Midwest Vacations for Families

Here are 13 Midwest vacations for families ideas that you and your kids will enjoy for your next road trip. From national parks to amusement parks, from outside adventures to inside museums these places cover something for everyone.

It doesn’t really matter where you go, the important thing is that you go and enjoy quality time with your family.

Check out the list of Midwest Vacations for Families:

1. Big Bend National Park Texas

Big Bend National Park in Texas is a great place for a family vacation. It’s hiking at it’s best as long as you know your kids’ limitations. It’s a fun family day activity that your kids will love.

It can get very hot in Big Bend so you need to plan accordingly. The Well Balance Women blog has a 3 Day Itinerary for Hiking Bid Bend National Park. Check it out and plan your hiking vacation.

2. Branson Missouri

Branson Missouri is known for entertainment of all kinds from concerts to plays to family dining adventures. There is a strip that has mini-golf, go-karts, and arcades. They even have underground tunnels for the kids to explore.

For a lot of ideas for the family to go visit Family Fun in Branson Missouri from the Making of a Mom blog. I’ve never been to Branson but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

Related Post: Sight & Sound Theater in PA and MO

3. Santa Claus Indiana

Holiday World (formerly known as Santa Claus Land) features four themed areas and two full theme parks on over 125 acres including Splashin’ Safari Water Park.

Holiday World in Santa Claus Indiana

This is a theme park geared towards younger children as most of the rides have a maximum height of 54″. They have Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Fourth of July themed rides and areas. For more information visit the Ultimate Guide to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana as told by Sarah in the Suburbs.

4. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. As the first national park, our government knew that this was a special place that needed to be preserved forever.

Taking your family to Yellowstone will be a vacation that they will remember forever. They get to see very different experiences there from watching a geyser erupt to swimming in a “warm” river and seeing the world’s largest hot spring and hiking to beautiful waterfalls. And there is no better place in the US to see wildlife in its own environment.

Here is a list of 10 Things to Do in Yellowstone with Kids that I’ve put together. You will want to keep going back to this very special place.

5. Galveston Texas

Dolphin sight seeing tour boat

If you’re looking for an affordable, laid back vacation with your family you may want to consider Galveston Texas. It has the ocean with beautiful beaches, shopping, a ferris wheel and carnival games in this quaint beach town.

Pleasure Pier is an amusement park that the kids will love right on the ocean. You can also go take a dolphin sightseeing tour.

Moody Gardens is another option that has three different “pyramids” each having its own theme including a rainforest, aquarium, and 4D theater.

For more information visit Galveston Vacation Tips.

6. Des Moines Iowa

I’ve only driven through Iowa on a road trip to the Rockies but there are a lot of family-friendly things to do in and near Des Moines, Iowa’s biggest city.

Kim from Two Kids and a Coupon blog has lived in this big (small) city her whole life and tells us about her experiences. Go to her blog to read all about What to Do in Des Moines with Kids.

7. Louisville Kentucky

Louisville Kentucky is a place that has things to do for both adults and kids alike. Known for its horse racing, it also has museums, a zoo, and parks that your kids will love.

A must-do experience for the whole family is the Derby Museum where you will feel like you are in the middle of all the excitement of horse racing.

For more things to do check out the 365 Atlanta Traveler list of 23 Things To Do in Louisville, KY for the Entire Family.

8. The Wisconsin Dells

rock formations in Wisconsin

If you’re looking for a tourist area with lots of things to do for the entire family, the Wisconsin Dells is the place for you.

A must-do in this area is getting out on the river and enjoying a river cruise. You can get off the boat to explore beautiful rock formations that the area is known for.

For the Best Family Activities in the Wisconsin Dells check out Life Is Sweeter by Design blog post.

9. Colorado Springs


A short ride from Denver is Colorado Springs and it has many things for the kids to do. You can visit Santa Claus during the summer at Santa’s Workshop, an amusement park your kids will love. Or take a train ride at Royal Gorge Route Railroad to see the beautiful views only Colorado can offer.

However, I’m sure the highlight of your trip for your kids at least, will be to the Dinosaur Resource Center to see reptiles, pterosaurs, and dinosaurs.

To read all about it check out the Denver Housewife list of 5 Fun & Unique Things To Do in Colorado Springs.

10. Rocky Mountain National Park

Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

A special place to visit in the Midwest is Rocky Mountain National Park. Experience scenery you can only get in Colorado along with beautiful lakes, wildlife that you can see up close, and 77 mountain peaks over 12,000 feet.

For things to do along with tips to make your trip a pleasant experience visit Things To Do in Rocky Mountain National Park.

11. Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park

Boy, South Dakota surprised us, it’s such a beautiful state that we are already planning our next trip there. A must-do stop when there is the Badlands National Park.

Discover the breathtaking landscape of rocks formations and native grasslands along your drive on the main road that goes through the park. There are many places to stop and take in the scenery as well as easy to difficult hiking trails. Look for wild animals such as mountain sheep, bison, and my favorite prairie dogs.

12. Mid West Road Trip

St Louis arch
St Louis

In my opinion, there is nothing better than a road trip. The excitement of the unknown and experiencing new things makes this kind of trip fun for the whole family. This list includes many Midwest vacations for families that you and your kids will love.

Two Kids and a Coupon blog tells you all about a Family Fun Midwest Road Trips to Take the Kids. This trip covers places your kids will love to visit in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, and Wisconsin.

13. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Mackinac Bridge

Last summer I was lucky enough to take a 2 1/2 week road trip exploring the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There was so much to see and do from the Great Lakes beaches, lighthouses, stunning waterfalls, national forests, and hiking in the many beautiful state parks. We even took a side trip to Isle Royale National Park.

Check out my post on 47 Things to Do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to read about the many places that you and your kids can explore.

Here are only a few Midwest vacations for families. Where do you go on vacation in the Midwest?

Related Posts: Isle Royale National Park

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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2 thoughts on “Midwest Vacations for Families”

  1. These are some great suggestions! We’ve been to several of these locations and there are a couple more that we can’t wait to take our kids to.

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