Switzerland with Kids – Best hikes and activities in Valais

Switzerland with Kids – Best hikes and activities in Valais

If you’ve ever dreamt of exploring Switzerland with kids, then the region (they call it a canton) of Valais in the Swiss Alps is the perfect place to start. Home to the Matterhorn mountain, the resort town of Zermatt, upper Rhône River Valley vineyards, the Aletsch Glacier and the scenic Glacier Express train, you are going to love exploring Switzerland with kids.

Who better to tell us about all of the amazing things to do in Valais, than local parent Corina Swan. Here is her guide to Valais.

Best hikes and activities Valais, Switzerland with kids

The canton of Valais in the southern part of Switzerland is our favorite place for hiking and kids activities, due to its breathtaking beauty and range of things to do for all ages. More than 8,000 kilometers of marked hiking trails lead you through meadows, vineyards, along historic irrigation channels, and to mystical alpine lakes. For the more advanced hikers, paths-ways will guide you up to several mountain huts and glacier viewpoints which are nestled between the majestic four-thousand-metre peaks unique to the Valais.

There is a true love relationship between the Valais and the sun. With 300 days of sunshine a year, more than the Côte d’Azur in France, your outdoor days are almost guaranteed to be filled with sunshine.

The Valais is also home to the famous Toblerone shaped mountain – the Matterhorn in Zermatt and the start of the scenic Glacier Express train.

But the Valais has more to offer! Below you will find a great selection of our favorites hikes and activities mainly based in the Central-Valais. All hikes and activities listed can be adapted to the ability of the whole family.

Summit the Mont-Fort peak 3330m

Mont-Fort Switzerland family vacation

Ever wanted to feel like you’re standing on top of the world? Situated in the centre of the 4 Vallées domain, is the Mont-Fort. With its 3330m altitude and breathtaking 360° views, the summit offers the feeling of being on top of the world.

On a clear day, the panorama offers an endless list of visible mountains which includes the famous Mont Blanc in France, the Matterhorn or Cervin as it’s called in the Valais area, and most of Switzerland’s 4000m peaks.

And now this is the best thing of all, no hard training for week after week to have this experience. To reach the top, you simply need to purchase a day pass at the ticket-office in Siviez. Kids up to 6 years old are summiting for free, I call this a great advantage!

The journey involves firstly a chairlift from the bottom station in Siviez which is at 1760m up to Tortin. How exciting is this! I suggest you start your day as early as possible, best to go up with some of the first chairs, and you will be greeted by some of the cutest locals, the Mountain Marmots.

The early warmth of the sun will lure them from their homes and if you’re lucky there are plenty of these funny looking mammals to be seen. Remember you must be quiet, so they don’t hide from you. Spot them literally just below the chairlift as you’re riding up. Hop off the chairlift and into the larger cable car which will carry you up to 2950m altitude, to Les Gentianes.

Take out your binoculars and search on the right-hand rocky face for the Alpine ibex, also known as the Steinbock, Bouquetin, or simply Ibex. Ask the cable-car person if he or she have already spotted some on their first ascent. If they see you’re interested they will try to help you spot them.

The next cable car, yes there is another one, I told you this is a jam-packed fun activity day, will be your last one and will take you up to 3330m. It rides above the Tortin Glacier. Check out the crevasses along the ride, especially if you have never seen one before.

Voila, you’ve made it. The top of the world, or should I say the top of the Valais.

Getting back to the carpark in Siviez

You can choose whether you go back down by the two cable cars to Tortin from where you can then catch the chairlift to the car park in Siviez, or walk down with the family. The walk will probably take about 1-2 hours depending on the ages of your children. It is a gentle downhill path, leading you along a mountain stream, down by alpine meadows and past a real alpine cheese making cabane.

Alternatives

Families with older kids could hang their mountain bikes on to the chairlift for free and bring them up to Tortin, leave them there whilst summiting the Mont Fort and cycle down to the car park at the end of the day.

Travel Advice for Mont Fort

Bring warm jackets, even if it is a hot summers day. Remember, you’re going up to 3330m.

Check the timetable for the lifts, as the Mont Fort transportation system is only open a limited time of the year. And honestly, if the weather is not clear, save this for another day when the rewards will be better. You can still go up to Tortin and walk or cycle down for example.

If you’re not sure about bringing your very young ones up to this altitude, check with your pediatric clinic. As we live here and are used to the altitude, we see things a bit differently. Our doctors always say as long as the kid can express himself and tell you how he/she is feeling, a visit to greater altitude is ok. But you have to be the judge on this.

Good to know about Mont Fort

If you are patient and a bit lucky, you will be able to see marmots, ibex, chamois, or deer.

Learn and discover along the Sentier des Sens “Trail of the Senses”

Maison de la foret kids walk Switzerland

We feel as long as there is a point of interest or an activity on a hike, the kids are much more interested and willing to walk. And this is why our next proposal is just perfect as it has interaction for the whole family. The hike itself can be adapted to your family’s walking abilities, and no matter what you decide, it stays a great hike. Perfect for the little mountain hikers that are just starting to train their tiny leg muscles. Also accessible with a stroller or pram, how great is that! The entire loop is 2.7km long.

The start of this walk is in the Village of La Tzoumaz which is part of the 4 Vallées domain. Arriving in La Tzoumaz follow the signposts “Maison de la Forêt”. The “Maison de la Forêt”, the forest house, itself is an attraction and a worthwhile stop on its own. Situated on a plateau overlooking the Rhone Valley with views only rarely seen, awaits this little gem, feeling like a house in a children’s fairytale book.

Tucked away in corners are comfy cushions allowing you and the family to get cosy, whilst mum or dad can read to the family one of the many books available for guests use. Crayons and paper are also available, so have the kids draw this amazing view and keep it on paper for a souvenir.

On the upper level, there are many interactive learning displays, a whole exhibition of the kinds of birds native to the area, with soundtracks of their differing calls. In a lower room, a great selection of stuffed mountain mammals can be observed. Very educational for all ages.

If you can get the kids away from this great place, you can now start the walk. Nicely signposted, it guides you through the forest area along a water stream, which is called the “Bisse de Saxon” the longest Bisse in Europe.

