Category Archives: travel

Spain: A Winery Road Trip

Spain is the third largest wine producer in the world, and in the past couple of decades the popularity of Spanish wine has exploded, with Rioja particularly growing in popularity and quality. When it comes to affordable, great quality wines there is a huge variety throughout the country, with native grape varieties such as Tempranillo, Garnacha and Carinena.

This is a great time to consider a road trip around the Spanish wine making regions, seeing the beautiful scenery of this amazing country, along with sampling the fantastic wine on offer throughout the country.

Northwest Spain

This area of Spain is great for white wines and Mencia red wines. For a scenic drive through this region, drive from Santander along the Atlantic coast: you’ll drive across the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean on quiet roads. There’s spectacular scenery in this region, which is ideal for a wine road trip.

Mediterranean Coast

Catalonia is famous for its Cava: white sparkling wine with a refreshing bubbly taste, along with Valencia and Murcia producing deep reds and aromatic whites.

Ebro River Valley

Here you will find La Rioja and Navarra, therefore this is a great destination if you only have time to tour one wine growing area. Tempranillo is produced in this area, along with a lot of rose wine.

Duero River Vallley

This valley is home to one of the most renowned wineries in Spain: Vega Sicilia. Founded in 1864, this winery produces three wines: Unico, Valbuena 5°, and Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial which is aged for at least 10 years. This is a highly recommended destination for wine lovers.

Central Plateau

Here you’ll find the city of Madrid, along with dry and sunny conditions which produce some of the best value red wines in all of Spain, such as Monastrell. There are some great daytrips in this region if you want to make Madrid your base.


Andalucia is famous for producing sherry, so this is a great location for those who like heavier, sweet wines. Bodegas Tio Pepe is particularly recommended for a visit if you’re passing through Seville.

Take a Tour

The best way to see Spain and experience the amazing variety of wines on offer throughout the country is to travel around, either on a self-guided road trip or an organised wine tour. You can take a daytrip from Madrid to see the Ribiera del Duero, or a trip from Barcelona to taste Catalan wines. From Seville you can take a sherry wine tour, and Bilbao is a great base for Rioja tours. There are even opportunities to make your own wine in the wineries of Rioja!

Spain is a great destination for wine lovers, and the scenery is spectacular. This makes is an ideal place to tour if you’re looking for a road trip with ideal stopping locations to sample local food and wines.

Photo used under creative commons licence, Credit: Angela Llop

Exploring Less Familiar Regions

When Americans go to Europe, they typically go to London, Paris, and if they’re feeling adventurous, Tuscany. However there is much more to Europe than just these hotspots. Many people we know say they have a better time in “second cities” than in capitals. I’m sure this is partly an expectations issue. For example, our expectations of cities like Paris tend to be so high, and our travel dreams don’t feature a subway that smells like pee, long lines at the Louvre, all those types of travel realities.

What if you want to do free ranging exploration? Young travelers will often get a rail pass to explore Europe, or go on a bus tour. Rail passes are slightly less good value now because of the abundance of budget airlines but are still definitely an option to consider (as are point to point rail tickets).

Organized bus tours are falling out of favor, especially with with millennials who want a more unique experience and have confidence in being able to arrange their own travel due to the internet. There are other ways to get around, ranging from cycling at the very inexpensive (but hard work) end, or if you’ve got the budget, then the increasingly popular option of a European river or Mediterranean cruise . The cruises take in some of the most historical cities like Prague, Budapest, and Nuremberg. Looking at the itineraries cruises use is a great way to think about what route you might like to take. The great thing about Europe is that traveling from country to country is like traveling from state to state in the US because the distances are much shorter. International travel by land (or water) is definitely a viable option.

When you’re thinking about going somewhere like Prague or Budapest, remember that these aren’t particularly exotic or intimidating destinations for Europeans and Brits. They are just normally cities. You’ll easy find a hotel and a Starbucks 😉 or the location equivalent. Even vegetarians shouldn’t have too many problems travelling in these regions. For example, Happy Cow has over 50 listings of vegetarian or vegetarian friendly restaurants in Prague.

