Favorite travel memories of 2016

Posted By Allison on Dec 29, 2016

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Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is already ticking to a close. My family’s year was filled with happy family memories, and I hope yours was too. Sure, not every day was sunshine and roses, but it’s mostly the highlights we remember.

I announced a few weeks ago in the email newsletter that Katie has decided to make her break from Tips for Family Trips permanent. She has been missed, but freeing up more time to spend with family is always a good reason.

I was worried that I’d have a hard time filling this whole Top 10 list without Katie, but as I went through posts and photos from 2016, it was tough to choose! There were a lot more great experiences than the first few that came to mind.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to go through your own photos and memorabilia and remember the blessings of 2016. Get your family involved too. My husband and children cast the deciding votes on this list.

Tips for visiting Ford's Theatre in Washington DC with kids | tipsforfamilytrips.com | Photo credit: Jtesla16 at wts wikivoyage, Wikimedia Commons | Lincoln assassination | summer vacation | spring break | Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons Jtesla16 at wts wikivoyage

Independence Day in Washington D.C.

My husband’s work took our family to Washington D.C. over the 4th of July. I love history and politics, so this was a bucket list experience for me. We booked a hotel two blocks from the National Mall and started our day on the steps of the National Archives. We finished it with fireworks at the Washington Monument.

Look for a full post with Independence Day tips for Washington D.C. soon. In the meantime, check out my most recent Washington D.C. post on Ford’s Theatre.


Tips for rafting the tidal bore in Nova Scotia, Canada. You have to see this to believe it! | tipsforfamilytrips.com | Bay of Fundy | Wild Waters Rafting | summer vacation | Truro | whitewater rafting | rafting with kids | adventure

Rafting the Tidal Bore

Rafting the Tidal Bore in Nova Scotia, Canada was my biggest surprise of 2016. I had no idea it existed until a few weeks before I tried it on my anniversary trip in June. The Bay of Fundy tides rise so fast that they reverse the tides of local rivers. This creates big, rolling waves. It’s a crazy, one-of-a-kind rafting experience.

Read my full post about rafting the Tidal Bore HERE.

Are you ready for a life-changing vacation? Add Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah to your Zion National Park itinerary. They offer fun and free tours and volunteer opportunities for families | tipsforfamilytrips.com | Southern Utah | summer vacation

Volunteering at Best Friends

Volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah was the highlight of our Spring Break road trip through Southern Utah. We spent several hours playing with and petting cats. We even walked them in special strollers. My husband and I talked about adopting a cat from Best Friends before the trip and surprised our kids with the news on the morning of our visit. Kelsey is now a beloved member of our family.

Read my full post about visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary HERE.

6 tips for visiting Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah with kids | tipsforfamilytrips.com | Salt Lake City | family movies | winter

Sundance Film Festival

Seeing a film at the Sundance Film Festival was another check off of my bucket list. It’s something I wanted to do for years – and shouldn’t have been so hard since we live in Utah. We FINALLY did it in 2016. Learning about the family-friendly Sundance Kids selections made it possible for me to take my kids. Sundance is definitely a must for movie lovers.

Read all my tips for Sundance Film Festival with kids HERE.

6 tips and tricks for a great night at Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND California | Halloween events for kids | October | San Diego Halloween events | Fall Break

Halloween at LEGOLAND

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND California is my 9-year-old son’s favorite travel memory from 2016. He had been begging to go back to LEGOLAND and we made it happen in October. My sister had just moved to Southern California, so she drove down to spend the day in LEGOLAND with us. It was even warm enough for the water park! I’ll be posting more about the LEGOLAND water park soon.

Read all my tips for Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND California HERE.

Tips for getting into the NEW Frozen show at Disneyland! You won't want to miss this Broadway quality musical. | tipsforfamilytrips.com | Frozen Live at the Hyperion

Disneyland Girls’ Trip

When Disneyland calls, we can’t pack our bags fast enough. In May, my daughter and I were invited to the premiere of Frozen Live at the Hyperion in California Adventure. It’s fantastic. We invited my sister (the same sister who came to LEGOLAND) who was then considering a move to California. Maybe this was the clincher. We had such fun on this rare girls-only trip to Disneyland.

Learn more about Frozen Live at the Hyperion HERE.

Go for GOLD at Utah Olympic Park | Park City | zipline | extreme tubing | summer vacation | bobsled | ropes course

Utah Olympic Park

Utah Olympic Park in Park City was our destination of choice on Labor Day in September. The leaves were changing color and the weather was beautiful. We loved all the adventure activities. I think every member of my family had a different favorite. We tried tubing down a ski jump hill, riding the world’s steepest zip line, navigating a challenging ropes course and free-falling from a tower. Which would be your favorite?

Read more about Utah Olympic Park HERE.

Everything you need to know about the Deer Valley Seafood Buffet in Park City, Utah - with or without kids! | tipsforfamilytrips.com

Deer Valley Seafood Buffet

The Deer Valley Seafood Buffet in Park City, Utah has been on my husband’s bucket list for years. We celebrated his birthday here in January. It’s was a splurge, and we weren’t sure if our picky kids would like it. Turns out, they still rave about this meal. They actually recognized it for the special experience it was and tried all kinds of new things. It was a night that exceeded my expectations all around.

Read my full review of the Deer Valley Seafood Buffet HERE.

10 fun things to do in National Harbor, Maryland with kids | tipsforfamilytrips.com | Washington DC | Gaylord National | Capital Wheel | national harbor events | national harbor md | national harbor restaurants

National Harbor

National Harbor, Maryland is a new community located about 10 miles from downtown Washington D.C. It was the venue for my husband’s conference, which left me and my kids three days to lounge by the pool and explore all of National Harbor’s brand new shops and activities. My 12-year-old daughter loved National Harbor so much, she wants to live there.

Read my full post about National Harbor HERE.

10 fun things to do in Halifax, Nova Scotia with kids | tipsforfamilytrips.com | summer vacation | Canada | what to do in Halifax | Halifax tourism | Halifax attractions

Driving the Cabot Trail

My husband and I chose the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia as the focal point of our romantic trip in June. We were celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary, and we wanted this trip to be really special. The Cabot Trail is one of the world’s great scenic drives. It winds through the spectacular Cape Breton Highlands National Park. It was all amazing, but the secluded beach house we rented was really the icing on the cake.

I am planning to write posts about the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Highlands and other parts of Cape Breton Island soon. Until then, check out my post about Halifax, Nova Scotia. We spent the last two nights of our trip in this charming city.

What are your favorite travel memories from 2016?

I hope you’ll share them in the comments.

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Hi there! I am the founder of Tips for Family Trips. I am a married mom of two children, ages 10 and 12, living near Salt Lake City, Utah. We took our first child on a two-week road trip when she was four weeks old and we have been traveling as a family ever since. We love to get out of the house to see and do fun things, both far away and in our own neighborhood.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for adopting a homeless cat instead of a kitten. So many dogs and cats need to come to their forever homes.

    My favorite travel memory from 2016 is the Nice Cream place on the Greek island of Mykonos 🙂 They had the best icecream I’ve ever tasted, and they were SO nice! Me, my daughter and her friend who accompanied us on the trip went there severeal times during our stay.

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