Children are curious and adventurous. Taking them on family holidays that meet their interests and passion means creating and sharing wonderful moments they will remember for the rest of their lives. Visiting one of the world's most famous theme parks, searching for Scotland's famous monster in Loch Ness, meeting Africa's "Big 5" on a safari, or visiting the Lord of the Rings' Middle Earth on a trip to New Zealand are just a few unforgettable adventures you may want to do as a family before your kids grow up.
Adventures for book and movie buffs
There are ample opportunities for your kids to get close to their movie and literary heroes. The Harry Potter movie set in London, United Kingdom, allows Muggles to wander the hallowed halls of Hogwarts castle, have a stroll down magical Diagon Alley or see Harry, Hermione and Ron's original costumes - including the famous cloak of invisibilityi.
If you are in Europe and you would like to combine a rendezvous with the world's most famous Gauls with thrilling roller coaster rides and entertaining live shows, make your way to Asterix Parc in Paris, Franceii. As well as the Gauls be prepared for encounters with Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Egypt and our favourite, the Vikings.
New Zealand is where Peter Jackson brought the famous "Lord of the Rings" trilogy to life. The beautiful Tongariro National Park on New Zealand's north island and the Canterbury region on the south island are spectacular in their own right and a highlight for every outdoor lover. Your kids however may probably know these placesbetter as Mordor, home to Sauron and destination of the ring bearer, and Edoras, residence of King Theodeniii. Join your kids and have a great time embarking on your family's own adventure by wandering in Frodo's, Aragorn's and Gandalf's footsteps.
Theme parks offer entertainment for the entire family. Let your kids hang out with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Cinderella and all their other favourite Disney characters at Walt Disney World in Florida, USA, Disneyland in Paris, France or Disneyland, Californiaiv.
In the United States, Six Flag theme parks are scattered all over the country and are home to some of the most spectacular roller coasters in the world. The KingdaKa is the fastest coaster in North America and reaches a top speed of 128 mphv.
For local theme park adventures, consider Dreamworld Gold Coast, which features a great variety of family and kids' ridesvi.
A myriad of myths, legends and "once upon a time" tales are based in Scotland, and that makes it a great destination for young and old. Fuel your kids' imagination and curiosity by taking them to a Scottish castle, by finding out about Celtic history together and by trying to get a peak of Nessie - Scotland's famous and elusive Loch Ness monster - while travelling through Scotland's legendary highlands.
Your children don't believe in Santa Claus anymore? Prove them wrong and take them to the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Lapland-Santa's hometown. At the Santa Clause Main Post Office, Postal Elves are ready to assist your children with writing greeting cards to their friends and relativesvii.
The Arctic Circle is not only home to Santa Claus, but also the best location to see one the world's most fascinating natural wonders - the Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis. They occur due to an interaction of charged electrons from the solar wind with elements in the earth's atmosphereviii. Make your way north and enjoy the breathtaking view of the glowing atmospheric lights in the dark sky together with your family.
If your kids love animals, take them on an African wildlife safari. This will not only give them a chance to experience fascinating culture and landscapes, but also to see Africa's "Big 5"-the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffaloix- and other animals such as giraffes or gorillas in their natural habitat.
Your family prefers the ocean over dry land? Arrange a swim with dolphins. To make this encounter safe and enjoyable, be sure to check regulations and safety tips that may vary from country-to-country or even from state-to-state. In Australia, swimmers are supposed to keep a distance of 30 metres from a dolphin or whale, unless they participate in an authorised swimming program guided by an expertx. Never feed a dolphinxi and don't try to touchxii them as this may put the animals under distress. You also shouldn't approach dolphins directly, but let them approach you insteadx. Stick to these guidelines and you will have an experience that you and your family may never forget.
Sharing unforgettable moments on family trips can be life changing and a valuable investment in your children's future, but they are rarely inexpensive. Life insurance can allow your family to still have these experiences even if your circumstances change from an extended illness, an injury that leaves you permanently unable to work or premature death. Get a life insurance quote online today.
i Daily Mail, The magic of Harry Potter: See inside the studios where the movies were filmed (and the biggest disappearing act will be £100 for a family ticket and a wand), http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2114972/Harry-Potter-studio-tour-review-See-inside-movie-sets-Leavesden.html
ii ParcAsterix, http://www.parcasterix.fr/en
iii New Zealand Government, Department of Conservation, Lord of the Rings locations, http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-visit/lord-of-the-rings-locations/
iv Disneyland Paris, http://parks.disneylandparis.co.uk/disneyland-park/shows-and-parades/index.xhtml
v Six Flags Theme Parks, http://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/rides/kingdaka.aspx
vi Dreamworld, Rides, http://www.dreamworld.com.au/Rides/Rides.aspx
vii Santa Clause Village, http://www.santaclausvillage.info/
viii How stuff Works, How does the aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) work? http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/question471.htm
ix About Africa Travel, The Big 5 - Facts and Information about Africa's "Big Five", http://goafrica.about.com/od/africanwildlife/ss/The-Big-5-Images-Facts-And-Information-About-Africas-Big-Five.htm
x Australian government, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Whale Watching Guidelines 2005, http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/publications/pubs/whale-watching-guidelines-2005.pdf, p.14
xi Australian government, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Whale Watching Guidelines 2005, http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/publications/pubs/whale-watching-guidelines-2005.pdf, p.18
xii Australian government, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Whale Watching Guidelines 2005, http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/publications/pubs/whale-watching-guidelines-2005.pdf, p.19