If you are planning to take the grandkids on a vacation this year, there’s a lot to consider, including time of year, prices, preferences, age of the kids, and more. The key to a great intergenerational family vacation is to find a place with plenty of things to do—for young and old! Of course, you could take a cruise and allow the professionals to do the planning; but if you really want to wow the kids and think outside the box, here are some great travel ideas from the Wall Street Journal:

1. Costa Rica Rainforest

Things to do:

  • Go surfing
  • Learn how to Zipline through the jungle
  • Take guided tours to see the wild animals of the rainforest
  • Visit hot springs or see a volcano
  • Take a kayaking tour
  • Hike the trails and see monkeys, caimans, sloths, macaws, iguanas, toucans and more.
  • Visit National Parks such as Tortuguero, which borders the Caribbean
  • Go bird watching
  • Go horseback riding on the beach
  • Go white water rafting
  • Take a nighttime excursion (see green sea turtles digging nests and laying eggs)

If your family loves nature, a Costa Rica vacation will really wow them! The kids will be mesmerized by jungle river boat tours, volcanoes, zip lining, kayaking, snorkeling and more. The thrill of seeing a live sloth up close, or hearing the screech of a wild howler monkey, for the first time, is indescribable. Costa Rica is well known for its exotic rain forests, exciting outdoor activities, interesting ecosystem (offering a great learning opportunity for the grandkids) hospitality and family fun.

“The kids got a lot of exposure to what ecology means and how it impacts us, without it being kindergarten-ish,” David Herzig told the Wall Street Journal, when commenting on his recent family vacation in Costa Rica. “There was a lot for the adults, too,”Herzig added.

Learn more about dates of travel, costs and various all-inclusive trips as well as where to book a Costa Rica tour here, or call, 800-255-8735.

2. Magical Oxford Tour

Astound any kid with a tour to magical places from their favorite childhood storybooks. This tour includes a visit to famous geographical sites associated with classic children’s literature works, such as Alice in wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia and, of course, Hogwarts–home of Harry Potter!

Things to do:

  • Visit the walled garden that inspired Lewis Carroll’s “Alice and Wonderland”
  • Take a cruise on the Isis River that inspired Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows”
  • Visit Winston Churchill’s birthplace (a maze of hedges similar to those in Harry Potter)
  • Visit the studio near London, where Harry Potter was filmed (with a tour of the banquet in the Great Hall at Oxford University, the model for the Hogwarts dining hall).
  • Play Quidditch and rehearse a skit with actors from the Oxford Playhouse
  • Adults can attend lectures and meet famous authors

“It’s a very busy program. It’s very well-planned,” Susan Springer told the Wall Street Journal, after taking each of her 3 grandchildren (one at a time) on the Road Scholar non-profit tour group, trip for their 10th birthday. “It gave us a chance to explore Oxford with our grandchildren and gave our grandchildren a chance to have a different experience in a brand-new place, independent of their parents.”

Learn more about pricing, travel dates and how to book a Magical Oxford Tour here, or call 800-454-5768.

3. Jackson Hole Wyoming Holiday Ranch

If you are planning to take the grandkids over Christmas vacation, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the perfect place for a family holiday trip. Spring Creek Ranch offers plenty of things to do for young and old, who wish to experience the snow-covered Western mountains.

Things to do:

  • Downhill skiing
  • Snow tubing
  • Dog sledding
  • Ice skating
  • Snowshoeing
  • Horse drawn sleigh rides
  • Wildlife safaris in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks
  • Snow coach tours of Yellowstone and Old Faithful
  • Spa and Hot tub for the adults
  • Horseback riding
  • High tech scavenger hunt (using GPS)
  • Experience 1880’s gold miner’s cabin
  • Guided nature snowshoe tours
  • Wine tasting
  • Christmas lighting ceremony
  • Storytelling event
  • Live Old West shootout reenactment
  • Christmas concert and holiday art bazaar
  • Campfire carols (special event for holiday guests)
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus deliver gifts on Christmas Eve

Winter Wonderland

Located in the Grand Teton Mountains of Wyoming, holidays are magical in Jackson Hole. According to Spring Creek Ranch, as winter approaches, “ Families gather from places all around the globe, Jackson Hole becomes the center of true celebration of all things joyful. The stars shine brighter, the snow gets deeper and Santa’s sleigh bells can be heard on the wind. Some might believe that even the elk come to enjoy the merriest season of the year.”

Nature Lover’s Wild Life Safari

A safari in the snow covered Rocky Mountains is an unforgettable holiday experience for the entire family. Spring Creek Ranch guests have an exclusive opportunity to embark on an unforgettable wildlife adventure, said to rival any National Geographic film! Winter is the best time to see wildlife in the Rockies, such as elk, deer, wolves, bighorn sheep, moose and more. For older grandkids, consider an 8-hour Sleighride safari on the National Elk Refuge.

Learn more about prices, and book your Spring Creek Ranch tour here, or call, 800-443-6139.

Vacation Planning for Retirees

Planning a vacation with the grandkids, that will knock their socks off, is one of the many travel opportunities that retirees look forward to most, after they are able to finally quit their 9-5. There is no shortage of fun and exciting travel opportunities to embark upon with the grandkids. Discover the entire list of family vacation destinations, deemed top picks by The Wall Street Journal.


Bennett, J. (2015, July) Pack Up the Kids— and Grandkids Our picks for the best in multigenerational travel in the coming year. The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303674004577434004083280414