Along the path are 11 question posts with quizzes, so you can get to know the forest better. At the beginning of the path, there is a free booklet to take to write your answers. At the end of the walk, you can collect a prize, but only if your answers are correct. This is a great way to keep the older kids interested.

Halfway along the walk is a great picnic area with shelter and a waterwheel. Another perfect place to stop and let the kids play and have your lunch break. If you have little hikers in your family, this is a good spot to turn around and walk back. Further along are some more posts to answer and a tiny barefoot path to feel the different sensations on your feet. You have to return the same way.

Alternatives to Sentier des Sens full walk

The whole route can be reduced as mentioned. One suggestion would be; instead of parking your car be the “Maison de la Forêt”, carry on driving until you reach the picnic area and park there. This gives you two options, especially with younger kids, to start with the second part of the walk, then turn around and walk back to the Maison de la Forêt. Someone would need to drive the car back. Or have your picnic there, play in the water stream and visit the Maison de la Forêt afterward for a dessert, a coffee, and all the interactive displays.

Travel Advice for Sentier des Sens

Bring extra clothes for the kids, as the water stream is so tempting that the chance of having wet children is highly possible.

Good to know about Sentier des Sens

Stroller/pram accessible all along!

Tracouet with Kids

Lac Noir Switzerland family trip

Tracouet and its’ Lac Noir can be reached by taking a ride up in a gondola cable car, offering stunning views down to the bottom of the Rhone Valley. A highlight on its own for everyone.

The gondola station is situated in the centre of the Village of Haute-Nendaz and runs from June to October non-stop. Tickets can be bought directly at the cash desk by the entrance. Remember kids are free up to 6 years of age!

Colourful alpine-flowers, snowy peaks, and a crystal shimmering mountain lake will make you feel like you have entered a little paradise.

The play area at Tracouet

Probably one of the best playgrounds and nature areas above the altitude of 2170m in the Valais.

For sure with their shiny eyes wide open, the kids will at first admire the play-area just outside the gondola station. Whether it is the great trampoline, or the cool fire engine, and not to forget the two slides and climbing tower, a fun time is pretty much guaranteed.

Drinks and food can be ordered in the adjacent restaurant right by the play area.

Lac Noir

An exciting venture around the Lake “Lac Noir” is our main attraction. Seeking the salamander with their bright orange belly or catching and observing the tadpoles. Curiously watching the other creatures residing in the lake which look more like they come from another planet, makes this such a great educational nature activity.

And on top of it all, you’re surrounded by stunning scenery and breathtaking mountain views! I mean seriously, 360° of un-spoilt nature at its best. Take a picnic by the lake or have lunch at the restaurant by the play area, no matter what it will be an absolutely great day.

Alternative activities in Tracouet and Lac Noir

With older kids in your family, you could fit in some of the marked hikes before discovering the lake area. But this is also a great place to bring your bikes and cycle down, instead of taking the gondola back down to the village.

Travel advice for Tracouet

For all Tracouet activities, make sure to bring an extra jacket no matter the weather in the village. I also advise to check the timetable for the last cable car down to town. You do not want to miss it, as this is an area where I do not recommend to walk down. Sorry for spoiling this for you, but I believe it is too steep at the end and too hard on your and your little hiker’s knees.

Good to know about Tracouet

Tracouet summit is stroller/pram accessible, even down to the lake. When you are at the lake, there are toilets in the little cabin partially hidden by a hill behind the lake towards the valley. So, no need to walk all the way back up to the restaurant.

Hiking the historical Bisse de Savièse Torrent-Neuf

Switzerland with Kids - Bisse du Torent neuf bridge

I mentioned it before, but as long as there are some interactions on a hike, the kids will walk. At the Bisse de Savièse Torrent Neuf, situated in Savièse there are a bunch of suspension bridges and a bear that will make your little one’s hike without having to bribe them.

A quick explanation on what a “Bisse” is? Bisses are historic irrigation channels of the Valais. An open ditch delivering priceless and much-needed water from mountain streams, often by daring routes, to provide water for the agriculture fields and vineyards. Some are still in use today.

Before you consider this hike, you must be sure to love suspension bridges! There are four in total all about 100m long.

When arriving in Savièse, follow the brown signposts for Bisse du Torrent Neuf. Ignore the first two parking areas and drive to the very last one. This way, you will save yourselves a fair bit of time and walking.

You have to decide on how long you want to hike, as it is a there and back route. With our three-year-olds, we normally go past the second bridge before we turn around. We always make sure to say hello to the bear!

The full hike along the 6km path leads first through the forest and alongside the water stream. We like to call this the Harry Potter forest. It looks like a hobbity, witchy area to us. Once at the chapel and the Buvette (restaurant), the official Bisse will start. Have a look around the chapel; you can still see the ancient kitchen which provided food for the workers. In memory and respect for all the people who were involved in the original build, you can ring the church bell.

All along the Bisse you have historic photographs and explanations of how it was built plus other important facts. This makes the hike such a great family adventure.

You will be rewarded with impressive views and landscapes. The sheer drop below the bridges will give you an understanding of how difficult it must have been to build this irrigation system.

Alternative hiking routes Bisse de Savièse Torrent Neuf

For families with younger kids, you can park even closer to the bisse. Continue past the last parking place and keep on driving up the road until you get to a 180° bend. Just after the bend you will see where the walking path crosses this road. Carry on another 20 metres or so, and park on the left-hand side. Start your hike from here! We normally have one hour from here to the second suspension bridge, which gives a good two hours hike for the 3 years old. This includes throwing thousands of stones into the Bisse, picking up nearly ever bug we find on the way, playing by the chapel and having some other great stops to take in the full beauty of this hike.

Travel Advice for Bisse de Savièse Torrent-Neuf

Up to a certain age I recommend to have a 1:1 ratio of adults to children. I was super nervous at first when we started this hike as it has some sheer drops. But having said that, all was perfectly under control. Just keep an eye on them and where you see it is necessary, hold their hands, not negotiable!

This hike is not accessible in wet weather or just after a heavy rainfall. There are actually gates blocking off the path when conditions are dangerous.

Good to know about Bisse de Savièse Torrent-Neuf

There is a great Buvette which offers lunch and drinks but they do not have ice-creams! If you offer the kids an ice-cream reward after their walk you need to drive down into Savièse afterward and buy some in a local supermarket.

