Were you a kid who had it all? Did you often dream of an adolescent paradise yet never quite got there? Either way, it doesn’t matter – you’re old now. But for those who have kids or are looking forward to having them, you have the chance now to give them the world.
Before the stress of life takes over, before technology consumes them and before they are completely out of your control, these following trips may give them a childhood to hold onto.
American Natural History Museum Sleepover – New York
After the doors close at 5:45PM, the Natural History Museum on NYC’s Upper West Side becomes a Shangri-La for children, who not only get to enjoy specially created tours and can explore the hallways armed only with flashlights, but also get to have their senses dazzled by the IMAX show and sleep under the 94-foot long blue whale. No knowledge of the movie ‘a Night at the Museum’ is required. www.amnh.org/kids/sleepovers
Grand Canyon Railway Polar Express – Arizona
If Christmas is a big part of your household and the biggest tree, the best presents and endless lights and decorations are not enough, then perhaps a trip to the North Pole is in order. Luckily, this Polar Express train goes to the ‘North Pole’ (complete with Santa) in the charming (and warm) town of Williams, Arizona where you can continue to wear your favorite shorts and t-shirt. This train books up fast so you may want to be reserving your spot even before you finish reading this article. www.thetrain.com/polar-express-5679.html
Addo Elephant National Park – South Africa
Sure, you may live closer to a ‘safari’ – cobbled together by imported animals, lame driving trails and corporate sponsorship – in your own country, but why not take your kid somewhere real? There are several children friendly (and malaria-free) parks in Africa, but none are as sweeping (nearly 500,000-acres) as the Addo Elephant National Park, where you can take on safari drives and watch these magnificent beasts in the comfort of your own car. Luxury amenities are available for adults (but kids won’t notice that you’re not ‘roughing it’). www.sanparks.org/parks/addo
Eurocamp – Multiple Locations
Offering offer 160 sites in places ranging from Portugal to Greece, France, Croatia and even the USA, Eurocamp has created a standard that all kids can enjoy, while opening their minds to a more global outlook and getting a taste of the local culture. This really isn’t ‘camp’ per se; it is more of a network of amusement parks with high quality accommodations and a range of activities ranging from the creative to the competitive and relaxing. Parks are conveniently located to the other attractions of wherever they are, and are also outfitted with resort style amenities like restaurants and much more. www.eurocamp.co.uk
Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours – Canada
In the beautiful mountains of Canmore in Alberta, Canada awaits a unique experience for children – dog sledding. This is an incredible way for kids to connect with nature, experience the beauty of a wintry atmosphere (instead of feeling like they have to endure it) and get a new outlook on dogs and what they can accomplish. Even if you only do it once, it will be enough to change open up a child’s mind to what a real adventure can be. www.snowyowltours.com
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