Sharing books with your kids is a great way for them to step into other worlds, build imagination, have amazing adventures, hear about other cultures, and learn to empathize with characters. It’s also a very special way to spend time together as a family and a great bonding experience for family members of all ages. 

Wouldn’t it be fun to visit the destinations where some of your favorite books take place? Here are a few classic children’s books with accompanying locations to add to your bucket list. 

Fairy Tale Places to Visit with the Kids

Kindred Spirits Country Inn

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery – Prince Edward Island: This is one of my all-time favorites! Those who love this book will find Anne-related attractions all over this lovely and remote island, including Avonlea Village, Green Gables Heritage Place, and the author’s family home where her descendants still live. Kindred Spirits Country Inn and Cottages is the perfect family-friendly location to stay when visiting, offering cottages complete with kitchenettes, a heated swimming pool, and bike rentals. 

London’s Tower Bridge

A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett – London, England: In London, the entire family can enjoy some of the same sights Sarah Crewe might have in the book, which is set in the early 1900s. Big Ben, the famous, huge clock in the Palace of Westminster; the Tower Bridge, a suspension bridge which crosses the River Thames; and the Royal Albert Hall, a concert hall that hosts a variety of concerts and shows. Flemings Hotel in Mayfair is a great choice for families as children under eight years old receive a copy of Fleming Frog’s book about adventures in London, frog shampoo, milk and cookies at bedtime, and slippers and a robe.

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott – New England: A trip to Concord, Massachusetts, one of the most picturesque New England villages, after reading this classic book must include a visit to the Minute Man National Historical Park where you can watch a video all about the American Revolution. Tour the Orchard House, the historic home of the Alcott family, and the place that Louisa May Alcott used as the setting for the book, and then visit nearby Walden’s Pond, which is a lovely place for swimming and hiking. Concord’s Colonial Inn is a great family-friendly hotel with fully furnished one and two-bedroom cottages, complete with kitchens, and a complimentary grab-n-go breakfast. 

Little House on the Prairie Historical Site

Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder – Kansas: Families, like myself, who love this entire book series based on the real-life adventures of the author will enjoy visiting the Little House on the Prairie Historical Site near Independence, Kansas, then they can check out the Moon Marble Factory, the Kansas City Zoo, or see the Kansas City Royals play. The whole family will enjoy Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City with a complete indoor water park and family-friendly suites.

Alyeska Resort

Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George – Alaska: Alaska is a place for family-friendly outdoor activities after reading this survival story, so plan to take a hike and see glaciers, go whale watching, take a dog sled ride, go fishing for salmon or pan for gold. Alyeska Resort is an all-season resort with lots of kid-friendly activities available, an indoor pool, and townhouse suites with a separate bedroom and two full baths.

Chincoteague ponies

Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry – Assateague Island: Most want to see the world-famous ponies. You can take a boat tour or rent a kayak, and you can also go hiking on the island to see them on foot. The Princess Royale Oceanfront Hotel is located right on the beach, has fully furnished condos, and an Olympic sized, heated indoor pool. The property is perfect for families!

Horse-drawn carriage Central Park

From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsberg – New York City: Any visit to New York has to include the world-famous New York Metropolitan Museum of Art where the two characters ran away to, as well as nearby beautiful Central Park, which is the most visited urban park in the world and offers plenty of space to run and play. From the park, a horse-drawn carriage ride will introduce visitors to the area around the park and museum. Family-friendly Affinia 50 has large suites with a separate bedroom and full kitchen, cribs, strollers and highchairs available, and you can have a complete picnic delivered to your room!

Gyeongbok Palace

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park – Korea: Korea is home to many glorious temples, which help visitors learn the history of the magnificent country. Bulguksa Temple was designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO, and the artistry of the stone relics is well worth a visit. Nearby is the Gwangju National Museum, which has cultural relics on display from Korean history through the ages. Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty and was the most beautiful and grandest of all the palaces in Korea. Today, the walled palace complex is being restored to its original form. The Lotte Hotel World in Seoul is great for families with large suites, an indoor pool, and a direct connection to the beautiful Seokchon Lake and Lotte World Adventure, one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks.

The Great Wall of China

Dragon’s Gate, by Laurence Yep – China: Naturally, visitors to China are curious to see the Great Wall, which is over 13,000 miles long and was built over 2,000 years ago to keep invaders out of China. In Beijing, take a rickshaw tour of the hutongs, traditional Chinese neighborhoods; in the village of Guilin, take a cruise along the scenic Yangshuo River to see traditional villages, bamboo groves and local farmers in the fields; and in Xian, see the notorious Terracotta Army, which is composed of stone figures of warriors, horses and chariots built in 246-208 BC. The Hilton Beijing offers large suites with separate bedrooms, an indoor pool, and special amenities for kids like cooking classes, five restaurants with children’s menus.

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.

