Wondering where to take the kids this year? The travel experts at Cheapflights.ca have come up with a list of “11 Places the Kids Will Never Forget,” destinations where children will not only have fun, but will learn through memorable experiences.
Following are five places from the list in the Americas where kids will not only have fun, but will get the best kind of education as they discover new and exciting adventures.
!!! New York, N.Y. — This stellar city is not just a playground for grown-ups. It has a plethora of activities and must-sees for little ones too. There’s Ellis Island, the entry point for millions of immigrants between 1892 and 1954, and, continuing that theme, The Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side, which gives insight into how new arrivals might have lived in the city.
As far as museums go, MoMA on West 53rd Street is fantastic for children as young as four, while space cadets will enjoy the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (12th Avenue at 46th Street) especially the Space Shuttle Pavilion that houses the space shuttle Enterprise. On 103 Charlton St. (near Hudson Street), the Children’s Museum of the Arts is a hands-on art museum dedicated to inspiring young artists between the ages of 10 months and 15 years. And, for splurging (maybe after you visit one of Central Park’s 21 playgrounds), FAO Schwarz’s real-life toy soldiers will give you a warm welcome.
!!! Grand Canyon, Arizona — The Grand Canyon is so vast, so deep and so wide that there’s no better place to give kids a practical lesson in geology, mathematics, history and science. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, it is 446 km long, 29 km wide and 1,800 metres deep. Oh and parts of it are two billion years old. A national park since 1919, the Grand Canyon offers lots of things for children of all ages to do: take a mule ride, bus, helicopter or plane tour, hike, earn Junior Ranger’s Badges and watching the IMAX movie, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets,” one of the most-watched IMAX movies in the world.
!!! Galapagos Islands — This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin who spent five weeks there in 1835 and developed the theory of evolution by natural selection. These 19 islands, lying in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador, are a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are animals here that don’t exist anywhere else on Earth. Controlled visitor numbers mean the animals are unafraid of humans, and children can snorkel with sea lions or go kayaking with dolphins. Spotting the iguanas, tortoises and turtles, finding the frigatebirds, the blue-footed booby and the Galápagos Penguin – the only living tropical penguin – are also great games to play.
!!! Alberta, Canada – We could have listed the fossils and life-size models in the dinosaur halls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, but Dinosaur Provincial Park, 48 km northeast of Brooks, Alberta, has real-life “Jurassic Park” possibilities — in a way. There are guided hikes and tours as well as the opportunity to join a dinosaur excavation. More than 300 dinosaur skeletons have been discovered in a 27-km stretch of the Red Deer River in about 100 years. If family members get tired of being outdoors, the Royal Tyrrell Museum, 100 km away, is the only museum in Canada that’s dedicated to the science of palaeontology. Of course it has one of the largest displays of dinosaurs in the world.
!!! Orlando, Fla. — Sometimes children really, really need to play and have their imaginations stoked by their favourite TV and film characters. In Orlando there are enough attractions to keep them busy for months, if not years. LEGOLAND Florida is the world’s largest LEGOLAND, spanning 150 acres. Epcot is 305 acres of Disney-packed fun. Universal Studios Islands of Adventure is where you’ll find the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and if you didn’t find any dinosaurs in Alberta, you can see them on the Jurassic Park River Adventure. Granddaddy of them all, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, has six themed areas (Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Tomorrowland and Fantasyland), the magical Cinderella’s Castle and all the classic Disney stars.
Rounding out the list of places where kids will enjoy experiences of a lifetime are: London, England; Rome, Italy; Great Wall, China; Cairo, Egypt; Nantes, France; and Dunedin, New Zealand. To read Cheapflights.ca’s complete list of 11 Places the Kids Will Never Forget, visit http://www.cheapflights.ca/travel/11-places-the-kids-will-never-forget .