If there's one thing that parents know about going on holiday it's that, unless you cater for your young travellers, the trip may well leave you more tired and stressed than you were before you went away. It can be difficult to find destinations that offer something for everyone, but Europe's modern metropolises generally provide a great selection of enriching and exciting choices.
Every time the school holidays roll around, families may be wondering how they are going to fill the days without their children getting bored. And whilst this post outlining some great city break options may have come too late for October half term, it may very well provide some gems for next time school's out.
We all know that Paris has one place that is guaranteed to make a child's face light up with joy, and it starts with 'D' and ends with 'isneyland'. However, whilst there's no doubt that a break at Mickey's play park will provide great fun for all the family, it usually comes at a cost and offers little in the way of culture and history that you may want your kids to learn about.
As an alternative, why not host your Paris city break in the bustling city centre, spend one day at the infamous theme park, but fill the rest of your trip with everything else this beautiful city has to offer. Put your little ones in charge of the metro map as you explore various parts of the city before heading to the main attractions that are sure to excite them. The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower will definitely take their breath away, whilst a treasure hunt is certain to prevent the onset of boredom during a visit to the Louvre.
If Paris means Disneyland to a child then Brussels is synonymous with something equally as exciting; chocolate. There's truffles, waffles, bonbons and just about every other sweet treat you can imagine; allowing your little adventurers to indulge their sweet tooth if only for a brief moment.
Something else that's likely to be on their 'to-do' list is a visit to the Comic Strip museum; a sure fire hit with anyone who loves the world of cartoon characters such as Tin Tin and the Smurfs. If your child is more into dinosaurs than drawings then head to the Museum of Natural Sciences and watch them gaze in awe at the skeletal monsters on display. What's more, entrance to these two attractions is free when you have a Brussels Card. Before you leave, extend your Brussels city break to one which includes many other cities on the continent as you explore Mini-Europe.
As the Swedish capital is spread over 14 different islands, it is important to base yourself somewhere pretty central so that you can explore as many of them as possible. Perhaps the best place to start is the island of Djurgården which has many different places in which kids can roam free. The plethora of exciting activities includes an aquarium, the Gruna Land theme park, Skansen (an open-air museum combined with a zoo) and the fairy-tale house of Pippi Longstocking.
For a more cultural journey, you could take a look around the Wasa Museum which is dedicated to one of Sweden's most famous ships. And if you are tired of telling your child not to touch then the technology museum is the perfect place to let their fingers wander.
A Lisbon city break is perfect for families that want to mix history and culture with relaxing days at the beach. You and your children can be transported back in time as you explore Belem Tower, St. George's Castle or Jeronimos Monastery. From peacocks that roam the grounds at the castle to captivating medieval stories that are waiting to be told at the monastery, young travellers can't help but be taken in by the fascinating tales attached to these attractions. If you really want to stretch their imagination, though, the planetarium at the Maritime Museum will enable them to think beyond the constraints of planet Earth.
Something that will definitely excite your young ones is the chance to tour the city in an amphibious manner, just like James Bond…if James Bond travelled in a bright yellow bus, of course. Hippotrip will show you the major sights of Portugal's capital by land before entering the briny deep to continue the adventure by sea. Once you are tired out from all the sightseeing, take the 25 minute trip to Praia de Carcavelos and finish your break by recharging those batteries amongst pristine sands.
If you are looking to take you children on an inspiring city break, to the cities mentioned above or elsewhere, Fred.\ Holidays can help arrange everything you need. Our knowledgeable team know these destinations inside out and we can even find hotels that are perfect for your little adventurers.