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Overlooked Kid Friendly Destinations

By Expert Author: Steve Robinson

Once you have carefully reviewed your cheap travel options, including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discount travel packages, and cheap travel packages, you should consider taking your family to a kid friendly destination that others might dismiss out of hand.

Many families think of Disneyland, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon when considering where to vacation.

The following are cities that are not known for their family oriented activities, but in fact have plenty of entertainment options, from zoos to museums, that appeal to “kids” of all ages, according to U.S. News:

• Although the annual Mardi Gras may be a bit much for kids under 21, the history behind the event appeals to almost everyone. Mardi Gras World offers a behind the scenes look at the history, the intricate floats and costumes that contribute to the city’s most famous celebration.

For kids too young to appreciate the backstage work and craftsmanship, take them to Storyland in City Park. This is a playground that features 25 life size sculptures of famous story book characters, including the Three Little Pigs, Little Bo Peep, and Humpty Dumpty. There is also a small amusement park, 36 hole miniature golf course, and a botanical garden on the premises.

• Some would be tourists dismiss Las Vegas as a family vacation destination because of its reputation as “Sin City.” In fact this city is home to several kid friendly attractions including Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere show at Treasure Island with its high flying acrobatics and larger than life characters.

Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay houses two walk through tunnels where over 2,000 animals can be seen from a diver’s point of view. A short (about 30 miles west) day trip to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is where visitors can check out interesting rock formations, a variety of hiking trails, and plenty of Mojave Desert flora and fauna.

• Vancouver is Canada’s west coast metropolis that offers a wide assortment of outdoor pursuits. Stanley Park is home to enough kid friendly attractions to fill a vacation itinerary. Renting bikes is a great way to see the Park. Cool off at the water park at Lumberman’s Arch or at the heated outdoor pool at Second Beach. Rainy days don’t have to hold you back if you visit the Vancouver Aquarium and check out its beluga whales.

A visit to Granville Island Public Market offers a wide enough selection of snacks and goodies to satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Its Adventure Zone features climbing structures and nets, slides, tunnels, and a ball pit.

• Barcelona’s Parc Guell’s park is where visitors can find mushroom shaped chimneys and kaleidoscopic mosaics reminiscent of a Dr. Seuss drawing. Las Ramblas is an open air streetscape which offers the best snapshot of the city’s sights, sounds, and smells, with rows of street performers and food vendors on either side of the bustling walkway. Make certain you visit The Chocolate Museum where visitors can do everything with chocolate from painting to sensory experimentation.

• The mention of Amsterdam tends to make many think of the city’s famous adult entertainment found in the Red Light District. The city in fact has many must see family friendly attractions. The Van Gogh Museum offers activities designed for children including drawing competitions, workshops, and treasure hunts. The Anne Frank House is where youngsters can learn Frank’s story which is presented in a very easy to understand manner.

NEMO is the city’s Science and Technology Center where amateur scientists can play with interactive exhibits which focus on electricity, gravity and DNA. Amsterdam also has a wide range of outdoor activities designed for children.
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