Educational Trips For Kids
It’s never too early to start ‘em young! Whether it’s to spread the wondrous joy of travel and being in a new country, or if it’s to ignite the curiosity gene within your kids, a family vacation can be a perfect opportunity for children to soak up more of the world. You never know – it might be the right kindling they need to spark a new interest and hobby. After all, kids are sponges as they take in the world and learn about their place in it.
Let’s face it: there are only so many water parks and zoos you can go to. And cajoling them away from screen time to enjoy the local cuisine may seem like something new and interesting the first few meals but would become a chore for everyone involved by day three. Things like an aquarium or bird park might be similar to what you would visit in your home city, anyway.
Doubling up your family holiday as an educational opportunity for the children would be another way to engage the kids in taking in a new part of the world. It’ll be the perfect opportunity to see how we’re all different, yet the same. They will get to explore interesting histories and stories, experience a new environment and climates and immerse themselves in a new culture that is very much different from what they have at home.
What’s the sweet spot where it would be something for the adults (a wine tasting, perhaps?) and appealing for the kids? Europe with its rich history (and food!) will have a smorgasbord for everyone.
A popular European city to start with would be Rome. For starters, you won’t have a problem with picky eaters with all that gelato and pizza and pasta. But on the educational front, there is the Colosseum and other historical sites, a plethora of piazzas and playgrounds, and just the overwhelming grandeur of the city’s architecture. It would be exciting for the kids to know that the exact spot they’re standing in has been constructed for centuries.
This would be a wonderful introduction to their imagination where they can see how far history has come as they walk along the streets and stand in the well-preserved architectural buildings of ancient Roman cities, such as Pompeii and Herculaneum. (There’s also that added spooky factor that comes with stories built within the walls of an old city!)
Additionally, Rome’s vibrant atmosphere, piazzas, and playgrounds offer a chance for children to experience the local culture and interact with the city’s dynamic environment. Gelato, pizza, and pasta are indeed popular culinary delights in Rome, making it easier to cater to the preferences of picky eaters.
Other places to consider checking out due to its proximity could include climbing Mount Vesuvius or relaxing along the Amalfi Coast.
Other ancient countries like Italy, rich with history, art and architecture would include Spain, Greece, Turkey and China.
While an average art museum tour may elicit some whines and complaints from your young ones, there is an immersive way to introduce art and culture in the multi-faceted city of Paris. An interactive playground is full of delightful installations at Parc de la Villette would be a real treat for those interested in science and kinesthetic learners. The iconic Louvre is more than just a tourist destination for the grown-ups, most would agree. Check out these tips this mother has to share about the best way to help your kid’s museum hop!
Learn about the French Revolution while exploring the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, or head up north to the beaches of Normandy to learn about D-Day and the First World War. Lisbon, Portugal and Barcelona, Spain are other European cities to check out and open your eyes, to their art, music and culture ears and heart.
History lessons that are much more recent can be found in European cities like Berlin – a vibrant metropolis that other Western E still bears the scars of the Cold War. Tourist spots to check out would include the Berlin Wall remains (which once used to divide the city and country), Checkpoint Charlie (an inner city checkpoint separating both sides of the Iron Curtain), and the Holocaust Memorial (a memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe in the Second World War).
Despite all this destruction and strife, Berlin has found its tenacity in its love for art, creativity and expression. What better way to teach your kids about the resilience of humanity than through the organic thriving bustle of a city?
Other Western European cities to learn about both the First and Second World War would be Brussels, Belgium; and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Brussels and Amsterdam have their own historical significance related to these conflicts and offer valuable educational opportunities for children to deepen their understanding of European history.
Now, one could argue that every country in the world would be worth learning about its history, whether ancient or not. However, if that country is ‘young’, so to speak and has most of its natural world intact, the main attraction would be everything Mother Nature has offered them. Sri Lanka would be one of those countries. While its capital Colombo is steeped in colonial history with a preservation of its past, it is also a modern city yearning for the future due to lots of foreign investment.
Sri Lanka is home to several national parks and nature reserves, such as Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park, where visitors can witness a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and a rich variety of bird species. The country also boasts iconic landmarks like Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress, and the breathtaking hill country of Nuwara Eliya.
