Who says culture has to be boring? Kids aren’t generally fans of museums and art galleries, so we’ve made a list of lands of cultural adventures we reckon they’ll love.
1. Italy – making the perfect pizza in Puglia
Italians famously love kids, and we’re yet to meet a child who doesn’t like pizza and pasta, so a cultural cooking holiday in Italy is a winner! Head to Puglia in the heel of Italy’s boot; explore the fairy-tale Trullo houses, and stay at Masseria Torre Coccaro for its famous cooking school. The chefs will take you to the beautiful harbor town of Monopoli where you’ll see fresh displays of weird and wonderful seafood. Take a gourmet bike ride through to a buffalo farm and see how they make stretchy mozzarella, before making your own pizza and pasta from scratch, and all the while learning Italian.
2. Japan – Hello Kitty & Harajuku girls
We love Japan for kids as the transport is so efficient, it’s incredibly safe, and has a fascinating contrast between ancient culture and quirky, futuristic cities. Start off in Tokyo, where the children will love the colourful mix of Hello Kitty and Harajuku girls, the space age skyscrapers, sleeping pods, and even the toilets which have enough buttons to rival a rocket! Hop on the bullet train to Yudanaka, for red faced monkeys and thermal springs, on to Kyoto where you can see doll-like geisha’s, ancient temples, and learn traditional Japanese calligraphy and how to play the ancient Taiko “big drum”. Lastly in Osaka, the gourmet capital and most youthful of Japans cities, you can sample local delicacies like octopus lollies!
3. USA – Cowboy culture in Colorado and Montana
From classic spaghetti westerns, to Back to the Future III set in “the Old West”, adults and kids alike are fascinated by US cowboy culture, so it’s worth combining some authentic “western” action on your US adventure. At Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, which is nestled among the Rocky Mountains, you can experience what life was like in an 1800’s mining town. Beautifully restored by Relais & Chateaux, the former ghost-town offers authentic pioneer activities like riding through the Rockies, fly-fishing, rafting, and spending the night in a wigwam. The Ranch at Rock Creek offers a similar experience in Montana, with beautiful log cabins, rides in pioneer wagons, and cowboy skill lessons set against the Sapphire Mountains.
4. Iceland – Vikings, Norse Gods and Elves
Known as a “land of fire and ice”, Iceland has a stunning other worldly landscape that couldn’t be further from home: steeped in folklore from Vikings to Norse Gods, and even elves! Introduce your kids to Iceland’s health outdoor culture, by exploring just beyond Reykavik. You can go riding past lava fields and huge snorting geysers; raft down the Hvítá river before jumping in; see the Gullfoss waterfall, and of course take a dip in the legendary Blue Lagoon. To learn more about Iceland’s people, you can visit the beautiful little village of Stykkishólmur where you’ll see a traditional Norse house; head to Hólmavík for the Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft, and see the model houses built for the elves among the lava rocks on a “hidden people” tour.
5.Oman – an Aladdin style adventure
Oman offers year round sunshine and is perfect for a half term escape. Start off in the capital Muscat, with its colorful souks, glittery pink mosques, and camels, before heading a few hours into the desert of Wahiba Sands. On route you can take a dip in an emerald green Wadi oasis, but the real treat is a Bedouin-style camping adventure at the luxury Hud Hud camp. Teach the kids about nomadic culture with camel rides over the dunes, traditional music, and a scrumptious Arabic feast beneath the stars. Magical.