Sure you could take your kids to any one of those Disney wonderlands and spend an entire week exploring the amazing wonders that they have to offer. Sure, Legoland proves to be a huge hit with your kids as well. And let’s not forget to add Universal into the list!!
But what do you do once you’re done with these attractions. What happens when your tots want a change of scenery? Or suppose visiting places like Orlando is simply out of the question. What happens then? Well, luckily for you, toddler-friendly attractions can be found in most major cities around the world. Each city hosts something special for infants and tots, with a few becoming famous the world over. So the next time you plan for a holiday with your toddlers, look beyond those theme parks and fantasy-like adventures and give your kids a holiday that lets them learn and enjoy at the same time. Here comes some of the most toddler friendly attractions around the world:
Natural History Museum, London, UK (above image)
The Natural History Museum opened in the Alfred Waterhouse palazzo in the year 1881, and is known to look as magnificent as ever. Its pale blue colored terracotta façade sets the tone for all the wonders hidden within and the sheer level of anticipation makes your little ones shriek with joy even before stepping foot inside. The entrance hall is entirely dominated by the skeleton of a Diplodocus dino while the road to the left introduces you to serpentine queues and frantic kids who simply cannot wait to meet those animatronic dinos, particularly the super popular T-rex. On the other hand, once you get past the creepy crawlies on the right, the path takes you the Green Zone, home to all kinds of stuffed birds. Another highlight of the museum is the Red Zone, an attempt to give geological time a human perspective. And while you’re at the Natural History Museum, don’t forget to take your kids to its star attraction – the Darwin Centre. Most of the 22 million plant and insect specimens located in the museum can be found here over an expanse of 17 miles.
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, USA
The Renzo Piano-inspired California Academy of Sciences is located right in the midst of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It features a grass roof which makes it look as if the academy has been built beneath verdant rolling hills. Beneath this beautiful spectacle lies a natural history museum, a full-size aquarium, and a planetarium. This means that the California Academy of Sciences offers families a one-stop destination for environmental education. Its star exhibit is the four-story living rainforest that is home to African penguins and the Discovery Tide pool where kids can touch coastal animals and sea stars.
Night Safari, Singapore
The Night Safari might be one adventure for which you would definitely want your little one to stay awake. It lets you explore an entirely unique side of your favorite animals, for there are many nocturnal species on the planet who don’t become active until the sun goes down. The place is home to more than 2500 animals encompassing over 130 species – including the Malayan tiger, Asian elephant and Malayan tapir. All animals are kept in 35 acres of dense rainforest where the friendly ones are allowed to roam free, while the ferocious ones are restricted within spacious barriers. To make the most out of your experience choose one of its walking trails, such as the popular Leopard Trail or the Fishing Cat Trail. And make sure you check out the Creatures of the Night Show, famous for its binturongs and civets and their cute little antics.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
Not the first place that you would think of when it comes to toddler-friendly attractions, but certainly something that offers a unique experience to your kids. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York might not boast of interactive exhibits, but it has unique kid-friendly tours that are separated by age. Kids get a chance to create their own works of art after being inspired by the museum’s burgeoning collection and parents are also offered kid-friendly maps that take them on exciting scavenger hunts to discover the various treasures in the Egyptian and Greek collections located in the museum. If you have kids between the ages of 3 – 12, you can also make use of the drop-in family program that offers storytelling and sketching activities.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego, USA
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is one of the top toddler-friendly attractions on the planet because it lets your little ones directly engage with all kinds of creatures and learn more about the world they live in. This urban paradise is suitable for kids of all ages and is an oasis for your little monkeys to monkey around in. It has more than 4000 animals from over 800 species and hosts all kinds of animals that you can possibly imagine, such as giant tortoises, leopards, polar bears, mandrills, flamingos, sun bears, gorillas, tigers, koalas, elephants and more. The trip is always made more special because of those walkways that wind past waterfalls and bridges and offer some of the best viewing spots to check out your favorite animals from up close. The star exhibits at the zoo include the Scripps Aviary, a place where bright and beautiful birds swoop past your face much to your toddlers delight, the Tiger River, a place that lets you feel like you’ve suddenly been transported into an Asian jungle, the Sun Bear Forest, home to the exotic sun bears who can be seen having fun, climbing and jumping, and Discovery Outpost, the perfect place for your little ones to enjoy a more hands-on experience with the zoo’s little ones.
The Montreal Biodome, Montreal, Canada
The Montreal Biodome is an indoor aquarium-cum-zoo-cum-botanical-garden all rolled into one that attracts more than 800000 visitors each year. It showcases unique ecological systems that recreate a wide variety of regions in the Americas together with plant and animal life that is indigenous to each area. The Biodome also mimics the humidity levels and temperature of each geographical area to give you a realistic experience and is the only place on the planet that recreates all four seasons indoors. All in all, a place that is very hard to resist while in Canada with your kids.
Our Toddler Travel theme is just about coming to an end, but hopefully, you’ve just begun planning and packing for that perfect adventure with your little ones. Remember, there are all sorts of places that offer a special experience to your little ones, so theme parks aren’t the end of the world. That said, theme parks are perhaps the best places to start your travel adventures as well. So without further ado, our next post introduces you to some of the top theme parks around the world.
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