Parc Aventure Sion

Parc Aventure Sion Valais Switzerland with kids

What would be an activity holiday without a visit to an aerial adventure park up in the trees? Les Iles in Sion is situated next to a lake and shaded by many of the pine trees which support the whole adventure park – Parc Aventure Sion.

The park offers 11 courses (3 suitable for children aged 4-7), 176 challenges, 40 zip wires, and a drop off Quick Jump to provide even mum and dad with a challenge! All participants wear a harness and the system does not allow you to unclip between the start and finish so you are safe at all times.

It is signposted “Les Iles-Parc Aventure” There are two parking areas, both are situated about a 10 min walk from the park.

Alternatives to Parc Aventure Sion

There are no real alternatives as you either like an aerial adventure park or you don’t. But there are many other attractions Les Iles has to offer (see below).

Travel Advice for Parc Aventure Sion

I would suggest wearing long trousers and good shoes for this activity.

Good to know about Parc Aventure Sion

Apart from the adventure park, the area offers tennis, mini golf, giant trampoline (peak season only) volley-ball field, rock climbing wall, swimming in the lake, paddle-boarding and a great play area. You could take your bikes and cycle around the bicycle path or just relax and observe it all. There is a designated bbq area and a miniature train runs in peak season and at weekends.

Great area to bring your picnic basket and blanket. Stroller/pram accessible!

I hope you have enjoyed our BEST hikes and activities for kids in Valais Switzerland.

Author: Corina from Packed Again

My name is Corina, a mum of twins, a wife to my amazing husband, and a passionate traveler and founder of Packed Again, the Family Travel and Adventure Blog. We live in the most amazing mountain valley in Switzerland, the Valais.

Being out there as a family, either locally or whilst travelling is super important for our well-being and sanity. There is nothing more rewarding than taking in the fresh mountain air on a local hike, being mesmerised by some amazing landscapes and astonished by interesting facts about a new country, together as a family.

And most of all, learning to see all the above from the viewpoint of two very funny toddlers!
It is our aim to encourage all families who are daunted and uncomfortable taking the kids travelling, to go out there as a family. Do it once and you will not regret it!

Follow Corina’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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Which is the best LEGOLAND in the world? A LEGOLAND review

Which is the best LEGOLAND in the world? A LEGOLAND review

Which is the best LEGOLAND for you? A worldwide LEGOLAND review

Do your kids absolutely love LEGO and dream of visiting LEGOLAND? With eight LEGOLAND theme parks around the world, the question is, which one is the best LEGOLAND for you?

There are LEGOLAND Resorts in Denmark, Germany, England, Dubai, Malaysia, Japan, and Florida and California in the US, offering interactive family rides, live shows, LEGO building, and incredible attractions like Miniland, the LEGOLAND Driving School and the Dragon roller coaster.

We’ve visited LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark, which was an incredible experience for our boys and they dream of visiting them all. Since that isn’t going to happen any time soon, we’ve enlisted the expertise of some well-known family travel writers to find out what it’s like to visit each of the eight LEGOLAND amusement parks.

To help you out as much as possible, we’ve also given you information on the best LEGOLAND rides at each park, fun facts and accommodation. Take a look at our LEGOLAND review to see which one you want to visit.

What age is LEGOLAND for?

LEGOLAND is designed for children aged between two and twelve, but there are so many things to do at LEGOLAND for kids and adults of any age, that you’re sure to have fun as a family. We think the best age for LEGOLAND is between five and eleven but it all depends on your child, how long they can last at a theme park and how much they are into LEGO.

LEGOLAND Billund, Denmark

Legoland billund driving school legoland review

LEGOLAND Billund is the original LEGOLAND park built in 1968, and to us, is the ultimate LEGOLAND. It may not be the biggest LEGOLAND but there is something really special about being in the birthplace of LEGO (and the happiest country on earth). Billund is a small town in regional Denmark, about 260km west of Copenhagen.

LEGOLAND Billund will keep the kids entertained for a couple of days with more than 50 exciting rides to try out. You can defeat the Great Devourer on Ninjago the Ride, travel the Dragon roller coaster through the King’s Castle, and put out fires in the Falck Fire Brigade race. There are jungle racers, xtreme racers, pirate boats, Duplo planes and LEGO trains to ride on, plus there is Miniland to marvel at. One thing’s for sure, your kids won’t be is bored.

Our boy’s favourite was definitely Ninjago World where they got to see life sized figures of all their favourite characters, plus go on Cole’s Rock Climb, Lloyd’s Lasermaze and the clear winner of the day, Ninjago the Ride. The other favourite was the Driving School for kids aged 7-13, where they got to drive electric cars around a specialised track, complete with petrol station and car wash.

While you are in Billund, spend some time at the new LEGO House, which is an amazing indoor activity and education centre that is separate to LEGOLAND.

By Nicci from Travel with Boys – READ MORE on visiting LEGOLAND Denmark

If you’re looking for accommodation, take a look at our review on where to stay in Billund.

Check latest prices for accommodation at LEGOLAND Billund

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort review

Legoland Windsor review

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is located about 25 miles west of London. It is the perfect place to visit with LEGO-mad kids. We have visited several times and always had a great time.

There are so many rides and attractions at LEGOLAND Windsor it needs a full day. We would advise getting there early to gain entry at 9.30am, ready for the rides, which open at 10am. Another top tip would be to book online in advance, to get the best prices. Download the map beforehand so you know where you want to go and plan a route around the park.

Our three boys love many of the rides at LEGOLAND Windsor but here are some of their favourites. The LEGO City Driving School where children aged 6-13 (there is a version for younger kids) drive electric cars around a realistic course. At the end they all earn their very own LEGOLAND driving licence. The Fire Academy, which is a race to put out a pretend fire, complete with fire engines and hoses. The Dragon is a thrilling rollercoaster around the Knights Castle. Atlantis Submarine Voyage, a submarine ride through an underwater aquarium.

Don’t miss the Pirates of Skeleton Bay Stunt Show, which is a pirate-themed live action show featuring acrobatics and swashbuckling swordplay. Another must visit on a hot day is the Drench Towers in Duplo Valley, a water park for children of all ages. Remember to pack swimmers and a towel. There’s also Miniland where you’ll find LEGO models from all around the world, with lots of moving pieces.

