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Great Vacation for Kids 8-12 Yr Olds?

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Jan 25th, 2004, 03:10 PM
  #1
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Great Vacation for Kids 8-12 Yr Olds?

Hi, We are looking for a great vacation for our 2 kids, 8 & 12 yrs, & ourselves. Something fun & interesting & captivating. We have "bumped" airline tickets that enable us to go anywhere in the US. Thanks for your help!
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Jan 25th, 2004, 03:16 PM
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Hawaii -- history, culture, beaches, and volcanoes!
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Jan 25th, 2004, 03:23 PM
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I'd start by figuring out the interests of the kids.

Category one is whether they are urban kids, rural kids, athletic kids, or hsitory kids. Not necessarily what they are everyday, but what they are in their imagination.

And there's probably / maybe a gender issue involved in interests.

If they were my kids, and my big kids used to be 12 (boy) and 8 (girl), and if I had money for a car after the free airplane tickets, I'd pick a cowboy vacation, going to Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and so on. Get them onto horses, see the badlands, visit ghost towns, etc.

My little kid, now nine, is more of an urban boy, with athletic tendencies. WQe live in Toronto; with free tickets and some decent money to spend on the ground, he'd be a happy kids with a California vacation, probably starting in San Francisco (he'd ride the cable cars for a couple of hours), a harbor tour, Alcatraz visit, and then a two day tri[p down the coast to Santa Barbara. then a few days in Los ang3eles, including Universal Studios and Disneyland, and some beach time in both LA (he'd be fascinated by Venice) and further south.

But I've taken two different 12 year old girls from Ottawa to new York City; they both oved the sophistication of New York, a couple of meals at a fine restaurant, a Broadway show, and the museums. And Pam enjoyed a visit to a magician's store, probably the best in the world.

So, take a close look inside the kids.

Just going to Walt Disney World is a waste of brains; a four center Florida trip, though, with Epcot, the Everglades, the space center ....

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Jan 25th, 2004, 04:36 PM
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My most memorable vacation when I was near that age was Alaska. It would be a great place to take advantage of the tickets! (so would Hawaii) I was just old enough to appreciate how different it was there compared to where I lived (WI) and the nature and wildlife was fantastic. I also loved that is barely gets dark out in the summer months! There's tons more to say about it, but Alaska would be my choice. Good luck!
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Jan 26th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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Both the 12 year old and 8 are year old are girls. And neither are that interested in a lot of hiking or historical "stuff"
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Jan 26th, 2004, 04:34 AM
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Make sure that the tickets are not just for anywhere in the continental US. The only reason I point this out is this happened to a friend of mine. He though when he agreed to be bumped that the tickets were for anywhere in the US, as the person told him, however, upon readin the fine print, he realized it was the continental US.

Now, assuming you can go anywhere, I would choose Hawaii. Having a niece that age range, I know that is where she would love to go. Hawaii is funny in that you can get a historical education without even realizing it because you are having so much fun!!!
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Jan 26th, 2004, 05:55 PM
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. Do you think Seattle area would be fun & interesting? We are going to the Calif coast in March (we were bumped twice last summer on the same trip!). Thanks to the suggestion about making sure we can go anywhere in the U.S. vs. the continental U.S. Our girls like things that are interesting & fun & active....Thanks again for any other ideas for U.S. places (we live in NC & so prefer going somewhere west).
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Jan 26th, 2004, 11:36 PM
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Our daughter who is now 13 and also not interested in hiking or history has always thought almost any city was cool - she liked the idea of eating in restaurants, riding subways, seeing people who look more unusual than our plain-vanilla suburb.

We have all enjoyed Seattle (but only for a few days - could package it with Vancouver, perhaps), San Francisco, San Diego - all these west coast destinations because we had free airfare from east coast due to FF miles.

So I might start by picking a more expensive airfare destination - someplace you might be less likely to fly to if you had to pay for it.
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Jan 26th, 2004, 11:41 PM
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Sorry to be so unoriginal, but you can't go wrong with something Disney-related.
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Jan 27th, 2004, 12:55 AM
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But other than Disney:

My 12.5-year-old daughter loves Seattle. Seattle Center, the Space Needle, Westlake Center, the Aquarium, etc. Look at the www.citypass.com site and see the attractions offered with that pass.
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Jan 27th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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Do they ski or want to learn to ski? What about a trip to Park City Utah or Aspen, Colorado?
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Jan 27th, 2004, 07:32 AM
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What are your kids studying in school these days? Is there anyway to use the trip to foucs on something that caught their attention? My girls' interest in Native Americans comes from 2nd grade diorama projects so they would love a trip out west- Phoenix, Grand Canyon and Sedona. They are also 8 and 11.

Since the budget can't handle Arizon just yet, this summer we'll be going to DC. The trip is meant to reinforce what they've learned about civics, American history, and politics. In this election year and with the Iraq war they are surprisingly curious about what they hear on the news. They are starting to awaken to the world around them as most girls this age are. We like to support their interests in anyway that is feasible - hence the trip to DC. But they are still kids who want to have fun so the trip will include Kings Dominion and a baseball game.

Love to hear what you decide.
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