Midwest Vacation Ideas

Looking for some great Midwest vacation ideas? We track some great family vacation ideas in each of the American Midwest states (including the Great Lake states).


Illinois - Midwest Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Our Illinois Road Trip HD

See the best things to do with kids from the Illinois official website - click here

Listed below are a few top ideas to get you started: See more Illinois accommodation and travel ideas on TripAdviosor

VIDEO: Centennial Beach

  • Centennial Beach with four acres of gardens, a sand beach and water play features this makes for a good family day trip.
  • American Girl Place in Water Tower Place, Chicago is the place your girls will want to visit
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL

VIDEO: Chicago Vacation Travel Guide

  • Volcano Falls Adventure Park in Loves Park, IL
  • Aquatic Center in Great Rivers Country
  • Burpee Museum of Natural History
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Great Rivers Country is an Indian city is great place to explore Native American culture.
  • Brookfield Zoo
  • Children's Discovery Museum in the Land of Lincoln

Indiana Midwest Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Explore Lincoln Pioneer Village & Museum in Rockport, Indiana

Visit the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial or Lincoln Pioneer Village. Indianapolis Motor Speedway or the nearby water park. Explore the Summer Festival Tours including Charley Creek Arts Fest, Circus City Festival, Three Rivers Festival, and more. In Evansville visit the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Mesker Park Zoo and more.

VIDEO: Top 5 Family Fun Places in Central Indiana

 In the South see Mesker Park Zoo, Children's Museum of Evansville, Holiday World and more. Take a tourist train in the north or the south

Plan your Indiana Vacation on TA

The best Indiana family vacation ideas fro the official website - click here

VIDEO: Travel Guide: Indianapolis, Indiana


Iowa Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Indian Creek Nature Center

Iowa includes both the historic Mississippi and Missouri rivers and another state with a fantastic tourist rail-road. This one travels through the magnificent Des Moines River Valley.

Plan your Iowa Vacation on TA

Grotto of the Redemption

<div class="youtube-player" data-id="Xr4wxyJFG7o"></div>

VIDEO: A Little Roadtrip to Amana Colonies

Visit Amana Colonies and the seven authentic German villages. Iowa vacation ideas from the official website - click here


Kansas Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Quirky Kansas Ready-Made Adventure

Plan your Kansas Vacation on TA

VIDEO: Kansas State Parks Video

Kansas has many historic attractions along the I-70 including Superman's or Dorothy's homes (which is only a made up stories). Some other attractions include the Chisholm Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail, and the the cowboy gun slinging Dodge City.

Vacation ideas in Kansas from the official tourism office - click here

VIDEO: Macey Hensley visits Exploration Place


Michigan Midwest Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Kids Rule | Pure Michigan

Michigan is great to visit in fall with 10,000 miles of scenic trails, 14,000 acres of vineyards, and lots and lots of forest of gold. If you don't like crowds avoid the Cherry Festival in Traverse City which takes place in Summer. Otherwise enjoy the teddy bear teas and parades.

VIDEO: Water Park | A Pure Michigan Winter

Also don't miss the pretty beach towns which scatter the shoreline of the lake with their sand dunes and assorted water activities to boot. Warren Dunes State Park is as good a place as any to sample the best of this.

VIDEO: Dunes in Michigan | A Pure Michigan Summer

See Sleeping bear Dunes on TripAdvisor


Minnesota Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Minnesota Travel Guide

From the headwaters of northern Mississippi to crystal lakes Minnesota has a lot to offer in the outdoors.

  • Get a snowmobile if you are going in the winter months.
  • See the official Minnesota tourism site - click here
  • Explore Minnesota's TV Spot, featuring Joe Mauer
  • Plan your Minnesota Vacation on TA

VIDEO: Kids in the City: Minneapolis/St. Paul 


Missouri Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Tour of St. Louis - Best Places To Visit

Come with us as we explore Mark Twain's boyhood home of Missouri including all the top family friendly attractions across the state. Some of these include  Silver Dollar City, Gateway Arch, Titanic Museum, Forest Park, Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, City Museum, Table Rock Lake, Grant's Farm, Liberty Memorial, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

VIDEO: What Does Your Missouri Vacation Look Like?


