A mother/daughter, father/son, or other parent/child weekend is a great chance to see one another in a new light—and strengthen family ties. Here are good places to enjoy a trip with a child.
For All Ages: Resorts
Hershey, the Pennsylvania town built on chocolate, has a big draw for kids—an amusement park. This season it adds an 11th roller coaster, Fahrenheit. There is also a zoo and a car museum, and teen girls love the spa, known for chocolate treatments. At the town’s theater this year: ballet, comedy, jazz, Dolly Parton, and Mamma Mia. Hershey, 21⁄2 hours from Washington, has a range of accommodations and dining options. See hersheypa.com or call 800-hershey.
Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort, two hours away in Maryland’s Rocky Gap State Park, is a bargain with its small spa, new indoor pool, 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature course, and lake boating and fishing. In the park, guests can hike, kayak, and bike. See rockygapresort.com or call 800-724-0828.
Baltimore has lots for kids, from baseball to a tour of the USS Constellation (the only Civil War ship still afloat) to Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, which traces pop culture through toys, dolls, and comic books. Next to Geppi’s, near Camden Yards, the Sports Legends Museum spotlights Maryland athletics including Babe Ruth, the Negro Leagues, Cal Ripken, and Seabiscuit.
At the aquarium, a new 4-D Immersion Theater combines high-def sound with special effects like mist and wind. Teenagers enjoy Baltimore Ghost Tours and the American Visionary Art Museum, devoted to creations by self-taught artists. For more tips, see baltimore.org.
Show your kids life without iPods in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where the Amish live without electricity and use mules to plow their farms. Drive along country roads and through villages. Take a buggy ride over a covered bridge. Kids can milk cows and play mini-golf at Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park with 33 rides geared toward young children. See padutchcountry.com.
Want to spend a few lazy days building sandcastles with your child? Consider Bethany Beach, Delaware.
This family-oriented town is quieter than its neighbors, Rehoboth and Ocean City, but still has a milelong boardwalk and lots to do. Besides the usual beach diversions, you might crab at Assawoman Wildlife Area or visit the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island.
Two blocks from the beach is a Holiday Inn Express with a pool; Sea Colony offers oceanside condos for rent. When it’s time to eat, kids like the waterfall and barbecue at Bethany Blues and the coconut shrimp at Mango’s.
For details, see visitsoutherndelaware.com; 800-357-1898.