After a little travel-hiatus until our new baby arrives, I find myself thinking about where we can go for our next trip and what we can do while we’re there! I never realized how much fun it would be to plan activities that are kid-friendly. There is something so wonderful about seeing your child having a fun time, and it’s never one-sided, we always have fun too! Here is a list of my top seven kid-friendly activities when my family is visiting a new place!
- Local museums. The last time we visited Detroit, we went to the Henry Ford Museum. We went for a few reasons: we had the time, my husband really wanted to go, and we had the time. I hadn’t looked up how kid-friendly it would be, but who can go wrong with cars and little boys? It was such a fun experience, and my son had a great time. He got to run around, which tired him out before the flight. My husband and I got to stretch our legs and get some good exercise in before having to sit down for hours on a plane. And we all learned a lot!
- Bookstores. I personally love a good book store. They smell great, the look great, and they are full of books. The visual aspect of a library or bookstore is great for kids: lots of different bindings of all different colors with different words of different fonts all coming together to make a pleasing aesthetic. Kids (and adults) are filled with awe and wonder marveling at shelves upon shelves of books. And I’ve never been to a bookstore that gets mad at you for browsing and taking your time walking around. It is a great way to spend time for those interim moments while you travel.
- Malls. Who doesn’t love to bring back some souvenirs from traveling? Malls have all that plus food, plus maybe an indoor play place. Malls are a bit commercial and not always my first choice, but they are free and if the weather is bad, they get you out of the rain!
- Parks. If the weather isn’t bad though, parks are always a fun place. My son would love any park, anytime, anywhere, but visiting a new one is extra exciting.
- Toy stores. I have vivid memories of visiting toy stores as a kid. I know that taking my children to toy stores, especially in an age where everything is ordered online instead of in a store, that he will remember these times too.
- Nature trails. Similar to parks, nature trails are fun for kids who can walk longer distances, or love being outside.
- Zoos or aquariums. Nothing beats a giant wall of ocean creatures swimming right in front of your face! The last aquarium we visited also had a play area that was a submarine simulator. Whoever designed it was a genius because they put hundreds of fake buttons and switches that could occupy a toddler for hours on end.