The best vacations for kids

Designed with kids in mind, here’s our top family vacation ideas

The little ones really do grow up fast. We know how important it is to make the most of precious vacations and experiences together whilst they’re younger. We also know that every child (and every family) is different. That’s why our experiences can be adapted and tweaked in order to meet your everyday needs, ensuring you have the best family holiday possible in the very best vacation spots for kids. We’ve scoured both urban and remote corners of the world to bring you a family-sized sampling of tried-and-tested experiences, so your kids can really get stuck into and involved with the destination you’re traveling to. 

From our engaging educational Field Trip encounters around the world, designed especially for families, to our immersive Take me on a Story adventures which follow the footsteps of the kids’ favourite book characters – we’ll have something up our sleeves whether you’re after a cultural, adventurous or educational activity. In this guide to the best vacations for kids, we’ve handpicked our top kids experiences for you to browse. Use the links below to find out more about individual experiences, or read this page from top to bottom if you’re after some broader family vacation ideas. And if you’re still undecided after reading these, visit our family travel page to browse our other experiences sorted by age, season and most popular family trips. 

1. Gladiator School at the Colosseum in Italy
2. A family superJeep tour of the Golden Circle in Iceland
3. Learn martial arts with a private Ninja lesson in Tokyo
4. Connect with elephants in Thailand
5. Search for the hidden magic lamp in Morocco
6. A family reindeer safari in Lapland
7. Volcano boarding in Nicaragua
8. Hunt for buried treasure in the British Virgin Islands
9. Go behind the scenes at the Changing of the Guards ceremony in London
10. Camel ride through Australia’s red dune country
11. Kayaking with penguins in South Africa
12. Join an archaeological excavation in Egypt

Gladiator School, Rome
Gulfoss Waterfall, Iceland

1. Gladiator school at the Colosseum in Italy

In Rome, delve deep into Roman times and sign up for one of our favourite Field Trip classes – which can be incorporated into any Italian family vacation. During an afternoon at Gladiator school, your kids will learn all about the history of gladiators, dress the part in traditional garments and go head to head in an epic battle between families, all from the grounds of the city’s mighty Colosseum. Armed with a dummy sword and shield and an expert instructor by their side, the more you lose yourself in character, the more atmospheric the amphitheatre becomes. If your children are fans of Horrible Histories, make sure you pack Rotten Romans; they’ll be bursting to read up on the beastly battles after their eventful day.

On this family adventure to Italy, there’s also plenty more for the kids to get involved in. A pizza-making masterclass, learning how to roll your dough out to the perfect thickness, before mastering the all-important toss and adding all of your favourite toppings, is always a winner with families of all ages.

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2. A family superJeep tour of the Golden Circle in Iceland

The Golden Circle: one of the most beautiful sightseeing routes in Europe, and a prime spot when it comes to fun vacations for kids. After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll all be picked up for a super jeep tour of Southern Iceland. Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park and Haukadalur Valley’s Geysir; the list goes on. The first few sites will get you familiar with the rich, geological beauty of Iceland and after a few hours of exploring the icy landscapes, you’ll reach Langjökull Glacier, where whizzing across the glacial planes via snowmobile is the norm. With a friendly guide by everyone’s side, gliding across the fresh snow is fun for every member of the family – whether the grown-up kids are driving you, or you’re driving the little ones.

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Ninja lesson in Tokyo
Chiang Rai elephants

3. Learn martial arts with a private Ninja lesson in Tokyo 

This jaunt to Japan will take you on a journey to one of Tokyo’s smartest neighborhoods to visit a karate Dojo that plays training ground to many martial art legends and even fashion maestro Yohji Yamamoto himself. It’s here that you and the kids will learn all about the spiritual side of Ninja and receive martial art lessons from one of Japan’s most legendary sensei. This immersive experience is one of our favourite family vacation ideas, and will see the kids jump straight into character, donning an authentic Ninja costume and handling impressive Ninja weapons. After sizing up the blowguns and throwing stars, you’ll learn the ropes of meditation, ancestor veneration and the concept of Ku (“no-self”); a central belief of this historic practice.

