/
Close
Newsletters  | Mobile

RSS Feed Family Travel

Kung Fu Coasters? Jackie Chan to Open Theme Park

201309-hd-jackie-chanjpg

China may already have an Angry Birds amusement park, but the nation is about to seriously up its theme park street cred.

According to a recent Guardian article, action film star Jackie Chan has announced that he will open his own theme park in Beijing, to be called JC World.

No doubt, we love the idea of rides inspired by Chan’s action films—who wouldn’t want to go on a rollercoaster called Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow? How about an It’s-a-Small-World-style dark ride called The Forbidden Kingdom, followed by turkey legs and adult beverages at the Drunken Master concession area?

Read More

Cruise the Amazon with Your Family on an Aqua Expeditions

201309-hd-aqua-expeditions-children-freejpg

Ever since my kids watched a TV show about Piranhas, they've been obsessed with the Amazon. “It's the biggest river in the world, full of scary fishes!” Sebastian told me one day. For any parent who's dreamed of traveling down this exotic waterway with family in tow, now is the perfect time to do it: Luxury cruise line Aqua Expeditions is offering free sailings on its ultra-luxe Aqua Amazon or Aria Amazon for kids under 12, through November 2014. Along the way, you'll spot sloths, caimans, pink dolphins (maybe a piranha), and more. It's the ultimate adventure for a family of wildlife lovers.

Clara Sedlak


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

Photo courtesy of Aqua Expeditions

Family Friday: Etihad Airlines Offers In-Flight Nanny

201309-hd-in-flight-nannyjpg

Can you imagine having a real live Mary Poppins on your next flight? Someone to entertain your kids (origami anyone?), serve them meals, and help you fill milk bottles—and all this done with a smile? Well Etihad Airlines has made this dream a reality. Known for over-the-top amenities and service, the Persian Gulf carrier just announced a Flying Nanny program for all its long-haul flights. More than 300 "nannies" trained in child psychology and sociology will be available to help frazzled parents survive their trip whether they're sitting in economy, business, or first. Yes, it sounds a tad extreme, but think of all the magazines you could read, movies you could watch, and naps you could take.

Clara O. Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of Etihad Airways

Family Friday: Lufthansa's New Family-Friendly Check-In

201308-hd-lufthansa-family-check-injpg

If there’s anything more challenging than a flight with your young kids, it’s trying to keep them entertained at the airport. On my last trip, I spent two hours chasing my twins around New York’s Delta terminal and had to convince a worker at Starbucks that Sebastian hadn’t intentionally stolen a bag of coffee (he knew exactly what he was doing). Enter Lufthansa. The airline recently launched a series of new family offerings at its Munich and Frankfurt airports, which include child-friendly check in areas with stations for kids. When you’re at the counter, your little ones can climb up a step ladder to feel part of the procedure (they’ll even get a “Best Friend Boarding Pass” for their favorite stuffed animal). You’ll also receive a Family Pilot brochure with vouchers and information about airport play areas, pharmacies, observation decks, and the best restaurants for kids. FYI, if you travel Lufthansa frequently, make sure to enroll your child in the Jet Friends frequent flier program—he’ll get instant points and access to a community of like-minded mini-globetrotters. Lufthansa.com/family

Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Image Courtesy of Lufthansa

Family Friday: Villa Rentals by Kid & Coe

201308-hd-kid-and-coejpg

Navigating the world of villa rentals is a dicey proposition. What looks incredible online (spacious rooms, gorgeous pool, state-of-the-art kitchen) often ends up being in one word—a dump. Case in point: a couple of years ago, my husband rented a house in Costa Rica and arrived to discover the place had no roof. While I have no problem camping out under the stars, it’s a different story when the kids are with me. A new villa rental company launching in October, Kid & Coe, aims to assure families that you won’t reach your dream house to discover a 50-foot cliff drop off the pool. Launched by Zoie Coe, wife of DJ Sasha, from Sasha & Digweed, the company has properties in Europe and the US, as well as a few prime vacation destinations like Sayulita, Mexico and Transcoso, Brazil. All houses are approved by the Kid & Coe team, often by Coe herself who is constantly on the road with her little ones. Stylish, functional, and safe digs are guaranteed.

Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Kid & Coe

Family Friday: Italy Offers Free Museum Entry for Kids

201308-hd-uffizi-galleryjpg

Having just got back from a family trip to Tuscany, Italy, I am deliriously in love with all things Italian–the food, the coffee, and most of all, the achingly beautiful architecture and art. So when I read that the country just called for free entry to all national museums and historical sites for kids under age 18, it made me want to pack up the twins and do the trip all over again. We didn't reap the benefits of the new law when we were there, and at often 15 euro a ticket, sightseeing became a costly venture. Now the Uffizi, Pitti Palace, the Medici museums, and hundreds of others are all gratis (see a full listing here). Who was it who said Italians do it better?

Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: Caro / Alamy

Family Friday: Dallas Adventure Garden

201307-hd-rory-meyers-gardenjpg

Why do kids get to have all the fun?  The Rory Meyers Adventure Garden is set to open in Dallas at the end of September—and it might just be the coolest interactive play space I’ve ever seen. Spread out over 8 acres, the park is a massive science learning center with 17 outdoor and indoor galleries, each themed around a particular subject. Some highlights: exploring wetlands, walking on boardwalks through grass tunnels, and hiking under a rushing waterfall. Oh, and almost everything is giant-sized, from the flowers and trees to the rabbits, spiders, and butterflies.

Clara O. Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of Dallas Arboretum

Family Friday: Paris for Petite Artistes

201307-hd-le-royal-monceau-raffles-paris-le-petit-royal-programjpg

“Excusez-moi Maman, pain au chocolat s’il vous plaît?” Even 3 year olds can fall in love with Paris. But taking our twin boys with us always seemed a bit daunting. Now, a new kids-program on the other side of the pond is offering to transform our enfants terribles into mini-artistes.

Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris has launched an incredible new kids program Le Petit Royal(I’m tempted to sign up myself!). At its center are workshops run by professional artists who teach kids all about art and French style—and each one is linked to a major cultural event in the city.

Read More

Message in a Bottle Lands Irish Family a Trip to Quebec

201307-b-message-in-a-bottle-on-beachjpg

In a day and age where we’re constantly hounding websites, iPhone apps, and Twitter feeds for the best travel deals, it’s nice to know that serendipity still plays a role.

Eight years ago, two Québec girls threw a message in a bottle into Montréal’s St. Lawrence River, uncertain if their letter would ever be answered.

Fast-forward to 2013, and the same bottle has made it across the Atlantic Ocean and into the hands of ten-year-old Oisín Millea from County Waterford, Ireland. His spontaneous discovery (which he suitably deemed as ‘treasure’) stirred the hearts of Tourisme Québec minister Pascal Bérubé, who then invited Oisín and his family to the province for a 12-day visit, gratis. Besides meeting up with the two girls (now young women) to celebrate the bottle’s long-awaited arrival, the family trip will include visits to Montréal, Québec City, the Irish Memorial park on Grosse Ile, sleeping in a yurt, and whale watching on the St. Lawrence River.

Read More

"Sharknado" Who? Baltimore's National Aquarium Wows with $12.5 Million Shark Exhibit

201306-hd-blacktip-reefjpg

Baltimore has a new fish in town. Twenty blacktip reef sharks will be setting up residence at the National Aquarium by early August.

The 260,000-gallon enclosure (which opened last week) contains the newly-designed Blacktip Reef exhibit, which sustains a delicate coral reef ecosystem reflective of the real deal in the Indo-Pacific environment. Visitors can observe the marine life through a 27-foot window that curves out into the exhibit—providing a 160-degree panoramic underwater view that would even impress Jacque Cousteau. “It’s a heck-of-a room with a view,” says Jack Cover, general curator at the National Aquarium. “The custom-made acrylic panel is clearer than glass. It’s the closest thing to snorkeling off the Fiji islands.”

Read More

Advertisement

Sign Up


Connect With Travel + Leisure
  • Travel+Leisure
  • Tablet
  • Available devices

Already a subscriber?
Get FREE ACCESS to the digital edition


Advertisement


Advertisement

Advertisement

Marketplace