Whether you want to explore the wilderness or ski down it, Telluride is filled with plenty of family friendly activities. This Former Victorian Mining Town has kept its Old West aesthetic since 1878, while also adding modern amenities.
Telluride has tons of unique hikes that vary in length and level of ease. Whether you want a short romp or a day- long adventure, each trail showcases the beautiful Colorado nature and wildlife. Local Resorts (like Auberge Resorts) or other companies/organizations offer horseback riding year round, and in the winter they offer Ice Skating, Sleigh Rides, and Backcountry Sled Rides.
Keep an eye on Telluride’s events page (https://www.telluride.com/festivals-events/events/). You can find events that you and your family are especially interested in. For the Month of May there’s the Mountainfilm Festival, where documentary films that focus on the environment, outdoor activities, and local history are played outside on a large projector. You get to watch a movie under the stars, surrounded by the Telluride mountains. Don’t forget to pack some snacks.
Minneapolis is a city filled with options for all families. If you’re looking for a destination during the blazing hot midwestern summer, check out Cascade Bay Waterpark. For toddlers they can explore ‘Shipwreck Cove’, a section of the park filled with spouts, bubblers and some shallow pools for them to play around in. Bigger kids can dive head first into Twin Falls, where they feature Typhoon and Hurricane slides. Don’t forget to bring some trunks, sunscreen and a reliable pair of sunglasses.
Many tourists' must-visit destination in the area is the ‘Mall of America’. With it being the largest mall in the country (more than 5.6 million square feet) there’s a lot of ground to cover. Take my advice and bring your family to the all-new interactive ‘Crayola Experience’, where they offer a wide array of interactive workstations. Visitors can wrap and name their own crayons to their liking, melt Crayola Crayons into various 3D molds (like a shark or a ring), or take a picture of the whole family to be printed out and colored in at the massive coloring station. No matter what activity you do, they are all as interactive as they are entertaining. So if you have any aspiring artists in your family stop on by. Afterwards, you can check out the many great stores on offer at the mall: The Disney Store, Lululemon Cafe or the well revered Carlo’s Bakery. In short, if you’re in the area, the mall is a must visit destination.
Redwood City, California (Redwood National & State Parks)
There are few sights more magnificent than the Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias of Redwood National Park. Many of the 350 foot tall trees have been here for an estimated 2,000 years. The oldest and tallest trees on earth are right here at Redwood. The Endangered tree species at Redwood are as impressive on paper as they are breathtaking in person. The park spans over 131,000 acres, and there is something to do for all ages and all levels of expertise.
If you’re passing through or only want a brief walk through the park, get off at exit HWY 101. Your best option would be to take the ten mile drive that cuts through the heart of the wilderness. Look up and out the windows to see how tall the trunks really go, and keep an eye out for the native critters: River Otters, Muskrats, American Beavers, Flying Squirrels and the many local birds are a few of the furry friends you can see living alongside the magnificent plantlife. If you need to stretch your legs, there are a few spots alongside this main road where you can get out and quickly walk around and get up close and personal with the Redwoods.
For the more experienced families out there, there are long spanning paths and trails for you too. If you’re on the south side of the park, there’s a fully accessible and ‘family-friendly’ loop that runs along a pretty creek. Not too far away from here is the famous ‘Fern Canyon Loop’ trail. On either side of the trail are walls of vegetation that bring some clothes and shoes so you don’t mind getting wet. Swap out the enormous trees and swap in some lovely sitka spruce and other conifers. The vegetation surrounds either side of the trail, it’s like stepping into another world. Redwood National Park has these paths, and many more. If you want to look at any of the other trails, click here: https://www.nps.gov/redw/planyourvisit/things2do.htm
This historic, compact and walkable city is packed to the brim with destinations for you and your family. Check out the many water side attractions: Beaches, Harbors and Boat Tours of all kinds are available. If you want an immersive and interactive experience while near the coast, check out the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Museum staff are dressed in late 1700’s attire and they will guide you through an interactive history tour, all while staying in character. The staff will even encourage you to dump tea into the ocean right alongside them! If you want a history venture that will keep you engaged, check this museum out.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has fun activities for all ages! Keep your eyes peeled for any restaurants that serve Creole Cuisine. This rich French-Caribbean culture has produced some of the most unforgettable dishes and treats. Keep an eye out for one of the few Cafe Beignets that are scattered across New Orleans, known for their authentic Creole dishes. Your kids will love their Fresh Handmade Beignets, a local pastry similar to a fried donut. If you want some famous Creole dishes, Cafe Beignets offers is the Andouille Sausage Omelette- a french style spicy omelet with cajun sausage served with grits and french bread, and (if you’re into seafood) Crawfish & Grits—I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
After getting some phenomenal local food, head on over to the south west side of town, where you’ll find the famous Audubon Zoo. Being in Louisiana, the zoo has an entire section dedicated to the state’s unique wildlife. This nationally acclaimed exhibit shows off swamp wildlife and how the Cajun people interact with it on a daily basis. Black bears, water snakes, alligators, blue crabs and much much more you can get exceptionally close to all in the course of an afternoon. The experience is described on the website as ‘a total immersive experience that is unusual and beautiful’. They also offer great exhibits like the African Savanna, Sea Lions Exhibit and the beyond cool Jaguar Jungle. Regardless of where you spend your time, the Audubon Zoo is unlike any other zoo out there.