The iconic blue train that takes you through the idyllic mountains and tea plantations of Sri Lanka. | Credit: Shipped Away
Outside of the capital city, however, the island state is blessed with rolling hillsides, tea plantations and breathtaking coastal shores. Hop on a train and you’ll go through some of the most scenic routes you’ll ever get to witness, young or old – with the most famous route being from Kandy to Ella. There are also elephant orphanages and other animal safaris to visit – something for the little ones to get up close and personal with. A very different experience from visiting animals in the zoo or aquarium! You can also be as close to nature as possible with all the affordable glamping options, or you can also take surfing lessons as a family.
Sri Lanka’s glamping options and the availability of surfing lessons present families with diverse ways to immerse themselves in nature and create lasting memories. Glamping allows for a close connection with the environment while providing comfort and convenience, and surfing lessons offer an exciting and active way to experience the coastal beauty.
Other destinations to check out for what Mother Nature has blessed them with are Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Bali, Indonesia.
Don’t sleep in this underrated country in East Asia! While Taiwan is known for its delicious food and night market culture, the country is also a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With nine national parks, the country is dotted with natural hot springs, majestic cloud-covered mountains and beautiful beaches.
While most Asian cities are busy and chaotic, Taipei has a certain amount of order even though it is also populous like other Asian cities. It has all the makings of a metropolis: skyscraper buildings, grid-like roads and traffic, and a very functional public transport system.
Even though Taiwan is not a large country, each corner of the island has something amazing to see. If you prefer to not venture too far from the city, you can easily hike the Yangmingshan National Park (it’s on the outskirts of Taipei), make a day trip to the hot springs of Beitou or trek to the historical sites of Jiufen with quaint tea shops and Shifen for a pretty spot to take family portraits.
Nature plays a big role in the beauty of Taiwan; and while most outdoor experiences are accessible with varying difficulty, most are easy enough for kids to do. With Taipei at the north, make your way down the coast towards the east where you would find breathtaking mountains, the coast facing the Pacific Ocean, and Taroko Gorge at Taroko National Park. Kenting National Park in the south is a peaceful respite of beautiful beaches; with Kaoshiung as the nearest city which is also a major international port and industrial city.
Central Taiwan is where the mystical Alishan National Forest Recreation Area region wows all of its visitors – its main attraction is the tea plantations, but it is also the natural habitat to exotic flora and fauna. There are easy walking paths for these National Parks that would lead to jaw-dropping viewing points while surrounded by awe-inducing mountains and river valleys. Nothing like nature to remind you of your place in the world!
Other kid-friendly destinations in East Asia are Okinawa, Japan; and Seoul, South Korea.
The Middle East has a reputation as a glamorous destination for shopping and eating, but Oman balances this out with its own natural wonders. Unlike the tropics or the four-season temperate weather of Europe, the desert weather would certainly be a new experience for your kids (and you too!). Do note that the summer temperatures, however, can reach almost 50°C, so do plan your trip accordingly!
With that, it’s highly recommended to hire a car and drive around exploring Oman. What’s more family-friendly than a good old-fashioned road trip? You can opt to be driven around, or drive around yourself, but renting a car would be the best transportation to take you directly to the beginning of your hikes, as you check out a wadi or two.
Wadi is Arabic for valley or ravine; usually dry due to the climate, they only become a wet riverbed after heavy rainfall. Oman is known to have many of these, chief among them being the Wadi Shab which is where you can find inviting turquoise pools, waterfalls and even a cave to wade into.
Finally, Muscat has a lot to boast of as a capital city – take in the sights with visits to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Muttrah Souk. The kids would also appreciate the Oman Children’s Museum, an interactive science museum; or even better a dolphin and humpback whale tour to spot bottlenose and spinner dolphins along the beach.
However, it is also known for the Shangri-la Barr Al Jissah, a family-friendly resort that has a kids’ club (perfect for parents needing a break!). On top of a decked-out children’s pool are an adventure zone, lazy river, mini golf, and even camel rides!
Other kid-friendly Middle Eastern destinations you could explore are Jordan, UAE and Qatar.
Embarking on an educational trip with your kids is an enriching and memorable experience that opens their minds to new cultures, history, and the wonders of the world.
Whether exploring ancient ruins in Rome, immersing in art and culture in Paris, delving into history in Berlin, connecting with nature in Sri Lanka, or venturing into the diverse landscapes of Taiwan and Oman, each destination offers unique opportunities for learning and growth. By stepping outside the classroom and engaging in hands-on experiences, children gain a deeper understanding of the world around them, fostering curiosity, empathy, and a lifelong love for learning.
Let us Help You plan your vacation for the whole family!
REACH OUT TO US at +603 2303 9100 or
You may also be interested in: