We know that family vacations are a great way to bond and make memories. Since moms often take the lead in planning family trips, she’s responsible for making sure that there’s something for everyone packed in a vacation.
While most family vacation planning focuses on activities that kids will clamor around, we’re flipping the switch this time and are all in on dads. Here we’ll explore 10 family vacation ideas that dads will love, highlighting destinations and activities that are both fun and engaging for the whole family.
1. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is a natural wonderland and a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With its geysers, hot springs, and wildlife, it offers a unique experience that families will love. Dads will particularly enjoy hiking, fishing, and camping in this beautiful natural environment. For more adventurous dads, try whitewater rafting or kayaking down the Yellowstone River.
2. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is a charming mountain town with plenty of activities for families. Dads will love exploring the Dollywood theme park, ripping around the track on a go-kart, local craft breweries, hiking through the scenic mountain trails in nearby Gatlinburg. For a unique experience, check out the Anakeesta outdoor family theme park.
3. San Diego, California
San Diego is a vibrant and family-friendly city that offers something for everyone. Dads will love exploring the historic USS Midway Museum, visiting the San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld, and watching a baseball game at Petco Park. For outdoor enthusiasts, head to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for a hike, or catch some waves at La Jolla Cove.
4. Branson, Missouri
Branson is a family-friendly destination with plenty of attractions to keep everyone entertained. Dads will love exploring the local wineries and breweries, or visiting the Titanic Museum, which features a replica of the iconic ship. For some outdoor fun, head to Table Rock Lake for fishing, boating, or swimming. And of course, no trip to Branson is complete without a visit to Silver Dollar City, a theme park that offers rides, shows, and attractions for all ages.
5. New York City, New York
New York City may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of family vacations, but it’s a great destination for dads who love exploring. Visit the Empire State Building or One World Trade Center for stunning views of the city, take a bike ride through Central Park, or catch a game at Yankee Stadium. For a unique experience, take a helicopter tour of the city or go on a food tour to sample some of the best eats in the city.
6. Park City, Utah
Located just outside Salt Lake City, Park City is a year-round destination that offers plenty of outdoor activities for families. In the winter, dads can hit the slopes at one of the nearby ski resorts, while in the summer, they can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, or fly fishing. For a unique experience, take a hot air balloon ride over the scenic mountains.
7. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is a great destination for dads who love sports and culture. Catch a baseball game at Wrigley Field, explore the famous Museum of Science and Industry, or take a bike ride along the lakefront trail. For a fun family activity, head to Navy Pier, which features rides, attractions, and an IMAX theater.
If you’re planning a long weekend in Chicago, a great alternative is to stay in Chicago’s Southland. With easy access to downtown, great sports action like SeatGeek and a great local ethnic communities, it’s a strong recommendation for families with easy access to these iconic Chicago activities:
- Visit the Field Museum: This museum is perfect for dads who love natural history and science. It features a wide range of exhibits including dinosaurs, ancient civilizations, and animal habitats. Don’t miss the museum’s most famous resident, Sue the T-Rex.
- Take a boat tour on the Chicago River: A boat tour is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. Dads can learn about Chicago’s architecture and history while taking in the beautiful skyline views.
- Catch a game at United Center: In addition to Wrigley Field, Chicago is also home to the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks play. Dads can catch a game and experience the excitement of Chicago sports culture.
- Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art: For dads who love modern art, the Museum of Contemporary Art is a must-see. It features a wide range of exhibitions and events, including installations, paintings, sculptures, and performances.
- Explore Millennium Park: Millennium Park is a beautiful urban park that features a variety of art installations, gardens, and walking paths. Dads can take a selfie with the famous Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as “The Bean”), or attend a free concert or movie screening at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
- Go on a food tour: Chicago is famous for its food scene, and a food tour is a great way to explore it. Dads can sample deep dish pizza, hot dogs, and other Chicago classics while learning about the city’s culinary history and culture.
8. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a charming mountain town that offers a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of outdoor adventures. Dads can hike through the Blue Ridge Mountains, explore the local craft beer scene, or visit the Biltmore Estate, which features a stunning mansion and gardens. For a unique experience, take a tour of the local River Arts District, which showcases the work of local artists.
This trending community is welcoming more and more travelers and is a good counterpart to North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, which offers dads an opportunity to try water sports on the beach and learn about the rich history of this area.
9. Arlington, Texas
Located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Arlington is a great destination for family reunions. Home to two major sports stadiums, AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park, dads can catch a Dallas Cowboys or Texas Rangers game while in town. For a unique experience, take a tour of AT&T Stadium or visit the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.
Arlington is also home to Six Flags Over Texas, a popular theme park that offers thrilling rides and attractions for all ages. Dads can also explore the Arlington Museum of Art or take a walk through the River Legacy Parks, which features miles of scenic trails along the Trinity River.
For a fun family activity, head to the Esports Stadium Arlington, the largest dedicated esports facility in North America. Here, dads and kids can watch professional gaming tournaments or try their hand at gaming themselves.
10. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Located at the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is a great destination for dads who love outdoor adventures. Hike through the stunning Garden of the Gods, explore the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, or take a scenic drive up Pikes Peak for breathtaking views. For a unique experience, take a ride on the Cog Railway to the summit of Pikes Peak.
Colorado Springs is also home to the United States Air Force Academy, where dads and kids can tour the campus and museum. For a fun family activity, head to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which features over 800 animals and stunning mountain views.
For dads who love history, visit the nearby town of Manitou Springs, which offers a glimpse into the history of the American West. Here, you can explore historic buildings, museums, and antique shops.
Colorado Springs also offers plenty of dining options, from local craft breweries to farm-to-table restaurants. And with its proximity to the mountains, it’s easy to explore nearby attractions such as the Royal Gorge Bridge or the historic mining town of Cripple Creek.