Enjoying Europe with Children
Whether you are visiting Europe to expose your children to the wonders of a world outside their hometown or for a real break for yourselves, as parents, there are certain ways to ensure that your trip is fun for every member of the family. Exposing your children of different ages to other countries and cultures will open their minds and give them a different perspective on culture and society.
It may also instil a passion for travel, even in very young children. They will learn that the ordinary can be extraordinary when enjoyed in a new place with those they love. They are likely to be more adventurous and more willing to see places like museums, galleries, monuments and the outdoors than they are at home.
Here are some popular activities and attractions for parents with children, sure to make little (and not so little) ones get the most of their European vacation:
- Visit the various piazzas all over Europe. These are spacious and there are no cars driving around, making them safe for toddlers that run. They usually offer a range of entertainment too, as there are street performers, musicians and artists. There are always other children playing in the piazzas, running around and chasing pigeons. Your little ones will, no doubt, love meeting other children from all over the world, forging friendships that pass the time deliciously.
- Europe is famous for its many beautiful playgrounds. These are not just park areas. Rather, there are many that are complete with animals, shows, and fairground equipment. There is also place for you to enjoy the surrounds while reading a book in peace, or even to have a picnic together as a family.
- The ancient history of Europe means that many of its buildings date back hundreds of years. Castles and palaces are the order of the day in many places. Children will delight in exploring the dungeons and attics on formal tours of these medieval structures, while the older ones will definitely enjoy the intrigue and magical quality. There is absolutely no age restriction when it comes to the allure of these buildings.
- While visiting a museum at home may not sound very interesting, European museums and art galleries are very special. As an added bonus, children under 12 years of age usually get into such facilities at no charge. Many even have special programmes designed for children to enjoy during the holiday period. Take advantage of these by scheduling one or two classes or tours for them and enjoying some “grown-up time” for yourself.
- Do not neglect popular tourist attractions as these are the things that the young ones will often remember (since they will so often be reminded of them during the rest of their lifetimes). Many tourist hotspots offer youngsters a reduced entrance fee and these tend to guarantee fabulous photo opportunities as valuable family keepsakes.
It is always wise to let your children be a part of the decision-making process (as far as reasonable) so that they get to enjoy and remember their European vacation as much as you do. Being dragged from one art history museum to the next is just going to result in nagging kids that want to get back to the hotel room. When everyone is willing to make sacrifices for one another, the holiday is made a success.