The 16 Best Places to Go on Vacation With a Baby or Toddler

Planning a vacation with a baby or toddler? Check out these 16 great child-friendly options! (17 Photos)

Nancy Schretter and Ellen Parlapiano on Jan 1, 2013 at 3:21PM

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a Nancy Schretter and Ellen Parlapiano on Jan 1, 2013 at 4:15PM

Cruise lines have expansive indoor and outdoor play areas, children's programs and a variety of activities and family-friendly restaurants. These floating resorts can be a good value, since most of the vacation costs (like meals) are included in the price.

Cool option: Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy

Why mama will love it: Super selection of staterooms; including indoor cabins with "magical" portholes that offer real-time virtual outdoor views complete with animated characters (watch for swimming Mickey); family-friendly movies, shows and restaurants; a beach day at private Bahama Island Castaway Cay; childcare for ages 3-36 months (extra fee and advance reservations required) and free kids camp for kids 3-10 years old; adult-only retreats at the spa, Quiet Cove pool, Italian-themed Palo and French-cuisine Remy restaurants, and a nighttime entertainment area with five unique lounges.

Why kids will love it: Character meet and greets; wet and wild fun in Nemo's Reef toddler splash zone and Aqua Lab splash zone (on Fantasy only), Donald's Family Pool and AquaDuck water coaster slide (note: kids have to be at least 54 inches tall to ride alone, or 42 inches if they're accompanied by another rider); enchanted artwork magically comes to life in the halls; Crush the Turtle surfs around Animator's Palate restaurant's huge LED screens, conversing with families; princess makeovers at teh Bobbidi Bobbidi Boutique; buccaneer games at Mickey's Pirates in the Caribbean deck party; and a fireworks-at-sea show.

Cost: $$$ - $$$$

When to go: Year-round. Best rates tend to be in the late summer and fall (hurricane season) and late spring shoulder seasons.

Best for: Families with young kids seeking constant entertainment and activities both on-board and off.

More great options: Carnival Breeze; Royal Caribbean's Allure and Oasis of the Seas; NCL's Nickelodeon All-Access Cruises

Next Up: 40 Must-See Places to Take Your Kids Before They're Grown
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