Best Things to do in the Outer Banks North Carolina with Kids

Best Things to do in the Outer Banks North Carolina with Kids

Fun Things to do in the Outer Banks NC with Kids

Sitting along the mid-Atlantic shores of the US, the collection of small barrier islands most often referred to as the Outer Banks (OBX) is a popular destination for family travel, with most people renting houses along the shores. While OBX is rarely more than a mile wide, it stretches more than 130 miles long, beginning in the state of Virginia and ending in North Carolina. 

Visitors must access the barrier islands by car, which means a bit of a road trip is inevitable, and a car is necessary once on the island. Its entire length is dotted with small towns and fishing villages. Don’t let the size of these towns and villages fool you though, there’s more than enough things to do in the Outer Banks to keep even the most restless family members busy. 

Here’s a rundown of our top activities in the Outer Banks.

Best Beaches in the Outer Banks

things to do in the outer banks north carolina

It goes without saying that the beach is the perfect place to spend some family time. The beauty of the Outer Banks is that the beaches are never overcrowded, so there’s plenty of room to spread out. But the true beauty of the beaches at OBX is that there is such diversity between them. Families can find public beaches with conveniences such as bathhouses and nearby shops, or families can get to the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a more untouched beach best accessed by a 4x4 off-road vehicle. There are beaches best known for surfing and skim-boarding (Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills) and beaches known for how pet-friendly they are (Duck). 

Jennette’s Pier

Located in Nag’s Head, Jennette’s Pier is a 1000 ft long pier that was first built in 1939 (it has had to undergo some repair work after hurricanes). Most use the pier as a fishing spot, which welcomes both seasoned fisherman and newcomers. There is a bait and tackle shop where a rod and reel can even be rented for those just visiting. Others can just walk the length of the pier, soaking in the view. And before they do, they can stop at the educational center with seasonal programs for all ages, young and old alike, including a Giants of the Sea exhibit.

Duck Soundside Boardwalk

A great way to get off of the ocean but stay on the water is to head over to the village of Duck in Northern Outer Banks. This boardwalk, perched above the Currituck Sound meanders behind the town’s commercial district and can be accessed throughout. This boardwalk gives visitors a chance to see the Sound and its environment, a lovely change from the beach. It’s just a bit over a half a mile, so an easy walk for tired little feet, and when all else fails, it’s surrounded by restaurants and shops, including ones to find sweets and treats.

Horses on Outer Banks – Wild Horses of Corolla

In addition to the 4WD beaches of Cape Hatteras, there can be found the 4WD beaches of Carova, which are the Northern-most beaches of the Outer Banks. In this area, separated by a sea of sand and on these beaches visitors can find Wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs. These horses on the Outer Banks have been stranded for nearly 500 years, with a number of stories swirling regarding how they originally got there. The horses roam free, through backyards and beach alike, but there are strict rules in place to protect the horses, including a minimum distance people must keep from the horses and a strict speed limit on the beach and dunes. There are a number of tour companies that offer 4WD tours through the area. They are generally open air and run for approximately two hours. (Visitors are also allowed to drive their own 4WD vehicles onto the beach.)

Horses on Outer Banks with kids

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

The recently renovated North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is a nonprofit organization with ten permanent exhibits, including one focusing on sea turtle conservation called the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center. In conjunction, it has the Sea Turtle Rescue exhibit, which is interactive. At the aquarium, visitors can learn about all types of animals, from sharks in the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit (where anyone over 15 and open water SCUBA diver certified can dive with sharks) to river otters and alligators in the Wild Wetlands exhibit. Beyond seeing the animals, there are a number of daily (usually free) events that happen at the aquarium, including animal feedings and storytelling.

Pirate Adventures

Since OBX has a long history with pirates (these were the famous Black Beard’s waters), there’s a not-so-subtle nod to pirates throughout the area. One of the ways to best invest in this pirate world is to actually become a pirate or mermaid and set out to sail the Roanoke Sound. Dressed as pirates, kids set out to find treasure and battle a rogue pirate with their water cannons.

Dolphin Spotting on the Outer Banks 

There are two great ways to spot dolphins in the OBX. The easiest and cheapest way is to just stand on the shores. Not far offshore, it’s easy to spot little pods of dolphins playing in the waters. The other way to spot dolphins, and ensure you do, is to go on a dolphin cruise. These cruises stick to the more brackish waters of the sound and the bay, easily finding dolphins at play. The pontoon boats manoeuvre through the waters and slow when dolphins are near, eventually cutting off all engines. Because of strict rules, they can only stay with a pod for a short amount of time before moving on in search of others.

Lighthouses on the Outer Banks

Lighthouses on the Outer Banks with kids

There are five lighthouses on the Outer Banks, each of them historic and memorable in their own right: the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, Bodie Island Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the world’s tallest brick lighthouse, is one of the most famous lighthouses in the world with its black and white candy cane striped pattern. Visible over 20 miles away, it looks out over Cape Point. The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina and the second oldest in the United States. This lighthouse is the only one of the five that you cannot climb or go into.

Wright Brothers National Memorial

This 60-foot granite monument is part of the US National Park Service. It was built at the location in Kill Devil Hills, where Orville and Wilbur Wright first successfully flew. The memorial does a great job of putting the importance of the flight, albeit small, in perspective by identifying, with markers, where both the launch and the landing of the 59 seconds, 852-foot flight occurred. There’s even a life-sized model of the 1903 Wright Flyer used in the famous flight. 

Learn about the History of the Outer Banks

Roanoke Island, in the middle of the Outer Banks, is the site of the first attempted English colonization of America. More than 400 years ago, men, women, and children from Plymouth, England landed on this island and attempted to settle it, but just two years later they had vanished. The tale of these travelers is told in a play, “The Lost Colony” that is performed in Manteo on Roanoke Island. The show, with its epic battles scenes and over 100 actors, singers, dancers, and technicians, has been running for over 70 years. It’s both educational and entertaining. Beyond the learning about the lost colony, visitors to OBX can also visit historic Corolla, where they can visit Whalehead, a 1920s era Art Nouveau “mansion by the sea.”

