Museums and toddlers are rarely uttered in the same breath for a reason. Their little bodies and minds just can’t deal with the expectations of enduring adult-sized fun resembling forced quiet and endless tedium. But that doesn’t mean Mom and Dad have to forgo a much-anticipated trip to the museum because their toddler has all the feels of how they want to spend their day. Come equipped with a stroller, plenty of contraband snacks and a plan of action to turn your outing into a successful experience.
Head to the Children’s Area
Even the most glorious museums in the world usually have a children’s area or room to explore. If there’s no kids’ room to be seen, look online or call ahead about family programs and workshops for interactive fun. The Guggenheim offers Open Studio for families to explore art and make projects together.
Do Your Homework
Even toddlers can appreciate how what they’re learning in preschool or home connects with what they see in a museum. Plan ahead and see what the museum offers and then incorporate some of that learning at home. The Art Institute of Chicago offers a Touch Gallery with touchable sculptures from different time periods. Meanwhile, Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta also has kid-friendly fun with a NatureQuest room that turns kids into explorers, scientists and adventurers in an immersive room just for kids and toddlers.
Grab a Snack
The same ground rules for dealing with a toddler at home also applies to the museum. Don’t get so distracted by what’s going on with your vacation you fail to recognize their cues. Are they overwhelmed by the people? Get outside for fresh air. Are they cranky and inconsolable? They may need a break or just a snack. This is the time to duck into the museum café for a special treat, fruit or a smoothie to recharge their little bodies and change the channel in their brain to something else. By the time they’re done, they’ll probably forget why they hated Picasso so much and will be up for a stroller ride through the next exhibit.
Divide and Conquer
You’ve exhausted all of your tricks and your toddler still isn’t having it. Remember museums just aren’t terribly interesting for toddlers, and you really can’t blame them when they’re limited on what they can touch and scream at. This is the time to divide and conquer with your spouse or travel partners. Adults can trade off in the children’s room or look outside for some fun. Most museums have lush gardens, trails or even play structures for kids to enjoy when they’re too restless to deal with the art and science inside.
Offer a Bribe
We all want our kids to do the right thing and learn to compromise, but toddlers are still learning how to manage their wants, needs and emotions and it’s just not realistic to expect them to deal with an art museum when they know an amusement park awaits. Tell them you would love to let them pick out a small toy from the gift shop or grab a special ice cream with sprinkles if they can use an indoor voice and give parents some time in the museum. This technique won’t work for everyone, but even toddlers have their form of currency and sometimes they just need an incentive to cope with an otherwise underwhelming museum.
Only the bravest of family travelers should venture to Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights. Every year, Universal Orlando turns into the spookiest place in Florida, if not in the country. On select nights throughout the season, visitors and locals alike can head to the popular amusement park for frights, scares and thrilling adventures. Explore 10 terrifying haunted houses; five scare zones; live entertainment; and themed attractions, food and merchandise.
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.
With kids back in school and the grueling temperatures of summer finally behind us, life is starting to get back into the routine of fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that family fun has to stop. Big international trips may not be practical for all family travelers this time of year, but places like South County in Rhode Island offer so many fun things to do for families, a quick trip to this East Coast haven is practically a must.
Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition
Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.
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.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …