Vienna ist für kinder! Vienna, Austria boasts castles, boat rides, music history, gorgeous Hapsburg-yellow buildings, and fantastic parks. We lived in the 19th district of Vienna for six months in 2008 with two young kids and we fell in love. Many activities and museums are designed specifically für kinder (for children) and others are just naturally fun für kinder. Here are a few of our favorite hidden family hotspots. Read more
Manhattan can be an expensive and intimidating destination for anyone. It’s a great place to travel as a family but it’s challenging to get past the big tourist destinations and into the real city. Here’s a few of our recent finds to get you started! The Tenement Museum is a fantastic window into the history of New York City and into America in general. It should not be missed but you must get your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Visits to the museum are by guided tour and there are several unique packages to choose from. Most of the tours take place at 97 Orchard Street, a renovated tenement building with a basement and 5 floors, each housing a different window into history. The building once housed 2 shops and about 22 apartments, each only 325 sq ft and without plumbing or electricity. During a 70 year period centered on about the turn of the last century, approximately 7000 individuals and 30 different businesses were housed in this one building.
We took their newest tour, the “Shop Life” tour, on the bottom level and enjoyed an overview of life as a new immigrant to New York with emphasis on the wave of German immigrants from about 1860-1880. We learned through old photos, newspaper clippings, an interactive card game, visiting rooms, holding artifacts, and a high-tech smart board (you may be impressed by the high tech smart board but your child will likely be a lot less impressed as there are many in school classrooms across the country). The 90-minute experience gave us all a multi-faceted vision of what life was really like for the proprietors, John and his wife Caroline, as well as glimpses into the other businesses that once occupied the building including a kosher butcher, an undergarment factory, and an auction house. The finale was a video of a nearby contemporary local storeowner and wrapped up the tour with thoughtful style and a new perspective on modern NYC life. The tours are billed for kids aged 8 and up because they do involve listening, sitting, and not touching. There are also food-sampling tours, live actress Read more
Colonial Williamsburg has to be America’s quintessential educational family travel destination. It’s like Disney for the NPR-crowd. Kids have fun and think they are on vacation. Almost accidentally, they learn about American history by watching and interacting with characters in costume. We had a great time but found it challenging to get our arms around the entire experience. There is too much to do in a short visit and yet I’m not sure parents or kids are likely to enjoy more than a few days at a time. Based on our recent visit, here are a few insider tips to help your family have a blast.
Colonial Williamsburg might also be one of the most photogenic places on Earth. We hope you enjoy a small sample of the five zillion photos we took while visiting. Read more
Linking North and South London, the Emirates Cable Car is a perfect family travel accessory. It likely won’t be the main event of your day, but like any good travel accessory, it can add zip for very little cost. Just a 5-minute ride across the Thames River and only about $6.50 for an adult and $3.50 for a child. The cable car boards like a ski lift in that you walk on while the car is moving slowly (in Read more
Check out our post on WanderingEducators.com! Hot cocoa, long walks in ancient oaks, and the Wind in the Willows museum.
“Low in a vale, by wood-crown’d heights o’erhung,
Where fir, and larch, and beech are careless flung,
With silver Thames slow rolling at her feet,
Lies Henley-Contemplation’s calm retreat.”
Opening lines of a poem detailing the charms of Henley-on-Thames, published anonymously in 1827. The poem is attributed to Mr. Richardson, a temporary resident of Henley. Though I’ve never, technically, resided in Henley, I’ve visited regularly for over thirty years and consider myself perhaps an intermittent resident. I’m lucky enough to be here again.
Just 40 minutes from London, Henley-on-Thames was a medieval market town and river port and is most famous for the Henley Royal Regatta, which it hosts on the first weekend of July, Wednesday to Sunday. The race is 1 mile and 550 yards, finishing just downstream of the town bridge. Every room in town is booked at least a year in advance for the event (I speak from frustrating experience); the streets, trains, and riverbanks are backed with Pimms-drinking, hat-wearing spectators young and old. The regatta is not as Read more
Then (1991): The dusty train station was mostly empty except for a few tourists. I was approached by enterprising Czechoslovakians holding out pictures of rooms to rent, most in private homes. I rented a room near the old square with a view of the river. It was a bedroom in the apartment of a middle-aged woman. She was kind, charged a reasonable price, and spoke little English.
Now (2012): The train station in the Czech Republic is loud and bustling. It boasts a Burger King, a giant bookstore, DM, and Read more
Bremerton WA – A great destination for kids? Yes! Bremerton is the home of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and that’s all many Seattlites know about it. But, we have spent a night or two here every year for the past few years and there is more to explore every trip. Read more