“Going with Isabelle was a new kind of awesome,” gushes Tracy Faris of her second Oahu honeymoon with her daughter, 14 months. Faris and her husband, of Carlsbad, CA, were so smitten with Oahu the first time, they vowed to return with the fruit of their union. Six years later, they did. “The highlight was bringing her to Laniakea to see the Hawaiian green turtles. They march right up the beach, with no fear of humans.” Faris has a tip: Go in fall or spring. In winter, the waves can be too rough. In summer, it's hot (and expensive).
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
, is the latest mouse-eared outpost for fams. Hit the Wailana Pool Bar or the Laniwai Spa while the kiddies visit Aunty's Beach House. Kids can dress up in classic Disney costumes or get gunky whipping up Stitch's acid-green Space Goo. This being Disney, the movie room has an enchanted fireplace that lights up with fireworks.
Cool off at Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii
, where tweens run off to the 600-foot Raging River, while 'rents splash with toddlers at Keiki Kove's mini-slides. Then join a Dinner Safari at the Honolulu Zoo
. This stroller-friendly jaunt starts with a buffet before you're led on a red-filter flashlight adventure. Keep an eye out for Moxi, the new lion.
Shave ice (not shaved, fyi) is a must-try. The Matsumoto family
has been serving it up since 1951. We'd go for the Lilikoi (passion fruit) or coconut cream.
Palm Beach seems so swanky…and adult? Sure, that's how you remember it. But it's become an incredible place for fams, too. The Breakers, the bastion of all that is swanky, now has a kids' club. And it's attached to the Italian Restaurant, so you two can sip vino while your children are cared for a few feet away.
At the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
, you'll be directly on the sand, so the kids can jump right in with the hotel's boogie boards and inner tubes. There's also a lagoon pool with a water slide and deluxe cabanas for nearby lounging. The Diva Duck Amphibious Tour
, a sightseeing trip in a bus that morphs into a boat, is three miles away.
Get to the South Florida Science Museum
for Backyard Monsters, the just-opened exhibit featuring giant, anatomically accurate robotic insects. Local mom Ashley Cass Morse suggests a stop at Downtown at the Gardens
. Lead the kids to the hand-carved wooden carousel, choo-choo ride, and A Latte Fun, an indoor playground where you can order a café mocha. Score!
Nosh: At Nick & Johnnies, you can have your lobster taco and eat Hebrew National franks, too. Every meal ends with complimentary cotton candy.
Terry Weber of Melbourne, FL, took a cruise to Jamaica for her honeymoon…and went again with her boys, 9 and 7. “At the top of Dunn's Falls, we all took our picture where my husband and I stood ten years earlier.”
Stay: When you check into the all-inclusive Franklyn D. Resort in St. Ann's, you're greeted by a personal assistant to keep your kids happy at the pool or beach.
Play: Spot a yellow-billed parrot as you bounce downstream on a guided tubing trip in Ocho Rios . Take tots to Kool Runnings Adventure Park in Negril for Captain Mikie's Coconut Island, a park just for peewees.
Nosh: At Toscanini in Ocho Rios, a colonial villa, picky eaters love the fresh homemade pasta. You might try the mean Jamaican fusion cuisine.