“Travelling in the company of those we love
is home in motion.”
– Leigh Hunt
Trekking, camping, adventure sports, rejuvenation, and sightseeing. Most vacations, whether with friends or family, revolve around these activities. However, when it comes to children, it is ideal to strike a balance between excursions and activities that keep their curious minds well-oiled all the time. With summer break knocking on the door, #DSSCRecommends a list of places you should explore with younglings to keep them enraptured when travelling out of India.
The Swedish city of Gothenburg offers a quaint toy-town charm with its wooden houses & cafés and cobbled streets on one hand, whilst boasting of such industrial landmarks as the Volvo Museum and the iconic Älvsborg bridge on the other. It has a thriving art and music scene, is a haven for coffee connoisseurs, comprises a picturesque archipelago of 20-plus islands, and is relatively cheaper than Stockholm. What’s not to like? So if you’re considering a trip to this Scandinavian country with your family, make sure to visit the Universeum in Gothenburg, a public science centre and museum that combines play and knowledge. It includes exhibition and displays where new technology interacts with exciting experiments, and a three-storey rainforest where birds, butterflies, frogs, tortoises, and marmosets dwell.
Bradford, Yorkshire, gained prominence during the 19th century with its textile industry, but has remained relevant after deindustrialization with its Victorian architecture. In 2009, Bradford became the world’s first UNESCO City of Film with such attractions as the Bradford City Park, the Alhambra Theatre, and Cartwright Hall. If geeking out on science & technology is your thing, we recommend the National Science and Media Museum in the heart of Bradford. It opened in 1983 as the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, but has further expanded to explore the science and culture of image and sound technologies, and their impact on our lives.
For car enthusiasts, the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, Switzerland is a paradise where one can see all kinds of transport, including locomotive, automobile, ships, and aircraft. The museum exhibits cars from different eras along with used road signs, and boasts of the only IMAX theatre in the country. It also houses a planetarium and works of the painter, Hans Erni. The icing on the cake, however, is the Swiss Chocolate Adventure, developed in collaboration with Lindt, where visitors not only learn interesting facts about chocolate, but also get to taste it.
The Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, New York is renowned for offering family programs wherein one gets to explore the zodiac signs and learn to identify stars and other celestial bodies. It also takes you on an immersive guided tour of the origins of our planet.
One of the 12 Treasures of Spain, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is home to L’Hemisfèric, a giant eye-shaped architectural marvel that offers astronomical presentations and laser-beam shows. It has an IMAX theatre that regularly features films on wildlife, marine life, astronomy, and evolution.
Marine life is as mysterious as it is beautiful. For those who cannot dive into the deep sea and swim alongside the big fishes, aquariums provide the best alternative to learn about underwater ecology as they are run by marine scientists and conservationists. Housing the longest underwater tunnel on the planet (509 ft) that holds almost a million gallons of water, the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is one of the largest in Asia. The city is also home to the Shanghai Disney Resort, so that’s a win-win for the kiddies.
Jungle safaris amongst lions, zebras, and giraffes — popular culture has always promoted an image of South Africa along those lines. However, we recommend chalking in a visit to the uShaka Marine World in South Africa, the largest aquarium in the African continent, which is made to resemble a wreck under the sea, and whose special highlight includes a restaurant wall that is populated by sharks.
One of the biggest perks of travelling abroad as an adult is the freedom to spend money. The Dubai Mall in the UAE is already a hot destination for shopping. After you shop, drop by and say hello to the mysterious and extraordinary creatures of the deep. With the largest acrylic glass panel in the world, the Dubai Mall Aquarium contains over 33,000 species, of which sharks and rays alone account for nearly 400.
If your kids, however, rule the summer holiday itinerary and are looking for all out entertainment, theme parks are always there to rescue you. Pop-culture enthusiasts can head to Universal Orlando Resort, which consists of two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure; a water park; a night-time entertainment complex; and six hotels. At Universal Studios Florida, visitors get to “Ride the Movies” with rides, shows, and other attractions based on popular film, television, and music productions.
Operational since 1999, Universal’s Island of Adventure is composed of seven distinct islands: Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, the Lost Continent, Seuss Landing, and the latest, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which takes the visitors on a ride aboard the Hogwarts Express to arrive at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley (if you’re a muggle, unacquainted with the Potterverse, the experience is bound to make you a convert!).
Last but not the least, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts have enthralled generations of tourists, and are bound to make you believe in magic.
So jet set on a holiday that can rival a trip down the rabbit hole and discover a world of adventure and wonder.
Featured Image Courtesy: expatexplore.com