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4. Connect with elephants in Thailand

On this trail through Thailand, we’ll drop you in the northern province of Chiang Rai. Your family will be collected by a private guide who will take you on a journey to a traditional Mahout (elephant keeper and driver) village – all to learn how to ride an elephant. During this unforgettable experience, you’ll be led on a path through the dense Thai jungle, learning all about the elephant’s friendly nature, before the finale that all our travellers love getting involved with. Under the watchful eye of local experts, they’ll get the opportunity to feed and bathe these gentle giants in a local river, securing a magical bond with some of the most lovable and friendly animals on earth. Don’t worry; there are baby elephants that need bathing too. It’s one of the best things to do with kids on vacation – and something they’ll never forget. One of our favourite destination combinations for a family trip to South East Asia features Thailand, perfectly paired with neighbouring Laos – like on this cultural escape, which is always a hit with grown ups and kids alike. 

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Marrakech sidecar tour
Finland reindeer sleighing

5. Search for the hidden magic lamp in Morocco

Another of our Take me on a Story vacations for kids, Arabian Nights is six-night journey that will see you traverse Morocco‘s sand-whipped deserts and scramble through crumbling kasbahs in search of a hidden magic lamp – leading you from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains. Hunt for golden keys in the narrow streets of Ait Ben Haddou and ancient scrolls in an old Koranic school. Cross the desert by camelback and slumber beneath the stars before traversing the salt mines of Telouet in search of the lamp’s hiding place. Should you beat the wicked sorcerer to its whereabouts, a great reward awaits you as we whisk you away to a grand palace (the wonder of La Sultana) and a life fit for royalty.

Morocco is also home to one of our Field Trip classes – where you’ll embark on a sensory journey to create your own personal perfume masterpieces at Marrakech’s Musee du Parfum. It’s a lesson in history, culture and conversational French, all rolled into one.

While on a family escapade in Morocco, we’ll also whisk the family away from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech for an afternoon tour of Agafay Desert’s lunar landscapes. Located just outside the city, your driver will lead you on a journey through ancient underground aqueducts and authentic Berber villages via vintage sidecar. The wonderful thing about sidecar tours out in the desert is if your children have any special requests or a slightly different route in mind, just let us know and we can arrange it. Finish the day in style and arrive on camelback to a luxurious desert camp for the evening. You can leave your guidebook in the dust.

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6. A family reindeer safari in Lapland

There’s plenty of moments to enjoy the peaceful wilderness of Finnish Lapland; one being on a sleigh led by reindeer. Cuddled up next to your kids on a winter family vacation, you’ll slowly wind your way through the snowy forest in awe of the amazing scenery and majestic creatures ahead of you. After some time spent in the sleigh and feeding Rudolph’s friends, you’ll return to the Reindeer Farm to cosy up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of cookies, while the reindeer herder share stories about life in Lapland. This is the best of all kid friendly vacations – and the perfect winter wonderland adventure. 

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Don't fancy Gladiator School?

If a Ninja lesson or Mahout training isn’t your kid’s style, fear not. We’ve got plenty of other experiences perfect for keeping the children engaged and entertained for hours on end.  Click the button below to check out more of our bespoke experiences and find the best-suited family trip today.

TAKE ME THERE

7. Volcano boarding in Nicaragua

For those after some seriously adventurous family vacation ideas, we’ve coupled up Central America’s youngest volcano with a sturdy sandboard to bring you our new favourite sport: volcano boarding in Nicaragua. After a 45-minute hike to the scenic summit of Cerro Negro, you’ll soon begin the adrenaline-inducing descent back down – standing or sitting; the choice is yours. Surfing ash, not molten lava, sandboarding down Nicaragua’s cinder cone volcano isn’t quite as terrifying as it sounds. However, it’s definitely not one for the faint-hearted. Up for a challenge? See if you can beat the record speed of 51 mph. Add this to some rainforest exploration, a thrilling boat trip to Juan Venado Island and a jungle stay on Jicaro Island, and you’ve truly got yourselves one of the best vacations for kids. 

