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12 Heartwarming Adventures For Traveling With Grandkids

12 Heartwarming Adventures For Traveling With Grandkids

Grandparenting is a unique opportunity for adventure and bonding. Consider adding travel experiences to your relationship for an even deeper bond. The memories you’ll make traveling with grandkids will be cherished for years. This blog post is packed with fun, innovative, and educational suggestions for the precious time when you have the uninterrupted joy of your grandchildren’s company.


The Magic of Multigenerational Travel

Multigenerational vacations—those that include grandparents, parents, and kids—are all about strengthening family bonds and creating shared experiences. Research indicates that these trips can lead to a deeper understanding among family members and treasured memories that span generations.

As a grandparent, you are an anchor in the family, and providing these experiences can be a legacy in its own right. Here are 12 adventures for traveling with grandkids or multigenerational travel that cater to different interests, energy levels, and temperaments, yet each promises an opportunity to connect and have fun.

Outdoor Adventures: Communing with Nature

Zion National Park: A Grand Adventure

Embrace the great outdoors with a hiking trip to Zion National Park, Utah’s first National Park in Springdale. The park offers trails suitable for all ages, from the leisurely Riverside Walk to the more challenging Observation Point Trail, rewarding hikers with breathtaking valley views. 


For those seeking more adventure, you can arrange canyoneering and rock climbing excursions at the park. Having a 5-year-old, we did short hikes (Weeping Rock and Grotto Trails), visited the gift shop for souvenirs, and ate lunch on the patio at Red Rock Grill inside the park.

Pro Tip: Red Rock Grill has a buffet-style breakfast and soup & salad bar at lunch. 


Need some relaxing cabin/hotel room activities? Coloring together can be a good unwinder. Pack coloring bookscoloring pages, and crayons, and get creative. It’s not super relaxing, but it’s extremely fun. Heads Up, an app you can download on your phone, has all sorts of entertaining topics you can play with your grandkids that will result in much laughter. 


KOA Camping: Rustic Fun for All Ages

Camping is a great way to disconnect from the digital world and a perfect setting for storytelling and campfires. Employees at Kampgrounds of America (KOA) are well-versed in the needs of multigenerational groups, often offering family-oriented activities that cater to younger and older campers alike. 


The Hattiesburg/Okatoma River KOA in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is well set up for kids with its year-round swimming pool, playground, seasonal water park, corn hole, horseshoes, and activities. These provide an ideal environment for good old-fashioned family fun. Bring your fishing poles and wet a line for even more traveling with grandkids bonding opportunities. 

Back at the RV, have a mini spa day with your grand. Don comfy pjs, do each other’s hair, paint each other’s nails, and bring the popcorn. 


Blue Ridge Getaway: Serenity in the Swaying Trees

Just a short drive from Atlanta, Blue Ridge, Georgia, is the perfect backdrop for a peaceful weekend in nature. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway offers a leisurely journey through the picturesque countryside, and the Toccoa River is renowned for its excellent trout fishing and tubing.


Plenty of quaint cabin rentals can accommodate the whole family, ensuring cozy moments by the fire and splashing around in the river. Be sure to grab a fried pie at Mercer Orchards, one of the area specialties, and do some gem mining, a super fun and educational activity.

Pro Tip: Pick up my friend Karon Warren Clark’s ‘100 Things to Do in the North Georgia Mountains Before You Die‘ book for loads of suggestions when visiting this area.


Gulf Coast Revelry: Sun, Sea, and Shell Hunting

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, offer soft sands and plenty of family-friendly activities for those who love the beach. Build sandcastles, as in learning how to do professionally and magically, with the help of Sandcastle University. Other fun activities on the shores include shell collecting, flying kites, boogie boarding, and taking a ride on a boat jet ski or pontoon boat. 

Need accommodations on the beach? We love and recommend Turquoise Place.


Wildlife enthusiasts can visit the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge to observe nesting sea turtles and migratory birds. Families who want to exercise and get outdoors might like to rent bikes from Beach Bike Rentals and take a ride on the nearby Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. E-bikes are also available. 


Cultural Escapades: History and Heritage

Exploring Little Rock’s Civil Rights History

American history is rich and varied, and there is no better way to understand it than to experience it firsthand. Little Rock, Arkansas, is a significant site in the Civil Rights Movement.

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and the Clinton Presidential Center provide educational experiences for young and old. They are both on the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail.


Other traveling with grandkids things we loved on our trip were the Museum of Discovery (one of the best kid’s museums I’ve ever been to!), Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, and eating luscious gourmet cinnamon rolls at Cinnaholic.


Fun and Learning at State Capitols

Combine a visit to West Virginia’s state capitol in Charleston with a stroll through the state museum, where interactive exhibits engage young visitors in learning about local history.

