Family adventures are big news: it’s not enough any more to book a hotel with a pool, these days the kids want more (and you deserve more as a parent, too!). Family travel experts Kid & Coe have selected their top global destinations for travel sure to put a smile on your kids’ faces and a spring in your step.
A perennial favorite with the Kid & Coe team, Australia is a great value destination right now and engages the kids on all levels, whether they want to learn to surf, cuddle a koala (mind their claws though!) or climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a view to remember. Kid & Coe founder Zoie Kingsbery Coe said: “Australia is a top choice for families. Learn to surf as a family on Bondi Beach, buy some crystals and put on best hippiechic caftan during a stay in Byron Bay, or head for the Gold Coast’s theme parks you won’t regret it!” (You can find the Wanderlittles guide to Sydney here!)
This paradise of soft sand beaches, gentle surf, rainforests and eco lodges gets a huge thumbs up from the Kid & Coe team. “Costa Rica is one of my dream destinations,” said Zoie. “It’s got everything a family needs: activities such as zip lining through rainforest canopies, kayaking and swimming, plus fantastic weather, great food and wildlife to thrill all the family.” The company is due to start offering safari tours to Costa Rica in 2016, and currently has a selection of rental properties on offer in the country.
Denmark’s capital is not just a great place to visit if you love new Nordic cuisine and minimalist contemporary design; it’s perfectly sized for kids too. Take them around the city like the locals by bike, play in the fantastic museums and meet polar bears up close in the zoo. It’s a friendly city with uniquely designed and staffed playgrounds and a theme park, Tivoli, right in the middle of the action.
Boat trips to private islands, capoeira lessons on soft sand beaches and days spent in swaying hammocks under palm trees Brazil’s coastal towns are barefoot chic in the best senses of the words. While the world turns its attention to Rio and the Olympics this summer, we know the savvy families are relaxing in Trancoso, or hiring staffed villas steps from the beach in Bahia, enjoying days in the ocean, local culture and a truly warm welcome.
From Fort Greene to Midtown, New York is packed with exciting things for kids to see and do. Take a family movies tour of the city hitting up the zoo that starred in Madagascar and the American Museum of Natural History for a Night at the Museum tour (no dinosaurs come to life it’s a tour of the exhibits featured in the film) and kids can even do a sleepover on select dates. We also love The New Victory Theater for family shows, storytime at the New York Public Library and water taxi trips for skyscraper views from the Hudson.
6. Lake Tahoe
Nevada and California meet here, at this perfect lake where city living is left far behind and outdoor fun is the order of the day. Surrounded by pine forests and rugged mountains, Tahoe is great in winter, with exceptional ski slopes and ski schools for kids, and just as much fun in summer, with watersports from jet skiing to tubing on offer. Lakefront restaurants are the ideal place to relax with the kids after an active day.
Nobody is going to knock the South of France with kids, but this spot, on the coast of the Gironde, around an hour west of Bordeaux, is the one you need to know about now. It’s a quiet haven for the jet set in summer, known for its oysters and beaches. We love the combination of the wild Atlantic Ocean in the west, for big ocean waves, and the quiet sandy beaches of the Arcachon Bay to the east, as a way to please all the family. There are no museums and mustsee attractions, just sun, sand, sea and local oysters washed down with a glass of white wine.
Europe’s clubbing hotspot is also the go-to island for in-the-know parents. Why? A bohemian lifestyle, sandy beaches, welcoming and laid back beach bars and water parks, to name a few. “I love that’s there a real freedom and spontaneity for children there,” said Zoie. “Your child is running nude and sandy on the beach, eating far too many ice creams and talking to kids who are Dutch, Spanish, English, Italian and they all understand each other just fine. It’s very multicultural and the kids get to experience that too.”
South Africa’s wildlife makes big kids out of all of us. With great white sharks in the ocean (there are shark nets to keep swimmers safe), lions, giraffes and leopards in the legendary safari parks, and freerange African penguins on Boulder’s Beach in Cape Town, there are endless delights for animal lovers. Cable car trips up Table Mountain, boat trips to Nelson Mandela’s prison on Robben Island and long lunches in local wineries round off a perfect travel destination for a family.
The UK’s top holiday spot is this county dipping its toe into the Atlantic Ocean in the far southwest. Visit for atmospheric beaches, pirate coves, windswept moors and some truly local delights: Cornish pasties, clotted cream ice cream and scones. Spend days playing in tide pools on beaches, fishing for crabs off piers and exploring ancient castles that may or may not have been home to King Arthur.