We all love NY (and Chicago and DC), but here's the scoop on lower-profile cities worth your time:
1. San Diego (sandiego.org): Maybe you know about the stellar zoo and its pandas. But what about: a sleepover on a naval aircraft carrier; Balboa Park, the country's biggest urban cultural park; postcard-worthy beaches? Legoland California is there, too.
2. Toronto (seetorontonow.com): It's a tough call: the Hippo, an amphibious tour bus that rides right into Lake Ontario, or standing on the glass floor at the top of the CN Tower. Do both! Just save time for the Royal Ontario natural history museum. Thanks to the bounty of interactive exhibits just for kids, it'll be a blast even for museum-phobes. It's also sparkling clean and easy to manage with a stroller.
3. Miami (gmcvb.com): The Loews Miami Beach resort has a cool kids' program (plus a massive free-form pool and easy beach access). Venture out to swim with the dolphins at the Seaquarium, take a safari tour at Jungle Island, and spot gators in the Everglades.
4. Indianapolis (indy.org): Grab a behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic raceway. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the world's largest (psst: It's more of a mind-blowing educational entertainment complex than a museum). Make and eat your own ice cream at the 320-acre Traders Point Creamery, a unique urban organic dairy farm.
5. Boston (bostonusa.com): Take a ride in one of the famous Swan Boats in the oldest public gardens in the U.S. Baseball fans can test their trivia knowledge during a tour of Fenway Park. And for those American-history students, there's Paul Revere's house, the winding Freedom Trail, and the U.S.S. Constitution, a Navy ship that dates back to 1797.