4 Family-Friendly Mini Vacations

child horseback riding
Extend the fun! These four day-trip destinations are perfect for turning into a long weekend.
Courtesy of Kennedy Space Center
Courtesy of Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Watch a real rocket launch, ask an astronaut a question, take an eight-minute simulated shuttle ride, and check out the space shuttle Atlantis. If you have a true space junkie, you’ll need at least two days to see everything.

Add A Few More Days: Round out your trip to Florida’s Space Coast with a visit to the Brevard Zoo (40 new flamingos) and the Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures. Save some time for the beach too! Spend the night at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cocoa Beach. 

Courtesy of SunTrust Park
Courtesy of SunTrust Park

SunTrust Park

Atlanta, Georgia

The Atlanta Braves’ new home, SunTrust Park, is the only Major League stadium with a concourse where kids can pitch, hit, and test their base-running speed plus zoom down a zip line and up a climbing tower. Use the Braves app to reserve a time slot. Get your tickets for a Sunday, when all kids are invited to run the bases on the team’s infield after the game

Add a Few More Days: Other activities to check out in town include the Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo (baby panda twins!), and an Atlanta movie tour (with stops featured in The Hunger Games and Captain America: Civil War). An Omni hotel, in the ballpark’s backyard, is set to open in 2018. In the meantime, stay at the Embassy Suites Atlanta Buckhead, which offers free breakfast and family-friendly room design. 

Courtesy of Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace Museum
Courtesy of Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace Museum

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace Museum

Savannah, Georgia

Bring your Brownie troop to the home of the Girl Scouts founder. A recent remodel has made it more hands-on, offering interactive tables, videos, and a Poe-Tree (a place to read and write poems) plus displays of past uniforms and cookie boxes.

Add A Few More Days: “Savannah is a drop-dead gorgeous city that’s just the right size and it’s easy to explore on foot,” says Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, the family-vacations expert at About.com. “My favorite memories from our family vacation are strolling on River Street, where there are great little shops and restaurants, and riding the free trolley that can take you to various sites in the district. It's an arty town. We visited the SCAD Museum of Art and Forsyth Park, and my kids still talk about the delicious ice cream at Leopold's on East Broughton Street.” Stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites in the Historic District. 


Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown, Virginia

Show your Hamilton fan where “the world turned upside down.” Families can take a 45-minute tour to see fortifications, tents, and canyons in the fields where the British surrendered. Nearby, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown has a bust of the Marquis de Lafayette, aka “America’s favorite fighting Frenchman!”

Add A Few More Days: Continue your trip with stops at the Jamestown Settlement (kids can climb aboard recreations of three ships that sailed from England to Virginia) and Colonial Williamsburg (tour the Governor’s Palace and nearby gardens). Buy an America’s Historic Triangle ticket, which covers admission to all of these attractions. Balance the history-focused stops with a trip to Busch Gardens (there’s a new wooden coaster for kids 46 inches and up), guided horseback riding tour at Lakewood Trails (age 7 and up), and round of mini golf at Pirates Cove Adventure Golf. Stay in one of the condos at Kingsmill Resort, which offers a playground, spa with treatments for the whole family, and pool complex with a lazy river, slide, and pop-up water features.

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