Wintertime in Iceland doesn’t always rank at the top of a wintertime vacation with kids, but can be a completely magical experience. Aside from the scant sunlight hours and chilly weather, a wintertime excursion in Iceland can be full of intrigue, a warm water swim and mystical beings. Here’s where you should start.
See the Northern Lights
Iceland has an otherworldly quality that will blow your children’s minds with legends of elves, trolls and Mother Nature at play. A visit to see the Northern Lights is a must on your Icelandic winter trip. Guided tours from September through April are usually your best bet to see the Aurora Borealis and watch your children be amazed. However, if the auroras are strong, you may be able to see them on your own from Reykjavik or a less light-polluted area like Thingvellir.
See the Site of the First Democratic Parliament
Thingvellir is also on the list for things to do in Iceland with kids, but not just to see the Northern Lights. Thingvellir is the site where the Vikings set up the first democratic parliament and is a magical place to explore. Thingvellir is part of the popular Golden Circle tour that includes lava caves, Geysers At Haukadalur, Gullfoss waterfalls and Kerið Crater Lake. You can see them all or pick and choose depending on your family’s interest. But not only is Thingvellir historic and breathtaking, it’s also the place where the boundary of the North American tectonic plate and Eurasia meet. It makes for fantastic diving between the fissure in warmer months.
Visit Santa Klaus
It turns out Santa’s real workshop isn’t in the North Pole after all, but in the Icelandic city of Akureyri. The man in the red suit who runs it is suspiciously realistic, making parents and children alike think there’s something to this Santa in Iceland legend after all. His workshop features toys and goodies, some for sale as keepsakes. Your children can also pen a letter to leave behind in a mailbox that only Santa can read.
Take a Soak in a Geothermal Pool
Swimming in Iceland isn’t just possible during the wintertime, it’s also a favorite pastime in the country’s warm, geothermal pools. Older kids will love the Blue Lagoon with trays of white silica mud the family can slather on their skin. Parents can also stay and get a massage and do other fun grown-up stuff. Other must-sees on your list are the Secret Lagoon in Flúdir and Seljavallalaug for a family-friendly swim. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of warm water swimming options. Even downtown Reykjavik has heated swimming pools near its urban center.
Hang Out with the Vikings
Kids can see how the vikings lived in the Viking World Museum in Reykjavik with a replica of an old Viking ship. Families get a look at the Viking’s crafts, fishing and tools used to survive and thrive in ancient times. There’s also a section where the kids can dress up in fun Viking costumes, perfect for a selfie for social media fodder.
Go on an Elf Sighting Tour
Hafnarfjördur is famous for its elf, dwarves and mystical beings no one has yet to capture on film. Maybe your kids can be the first with a tour through Hafnarfjördur. The centuries-old folklore says the elf clans are hidden away in rocks and are part of the town’s center. You may think it’s silly and fun and games, until you see all of the rock outcropping and completely mystifying landscape Iceland has to offer. Your big takeaway from Iceland will be that its magic is alive and well.
With cooler weather and fall colors on its way, it’s time to plan your fall family travels. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort PA Wilds in Mansfield is the perfect destination, and with both scary and not-so-scary events, kids and parents alike can celebrate the festive season with trick-or-treating, fall crafts, fun with the Yogi Bear characters and more.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Oktoberfest is not all about beer. Although beer does play a major role, many of these German-themed fall festivals include activities fun for the whole family. You don’t need to travel to Munich to enjoy the oom-pah bands, lively dances, colorful Bavarian dress and traditional German foods; you can find them in almost all regions of the United States this October. Here are some good choices for families:
Rome is a city full of musts for visitors. You must visit the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps. And the list goes on, all the way down to trying gelato. No trip to Rome would be complete without the obligatory sweet treat, and for good reason. Gelato is delicious, refreshing and it comes in every flavor you can imagine. But while you can find it just about everywhere you turn in the Eternal City, it’s important to know not all gelatos are created equal. The city is brimming with fakes, and once you know how to tell the difference, not only will you see the fake stuff everywhere, but you will also refuse to settle for less than authentic.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Looking for a unique, fun and educational activity for the kids during your next family travels? Well, Kidzania has you covered. Located in Dallas, Texas, this city is not only built for kids but also run by kids. It’s unlike any other entertainment parks; in Kidzania, kids learn useful knowledge, skills and experiences, all while having the chance to be independent.