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A Kid's Guide to New Orleans

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New Orleans is famous for bar-lined Bourbon Street and the Mardi Gras celebrations along it. But is it a family getaway? Liz Vilardi and Nick Zappia, owners of Cambridge, Massachuetts restaurants Belly wine bar and The Blue Room, decided to find out with their five year old son, Lucian.

Here, Liz shares Lucian's Guide to New Orleans:

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Daily Transporter: Barcelona

Tibidabo Park

Barcelona scarcely lacks diversions (including Tibidabo Park, pictured here), but in 2016 a new Ferrari Land theme park will open just outside the city. The park will feature Europe’s fastest and highest vertical accelerator, a slingshot–like ride in which a passenger pod—attached by bungee cords to two towers—is launched skyward.

See Barcelona in World’s Coolest Observation Decks

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Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo: Gunnar Knechtel

Disney's 'It's a Small World' is 50 Years Old Today

Disney's it's a small world

Meantime, while you’re warming up your vocal cords and focusing your laptop cam, here are 10 facts that you probably didn’t know about the most famous travel-related ride in the world.

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6 Family Travel Tips for Flights and Car Rides

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Whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile, the key to tranquil trekking is all about doing the prep work. When traveling, spontaneity often yields a nightmare scenario. To reduce frustration and tantrums, parents must anticipate and be prepared for common in-transit issues: delays, hunger, bumps, bruises and illness and, of course, bad behavior. Here are my 6 top tips for reducing stress while traveling with the family:

1. Snacks on the go. Don’t wait until the kids get hungry and cranky. Pack an array of snacks and meals for the trip. Always plan for delays and bring a few extra nibbles.

2. Keep them busy. Bring a cross section of easy-to-transport toys, books, workbooks, gadgets and activities to engage them through the hours of travel.

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Little Passports Inspires Newbie World Travelers

Little Passports

A new kids program, littlepassport.com, promises to turn your toddlers into international pen pals. Here's how it works: your kids get real, actual, non-virtual mail every month from Sam and Sofia, two characters who travel around the globe embarking on various adventures. The first delivery is your Explorer's Kit, with a tiny suitcase, a personal letter from the mini-globetrotters, a world wall map, a passport, activity sheets, and special access to games online. Every time Sam and Sofia visit a new country-Italy, France, Brazil, Japan-you'll get another package with stickers and photos of famous landmarks, souvenirs, and a note detailing their journeys. It's sure to inspire wanderlust in you and your little ones.

Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.

Photo courtesy of Little Passports

Toni Collette's Favorite Places

Toni Collette

Peripatetic actress Toni Collette—doing her second turn on Broadway this month—tells T+L about some of her favorite places.

“The writing is so smart and beautiful,” says Toni Collette about Will Eno’s dark comedy The Realistic Joneses, in which she shares the stage with Tracy Letts, Marisa Tomei, and Michael C. Hall. “He captures life, warts and all.” Smart, beautiful, and at times unflinching are also ways to describe the actress—and her travel m.o. Here, Collette’s secret address book:

Off-the-Radar Trek: “I once fled the Toronto Film Festival to meet a boyfriend in Kathmandu. Sleeping under the stars, white-water rafting, playing soccer with local kids—it was all unforgettable. The only challenge was the leeches!”

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Legoland Discovery Center Set to Open in Boston This May

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Lego mania cannot be stopped. In addition to being painfully underfoot in playrooms everywhere, there's a Lego movie in theaters, high-art Lego sculptures, a Lego hotel, and now a new Legoland Discovery Center, in Boston. The 44,000 square-foot space is due to open in May and will have more than 3 million pieces of plastic all snapped into place (expect a Lego laser ride, a 4D cinema, and mini-models of US landmarks). And for true Lego maniacs? A master builder is on hand to teach toddlers the secrets to creating sky-high towers.

Clara Sedlak


Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1

 


Photo Credit: Merlin Entertainments Group

Smithsonian Sleepovers Turn the National Museum into an Overnight Adventure

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In terms of film quality, Night at the Museum ranks right up there with Gigli and Glitter. Still, after finally acquiescing to the demands of two kids in stereo (“Please, please! Please, please!”), I endured two hours of so-so humor. And I have to admit the idea of sneaking around a museum after hours sparked my childhood imagination. As soon as Miles and Sebs are of age, I plan on taking them on a Smithsonian Sleepover. Families arrive at 7pm on select dates for a night of games, crafts, and dusk to dawn exploration. Some highlights: an Imax screening of Born to be Wild about orphaned orangutans and elephants and camping out in sleeping bags under the giant North American whale, Phoenix. May 17, June 14, June 28, July 12, July 26, Aug 8, Aug 22; age 8 through 12.

Clara Sedlak


Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.

Photo credit: Kumar Sriskandan / Alamy

Take the Kids to Cape Cod for Winter Break

cape cod beach hotel

Winter break has a way of sneaking up on parents anyway, but a couple of snow days spent shooing kids away from computer screens makes the spectre of another long stretch of empty days at home unthinkable.

Arriving on the scene like a spandex-clad superhero is Cape Cod’s Sea Crest Beach Hotel. The recently renovated low-rise beachfront property ticks all the boxes for a winter family stay:

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Families Fly Comfortably on Air New Zealand's SkyCouch

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Amidst a heated conflict between travelers who want family-friendly zones on airplanes, and those willing to pay more for childfree cabins, Air New Zealand’s Economy SkyCouch seat is becoming a fast favorite for both sides of the debate.

The flexible seating option, which allows passengers to purchase three adjacent seats and transform them into a wide, flat sofa, has been particularly successful with families.

With a footrest that pulls out from beneath the three seats and armrests that virtually disappear, Air New Zealand has sold the Skycouch as an “ideal solution” for “a parent with two restless kids,” or the perfect play space for young children.

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