Whalehead attractions in the outer banks NC

Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

The waters off the Outer Banks are often referred to as the Graveyard of the Atlantic because of the numerous shipwrecks that have taken place. In homage to this, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum was created, which is run entirely by donations and volunteers. Here visitors can learn about the history of the islands, including its connection to pirates, role in the wars, and the general importance of the area. 

They host events, most of which are free, such as pirate-themed crafts. seafood cooking, and recounting tales of Blackbeard. They change often and can be found on the museum’s website. To keep all members of the family entertained, the museum also has a daily scavenger hunt with a museum-trinket prize upon completion.

So many things to do in the Outer Banks with kids

Within these 130 miles, a whole host of family-friendly activities can be found. Visitors can always find those activities expected in beach vacation towns: parasailing, kayaking, mini golf, and ropes courses. But the Outer Banks offers more than this because of its rich history and unique ecosystems. It’s easy to find amazing things to do in the Outer Banks with kids, but with those beautiful beaches, it’s just as easy to soak in the sun and surf.

 

Baby Globetrotters Insider family travel guide to Abu Dhabi with boys

Author: Jen Coleman from Three Kids and a Car

Jen is a frequent traveler and SAHM mom to three little people that she likes to drag around the globe with her (and who are pretty happy to go along). Formerly an English teacher and poet, she now writes about her adventures traveling with her family on her blog, Three Kids and a Car. And when she is traveling, she likes to collect blue and white art from the places she visits (which she still hasn’t gotten around to displaying but will…one day).  

Follow Jen’s travels on Instagram and Facebook.

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Best Things to do in Baltimore with kids – Maryland USA

Best Things to do in Baltimore with kids – Maryland USA

Things to do in Baltimore with kids

When you’re trying to decide what things to do in Baltimore with kids, the best person to ask is a local parent. Lucky for you, Alison Netzer from Five Family Adventurers has shared with us her favourite 15 family activities in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Baltimore, Maryland was recently named one of the top U.S. cities to visit in 2018 by Forbes Magazine and The New York Times, while the UK’s Evening Standard declared it the COOLEST city on the East Coast.

Baltimore is quickly becoming a must-see destination and there are a number of reasons why. It holds an important place in the history and development of the United States. The city not only held off the British in the war of 1812, but also was once the second most-used port of entry for immigration at the turn of the 20thcentury.

Baltimore also has a rich maritime and industrial past that can be seen in museums and food, like famous Maryland crab doused with Chesapeake Bay spices.

There are so many wonderful things for kids to do in Baltimore, as well as for the adults. The city’s neighborhoods are rich in history and distinctive, and Baltimore’s manageable size (and prices) lends itself well to family vacations. 

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Baltimore Harbor things to do in Baltimore with kids Maryland USA

National Aquarium

Consistently ranked one of the top three aquariums in the USA, the National Aquarium is a great kids activity in Baltimore. The aquarium dedicates itself to marine life and conservation and is the largest tourist attraction in Maryland. Visitors will be delighted to see over 20,000 marine species and various habitat attractions. The best times to visit are weekdays or before 11 AM or after 3 PM on weekends and holidays.

Historic Ships in Baltimore

After a visit to the Aquarium, take time to visit the historic ships in the harbor right next to the National Aquarium. Visit a World War II submarine, a lightship, and a Coast Guard ship. Kids will love the USS Constellation, launched in 1797, as they imagine chasing pirates in the West Indies.

The Baltimore Science Museum

A visit to the science museum lets you explore everything from dinosaurs to germs, a planetarium, and even local life of a Maryland Blue Crab (we are quite proud of our local crustacean). It offers an Imax movie theater, hands-on exhibits, and many live science demonstrations. On a nice day, you can eat outside on the waterfront and watch the many boats sail by. There’s an Imax for overheated kids to cool down in front of a giant screen.

Port Discovery Children’s Museum

I would recommend this for kids aged 8 years and younger. The museum has a wonderful array of exhibits where kids can climb, touch, and even pretend they are serving food in a 50’s style diner. When you enter, you will find a large climbing area with a massive slide right in the middle of the museum. The kids will stay happy, and you’ll end up being the one who decides when it’s time to go.

Orioles Game

Orioles game things to do in Baltimore with kids Maryland USA

If you are lucky to be in town during an Orioles game, head over to Camden Yards and take in one of Baltimore’s best. This is the stadium that started the retro-ballpark craze. It’s built around the B&O warehouse, which was the longest building in the US when it was built. There’s not a bad sight line in the whole park. If it’s a day game, consider a terrace box for the shade, or the third base line, which gets shade earlier than the first base line. Tickets are affordable (Yankee fans find it cheaper to take the train and stay a night than good seats at Yankee Stadium). Get’s some pit beef sandwiches (Baltimore’s signature sandwich) at Boog’s, by the Eutaw entrance. Camden Yards is conveniently located downtown within walking distance from most downtown neighborhoods. Fans are fun and you may even get an autograph from the Oriole bird, also known as “The Bird.”

Maryland Zoo

Maryland Zoo things to do in Baltimore with kids

Baltimore’s Maryland Zoo is a kid-friendly and logistically easy day out.  Visitors need a car/taxi/Uber/Lyft to get to the Zoo, as it is not walkable from downtown Baltimore. Kids enjoy the nooks and crannies of the zoo, including oversized bird nests for climbing, lily pads to jump across, tree slides, a bat cave, and even a petting zoo area. There is also a small merry-go-round for younger kids. And, yes, polar bears, giraffes, and elephants, too.

Unique Museums of Baltimore

Baltimore is home to some truly noteworthy museums.

