Fall Vacation Suggestions

Updated on April 11, 2011
E.B. asks from Downers Grove, IL
4 answers


We live in the western suburbs of Chicago and are looking for a good place to take a mini vacation either late summer/early fall. Our kids will be roughly 3 1/2 and 9 months old when we travel. We want to be able to keep the drive under 6 hours and are hoping for a good mix of kid and family friendly activities. We aren't sure what the budget for this trip will be yet (waiting to find out if Hubby gets a bonus) and that will determine how long we are gone, but we are thinking of a 3 to 4 night stay. We are open to indoor water parks, but want to be somewhere that also has other things to do nearby.
We'd really appreciate any suggestions or good planning website recommendations.

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answers from Minneapolis on

We found a lot of family-friendly things to do in St. Louis several years ago, although our kids were a little older. There is a great children's museum and your kids might be just a little too young, but there's a fascinating museum that's hard to describe called the City Museum. We had a blast there. Our boys were about 4 and 8 at the time. We went up the Arch. You could probably check out the Family Fun magazine website. They often have travel information. You could also just google "St. Louis (or whatever) for kids." There is a really good travel website with information specifically for families, but I can't remember the name of it right now. About 1/2 hour outside of St. Louis is a Six Flags with an outdoor waterpark. Busch Gardens (Anheiser-Busch) has a family friendly attraction (farm, Clydesdales, petting zoo, etc.) and we didn't make it there, but I've heard the Botanical Gardens is nice. If you go there, but sure to have the famous custard. I think it's Drewes or something like that, but just google "St. Louis and custard" and it will come up.

Edited--I almost forgot that we had a good time at the Zoo too. It is an old zoo, but it had some updated exhibits. We especially enjoyed the penguins and feeding the Lorikeets. There was a train ride and maybe a carousel too.



answers from Detroit on

Northwest lower pennisula of Michigan - Boyne Mountain resort has an indoor water park, there is also Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinaw Island, Traverse City.



answers from Chicago on

When I first starting reading your post, my immediate response would have been Hilton Head, SC. Since you want to keep it under 6 hour drive time, I would suggest the Dells. We stayed with our then 2 y/o at the Wilderness Lodge. They have a TON to do right at the resort, as well as all the other dells attractions. I'd suggest going early fall though for better prices & less people. They have an indoor water park, and things for the whole family to do. I actually prefer the Dells in the off season, you can really get some great deals!



answers from Detroit on

We went to Grand Rapids for a weekend family vacation in February. We have a 1, 4, and 6.5 year old. The oldest two loved it and ask when we can go back. We stayed downtown and felt perfectly safe. There were enough restaurants to walk to, there's a children's museum, and I hear Meijer gardens are great.

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