5 Tips for Helping Kids Discover a New City
We’ve all been there: Rushing our young kids out the door in an attempt to board the last shuttle for the aquarium only to miss it because your middle child can’t find her left shoe, forcing you to take deep breaths while you frantically call for a Lyft so your other children don’t miss the aquatic show they’ve been talking about for three weeks.
Family vacations can offer great opportunities for kids to explore new cultures and exciting attractions, but they can also be stressful without proper planning. We recently visited New Orleans with 3 kids in tow, and exploring the city’s culture together was a memorable experience we’ll cherish for years to come.
Here are five tips to hone in on your kids’ curiosity and help them discover a new city without the stress:
Allow your kids’ interests to influence the pace of your day, and always give yourselves extra time to get places. You may be taking a stroll to a local museum when you run into street musicians playing jazz music. Embrace the spontaneity of the culture and allow your kids to dance in the street, even if it shortens the amount of time you planned at the museum.
Take a Tour
Incorporate your children’s interests into a family-friendly tour across town. If they like animals, a horse and carriage ride through the French Quarter may be a great way to keep them entertained while you get a guided history lesson in the Big Easy. Trains, streetcars or even an old fashioned taxi ride can also be exciting for your kids.
Ask Locals for Recommendations
Skip the brochures and travel agents and ask a housekeeper in the elevator for the best kid-friendly place to grab some grub. Some of the finest suggestions come from locals who live and immerse themselves in their city every day.
Encourage your kids to choose their own souvenir by shopping locally. Whether it’s a painting or postcard by a local artist at a neighborhood shop or a CD from the brass band belting out the blues on Bourbon Street, allowing your kids to choose a memento that also sustains the local economy is a win-win.
Consider Hotel Amenities
Choose your accommodations wisely. A hotel with a swimming pool can offer kids a refreshing break from traveling or sightseeing. Consider a location that offers free WiFi for electronics to use during downtime as well as a restaurant on site for a convenient breakfast before touring the town.
Shelley is the writer behind ShelleySkuster.com. She traded in suit coats and red lipstick for yoga pants and the “mom bun” when she left her career in TV news to focus on raising her young children who came to her via adoption and childbirth. Her work can be found on TODAY Parents, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home and Adoption.com.