The 15 Best 'Non-Disney' Places To Travel With Children

02/22/2017 05:21 pm ET Updated Feb 23, 2017
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Where can you take the little ones if Disney is not high on your travel bucket list? The answer can easily be “anywhere else” to parents who are not looking to spend a fortune on a few days of entertainment, juggle massive crowds of overexcited children high on sugar, or wait in line for hours for a ride that lasts a minute or two

On top of that, going on a trip with kids can be a rough experience. They often have an attention span of a few minutes and get bored easily. But you still want to take them somewhere, except Orlando, and entertain them.

Planning such vacation doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You will feel like you “hit the jackpot” with certain destinations that offer all kinds of adventures – from snorkeling in beaches with exuberant marine life to playing rangers in national parks, hiking active volcanoes, and learning about Earth and history in interactive museums.

Turn family getaways into a fantastic experience for everyone, including the parents. You can still take the car and go to the beach, but you can go one that also offers rocky coasts, clear turquoise waters, and active adventures such as kiteboarding or even hand gliding.

So, next time you find yourself unwrapping school supplies and masterminding healthy school lunches, think about where to take the kids for some real fun.

 <strong>London, England</strong>
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London, England

The kids will never be bored in this mega-city. The museums are interactive and entertaining, but the little ones will especially like the dinosaur exhibitions at the Museum of Natural History. Take them to see the third largest clock in the world, Big Ben, step inside one of the most famous bridges in the world, paddleboat in Hyde Park, and of course, take a ride on the iconic London Eye, the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel. They will love the stunning views of the entire city.

 <strong>Oahu, Hawaii</strong>
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Oahu, Hawaii

The number of adventures on this beautiful island is endless. Surf the north coast, trek up Diamond Head and stop in for some shaved ice at Uncle Clay’s. Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and the famous beach known as Waikiki are in Oahu. It is also one of the coolest surf places in the world. Snorkel in Turtle Bay, and visit the Pearl Harbor National Monument. The island offers every version of stand up paddle boarding. The kids will love Oahu’s dramatic jungle and waterfalls, which they will probably recognize from favorite TV shows and movies including Jurassic Park.

 <strong>The Galapagos Islands</strong>
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The Galapagos Islands

Take the kids on a long historic tour to explore some of the Earth’s richest wildlife that has captivated adventure travelers for centuries. Thrilling adventures include swimming with the sharks. A dive into the waters of the Galapagos offers the chance to encounter several species of sharks, including hammerhead, dusky, and whale sharks. Plaza Sur is among the best snorkeling destinations in the world. The friendly sea lions, the largest animalson the islands, will surely entertain them. On-land ventures are also a possibility - hike along lava trails and relax on their pristine beaches.

<strong>Cruise</strong>
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Cruise

Cruise ships are designed to keep you and your children entertained at all times. The kids will love the swimming pools, snorkeling opportunities, water slides and parks, movie theatres, and other adventures. You can still “go to Disney,” but avoid the hassle and crowds. Disney cruises – the happiest place at sea – are a great alternative to the theme park. They are basically family-friendly floating cities. 

 <strong>Skiing in Utah</strong>
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Skiing in Utah

Did you know that the best state for skiing is Utah? At least this is the case according to a brand new study outlining the top 10 best skiing destinations in the country. Four of the 10 resorts are in the Beehive State. The Deer Valley Resort, for example, is home to one of the best ski schools in the country and offers a licensed childcare facility for those too young to learn. Mountain mascots and a Children’s Adventure Map are just some of the family-friendly features.

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