The Museum of Industry

Inside the museum, visitors have the opportunity to discover Baltimore’s industrial heritage; oyster canning, printing and even a mock early 1900’s pharmacy featuring the Noxema product created and produced in Baltimore. There are interactive game designing exhibits for kids, and for young kids, there is hands-on craft making, stories, and tours. Did you know that most of GM’s AC Delco radios were made in Baltimore? You will after your visit.

baltimore kids activities Museum of Industry

The B&O (Baltimore and Ohio) Museum

A visit to the B&O (Baltimore and Ohio) museum will bring you to one of the largest collections of locomotives and train equipment in the world.  It is the birthplace of American railroading and was one of the first places to have a passenger station. The Baltimore and Ohio railroad played a pivotal role in the rise of the US as an industrial player.

Throughout the museum, there are plenty of kid zones for them to play and many trains they can run in and out of. Kids will love exploring the different locomotives and running around the rotunda. You can even go on a mile long ride, on one of the working trains. So for kids who have never taken a train ride, here is their chance.

Fredrick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park

The museum is dedicated to the African-American experience in the development of Baltimore’s maritime past. It outlines the important and unique role African-Americans played 150 years ago in the maritime commerce of the city that typically goes unreported.

Art Museums

Baltimore Museum of Art

One of the great draws to this museum is that it is free. Yes–free. The other is the Cone Collection. Claribel and Etta Cone were Baltimore sisters who moved to Paris and hung out with Gertrude Stein, Picasso, and Henri Matisse. They amassed an enormous collection of blue-chip art, including oils by Gaugin, Cezanne, and Van Gogh, and then bequeathed the collection to the BMA. The floor displaying the work includes a mock-up of their Paris apartment. This is one of the worlds’ best collections of Post-Impressionist and early Modernist art.

If you happen to visit on a Sunday, you can take advantage of a free art workshop for kids (all materials are included). The museum is a cab or car ride from downtown. It’s also next door to the main Johns Hopkins campus if you’d like to take a look.

The Walters Art Museum

This is the private collection of a father-son team and reflects their highly idiosyncratic tastes. You’ll love the superb collection of Baroque art, including the masters of the Italian and Spanish Baroque. Your kids will love the armor collection (one of the biggest in the country) and the curio collection of strange artifacts from nature. It’s in the middle of Mount Vernon, so you can combine it with a walking tour of this beautiful neighborhood, and lunch in one of its many spots.   

Best places to eat in Baltimore with kids

places to eat in Baltimore Maryland Blue Crabs

Maryland is known for its Maryland Blue Crabs. If you are going to be in Baltimore, during the summer and early fall, then you must take your family for a traditional crab feast. They are prepared whole, steamed and heavily seasoned with Chesapeake Bay seasoning which varies from place to place. Most restaurants will provide instructions on how to eat them. Kids will love eating with their hands and getting messy. The two places to try while in Baltimore are LP Steamers a local favorite with a great roof deck, but otherwise non-descript. Bo Brooks, although it has tons of tourists, locals still go and it has the best view of the harbor.

During the day, take a trip to the Union Collective, a massive warehouse of distinct places created by the Union Beer Company. You will have to take a Taxi/Uber/Lyft or drive, but you will be happy you did. You can start your visit by checking out the new Union Beer Garden, trying the local craft beer. Kids are welcome up until 6 pm. After trying some different brews, walk over to the Charmery for locally made ice-cream. Try out a cup of Joe (coffee) at Vent Roasters while watching your kids rock climb at Earth Treks, a large indoor fitness and climbing facility.

Finally finish up by getting the sandwich that is unique to Baltimore, pit beef. Chaps offer the best of the pit beef sandwiches in the area. Guy Fiere, Man vs. Food, and Anthony Bourdain are just some of the famous people who have and can attest to this place being one of the best.  Make sure to get it with onions and horseradish dressing on top. Kids may like it just plain.

Take a look at the top ways we plan meals when we travel.

Author: Alison Netzer from Five Family Adventurers

I have been an avid traveler since a young child, exploring the world by myself and now with my family. I am a mom, wife, and owner of a “big boned” Labrador. I work but tend to find myself daydreaming of traveling all the time. This is why I blog about family travel, so I can share my experiences and try to keep my travel daydreaming at bay. I love to learn about new cultures, food and now try to bring that information to others in order to encourage them to embrace what the world has to offer. Life is short! Fill it with family travel and adventures you will not regret it. It is a wonderful time.  Oh, we are also baseball obsessed, not sure how that snuck into our lives. Follow Alison at Five Family Adventurers website, Instagram and Facebook.

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15 Best Things to do in O’ahu with Kids

15 Best Things to do in O’ahu with Kids

If you’re planning a family vacation to Hawaii, who better to give you the insider tips of which are the best kids activities in O’ahu, than a parent who lives there. Here are Casey Harkleroad from This is Our Happy Place rundown of the top 15 of things to do in O’ahu with kids.

O’ahu with kids

What better place to go on a family vacation than tropical paradise?! The weather is perfect, the views are stunning, the people are overflowing with Aloha, and there are so many fun things to do in O’ahu with kids. 

With activities ranging from below the sea to the tops of the mountains and everything in between, it can be hard to decide what is worth your family’s time. This list is going to fill you in on 15 of the best family-friendly things to do in O’ahu with kids. Let’s dive in!

1. Atlantis Submarines – Waikiki with kids

One of the great kids activities in Waikiki is to take your family below the water for a truly unique wildlife excursion. Atlantis Submarines offer passengers a fish-eye view into life below the sea. Whether you book the regular or deluxe tour, passengers are guaranteed to see wildlife, sunken ships, and much, much more. Although the boat is enclosed, there is a minimum height requirement of 91cm/36in so be sure to plan accordingly.

2. Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum – Honolulu with kids

If you are interested in learning about Hawaiian culture and heritage, look no further than the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. Located just minutes outside of downtown Waikiki, this local relic has been educating visitors since 1889!