If you still feel a bit unsure, what can you do to feel more confident? You could try the following: Talk to other people who’ve travelled extensively in Europe. If you plan to travel with kids, then talk to people who’ve done it with kids and check out family travel bloggers. If you’re planning a trip to London, Paris, or Florence, then why not add a few extra days to see somewhere this just slightly more adventurous. Somewhere in Eastern Europe would be a great option but you could also do a second city just in the main country you’re visiting. Using this method, you’re still spending most of your time somewhere you know you’ll like but can step outside your comfort zone just a bit. Once you’ve organized your own travel a few times you’ll most definitely become bitten by the travel bug.

Traveling for Work Without Your Kids

Torn between your career and your children?

Of course your children will always come first, but you may also have that longing to push yourself professionally and fulfil those career aspirations. Leaving your little ones for a business trip, no matter how long you’re going away for, will break your heart no doubt, but there is some good news, a silver lining on that cloud.

The good news? These days you can do both, and it’s perfectly easy to do once you put a few methods in place

Here’s a few ideas.

Don’t be afraid of lists – Lists are a basic life-saving thing for me. If I think of something, I write it down, and that way I won’t forget it. If you have memory like a sieve, such as I do, then this will be your serious go-to! In the case of heading off on a business trip without your children, then leaving to-do lists and reminders at home will put your mind at rest, that everything is covered, and also inform those left behind at home on what to do. Making checklists is a good idea for things that need to be done at home in your absence. For example, a checklist for the getting out the door to school routine. Here are Sir Richard Branson’s list making tips, which I find quite inspiring.

Skype is your friend – Setting a regular time to Skype video call the kids is the perfect way to stay in touch, both visually and verbally. The phone with just a voice can seem impersonal, don’t you think? Your kids seeing your face will put them at ease, and make you feel better too. Just make sure that you schedule a time that doesn’t disrupt their routine, and maybe just before they go to bed, provided you don’t think it would upset them too much – or you for that matter! Sometimes Skype rates can be very high for calling home from some overseas countries, especially from cell phones. In that case it might be cheaper to explore using an international broadband cellphone service. This is an especially simple option for communicating with places like your child’s preschool or technophobe family members who don’t want to deal with phone apps and the like, since you can just call their regular number.

Consider an au pair – If you travel a lot then employing an au pair might be the best way to go. A live-in au pair will mean your kids are with someone they know well and trust when you’re not there, and also for you, this means your little ones are in the hands of someone you trust too. Go through a reputable agency and draw up a list of questions you want to ask before you start interviewing. Picking the right candidate will mean you have utter peace of mind.

Involve the kids – If you have children who are of an age to understand the places you’re travelling to and how you’re getting there, sit down before you go and tell them stories about the place you’re going to, and how you’re going to get there, such as the flight etc. This will help them see your business trip as something positive and fun, and they will be wanting to know all about it when you get home. Take lots of photographs too, which you can email them to show them what you’re doing while you’re away.

Special treats – Create a ritual that only happens when you go away. For example, whoever looks after your children when you’re not there, get them to take the kids to the cinema and make this a recurring thing that happens when you go away on your business trips. Another idea could be a movie night with snacks, popcorn etc. This will help make your going away something for them to look forward to for another reason, and take their minds off the fact that you’re not there.

The important thing to remember is reassurance that you’re only going away for a few days, and that way time will pass much quicker. These days, us women are increasingly business-oriented, as well as being as maternal as we ever have been. Yes, you can do both, and yes, it can work!

Moms’ break in Barcelona

A holiday with the girls, sans children – does this sound like your dream break right now?

Whilst I’m not going to say that anyone really enjoys leaving behind their little bundle, or bundles, of joy, there are some times when touching base with female friends is just needed, don’t you find? Fun times with the girls can’t be beaten.

Barcelona is a great choice of destination for such a catch up, and there’s lots to do, more than you’ll ever fit into a few days. As with any city break, you need comfortable shoes. Okay, you need fashionable, comfortable shoes, I’ll rephrase that!

Get yourself glammed up, get yourself looking sleek and sophisticated, it’s time to hit the city, Spanish style!

1) Tapas!