Children’s museums like Avampato Discovery Museum (Clay Center) offer activities from art to science, ensuring the whole family leaves with more knowledge and vivid memories. They also have a great planetarium.


Learn about eating and buying local at the Capitol Market, then hit the streets and do just that at 1010 Bridge in the South Hills neighborhood. For dessert, grab a tasty ice cream treat at Ellen’s Ice Cream before or after hitting Taylor Books, a family favorite.


Local Festivals and Events

Every city has its unique festivals and events that can offer a taste of local flavor and tradition. Whether it’s the Spring Farms Days at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum or the Mississippi Book Festival at the state capitol in Jackson, such events are entertaining and provide learning experiences and a chance to connect with the local community.


A few of our other favorites are Mississippi Comic Con (MS Trade Mart), Mississippi State Fair (Mississippi State Fairgrounds), and Mistletoe Marketplace (MS Trade Mart), the one we never miss.


If you need restaurant recommendations for Jackson, we’ve eaten nearly everywhere!

Educational Excursions: The Joy of Discovery

Botanical Gardens and Aquariums

The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans is a wondrous place where a kid’s natural curiosity meets education in a fun and interactive way. Such attractions are not only enjoyable but can also inspire a love for the natural world. And where else can you snack on a variety of flavored crickets? 


We also loved exploring City Park. Go for a ride on the “Flying Horses” carousel, rent a swan boat, ride on a tandem bike, stroll through the free Sydney and Walda Besthoff sculpture garden and the enchanted “Storyland” playground, and then feast on beignets or a snowball from the appetite you’ve worked up. The super fun Louisiana Children’s Museum should not be missed, either. 

Traveling with grandkids never gets dull, that’s for sure.


Farm Visits and Agricultural Tours

Spending a weekend at a local farm can be educational and unique if you’re in State College, Pennsylvania. Agricultural tours offer insight into where our food comes from and the hard work that goes into providing it. Activities like vegetable picking and tractor rides are a fun educational experience for everyone.


Kids will love the Federal Taphouse and The Waffle Shop Downtown’s menus, plus you must try the fantastic ice cream from one of State College’s iconic creameries. My recommendations are Penn State Berkey Creamery or Meyer Dairy.


Theme Parks and Attractions: The Thrill of Adventure

Sevierville and Dollywood, Tennessee

A trip to Sevierville would only be complete with a visit to Dollywood, the award-winning theme park owned by Dolly Parton. With a mix of thrill rides, music, and craft demonstrations, it’s an ideal setting for a day filled with excitement and entertainment. Carefully plan your way through the park so you can take advantage of a sampling of all the fantastic and delicious offerings here. 


Other fun things to do in the area are eating the bounty of breakfast deliciousness from The Apple Barn, strolling Downtown Sevierville for selfies with the Dolly statue (Sevier County Courthouse) and Red’s Cafe mural, then indulging in retail therapy at Tanger Outlets Sevierville. 


Need some ideas for things to do back at the hotel? Card games are a fun and easy way for kids of all ages to bond with their grandparents. We routinely play games like Go Fish, UNO, Old Maid, and Concentration. 

Adventure Parks and Zip-Lining

Pipestem, West Virginia, offers treetop adventures and inflatable fun at Pipestem’s Splash Park and Adventure Lake. The aerial adventure course and zip lines provide an exciting way to explore the forest from a new perspective. With a range of difficulty levels, there’s a challenge for every family member. 

Inflatables at Pipestem State Park.

You can buy a day pass for Pipestem Adventure Zone, including skeet shooting, laser tag, radio-controlled cars, axe throwing, 3D archery, and disc and mini golf. 

You won’t need to leave Pipestem Resort State Park either, as it offers many fun things to do and three onsite restaurants. Adults may want to treat themselves to a relaxing self-care treatment at the Serenity Spa, while children may prefer horseback riding or biking around the scenic property. 


Wildlife Sanctuaries and Safaris

Embark on a safari adventure at the Safari Wilderness in Lakeland, Florida, where the whole family can experience a mix of animals from around the world. Open safari vehicles provide safe, up-close encounters with species like zebra, camels, Watusi cattle, and sika deer.

Highlights of our trip were feeding nearly all kinds of animals, including lemurs and water buffalo.


Lakeland is also home to the world’s largest campus of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, the Queen’s swan offspring at Lake Morton, and a lovely botanical sculpture garden.


Creating Lasting Memories

Spending a weekend with grandkids promises to make lasting memories and deepen bonds. Whether you prefer the great outdoors, cultural immersion, educational exploration, or heart-pounding adventures, grandkids and grandparents can enjoy a rich tapestry of experiences.


It’s about more than just taking a trip; it’s about engaging in an adventure that becomes a part of your family story. So pack your bags and get ready for a journey filled with laughter, learning, and love.

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