In addition to having the largest collection of Polynesian artifacts in the world, the museum offers multiple opportunities for the kids to get hands on. For more information regarding what you can expect at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, give this article a read.

Bishop Museum - Honolulu with kids

3. Honolulu Zoo – Waikiki with kids

Whether your kids are 2 or 12, the Honolulu Zoo is one of the top kid-friendly activities in O’ahu. This massive 42-acre establishment is home to over 1,200 unique species. Every day there are opportunities to view animal feedings and talk with the zookeepers. The Zoo also offers a “Keiki zoo” for children 6 and under to interact with farm animals.

4. Hanauma Bay – Honolulu with kids

Hanauma Bay is the absolute best kid-friendly snorkeling destination on O’ahu. The calm waters are easy for beginner swimmers to navigate through and the wildlife is plentiful. For a more complete experience, your family can sign up for a guided snorkel tour. Your family will be led by a trained professional to the best spots for viewing sea turtles and other wildlife.

Hanauma Bay - Honolulu with kids

5. Sea Life Park – Waimanalo

Sea Life Park is one of the more versatile family-friendly activities in O’ahu. Children of all ages can enjoy the animal displays like a regular zoo. For those with children aged three and up, there are loads of animal encounter options to get hands-on with the animals. Your family can swim with dolphins, pat sea lions, and even swim with sharks.

6. Macadamia Nut Farm – Ka’a’awa

Tropical Farms of Hawaii is a locally owned and operated hidden gem on the East side of O’ahu island. Visitors are encouraged to sample the different flavours of macadamia nuts and crack open their own. The farm also offers a very educational Ali’i tour which includes fresh flowers, dancing, and a fire show. There are only two shows a day, so plan to be at the farm before 11 am or 1 pm.

7. Kualoa Ranch Excursions – Kaneohe

If you have ever wanted to visit the set of multiple blockbuster movies, look no further than Kualoa Ranch. Visitors are welcome to take a bus tour around the ranch to visit filming sights for movies such as Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates.

The ranch also offers a wide array of adventurous activities and tours. Whether your family feels like an ATV tour, kayaking, or even zip-lining, you can find it all at Kualoa Ranch. Be sure to book your excursions well in advance because spots fill up quickly.

8. Polynesian Cultural Center – Laie

While there are many places to attend a luau, the Polynesian Cultural Center takes the experience above and beyond. The programs begin at noon and go all the way up until 9 pm. Your family will take an interactive walk through six villages which represent each of the different Polynesian cultures. After playing games and dancing, visitors are treated to a delicious buffet-style luau followed by a unique fire show.

9. Waimea Valley and Falls – Hale’iwa

Waimea Valley and Falls provide visitors with a lush walk through nature. After paying a small admission fee, visitors are encouraged to take a complimentary guided walking tour. Your family will learn about a variety of native Hawaiian plants and shelters used by the original settlers of the island. Your family can cool off at the end of the 3/4 mile paved trail by taking a dip in the waterfall.

10. Laniakea Beach – Hale’iwa

For the best opportunity to spot sea turtles, head to Laniakea Beach on the North Shore. If you’re looking for kid-friendly beaches in Oahu, Laniakea beach is fantastic as it’s frequented by sea turtles year round. In the summer the water is very calm so it is an excellent spot to go swimming with the kids. After spotting a few turtles, head a few miles up the road to shop and dine in the historic downtown district of Hale’iwa.

11. Dole Plantation – Wahiawa

Nestled right in the centre of the island, the Dole Plantation is one of the really fun and delicious things to do in O’ahu with kids. Families have the opportunity to ride a train around the farm to the giant pineapple fields. The Dole Plantation is also home to the world’s largest maze with hidden stamps for the kids to locate. Most importantly, the plantation serves up Dole Whip all day long!

12. Historic Pearl Harbor Sites – Pearl Harbor

Arguably the most important stop during your family vacation to O’ahu is Pearl Harbor. These humbling monuments are rich with the history of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The most widely recognised monument is the USS Arizona where visitors are taken by ferry to view the sunken ship. Other tours include the Battleship Missouri, Bowfin Submarine, and Pacific Aviation Museum.

13. Aloha Stadium Swap Meet – Honolulu

Every Wednesday and Saturday the famous Aloha Stadium opens up for a giant flea market. This is the perfect place to buy Hawaiian clothes and souvenirs. The vendors are all local so the prices are better than anywhere else on the island. There are various stands for shave ice and fresh coconut water to keep the kids cool and hydrated.

14. Go For A Hike

O’ahu is home to some of the most beautiful and scenic kid-friendly hikes in the world. Whether you are looking to see a waterfall, bamboo forest, or gorgeous views of the water, there are trails suitable for even the smallest hiker. Be prepared to pack extra clothes because it does get muddy, but the hikes are more than worth it.

15. Have A Beach Day

The beaches on O’ahu are truly out of this world. No matter the age of your children, everyone can enjoy a day at the beach. If you are staying in Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park is the perfect kid-friendly beach with gentle waters and plenty of nearby amenities. For a list of other kid-friendly beaches in Oahu, check out this article.

kid friendly beaches Oahu

Although there are many more things to do in O’ahu with kids, these 15 activities are going to provide you with the best experience. Your family will see a bit of nature, a lot of culture, and heaps of Aloha while travelling all around the island. Enjoy your stay and mahalo nui loa for reading!

About the Author: Casey Harkleroad from This is Our Happy Place

Casey Harkleroad has been living on O’ahu with her family since 2016. She has 2 children, ages 3 and 6, who love to adventure and learn new things through hands-on experiences around the island.

