Best city breaks with the kids

Monday, 12 September 2011 5:13 PM

City breaks are most associated with being a couples’ or friends’ getaway, visiting historical sites, art galleries, shopping and nightlife. While some city breaks may be boring for kids, others will be an absolute nightmare with the little ones in tow, however we have found five great city breaks that the kids will love, turning the short break into a whole family affair.

Stockholm
Stockholm, is one of the best family city breaks and kids and adults alike will love the range of activities on offer. Built on an archipelago across 14 different islands, means that boat rides, island exploring and beaches are never far away in this city.

A fun way for the kids to discover Sweden’s history is to visit Skansen, the world’s oldest outdoor museum, where actors dress up in traditional costumes and do re enactments. Kids can join in by making old fashioned crafts and there is also an option to see native Nordic animals such as elk, moose, reindeer and bears and ride on old fashioned carousels.

One of the best options and a favourite for all local Swedish children is Junibacken, a world exploring the storybook characters of Astrid Lindgren, including the most famous, Pippi Longstocking. Kids can listen to stories at Storybook Square, ride the Story Train and explore Pippi’s house. 

Berlin
Many people forget that Berlin can be a great city for kids, because of its association with historical site seeing and great nightlife, however there is more than enough here to keep the kids entertained.

Kids will be able to play all day at the Legoland Discovery Centre at Potsdamer Platz, featuring a whole array of rides, displays and toys, including a medieval castle complete with dragon, a princess palace and pirate ship. Everyone will have fun in the Lego Factory. 

Take them to visit the AquaDom & Sea Life Centre, home to over 4,000 sea creatures as well as a big shark tunnel, and Magic Mountain, where the kids can learn to climb using climbing walls.

The city is also full of excellent adventure playgrounds, skate parks, puppet shows, kids’ theatres and city beaches, which will be more than enough to entertain the whole family on a city break.

Barcelona
Kids will love exploring the quirky sites on offer in Barcelona, including Gaudi’s Park Güell, where they can play among stone palm trees, mosaic lizards and fairy-tale like houses.

For something a bit different that the kids will love, take them to the Chocolate Museum. El Museu de la Xocolata details the history of chocolate, in a fun and exploratory way for kids and features loads of delicious looking life size chocolate sculptures.

Barcelona has a great zoo, which besides the wildlife, has dolphin shows, a petting zoo, an adventure playground and pony rides. 

And don’t forget there’s always the beach, Barcelona has an excellent city beach that will entertain the kids with swimming and sand castle building for hours. Around the beach and the nearby Parc de la Ciutadella there are many family bicycles for hire, with four seats, these are great fun and provide a unique way of exploring the city.

Copenhagen
Copenhagen is bursting with child-friendly activities, the most famous being the infamous Tivoli Gardens, an excitement filled fun fair and amusement park that dates back to 1843. It features traditional and modern rides, an excellent playground, kids’ theatre shows, an aquarium and music venues. 

Kids will enjoy trying out tricks and stunts at the Circus Museum and pressing buttons, dressing up and making crafts at the Children’s Museum.  

Kids of all ages will enjoy seeing the statue of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid on the harbour front and the Open Air Museum, an area of natural beauty, farmyard cottages and people dressed up in traditional costumes, where you can explore the length and breadth of Denmark in one afternoon.

Copenhagen is also full of kids’ theatres and cinemas – a great option for a rainy day.

So, taking the kids on a city break needn’t be a stressful nightmare, by choosing a city with the best range of activities to keep them and you entertained, you’ll breeze through it. What’s more, you’ll end up having fun too.
 

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