A vacation for kids need not be the same every year. Always look for fresh ideas to surprise your kids. Encourage them to learn a new skill, to acquire new knowledge or simply let them have some unique experiences for each vacation. Here are some simple ideas for an extraordinary vacation for your kids.

1. Accommodation Fun

You need not always head for a hotel for your vacation. Stay overnight at the zoo with the zoo’s snooze program. Kids will enjoy the Zoo Snooze Program which often includes an up-close animal encounter, craft activities, night tours and games. Alternatively, join the aquarium’s overnight program ! It is a rare chance to explore the aquarium after hours, and you can get to participate in a variety of activities organised by the staff. With an expert guide, you may get to visit the aquarium’s behind-the-scenes areas and the food-preparation area to learn how the animals are cared for and fed. If your kids love animals, why not plan for a farmstay ? Have them engaged in interesting farm activities such as milking the cows, collecting eggs, feeding out the hay, riding on a tractor and watching sheep dogs at work. Your hosts may also bring your family for a farm walk or organize some sidetrips, guided tours or fun activities such as scuba diving, trekking and forest walks. Don’t forget to bring a little gift to thank your hosts for their warm and kind hospitality.

2. Great Rail Journeys

There are many great rail journeys around the world. Sit back and relax. Enjoy the spectacular and breathtaking scenery which the trains will happily bringing you. Many rail companies are now having interesting activities for children on board. Kids may get an activity book, which has a variety of cut and paste, and colouring activities. Sometimes, special activities such as games and video shows are featured at designated cars in the train. Kids will be delighted to know that there are menus specially for them as well. Usually, families with kids will be entitled to priority boarding. Babies and infants under 24 months usually travel free provided that they do not occupy a seat; while children are often entitled to child discounts. Otherwise, look for family passes.

3. Scenic Adventures

Do you know that there are many scenic places which are part of the UNESCO sites ? Take time off to admire the beautiful creation of God, who is the maker of heaven and earth for your next vacation. Many of these sites are mountains, reefs, islands, or national parks where kids can have a wonderful time roaming around and feeling the breathe of nature. Kids will love the gondola rides to the mountain tops; or fish, dive or snorkel at the amazing reefs, or have a fun time trekking at the national parks. You can even camp overnight with your kids at some national parks ! For a comprehensive list of the UNESCO sites, you can visit the UNESCO website for more details.

4. Wildlife Fun

Kids love wildlife ! There are many ways to enjoy wildlife. A visit to the zoo is a good start. Check the events calendar of the zoo and do not missed the animal shows. Animal shows are always interesting and often include audience participation games, keeper chats and animal demonstrations. There are also zoos which allow kids to touch, pat or cuddle the animals. Then, plan a trip to the aquarium. Enjoy their training sessions where you can watch the aquarists feeding and training the sea animals. Why not encourage your kids to be a zoo or aquarium keeper for a day ? Another way of getting to know wildlife is to embark on a wildlife cruise. Observe animals such as whales, dolphins, penguins as well as other sea birds in their natural habitats. Usually, the cruise is fully narrated by a skipper who has a wealth of knowledge of the wildlife. Majority of the catamarans are suitable for families and for young children. Do ensure that your children are supervised at all times for their own safety. Remember to clothe your kids with warm clothing, bring a hat and apply some sun screen lotion. Have a good time experiencing an aquatic adventure that your kids will remember for a lifetime !

5. Children’s Museum

The children’s museum is always a child’s delight. Meant for kids, it offers a myriad of activities and hands-on opportunities for them to unleash their creativity and imagination. A children’s museum is usually a nonprofit institution. You can help the Children’s Museum by making a donation of time, money or services. Different museums will have different themes and galleries ranging from physical and natural sciences, history, world cultures and the arts. Check the events calendar and find out the featured programs of the museum.

6. Learning Journeys

Vacations are great learning journeys. Take the opportunity to acquire new knowledge or learn a new skill during your next vacation. You can learn to dive with sharks at the aquariums or swim with the dolphins, learn how to snorkel at the reefs or surf at the beaches. Plan a visit to factories and learn how cheese and jam are made, or simply have fun watching demonstrations at the ginger factory and honey factory.

7. Enjoying Festivals

Every country has her own festival celebration. By being part of the celebration, it allows you to gain a better understanding of the diversities of cultures and their practices. Why not plan your vacation to coincide with some of the festivals of your desired destination ?

8. Themepark Fun

Themeparks are always a draw for kids. Remember to observe the safety precautions and rules of the themepark. Not all rides are suitable for children as some have age or height restrictions. You can obtain information on the available kids rides from the website of the themepark. Remember to dress comfortably. Protect your family from the sun with sunscreen and headgear, even on cloudy days. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and have a fun day at the themepark.

9. Appreciating Nature

Even if your kids are not flower lovers, they will not be able to resist a landscape of flowers blooming in their smiles. Plan a trip to the magnificent gardens to have a better knowledge of the plants, flowers and trees. Some gardens have seasonal highlights for spring, summer, autumn and winter; while others have a blooming calendar identifying the varieties of flowers in bloom for different seasons. You may wish to print out the pictures of the flowers from the website and get your kids to colour them during the trip. Bring your kids to the interactive botanical play zone or the children’s garden for a time of play. Alternatively, enjoy a guided tour at the garden.

10. Unique Experiences

Always make your vacation a fun trip for your kids. Give them plenty of opportunities to explore and discover with all their senses. Allow time for them to reflect about the journey. Other unique experiences which you may wish to consider for your vacation include helicopter rides, glacier walks, skiing, or take a trip to the sky with a hot air balloon ride.

The above are just some simple ideas for an extraordinary vacation for your kids. There are definitely more places for you to explore and discover a new adventure for your family. Have a happy and blessed vacation.

Travel Mum