Follow Casey’s travels on her blog This is Our Happy Place, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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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

Best things to do in Death Valley in one day

Best things to do in Death Valley in one day

Best things to do in Death Valley in one day

The hottest place on earth is not somewhere you would think would be a must see on a USA road trip in summer, but a visit to Death Valley National Park in California is so extraordinary, it’s worth the stop. We were brave enough (or just plain crazy) to spend a day in Death Valley during the peak of summer 2017, and thankfully there were plenty of things to do in Death Valley by car, with only a few short walks added in.

Death Valley is one of the most intriguing and incredible landscapes we have ever seen. From sand dunes to salt flats, and mountains of every conceivable colour, Death Valley constantly changes as you explore further into the park. The contrast of each area within the park is enormous and quite hard to believe until you see it for yourself.

Death Valley Must See

Zabriskie Point

This was by far my favourite place to see. It’s an easy walk up the hill from the car park to see the vibrantly coloured and extraordinarily shaped (from erosion) badlands. This spectacular landscape is Death Valley’s most famous viewing point. If it wasn’t so hot, I could have stood there for ages.

Death Valley must see - Zabriskie Point

Badwater Basin

Being the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin is hot! Way too hot in summer to enjoy the surreal salt flats outside of your car (believe me, we tried). Badwater Basin was an insane 52 degrees Celsius (126F) when we were there and the short walk from the car out onto the flats is not something I will ever attempt again in summer.

If however you’re there in the cooler weather, take a walk out onto the flats with the kids. It’s pretty amazing.

Death Valley must see - Badwater Basin - family road trip USA - Travel with Boys

Dante’s View

Get up high (about 1500m/5000ft above the Valley floor high) and look out over the mountains and the saltpans for a breathtaking view. Dantes View is at it’s best at sunrise and sunset.

Dantes View Death Valley must see

Devils Golf Course

With jagged peaks of rock salt that not even the devil would be able to play golf on, this enormous expanse of earth is fun to explore but just careful not to fall over. Devils Golf Course is usually closed after rain.

Devils Golf Course in Death Valley National Park California

Artists Drive

It’s easy to imagine you’re on another planet or in a scene from Star Wars as you drive along Artists Drive, a scenic loop of 14.5km (9 mile) through the coloured hills. It looks its best in the late afternoon.

Death Valley daytrip

Furnace Creek Visitors Center

A stop at the Furnace Creek Visitor Centre is a must do, to learn about the fascinating history, landscape, people and animals of Death Valley. This is where the kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge and is the best place for a toilet stop. Don’t expect to find any food here but you will find souvenirs. Make sure you take a look at the temperature gauge at the front of the centre.

Death Valley summer Furnace Creek Visitor Centre Travel with Boys

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

It is an incredible sight to find an expanse of sand dunes right in amongst the mountain ranges and salt flats. Stop in the car park and take a walk on the sand dunes. Remember to take your water and hat.

What to see in Death Valley in one day - Mesquite sand dunes

Death Valley for kids

A stop off at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center is essential for the whole family, but especially so if you have kids. Here they can earn their Junior Ranger badge by completing the activities in the free Junior Ranger booklet you get at the centre. The booklet and things they learn at the centre are a game changer when it comes to driving around the arid landscape, so try to visit there early in your day.

Our boys were desperate to see some of the Death Valley wildlife like rattlesnakes and scorpions but we parents were very relieved not to have found any. Coyotes are the most commonly spotted mammals in Death Valley but it was too hot for even them when we were there.

Death Valley for kids - sand dunes

What to see in Death Valley in one day

If you’re looking to do a Death Valley day-trip then these are the must see sights to include. Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, Devils Golf Course, Artists Drive and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and Furnace Creek Visitors Center.

If you’re there in summer, you’ll soon learn why it’s earned its reputation as the hottest place on earth and you’ll largely stick to a driving tour. However during the cooler months, there are some great walking tracks spread throughout the National Park to explore.

Remember, if you’re doing Death Valley in a day, you’ll most likely have two hours of driving just to get there, and it is a huge national park so it will take some time to get around to the different locations.

Things to do in Death Valley - Badwater basin - family road trip USA

Is it worth visiting Death Valley in summer?

Absolutely! Although it’s not the best time to visit Death Valley, if it’s the only time you can go, then do it. It is an experience like never before and is one place our family will never regret visiting.

I am however really pleased we did Death Valley as a daytrip in summer because the heat is so oppressive I wouldn’t want to have stayed there the night. We are from Queensland Australia and love the heat, but Death Valley is a whole other level of hot.

The great thing about Death Valley National Park is you can do most of your sightseeing by road, with just a little bit of walking.

The only reason I personally wouldn’t visit Death Valley in summer is if I had a baby or a child with special needs who can’t communicate or drink small amounts of water constantly, due to the serious risk of dehydration.

Death Valley summer Badwater Basin Travel with Boys

When is the best time to visit Death Valley?

Spring is the most popular time to visit Death Valley National Park. The spring wildflowers are the big drawcard, along with the more favourable weather conditions. Winter and autumn are also great times to visit but the closer it is to summer, the hotter it’s going to get and the harder it will be to do anything outdoors.

Entering Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is not like most other major national parks in that there are no ranger’s booths at the entrance waiting to let you in. You need to stop in at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station or at one of the fee machines throughout the park.

It’s best to go to the ranger station or visitor centre when you first arrive so you can pick up the National Park newsletter, which will help you decide where to go with the amount of time you have available and to find out about any tours that day. You can download the newsletter before you go on the National Parks website.

Entry costs

Single visit pass will cost you $25US per vehicle, which is valid for entry for seven days.

If like us you are visiting a number of national parks, buy an Interagency Annual Pass for $80US per vehicle at the first national park you go to.

