While you're in the neighborhood of the Northern California Redwood Forest, allow enough time to stop by Campbell Bros. Confusion Hill. Built in 1949, Confusion Hill is all about altering your normal perception. The starring act here is Gravity House, where visitors can solve the mystery of Confusion Hill for themselves. The other attraction is a 30-minute Mountain Train Ride. The ride travels through second- and old-growth Redwoods.
Headed to Florida? Check out the Miami SkyLift attraction in Miami's Bayfront Park. The 500-foot helium balloon ride suspends riders above Bayfront Park for 15 minutes while a tour guide narrates a description of Miami.
Some of the just-for-fun mysteries that you can experiment with at Confusion Hill include a trough in which water seems to be flowing uphill, rolling golf balls out a window and having them come back to you, standing on the walls, and trying to get out of the gravity chair. Also there are height variations in the Gravity House that make you seem to shrink at one end of a room and grow taller at the other end.
Colorado's Railroad Attractions
Kids love trains, and sightseeing by train is great family fun with a hint of education added to the mix. Colorado is a veritable train activity destination. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a train tour of mining days, has been featured in over 12 films including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Coal-fired steam locomotives take riders 45 miles from Durango to Silverton, Colorado, on a 3,000-foot climb.
Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write “America the Beautiful” thanks to the views she saw at the top of Pikes Peak, 14,110 feet high. Thankfully, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway has been taking visitors to the top of Pikes Peak to see those same views since 1891. And families with serious railroad buffs can stop by the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado. It includes a replica of a depot, and more than 100 historic locomotives and cars on 15 acres.
America's Coolest Corn Mazes
Corn mazes are creepy, fabulous fun. The annual Corn Maze at The Old Frontier in Thomson-McDuffie County, Georgia, is laid out over a whopping five acres. The Old Frontier welcomes birthday parties and family reunions.
Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois, is a massive farm where visitors can climb a 50-foot-tall tower to try and map in their minds how they'll find their way out of Richardson Farm's massive corn maze, the largest in America. Families can picnic on site, and don't forget the marshmallows. The farm provides free campfires.
The Biltmore Estate
You might question whether or not your children would enjoy visiting America's largest private residence, The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. It's just a house and grounds, right? Wrong! Biltmore is an adventure for the whole family, complete with a Land Rover Experience Driving School, mansion, restaurants, petting zoo, historic horse barn, and summer concert series.
Just for Parents
At the Biltmore Winery parents can enjoy complimentary wine tastings and tours of the winery following a romantic dinner at the winery's Bistro. The Inn on Biltmore Estate is a four-star property perfect for reconnecting on vacation.
And families looking for a Christmas vacation should think of traveling to the Biltmore Estate. During the holidays, Biltmore displays 100 decorated trees, 1,000 wreaths and bows, nearly 2,000 poinsettias, miles of evergreen garland alongside thousands of ornaments and lights, and 35 Fraser fire Christmas trees in their 72-foot banquet hall.