The famous Spanish way of eating has to be consumed in Barcelona; I’m sure it’s the law or something, and if it’s not then it should be! The traditional way is to have pintxos which are basically small dishes, tapas, which are served on a slice of bread. Munch whilst you’re gossiping and catching up, and you usually eat them with toothpicks.

2) Get cultural

When you have your kids in tow, it’s not always easy to really explore what you’re seeing, because you’re too busy keeping an eye on everyone and seeing to their needs. This is your chance to immerse yourself! Barcelona is one of Europe’s most cultural cities, and if you head to one of the many museums or galleries, such as the Fundacio Joan Miro, then you’ll really be in for a treat. A girly cultural few hours, with a few drinks afterwards maybe?

History-wise, the Museu d’Historia is the perfect choice.

3) Chow down some paella

Someone else cooking for you? Yes please! Seafood is famous in Spain as a whole, but it is especially fresh and delicious in Barcelona. Paella is practically the national dish, so it would be a crime not to eat it whilst on your visit. It’s like going to Rome and not eating pizza!

4) Indulge in your sweet tooth

There are some serious top-quality confectionery stores in Barcelona, and some, like Papabubble, let you watch demonstrations whilst they make their mouth-watering products! Tired of buying sweets for the kids but never getting any for yourself? This is for you! Of course, you could also purchase a few to take home as a treat for your children.

5) Beach time

A girly day on the beach is just the ticket! Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to one of Barcelona’s close-by beaches. There are several, but Sant Sebastia is a popular one.

6) Retail therapy!

The ultimate girls’ activity! You’ll find high street stores, such as Mango, and designer labels lining the streets of the city, but Passeig de Gracia is the most famous shopping district of the city. This is where you’ll find the most affordable stores too, so perhaps start there and leave the window shopping to the designer stores, that’s certainly what I’d be doing!

7) Girl’s night out

Freedom, your friends, a new city – this all adds up to a delicious recipe. Cocktails on one of the outdoor terraces on the La Ramblas, followed by clubbing it up at one of the many hot nightlife spots around the city. There are countless clubs, but Razzmatazz is one of the most popular, and oldest – perfect for dancing around your handbags. Cabs in Europe tend to be pricey so if you’re going to be heading out on the town perhaps pick a centrally located hotel, many of which are modern European in style.
Just seven suggestions there for a moms’ break in the Spanish city of Barcelona. Catching up on gossip, enjoying freedom time with friends, and basically catching up on YOU – the perfect time you could spend, before returning home to the ones you truly can’t do without.

photo credit: Luis Hernandez – cc

Taking Kids to Antigua (Caribbean)

Antigua, one of the most gorgeous Caribbean islands, is “a well equipped” destination for family holidays, big on water-based excursions and activities. At Stingray City, for instance, kids of all ages can touch and feed stingrays and snorkel amongst tropical fish. Divers of all ages and levels of experience are also well catered for, with companies such as the Sea Wolf Diving School offering a range of dives plus childcare for kids too young to take the plunge.

Things to do with kids in Antigua

– Kids can seek out coral reefs in water (because of the clarity of the water you can see them without diving)

– For those interested to experience the underwater world on a submarine, Subcat Antigua offers a submarine adventure departing from Carlisle Bay on the island’s south coast.

– Explore one of the various old forts. You can take the kids on an educational tour round some of the crumbling ruins of old sugar estates or to the forts built to protect the trade around English Harbour and Shirley Heights.

– Starting from 7+ years another interesting choice might be kayaking, snorkelling and hiking adventures.

– A trip to Barbuda to visit the island’s frigate bird colony

– A Rainforest Adventure. Take a morning canopy tour and ziplining adventure; this perfect for adventurous families with older kids

– Kids of all ages will love a visit to Stingray City. This water based tour will whisk the whole family off on a speedboat to a shallow pool where you’ll be shown how to handle and feed wild Stingrays. This trip includes snorkeling, and although there’s no age limit, guests must be comfortable swimmers to participate. The cost of this adventure is £ 55/ child and £74-87/ adult.

