Europeon Vacation: Kids' Top Picks
by Mike Chan
Mike and Mae Chan, and children Lauren, 15, Kevin, 13, and Gregory, 11, embarked on a European adventure last summer, sampling England, Switzerland, France, and Rome. Here are the kids' must-see lists for these countries:
KIDS' FAVORITES IN LONDON
- Visiting Kings Cross Train Station where they filmed Harry Potter and you can take a photo at Platform 9 ¾.
- Exploring the incredible variety of goods for sale, and the exotic food court, at the Camden Lock Markets.
- Riding the London Eye and admiring the gorgeous views while marveling at the engineering behind this giant bicycle wheel with pods.
- Spending half a day at the Imperial War Museum and learning about war and its impact on society. Of special interest were the exhibits where you would experience the bombing of London during WWII in a bomb shelter and walk the trenches of WWI during a battle.
- Madam Taussaud’s Wax Museum is a fun diversion. Where else can you take pictures of yourself with the likes of Arnold Swarzenegger, The Rock, Britney Spears and many many more celebrities from the world of movies and politics? They look surprisingly real up close.
- Eating at the Sherlock Holmes pub near the waterfront and enjoying hot and crispy fish and chips while admiring the Holmes memorabilia that are everywhere.
- Seeing the London stage production of The Lion King.
- Buying interesting snack foods at the local market and trying products like Giant Prawn Cocktail Chips.
KIDS' FAVORITES IN ROME
- Eating pizza at Pizzeria Leonina near the Coliseum and enjoying varieties such as potato and onion or zucchini pizza.
- Discovering new pastas like gnocchi or saltimboca.
- Scooping Gelato at Il Gelatone as often as possible.
- Sitting on the Spanish Steps at night and soaking in the night life.
KIDS' FAVORITES IN VENICE
- Feeding the pigeons at Piazza San Marco (1 Euro per bag)
- Taking a short traghetti ride (poor man’s gondola) across the canal.
- Shopping near the Rialto for jewelry and buying a Venician mask (the girls).
- Eating fresh fruit cups and Italian ices.
- Taking the No. 1 Vaporetto (water bus) line for an overview of Venice.
KIDS' FAVORITES IN GRINDELWALD, SWITZERLAND
- Eating Bockwurst sausages and Swiss chocolate.
- Taking the gondola to Mannlichen for spectacular views and an easy hike to Kleine Sheidigg at the foot of the Eiger.
- Taking the First tram up 3,000 ft to start hiking to the alpine lake Bachalpsee for lunch and up to the top of the Faulhorn through snowy fields and steep switchbacks (the boys).
KIDS' FAVORITES IN PARIS
- Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower at dusk, then viewing the Tower from Trocadero Center at the top of the hour after dark when thousands of halogen lights make it look like a giant Christmas Tree.
- Exploring the treasures of the Louvre. This place is huge!
- Seeing how fast we can run up the 284 steps to the top of the Arc De Triumphe. Took us 3 minutes. After hiking the Alps, this was a piece of cake.
- Eating giant grilled Greek shish kabobs at Place St. Michel.
- Exploring the Rue Moffetard Market, eating buttery croissants, and listening to the street artists.
- Walking around the gardens of Versailles with the fountains in full spray and rowing a boat in the royal canal. Made us feel like Louie and Marie.
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