forts, and groves to explore. Meanwhile, the Bay Area Discovery Museum features seven exhibition spaces and drop-in programs for children 6-months to 10-years-old for an interactive learning experience both outdoors and in. No trip is complete without a stop to see the iconic Golden Gate bridge and there’s no better place to do that for kids than Koret Children’s Quarter Playground with slides, climbing walls, and a historic 62 animal carousel.
If you’re nostalgic for those weekend getaways in your 20s that were full of mischief and fun, we’re confident you can still find plenty of wonderfully kid-friendly things to do. You’ll walk away with brand new memories of your favorite city that you can actually reflect on with your kids without the filter.
Save for Later!