– A visit to Prickly Pear Island. This is a little island situated at a short boat ride from Antigua. This is where kids can let their imaginations run riot as they play at being castaways for the day. There a trails to enjoy, flotillas to relax on, and you can find a beach bar and restaurants so you won’t have to hunt for your own food. Transportation is twice a week.

Many hotels on Antigua offer all-inclusive options, which can be a good choice for family holidays. Even if you choose this option, it’s worthwhile outside the resorts where there are a wide range of restaurants, small cafés and roadside bars to cater for most tastes. For example you can try the bar and restaurant at Shirley Heights, which is great for families on Thursdays (best for young families) and Sundays (with famous BBQ parties featuring a live steel band).

The cost of family holiday packages to Antigua depends on the type of accommodation you choose. A 2 week package is around £800 per person on a room-only basis to £1,100 for all-inclusive. An interesting option for accommodation during a family holiday in Antigua could be The Verandah Resort & Spa. Here potty-trained children from two-years-old are cared for at the Kid’s Club, a purpose-built building with its own splash pool and adventure playground. Professional staff organise activities throughout the day, from art classes, pool games and nature trails to seasonally themed programmes at Halloween, Easter and Christmas. Older kids are catered for with crazy golf, a games area, movies nights and a weekly teen’s disco and karaoke.

photo credit: CindyWalkerPhotography cc

Fun Activities in Jamaica for Families

Of course it’s nice to take a family trip that involves sitting by the pool and letting the staff at your hotel’s kids’ club entertain the kids. However, I think it’s important to exposure children to some local culture and outdoorsy activities beyond resorts when on vacation.

Here’s what my research has turned up for planning a Jamaica trip. If you’ve been I would love any further suggestions!

Dunns River Falls Hike – a hike up the Dunns River falls is most appropriate for teenagers. Dunns river Falls is a six hundred feet high waterfall that flows directly into the ocean. The guided hikes offered are a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. This is also a great way to introduce infants and toddlers to the wonder of nature; the whole waterfall is surrounded by viewing areas that have safety rails, for safe viewing.

Rafting on the Black River Safari – this is one is best for older children through teenagers, this guided raft will take you down a beautiful river surrounded by lush, tropical forestry packed with exotic birds, iguanas, and other creatures that will surely excite the kids.

Aquasol theme park – located at the Walter Fletcher Beach is a watersports themed park with all the water sports the kids will ever need. From wave runners to banana boat rides your kids will love the magnificent ocean and thrill of being so close to the sea creatures. Most appropriate for ages five to teenagers, this theme park is located right on a beautiful stretch of white sand beach. One other attraction is the go-kart racing facility that the theme park also has. For the kids, there is also the convenience of a kiddie’s snack bar.

Doctors Cove Beach – has trampolines for the kids. Perfect for ages four to ninety nine, these large water trampolines add a magic touch to a day at the beach.

Columbus Park museum – great for kids from eight years old and up. Your teenagers will love the lesson on Jamaica’s past, and the younger ones will love the ancient artefacts like the old Arawak (the indigenous Jamaican people) canoe, and earthen vessels.

Horseback riding in the Ocean – the horseback tours will lead your family through Jamaica’s countryside and straight into the ocean. Jamaica has many companies that offer these packages. It is also a great idea to check with your hotel for their recommendations.

Family cruise – Island Routes Reggae Catamaran Cruise is a way of seeing the island from a different perspective. Family cruises (offered Wednesdays and Fridays) include snorkeling, a 120-foot waterslide, and giant water trampolines.

A safari on the Chukka River – Chukka operates various adventure activities around Jamaica. This activity is suitable for children 6+, it involves riding (gentle) rapids in a comfortable river tube down the Rio Bueno is one of them.

Meet The People” – is a program designed for those of who want to get to know some of the locals. After filing an application and getting approved, you’ll be connected (for no fee) with one of the approximately 500 ambassadors who have been vetted by the Jamaica Tourist Board. Meet The People is apparently quite popular with families.

