Where to Take the Kids in November

The end of the autumn shoulder season brings lower prices in many destinations, only to be interrupted by Thanksgiving kicking off the holiday season. Here are some great recommendations for a terrific November family escape. 

  • 01 of 12

    Get Lost in an Amazing Corn Maze

    Great Vermont Corn Maze
    ••• © Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

    All over the country, giant corn mazes are cropping up to the delight of families who flock to this quintessential fall experience. Wear comfy shoes and bring your sense of adventure.

  • 02 of 12

    See the Northern Lights in the Great Lakes Region

    Aurora Borealis, Michigan
    ••• Layne Kennedy / Getty Images

    Are the Northern Lights on your bucket list? You don't have to cruise to Alaska, fly to Scandinavia, or drive to Canada. You can stay put in the Lower 48 and head to the Great Lakes region for a spectacular ​light show.

  • 03 of 12

    Escape to Santa Barbara

    Santa Barbara Lil Toot
    ••• Damian Gadal / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Santa Barbara's mild year-round temperatures make it a great escape when the mercury drops around the rest of the country. Families will find plenty to do and see, including the beach and the zoo.

    Explore hotel options in Santa Barbara.

  • 04 of 12

    Take the Kids on an Epic Fall Foliage Drive

    Blue Ridge Parkway
    ••• Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina. Pierre Leclerc Photography / Getty Images

    Cooling temperatures mean it's time to pack the car and grab the kids for a weekend road trip to view fall foliage. From sea to shining sea, here are road trips that offer the colorful vistas that come but for a few short weeks a year.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Why November is the Best Month to Visit Jacksonville

    ••• Jacksonville Zoo. Courtesy of Jacksonville Zoo

    Looking for a place to take the kids in November? You'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to visit than Jacksonville, Florida which offers a whole month of free admission for children at some of the city's most popular family attractions.

    Explore hotel options in Jacksonville.

  • 06 of 12

    Bring Your Scallywag to the Cayman Islands' Pirates Fest

    Cayman Islands Pirate Festival
    ••• Courtesy of Pirates Week

    Whether you're a swashbuckler or a scallywag, consider charting a course in November for the Cayman Islands, which host 10 days of treasure-hunting and buccaneering during the annual Pirates Week National Festival.

    Explore hotel options in the Cayman Islands.

  • 07 of 12

    Snag a Fab Fall Package in Traverse City

    ••• Courtesy of Traverse City Tourism

    Looking for an affordable fall getaway in the Midwest? You'd be hard pressed to beat Traverse City, in Michigan's "True North," which TripAdvisor.com named as one of America’s Top 10 Fall Foliage Destinations. Families have an extra reason to visit from September through mid-December thanks to a city-wide fall promotion

    Explore hotel options in Traverse City.

  • 08 of 12

    Find a Terrific Thanksgiving Getaway

    ••• Anthony Quintano / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    As one of the longest weekends in the fall school calendar, Thanksgiving break offers a stellar opportunity for families to snag a break for four or five days. There are fantastic places like the cities that celebrate with huge parades and ski resorts where you kick off the winter sports season and still have turkey and all the trimmings. 

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Party Like a Pilgrim in Plymouth

    Plimoth Plantation
    ••• Kevin Fleming/Corbis/VCG

    Celebrate Thanksgiving where the first historic gathering happened, in Plymouth, about 45-minute drive south of Boston. Any time of year, you can explore Plimoth Plantation and explore the Mayflower II. But November is special thanks to an annual extended Thanksgiving celebration that brings history to life.

    Explore hotel options in Plymouth.

  • 10 of 12

    Kick off the Holiday Season

    Micky Mouse
    ••• Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney Parks

    'Tis the season when top destinations and family resorts start decking their halls and making the season merry and bright. With some resorts starting holiday festivities in early to mid-November, many families will turn the season into an opportunity for a festive getaway.

  • 11 of 12

    Catch New York City at its Most Festive

    The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
    ••• Rudy Sulgan / Getty Images

    The holiday season is arguably the most exciting time to visit New York City and definitely a time with popular family appeal. Beginning in mid-November, the Big Apple is transformed into a festive holiday destination, from the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and the beautifully decorated storefronts along Fifth Avenue to the Christmas light displays in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. 

    Explore hotel options in New York City.

  • 12 of 12

    Hop Aboard the Polar Express!

    Polar Express
    ••• Courtesy of Grand Canyon Railway

    The magic of Christmas comes alive in The Polar Express, the beloved children's book and perennial favorite holiday movie. Dozens of Polar Express trains have popped up all over the country, offering families the opportunity to recreate the magical Polar Express experience through readings of the story, music from the movie soundtrack, cups of cocoa and, of course, meetings with Santa. Be sure to book ahead, as these trains can sell out months in advance.