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Ask any parent what their idea of hell is and many may say dragging the kids around a busy city, trying to find things to do that the whole family will enjoy. Tired legs, the constant need to be within twenty feet of a toilet and persistent complaints about hunger and thirst are all things that need to be contended with and can drive the average parent mad. Wouldn’t it be easier to just set up camp on the beach and let the little ‘uns run riot?
Well, not necessarily. The key to a successful family holiday in a city is to make it interesting for them as well as you. Do that and it could be twice as exciting as the average beach holiday.
Think like a Kid
You probably heard the age old saying ‘make learning fun’ when you were in school. Cheesy? Yes, but it’s also true. You may be extremely interested in and amazed by St Peters Square in Vatican City, but to a four year old it is just a big open space with lots of people crowded in it. Instead, visit an interactive and engaging museum with hands on experiences that will keep the kids occupied for an hour or two. You do not need to avoid the traditional city attractions, just be aware that unless there is a lot to see and do, your child’s attention may soon start to wander.
Crying into your coffee in Berlin? The kids driving you up the wall in Amsterdam? A screaming toddler on the loose in Milan? Wherever you are, there is always one place where you can fall back on to rescue you in your hour of need: the Aquarium. Most major cities have one and it is always a success with kids of all ages – plus it is interesting for adults too. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing all the weird and wonderful creatures of the deep? It is the perfect destination to head to if the weather is not great and there are often deals allowing children in for free or at a discounted price, as well as family deals.
Here is a little tip. The key to a successful family holiday is to time it just right. Try booking a New York holiday close to Christmas for example and you will find that there is a lot more child friendly attractions on show. Christmas markets, fireworks and street shows make cities a more fun place to explore with kids, especially after dinner in the evenings when most of the major attractions have closed for the day.
Have you had a memorable city break or family holiday with your kids? We would love to hear your stories, both good and bad!
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Ricky is a keen traveller and writer who shares a passion for both. Ricky has travelled extensively, visiting various countries in Europe and South East Asia along with Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Ricky is a resident blogger for travel specialists Beat the Brochure, and in his spare time enjoys playing football and following Chelsea FC. Google Visit his Google + page for more information.