7 Must “Do” Travel Experiences…

You’ve saved, planned, and traveled to get there… Why see the destination through tour bus windows?  These must “do” travel experiences will have your family off the tour bus and on the ground, in the air, or in the sea.  On these Must “do” vacations, adventure seeking families will be touching the ice cold tundra, splashing through cavernous lakes, hiking historic awe inspiring trails, and creating memories as unique as the destinations themselves.

  1. Learn Howler Monkey Calls in Costa Rica


2. Traverse New Zealand’s Southern Alps

3. Touch Two Continents at the same time in Iceland’s Silfra fissure


4. Swim the Galapagos

Guests with sea turtle

5. Cycle thru China

bike tour


6. Hike the Inca Trail and cool off with a Kayak Lake Titicaca

Kayla Lake

7. Float the Dead Sea



St. Louis’ Forest Park Is Voted Best City Park in US

Voted The Nations’ Best City Park; St. Louis’ Forest Park celebrates it’s 140th Birthday, this June. Were it not for all the historical monuments; this park’s vast number of modern family friendly venues, would have you fooled about it’s real age. There are enough free, world class amenities in this park to keep you and your kids entertained for days.

A trip to the award winning St Louis Zoo, will have your children up close St Louis Zooand personal with their favorite animals;  from tunnels where playful sea lions glide; above, behind, and all around your child; to cool interactions with penguins and polar bears; your child is sure to see their favorite animal and some they didn’t even know existed. Discover endangered species like the Addax, that can go almost it’s entire life without drinking water, and how you can help save them. With educational blurbs and maps at each exhibit, keeper chats, and interactive features; your family can spend the day learning while they explore. The St Louis Zoo is open year round, has plenty of cool buildings and misters for even the hottest of St Louis days and  is truly a do not miss destination. You can easily spend an entire day here without seeing everything this amazing place has to offer.

Venture into The St Louis Art Museum for an exploration into the past. Imagine your child’s excitement searching the museum’s underground, finding real Ancient Egyptian Mummies and Suits of Armor.  View artifacts dating back to years so small even your littles can read the numbers; and of course famous works of art, up so close you can see the brush strokes. Create a scavenger hunt or bingo sheet and get everyone exploring.

The St Louis Science Center and Planetarium is nothing short of a STL Science Centerwonderful adventure. Dig for Dinosaur Bones beside a life size animatronic Dinosaur exhibit, feel the force of a hurricane wind, build an arch, and utilize the hundreds of hands on learning exhibits for all ages.  Stop by the History Museum on a Make and Take day where kids can learn and create at the same time.

If you’re not tired yet, take a relaxing stroll through the park with the downloadable walking tours complete with music, history, and humor. Walk, bike, hike or skate through the park’s many nature trails. Go sledding in the winter, bird watching year round, or wildflower spotting in the spring. With a little expense your family can have a sunset paddleboat picnic near the gorgeous Grand Basin Fountains.  You can play a round of golf and take a simulated trip to space!

Summers in Forest Park offer a plethora of amazing opportunities. Score yourselves some of the 1,500 daily free tickets to the Muny and enjoy a top of the line, live musical theater production.  Bring your picnic and a blanket and take in a little Shakespeare in the park, at the Shakespeare in the Park Festival; arrive early for the child centered pre-play activities, making Shakespeare accessible to even the youngest of audience members. Sit on Art Hill for the outdoor movie nights or wake up early for some outdoor yoga in the Grand Basin. The Great Forest Park Balloon Race rounds out the summer season in the park, in style, with a Family friendly Balloon Glow, music, and entertainment.

With so much to do all in one location, your family can have a great vacation or stay-cation on any budget. Happy 140th birthday to America’s number one City Park; it’s easy to see why you’re the best, after all isn’t family togetherness what parks are all about.

For help planning or to book your hotel stay visit: IdealFamilyVacations.com

For information on the experiences discussed or even more Forest Park activities visit: http://www.forestparkforever.org,

#HappyBirthdayForestPark ‪#‎STLArtMuseum‬ #StLouisZoo #IdealFamilyVacations

Stay in SpongeBob’s Pineapple Under the Sea!!!

By Heather OverKamp, Ideal Family Vacations

Okay, okay let’s get technical, it’s actually near the sea; but how much fun would it be to stay in SpongeBob’s Pineapple Villa? The-Pineapple_Nick ResortAt the newly opened Nick Resort in Punta Cana families can do just that, but that’s not the best part… the best part is this resort is Green, Gourmet Inclusive and dedicated to making stays for every member of the family, from 0 to 99, perfect.

The resort had it’s soft opening last week and it’s first guests began experiencing all Karisma and Nickelodeon have to offer. The Karisma
brand, known for it’s luxurious El Dorado & Azul properties announced last year it’s partnership with Nickelodeon, this Punta Cana location is the first to open with another slated to open in Mexico.

This new resort is yet another example of contemporary parents changing the travel paradigm. Gone are the days of sticky fingers and bad pizza at Chuck E Cheese. No longer will you have to choose to leave your smoothie nick
children behind or be forced to succumb to all that is child centered entertainment. Children will be sipping delicious organic fresh fruit smoothies or hand squeezed lemonade with their favorite Nickelodeon characters, creating works of art, making new friends and even learning Spanish while Moms, Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas enjoy the luxury they would expect at an adults only resort.

This resort stands to create an experience where no member of the family is foregoing their wants.  Moms and Dads want to crack open a book while lounging in the sun, take a run on a beach, visit the spa, and stay in a beautifully appointed rooms. With supervised fun for the kids included,Adult Dining Nick Resort parents can have a high caliber date night, grabbing a pre-dinner cocktail at a piano bar followed by a quiet gourmet dinner, prepared by world renowned chefs with organic locally grown veggies and herbs.

What we liked about Karisma for our honeymoons and anniversaries we can now enjoy with our budding families.  This resort truly offers the best of both worlds all in one place.  When parents are rejuvenated and refreshed and kids are engaged and happy, families can make the kind of vacation memories they will want to last a lifetime.

Plan this for your family today
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