Nebraska Vacation Ideas

A Sunny Day At Lake McConaughy

For families in Nebraska try the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff. There are also water parks in Columbus, Lexington, Lincoln, Omaha and Hastings.

  • CoCo Key Water Resort in Omaha has a 60,000-square-foot indoor water park.
  • For zoo's, try Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, which is ranked among the top 25 by Parents magazine.
  • The top attractions from the Travel Nabraska site - click here
  • Plan your Nebraska Vacation on TA

Video: Nebraska Tourism - Family Fun


North Dakota Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: North Dakota: Last Stop for Tourists

In Medora, play the Bully Pulpit Golf Course, visit South Unit or in Theodore Roosevelt National Park or take the Caprock-Coulee Trail through the wilderness.

  • In Fargo, see the Air Museum or a recreated pioneer village at the Bonanzaville, USA Center  Then there is always the Red River Zoo.
  • Perhaps you would like to visit the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown.
  • Things to do from the tourism authority click here
  • Plan your North Dakota Vacation on TA

Video: Lots to do in the great outdoors:


Ohio Vacation Ideas

Lake Erie Shores and Islands the nearby islands in Ohio is home to lots of family activities. Take a ferry to a nearby island or visit the infamous Cedar Point amusement park. This area also has its share of lighthouses to visit and a Merry Go round museum.

The Kalahari Resort in Sandusky Ohio has an African look and is the largest indoor waterpark in the U.S.A. See more information on this outstanding family resort - Kalahari Resort Sandusky Ohio.

No doubt, the family-friendly heart of Ohio's Lake Erie shore is Sandusky (60 miles east of Toledo). It's home to gigantic  (pictured), as well as four indoor water-park resorts.

VIDEO:  Ohio


South Dakota Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Mount Rushmore

With Aerials views of Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park, and the Missouri River there is not any shortage of  family attractions in South Dakota. This is one of your best chances to catch a glimpse of one of the thousands of roaming buffalo in the wild.

The Beauty of South Dakota


Wisconsin Vacation Ideas

Wisconsin Dells  on LRB - our sister site.

Wisconsin Dells resorts is known as the water park capital of the world.  You have a huge 250,000 square feet of water park at the Wilderness Hotel and also the Noah's Ark. This is the largest outdoor water-park in America,

Rail Road Bridge over St. Croix RiverRail Road Bridge over St. Croix River

Door County, Wisconsin also offers an interesting old school seaside / lakeside way of life which the kid swill thrive in. Beautiful little bay townships, and lighthouse trails are sure to keep mum and dad satisfied as well.

The vacation town of Minocqua, Wisconsin has thousands of little lakes is a great place for kids to jump of the jetty and the odd opportunity to build a sand castle.

Video of the Scenic Byways of Wisconsin and more vacation ideas


Family Vacation Deals

 The video below will help you see how to find the top family friendly accommodation options anywhere.

We recommend always to check reviews on TripAdvisor (use this link) before booking any travel deals. 

  • Accorhotels -  50% off the second room for kids.
  • All Inclusive-  The top family all inclusive discounts
  • Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas -  Save up to 40%
  • Beaches Luxury Family Resorts-  65% off, free scuba and more.
  • CheapAir.com -  Cheap Airfares 
  • Cheap Caribbean - Great family packaged deals by this network are available all over the Caribbean. Including up to 65% off.
  • Cruisedirect - Up to 80% OFF. .
  • Expedia - Discounted Family Vacation packages and last minute deals.
  • First Choice - Amazing all inclusive family holiday specialist in Europe.
  • FlipKey - Family Vacation Rentals in  1200 locations
  • Intrepid Family Adventure - Find Family adventures with 1600 itineraries.
  • G Family Adventures -Big clearance on last minute family itineraries worldwide.
  • Holiday Inn  - Kids Stay and Eat for Free
  • HomeExchange - We are into the sharing economy in a big way and this site makes it easy.
  • HomeForExchange - Another great family home exchange with 13,000 listings in 80+ countries
  • Motel 6 - Pet-Friendly and budget offers. With kids stay free and rooms from $39 road trips are now affordable.
  • Priceline - Save with bidding and Package Offers of up to $500 off
  • TripAdvisor - Allows you to search by family friendly option. Go to place to read reviews. Also one of the best places to find vacation rentals.

Return to the top of Midwest Vacation Ideas