Top family travel experiences for 2019

We've picked a few unusual New Year's ideas for the family, from the creative to the cultural

By Maria Pieri
Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:41 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 15:59 BST


Photograph by Joseph Casey Photography

Do something big. This year, the Grand Canyon will celebrate 100 years of national park status. At the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors can tread the red rock of the Corridor Trails, stroll the canyon's rim or swim in the bright blue pools of Havasu Falls. There's also the 2019 Grand Canyon Star Party, in June, at which the Saguaro Astronomy Club will set up a series of telescopes for a spot of stargazing.

Join Ghoul School. It's back to school (with a difference) at the National Children's Museum in Halifax. Over this February half-term, the creepy Ghoul School will allow kids to get an education from the terrifying teaching staff; young ones can swot up at Dr Frankenstein's science class, learn survival skills with the resident werewolf or even cast spells and brew potions with a wicked witch. 

Spin the decks.  Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is inviting kids aged four to 12 to recreate their own iconic Ibiza Flower Power Party (PG-rated, of course), become the island's next big DJ or follow in the footsteps of Nobu himself and cook up a culinary storm. 

Make a splash. Head to the Bahamas, to Atlantis, home to the largest open-air marine habitat in the world. More than 50,000 marine animals inhabit Aquaventure, a 141-acre waterscape, and there's an array of underwater experiences on offer too. 

Become a happy Champer. Forget glamping, Champing is the new trend of staying overnight in a historic church and has already seen hundreds bed down in these unique buildings in the name of conservation. Sites are dotted all over the country, including St James' Church in Cooling, Kent, which inspired the opening chapter to Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

Be a superhero for the day. Opened in July, Warner Bros World in Abu Dhabi is a cartoon wonderland that transports guests to six expertly designed lands — including Gotham City and Bedrock. Little ones can explore the park that's filled with fan favourites from Superman to the Looney Tunes, along with 29 rides, interactive family-friendly attractions and live entertainment shows.   

Spend a night at the museum. Fancy a sleepover at the Natural History Museum? It's just one of the many national institutions, along with the Science Museum and National Marine Aquarium, opening its doors after dark for workshops, special events and talks. 

Published in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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