By Nicky at Go Live Young – Read more about their travels

Check latest prices for accommodation at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

LEGOLAND Germany review

LEGOLAND Germany review

I took my son to his first LEGOLAND when he was five and a half, and I can honestly tell you it was the most exciting day of his entire life to date. LEGOLAND Germany is full of all the usual LEGOLAND features, and of course its Miniland, the hub full of intricate LEGO constructions reflecting the region, with lots of German sights turned into LEGO along with landmarks from other nearby European countries. A highlight is the reconstruction of Munich airport with several huge planes, which move around.

As far as the rides go, I’d say my son’s favourite was Captain Nick’s Splash Battle – it’s a boat ride circling around LEGO shipwrecks and pirates, and you can actually fire water cannons at other riders and passers-by. We were there on a rare hot day in German summer but on other days they have ponchos available to keep you dry.

LEGOLAND Germany is in the south of the country, close to the tiny village of Günzburg, but it’s easy to reach by train. We stayed in the LEGOLAND Village, which along with a hotel, includes cabins shaped like barrels and a camping area too. It was obviously a popular summertime spot and I loved that the village itself included all kinds of outdoor activities for kids to enjoy after the theme park itself closed for the day.

By Amanda from Not a Ballerina – Read more about their visit to LEGOLAND Germany

Check latest prices for accommodation at LEGOLAND Germany

LEGOLAND Florida review – USA

Legoland Florida review

LEGOLAND Florida was a huge hit with our family, but especially our boys, aged 5 and 7. One of the things they are still talking about was their ability to ride all three roller coasters. LEGOLAND ‘s roller coaster height requirements are perfect for their target audience of ages 2-12. One favourite, the Dragon, is located in Kingdoms. It begins in a castle and takes you by many LEGO creations, before travelling outside through tummy-knotting twists and turns. Another favourite coaster was Coastersaurus, a wooden coaster with numerous small hills.

The newest attraction at LEGOLAND Florida and the most popular with my boys was Ninjago World. The centrepiece of this land is LEGO Ninjago The Ride. The Ride is a virtual reality experience in which riders fight villains by thrashing arms around within the car. Riders are scored on their ability to fight, which made it entertaining for my competitive kids. In Ninjago World, there are other active playground-like attractions, such as Kai’s Spinners, Cole’s Climbing Wall, and Jay’s Lightning Drill.

By Leah at Yoder Toter Blog – Read more about visiting LEGOLAND Florida

Check latest prices for accommodation at LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND California review – USA

Legoland California review

An hour south of Disneyland, this LEGOLAND is huge, with over 60 features and two water park sections. Each area has hands-on activities like playgrounds, build zones, or games, and most have food options and shops. Some areas provide entertainment, including stage productions, and one has a 4D movie.

Many of the rides are tame, suitable for very young kids. But some are more exciting, such as the Dragon Coaster, and even more daring, the Technic Coaster. The Wave Racer spins while kids shoot water blasters, and Knight’s Tournament’s robotic arms turn riders all about.

A favourite for our boys is the driving school. Kids age 3 to 5 drive around a small oval track. Kids age 6 to 13 drive a bigger track with turns and intersections, lanes and traffic lights. Drivers manoeuvre around while parents watch from the perimeter. At the end of each session, all the kids get a LEGOLAND driver’s license.

We love the kid-friendly humour found everywhere, the cleanliness, and the shady bench spots. We recommend studying the park’s map and ride systems before you go, planning what each family member most wants to do and eat. Be sure to leave plenty of time to walk around Miniland!

By Sandy at Sleeps5 – Read more about visiting LEGOLAND California

Check latest prices for accommodation at LEGOLAND California

LEGOLAND Dubai review – UAE

Legoland Dubai review

LEGOLAND Dubai opened to great excitement in our household in October 2016. Less than an hours drive from our home in Abu Dhabi, this is the ultimate LEGO-lovers playground!

It is part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts complex, which includes several theme parks, a resort, and adjacent LEGOLAND Waterpark. The park is built partly indoors to accommodate the weather conditions.

The centrepiece of LEGOLAND Dubai is the world’s first indoor Miniland, which features scale models of some of the region’s most famous buildings including the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Burj Khalifa, Taj Mahal, Petra and the Pyramids of Giza.

Rides vary from sedate to thrilling. Popular with our younger boys are the Junior Driving School and the Submarine Adventure. Older kids will enjoy “Kingdoms” which includes slightly more thrilling rides, mini roller coasters, Merlin’s Flying Machine and when you reach that magical 120cm, the Dragon!

As well as rides, there are plenty of building and discover centres, ample eateries, Duplo Valley, a water splash area, a Ninjago stage show, and a 4D cinema with two rotating shows throughout the day. The attached LEGOLAND Waterpark (separate entry fee) is a great way to cool off after a busy day of exploring. Given the size of the two parks, you could fit both in if you visit for an entire day. You can finish your day at the extensive Riverland entertainment district that attaches all the theme parks, with loads always going on including street performers and eateries galore. All up, our boys and our girl give it a big thumbs up!

As the theme park is still in its infancy and not as well known as the others internationally, lines at most times except public holidays are relatively short, meaning kids can do their favourites over and over again! Prices have also been significantly discounted for 2018 to get people through the door. Residents can pick up day and annual passes at an absolute steal for what you get. Our kids are now very proud annual pass holders and we visit every few weeks!

For more on how LEGOLAND Dubai works, including the attached waterpark and how to cope with the weather extremes of Dubai, check out Keri’s blog.

By Keri from Our Globetrotters

Check latest prices for accommodation at LEGOLAND Dubai

LEGOLAND Japan review

Legoland Japan review

LEGOLAND Japan in the less-visited city of Nagoya opened in April 2016, so when we visited recently it was still very sparkly and new. This is particularly lovely in the Miniland section where all the amazing models still look pristine. Of course, being Japan, the other big advantage is that the other guests are all so polite and rule-following that it’s just a very pleasant experience to spend the day there.

Compared to other LEGOLAND’s, LEGOLAND Japan seems to have fewer rides for the bigger kids, though it may be that they’ll construct more as time goes on. Our favourite was the Submarine Adventure, a ride under water where you glide past both real and LEGO-built sea life!

