There’s something of a fairy-land nature about Venice, where everything is a bit magic. The streets are made of water, the buildings are bright colors, stone-edged windows curve in wavy shapes, women in elaborate Baroque costumes stand in front of fanciful buildings, men propelling boats break into song as they float past — it sometimes seems to kids like a giant fun-house.
While the city is magic for all ages, experiencing so much that’s new can be overwhelming for little kids. Bring them into the fascinating story that’s Venice by giving them some interesting things to look for as you tour.
Lions are everywhere — carved over doorways, pictured on flags, in pairs guarding entrances, standing atop pillars, pictured in paintings. Make finding them a treasure hunt and see who can spot the most. Begin by taking pictures of little kids sitting on the well-worn lion in the little square beside St Mark’s Basilica (at the side farthest from the water). Generations of Venetian and visiting children have been pictured there.
A walk around the vast square will turn up a good start for their collection — one on the clock tower, one high on a pillar overlooking the Grand Canal, more on the Doge’s Palace and Basilica. Scarves and banners in the souvenir stands add to the count. With that as a head-start, go in any direction and they’re sure to spot more. A lion with wings is the symbol of St. Mark, Venice’s patron saint, and older kids may be interested to learn they can tell whether Venice was at war or at peace when the winged lion was carved. If it holds an open book under its paw, they were at peace. The book is closed when Venice was at war.
Kids will be fascinated by the masks they see everywhere, from feathered and sequined or harlequin eye-masks to full-face clowns and masks with bird-like bills. You’ll see them in shop windows and souvenir stands, but a visit to a mask-maker will fascinate kids. They can watch as the ornate masks are painted and decorated. Look in the narrow streets of San Polo, beyond Rialto Bridge, for studios like TragiComica, where there are often mask-makers at work and the staff is especially child-friendly. Masks are a good souvenir and light to carry. At Ca’ Macana, near Campo San Barnaba in Dorsoduro, kids can really get into mask-making and paint their own to take home. You’ll need to reserve ahead for a class.
While in Campo San Barnaba, don’t miss Signor Blum, a corner shop filled with beautiful wooden puzzles. Most of these colorful creations have larger interlocking pieces designed as toys, but smaller animals and charming rows of Venetian houses make attractive decorator pieces — also easy to carry home. Moored just outside is a little floating grocery store piled with fruits and vegetables, an only-in-Venice sight our kids loved. It started them on a lively contest to find other unusual uses for boats — including a hearse, an ambulance and a gondola carrying a wedding party.
A trip by Vaporetto to the island of Murano is an adventure of its own, and once there children can watch glass-blowers turn lumps of bright-colored molten glass into beautiful goblets, dishes and vases. You can depend on Venice to provide endless entertainment for kids.
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
Tokyo is a fascinating city that draws visitors for many reasons. Some go for the city’s exceptional cuisine, some look to experience a city teeming with technical innovations, while others go to discover Japan’s fascinating culture. But one theme seems to be constant no matter what your reason for visiting the city; it is a great place for family travelers, with plenty to see and do.
Are your upcoming family travels taking you on a road trip? It’s not always easy trying to keep an eye on the little ones while also keeping an eye on the road, but with Tiny Traveler, parents can have peace of mind about their child's safety on the road. This safe companion monitors the kids and can even record precious moments for eternity.
Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.