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amyhollingsworth's avatar

Where is the best place to vacation in the US with a 3 year old besides Disney World and the beach?

Asked by amyhollingsworth (4points) May 25th, 2009

vacation, 3 year old

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18 Answers

miasmom's avatar

A zoo! Kids love animals.

Jeruba's avatar

A place where there are large, grassy fields to run in, hills to roll down, some trees with low limbs to climb, and a brook or pond to splash in. No rides are necessary for a little kid to have fun. A ball would be great, and a swing and sandbox would make it perfect.

Ivan's avatar


Pretty sure they could do all that stuff at home.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Best vacations for a parent with a three year old is one that allows parents and children to spend time together, and maintain some semblance of routine. (Disney is best saved for 5 years and up.) The zoo is a great idea! So are aquariums, science museums with activity areas for younger children, botanical gardens with paths, etc. Spending time outside with mom and dad, chasing balls, blowing bubbles, going to the park and being pushed on a swing, doing craft activities, putting up a tent in the yard or in the house, etc.

Family Fun Magazine has lots of great travel ideas, as well as crafts, party ideas, costumes, etc. for all ages.

janbb's avatar

Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY is a wonderful but expensive large, old resort on a lake with great hiking, boating, etc. The Tyler Place on Lake Champlain in Vermont bills itself as a family resort and I’ve heard it’s very nice. Another thing we did when our kids were little was stay on a farm that provided bed and breakfast. Our boys absolutely loved seeing the cows, feeding chickens, herding cats. etc. Perfect for a three year old!

Ivan's avatar

I like the aquarium and science museum ideas.

chelseababyy's avatar

Myrtle Beach, there’s SO much to do!

_bob's avatar

Disney Land, duh!

Darwin's avatar

Lego Land, because much of what one does there has an element of hands on. When my kids were little (ages 2 and 4) we spent hours at two attractions there. One was the driving school because they loved the idea of getting a driver’s license and driving without any adult interference (we always think of it as assistance, but they don’t). The other was a plaza where you stepped on various elements and they produced musical notes, water or both.

Also, the kids were fascinated by all the things built out of legos and I was fascinated by the fact that if you put some physical effort into certain rides you got a higher, faster, or better outcome. It gave the kids an element of control so the rides were less scary and more about challenging yourself.

Supacase's avatar

I am in the exact same situation. I want enough to keep her busy and happy because listening whining on vacation is 100 times worse than listening to it at home. But you still want to relax some; I mean, it is vacation.

I would suggest someplace with a kiddie pool where the 3 y/o can play while you watch. You can take turns with your husband watching and relaxing. Having a few big things for him/her to do is also important – a zoo, children’s museum, aquarium.

I don’t know where you live, so it is hard to suggest a specific place.

Steven0512's avatar

Yellowstone National Park was great when I was young.

casheroo's avatar

What does your 3 year old like?
Mine loves trains, so we plan on going to at some point. Lots of real trains to ride, and train museums. He’s going to love it. Plus, there are carriage rides, yummy food, and Dutch Wonderland is nearby. Lancaster, PA is fantastic.

evolverevolve's avatar

If I had a kid it would be anyplace with a daycare where I could dump him off then go out drinking with my friends and/or family.

Darwin's avatar

@evolverevolve – Good thing you don’t have a kid, isn’t it? Is that what your parents did with you?

janbb's avatar

@casheroo Lancaster County was one of the places we did the farm vacation thing in. The Strasburg railway was a great ride to do with a toddler and the area is lovely. It was a winning combination with the cows and kittens, etc on the farm.

evolverevolve's avatar

@Darwin I don’t have a kid that I know of, and no, I would have been so lucky as to go somewhere. My vacation was called “find daddy’s bag of coke and get a dollar.”

Jeruba's avatar

@Ivan, perhaps you know that amyhollingsworth is not a city dweller, but I didn’t see that in her question. Not everyone lives where there is plenty of open land in which children can safely run free and enjoy features such as shallow water and climbing trees. But the point is, a natural setting is a great place for kids, who don’t need a lot of artificial amusement and may not even want to travel. Maybe it’s the parents who want something else.

MellisaTurner's avatar

Opt for museums, parks. It would be fun to explore them too.

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