With its rich history, incredible architecture and iconic landmarks, London has no shortage of attractions for visitors. But when you’ve finished with the obligatory visits to Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Big Ben, check out these lesser-known attractions great for kids to make sure the whole family has the best vacation possible.
Explore the World of Harry Potter
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour offers a firsthand look at the studio where many of the beloved Harry Potter films were made. Visitors can explore two soundstages and a backlot home to original props, costumes and sets. The tour includes demonstrations of the films’ incredible special effects, like the Whomping Willow, the Chamber of Secrets door, Quidditch matches and Harry’s invisibility cloak, as well as how magical creatures like Buckbeak, Aragog and the basilisk were created. Adult tickets cost £45 and £37 for children 5–15. Children under 5 get in for free. Family packages are also available.
Take a Walking Tour of Famous Sites
Fans of the Harry Potter movies will also love the Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour. This tour is not associated with the Warner Bros. Studio Tour and instead takes you on a 2.5-hour walking tour of London that includes many familiar sites from the movie, such as platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station, where you can take pictures with props. In addition to Harry Potter-related sites this tour also includes other famous London locations such as the 800-year-old Borough Market, Scotland Yard, the world’s smallest police station and Trafalgar Square. Tour tickets are $25.50 per person.
See the City From the Sky on the London Eye
The London Eye, an observation wheel located on the bank of the River Thames, is one of the most iconic sites in London today. The windowed pods give guests a 360-degree view of the city and on a clear day you can see as far as 25 miles away. A standard ticket costs £30 and includes admission to the on-site 4-D cinema experience and Champagne bar. You can save money by purchasing your tickets online ahead of time. You can also purchase a more expensive fast track ticket and save time by skipping the line. The Eye is open daily (with the exception of Christmas Day), but hours of operation vary depending on time of year.
Ride the World’s Longest Tunnel Slide
Visit the ArcelorMittal Orbit, London’s impressive winding steel structure built for the 2012 Olympic Games. Resembling a vertical roller coaster, this structure houses an observation deck on top of the tower along with the world’s longest tunnel slide — 178 kilometers of twists, turns and a dizzying corkscrew. Tickets for the slide and observation deck cost £16.50 for adults and £10.50 for kids. The observation deck and slide are open daily and children must be at least 8 years old and 1.3 meters (4.2 feet) tall to ride the slide.
Zermatt’s colorful ski boutique-lined Bahnhofstrasse, stylish apartment-style lodgings of every description and views of the Matterhorn from every angle make up one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations — and it certainly does not hurt that it is proclaimed the “world’s best ski resort” by organizations like SnowOnline.com year after year. During the warmer months, meanwhile, you will see many family groups with kids strolling the shopping streets (sometimes alongside a herd of about 50 free-range Valais Blackneck goats around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.), enjoying fondue and pizza at nearby cafés, and taking advantage of the many hiking and bike trails.
By Hainan Airlines
San Diego is a great destination for families looking for fun no matter what time of year it is, but this fall, there is plenty to do for everyone — even when you have a budget. Thanks to year-round sunshine, the best way to explore this city is by heading outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Just because the kids have gone back to school and the days have started getting shorter doesn’t mean summer fun has to end. There are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy what’s left of the dwindling season. You can extend your warm weather adventures with these activities all over the country.
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.
The movies and cruise vacations actually have a lot in common: fascinating ports of call, making friends with interesting people, new sensory experiences, the constant change of scenery. When you think about it, it’s no surprise many classic comedies and romances are set aboard cruise ships, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, Royal Wedding (1951), An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant, the more recent and kid-friendly Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and the long-running television series Love Boat.