FAMILY TRAVEL

30 Places Every Kid MUST See

From breathtaking national parks to natural wonders, bridges, dams, and museums that make learning a blast, these are America's top must-see destinations for kids!

By The Editors of Budget Travel, Friday, Apr 18, 2014, 12:00 PM

Source Article: 30 Places Every Kid MUST See

Exterior of the Field Museum in Chicago

Chicago's Field Museum is part of the city's lakefront Museum Campus and has nine acres of floor space to display a broad array of natural wonders.

(Courtesy The Field Museum)

Inside the Field Museum in Chicago

Dioramas at the Field Museum feature African lions and giraffes as well as Arctic penguins and polar bears.

(Courtesy The Field Museum)

Sue the dinosaur at the Field Museum in Chicago

The Field Museum's Tyrannosaurus rex, known as Sue, is the largest complete fossil of her kind.

(Courtesy The Field Museum)

Arches National Park in Utah

It only takes a couple hours to drive past the 2,000 brawny pink arches of Utah's Arches National Park.

(National Park Service Photo)

Arches National Park in Utah

One of the main draws of Arches National Park is watching the sun play off the natural sandstone formations.

(National Park Service Photo)

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, includes the Davidson Center for Space Exploration and the orginal Space Camp.

(Courtesy U.S. Space and Rocket Center)

Space Camp

The star attraction at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration is a restored version of the famous Saturn V rocket.

(Courtesy U.S. Space and Rocket Center)

Astronauts in Space Camp

Aspiring astronauts can suit up and feel the gravitational yank of lift-off via the simulator at Space Camp.

(Courtesy U.S. Space and Rocket Center)

Mount Rushmore

Even the most jaded teen will be wowed by the colossal busts of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln at South Dakota's Mount Rushmore.

(Courtesy chascar/Flickr)

Mount Rushmore

The visitors' center at Mount Rushmore has exhibits on the creation of the monument as well as the presidents whose faces are immortalized in granite.

(Courtesy Kelly Martin/Wikimedia Commons)

Acadia National Park

Maine's Acadia National Park may be small in relation to other national parks, but it has granite peaks, forest paths, and a scenic beach.

(Sheridan Steele)

Acadia National Park

Rangers at Acadia National Park lead free hikes to explore the varied terrain and see the diverse wildlife.

(NPS/Ray Radigan)

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is located where the Cadillac Mountains meet the Bay of Fundy.

(NPS photo)

Boston Museum of Science

Boston's Museum of Science sits right on the Charles RIver.

(Chicco7 / Dreamstime.com)

Museum of Science

The cosmos feels closer to earth at the planetarium at the Museum of Science.

(Michael Malyszko)

Museum of Science

The Museum of Science's planetarium includes a theater with a full-dome video and audio system.

(Michael Malyszko)

Hawaiis Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world's most active volcanoes.

(Marlathrall / Dreamstime.com)

Volcanoes National Park

Rangers at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park take visitors down into the lava tubes, subterranean caverns formed by hardened molten rock.

(Volgariver / Dreamstime.com)

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The imposing Metropolitan Museum of Art covers 14 acres of land in New York City's Central Park.

(Lee Snider / Dreamstime.com )

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes an ancient Egyptian Temple, a Ming Dynasty Garden, and one of the world's largest collections of Vermeers.

(Sean Pavone / Dreamstime.com)

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The extensive Egyptian art collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes a statue of Pharaoh Amenemhat II, who reigned from 1919 B.C. to 1885 B.C.

(Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Carlsbad Caverns

Rangers are on hand to lead tours of the caves at New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns.

(NPS Photo by Peter Jones)

Carlsbad Caverns

Adventurous kids will enjoy crawling through passageways or making rope-assisted descents through curtains of stalagmites at Carlsbad Caverns.

(NPS Photo by Peter Jones)

Carlsbad Caverns

The Big Room is the largest cave at Carlsbad Caverns and could fit 6.3 football fields.