Scotchies Restaurant (Montego Bay) – if you are in or near Montego Bay, you can choose eating out as an activity for your family. Along with the great local cuisine, kids will love the rustic and kid-friendly atmosphere. This is a little café which serves traditional Jamaican favourites, like jerk chicken, pork, fried plantains and peas and rice. For kids, they have fried chicken and specialty burgers, like salmon and veggie. No reservation is needed and a meal for a family costs around £18 if you pay in the local currency, it not you’ll be charged an extra 20%.

While I’d mostly been thinking of Jamaica as just a beach and resort destination, there are far more things to do on family holidays to Jamaica than just hang out at the hotel!

photo credit: Ashley Campbell Photography cc

Planning a Family Trip to Barbados

As one of the larger Caribbean islands, and with a rich history, Barbados often offers good deals and a variety of things to do for the whole family.

Rent a Car.

Even if you’re staying at a great resort, rent a car for at least one day of your stay to get out and explore the item. This blog, written by locals, has some great suggestions of picnic spots around the island.

Enjoy some local foods as well as the food you’re getting served at your resort.

Research the island’s culture and history before your trip.

Make a trip an educational experience by doing some social studies style projects with your children about the history and culture of the Barbados before your trip. Base this based on your child’s interests. For example, some children will be interested in fish and marine life and others might be interested in history.

Young kids might like to make some flash cards with different types of fish on them. You could even make this a memory game where you have two of each card and the child has to match them.

Choose calm beaches.

The West Coast of Barbados has calmer water than other parts of the island. In contrast, the South Coast is known for it’s surf.

Choose accommodation marketed at families.

There are some nice resorts on the upscale West Coast which offer pools as well as the ocean and tons of activities for children. For example, family-friendly Crystal Cove resort offers family-friendly suites and restaurants, educational kids’ activities, marine programmes and golf lessons, surf excursions and swimming with the turtles.

Kids can have fun with crafts and video games in the Kids Club under the supervision of a trained professional. Here you can also find an Aqua School which provides access to complimentary water sports and activities, as well as seasonal educational marine programmes and the Kids Club where kids and tweens between the ages of three and 12 can do crafts and play video games.

– 3-tiered swimming pool
– 2 floodlit tennis courts
– state-of-the-art fitness centre
– kids’ club (9.00am-9.00pm, 3-11 years)
– Free water sports: kayaking, boogie boarding, sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing and snorkelling
child care centre.

Don’t plan to go for a weekend.

Some resorts have a minimum stay of 5 or 7 nights. This is fairly typical. However the flight is too long for a weekend stay anyway. If this is your first time doing international travel with kids, learn some tips for recognizing and coping with jet lag in children. There is some great info out there from family travel bloggers.

photo credit: mikebaird via photopin cc

Family Travel to the Maldives

The incredibly beautiful Maldives is another one of those destinations that I tend to think of a honeymoon/couples destination, but in reality, in most resorts in the Maldives children are welcomed. Here’s an overview of what’s on offer for families to start your research:

Bandos which provide a crèche and babysitting service, and rooms for whole families. Here there is a large sports centre with tennis, badminton, squash, table tennis, gym and table games, as well as massage, sauna and steam rooms. For the much younger children there is a childcare room with appropriate toys and an outdoor play area. Female staff members are on hand to look after the children and are available for babysitting in the evenings. Children who are neither very young nor old enough for the big games might well find other children around to play with.

One & Only Kanuhura offers babysitting services, and provide a kids’ club and swimming lessons. At One & Only Reethi Rah there are family villas. They have dedicated children’s area and club which provides a separate dining area and activities running clubs for all ages from 2 to 18.

You can get family packages at LUX Maldives. They have separate clubs for teens and younger kids and a bunch of activities that you can do as a family like table tennis, volleyball and regular tennis.

Kuoni’s exclusive Kuramathi Island Resort situated in the North Ari Atoll is another option for families. The kids’ club Bageecha (the Dhivehi word for garden or park) offers various outdoor activities including grilling marshmallows on the beach, guided snorkelling and marine life education activities. Evening pastimes include movie nights, mini discos and night walks. Aqua Sports & Fun offers a range of water sports for teenagers and adults.

