Family Vacation In January

But not just any family vacation. This one will be for the record books, full of everything America loves about a good trip: big chunks of four-lane highways, ample freeway rest stops with hot coffee, and the celebratory sense that you are living at peak velocity. In fact, this is a kind of elemental American vision of total freedom, and the pivotal (river?) trip of my youth was the journey from Ohio to Florida in January 1984.

January is a great time for families to vacation. Not only does it give you a break from your everyday routine, it’s also cheap! Since off-peak season is in full swing, finding a place to stay (and all the cool places nearby) will be less expensive. The start of 2017? Vacation time for some. But if you’re heading out this week, you might be thinking that the end of January is a long way away. Want to enjoy a fantastic getaway where folks are already itching to get away — even in colder weather….well, a visit to Branson, Missouri is just what you need!

January is here and as you’re probably aware it can be hard to decide where to travel with children. There’s the tropical destination obvious choice or the ski accommodation — but what about somewhere with less of a price tag?

Family Vacation In January

Best Family Winter Vacations

School’s out for the holiday season and work hours have finally let up, so why not gather the whole gang for a family-friendly winter escape? Using reader votes and expert opinions, U.S. News rounded up this list of the best family winter vacations. Whether you’re craving adventure travel, warm temperatures or cultural immersion, you’ll find a range of options on this ranking. Ask the kids to help you vote for the top spots, and help us decide next year’s list. (Note: Some of the below destinations may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Check with the CDC and the U.S. Department of State before traveling.)

Read Best Vacations Methodology »



  • View 31 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoOrlando#1 in Best Family Winter VacationsOrlando, Florida’s world-renowned theme parks make it the dream vacation destination of families across the globe. With kid-friendly attractions, such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Toy Story Land, there’s entertainment to satisfy your little ones for weeks. Plus, Orlando boasts comfortable daytime temperatures in the 70s come wintertime. However, this season is one of Orlando’s busiest times of year, so finalize your lodging and flights months in advance to secure lower rates. For slightly shorter lines at the parks, arrive in January or February after the holidays. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|FLIGHTS|THINGS TO DO
  • View 30 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoAnaheim-Disneyland#2 in Best Family Winter VacationsIdeal temps in the 70s and a decked-out Disneyland for the holidays are just two reasons why Anaheim, California, is a great family vacation spot in winter. Can’t-miss attractions here include Disney California Adventure Park, the Downtown Disney District and, of course, Disneyland Park. Although you could easily spend your whole trip at Disneyland, save time for dining and shopping in the Anaheim Packing District. If you’re planning to visit during a school break, book well in advance to snag accommodations at reasonable prices. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|THINGS TO DO
  • View 22 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoBahamas#3 in Best Family Winter VacationsPopular Bahamian resorts like Atlantis, Paradise Island have all kinds of kid-approved amenities, including children’s play areas, marine habitats and video arcades. Additionally, the Bahamas offers thrilling family-friendly activities like snorkeling and boating, as well as stunning shores (think: Pink Sand Beach and Coco Plum Beach) that are ideal for building sandcastles, sunbathing and cooling off in crystal-clear water. Add in the reprieve of warm weather and the islands’ close proximity to the U.S., and the Bahamas is perfectly suited for winter family fun. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|THINGS TO DO
  • View 46 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoHonolulu – Oahu#4 in Best Family Winter VacationsThe Honolulu Zoo and several family resorts help make Waikiki Beach an especially kid-friendly part of Honolulu. Plus, children of all ages will love cooling off with Hawaiian shave ice after a long day of play. But Oahu’s biggest wintertime appeal lies in its warm weather: High temps hover in the low 80s. Just keep in mind that you won’t be the only family vying for space on the sand. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|THINGS TO DO
  • View 46 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoLake Tahoe#5 in Best Family Winter VacationsSpanning thousands of acres in California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe appeals to budding skiers and their parents. Choose from either downhill or cross-country skiing, both of which can be enjoyed in the northern and southern halves of Lake Tahoe. Available lodging options range from luxury resorts with ski-in/ski-out access to bed-and-breakfast accommodations to cabin rentals. Avoid weekends and the busy holiday season to save some coin. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|THINGS TO DO
  • View 48 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoU.S. Virgin Islands#6 in Best Family Winter VacationsNot only are U.S. citizens able to enter this tropical paradise without a passport, but they can easily plan a vacation with kids here thanks to numerous family-friendly resorts and several unique attractions. Swim with sea lions at St. Thomas’ Coral World Ocean Park, snorkel in the quiet lagoon of St. Croix’s Buck Island Reef National Monument or explore the trails of St. John’s Virgin Islands National Park. No trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands would be complete without riding the Skyride to Paradise Point tram, which offers breathtaking views of Charlotte Amalie’s harbor from 700 feet above the ground. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|THINGS TO DO
  • View 37 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoJackson Hole#7 in Best Family Winter VacationsExperience a winter wonderland fit for the whole family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Kids who aren’t quite ready for the bunny hill can go snow tubing at Grand Targhee Resort or Snow King Resort while aspiring ice skaters zip around the Village Rink on the Commons in Teton Village. Dog sledding tours and National Elk Refuge sleigh rides are additional must-do family activities. When you need to warm up, head inside the Jackson Hole Playhouse for dinner and a family-friendly Western-themed show. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|THINGS TO DO
  • View 27 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoSanibel Island#8 in Best Family Winter VacationsCollecting shells along the sandy shores, exploring the Sanibel Lighthouse and indulging in fresh seafood are just a few activities that families can enjoy on Florida’s Sanibel Island. Groups can soak up some sun at Bowman’s Beach or look for shorebirds in J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Because Sanibel Island offers slightly more affordable accommodations than other popular beach getaways, it’s especially popular with budget-conscious travelers. But remember, temperatures often drop from the mid- to high 70s during the day to the 50s at night, so pack layers. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|THINGS TO DO
  • View 12 PhotosBelongs on List?YesNoSt. Petersburg, FL#9 in Best Family Winter VacationsArt-loving families will relish vacationing in this Florida city 23 miles southwest of Tampa. Visit The Dalí Museum, which features a vast collection of Salvador Dalí’s works, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg and the Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center. Kids will also enjoy playing at the Great Explorations Children’s Museum. After spending a few days indoors, go for a walk through the Sunken Gardens or Weedon Island Preserve. READ MOREBEST HOTELS|

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