The LEGOLAND Hotel next door was due to open just weeks after we visited, which will be handy (opens 28 April 2018). Being located in Kinjofuto, a 25-minute train ride south of Nagoya, has meant there wasn’t any accommodation nearby until the hotel opened.

If you have train-loving kids with you, then spend an extra half-day and visit the SCMAGLEV (the fastest train in the world) and Railway Park which is literally next door to LEGOLAND – it has a vast number of real trains in there, including some bullet trains of course, and my son thought it was almost as good as LEGOLAND!

By Amanda from Not a Ballerina – read more about their travels

Check latest prices for accommodation at LEGOLAND Japan

LEGOLAND Malaysia review

Legoland reviews legoland malaysia

Legoland Malaysia is our family’s favourite theme park in this part of the world. Kids would love the brand new 4D Ninjago Ride and the world’s first LEGO Virtual Reality Roller Coaster!

Five Tips for visiting LEGOLAND Malaysia:

  1. Check LEGOLAND Malaysia’s website for days with extended opening hours so you have more time to play.
  2. It’s hot and humid in Malaysia throughout the year, with the probability of rain, so bring along drinking water, sunblock, disposable raincoats, mosquito repellant and a change of dry-fit tees.
  3. LEGOLAND Malaysia is accessible by direct coach service from Singapore. You can get more info here.
  4. Combine your visit with a stay at the LEGOLANDMalaysia Resort in one of the themed family rooms such as Pirate, Adventure, Kingdom, and Ninjago.
  5. Buy a 2-Day Combo Ticket so you can also enjoy Legoland Malaysia Water Park (just next door)! A brand new attraction, Sea Life at Legoland Malaysia will open last quarter of 2018.

By Angie at Life’s Tiny Miracles

Check latest prices for accommodation at LEGOLAND Malaysia

LEGOLAND New York

Those heading to the Big Apple will be pleased to know LEGOLAND New York is set to open in Goshen, 60 miles northwest of New York City in 2020, making it the third in North America. This new theme park will include a 250-bedroom LEGO themed hotel on the 500-acre site.

We have also heard that LEGOLAND is coming to China with its first theme park expected to open in Shanghai in 2022.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centres

If you can’t make it to a LEGOLAND theme park then maybe one of the 22 Discovery Centres spread throughout the world is your next best option. These smaller indoor centres come with a few LEGO rides, a mini Miniland, 4D cinema and lots of building fun.

There are 12 Discovery Centre’s in the US and Canada, five in Europe, four in Asia, and one in Melbourne, Australia.

So much LEGO fun, so little time.

So which is the best LEGOLAND?

You will have noticed quite a few similarities between the different LEGOLAND theme parks but this doesn’t mean they are all the same.

Our top three choices to visit would be LEGOLAND Billund because it is the birthplace of LEGO, plus LEGOLAND Windsor and LEGOLAND Florida as they offer the largest amount of attractions being the biggest two amusement parks by far. LEGOLAND Florida also has the added bonus of the waterpark.

They are all amazing amusement parks and we think if you’ve got kids who love LEGO and you get the chance to visit a LEGOLAND anywhere in the world, then grab it and you’ll have the experience of a lifetime.

LEGOLAND Accommodation

If you want the full LEGO experience for your visit to LEGOLAND, then in most of the theme parks you can stay at the amazing LEGO themed hotels and other accommodation. The type of accommodation varies from country to country with the classic LEGOLAND Hotels in Denmark, California, Florida, Japan and Malaysia; LEGOLAND Castle Hotels in England and Germany; LEGOLAND Holiday Villages in Denmark and Germany; plus the fun LEGOLAND Beach Retreat in Florida.

Fun facts about LEGOLAND

  • LEGOLAND theme parks receive around 60 million visitors worldwide each year.
  • LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark is the oldest LEGOLAND theme park, built in 1968.
  • LEGOLAND Windsor in England is the biggest LEGOLAND in the world by far, being around five times greater in area than that of LEGOLAND Billund.
  • The world’s second biggest LEGOLAND can be found in Florida USA
  • LEGOLAND Dubai was built using 60 million LEGO bricks
  • The new LEGOLAND Castle Hotel in Windsor, England houses 2.1 million bricks and 657 hand-built LEGO models.

Which LEGOLAND do you want to visit? Share your favourite on our Facebook page.

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Worldwide LEGOLAND Review - Your guide to Legoland amusement parks around the world

LEGOLAND Denmark Holiday – Where to Stay in Billund with Kids

LEGOLAND Denmark Holiday – Where to Stay in Billund with Kids

LEGOLAND Denmark Accommodation Review and Recommendations

Billund is a lovely small town in central Denmark that is famous as the birthplace of LEGO. It’s not the easiest place to work out where to stay if you haven’t been there before, so we’ve put together our recommendations for the best of LEGOLAND Denmark accommodation for your visit.

With only around 6,000 residents, Billund has a surprising array of accommodation. After a long day at LEGOLAND Denmark, you can choose to spend the night at a hotel, cabin, holiday house, hostel, or even a teepee. You can also pitch a tent, enjoy a bed and breakfast or even an apartment.

Our advice is to find a place to stay near LEGOLAND and not try to daytrip from Aarhus, Odense or Copenhagen.

READ our review on visiting LEGOLAND Denmark with kids

How long to stay in Billund?

We spent two days at LEGOLAND, which was just right for us, but there were still things we didn’t get to see there. The new addition of LEGO House (opened in September 2017) is certainly worth a visit for LEGO loving kids and will take up about half a day. Plus if you need a break from all that LEGO, have some fun at Lalandia, Scandinavia’s largest waterpark. You could easily do three nights in Billund but it all depends on how much time you have and what else you want to do in Denmark.

LEGOLAND Denmark Accommodation Options

Lalandia Holiday Cottages Billund

Our top pick for a place to stay near LEGOLAND for families would be Lalandia Holiday Cottages. Here you get space to move, don’t have to share a room with the kids, can self-cater (which will save you money), plus there’s plenty of activities and free entry to the onsite waterpark (Scandinavia’s largest).

Even the smallest of the cottages (sleeps four) has fridge/freezer, coffee maker, electric kettle, ceramic hob, oven, microwave and dishwasher, 1 double bed, 1 cot, 2 single beds, shower cubicle and washing machine, high chair and 1 parking space.