(NPS Photo by Peter Jones)

Hoover Dam

Experts lead walking tours along the pedestrian bridge at Nevada's Hoover Dam.

(Zainkapasi / Dreamstime.com)

Hoover Dam

At more than 1,200 feet wide at the top, the Hoover Dam was the largest in the world when it was completed in 1936.

(Courtesy USBR/Hoover Dam)

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, located in Springfield, Illinois, includes a 40,000-square-foot museum that houses historical artifacts, a theater, and a recreation of the log cabin Lincoln grew up in.

(Courtesy Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum)

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Plaza at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum includes figures of Lincoln and his family and a recreation of the south portico of the White House.

(Courtesy Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum)

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

Kids can dress up in period costume in Mrs. Lincoln's Attic at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.

(Courtesy Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum)

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is equal parts eye candy and engineering lesson.

(Unamused / Dreamstime.com)

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Take a walk along the pedestrian path of the Golden Gate Bridge for astonishing views of Angel Island, Alcatraz, and Treasure Island.

(Minyun Zhou / Dreamstime.com)

SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio garnered the most votes of all the theme parks in our poll, probably thanks to the park's combination of thrill rides and rich marine life.

(Courtesy Sea World San Antonio)

Shamu Show at SeaWorld

One of SeaWorld's main attractions is the iconic Shamu Show.

(Courtesy Sea World San Antonio)

SeaWorld San Antonio

There are many hands-on programs at SeaWorld San Antonio that let kids interact with the resident animals.

(Courtesy Sea World San Antonio)

National Museum of American History

Social studies class comes to life at the National Museum of American History, located on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

(Courtesy of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution)

 National Museum of Amerian History

The collection at the National Museum of Amerian History includes the inauguration gowns worn by the First Ladies.

(Courtesy of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution)

National Museum of American History

Hands-on activities at the National Museum of American History include adding giant stars to an 1813-style garrison flag.

(Courtesy of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution)

Alabamas Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Alabama's Birmingham Civil Rights Institute chronicles our nation's civil rights history and puts the '50s and '60s in a context that today's children can understand.

(Courtesy Birmingham Civil Rights Institute)

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Exhibits at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute include a recreation of a segregated lunch counter.

(Courtesy Birmingham Civil Rights Institute)

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute uses compelling artifacts and exhibits that don't gloss over the tragedies of the civil rights' era.

(Courtesy Birmingham Civil Rights Institute)

The U.S. Capitol Building

The U.S. Capitol Building: Just one of the many sights to see on an amphibious tour of Washington, D.C.

(Courtesy jorgeq/myBudgetTravel)

View of the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial.

View of the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial.

(Courtesy vicnaire/myBudgetTravel)

Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Fall at Yellowstone National Park.

Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Fall at Yellowstone National Park.

(Courtesy Mila Zinkova/Wikimedia Commons)

sunrise in Yellowstone National Park

One of the breathtaking sunrise views you can catch at Yellowstone National Park.

(Courtesy mmiwig/myBudgetTravel.com)

A geyser at Yellowstone National Park.

A geyser errupts, spreading a rainbow on a sunny day at Yellowstone National Park.

(Courtesy bobcat812/myBudgetTravel.com)

Staff at Colonial Williamsburg

Don't forget to stay in character: Staff at Colonial Williamsburg dress and act as if they were living in that era, and they encourage visitors to do the same!

(Courtesy Harvey Barrison/Wikimedia Commons)

The Governors Palace at Colonial Williamsburg.

The Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg.

(Courtesy The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Bostons Fenway Park

Not exactly the cheap seats, this is the view from the Legend's Box at Fenway Park in Boston.

(Courtesy Jared Vincent/Wikimedia Commons)

Bostons Fenway Park

Get down (but not dirty) at a Boston Red Sox night game at Fenway Park.

(Courtesy Boston CVB)

Streets of Boston

Blessings and curses: The Red Sox finally broke the famous "Curse of the Bambino" in 2004, ending an 86-year streak of losing the World Series.

