If you want to go to a child's paradise, then there is no better place to escape to then Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Just a short 2 and 1/2 hour flight and a 30 minute van ride will take you over the bridge into Paradise Island.
Atlantis is enormous, with several different towers and a variety of accommodations to choose from. If you want luxury and less kids running around, then book your room at the Cove, which is an all-suite hotel at the far end of the resort.
However, if are traveling with young kids and want to be close to all the action and the water slides, then I would recommend staying at the Royal Towers.
Outside this tower, you will find Aquaventure, which is a wonderful splash zone for young kids, in addition to a roaring rapid ride and several amazing water slides. Just beware to tell your adventurous youngsters that they may not be tall enough for the bigger slides since you have to be 48" to go on the slides such as Power plunge and the Tower.
The height requirement was highly disappointing to my six year old twins who stood in line for 20 minutes for the slide before they were pulled out of their tube by management and only measured 46". (Standing on your tippy-toes does not work!) But-no worries, because there are plenty of other slides to choose from in the resort.
On the other side of Atlantis, you will find two other towers, the Coral Towers and the Beach Towers. Outside of these towers, you will find yet more pools with beautiful waterfalls and a lazy river which is ideal for the kids to go around in their own inner-tube.
If your child is not a very strong swimmer, the resort comes equipped with life vests in a variety of bright colors at every slide and pool. My kids continued to be amazed at how clear the ocean was since they usually spend their summers at the Jersey shore. I would recommend getting a meal plan for your family since the food is very expensive (A bottle of water is just under $5).
There are a variety of restaurants to choose from for your family, so you definitely will not go hungry. For you coffee lovers who can't live without your Starbucks, don't worry because there is one right in the basement of the Coral Tower. You will never be bored since there are plenty of activities for the whole family.
You can walk through the aquariums, enjoy marine habitat, take a stroll down by the marina, catch a movie in the theatre, or just spend your day in the water. For an additional fee, your kids can go on a dolphin adventure, build their own race car at the Atlantis speedway, or my kids' favorite-spend several hours at CRUSH which features large flat screen TVs and computers where you can play any type of Wii or XBox game ever made.
So the next time your family is looking for a great vacation spot for young kids (and you have already made the trip to Disney World), then head to Atlantis. You will not be disappointed!
Tara Dickerman lives in Gladwyne.