Kid-Friendly Educational Travel Experiences
Now that school is back in session, it may seem that traveling
with the kids is out of the question. But with instructive experiences taking place around the world, families can hit
the road while still making education the first priority.
In part one of her three-part series, Diane Panosian explores educational
activities that get kids out of the classroom and into world of experiential
FREE MUSEUM DAYS
There are plenty of educational resources in museums across the country, and
more often than not, museums offer free entrance on certain days of the month.
For example, theBowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, offers free
admission the first Sunday of every month. Families can enjoy a picnic lunch in
courtyard while listening to live music and participating in interactive games.
Currently, the museum is hosting an eclectic exhibit entitled, “Weird and
Wonderful: Celebrating 75 Years of Collecting at Bowers,” which can transport
children around the world in one afternoon. The collection ranges from Terra
Cotta Warriors to a 2,000-year-old mummy from the Silk Road, as well as
rarely-before-seen objects such as shrunken heads from the Amazon and the
theater costumes of Madame Modjeska.
Click here for more tips on free museum days around the world.
A REAL NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
Looking for an educational experience with some drama? You’ll want to check out
the traveling exhibition of Walking with Dinosaurs. What
began as a ground-breaking BBC and Discovery television series documenting a
family of dinosaurs has evolved into a worldwide stadium spectacular. Now headed
toward Asia, the show features everything from a life-size 72-foot Brachiosaurus
to a ferocious T-Rex is in glorious color.
A little closer to home, check out museums that host overnight stays for kids,
getting them up close and personal with exhibits after everyone else has gone
home. If dinosaurs are still on the brain, head to the Field Museum in Chicago, home to the largest, most
complete T-Rex skeleton in the world. The museum’s ongoing Dozin’ with the Dinos
invites families to experience exhibits after hours and camp out among the
ARTFUL THEME PARK ATTRACTIONS
Just like some parents bribe their young ones with melted cheese to get them to
eat their veggies, you can add a little education into your day at the amusement
At Animation Academy, Disney Imagineers
give hands-on instruction on how to draw a Disney character from start to
finish. With simple instructions, even the least artful of the bunch can create
something of their own.
Universal Studios’ Youth Days invites groups of kids to go behind
the scenes of moviemaking in addition to the theme-park experience. For older
kids, hands-on workshops hosted by the New York Film Academy teach the basics of
directing, cinematography and acting in a professional setting.
BE YOUR OWN IRON CHEF
With food-oriented TV shows saturating the airwaves, even little ones are
getting into the foodie craze.
Take advantage of their interest by checking out a children’s cooking program in
your destination. Hotels from the Ritz Paris to the Broadmoor in Colorado offer
interactive cooking experiences for kids.
Meanwhile, the Young Chef’s Academy franchise gives kids a lesson in good
eats in 18 states around the country. If you have picky eaters on your hands,
consider this an opportunity to broaden their palate while keeping them
entertained for an afternoon.
By Diane Panosian for PeterGreenberg.com.
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