Tips for visiting Death Valley in summer

  • You will need to bring A LOT of water. They recommend a minimum of 4 litres (1 gallon) per person per day. Before we left our hotel we filled up our 10-litre water cooler with lots of ice and water, plus everyone’s drink bottles and a few disposable ones, and we were so glad we took every drop of it.
  • Always carry plenty of water with you when you get out of the car, even if only for a few minutes.
  • Bring rehydration tablets, powder or liquid. We took Hydralyte Orange Flavoured Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets as a precaution and we absolutely needed them even though we didn’t go hiking. When it’s up to 52 degrees Celsius you lose a lot of fluid in a very, very short amount of time.
  • Stay on the roads so if you break down you can be found quickly.
  • Phone reception isn’t available through most of the national park.
  • Don’t hike anywhere after 10am if at all. If you want to hike, head for the hills and hike at higher elevation where it is cooler such as Telescope Peak, Wildrose Peak or Dante’s Ridge
  • Other essentials for a day at Death Valley include sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, sturdy shoes, and light clothing that covers your shoulders.
  • Bring snacks, as food is not always easy to come by, especially in summer.

Where to eat in Death Valley

We found the food in Death Valley wasn’t anything to get excited by but there were a few places to choose from in this remote region, and things are improving with major refurbishments to The Inn and The Ranch.

The Inn at Death Valley is the most highly rated restaurant in Death Valley but because it’s closed in summer, we didn’t get to try it out. Also in the Furnace Creek area you can try The Ranch at Death Valley , or Indian tacos and shaved ice at Timbisha Shoshone Village.

Other places to eat in Death Valley include the Toll Road Restaurant and Badwater Saloon at Stovepipe Wells Village, or the restaurant at Panamint Springs Resort near the western entrance to the park.

We would recommend you take some food with you, even if it is just snack food as you’re a long way away from anywhere.

Where to stay near Death Valley

We stayed the night in Ridgecrest, California at the Hampton Inn and Suites Ridgecrest, which we found was great. It took me hours of research to decide on Ridgecrest (we were coming from Yosemite) and to find a nice plus safe area to stay in. Hampton Inn was our number one choice and we were so pleased we stayed there. We even got to see a Roadrunner just outside our window.

Tip: ask for an upgrade to a suite. We were lucky enough to get an upgrade, which gave us extra room, a few couches and space for us parents to sit and relax while the kids slept.

Check latest prices and availability for Hampton Inn

The other place to stay in Ridgecrest we would recommend is the Marriott Spring Hill Suites, which are just across the road from the Hampton Inn.

Check latest prices and availability of Marriott Spring Hill Suites

Both Hampton Inn and Spring Hill are the most highly recommended hotels in Ridgecrest on Booking.com plus they are in the best neighbourhood.

If you’re coming from Nevada, Las Vegas is only two hours away from Death Valley National Park and there are plenty of accommodation options there. After our day at a Death Valley, we stayed at Desert Rose Resort, Las Vegas which was a family-friendly resort only one block away from the strip, so easy walking distance without some of the non-family-friendly aspects of Las Vegas.

Check latest prices and availability of Desert Rose Resort Las Vegas

One thing you absolutely must be sure of, no matter where you stay, is it must have excellent air-conditioning. This is one reason we chose a good hotel over AirBnB or a cheaper hotel.

 

We hope you make it to Death Valley National Park some day. Let us know if you have any questions.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, if you book after clicking on a link, we may earn a small commission. We book our travel through these companies, so please consider booking your travel through these links as it enables us to continue providing you with the best information on family travel.

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15 of the World’s Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids

15 of the World’s Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids

Unearthing the best dinosaur attractions for kids around the world

From North America to Russia, Australia to Europe and the Middle East, we have tracked down the world’s top dinosaur attractions for kids, thanks to the people who know best what kids love, parents. Let your kids discover enormous T-Rex skeletons, dinosaur footprints hidden along the shoreline, life sized state of the art creations and fossil digging at its best.

Finding dinosaurs in Canada

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is the only museum in Canada dedicated exclusively to the science of Palaeontology. It’s also home to one of the largest displays of dinosaurs in the entire world! Visiting is like being transported millions of years into the past. Massive detailed exhibits bring the museums 40 full dinosaur skeletons to life. You can inspect over 100,000 specimens of fossilised remains! The coolest thing about visiting is the amount of hands on activities there are for kids. There is a huge variety of interactive games throughout the displays inside and visitors can explore outside too! The museum offers programs like a real dig experience out in the field. Kids can get their hands in the dirt participating in the archaeological process. Also, there are organised hikes to search for fossils, fossil-casting classes, and various crafts and projects aimed at exciting and educating all ages.

(The feature image above is the Albertosaurus at the Royal Tyrrell)

Unearthed by: Rob and family, Expat Experiment

Dinosaur Provincial Park, Southern Alberta – A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Dinosaur Provincial Park Alberta Canada Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

Dinosaur Provincial Park is located deep in the heart of the Alberta Badlands. The arid landscape stretches over 20,000 ruggedly unforgiving acres. Defined by its strange looking rock formations called Hoodoos, the terrain is absolutely surreal. When we visited we felt like we’d arrived on another planet! Aptly named, the park is home to one of the richest caches of dino bones in the world.

The remains of 40 different kinds of species have been unearthed in the area! Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, Dinosaur Provincial Park is truly a prehistoric treasure trove! There is a chance for discovery around every corner. We were amazed by the abundance of fossils and unusual wildlife in the area. Mule and whitetail deer, cottontail rabbits, a variety of snakes, and over 160 different species of birds live in the in the park. Coyotes are more often heard than seen and if you’re lucky you’ll spot pronghorn antelope sprinting across the vast prairie. Families can explore independently or participate in an organised activity like an authentic dinosaur dig! There is a visitor’s centre, restaurant, and campground on site. Various guided tours run throughout the summer months (June to the end of September).

Unearthed by: Rob and family, Expat Experiment

Finding dinosaurs in Australia

Australia’s Dinosaur Trail – Winton, Richmond, and Hughenden, Queensland

For the avid dinosaur lover, a road trip into the Queensland outback is a must. Australia’s Dinosaur Trail will take you on a unique self-drive adventure through the towns of Winton, Richmond and Hughenden where you can discover world-class fossils. The small town of Winton houses the world’s biggest collection of Australia’s largest dinosaur fossils, at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. You’ll also find life-sized bronze dinosaurs at Dinosaur Canyon.