We have all found ourselves stuck in the house for days at a time with nothing to do, thanks to Mother Nature. If you’re an introvert, like me, you love these days. It is calming to my nerves and soothes my soul. Unfortunately, most kids don’t share this sentiment. I have compiled a list of activities you can do to keep your children and grandchildren occupied during these lovely days.

pillow-fort

Build a fort. When I was a child, all I needed was a few sheets and I could transform anything into my own amazing space. I have many fond memories of my young architectural days. Imaginative play is vital to the normal development of children. Give them a couple of blankets and a small space, then sit back and watch what creative little creatures they are.

scavenger

Have a scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts are perfect if you have a house full of children. You can virtually use anything around the house to hide. Give the kids their list and a pillowcase, then send the little foragers on their way. There are many ideas online for age-appropriate hunts.

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Play an old-fashioned game of hide and seek. Children of all ages love hide and seek. The thrill of the hunt and anticipation of waiting to be found has delighted young’ uns since the beginning of time.

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Pretend play. This allows kids to be anything they want to be. Dress-up and tea parties are always fun for little girls. Cowboys and Indians is an age-old hit with boys. They can be the superhero that saves the day or a doctor saving lives. You will be amazed at the imagination little ones have.

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Try a Fun Science Experiment. Pinterest is full of age-appropriate ideas for experiments. Many of these are simple, but mind-blowing to children. Some of my favorites are the disappearing egg shell, tornado in a jar, growing a bean sprout, rock candy, and 2-ingredient slime. Check out my personal Pinterest Board for ideas.

artsncrafts

The perfect time to do arts n crafts. This is the perfect time to make priceless memories with your kids. I still have a collection of things my kids made over 20 years ago; something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Again, Pinterest has thousands of age-appropriate craft ideas.

movie-night

Popcorn and movies. Grab the blankets, pillows & sleeping bags, a bowl of popcorn and your favorite movie for a relaxing way to spend a gloomy day. This is a beloved tradition for many families. Lots of hugs and cuddles included.

Regardless of how you choose to spend your rainy day, make memories and love your kiddos!

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.

Enjoy an adventure in the great outdoors, make friends with sea life, cool off in a water park, or simply kick back and relax at the beach with the kiddos. However you plan on spending your vacation, Jamaica is undoubtedly one of the best spots in the Caribbean to visit, with its endless choice of family-friendly attractions and activities. While the optimal season for Jamaica travel is still several months away – October to mid-December – now is the time you should start planning.

For those looking for all-inclusive properties

Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa can be found in the tiny beach town of Lucea, not far from beautiful Montego Bay, this all-inclusive 4-star family-friendly resort exudes grace and elegance. It boasts a balance of  Roman and modern architecture, complete with stately columns and arches. Features include more than 400 suites, all-inclusive amenities, 10 restaurants, and the largest pool on the island. The little ones will love the splash pool, while older kids will enjoy hanging out at the Mini Club.

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Royalton White Sands welcomes families from around the world. This luxurious oceanfront property in Montego Bay prides itself on an upscale all-inclusive concept, offering guests their choice of 352 lavish rooms, first-class restaurants, and quality amenities. All guests of White Sands have access to non-motorized water sports and other activities, five on-site dining options, two pools and a splash pool for the kids, and complimentary WiFi throughout the property, just to name a few. There is always something happening for the kiddos, thanks to the resort’s kids’ club for ages 2-12, Kids’ Adventure Program, and a teens’ lounge specifically for those from 13-17.

Beaches Negril is definitely worth a look. The well-known, beloved resort brand offers families a wonderful, all-inclusive option on Jamaica’s legendary 7-Mile Beach, complete with its own water park and the ability to accommodate large families. The vibrant beachfront property offers family-friendly features, that includes a stretch of pristine beach, plush grounds, themed dining and endless activities, beach house-style rooms and suites, the on-site Pirates Island Waterpark, and countless water activities like kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving. I give you my word, it is by far one of the most attractive and desirable resorts available for families on the island.

Properties that accommodate multi-generational families

Half Moon Resort welcomes everyone. While most resorts on the island are multi-generation friendly and cater to all ages, this plantation-themed resort located in Montego Bay could possibly be the best with its secluded four- to seven-bedroom villas that are perfect for large families on vacation. Of course, there are rooms and suites also available for smaller ones. Eight on-site dining venues, including room service, as well as an 18-hole golf course, a children’s village, the Dolphin Lagoon for dolphin interactions, and several other water and land activities are also available through the property.

Spa-at-halfMoon-Jam

Jamaica Inn is as inviting as it gets. This coastal blue oceanfront property in Ocho Rios is another resort suitable for families of all sizes and ages. Plantation-inspired rooms, villas and cottages offer top-rated amenities and depending on your accommodation choice, you will have access to a large, fully furnished veranda or balcony, your own infinity pool, private ocean access, or guest-exclusive pool. And, there’s still more! Enjoy seaside dining, luscious grounds and oceanfront spa. Families with children will especially love accessible water activities like parasailing, kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling.

