Kid-Friendly Vacations


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Photo Credit: Kalahari Resorts


By: Maryann Hammers

Here are some ideas for keeping the kids entertained, while saving money with military discounts.

Sesame Place , a 14-acre theme park 30 minutes north of Philadelphia and 90 minutes south of New York City, features rides, shows, and attractions for young children. Regular admission is $68 but is free to active duty military members and up to three dependents with the Waves of Honor program. Click here for details.

Kalahari Resorts , indoor waterpark resorts with locations in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, offer a 20-percent discount for active duty and retired military members and their families. Call (877) 525-2427, and ask for the military and service personnel special.

StaySky Resorts in Orlando, Fla., near Walt Disney World, offer a 25-percent military discount. The deal is valid at family-friendly hotels like Hawthorn Suites Lake Buena Vista (call 866-756-3778), staySky Suites (call 800-228-2027), and Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa (call 866-756-3778). Also save 25 percent at The Enclave Hotel & Suites , which offers shuttle service to Universal Orlando (call 800-457-0077).

YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colo., has a great deal for active duty military families. The Military Getaway Package includes two nights in a lodge room, up to four people per room, all meals included — all for $164. The same deal is offered at the Snow Mountain Ranch location. Call (888) 613-9622.

Jellystone Park campgrounds offer family activities, themed weekends, miniature golf courses, and swimming pools. Some have waterslides and water parks. Not a camper? You also can rent a cabin, cottage, or yurt. Military discounts of up to 20 percent are available, depending on the location. Click here for a state-by-state list.

Oregon State Parks offer bikeways, beaches, hiking trails, and junior ranger programs. Veterans with disabilities get free camping and free parking/day use with a special access pass. Active duty military members on leave must pay regular camping and day-use fees but will get reimbursed. It’s all explained here.