Now more than ever, multi-generational travel has become the norm with families across the country. Vacationing as a group – with parents, grandparents and children – and the opportunity to create lasting memories with loved ones makes it one of our favorite trends.
Connecting with relatives across the region, or even across the country, might be easier with smartphone and video technology advances, but there’s nothing quite like spending real face time together.
If you’re looking to take your whole gang on an unforgettable trip that doesn’t require too much travel or money, look no further than these top multi-generational getaways in the Northeast. We’ve picked these spots based on their varied attractions that appeal to anyone, from the grandpa who just wants to relax to the kids who want a little more thrill, plus activities that everyone can enjoy together.
This chocolate-lovers’ paradise appeals to both kids and kids-at-heart.
Take your family to Hersheypark, where the group can enjoy roller coaster rides and classics like bumper cars, spinning teacups and a wooden carousel. The tram ride at Chocolate World, which takes visitors through a fictional chocolate factory, is a must for all ages.
From Chocolate World, the family can hop on board the Hershey trolley for a historic tour of the area. The Hershey Story museum also provides a look into the fascinating history of Milton S. Hershey and his chocolate empire.
For more multi-generational travel fun, there’s ZooAmerica, which houses various American animals, from kissing prairie dogs to sleepy black bears. On a nice day, the golfers in the family can play a round at one of Hershey’s golf courses, or spend some time relaxing among the flowers at Hershey Gardens. The Hotel Hersey and Hershey Lodge also provide great restaurants and spas (known for their signature chocolate treatments) that are worth a visit, if not a full stay.
Get more tips on how to visit the Sweetest Place on Earth with our guide.
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Boston provides no shortage of things to do, especially if you want a place full of activities that’ll excite everyone in your family, no matter their age or interests.
Bring any baseball lover over to Fenway Park. Make sure to visit noteworthy spots of the stadium, such as the Green Monster and Pesky’s Pole. Check out our Fenway Park stadium guide for more things to see and do while you’re there. A fun side trip might include the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, the sport’s birthplace. It’s a 90-minute ride from Boston.
There’s a lot more to the city than just sports history. There’s also The Freedom Trail, a red-brick trail that winds through historical sites such as the old South Meeting House and Old State House.
And of course, museums abound. Be sure to bring the little ones to the Boston Children’s Museum, the museum that introduced hands-on exhibits and the Playspace, or the Museum of Science, a museum designed to introduce children to science and technology.
If you and the family need a breather from all the walking around in the city, be sure to stop by the Boston Public Garden, the first botanical garden in the country, and admire the beauty of the many different colorful plants, unusual monuments and grand fountains.
Cape Cod, Mass.
Cape Cod is a well-known destination for all kinds of getaways, and a multi-generational travel vacation is no different. There are opportunities for whale watching, biking and hiking and, of course, gorgeous crystal blue water and white sand beaches.
If you visit between the months of April and October, be sure to swing by the Pirate’s Cove. Considered a landmark of Cape Cod, this mini golf course is elaborately pirate-themed, so even the kids will enjoy swinging away and pretending they’re pirates out at sea while being on land.
Also, if you and your family are into the arts, hop on a ferry and travel 30 miles to Nantucket, home of noted galleries, such as the Maria Mitchell Association. If you’re into food (and who isn’t?), you’ve got to check out one of these 15 Cape Cod restaurants. The Cape also hosts a number of festivals, such as a book, comedy and even a cranberry festival. Be sure to check out what festivals might be happening during your time there!
Plan the ultimate road trip to Cape with help from our guide.
Want to make your family time a historical one? Philadelphia, in all its historic glory, is the place to go.
Stop by The Franklin Institute and see the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, complete with a 20-foot high marble statue of Benjamin Franklin, its namesake and the official national memorial to the statesman and scientist.
You can also visit the Betsy Ross House, a 300-year-old house that was actually lived in by the flag maker herself, and the younger ones can enjoy a tour while solving 13 history mysteries. The little ones can also browse, play and learn in the Please Touch Museum, full of interactive exhibits, programs and special events.
Need more ideas? See our list of the top 10 things to do in Philadelphia.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
If your family likes horse racing, then visiting Saratoga Springs is the multi-generational travel spot for you. Make your way over to the Saratoga Race Course, the fourth oldest racetrack, in the summer. Take part of the Breakfast at Saratoga program, which includes a free tram tour of the historic stable area.
During horse-racing season, be sure to visit Congress Park. You and your crew can have picnics surrounded by lush gardens and numerous fountains and springs. When peak season is underway, the park has all sorts of activities and special events. From live music concerts and art shows to summer festivals, anyone can have a great time at the park.
And all members of your family can enjoy the historic wooden carousel.
Is your family looking to cross off “seen a national landmark” on your trip? Make your way over to Saratoga Spa State Park. This park is home to two performing arts areas as well as the Saratoga Automobile Museum for the car lovers and the National Museum of Dance for the dance enthusiasts in your family.
Here’s how to enjoy Saratoga on any budget.
What’s your favorite spot in the Northeast to take the entire family? Let us know in the comments!