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35 Places Around the World to See With Your Kids Before They Grow Up

Travel has always been an important part of my kid’s lives. Now as they near adulthood I am even more aware of what they’ve experienced. So, I decided to put together 35 global places to see with kids before they grow up. So many people think they can’t travel with kids until they’re grown but family travel is possible. Hopefully, this list inspires you to get out and see the world (and these amazing places) before they’re out of the house.


Ireland - Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up

Why: It’s hard to pin down a specific spot in Ireland to visit but having just been here I can say this is a must. Jody of Ireland Family Vacations helps show people the ropes when it comes to planning an Ireland vacation. Why should you go? Ireland is small, only 4 million people live here making it very easy to manage. The people are incredibly kind and friendly and it’s beautiful.

What: Kids will love the castles, the animals (sheep are everywhere!) and of course music around every corner. If they’re naught send them on a leprechaun hunting expedition!

When: anytime! Ireland is an excellent destination for families with children of all ages.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu with kids

Why: To spend the day among ruins in the clouds.

What: Machu Picchu may seem difficult to reach but it’s much easier now than it’s been at any time before. Just be sure to take the ascent slow, fly from Lima to Cusco, spend the night to acclimate and keep going. Kids will love the amazing scenery, outdoor activities, and animals.

When: Elementary and up.

Contributed by Victoria of Globetotting.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Turkey

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

Why: To learn the meaning of the word “awe”.

What: This 1500 year old building was once a church, then a mosque, and now a museum where you can see examples of art and architecture through time. It also is one of the few places where Islamic and Christian artifacts are side by side.

When: Middle elementary and up.

Contributed by Lillie of Around the World “L”

Lapland, Finland

Lapland Finland with kids

Why: Santa!

What: Lapland sits at the southern edge of the Arctic Circle in Finland. It’s home to Santa Claus, free ranging reindeer and the indigenous Sami people. You can visit Santa’s village, take a dog sled or sleigh ride, and enjoy many other outdoor activities at this far northern outpost.

When: Toddlers to mid-elementary, before the magic is gone!

Contributed by Katja of Skimbaco Lifestyle

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat with kids

Why: Climb around old temples. 

What: Cambodia’s temples feel like something out of a James Bond movie. If you want to see Angkor Wat, do it first so that the kids don’t get “templed out” before your visit. Also consider visiting Beng Mealea – a kid favorite.

When: older elementary and teens.

Contributed by Michele of Malaysian Meanderings.

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong with Kids

Why: A true melting pot of culture and cuisine.

What: Eat your way through the history of Hong Kong. You’ll find influences from around the world in this island city. Don’t skip the night markets when even more food comes out on offer.

When: teens.

Contributed by Brenda of Dish Our Town.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Why: It doesn’t matter what you believe, a visit to the Sagrada Familia can be a religious experience.

What: Unlike any other cathedral on entering La Sagrada Familia you will be taken aback by the airy lightness and the beauty of the sun beams shining through the windows. The symmetry of the architecture will amaze while the excesses of the facade will fascinate the young and the old. One tip? Book timed-entry tickets in advance to avoid long wait times.

When: any age.

Contributed by Tamara of We3 Travel.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up

Why: It isn’t just for honeymooners anymore!

What: This is paradise with many water activities for families including snorkeling and swimming with sharks and stingrays. French Polynesia also has a very interesting culture and history.

When: anytime.

Contributed by Mary of The World is a Book

Bay of Fundy, Canada

Bay of Fundy

Why: Provides a great appreciation for this natural wonder!

What: The Bay stretches 270km between the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and is home to the highest tides in the world. At Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick you can experience this natural wonder by walking on the ocean’s floor at low tide and kayaking around the rocks at high tide. 

When: anytime.

Contributed by Lisa of Gone With the Family

Paris, France

Paris - Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up

Why: We’ll always have Paris.

What: No matter what your family likes, you’ll find it in Paris. History, art, great food, culture, fashion, shopping, sports – really anything! While you might just think of Paris as a romantic city for young (or old) couples, it’s truly a family friendly destination.

When: anytime.

Contributed by Amber of Global Munchkins.

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up PEI

Why: Relive your childhood literature memories.

What: Wild landscapes, an island culture, chilly seawater, and lighthouses dotting the horizon are just a few of the things you’ll find on PEI.

When: any time.

Contributed by Kimberly of Stuffed Suitcase.

Tikal Ruins, Guatemala

Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up - Guatemala

Why: Create your own adventure series.

What: It’s like something out of an adventure book: Mayan ruins in the middle of the jungle with monkeys and parrots screaming in the trees all around you. Camping there is magical.

When: young elementary and up.

Contributed by Paula of Growing up Bilingual.

The Sahara Desert

Why: It’s the biggest sandbox in the world. 

What: Whether you enter the Sahara from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Sudan or any of the other countries across North Africa in which it lies you’ll be in for the night of your life. There is nothing more amazing than seeing a dome of stars as far as you can see.

When: elementary and up.

Visiting the Sahara with Kids

Contributed by: MarocMama

Benidorm, Spain

Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up Benidorm, Spain

Why: Stereotype busting!