When privacy is what you are looking for

Sea Island Villa comes highly recommended. You need to look no further than the Villas by Linda Smith plantation-style property in beautiful Montego Bay if you’re in search of the ultimate private getaway. The expansive property boasts six bedrooms, so it’s ideal for both large and multi-generational families. The decor consists of grand, yet colorful aesthetics. Guests have access to a private pool and you have your own butler, gourmet cook, housekeepers and night guardsman. It’s the quintessential luxury Caribbean vacation!

montegoBay

GoldenEye could be just what you are looking for. Mystery and intrigue attract James Bond fans to this former residence of Ian Fleming, the English author responsible for bestowing the world with the famous spy series. The resort offers several luxury chateaus and cottages on the premises, but each still provides plenty of seclusion. Each of the lagoon cottages have private balconies and docks that give guests direct access to the lagoon, while the chateaus feature grand porches and your own beach area. If you really want to splurge, reserve the five-bedroom Fleming Villa, which comes with a housekeeper, butler and a chef.

For water park enthusiasts

Sunscape Splash Resort is the place for fun in the sun. A vibrant castle and pirate-themed water park, aptly named Pirates Paradise, await kids of all ages at the budget-friendly Sunscape Splash Resort. Families on a budget will definitely get more bang for their buck at this resort in Montego Bay that also offers access to non-motorized water sports, three beaches, land activities, and comfortable guest rooms and suites with private balconies. It’s also large family friendly, thanks to its connecting standard rooms. With over 1,800 feet of powdery white sand beaches and all-inclusive amenities, it is a popular choice among vacationers.

Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort offers both fun and luxury. Also a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort, this property features butler-service suites, water activities, three pools with a concierge service, and six on-site restaurants. It is also home to the Jewel Lagoon Water Park, which features a 5,000 square foot oceanfront sundeck, an infinity beach lagoon with geysers, a water slide, lazy river, a speed slide, rapids raft ride, kiddie slides and splash zone. You will never have to worry about your kids getting bored.

rose-hall-jam

Hilton Rose Hall in all its glory. One of Jamaica’s most legendary historic properties, the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa is another all-inclusive resort located seaside on the infamous Rose Hall Plantation in Montego Bay. The updated resort feature rooms and suites with breathtaking views and modern furnishings, providing guests access to a selection of water sports, numerous land activities, complimentary transportation to and from the plantation house, and a choice of dining options. It is also home to the Sugar Mill Falls Water Park, boasting cascading waterfalls, a lazy river, lagoons, a swinging suspension bridge, and kiddie pool.

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.

New York City is one of the most desired travel destinations among American families. For many, the bright lights, masses of people and the sheer size of the city are unimaginable. The whirlwind that is portrayed on TV and in movies make NYC all the more intriguing.

What’s Not to Love?

New Yorker’s are a breed of their own, the world witnessed this after 9/11. Their strength, resilience and the way they stand in solidarity makes outsiders want to experience their culture.  From strong personalities to distinct accents; you gotta love ‘em!

The Big Apple has something for all ages. Finding things to keep your kids occupied while on vacation can sometimes be quite a task. Teens are probably the hardest age group to impress, but even the most jaded, hard-to-please child will find something they love about the city. There are so many iconic things to see, so many experiences to be had, it is impossible for visitors to become bored.

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Where to Begin?

The first thing you must do upon your arrival is to get your bearings. The city is massive, being made up of five boroughs: Queens, Manhattan, Harlem, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Tourists tend to migrate towards Manhattan, although each has its own special attributes.

You will need to figure out how you plan on getting around. Walking will definitely be on this list. You can’t get the true New York experience without a little foot travel. Taking a cab is another must-do, it’s just part of the appeal. The subway is the fastest option when trying to get to one end of town to the other. Water taxis are available for your trip to Manhattan and other areas.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with your surroundings so you will always be able to find your way back. Most streets are set up on a logical grid system, with the Avenues running north to south. It’s relatively easy to figure out where you are, but GPS could definitely come in handy.

manhattan

Where to Stay?

Lodging options are endless, but there are some that are specifically aimed towards families traveling with children. There are also some that are not family-friendly whatsoever. Doing your homework on hotels and their amenities can make all the difference in how your stay ends up.

Where to Eat?

No matter which part of the city you are in deliciousness can be found on any corner. There are so many eateries to choose from it’s hard to make suggestions. Whether you are craving street food vendors or a five-star restaurant, you will not be disappointed. New York is famous for few items that will have your mouth watering, these include hot dogs, Brooklyn-style pizza, cheesecake, Manhattan clam chowder, General Tso’s chicken, and the iconic bagel.

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Take a Tour

Sometimes the best way to experience the city is through the eyes of a local. There are so many available tours, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Picking a tour will depend on your personal interests. Some recommended tours for families with children are:

  • Central Park Rickshaw Tours
  • Shark Boat
  • Horse and Carriage Rides
  • Venetian Gondola Tour
  • New York Splash Tours

Things to Do

Okay, so I saved the best for last. It is impossible to cover all the wonderful things there are to explore in this wonderful city, but I have compiled a list of some of the most popular family-friendly attractions you won’t want to miss.

  • Central Park and its many attractions
  • The Empire State Building
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Union Square Park and Playground
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Staten Island Zoo
  • Bronx Zoo
  • Citi Field
  • M&M’s World
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • Toys R Us Times Square
  • Yankee Stadium

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.