Fun for all the family
Here’s all the inspiration you need for your next fun-filled family break. From amazing museums and exhilarating rides, to pizza classes and gladiator school – where will your family choose?
Jardin des Plantes
A verdant haven hidden from the buzz of the fifth arrondissement, Jardin des Plantes is a beautifully maintained botanical garden that stretches across 28 hectares. Home to an impressive collection of plant and natural life, as well as an enormous rose garden, zoo, and exotic greenhouses, it makes for an idyllic setting for morning relaxation.
Musée du Chocolat
Explore the nocturnal ambiance of the Pope’s museums, including the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, and Galleries of the Candelabra, Tapestries and Geographical Maps. The vivid frescoes lining the Borgia Apartment are certainly memorable, as is, of course, the grand opulence of the Sistine Chapel, which is beautifully lit after dusk. The tour is open from 7pm until 11pm, allowing plenty of opportunity to explore.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Perfect for movie buffs and thrill seekers alike, Universal Studios is the ultimate Hollywood experience. From exhilarating rides and tours of real working movie sets to great food and drink – including recreated dining from restaurants like The Simpson’s Krusty Burger – you could spend an entire day experiencing everything this theme park has to offer.
California Science Center
Packed with exhibits, activities and awe-inspiring sights, the California Science Center has something for every visitor. Enjoy a movie on the seven-storey IMAX screen, visit the space shuttle Endeavour (which completed 25 missions into space), or just explore the enormous complex to see what catches your eye.
The Making of Harry Potter
This studio tour is a fascinating insight into the making of a wildly successful movie franchise, and has been created to appeal to every demographic. The studio houses familiar sets – including Gryffindor common room and Diagon Alley – and displays a vast array of props and costumes.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
SEA LIFE London Aquarium is home to one of the largest collections of marine life in Europe, with countless species of local and international fish, jellyfish, octopi, turtles, rays, sharks, and much more. There’s also colony of penguins and a rainforest zone where river predators such as crocodiles, catfish and piranhas live. Adventurous families can book interactive experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours or shark feeding.
Windsor Great Park
One of the most beautiful parks in this part of England, Windsor Great Park offers 4,800 acres of rolling countryside, forest trails, lakes, gardens and children’s playgrounds. With its colourful flower displays, The Savill Garden is a highlight for families, as is the Obelisk Lawn play area, which is packed with activities for pre-school-age children.
The Look Out Discovery Centre
Offering ‘edutainment’ at its best, The Look Out Discovery Centre is filled with exciting science and nature-themed games and activities to inspire a child’s imagination. The space hosts over 90 activities ranging from puzzles to interactive exhibits. Outside, there are also three excellent playgrounds and a series of forest walking and cycling trails. If travelling with toddlers, keep an eye out for the centre’s special toddler days.
Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci
Formerly a monastery and now Italy’s largest science and technology museum, the da Vinci Museum houses a 16,000-piece strong collection of objects and artefacts ranging from the artistic to the scientific, including an entire department dedicated to science for young people. The museum’s collection of da Vinci’s models is a particular highlight.
Cook in Milano
Where better to learn to cook perfect pizza or pasta than in the country famed for their creation? An ideal activity for teenagers and keen Instagrammers to do solo, or something for the whole family to enjoy together, there are plenty of classes to enjoy at the Cook in Milano cooking school. Classes must be booked online.
With The Colosseum fresh in your mind, this is the perfect time to visit Gruppo Storico Romano Gladiator School. Begin in the museum and browse ancient artefacts such as swords and helmets (which you can try on), before taking part in a costumed gladiator-style training session and ‘tournament’.
Bioparco di Roma
Located on the beautiful 17th century Villa Borghese estate, Bioparco di Roma is a highlight for animal lovers. The 42-acre zoological park is home to over 1,000 animals and 200 species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Some of the most exciting residents include monkeys, crocodiles, giraffes, owls, snakes and Asian elephants.