With our lives seemingly getting busier every year, when you think about it, the amount of quality time we have with our children before they’re grown and flown is relatively short. Travel can broaden your kids’ horizons, introduce them to new cultures and wonders of the world, give them a different perspective or pique their interest in something new. Visiting bucket list destinations is a great way to make unforgettable family memories that last a lifetime. Places like Yellowstone National Park where kids can run amok in the great outdoors are perfect for families, while urban centers like New York and Washington DC offer exciting things to explore for people of all ages. London is steeped in the history of old England, while the legacy of the Maya lives on in Tulum. Luckily, lovers of Kimpton boutique hotels will find a place to stay in many wish list locales, too. Although it was tough to choose just five, these are our top destinations to bring your kids before they leave the nest.
Yellowstone is by far the most famous national park in the country, and it’s only a 90-minute drive from Bozeman, where the Kimpton Armory Bozeman is the place to hang your hat. There are a number of must-do activities within the park. Yellowstone is the largest active geyser field in the world, the most famous of which is Old Faithful, which erupts on a regular schedule–but many geysers can be seen in the nearby Upper Geyser Basin. There are hundreds of colorful hot springs and pools of all sizes, including those for soaking, some in the park like Mammoth Hot Springs and others nearby. Other ways to enjoy the water in the park include rafting trips, paddling, boating, and fishing. Yellowstone is the perfect place to see wildlife like bison and grizzly bears in their natural habitat, and take the kids on a hike–Trout Lake and Wraith Falls Lake are especially good for little legs. Would-be future paleontologists will love fossil hunting and getting their Junior Ranger badge after completing the park’s challenges. Near Yellowstone, embrace area culture by seeing Native American dancers, catch a rodeo or take a horseback ride followed by an Old West-style cookout. After a busy day in the park, returning to the Kimpton Armory Bozeman will be a welcome retreat, where kids will enjoy splashing around in the rooftop pool while mom and dad sip a well-earned craft cocktail accompanied by live music at the basement bar, Tune Up.
New York City
The Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps, Gotham–whatever you call it, a week in New York City barely scratches the surface of everything there is to do, but a kid’s first visit will be unforgettable. Two Kimpton hotels–Kimpton Muse Hotel and Kimpton Hotel Eventi–are in the heart of Manhattan and just a stone’s throw from many of the city’s most popular attractions. The Empire State Building offers a bird’s-eye view of the city while a tour at the Tenement Museum shares the story of early immigrants. Central Park (including a ride on the historic carousel) is a must, and tea at the neighboring Plaza Hotel will be loved by readers of children’s classic, Eloise. Snag tickets to a Broadway show and don’t forget to eat a slice of authentic New York style pizza.
A visit to our nation’s capital offers lots of opportunities to learn about American history and politics by visiting landmarks like the White House, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Littles will also love visiting the National Zoo and the National Children’s Museum and the Smithsonian offers a wealth of exhibits to explore, from natural history to pop culture. Kimpton hotels has two locales in Washington DC, each in the middle of the action just blocks from popular tourist attractions–the Kimpton George and the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C.
With a history dating back to Roman times and a mountains of iconic landmarks that make great photo ops, from a red phone booth to a backdrop of Big Ben, London is one of the most extraordinary cities on the planet. Start with a view of the city from the observation wheel of the London Eye, visit Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard, see the crown jewels and Beefeaters at the Tower of London, visit Westminster Abbey-site of coronations and royal burials alike, and maybe even try your hand at mudlarking–a pastime of finding discarded treasures along the banks of the Thames. The elegant and historic Kimpton Fitzroy London Hotel is centrally located near the British Museum, tucked into a quiet neighborhood overlooking a picturesque square.
Tulum has been developed as a beachy resort retreat with a boho vibe, but beyond the sun, waves and sand (which people of all ages love), the region has a rich and ancient history as one of the last cities inhabited by the Maya. Exploring the archeological ruins of the city are an incredible experience and families will also love snorkeling at the Xel-Ha eco park and seeing marine animals in their natural habitat. Adventurous types will love gliding through the jungle treetops on a zipline at Tulum Xtreme or riding an ATV. Don’t forget a dip in a cenote, an underwater cave. Stay at the Kimpton Aluna Resort, a chic hideaway not far from both downtown and the beach.