From the tropical shores of Caribbean islands to the icy chills of Canadian peaks, North America is as diverse as it is vast. Start with our family favourites and get discovering on this continent of cowboys, cruises and canyons.
1. Theme Park pick – LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Florida USA
Nobody does theme parks better than North America. We can’t go past Florida’s LEGOLAND. Scavenger hunts, 4D movie theatres, themed hotel rooms, and LEGO exhibits make this complex every LEGO fan’s dream come true. They have also partnered with Autism Speaks to help make the experience fun for kids with sensory issues, introducing Quiet Rooms, virtual walk-throughs of each ride and Blue Hero passes to skip queues.
Entrance to Florida’s LEGO-themed wonderland Credit: Rob Hainer/Shutterstock
2. National Park pick – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Between Canada and the States, there is more wilderness than you can poke a ski, fishing rod or hiking boot at. Definitely don’t cross heavyweights like Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Saguaro and Bryce Canyon National Parks off your bucket list. Our prize, however, goes to Canada’s oldest national park for its versatility from season to season. Banff National Park sits in the Rocky Mountains and is a ski hub in winter and the most picturesque picnic spot ever in summer. Ice-skate on Lake Louise, take a dip in Upper Hot Springs pool, hike to Johnston Canyon, or go fishing in Bow Lake.
Cuddles near Lake Louise, Rocky Mountains Credit: lastdjedai/Shutterstock
3. Ski Resort pick – Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA
The likes of Aspen, Vail and Deer Valley in the USA, and Big White, Whistler and Silverstar in Canada well and truly earn North America its stripes when it comes to ski holidays. Our favourite is Colorado’s Steamboat Springs. We love its Country Western feel, dry ‘champagne’ powder, easy runs and especially its quirky calendar of events. There is a Cowboy Downhill stampede, a Winter Carnival, an enormous toy store and weekly fireworks nights. You might get to witness ski patrols jumping through hoops of fire while carrying flaming snowboards. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the Lighted Man skiing Steamboat’s steepest slope, wrapped in fairy lights as firecrackers explode from his backpack. Click here for the inside scoop on Steamboat from our Social Media Manager Meg Scott has to say about Steamboat.
The Cowboy Downhill Stampede Credit: Steve Estvanik/Shutterstock
4. Cruise line pick – Disney Cruises
There is a reason every Disney cruise of North America is full to the brim. The fairy tale charm and kid-focused agenda make a trip to Alaska, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Canada or the Californian coast an absolute delight. Themed Marvel or Star Wars sea days ramp up the novelty factor, as do the character encounters, family deck parties and live shows. On Disney’s own private island, Castaway Cay, a small train takes you around and you can snorkel, parasail or stay by the beach. Learn more about Disney Cruises from travel consultant Erin Ross and her family.
Disney Cruise Lines Credit: GPS Productions
5. Hawaiian pick – the Big Island
Honolulu and Waikiki Beach are familiar go-to destinations for hula-happy troupes, including the Backhouse Family. As beautiful as popular Oahu Island is, we recommend venturing over to the Big Island. With just as many creature comforts and luxury hotels, including kid-friendly Four Seasons Hualalai and Hilton Waikoloa, the Big Island is also home to Hawaii’s biggest and best natural attractions. There’s Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano and Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest volcano. From the highest point in Hawaii, Akaka Falls State Park, you can also take a peek at Akaka and Kahuna, its most popular waterfalls.
Akaka Falls Credit: Luc Kohnen/Shutterstock
Feeling inspired? Click here to find a Travel with Kidz consultant near you and get talking about your trip to North America. For more ideas, scroll through more of Travel with Kidz or Family Travel.