Just over an hour away you can explore the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument at Lark Quarry Conservation Park which is the only place on the planet with known evidence of a dinosaur stampede.

Next it’s on to Hughenden to visit ‘Hughie’ a Muttaburrasaurus at the Flinders Discovery Centre. You’ll also get to see the Porcupine Gorge Light and Sound Show and the fossil exhibition. Keep an eye out for the dinosaur metal sculptures designed and made by local artists.

It’s hard to believe that you’d find Australia’s premier marine fossil collection 400km from the nearest ocean but Richmond houses this amazing collection that originated from the Great Inland Sea that existed 110 million years ago at Kronosaurus Korner. While you’re there, the kids will love having a go at finding their own fossil at one of the free fossicking sites.

Unearthed by: Nicci and family, Travel with Boys

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, Bathurst, Victoria

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum Bathurst Australia Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

Country Australia has many hidden wonders waiting for the adventurous traveller to uncover. We love to pack the car, fill the tank and head off on road trips to explore a little of this inland marvels.

On our last trip to Bathurst we discovered the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst which boasts the Somerville collection (a huge collection amassed by Professor Warren Somerville AM and donated to the museum) and Australia’s only Tyrannosaurus Rex on display.

Whilst the museum is small by international standards, the fossil gallery is certain to amaze your kids and kick-start their curiosity about the origins of dinosaurs. They’ll find dinosaur eggs, amber encased fossils, opalised fossils and so much more. The kids can try their skill at taking fossil rubbings and stand next to the T-Rex too. They can even hold a tooth in the palm of their hand.

Unearthed by: Leah and family, Kid Bucket List

Dinosaur footprints, Gathameu Point, Broome, Western Australia 

Broome Dinosaur Footprints Australia Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

A very special event happens in Broome, but only at very low tide. When the tide drops below 2.16m at the picturesque Gathameu Point, you can scramble down the cliff front to stand in a dinosaurs footprints. Estimates vary between 120-130 million years old for these incredible dinosaur prints, yet they’ve stood the test of time against the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean.

If you don’t make it at low tide they have a cast of one of the footprints in the car park but nothing beats standing in the real thing!!

Unearthed by: Keri and family, Our Globetrotters

Finding dinosaurs in the United State of America

Moab Giants Dinosaur Park, Moab, Utah

Moab Giants Dinosaur Park Moab Utah Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

A welcome edition to the dinosaur scene in the USA is Moab Giants, the newest dinosaur park in Utah. Take a walk with around 100 state-of-the-art, life-size dinosaurs that once roamed the area. Surrounded by breathtaking landscape, you’re going to want to take some photos with the dinosaurs as you wander around. If it’s hot, make sure you have water on you.

Once you’ve finished on the dinosaur trail, head inside the 5D prehistoric virtual aquarium to explore the amazing and sometimes terrifying dinosaurs of the deep. The last of the five aquariums can be too frightening for some kids but they will let you out before you get to it.

Make sure you also check out the 3D theatre for a fascinating look at the early creation of the universe, the interactive dinosaur museum, dino playground and the all important dinosaur cafe.

Unearthed by: Nicci and family, Travel with Boys

American Museum of Natural History, New York City

American Museum of Natural History New York USA Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City has one of the greatest dinosaur fossil collections in the world and your dinosaur lover will be in awe of the 136 specimens on display including this Yutyrannus huali. Welcoming visitors to the museum is the new Titanosaur, a massive 122 feet long dinosaur which has called New York City home since 2016.

Unearthed by: Nicci and family, Travel with Boys

Other amazing places for kids to see dinosaurs in USA

Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado/Utah border

Dinosaur State Park, Connecticut

Dinosphere inside the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Los Angeles

Finding dinosaurs in England

Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum London England Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

The Natural History Museum in London is world famous for its dinosaur gallery, housing the first fossil ever found from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the skull of a Triceratops, and the most complete Stegosaurus skeleton in the world. It’s an incredible place for adults and kids to explore and the bonus is, visiting the dinosaurs is free.

If you can, make sure you get to the Museum early to beat the crowds and leave plenty of time to explore the other incredible displays. This museum is an absolute favourite of ours and worth devoting some time to.

If you want to have an extra special time with the dinosaurs then can you imagine sleeping with them? At the Natural History Museum you can, thanks to the Dino Snores for Kids program. Dino Snores is for kids aged 7 to 11 and their parents/guardians. Although kids outside these ages aren’t able to stay overnight, the adults can go on their own for Dino Snores for Adults nights. Now that would be fun!

Unearthed by: Nicci and family, Travel with Boys

Jurassic Coast, Dorset to Devon

The Jurassic Coast Charmouth Beach England Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

Getting to hunt for our own fossils along the dramatic coastline of England was a huge highlight for our three children.

The Jurassic Coast is a 95-mile stretch of coast between Dorset and Devon in England. Here it is possible to see 185 million years of our Earths history through the local rock formations. Not that our three really paid much attention to that. Instead they enjoyed running along the rocks and pebbles looking for their own piece of history to collect.

Here the first full fossil of an Ichthyosaur was discovered, helping to change the way scientists in the 1800’s viewed the natural world.

The best place to find your own fossils is along Charmouth Beach. You can take a guided fossil walk through the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre or like us, try your luck by just exploring.

The best time to look is at low tide and if there has been rough weather before your visit. You can take a rock hammer, chisel and of course safety glasses but we were lucky enough to find a couple of Ammonite fossils just loose on the beach. You can also take your fossils home, as any fossils that are not collected will end up destroyed by the sea.