Lalandia Holiday Cottages Billund are within easy walking distance to LEGOLAND or you can catch the free shuttle bus.

Best for: Small and large families with children all ages.

Be aware: You will need to bring your own bed linen and towels, or you can rent them from the Service Centre when you get there.

Click here to see the latest prices

Lalandia LEGOLAND Denmark Holiday - Where to Stay in Billund Travel with Boys

photo by Lalandia

Hotel LEGOLAND Denmark

If you want the complete LEGO experience and you have money to spend, then Hotel LEGOLAND Denmark is the place to be. Turn the kids dreams into reality and spend the night in a themed room like the Ninjago Room, Knights, Adventure, and Pirate rooms.

This four star hotel inside of LEGOLAND is a treat for kids with plenty of LEGO to entertain them in the play room, a playground, TV room, and NINTENDO GameZone. While they’re kept busy, you can relax with a coffee or a drink at the bar.

If you’re looking for more space than your average room, try out the Junior Suite which has it’s own living room and one separate bedroom. Junior Suites sleep four.

Best for: Families wanting the ultimate LEGO experience that are happy to bunk in together in the one room (with the exception of the Junior Suite) for the sake of some serious memory making.

Be aware: Rooms sleep between four to six people dependent on the theme you choose. Price includes accommodation, buffet breakfast and tickets into LEGOLAND. Check to confirm details.

Click here to see the latest prices

LEGOLAND Holiday Village

LEGOLAND Holiday Village LEGOLAND Denmark Holiday - Where to Stay in Billund Travel with Boys

If you want the LEGO experience but your budget won’t stretch to Hotel LEGOLAND, the LEGOLAND Holiday Village is a good one to look at, and it’s just over the road from LEGOLAND.

We rented three Wild West cabins at LEGOLAND Holiday Village with their own tiny bathroom and mini kitchenette to fit the 12 of us. The kids loved it with LEGO figures everywhere, plus ducks you can feed, play equipment, plus you can hire cool tandem and quad pedal bikes to zoom around the village.

You can choose to spend the night in the new LEGO® NINJAGO® cabins, Wild West cabins, Pirate rooms, Wilderness barrels, onsite teepees, or bring your tent or campervan to the camping ground.

There is an onsite supermarket, takeaway pizza (which was good), and a restaurant (nothing too exciting).

You won’t find any luxuries here but it can be good fun if you have LEGO mad kids and you know what to expect when you get there.

Our pick: We would choose to stay in the new LEGO Ninjago Cabins, as they have a little more room to move in the living area and have a toilet and shower in the cabin.

Best for: Smaller families with children aged 10 and under who want to be next door to LEGOLAND and have the LEGO experience.

Be aware: Beds in the cabins are not designed for tall people, so anyone over about 6ft may not have the best nights sleep. The beds have walls at top and bottom, so there’s no hanging your feet over the end of the bed.

Many of the cabins share a toilet and shower block (which makes it cheaper), so check your reservation carefully to make sure you’ve got what you want.

You will need to bring your own bed linen and towels, or rent them when you get there. You have to then put them on and pull them off yourself.

Click here to see the latest prices

Lillevang Apartments

If you’re after one of the best-rated apartments in Billund for families, then take a look at Lillevang Apartments. Only five minutes drive from LEGOLAND, these clean and modern apartments have full kitchen facilities (meaning you can save money by cooking), TV, WiFi, and LEGO bricks to play with.

There’s plenty of space to relax outside on the terrace or in the garden, which is a great place to unwind after a day of crowds.

Best for: Families looking for relaxing place to stay, where you can cater for yourselves.

Be aware: The second bed is a sofa bed. It is a good idea to have a car to get here.

Click here to see the latest prices

Hotel Propellen

If a hotel room is what you’re after then you can’t got past Hotel Propellen which is a mere 500 metres from LEGOLAND. Sit back and relax after a day at LEGOLAND with three dining options including a great kids menu. There’s also an indoor swimming pool, exercise room, plus indoor and outdoor playgrounds to keep the kids happy.

Rooms have a minibar, satellite TV, Wi-Fi is free and all rooms have a flat-screen TV.

Best for: Small families looking for good accommodation without having to cook or drive.

Be aware: Family rooms contain a double bed, double sofa bed and extra single beds on request.

Click here to see the latest prices

Other family accommodation near LEGOLAND Billund

If you’re still undecided about where to stay in Billund, take a look at these apartments and hotels.

NEW in 2019! Keep an eye out for the opening of LEGOLAND Castle Hotel in the Danish Spring of 2019. It looks amazing!

Things to consider when looking for places to stay near LEGOLAND Denmark

There are a few things to consider when choosing accommodation near LEGOLAND Denmark. Do you want to pay for the novelty factor of staying at somewhere LEGO themed? This doesn’t come cheap but is certainly memorable.

Is it important for you to stay close by? Sometimes it’s worth paying for the convenience of staying within walking distance. The costs vary dramatically so work out your budget and stay where it meets your needs.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. We may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a booking after clicking on one of the links. Your booking through us, helps us generate some income so we can continue to provide you with best holiday ideas for your family. We only ever use links to highly reputable companies that we trust and use ourselves. 

Thank you for booking through Travel with Boys.

Insider Guide to Nottingham England with kids

Insider Guide to Nottingham England with kids

Insider Guide to visiting Nottingham with kids

Discover the stories behind the legend of Robin Hood, see Batman’s haven with your own eyes, and explore the culture and plethora of outdoor activities when you visit Nottingham with kids.

With so much on offer, we garnered the help of Nottingham local and family travel blogger Alex from My Life Long Holiday, who together with her 12 year old son, is showing us what to do, where to eat and drink, and what surprises are in store for those visiting Nottingham with kids.

What do you love most about living in Nottingham?

It’s vibrant and multicultural and you definitely get a feel of that when you visit. The city does very well promoting the arts. Outside of London it probably has the biggest music scene, some very well supported art galleries and studios, and so many connections to famous authors and creatives. I love the fact that our kids get to grow up in a place where the arts are pushed and it’s normal to leave school and do something creative.

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What are your favourite things to do with your son in Nottingham?

