Cranky Parents' Guide to Family Vacations
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Costa Rica Rainforest Adventure
Parents' take: With one of the world's most accessible rainforests less than a four-hour flight from Miami, who wouldn't want to witness the beauty of a blue morpho butterfly or the smile of a three-toed sloth? But what we'd really like to do, by hooking into Wilderness Travel's seven-day Costa Rica Adventure, is zip-line through the treetops, soak in the thermal springs of the Arenal Volcano, sea kayak off the white-sand beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park, and white-water raft on the Rio Pacuare.
Kids' take: Perhaps after a trip to the rainforest, they won't freak out so much the next time some lame bug gets trapped in the bathtub at home.
Wilderness Travel Costa Rica Adventure, from $3,295 per person. If you want to include white-water rafting, add a day to your trip (plus $149 to the cost) and opt for the gentler Reventazón River if traveling with children under 12.