Sometimes I wish I didn’t live in London. It’s such a lovely place for a family city break. And, as you can just as easily wake up to a beautiful sun painted day in London in mid-January as in mid-June, winter is as good a time as any to visit. Plus, if you come in Winter you expect it to be cold and maybe rainy, those sunny days are a bonus.
Be greeted by cold winds and thunder come Spring and your disappointment will be far greater and, however well you think you’ve packed, you’ll probably still need to go out and add to your wardrobe.
The children and sightseeing combo is a tricky one to get right. To enjoy a tourist attraction kids need to be impressed … and kids are hard to impress. What’s more, if they’re not enjoying the experience they will make sure that no one within ten feet is either.
As the children of a travel writer, my kids are experienced city breakers and by trial and error we’ve worked out a formula that keeps everyone happy ‘most’ of the time.
Kimpton Hotels recently hosted five writers in five cities across the country as part of a holiday blogger getaway event.
My family loves Kimpton as this kid-friendly brand offers a fresh departure from typical hotels with updated décor and whimsical themes. We stayed at Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge for our family getaway and it was quite a treat!
Oslo, the oldest of the Nordic capitals, located between a fjord and the forest, is breathtakingly beautiful and offers a several parks and recreational activities. Add to that castles and its intriguing Viking history and you get a city where a family can easily wile away 72 hours.
The Akerhus Castle has gone through many reincarnations, starting as a medieval castle in the 13th century, then becoming a fortress in the 16th century and finally being rebuilt in the 17th century as a renaissance castle.
My good friend and author of the Ciao Bambino! book series, Danna Leahy, visited us in Switzerland this summer with her 7 and 10-year-old kids in tow. As part of her itinerary, she planned a four-night stop in Paris.
When Danna explained what she planned to cover during her time in Paris, I laughed. I know the Type A mom personality — ahem — well, as I look in the mirror each morning. Our husbands tell us that we pack too many activities into short periods of time. True.
There’s nothing like fall in Manhattan. It’s a cultural extravaganza – new Broadway shows, prominent art exhibitions premiering in the greatest city in the world, festivals of all kinds up and down the streets and bursts of fall foliage all over the city.
The options are endless, and if you’re visiting, with kids, it’s not easy to narrow them down. Here are ten options from a native’s perspective that are sure to satisfy any parent or child:
Last winter my 7th grade daughter brought home information about the school trip to Washington, DC. She wanted to go, but said she’d rather do DC with the family instead of her friends. Once the shock wore off, I started planning almost instantly. Being organized is the key to exploring DC with the kids.
Plan Ahead & Reserve, Reserve, Reserve
Unless your kids are fans of waiting in long lines, do your homework. Have a family discussion, decide what you’d like to do and get busy …
The list of kid-friendly things to do in San Francisco goes on and on. Even kids lucky enough to live here have a tough time keeping up. The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Fisherman’s Wharf are just a few of San Francisco’s world-renowned tourist attractions.
If you have a day to spare, the Presidio is a great addition to any family-friendly itinerary.
What do you do with a long weekend in the fall from London? Grab the kids and head up to York for 4 days of vikings, ghosts, food, ruins, music and a whole lot of fun history.
York is a small city, the center of which is contained in a walled circle, and is the best preserved non-capital medieval city in Europe. Many of the streets are narrow with timbered buildings (“as London would have looked before the fire,” my kids pointed out.)
If Day 1 in London with kids is about an introduction to London’s royal heritage and iconic sites, an ideal Day 2 is one where you roll your sleeves up and dig into a neighborhood.
The best way to really learn about a place in a meaningful way is to go on a walking tour with a professional guide. Not all guides are created equal, but the good ones give you perspective you can’t get on your own.