Whether you're going to the movies with your grandchildren or taking in a Broadway show with your adult children, Americans 50 and over are finding that family-friendly entertainment is a great way to bond.
In fact, over the summer, six out of 10 of the highest grossing films were family-friendly movies, according to Rentrak, an entertainment measurement service. Some of these top grossing films were the "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Inside Out" and "Minions."
However, taking in a movie is far from the only family activity adults 50 and over like to do. More active than previous generations, they also like to visit national parks, attend concerts and even ride some of the most death-defying roller coasters in the world
In 2015, 33 percent of respondents to an AARP survey said they planned to take a multigenerational trip and would be visiting cities that offer a variety of things to do. In fact, 48 percent said they planned to travel more this year than last. Respondents said they were looking for locations that offer sightseeing, dining and outdoor activities. With adults 50 and over expected to spend upwards of $120 billion on leisure travel this year, family focused entertainment will continue to be at the top of their minds as they make their fall travel arrangements.
If you're interested in taking a family-friendly entertainment trip, consider the following:
- Visit Washington, D.C. - Whether you're a history buff or enjoy seeing some the most endangered animals in the world, our nation's capital offers something for the whole family. With over 200 different museums, those thirsty for knowledge can travel back in time without breaking the bank. Most of the museums and monuments in Washington, D.C. are free, giving families an opportunity to see memorials and historical artifacts without spending a dime on admission. If you're traveling with young children the Smithsonian National Zoo is a perfect stop. This free attraction gives you an up-close look at over 1,800 different animals. Some of these animals include giant pandas, cheetahs, elephants and lions. After a long day of exploring grab a bite at one of the many family friendly restaurants that dot the streets of D.C. I suggest stopping by Chinatown and giving your family a meal to remember.
- See a Broadway Show - Who doesn't love singing, dancing and acting? What better way to spend time with the family than to see an upbeat Broadway musical. There are a variety of family-oriented shows currently running, including "Wicked," "The Lion King" and "Aladdin." However, if you don't have the time or money to travel to New York City don't worry, Broadway can come to a city near you. Right now, there are several shows on tour across the country, including "The Lion King," "Matilda" and "The Phantom of the Opera."
- Visit Disney World - Known as the "Most Magical Place on Earth," the birthplace of Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and Bambi lives up to its name. Perfect for young children, teenagers, parents and grandparents, Disney World truly offers something for everyone. If you are traveling with young children make sure you take them on the It's a Small World ride. This water-based ride features audio-animatronic dolls of children from all over the world. The dolls sing the attraction's title song of global peace. If you're looking for something a little more thrilling, hitch a ride on Splash Mountain. The log ride drops passengers 50 feet into water.
- Explore the Grand Canyon National Park - Want to spend time with the family without any distractions from the outside world? Why not visit the Grand Canyon National Park? Located in northern Arizona, this natural wonder is 270 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep. Attracting upwards of 5 million people each year, this family friendly vacation destination offers something for everyone. Some of the top things to do when you visit the Grand Canyon include hiking, embarking on a mule ride, taking a helicopter tour and participating in an ATV tour. Remember to pack plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated.
- Embark on a Caribbean Cruise - What better way to spend time with the family than hitting the high seas? Taking a Caribbean cruise is a great way to bond, while also ensuring you have a little "me" time. Norwegian Cruise Line offers a variety of affordable cruises to the Caribbean that will appeal to the whole family. With stops in port cities like San Juan, Ocho Rios, Santo Domingo and Georgetown, families will get a taste of island life as they cruise from port to port. While on the ship there are a variety of activities to accommodate everyone's needs, including waterslides, pools, specialty dining, bars and live entertainment. When off the ship make sure you partake in some of the discounted excursions. Families will save when booking these through the cruise line and will enjoy having everything taken care of once they depart the ship. Some of these excursions include snorkeling, dolphin encounters, city tours and more.