Bright Lights, Big Cities
Urban settings offer wealth of adventures
There’s something about the bright lights of a big city that make for a fun family getaway.
If you hail from a small town, the kids will get a charge from the frenetic pace and distinctive energy of an urban-scape. Subways, trolleys and skyscrapers can be exciting attractions themselves if you don’t have them back home.
Even if you’re urban dwellers, each city has a distinguishing personality, something that gives it a unique flavor – an historical significance, architectural flair, some renowned landmark, a characteristic art/music/culture scene that begs to be explored. Kids are adept at perceiving these vibes, so don’t necessarily put off a city escape in favor of more typical kid-centric destinations.
In fact, most big cities have a wealth of child-friendly activities, attractions and events going on all the time. World class children’s museums, zoos, theaters, sporting arenas, parks, parades and the like are found in the big hubs. They’re also the mecca of shopping, which might not sound like a kid-friendly recommendation until you check out the window displays at the big department stores around the holidays.
An array of amazing restaurants is another allure of big cities that doesn’t intuitively scream “kids,” but depending on their age, stage and sense of culinary adventure, junior gastronomes might delight at exploring ethnic delicacies and distinctive flavors there.
There’s a lot to do in a big city and you’re sure to find something that will appeal to all ages (including the parents!). You can pack a lot into a short time – city breaks make a great long weekend escape but can also be savored for extended visits too. There’s usually something special going on around the holidays.
The hustle and bustle might to overwhelming for some children not used to that pace. Make sure you balance excitement with a little downtime too. Watch out for traffic, both as a driver and a pedestrian.
Babies are relatively easy to tote around a city – as long as you have a good stroller or baby carrier on hand, your babe can passively tag-along to whatever’s on your urban agenda. Toddlers and preschoolers are a little more demanding, and so you’ll have to plan on partaking in some age-appropriate attractions for them. Tweens and teens are especially well suited to an urban adventure as they are the hub of all things fashionable, cool and trendy. This might be a good opportunity to expose your budding adult to more grown-up venues like theater, museums and fine dining.
Check out a few famous landmarks, even if tourist sites aren’t really your thing. The kids will want to snap the requisite photos for posterity.
Good walking shoes – cities tend to be pedestrian paradises and simply sauntering the streets is a main attraction. Babies and toddlers will need a good stroller to get around in comfort.
New York, Paris, London, San Francisco, Vancouver, Sydney