The top three must-see family attractions in California.

Flight Centre
Thanks to our brand partner, Flight Centre

There comes a time in every parent’s life when their kids grow up. Yes, children actually grow up and leave the home to work, travel, or endeavour in scholarly pursuits. There are many changes, heaps of tears, much emotion – mostly on the kids’ end.

I am one of those kids.

At 23 years old, I’ve finally started full time work, and lately I’ve found myself reflecting a lot on my childhood. I was pretty lucky growing up, getting to have nice family holidays and go overseas from time to time. But the one holiday that I wish we went on, but never did?

The holiday to California. This was THE Californian dream holiday that we’d spoken about taking together FOR YEARS – the one where we were going to go to theme parks, go hiking and take road trips – the one that we never ever got around to taking because of dad’s work, or because of our school commitments.

holiday to california
The Krslovic kids. Image: supplied.

Now that my siblings and I are all grown up – and at one stage, all four of us were living across three different continents, with mum and dad at home in Australia – it seems like we might not get another chance to travel altogether, and I find myself nostalgic for our childhood plans that were never realised.

In this age of hustle and bustle, family holidays are a great opportunity to spend quality time together, and the memories that you create as a family will last a lifetime.

Travelling with kids has also never been cheaper with Flight Centre’s bundled family holiday deals that include flights, accommodation AND entry into all the best theme parks. Here are my top three picks for Californian holidays I wish we had taken as kids:

1. Disneyland

There was always one in every year, that lucky bugger who got to go to Disneyland during the school holidays. And then they’d come back to school, photo with Cinderella in tow, boasting Micky Mouse ears on their heads, and be the envy of show-and-tell for the week. Every happy little vegemite dreams of going to the happiest place on earth. Even slightly older 23 year-old vegemites (ie. me) dream of going to Disneyland.

A photo posted by Disneyland (@disneyland) on


It’s the ultimate family holiday, and it’s become even more accessible at Flight Centre with the Disneyland holiday package, which includes return airfares, accommodation and two-day Disneyland Resort tickets for the whole family. Pay for four nights at the three-star Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort and get the fifth night FREE, with return transfers to Disneyland included. With children’s rates starting at $1029 and adults from $1889,* you don’t need to stumble upon a genie in a magic lamp to make this family trip come true.

2. Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

I’m still trying to deal with the fact that I’m a muggle and my invitation to Hogwarts never came. You know what would have made that easier to deal with as an 11-year old? If I’d gotten the chance to pretend I was a wizard at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal studios.


The cheapest and most convenient way to get there – besides flying on your Nimbus 2000 – is with Virgin Australia’s special bundled family deal to Los Angeles, which includes airfares, five nights at a three-star hotel and a one-day ticket to Universal Studios, starting from $1245 for children and $1685 for adults.* These are deals that even the notoriously frugal Wesleys would have gotten behind.

3. Legoland

It’s a theme park made of everyone’s favourite childhood toy. Just take my money already.

For families with young kids, Legoland is a saving grace. Catering for 2-12 year olds, none of the rides in the park have minimum height requirements, so toddlers don’t have to miss out on any of the fun, and mum and dad don’t have to babysit while the older kids demand to go on big-kid rides. At home just outside San Diego, Flight Centre and Virgin Australia are offering return airfares plus four nights in the four-star Legoland hotel with a one-day Legoland ticket starting from $935 for children and $2289 for adults*.  What’s more, breakfast and transfers to the park are also included.

*All packages valid for travel 4 October – 8 December 2016, and all prices quoted are departing from Sydney.

Featured image via Instagram @disneyland. 

What would you do on a trip to California?