What: This region may have a reputation as a party capital but it’s got plenty for families to take advantage of as well. From waterparks and themeparks to great food and relaxing beaches.

When: anytime.

Contributed by Jane of Practically Perfect Mums

Tangier, Morocco

Medina of Tangier Morocco

Why: To touch the tip of Africa.

What: Visit overnight or take a day trip (even from Madrid with a quick 1 hr flight) to visit Tangier. If you want just a sample of Morocco this is a great adventure.

When: elementary and up.

Contributed by Lisa of Hilton Mom Voyage

Langkawi, Malaysia

Langkawi Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up

Why: One of our favorite family-friendly places was in Langkawi, Malaysia.  Without a doubt, you will experience incredible sunsets and soft white sands, while enjoying the beautiful turquoise waters, but there is so much more.

What: If you like to have a little adventure, you can walk on the sky trek, ride jet skis, go hiking, explore off-road, or go up in a parasail.  But that is just the beginning and you can do most of that anywhere.  What makes Langkawi unique is all of the nature which surrounds you. You will experience rainforests, mangroves, wildlife, beaches, and even learn about their culture and legends. 

The snorkeling and diving are incredible and don’t skip the sunset dinner cruise.  It is absolutely majestic watching eagles soar above you, as you are out on the water.  That would be a rare sighting in the USA and they are plentiful while in Langkawi.  There is no doubt you will experience monkeys and other fun creatures, but don’t miss out on the pristine mangroves.

When: May be best for children who are elementary age so that they can participate in more activities however, any age is appropriate.

Contributed by Wagoner’s Abroad: Check out the Wagoners Abroad Ultimate Guide of 15 Things To Do in Langkawi.

The Maldives

Why: It may be the closest thing to heaven on Earth.

What: This tropical paradise is a great family getaway. With beautiful resorts, miles of beaches and plenty to keep adults and kids busy you’ll never want to leave.

When: any age.

Contributed by Monique of Mo Travels.

Vienna, Austria {at Christmas}

Vienna - Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up

Why: Famous Christmas markets with lots of seasonal treats and gifts.

What: Food stalls have a variety of seasonal and special treats. The Christmas decorations and lights will make kids smile and there might even be an appearance by Santa.

When: any age.

Contributed by MaryAnne of Mama Smiles.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney - Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up

Why: A kid-friendly city with lots to see and do.

What: Sydney is a great intro to the land down under for those from the Northern hemisphere. There’s the iconic Sydney Opera House, the harbor bridge, a world-class zoo, amazing beaches on its doorstep, and the Blue Mountains just outside the city.

When: any age.

Contributed by Bethaney of Flashpacker Family.

London, United Kingdom

Why: Go beyond the tourist sites.

What: If you’re going to London there are plenty of hidden gems like the Ceremony of the Keys that will give you a glimpse into historical London. If you’re visiting do some research to find these hidden gems instead of only following the crowds of tourists at the main attractions.

When: anytime.

Contributed by Sarah of Family Travel Times.

Toulouse, France

Toulouse, France

Why: It’s one of Europe’s fastest-growing cities.

What: Take the tourist train around the city or hop in a boat to cruise the Garonne River. If you’re an aviation nerd visit the Airbus headquarters and Space Training Center.

When: any age.

Contributed by Monique of Traveling Mom.

Antibes, France

Antibes France Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up

Why: Some of the most famous writers and painters had their greatest days in Antibes.

What: Take leisurely strolls, people watch while sipping coffee in a cafe, and lay out in the sun. When the sun starts going down pull up a table on the sidwalk with the locals to dig into amazing Provencal cuisine. Don’t forget to visit the Picasso museum which just might inspire your little artist.

When: older elementary and up.

Contributed by Dish Our Town.

Martinhal, Portuga

Martinhal Portugal

Why: To really escape

What: This outpost on Portugal’s Algarve has soft sand beaches and clear waters thanks to its protected status. If you need to recharge and get away this is the place to be.

When: any age.

Contributed by Lola of Lola Akinmade.

Experience Holi in India

Holi in India

Why: Kids love the chance to get dirty and throwing paint powder should get the job done!

What: Holi marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated by different religions in India. The most famous aspect of the festival is the paint throwing but there are other elements as well. If you’re going with kids try to celebrate in a contained area as the streets can get crazy and may be stressful for parents.

When: toddlers and up.

Contributed by Katja of Globetotting.

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands with kids

Why: Islands where kids can climb rocks and parents can relax.

What: The Baths of Virgin Gorda are an impressive natural feature that kids will love. Hundreds of giant rocks create tunnels, pools and ponds of water filled with tropical fish. Consider staying on this island to have access to the site instead of competing with day trippers.

When: any time!

Contributed by Tara of Pint Size Pilot.

San Blas Islands, Panama

San Blas Islands Panama

Why: Sailing around the islands of Panama is your shot at island life.

What: You don’t need your own boat to sail the islands. Boat charters are available and very reasonably priced.

When: toddlers and up. May not be the best idea for anyone who gets motion sickness.