Kurumba Maldives resort has the Maaja Kids’ Club where children between the ages of 4 and 12 can enjoy beach games, Maldivian craft making and educational activities. With two children’s pools, tennis courts, snorkelling, sea kayaking, sailing and volleyball, table tennis and much more besides there will be plenty to keep everyone occupied between meals – which you can enjoy at any of the resort’s seven restaurants.

Among the activities in which you can get your kids involved there are:

– Splash around. Kids will happily spend all their time swimming and splashing around at your resort’s pool and beach. Be sure to choose a resort that features a kids’ pool.

– Join a cycling tour. This one is more suitable for older kids. Cycling is a great way to take a break from the beach and explore the wildlife surrounding your hotel.

– Play games at The Cool Zone in the Villingili Island. Here between 9 am and 7 pm children can find toys and play games such as:

Young Pirates of Villingili – a game that involves exploring the islands for hidden treasures. Learn the pirate vocabulary, words of fun and adventure.

Jungle Discovery – the opportunity of exploring the different facets of nature and meet meet with the amazing creatures living there, such as the flying fox and geckos.

Young Chefs – learn culinary secrets from the hands of the master. Kids wear their own Chef uniform and learn how to cook tasty, mouth-watering dishes.

Underwater Adventure – learn about the beauty of the sea. Learn funny and amazing information about green turtles, black tip sharks, starfish, dolphin, corals, parrotfish and a whole lot more.
Nature Arts & Crafts – learn how to craft a shell necklace and sand castle frame using real leaves & coconuts.

photo credit: notsogoodphotography cc

Caribbean Holidays with Kids

The Caribbean is often seen as a destination mostly for adult travellers and couples, Here’s some suggestions for planning a family friendly holiday to the Caribbean.

Possible activities for children in the Caribbean:

Choose a hotel with a dedicated kids’ club.
Many family friendly hotels have dedicated kids’ clubs. Here are couple of examples to give you an idea of what you can find.

– Some hotels, such as Carlisle Bay Hotels, have different clubs for children based on their age. The Caribbean Cool Kids Club (open seven days a week, from 8.30am to 12.30pm, and 1.15pm to 4.15pm) is suitable for children aged six months to six years, and is supervised by qualified childcare professionals. Activities might include lizard hunting, treasure hunts, and arts and crafts. The club has its own paddling pool, sand pit and jungle gym, is free for children over 2, and cost about £9 per hour for children from 6 months to 2 years. And the Crew Blue programme runs complimentary activities for children aged 7 to 12, including raft building, five-a-side football, and star fish hunting. It runs morning and afternoon Monday to Friday during all main US and UK school holiday and children are free to dip in and out. For children aged 13- to 19-year-olds there is Crush, a teenage club. Here they have their own chill-out room with a Wii, table tennis, table football and pool; they also run a variety of outdoor activities and water-sports such as wake-boarding and BBQ parties.

– The Verandah Resort & Spa ‘Kidz Club’ has a spacious building with a large adventure playground shaded by trees and a children’s splash pool. Games, crafts and activities for little ones are offered daily at the Club. It includes a cosy nap area for the little ones, bathroom facilities, a kitchenette, cable TV, movies. For teens, there are movie nights, a weekly teen’s disco and karaoke.

Resorts with Water Parks

In the Caribbean many resorts have their own Water Parks, such as:

in Bahamas – Atlantis Hotels and Water Park

in Jamaica – Beaches Negril Resort, Sunset Beach Resort And Spa Montego Bay, Hilton Rose Hall Resort, Beaches

in ST. Lucia – Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, Smugglers Cove Resort and Spa, Comfort Suites Paradise Island Resort

in Turks and Caicos and Puerto Rico – Beaches Turks and Caicos, El Conquistador Resort

Other water based activities:

River tubing is great fun and can vary tremendously from a serene glide down a gentle river, to a big adrenalin kick after the rains.

Family sailing holidays – You can learn how to sail while on vacation in the Caribbean. Take your pick from an hour or two, a day sailing lesson or a full-on sailing course, or sailing holiday.

Under-sea experiences for the family – You can check out reefs and corals by being a sub-aquanaut, or sit comfortably in an Atlantis mini-submarine for a tour of the underwater world. 

For families interested in nature and wildlife here are some options:

– Take the children snorkelling.

