According to Harvard psychologists, parents who bring up well-adjusted kids do certain things more effectively than their peers. It includes spending quality time with their children, and teaching them to see the bigger picture by encouraging them to think about people outside their immediate social circle. Travelling to new places is an excellent way of creating both experiences.
You may want to pick out destinations that your children are most likely to find enjoyable, educational and enlightening. There is no dearth of places and attractions that can excite young ones, open up new possibilities to pre-teens, and offer new perspectives to adolescents. We have picked four of the best for you to explore further and plan a family getaway in the not too distant future.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
This isolated group of islands is a wildlife paradise hailed globally for its rich biodiversity. The volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean promises memorable animal encounters, which are sure to develop a greater appreciation for nature and all life forms. From swimming with sea turtles and hanging out with sea lions to hiking up volcanoes and catching glimpses of iguanas, blue-footed and red footed-boobies and giant turtles, your kids have a golden opportunity to interact with friendly wildlife. Galapagos’ white sand beaches offer yet another chance to watch pelicans, white-tipped sharks and colorful flamingos. Make time for the Charles Darwin Research Center, a facility showcasing rare species as well as serving as a breeding and rehabilitation center for animals on the islands.
While Florence, Venice and Rome are often the default choices for families vacationing in Italy, Milan may actually have more in store for your children. The cosmopolitan fashion capital is home to the awe-inspiring Milan Cathedral (the Duomo), whose gargoyles, figures and statues will encourage many questions from your kids. Lead into a discussion on astronomy when you see the sundial at the entrance. Placed by astronomers in 1768, the sundial is so precise that it is used to regulate all the city’s clocks. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Museum is highly recommended for its aeroplanes, old steam engines, submarine, special literature for children, and of course, a chance to see the drawings of car models by da Vinci.
If your kids are twelve years and above, they will love to experience London’s famous attractions – which they may already be familiar with – in the flesh. A hop-on, hop-off bus tour is a convenient and cost-effective way of taking in the city’s sights and sounds, but do check if they cover the landmarks that your kids definitely want to see. Make sure your itinerary contains important points of interest such as Hyde Park, Palace of Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and British Museum, as well as King’s Cross station – the site of Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4. Book Wembley, Chelsea FC and/or Arsenal stadium tours, watch a show at the open-air Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and shop (or just window shop) at iconic stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and Marks & Spencer.
Boston isn’t the first city that comes to mind when you think of kid-friendly vacation destinations. But rest assured that one of the United States’ oldest cities has plenty in store for all ages, particularly kids.
Book a public, group or private tour of the 2.5 mile long Freedom Trail passing through downtown Boston and by 16 locations of significance to the history of the United States. Visit the New England Aquarium where sharks, lionfish and sea dragons are just some of the large variety of marine creatures you can observe. The Boston Children’s Museum has a wonderful learn-and-play design that includes raceways, vertical mazes and hands-on exhibits. The live enactments and multimedia exhibits at Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum will delight your tiny tots, while older ones are sure to be impressed by the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill, the world’s oldest commissioned warship and the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution respectively.
Involve your kids at the time of preparing your itinerary. Encourage them to do their research online and to ask their friends for suggestions. That way, you can build out a better informed travel plan and avoid missing out on the best attractions and lesser-known gems.
Author: Josh Hayett
Josh is a retired comic book artist who never made it to the big leagues (to be fair- he never really tried) so now he’s here writing stuff about what other people are doing with their talents.
Always with an opinion about TV shows, Movies and especially why Marvel is the best ever,