25+ Family-Friendly Cities, All Only 1 Flight Away


25+ Family-Friendly Cities, All Only 1 Flight AwayIt’s hard to believe that Spring Break is upon us and that summer is right around the corner. I’m itching to plan a vacation. And if you’re anything like me, researching and planning for a trip is almost just as fun as the adventure itself.

While Knoxville is centrally located and within driving distance of many cities, Knoxville also has nonstop flights to 30 different airports, each destination offering unique, memorable family fun.

Here are 25+ things to experience in the 25+ cities that are just one flight away from Knoxville.


Can you say whale shark?! The Georgia Aquarium is one of the only aquariums in the U.S. that houses a whale shark, which is ‘the largest fish in the world and the largest fish known to have lived on this planet’.

      • Airline: Delta
      • Flight time: Less than one hour!


While exploring the recreational beauty of Zilker Metropolitan Park (351 acres!) would be fun enough for me, a tour by Austin Duck Adventures sounds too good to pass up. This tour bus takes you around Austin by land AND water.


One word: museums! Whether your child is interested in science, art, trains, or imaginary play, there’s an experience for you.


The city of Boston is overflowing with so much history! If you can get your child interested in it too, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum would be a perfect experience. If history doesn’t appeal to them right now, you can always buy them some peanuts and crackerjacks…at Fenway Park!


After a very quick flight, you and your family could enjoy a day at Carowinds, an amusement park that boasts 60+ rides, live entertainment, Camp Snoopy, and more!

      • Airline: American
      • Flight time: 1 hour, 15 minutes


Chicago has endless activities for children and families! On a pretty day, the Navy Pier would be a great spot for lunch and shopping. Also, you have to take a family photo in front of Cloud Gate, aka the bean. And there’s always Wrigley Field!


Traveling to Dallas with kids? Your first stop will obviously be to the home of Bonnie and Clyde. Kidding 🙂 Dallas has it all in regards to a zoo, aquarium, and many museums, but the Dallas Arboretum looks like a great place to take in the beauty of nature and let your child let out some energy.

      • Airline: American
      • Flight time: 2 hours, 45 minutes


A Rockies game would be fun or a concert at Red Rocks, but…calling all boy moms! The Denver Firefighter Museum or Dinosaur Ridge are bound to ‘WOW’ your son!


If your family gets tired of the beach, the Gulfarium sounds incredible. According to their website: “Be a dolphin trainer for a day. Snorkel with stingrays. Chat with a shark expert. It’s all in a day’s fun at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park.” 

      • Airline: Allegiant
      • Flight time: 1 hours, 20 minutes


I feel like visiting the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is a must! This museum has something to entertain children and adults.

      • Airline: Delta
      • Flight time: 1 hours, 45 minutes

Ft. Lauderdale

If you’re looking for something other than spending a fun day at the beach, an air boat ride through the Everglades would be a memorable experience!


Houston has so many beautiful outdoor parks, gardens, and water parks. But if you’re looking to spend some time inside, the Space Center Houston would be an educating and entertaining adventure.

      • Airline to Houston-George Bush: United
      • Airline to Houston-Hobby: Allegiant
      • Flight time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Las Vegas

Is there anything ‘kid-friendly’ to do in Las Vegas? According to Visit Las Vegas, there are at least 17 kid-friendly attractions in Sin City. The Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. looks fun!

      • Airline: Allegiant
      • Flight time: 4 hours, 30 minutes


While you might want to skip taking the kids to South Beach, Miami has plenty to do for children, especially outdoor adventures. I’m all about things that both kids AND parents will enjoy, and Tidal Cove Waterpark at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa looks like a win-win for both parties!


I’ve always wanted to go to the Mall of America, and now with two different airlines offering nonstop flights, there’s no excuse! And there’s much more than just shopping, such as the Nickelodeon Universe and Crayola Experience.

Myrtle Beach

There’s so much to do in Myrtle Beach for families, including Broadway at the Beach and Alligator Adventure. Check out the endless activities for kids here.

      • Airline: Allegiant (flight resumes in June)
      • Flight time: 1 hour


The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are less than an hour drive from Newark airport. What a great history lesson for the entire family, and riding on the ferry to the museum will be an added bonus.

      • Airline: Allegiant (flight resumes in June)
      • Flight time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

New York

No matter what your child is interested in, I guarantee there’s a museum or attraction about it. And then there’s Central Park, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, New York Public Library, etc., etc.

      • Airline: Delta
      • Flight time: 2 hours


Now boarding nonstop flights to the Mouse House! Whether it’s at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or SeaWorld, adventure awaits in Orlando!

      • Airline to Orlando-Sanford: Allegiant
      • Flight time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


The Please Touch Museum sounds right up my toddler’s alley and so does Dinosaur Hall at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (the oldest natural history museum in America). And don’t forget a family selfie in front of the Liberty Bell!

      • Airline: American
      • Flight time: 1 hour, 45 minutes


The Grand Canyon (one of the Seven Wonders of the World!) and Sedona, also known as Red Rock Country, are both within driving distance of Phoenix and both provide landmarks that encompass beauty AND adventure.

Punta Gorda

Enjoy the beach during the day, and then spend the afternoon and evening at Fisherman’s Village! Kids will love watching fisherman in action, and there are many shops and restaurants to keep them entertained too.

          • Airline: Allegiant
          • Flight time: 1 hour, 45 minutes


If you can lure your kids away from the ocean, take them to Myakka River State Park for hiking, kayaking, wildlife-spotting, and more. They can also participate in the Junior Rangers Program and get ‘knee-deep’ in nature!

      • Airline: Allegiant
      • Flight time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

St. Petersburg

While the 100-year-old Sunken Gardens looks like an experience you don’t want to miss, the St. Pete Pier looks like a one-stop shop for food and fun!

      • Airline: Allegiant
      • Flight time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Washington D.C.

I can’t wait to take my son to the U.S. Capital, the White House, and other historic monuments, but until he can appreciate the significance, there are plenty of other sites to visit. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the International Spy Museum are on our list!

          • Airline to Washington D.C.-Dulles: Allegiant
          • Airline to Washington D.C.-Reagan: American; United
          • Flight time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

West Palm Beach

If you’ve had enough of the clear water and white sand, take the family to visit McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary. They have great hands-on programs and educations exhibits for kids.

      • Airline: Allegiant
      • Flight time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

So many cities, so many choices! Where will you plan your next family-friendly vacation? After researching and writing this post, I’m packing my bags.

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I am a local public relations professional by day, but my most important titles are ‘Mom’ to my rainbow baby, Clayton, and ‘Wife’, to my high school sweetheart, Louis. I have worked at McGhee Tyson Airport in the public relations department for the past ten years. I manage the airport’s website and social media accounts, but what I love most about my job is the ability to help passengers have a safe and enjoyable experience at TYS. After becoming a mom, it became even more important for me to share travel tips and ‘mom-hacks’ that make traveling with children seamless, stress-free, and maybe even fun! As a born-and-raised East Tennessean, I am a fan of (orange!) all-things Knoxville. I love seeing our area continue to grow by offering unique, memorable experiences for all ages and interests. When I’m not singing a Blippi song that’s stuck in my head or kicking around a soccer ball with my son, you can find me traveling, reading, or reading about travel.


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