Family vacations make wonderful memories. Here are a few ideas that you can roll over in your mind.
Paris is beautiful in the winter season, as it is filled with cozy cafes and festive events for families to enjoy. Slow down and savor your favorite museums and monuments — spending one-on-one time with Mona Lisa is worth the extra layers you may have to pack.
- What to Do: There’s no experience quite like visiting Paris with your children and European tour operator City Wonders’ Louvre Museum Highlights for Families is a 2-hour tour designed specifically for travelers with young children includes fun interactive visual aids to keep kids entertained. The expert guide will bring the masterpieces to life with amusing commentary and anecdotes created for kids. Plus, if a family still has interest, the ticket allows them to continue to explore the rest of the immeasurable museum on their own. Tickets from $75.11 per child/ $80.48 per adult.
Visiting London in the winter is quite fun and there are many entertaining activities to offer to families with children. From ice skating at Somerset House to Hyde Par Winter Wonderland, there is no shortage of events to try.
- What to Do: On European tour operator City Wonders’ Fully Guided Warner Bros. Studio Harry Potter Tour, families can enjoy a unique tour where an expert guide will reveal secrets and take guests through a behind-the-scenes journeys of the original sets, props and costumes from all eight of the films. Guests can take a look inside the Gryffindor common room, walk along the famous cobbled street of Diagon Alley, visit the original Hogwarts Express locomotive and Platform 9 ¾, where they can pose with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the platform wall, Hagrid’s Hut and much more. Tickets from $36.13 per infant/ $148.25 per child/ $160.71 per adult.
Families can enjoy the natural beauties of Ireland in the winter, with a drive or hike through the snow-covered countryside from the Ring of Kerry to Killarney National Park. The comfort-food winter cuisine is also sure to please, featuring warm stews, root vegetables and the famous seasonal Irish oysters.
- What to Do: Visit on a self-drive itinerary with Brendan Vacations. The Ireland expert organizes all aspects of the trip, perfect for the family to enjoy views of the Irish countryside including the iconic Cliffs of Moher, as well as historic Dublin and the medieval city of Kilkenny. Guests will also stay in the luxurious Adare Manor, a beautiful, traditional Irish manor with activities for the whole family like falconry, horseback riding and archery. The self-drive package includes a rental car, premier accommodations, and tour and dining highlights for prices starting at $1,455 per person.
Unlike other European cities in winter, Portugal features blue skies and mild temperatures, especially along the Atlantic Coast in cities like Lisbon. Walking tours in the crisp winter weather are the perfect way for families to see historic cities like Evora and Coimbra and enjoy their sites without the peak season crowds.
- What to Do: Visit on Trafalgar’s brand-new Wonders of Portugal itinerary to explore the country’s gothic architecture and taste the fresh seafood in Lisbon, Evora, Viseu, Porto, Fatima and more. Families will marvel at the iconic suspension bridge spanning the River Tagus, explore UNESCO World Heritage Site Hieronymite Monastery and visit the famous Livraria Lello, Porto’s oldest book store with its beautiful red staircase. Prices start at $1,595 per person and include eight nights first class accommodations, 12 meals, on-trip transportation and tour highlights.
There are few places in Europe more beautiful than Frankfurt on a crisp, cold, winter day. It’s a fantastic choice for families to visit during the holiday break, as they can take historical train rides, visit markets, go ice skating and more.
- What to Do: Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offers the Generations Collection on its Classic Christmas Markets December 15th sailing, which includes family-friendly amenities, kid-focused activities, cooking classes and more. For example, on this sailing families can go on a “Christmas with dinosaurs” tour, take a pretzel or gingerbread baking class, and learn about life in the medieval times. Each day on a Generation Collection cruise, Uniworld offers a few different excursions, so families can decide to explore together or split up based on age or interest. Better yet, the fare is 25% off for children ages 4-17.