The David F. Bolger Playspace, ages 3 to 8. This is an outdoor play center or playground located on Bay road in Sarasota, FL.
Some of the highlights for kids include bouncing flowers around three mini trampolines, a basket swing, and a three story tower with a twelve foot tunnel slide, hand-powered fountains and other unique pieces of equipment promising to deliver nothing but good times and tons of laughter.
For the toddlers, there is a small slide and a splash area with a waterfall. The playspace is part of Ringling’s effort to educate and entertain children by enhancing the existing landscape through play. This is one creative playground attached to Bayfront Gardens and the best part is it is free.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, ages 2 to 8. Located in Amherst, Massachusetts, the objective of this museum is to get kids interested in art and reading through the use of picture books. It was envisioned by the famous kids’ book writer, Eric Carle.
It consists in part of a large art studio with tons of natural light where kids are encouraged and allowed to make their own pieces of art.
These crafts may range from layered paper drawings to collages and many times, depending on what time of the year it is, they will create a special project.
In addition to the large art studio there is a toddler’s space center with all sorts of blocks and magnets, a library and gift shop. The prices are very reasonable.
Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, ages 2 to 6. This started out originally as a tree sanctuary and now is a theme park with rides based on fruits and vegetables.
It is located in Gilroy, California and is a great place to take your toddlers. The park has removed the turnstiles so strollers can get through.
The kids may take a ride in a train, worm, or goldfish as well as hop on the mushrooms for a ride, or perhaps they would prefer taking a spin on a strawberry. It is very clean as well as a safe place for families.
As one person stated, “The water play areas are irresistible and great fun, so bring swim suits and sandals and towels and changes of clothes.” In my opinion it is a little on the expensive side.
Legoland Discovery Centers, ages 4 to 9. If your kids love to play with Legos they will sure love this. This is like a giant box of Legos for your kids to play with.
There are fourteen worldwide locations for Legoland, six in the United States in the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City and Westchester.
There are also locations in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, Toronto in Canada, Berlin and Oberhausen, Germany, also Istanbul, Turkey and Manchester, England.
In addition to building contests some of them have 4-D movies, building workshops and soft play areas.Some may have a Star Wars exhibit.
The Polar Express Train Ride, ages 4 to 9. I am sure most of you parents who have a little one remember the book and movie by this title.
This ride was inspired by this classic holiday book and consist of railroads in more than 30 cities nationwide (including Newport, Rhode Island; Durango, Colorado; Williams, Arizona; and Miami)
Most of these sites feature an hour-long ride that include a reading from the book as well as a visit with Santa.
Santa gives everyone one on the train a gift of a sleigh bell. Most also treat everyone with a cup of hot chocolate and cookies. The cost may vary depending on which line you take.
Walt Disney World and Disney Land, ages 4 to 8. Located in Florida and California respectively, these two theme parks don’t need much of an introduction.
I think we would be hard put to find many people that are not familiar with the world of Walt Disney. From Disney movies, to books, TV shows, and stuffed animals most kids are brought up on Disney.
Although kids and adults never outgrow Disney World, your kids will probably be most swept off their feet when they meet their famous Disney characters if you go before age 8.
The look in their eyes when their favorite character appears will be one you will never forget. If you go to the one in Florida be sure to visit Magic Kingdom. Please note that kids 10 and older are charged the adult fee.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, ages 2 to 9. This is the largest children’s museum in America with a total of five floors of fun and excitement.
It is great at providing activities for your teen and toddler at the same exhibits. There is an exhibit called the Dinosphere in which you toddler can put on a dinosaur costume at the same time your preteen talks to a paleontologist about one of the real dinosaur fossils on hand.
The main attraction at the museum is the Playscape which is a huge exhibit on the third floor. This is for both children five and under as well as their siblings. There is a Reaction Contraption that sends balls flying through the air and a Whirly Twirl Tower.
Three other places you might want to take them to before they turn 10 are The Keystone Resort (Colorado), The Monterrey Bay Aquarium (South of San Francisco) and The Crayola Experience in Easton Pennsylvania.