– Wildlife and turtle conservation – You and your children can snorkel and dive with turtles, and watch them nesting

– Bird watching in the Caribbean –  Some Caribbean islands have an amazing variety of birds and offer extraordinary holidays in the Caribbean for keen birdwatchers.

– Families interested in adventure might enjoy ziplining. 

In planning a family trip, look for info that specifically lists information on the activities and facilities available for children e.g., Caribbean holidays for kids. It’s sometimes hard to tell if a resort is going to be friendly to family travelers so it’s a good idea to try to figure this out before you book and choose somewhere that markets itself as kid friendly.

photo credit: barloventomagico cc

Options for Family Travel to Dubai

Picking family travel destinations can be tough as it’s rough to arrive at a nice hotel and find it’s not particularly welcoming to children. Dubai is a good destination if you’re seeking family friendly accommodation.

Many hotels in Dubai welcome children with a range of fantastic facilities. Kids can enjoy entertainment such as computer rooms, play areas and activity groups. Children and family friendly swimming pools are also available which include exciting water slides and games. Several family hotels in Dubai even offer all inclusive deals which is perfect for a family holiday as well as providing a shuttle service to and from shopping areas and/or exclusive landmarks to make life easier when travelling with children. For your peace and mind, baby-sitting services are also accessible in most hotel grounds which can prove to be very useful if you wish to take a break from the kids to pamper yourself. Below is a list of things that you can do with kids in Dubai:

Children’s City is located at the Dubai Creek Park at Bur Dubai. It consists of over 80,000 square feet of educational area with attractions for kids, ages from 2 to 15 years old. It blends activities on nature, space, science, culture and the human body and kids will love the flight simulator and the other interactive exhibits.

Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates – for a reasonable fee you can do skiing and snowboarding, or just throw snowballs. You can even sign your child up for ski or snowboard lessons! Do book in advance for lessons, to be assured of a spot.

Go to the beach:

Al Mamzar Beach – The sea here is crystal clear, and there are fish close to shore and it is great for snorkeling. There are five beaches in the park, but beach Four has changing/toilet facilities and volley ball nets. The sea here is sheltered, and fairly safe from currents.

Satisfying the desires of the little ones it’s not easy, and a holiday is always a challenge when it comes to the food and how they adapts to the new environment. In Dubai there are restaurants specially designed to welcome juniors with healthy surprises, playgrounds and comfortable seats. Below is a list of such restaurants.

Beachcombers (Jumeirah Beach Hotel) serves a range of delicious dishes with Asian influences plus a selection of international dishes carefully cooked for children. There is a well-supervised area for kids that offers all kinds of artistic activities and crafts, juggling and face painting. Kids may participate in fun contest called Monster Feet. Also, play in sand with buckets and blades. The restaurant is open for brunch, which costs on average £47 (adults) and £22 for children up to 12 years. Kids under 5 years free.

Nomad, Jumierah Creekside: it is an airy and relaxing style family brunch that offers a wide range of international cuisine and attentive service. You can ask only one fruit for your children and get a bowl of sliced ​​berries and a sliced ​​fruit platter all prepared especially for them. For older children, the restaurant serves pasta, beautifully decorated, cupcake-and fun in the inflatable castle or at tennis – all activities are carefully monitored so that you can relax. Open for brunch, which costs £31 for adults, children under 12 are free.

Raffles Roast, near Wafi Mall: If you are a family who likes meat delicacies, then at Raffles Roast find roast beef and turkey with liners. Puddings are amazing, as well as apple pies and fresh berries. There are plenty of activities for children including video games and cartoons, workshops for baking pizza and cakes and the possibility to feed the goldfish at the restaurant’s pond.

Mazina restaurant at Dubai Marina, where the children have their buffet in the center of the restaurant stocked with dishes suitable for them and a chocolate fountain. They can watch a movie while sitting in small chairs or choose face painting and jumping in the inflatable castle.

This page has some more info on Dubai Family Holidays. Although Dubai sometimes isn’t considered as a family travel destination, there is lots to do there for kids.

photo credit: M.A.J Photography via photopin CC.