10 Family-Friendly Resort Getaways to Visit This Fall
Summer getaways and are fine and dandy, but there’s something even more relaxing and rejuvenating about a fall family vacay. Packing up and escaping it all together is so enjoyable — especially after going through the dreaded back-to-school slog. It’s also an ideal reward after successfully re-engaging with the regularly scheduled programming that is day-to-day life. Fall travel has other perks: Usually, there are fewer crowds, better rates, and fantastic weather. To help you plan your next trip, which may or may not include some amazing fall foliage, we have 10 great, very family-friendly resorts for your crew, no matter what kind of fun you like best.
Nickelodeon Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, and lots and lots of slime await at Nickelodeon’s all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. This fun-for-all-ages Caribbean destination is perfect for the preschool set (two words: Paw Patrol) while still having enough wow factor to thrill the school-age kid and their parents (there's a spa and bars!). Plus, you can book The Pineapple, a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed luxury suite complete with Bikini Bottom-inspired décor and your own private butler. Sign us up! (Photo via Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana)
Paradisus Los Cabos, Los Cabos, Mexico: Fall is an ideal time to visit Los Cabos: From August until early December, throngs of sea turtles flock to the Sea of Cortes to lay their eggs. The luxury resort Paradisus Los Cabos has turtle experts on-site, and they guide guests in baby turtle releases in the early evenings at their private crescent cove beach. It's an unforgettable experience for all ages. (Photo via Los Cabos Tourism Board)
Club Med Creactive by Cirque du Soleil, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Run away with the circus in Punta Cana. This Caribbean Club Med offers an immersive crash course in the wondrous world of Cirque du Soleil with feats for the whole family to learn. From artistic to acrobatic activities, kids and adults can engage in the high bungee, double flying trapeze, aerial silk, tightrope, and trampoline — or take it down a notch with mask painting, juggling, percussion, and dance. When you’re not getting in touch with your inner circus star, you can chill at the Zen Oasis, their sophisticated adults-only hideaway, while the littles hang out at the kids' club. (Photo via Club Med)
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe, CA: Rancho Valencia, a 45-acre resort north of San Diego, is a Mediterranean-inspired oasis for those families looking for luxury mixed with a healthy dose of activity. Not only do they offer badminton, bocce ball, croquet, basketball, paddleball, ping pong, and complimentary bicycles, but they also boast an award-winning tennis program for all ages. Kids can learn the game or hone their skills with the certified pros on staff. (Photo via Rancho Valencia)
Great Wolf Lodge, Various Locations: With locations in nearly 20 cities — including Anaheim, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, Grapevine, TX, and Grand Mound, WA — Great Wolf Lodge has become a go-to destination for oodles of families. The biggest draw at Great Wolf Lodge is their enormous indoor waterparks with water slides, interactive pools, and thrill rides. Beyond the wet-and-wild fun, they host PJ parties and have nightly story times, and for adults there’s evening “wine down” packages. (Photo via Great Wolf Lodge)
Disneyland, Anaheim, CA and Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL: Whether you pick Disneyland in Anaheim or Disney World in Orlando, there’s pretty much a rule that you’ll have the best time ever. Each park gets into the fall season with pumpkin décor, new foodie favorites, and a variety of special events worthy of the whole family. If you go in October, you’ll experience all the Halloween Time magic; if you go in mid-November, you can treat yourself to an early dose of wonderful winter holiday vibes. Really, anytime is the best time — though you might wanna avoid Thanksgiving week, as it's one of their busiest times. (Photo via Disneyland Resort)
Mission Point, Mackinac Island, MI: You’ll find Mission Point right where Lake Huron meets Lake Michigan on Mackinac Island, an island that has a ban on cars (transportation is via horse-and-buggy, walking, and biking). While the fall foliage takes center stage, there’s plenty of other things to keep the family occupied, including hiking and biking to exploring the 18 acres that make up the resort. There’s also a complimentary kids' club to give you the option for some one-on-one adult time (which is ideal, since the location is crazy-romantic). (Photo via Mission Point)
Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Montauk, NY: This past summer, Gurney’s debuted their Gurney’s Kids Club, where kids can play games, do crafts, and explore the local environment with the trained staff, making this the perfect time to give the new (and complimentary) service a try. Kids and adults alike will love playing on Montauk’s most pristine stretch of beach, adjacent to Gurney’s. (Photo via Gurney's Montauk Seawater Spa & Resort)
Crocodile Bay Resort, Costa Rica: For an exotic (and educational) experience, head to Costa Rica during the fall, which just so happens to be their "green season." At the Crocodile Bay Resort — which offers personalized eco-tours — you'll be able to witness the Antarctic humpback whale migration, spot red-eyed tree frogs in the wild, and search for the 33 different species of birds that reside in a one-mile radius of the resort. After all that nature, tuck into your comfy rainforest lodge room that overlooks a lush tree canopy. Nature and nurture? Now that's a vacay. (Photo via Crocodile Bay Resort)
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu, HI: Hang out with Stitch in Hawaii at Disney’s Aulani. The spunky alien won’t be alone in hosting duties: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and the gang are all there sporting their Hawaiian fashion finest. Children will love the kids’ club — Auntie’s Beach House — so much that you might get a wee less family together time than you’d think. But that just means more time for you to hang out at the Laniwai spa and grab a mai tai by the pool. (Photo via Aulani)
What’s your favorite family-friendly resort? Tag us in your travel pics on Instagram @BritandCo.
Sunny Chanel is a freelance writer as well as the founder of the whimsical site Wonder and Company. When this proud San Franciscan isn't writing, working on her fixer-upper or doing crafts, she is playing dress up with daughter and planning her next trip to Disneyland.