Unearthed by: Kirsty and family, Travel with Meraki

Finding dinosaurs in Portugal

Pedreira do Galinha (Natural Monument of the Dinosaur Footprints), Ourem

Ourem Portugal Dinosaur Footprints Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

Ourem, Portugal is a 1.5 hour drive north of Lisbon, but a trip to this city takes you back millions of years to the time of the dinosaurs. In Ourem you can find the Natural Monument of the Dinosaur Footprints or Pedreira do Galinha. The site is an excellent off-the-beaten path choice, especially when visiting Portugal with kids. A paved walking path surrounds the 60,000m2 quarry where hundreds of well-preserved dinosaur footprints lie.

The huge tracks were made by a herd of sauropods 175 million years ago during the middle Jurassic period. At that time, the site was made of carbonated mud, which was easily shaped. Over millennia, the mud was transformed into limestone, thus preserving the footprints. Although the quarry is roped off, there are sections where you can get very close to the footprints. It is not hard to imagine these four-legged giants walking the grounds as track ways are clearly visible, one of which is 147 m long! The quarry is not only famous for its remarkably condition, but it is also considered to be the oldest and longest surviving set of sauropod tracks in the world!

Unearthed by: Kevin and family, Wandering Wagars

Finding dinosaurs in Belgium

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science Belgium Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

The Brussels Natural History Museum is a great way to spend half a day, or even a full day if you are feeling adventurous. A quick walk from European Parliament, the museum has lots to offer little explorers. From the dinosaur gallery on the main floor, full of skeletons and dinosaur digs, to the Gallery of Human kind where they discuss human evolution, and the Gallery of Evolution which looks at the evolution of animal kind around the world, there is something for everyone.

Of course, the Dinosaur Gallery is the most popular and largest of the galleries. It is easy to spend a few hours carefully exploring each skeleton, examining the placards and becoming an archaeologist in the fossil dig site.

 Unearthed by: Christine and family, Tapped Out Travellers

Finding dinosaurs in Switzerland

Sauriermuseum Aathal (Aathal Dinosaur Museum), Zurich

Aathal Dinosaur Museum Zurich Switzerland Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

The largest dinosaur museum in Europe, and owned by the archaeologist responsible for the most impressive find to date, the SaurierMuseum in Zurich, Switzerland is every child’s dream come true. While many of the artefacts are behind a rope and meant to be protected, there are replicas throughout the museum that are meant to be touched. That’s right – your child is actually allowed to touch something at the museum! There is also a multi-media room where they showcase dinosaurs in pop-culture as well as various forms of visual and print media – lunch boxes, t-shirts, Saturday morning cartoons – are truly interactive and amazing. Don’t forget to visit the Big Bang Room before heading upstairs.

The Museum states, “the dinosaurs are anywhere from 50 to 95 percent actual bones, and the Allosaurus “Big Al Two”, which is 95 percent complete, is the most complete example of this dinosaur ever found.” As you can see, this museum is extremely important in palaeontology.

Unearthed by: Christine and family, Tapped Out Travellers

Finding dinosaurs in Russia

Orlov Palaeontology Museum, Moscow

Orlov Palaeontology Museum Moscow Russia Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

Russia is big. Russia is in fact very, very big. And a lot of this size is uninhabited frozen wilderness, tundra and forests. So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Siberia in particular has been a rich source of prehistoric finds over the years. Or that a number of these fossilised skeletons, stone footprints, painted rocks or defrosted mammoth mummies have made their way to the capital, Moscow, where there is a huge collection of dinosaur bones in the Orlov Palaeontology Museum.

On display is an extremely impressive number of full-sized skeletons. Everything from giant sloths and large flightless birds, through fishy reptiles and shellfish impressions, to crowd pleasing triceratops, brontosauruses and the sort of terrible lizards who would rip you apart as soon as they look at you. But the museum is also notable for its artwork. There are all sorts of murals, sculptures and dinosaur themed wrought iron door and window fittings to discover too. And that’s before you get to the cave paintings.

It’s an extensive collection, and the fact that there is very little English language support is really not a problem given that dinosaurs don’t really need much embellishment to wow. Well worth a visit if you are ever in Moscow.

Unearthed by: Sol and family, Kidding Herself

Finding dinosaurs in Czech Republic

DinoPark Praha, Prague

DinoPark Prague Czech Republic Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

You can find Dinopark Prague in quite an unusual location… on top of the Gallery Harfa Shopping Centre. It’s part of a chain of dinosaur theme parks in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain and Russia. The shopping mall is easy to reach by public transport and there’s a large car park. You can get there by metro, bus or tram. When you get to the roof of the shopping mall, there’s a nice food court and a small playground with awesome iron musical play structures. You can already see the huge dinosaur statues behind the park walls.

Our toddler was mesmerized by the life-sized dinosaurs, most of them animated and making sounds. There’s also a paleontological playground, where kids can uncover a dinosaur skeleton and some dino themed play equipment. Since we were there in 2016, they’ve added a unique 4D cinema, which is included in the park’s entrance fee. Dinopark Prague is not a very large park, but with an entrance fee of only 6,5 USD it’s definitely worth 1-2 hours of amusement for your kids.

Unearthed by: Lisa and family, Flip Flop Globetrotters

Fining Dinosaurs in the United Arab Emirates

Dubai Garden Glow, Dubai

Dinosaur Park Dubai Top Dinosaur Attractions for Kids Family travel

Dinosaurs in Dubai? Ok not quite real but for our little ones, this is about as good as it gets! Made real to life size and controlled by animatics, including real life roars!! The dinosaur park is part of Dubai Garden Glow in Zabeel Park. It opens in the evenings only from 4pm over the cooler summer months. As the sun goes down the dinosaurs come to life! All the kids favourites are there and dinosaur eggs to sit in.

Unearthed by: Keri and family, Our Globetrotters

 

We hope you’ve found some new dinosaur attractions to take the kids to. Do you have a favourite dinosaur exhibit?

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15 Best dinosaur attractions around the world for kids

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