We have several big parks in Nottingham, and Wollaton Park and Rushcliffe Park are the favourites with my son as he can take his BMX and use the trails for free. There are also some great geocaches hidden at these two parks. We also have three excellent climb centres, so you can take your pick, depending on whether you’re in the mood for free climbing or getting harnessed up.

What is your region famous for?

Historically it’s famous for lace which boosted the country’s economy massively in Victorian times, but you will also probably associate Nottingham with Robin Hood too. The nearby Sherwood Forest was supposedly his home, and nowadays you can visit and see the Broad Oak, the oldest Oak in the country, apparently a meeting place for Robin and his merry men. It’s also a great place to try out archery, mountain biking and ‘Go Ape’ at the nearby Sherwood Pines. Nottingham has the most amount of underground caves in the country and several of them are still accessible at various places, including in the ‘Trip To Jerusalem’ – the oldest inn in Britain.

Robin Hood visit Nottingham with kids travel with boys

Where are your favourite places to eat in Nottingham?

  • Breakfast: Wetherspoons at the famous Trent Bridge Inn in West Bridgford
  • Coffee: We have lots of amazing coffee shops. Nottingham does coffee very well but my absolute favourite is 200 degrees, partly because they started the Nottingham coffee revolution several years ago and partly because the building is 600 years old!
  • Lunch: Barburito’s as our kids LOVE Mexican food!
  • Dinner: Annie’s Burger Shack – a lively joint boasting 30-odd variations on a burger. My son loves The Elvis – a burger with peanut butter and jam. I’ve had a bite and I’ve got to say, it’s much better than it sounds! Looking for more burgers?
  • Dessert: Dessert places are opening up all over the place in Nottingham these days. It’s the new craze, but our family favourite is Creams for good old gelato.

What is the must see attraction for families of boys?

If I had to narrow it down then I would say Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, I mean – it is Batman’s house in Dark Knight after all! (check it out in the photo at the very top).But boys like to get physical, so there’s also the many energetic options I’ve already mentioned, plus a few others like the High Ropes at Holme Pierrepont or Karting.

visit Nottingham with kids travel with boys

If it’s raining, where is the best place to go?

My son LOVES Jump Giants near Wymeswold, it’s like the TV program Wipe Out and boy do they sleep well after a few hours there! Second choice would probably be the National Video Arcade in Hockley, and I don’t mind spending a couple of hours playing Jet Set Willy and pretending I’m 12 again! Up for a minibreak?

What accommodation would you tell your friends with kids to stay at?

Roomz is a great chain and so cheap that even if there are more than 3 of you and you have to book two rooms, it still won’t break the bank! A really nice modern simple hotel but with some lovely extras thrown in. Check latest prices

Where is your favourite location for a family day-trip, outside of your city?

We are surrounded by some amazing National Trust properties, in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire, all within half an hours drive.

Baby Globetrotters Insider family travel guide to Abu Dhabi with boys

Author: Alex from My Life Long Holiday

Travel makes my heart sing and I always strive to find the life and soul of the places we visit. This goes for my home town of Nottingham too. You’ll catch me hiding behind things as I try to capture life on film, secretly, because they’re always the best shots. More often than not though, you’ll find me on the floor, nickers showing, because I reversed into a lamppost and catching my camera became more important than saving my ass! Follow Alex’s travels on Instagram and Facebook.

Insiders Guide to Haarlem The Netherlands with kids

Insiders Guide to Haarlem The Netherlands with kids

See My City – Visit Haarlem with kids

When you are going to visit any new town or city, there are so many decisions to make. You need to work out what attractions to spend your time at, which area is the best to stay, where to go if the weather turns bad, and which are the best places to feed a hungry family. We love taking out the guess work and finding out from local families of boys.

The beautiful city of Haarlem in The Netherlands has so much to offer families, so we got talking to Lisa from FlipFlop Globetrotters  to get the insider story.

What do you love most about living in Haarlem?

Haarlem is a proper city, with lots of restaurants, museums, great shopping and a movie theatre, but has the small town feel. It’s nice and compact, easy to navigate and has lots of history. There are interesting smaller villages close by to visit, as well as the ocean. Haarlem is also not far from Amsterdam and other big cities such as Alkmaar and The Hague.

City Hall Grote Markt Visit Haarlem with kids Haarlem The Netherlands FlipFlop Globetrotters Travel with Boys

Historic City Hall at the Grote Markt

What are your favourite things to do in Haarlem as a family?

My favourite place to go with our little boy is the dunes area, especially a dune lake called ’t Wed in National Park Zuid Kennemerland. It’s about 20 minutes by bike from where we live. We also love to go to the beach, but the dunes are the absolute best place for running, climbing and playing. In the city, we often visit the playground Het Paradijsje (little paradise) of go for lunch at Meneer Paprika, where they have wooden train tracks to play with. Haarlem also has some great petting zoos, which are always a hit with our little boy.

What is your region famous for?

Haarlemmerolie (Haarlem Oil) created in 1696 by Claes Tilly is known worldwide. It’s a popular home-remedy mainly used for healing and disinfecting wounds and treating kidney and urinary ailments.

What are your favourite places to take your family for breakfast and lunch?

Out little one isn’t a fussy eater and he loves going to restaurants. I think it’s because we always went out for lunch and dinner while we were travelling around South-East Asia for 10 months when he was younger. As a family, we don’t have dinner out often in our hometown, since it’s so expensive. But I regularly go out for lunch with our little world traveller. Our favourite places are:

  • Meneer Paprika (Koningsstraat 19-20)
  • Pippa’s (Stationsplein 64)
  • Yoghurtbarn (Kruisstraat 15)
  • Brownies&Downies (Schaghelstraat 26)

Read more about our favourite places to eat.

What is the must see attraction for families of boys?

There are a number of great places in the city and surrounding area. In the city centre, the Teylers Museum and Archeologisch Museum (Archeological Museum) are very interesting. You’ll find the archeological museum in the underground vaults beneath the Vleeshal (Meat Hall). I recently visited the Teylers Museum with our toddler, but he was still a bit too young to fully enjoy it.

Archeological Museum Visit Haarlem with kids Haarlem The Netherlands FlipFlop Globetrotters Travel with Boys

Entrance to the Archeological Museum, in the basement of the Vleeshal

Playground Het Paradijsje (open Monday – Saturday) is fun for the youngest boys. It’s a city playground, well hidden in a residential area. You have to know it’s there or you’ll miss it.