Contributed by Tara of Pint Size Pilot.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Why: Stockholm is a beautiful city with many interesting places to visit. However, the main reason you should head there is because it is so family-friendly. By far the most family friendly place of any we have visited. Kids are not only welcome everywhere but even adult-focused attractions tend to have a kids area and activities meaning that even with preschoolers, we were able to actually enjoy museums!

What: There is so much to do with kids in Stockholm. Visit the Old Town at Gamla Stan, get Nobel prizes at the Nobel Museum, visit Djurgarden Island which is packed full of family-focused attractions and head out to the National Museum of Science and Technology and the Swedish Police Museum which the whole family will love as well.

When: Any age! It is especially good for preschoolers though since they are catered for so well.

Contributed by Sharon of Where’s Sharon.

Lake Louise and Banff Alberta, Canada

Banff Canada

Why: The crystal green glacial colors of Lake Louise & the majestic mountains around Banff National Park make this a fun family destination for outdoors fun.

What: Banff National Park is Canada’s 1st National Park & one that you shouldn’t miss. Take a road trip or fly Calgary to reach the park. It’s also close to Jasper National Park & the ice fields.

When: anytime

Contributed by Jen of Thrifty NW Mom

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Why:  Situated in the North of Thailand is Chiang Mai.  This area is well known on the 20 something backpacker route, but is also a great family destination.

What: There are numerous educational and fun activities in Chiang Mai. Meditate with Buddhist monks and learn about their lifestyle. Visit temples, shrines and other monuments. Attend local festivals and explore the jungle. Visit an elephant rescue or float down a river on a bamboo raft. The ultimate activity for the family is the floating lantern festival at the Yi Peng festival, with thousands of lanterns being released at the same time.

When: young elementary and up

Contributed by Heidi of Wagoners Abroad. Check out the Wagoners Abroad list of Family Friendly Things to do in Chiang Mai.

Patagonia, Chile

Patagonia, Chile

Why: Beautiful waters, ice fields, and ice caves coupled with friendly locals and great food.

What: Patagonia is a region that stretches through Chile and Argentina. It is best known for it’s glaciers at Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. Don’t miss the Capillas de Marmol, stunning marble caves, glacier trekking and taking a swim in the insanely clear water.

When: Wait for the teenager years to tackle Patagonia.

Read more on Two Monkeys Travel who shared their photo for this post.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen

Why: This northern European capital is often overlooked for more well-known destinations, making it perfect to visit!

What: The Disneyland-esque Tivoli Gardens are the second oldest public gardens in the world and the most visited theme park in Scandinavia. There are 26 rides and beautiful flower gardens scattered everywhere. With 40 restaurants to choose from and global inspiration everywhere kids and adults will be able to find something to enjoy.

When: any age, but kids 7 and up will have more options for rides.

Contributed by Mary of The World is a Book.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Why: It’s a beautiful UNESCO site nestled into Croatia.

What: Beautiful waterfalls, pools of shimmering water, and miles of walkways to explore for you and your family. The lakes change colors due to the minerals and organisms in the water. If you go in summer get there early to avoid crowds. In autumn you’ll also be wowed by the changing leaf colors.

When: anytime.

Contributed by SJ of Chasing the Donkey.

Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp Belgium

Why: Many people just think of Brussels but why not visit another great city in Belgium?

What: Sure it has a zoo and traditional museums but Antwerp also has more. Fort Liefkenshoek was built to protect the city and while not in the city proper is close by. Today it’s been made into a museum and experience center. There are games in nearly each room and did we mention it’s a fortress?

When: Upper elementary and up.

Contributed by Sofie of Wonderful Wanderings.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

Why: The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest marvels of ancient history and it won’t be around forever. First built in 700 BC, the Great Wall was originally a series of separate fortifications used to protect separate city-states. Once the different city-states were unified as one country, the walls were joined to create the Great Wall and protect China from the Mongols and other invaders. While the Wall has stood for over 2,000 years, much of it has been lost. It is estimated that 30% of the Wall has been damaged, stolen or fallen into disrepair and much of that has happened in the last 50 years.

What: Take a bus or hire a reputable tour company to take you there as part of a day-long tour trip. Various buses will leave in the morning from all over Beijing to take you to different sections and will return to your departure point in the afternoon. We went to the Mutianyu section and were able to take a cable car to the top and then toboggan down to the bottom.

When: Elementary/Tweens/Teens

Contributed by Erin of Traveling Thru History 

Pompeii, Italy

Streets of Pompeii

Why: Walk through ancient history.

What: The ancient city of Pompeii was completely covered for years but is now excavated. Many parents might be worried about visiting with kids due to the traumatic history of the site however it’s very kid-friendly and interesting. Book a kid-friendly tour to be sure they learn something too!

When: Mid-elementary and up.

Contributed by MarocMama.

Places to Go Before Your Kids Grow Up

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Friday 31st of July 2020

Amazing blog, I already have beent to some of the places in this list. A good list to create your bucket list of traveling. Thank you for sharing your ideas on this.


Wednesday 15th of May 2019

Glad to see Australia on this list. :-) Nice reference with the kids ages too.

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