Trying to drum up a cool vacation idea that your tween or teen will really enjoy? Consider these 5 types of vacations for older kids, all recommended by Circle of Moms members who've tried them — with success!
1. Outdoor Adventures
River-rafting, kayaking, rock-climbing, ballooning…adventurous outdoor activities are often a hit with older children, say many Circle of Moms members. As Jeannette H. shares: “We took our teens river rafting in Moab, Utah. They had a blast and want to go back.” Caroline D. had a similarly positive experience on an adventure-based vacation: “We took our son out four-wheeling in the sand dunes. It was a blast.”
2. Hiking and Camping
More mellow outdoor vacations are also popular with older kids. “Do they like to go hiking or camping?” asks Maria O. “My two teenagers…love to explore the wilderness when we go camping, so we find parks and recreation [sites] that include hiking.” Not interested in pitching tents? Consider renting a timeshare close to a park, as Bri A. advises: “There are many of the timeshare resorts that aren't far from various state and national parks [where] you can enjoy some time outdoors, get exercise AND explore historical and natural features of the U.S.”
3. Sports Weekends
Does your child love sports but you don’t live close to a professional team? “Take him on a weekend trip to a see either a college basketball or football game,” suggests Jocelyn M. Or consider a roadtrip to a sports museum — think the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH., or the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.
4. Theme Parks
“Amusement parks are always fun!” Laurie A. advises, and many Circle of Moms members agree, recommending everything from Six Flags parks to Disney World. As Kakesha D. suggests: “Orlando Florida [for] Universal Studios and Island of Adventures! SO much fun! I took my two nephews who were 13 and 14 at the time and my daughter was 12. We had a blast! We go every year!” Chris A. concurs: “As our kids got older (they are 17 and 14 now), we did more places with amusement parks, water parks and of course, my favorite, Disney World.”
5. Big Cities
Travel to any major city and you’re almost guaranteed to find enough interesting activities to keep both parents and older kids happy. As Helen T. shares: “My son loved New Orleans. We have a time share, and ended up right in the French Quarter! We walked everywhere, took bus tours, [and] ate at some wonderful restaurants.” Other moms recommend Washington, D.C. for museums and San Diego, CA. for outdoor activities.
Wherever you choose, you don’t have to make the vacation all about your child. As Autumn H.’s 16-year-old son advises, to "make it fun for everyone, make sure there is a variety of activities that each of you can enjoy.”