The Ruïne van Brederode (ruins of Brederode) in Santpoort (15 minutes by car) is a great place to stimulate the imagination. It’s a lot of fun for the boys to dress up as knights and chase each other around the ruins.

For the sporty or adventurous, Haarlem has an ice-skating rink (open October – March), an indoor climbing wall, and an indoor ski hall. In the recreation area Spaarnwoude, you can go laser gaming or paintballing.

Playground Het Paradijsje Visit Haarlem with kids Haarlem The Netherlands FlipFlop Globetrotters Travel with Boys

Playground Het Paradijsje, Witte Herenstraat Haarlem

If it’s raining, where is the best place to go?

It rains quite a lot in The Netherlands, so we’re not too bothered by the rain. Just grab an umbrella or wear a raincoat and you’re good to go. Haarlem has won numerous awards as the best shopping city of The Netherlands and there are some great toy stores.

We like Meneer Paprika (Koningstraat 19-21, also great for breakfast and lunch), Tante Steef (Zijlstraat 66) and Krokodil (Gedempte Oude Gracht 84). If you’re into children’s books, definitely check out Kiekeboek (Gierstraat 29) and for board games or role playing games don’t miss Het Spellenhuis (Kruisweg 66a).

What accommodation would you tell your friends with kids to stay at?

I would tell my friends to find a nice apartment on AirBnB. The best areas to stay are close to the city centre including Centrum, Stationsbuurt, Patrimoniumbuurt, Transvaalbuurt, Frans Halsbuurt and Kleverpark. Haarlem is a fairly popular city, so book well in advance.

Accommodation Visit Haarlem with kids Haarlem The Netherlands FlipFlop Globetrotters Travel with Boys

Picturesque street in Haarlem

Where is your favourite location for a family day-trip, outside of your city?

If you’re traveling with little kids, Sprookjeswonderland (fairy tale wonderland) in Enkhuizen is a fun place to spend a day. It’s a lovely little amusement park, with a fairy tale theme.

How to get to Haarlem

Haarlem is only 15 minutes away by train from Amsterdam Central Station. It’s also easy to reach from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport by bus (line 300).

About the author

Lisa is the proud mum of a cheeky 3-year old ginger haired little boy. She and her partner Maurice spend most of 2015 travelling around South East Asia with their little world traveller. They have a home base in Haarlem, Netherlands and travel whenever they can. Follow Lisa on Facebook or Twitter.

Dungeons and Sword Fights in Denmark’s most famous castle

Dungeons and Sword Fights in Denmark’s most famous castle

To go, or not to go… Kronborg Castle for families

With spooky underground passages, Shakespearean sword fights, magnificent ballrooms and a fascinating history, the Royal castle of Kronborg at Helsingør in Denmark, is an extraordinary place for families to visit.

World famous as the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there is no better time to visit the castle than during summer when they bring Hamlet to life. We were lucky enough to visit in the summer of 2016, where we got to enjoy scenes from Hamlet being acted out, as we toured through the castle. This was our boys’ first real taste of Shakespeare and they loved it, with their favourite being the final sword fight in the ballroom.

Kronborg Castle for families Shakespeare Hamlet Denmark family travel travelwithboys.com

Also to love was a visit to the underground casements. Wandering around the dark and gloomy underground passages with a torch, you got to see where 1,000 soldiers would barricade themselves in during war, for weeks at a time, with their horses and provisions. It is seriously dark in some areas, which can be a bit too spooky for some kids, and for parents if the kids have the torch and run off without you. (Yes that did happen!)

You will also find the Danish legend Holger Danske asleep in the underground passages, as he has been for hundreds of years. Legend has it he will wake up the day Denmark is attacked by enemies.

Kronborg Castle for families Holger Dansk Shakespeare Hamlet Denmark family travel travelwithboys.com

Built in 1574, Kronborg is one of the most important Renaissance castles in northern Europe and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It played an extremely important role in the history of the region, due to its control over one of the few outlets to the Baltic Sea, and therefore all the ships sailing through.

Kronborg is a true castle with a tower to climb, moat, and cannons, and was so much fun to visit.

Considering this was our family’s’ second castle for the day and it was wet and bleak all day, there was not one grizzle from either of the boys. This is a major triumph when it comes to travelling with 6 and 8 year old boys.

Getting there

Kronborg Castle is located one hour north of Copenhagen in Helsingør.

Driving: It’s an easy drive up the motorway or the Danish Riviera’s stunning coast road. We drove there via the motorway and came back to Copenhagen via the coast road.

Train: A DBS train will get you from Copenhagen Central Station to Helsingør in 45 minutes. Trains leave every 20 minutes. From Helsingør Station it is about a 15-minute walk north to get to the castle.

Wheelchair and pram access

While you will be able to access the Castle Courtyard with a wheelchair and pram, you will not be able to go indoors or underground with them.

Tickets

If you have a Copenhagen Card, admission will be free. Find out if a Copenhagen Card will save your family money.

Ticket prices (current as of March 2017)

  • Adult: DKK 90
  • Student: DKK 80 by showing valid student ID
  • Child: (4 – 17 years) Free of charge

Your ticket (including the Copenhagen Card) will allow you to join any of the guided tours and will provide you with access to the royal rooms, casemates and chapel. You cannot enter the grounds of the Castle without a ticket.

Please note the Castle is closed on Mondays.

While you’re there

If you’ve got time, check out the town of Helsingør and the Maritime Museum. Not far away is Frederiksborg Palace in Hillerød which is an absolute must see for any visitor to Denmark.

The Danish do castles really well! Not only are they magnificent pieces of architecture but they have been brought to life for all ages to enjoy, not just the history buffs of the world.

We thoroughly recommend you visit Kronborg Castle.

If you are looking for other things to do in Denmark then you might be interested in these stories.

Top 10 Copenhagen family attractions when travelling with boys

Beyond the headline acts – Denmark’s island of hidden gems for families

Visiting LEGOLAND Denmark

Will a Copenhagen Card save your family money?

How many castles can you see in 48 hours? Take a look at this itinerary from Wandermust Family on seeing Copenhagen’s castles.

Happy travels!

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