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8. Hunt for buried treasure in the British Virgin Islands

On a luxury family trip inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1882 classic Treasure Island, base yourselves at the sublime Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda – where a host of bespoke experiences awake. From campfire cookouts and star-wise navigation to sword fighting and elaborate treasure hunting – it’s the pirate’s life for you all. Embark on a sailing lesson before spending the day on your own private catamaran, leave a message in a bottle, brew your own batch of pirate’s rum (non-alcoholic, of course), learn to snorkel in search of sunken pirate’s loot, and work with an illustrator to design your own island treasure map. Marooned together  for some quality family time in the Caribbean, this is an unforgettable Take me on a Story adventure.

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The best vacations for kids
Sandboarding in Nicaragua

9. Go behind the scenes at the Changing of the Guards ceremony in London

Kickstart your morning in London with a visit to the City of Westminster, taking a stroll through the Royal Parks and stopping for a photo outside Buckingham Palace. At Wellington Barracks your private guide will steal you away from the busy crowds and into the parade grounds for an exclusive viewing of the Changing of the Guard ceremony. After the little ones have tried on a bearskin, a visit to the Royal Mews is a must. You’ll lay eyes on the fabulous working stables, home to the Royal Family’s collection of elegant coaches and carriages.

To complement your journey through London’s iconic heritage and history, make a visit to the Churchill War Rooms on one of our exclusive Field Trip experiences. Immerse yourselves in the top-secret rooms where Churchill and his war cabinet made history and determined the future of Britain, on a private tour of the museum led by its Director.

There’s also the opportunity for an unforgettable luxury family trip outside of the hustle and bustle of London, staying at the gorgeous Belmond le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in the Oxfordshire countryside. On our Take me on a Story experience following the tale of of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, you’ll unravel Alice’s antics chapter by chapter – from teeing off on the croquet field under the Queen of Hearts’ watchful gaze and foraging through fantastical forests in the company of Absolem, to sitting down to a curious tea party you won’t soon forget, entertained by the Hatter and friends. It’s not hard to see why these are some of our favourite things to do with kids on vacation.

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London, Change of Guards
Australia Uluru

10. Camel ride through Australia’s red dune country

If we had it our way, all vacations for kids would include joining a camel train. On a fun-fuelled family trip to Australia, this one’s through Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – with the two iconic rock formations acting as the most stunning backdrop. If the kids are up for an early start, journey out on a sunrise trail or if you’re after a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast that’s okay too; simply opt for a sunset trail. Guided by a private cameleer, the children will get to know their camel well, hearing all about the animals’ quirky names and stories along the way. 

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11. Kayaking with penguins in South Africa

From South Africa‘s Simons Town, together you’ll embark on an epic kayaking tour of the Cape of Good Hope National Park. In one of the best things to do with kids on vacation, glide past the infamous penguin colonies of Boulders Beach before paddling to the south-westernmost point of Africa, where you’ll be astounded by the towering cliffs and peaks. Stop off for a picnic lunch on a deserted beach, where you can soak in the lush views without a tourist in sight.

South Africa is also home to two of our Field Trip classes: learning the art of wildlife photography off the coast of Cape Town, and, for future sociologists, historians and politicians, tracing the life and times of Nelson Mandela.

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Still undecided?

These aren’t the only experiences we have for you and your kids to enjoy. Why not try pasta making in Italy, zip-lining in Costa Rica or kayaking in Norway? Check out our family travel page to search by season or age to find the perfect itinerary.

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The best vacations for kids
The best vacations for kids

12. Join an archaeological excavation in Egypt

On a family adventure to Egypt, you’ll embark on a Field Trip experience like no other. Visiting the archaeological mission who’ve been tasked with excavating the ancient Egyptian necropolis of Saqqara – a sprawling site whose earliest finds date back to the Early Dynastic period – together you’ll unearth the secrets of this vast UNESCO World Heritage Site. After years of excavation, new finds are always being recovered. And you’ll have an opportunity to meet with the people who are involved in its day-to-day excavation – archaeologists and Egyptologists who are carefully unravelling the secrets of this sensational place.

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