With fall just around the corner, Panama City Beach is getting ready with an entire menu of family-friendly activities just right for your little ones that won’t take a bite out of your budget.
The area, which claims a near 320 annual days of sunshine, 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and inviting emerald green water, is located where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge.
The fun kicks off on Labor Day weekend, when visitors can say goodbye to summer with some of country music’s A-list stars at the destination’s seventh-annual Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. Headliners will include Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Kid Rock at Frank Brown Park, accessible via free shuttles. The Panama City Beach Oktoberfest, Oct. 4–6, is a great fit for parents of young adults. Authentic German beer and brats will be available, and activities will include stein hosting competitions, live music and plenty of activities for younger kids. And don’t be surprised to see a few festival-goers wearing lederhosen.
On Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 11–13, families can take part in a Pirates of the High Seas Fest, to take place throughout the Grand Lagoon and in Pier Park. The fun includes everything from parades and sword-swinging showdowns to a pirate invasion, a Treasure Drop and fireworks display.
Love lobster? Head to the Schooners Lobster Festival & Tournament Oct. 14–20 at Schooners Last Local Beach Club. The weeklong event mixes live music, contests and, of course, plenty of Florida lobster.
On Oct. 19, the Bloody Mary & Music Festival is geared toward visitors aged 21 and older and features 20 local businesses competing to determine who makes the best Bloody Mary in Panama City Beach. The winner will be crowned “Big Tomato” and awarded a four-foot, tomato-topped trophy to keep until next year’s event.
Or stay for the Thunder Beach Autumn Motorcycle Rally Oct. 24–27, known by locals as “The Most Biker Friendly Free Rally in the United States.” Held twice a year in Panama City Beach — during the first weekend in May and in mid-October — the event draws bikers from around the country for scenic rides along the Emerald Coast, accompanied by live entertainment and local cuisine.
The fun continues into November with a Beach Home for the Holidays festival Nov. 29–30. A holiday tradition for the entire family, guests can kick off the Christmas season with free holiday concerts at Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater, seasonal-themed events like campfires and s’mores, a meet-and-greet with Santa and a Christmas tree-lighting celebration.
With postcard-perfect vistas and Victorian-era towns, the 235-mile San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway in southern Colorado is one of the nation’s most beautiful road trips. That’s especially true during the fall when yellows, oranges and reds blanket the San Juan Mountains and rolling hillsides.
Between all the apple picking, cider drinking and seasonal hikes your family has in mind, there’s plenty of fall fun the whole crew can enjoy, pups included. Bring your family pets along on your next fall family adventure with this list of inclusive activities.
The sister properties of the Park Royal Golden Cancun and the Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort, also in Cancun, offer families a vacation full of beach fun in a style personalized for your tribe’s vibe. Both properties, located two miles apart, open to the crystal-blue ocean, are framed by the fine white sand for which Cancun is famous, and are family-friendly, but that’s where their resemblance ends.
There’s not much spookier than getting lost in a maze cut through tall stalks of corn — especially in the dark. The first corn maze is attributed to a farm in Annville, Pennsylvania. Since then, mazes have become huge autumn attractions. Many of today’s larger mazes are cut with the help of Global Positioning Satellite technology, allowing maze makers to create intricate shapes that add to navigational challenges.