Traveling with kids can either be a nightmare or the best time of your life. Thanks to our little ones’ demanding natures and our wish to indulge them, there is usually no middle ground. However, there are ways for you to make traveling with children easier for yourself. The best way to do it is to ensure the youngsters always have something to do or see.
For fun and educational experiences, these 10 family-friendly destinations are sure to be the highlight of any vacation, and will create life-long memories for your children.
ALTON TOWER, UK
Escape to the fantabulous world of the Alton Towers Resort - there's so much going on, the fun never stops! England's largest theme park offers 500 acres of attractions and rides the whole family can enjoy including X-Sector, Forbidden Valley, Dark Forest, Gloomy Wood, Katanga Canyon and CBeebies Land!
This big theme park in Staffordshire is very popular with families, young and old alike. Alton Tower is an amusement park in Staffordshire, England, near the village of Alton.
CHILDREN'S STORY CENTRE, UK
If your kids are big into books and the kind who never want story time to end, they’ll love Discover. This London institution is the “UK’s first hands-on creative literacy centre for children aged 0-11 years and their families, carers and teachers.” At Discover, children and their families can play, learn and enjoy making up stories as they go. Discover secret caves on the Story Trail, climb on a space ship in the Story Garden, or step inside a giant chocolate cake in the new Michael Rosen Exhibition.
LEGO HOUSE, DENMARK
What’s not to love about the ‘Home of the Brick’? Firstly, it’s an entirely Lego-themed museum and experiential space located where the Lego story all began. Secondly, it’s very easy on the eye (we’re in the home of cool design, after all). Thirdly, it’s specifically constructed to focus on learning through play, with different zones for creativity, cognitive ability, emotion and social play. And for those who want to be inspired in their building, there’s a Masterpiece Gallery and History Collection to explain how it all began. Lastly there’s plenty to explore both within and outside the ticketed zones so it needn’t break the family bank. A must for all fans of the humble brick, be they big or small, girl or boy.
L'ATELIER DES LUMIERES, PARIS
This recently opened 300-square-metre studio space dedicated to digital art is a delight for little ones. A former iron foundry, this building remained empty for nearly two decades until Culturespaces decided to launch the city’s first digital art centre. Its goal? To give the works of one artist – so far, they’ve had van Gogh and Klimt – the attention they deserve by projecting them across the ten-metre-high walls using first-rate equipment including 140 film projectors with BARCO lasers.
WOODLANDS PARK, DEVON, ENGLAND
The largest family theme park in England has everything you need for a fantastic day out. Little ones will love the zoo farm and water slides, while older kids can get their thrills on the theme park rides. Every spring, look out for their Easter Eggstravaganza where there are thousands of chocolatey treats to be discovered.
MATTEL PLAY CENTRE, LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND
This character-themed play centre is 13,000 square feet of wonder. Kids will love playing in the different zones, with Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank themed play equipment in each one. Bring a camera so your little one can have their photo snapped with their favourite character. Maximum age limit: six years.
DRUSILLAS PARK, SUSSEX, ENGLAND
With a ride-on Thomas the Tank Engine and a pink Hello Kitty World, Drusillas is ideal for pre-teens. An extensive zoo will keep kids entertained for ages before they hit the banana boat swings, gigantic outdoor play area, indoor soft-play and rides.
COMAL RIVER, NEW BRAUNFELS
Kid-friendly vacations in New Braunfels are all about keeping cool: the Comal River and the Guadelupe River slide right past the town at a pace that’s perfect for a day-long inner tube float. Once you dry off, though, the San Antonio area overflows with kid-friendly attractions, from feeding the animals at the San Antonio Zoo to picnics in the rolling landscape of Texas Hill Country. Right in New Braunfels is also the McKenna Children’s Museum and the always-a-kid-favorite Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
GERMAN MUSEUM OF TECHNOLOGY, GERMAN
The voting was tight, but the Technical Museum and its Science Center Spectrum was almost as popular as Natural History Museum and FEZ. No animals, here, but instead all sorts of other things to explore. Under the motto "touching is allowed", you and the kids can check out aeroplanes, sensory illusions, spinning houses, and exciting experiments at the former factory and railway station site covering 26,500 m². Many exhibits have been designed to be suitable for children, easy to understand, and are in any case highly instructive.
DIGGERLAND THEME PARK, NEW JERSEY
There’s no denying that kids love construction toys, from big yellow trucks to plastic hammers to pretend screwdrivers.
Uber-popular shows like “Bob the Builder” and “Handy Manny” let kids enjoy these activities from the safety of their own couch.
But now, construction-themed amusement parks are literally putting kids in the driver’s seat.
Diggerland, a New Jersey theme park that also has locations in the United Kingdom, allows children to operate heavy machinery all on their own.
And most of these machines are real, diesel-powered, full-sized pieces of construction equipment, including backhoes, excavators and much, much more.
Save this list to consider taking your kids to one of these fun-filled attractions on your next trip!