(Courtesy Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia Commons)

sunset at the Grand Canyon

One of the gorgeous sunset views of the Grand Canyon you can take in while on a horse-drawn wagon ride.

(Courtesy Tobias Alt/Wikimedia Commons)

Grand Canyons West Rim Skywalk

Don't look down! The 4-year-old Skywalk juts 70 feet beyond the Grand Canyon's West Rim and sits 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.

(Courtesy Purple/Wikimedia Commons)

Thomas Jeffersons Monticello estate.

An autumn view of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Estate.

(Courtesy Monticello/Robert C. Lautman)

The dining room at Thomas Jeffersons Monticello estate

The dining room at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate.

(Courtesy Monticello/Philip Beaurline)

Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls

Don't forget your poncho! Maid of the Mist offers tours of the floor of Niagara Falls.

(Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp.)

View of Niagra Falls.

View of Niagara Falls.

(Courtesy jcjlkrebs/myBudgetTravel)

entrance to the San Diego Zoo.

A topiary elephant greets visitors at the entrance to the San Diego Zoo.

(Courtesy Cburnett/Wikimedia Commons)

San Diego Zoo

Get up close and personal with the planet's largest bear at the San Diego Zoo.

(Courtesy The Zoological Society of San Diego 2007)

Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Take Philadelphia's Ghost Tour and get to know the spirits of America's founding fathers during a candlelit tour through landmarks like Independence Hall, pictured here.

(Courtesy Dan Smith/Wikimedia Commons)

Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Find your inner patriot with a stroll through Independence Mall in Philadelphia.

(Courtesy GPTMC/National Park Service)

The Great Hall at Ellis Island

The Great Hall at Ellis Island holds historical associations and memories for millions of American families.

(Courtesy Ellis Island Parks Service)

Ellis Island in New York City

The Ellis Island Ferry shuttles visitors from Battery Park in Manhattan across the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

(Courtesy Dekoker/Wikimedia Commons)

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

At Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve in Idaho, 618-foot lava field, formed by volcanic eruptions 15,000 years ago, is the ultimate moon-surface simulation.

(Courtesy Idaho Tourism)

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

These craters in Idaho are about as close to walking on the moon as you can get without leaving Earth's atmosphere.

(Courtesy Idaho Tourism)

Bostons Freedom Trail

Take a guided tour down Boston's Freedom Trail, led by actors portraying the people who actually through lived the Revolution.

(Courtesy Freedom Trail Foundation)

Faneuil Hall along Bostons Freedom Trail

With 125 shops and 21 restaurants, Faneuil Hall makes the Freedom Trail both lively and educational.

(Courtesy Greater Boston CVB)

Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco, California

A view of the famously (almost) inescapable Alcatraz Prison in the San Francisco Bay.

(John A. Martini/Courtesy Alcatraz Cruises)

Alcatraz Prison at night

You're welcome to roam the halls of Alcatraz Prison at night...if you dare.

(John A. Martini/Courtesy Alcatraz Cruises)

Cinderellas Castle in Walt Disney World in Orlando

Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World in Orlando, still as magical as ever.

(Courtesy mmiwig/myBudgetTravel)

Main Street USA Station.

The Walter E. Disney's red coaches wait at Main Street USA Station.

(Courtesy Tom Arthur/Wikimedia Commons)

Disneys Animal Kingdom

Adventure comes alive in Disney's Animal Kingdom, where visitors can have up-close encounters with the park's inhabitants.

(Kent Phillips/Courtesy WDWNews)

Hidden Beach in Redwood National Park, California,

Hidden Beach in Redwood National Park, California, is accessible via trail from the Trees of Mystery in Klamath.

(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Founders Grove in California

Although hollowed out by fire, this giant coastal redwood tree in Founders' Grove continues to survive and grow.

(Courtesy California Travel and Tourism Commission/ Tai Power Seeff)

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