Summer destinations are not the only option for vacation for families with children. Here’s a list of cities which promise a fun and educational holiday for you and your children with many opportunities and activities from science centers to amusement parks, aquariums to pirate ships.

Standing out with its art and architecture, this Catalan city enables children to become dragon experts or football fans! You can start your tour from Park Güell, designed by architect Antoni Gaudí whose presence can be felt all around the city, where children will feel like they’re visiting a fairyland. Included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984, the park helps children understand how geometry can be transformed into art with its colorful motifs and cave-like arched passages. For a more vibrant day, Tibidabo Amusement Park awaits you. Located a bit outside the city, away from the metropolitan crowd, this entertainment center offers a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Ferris Wheel. Children can feed their curiosity at CosmoCaixa, the museum of modern science. Make sure to visit the museum exhibitions and attend the experiments in many scientific fields such as physics, chemistry, geology, and mathematics. Time for dessert! Dedicated to chocolate, Museu de la Xocolata will teach you about the journey from the discovery of cocoa to the production of chocolate. After a tour among extraordinary chocolate sculptures, you should attend a workshop to make chocolate. Camp Nou, the home stadium of the FC Barcelona, one of the world’s oldest football clubs, is a source of excitement for people of all ages. While exploring the stadium and the in-house club museum, you can see Lionel Messi’s golden shoe and the team’s cups in addition to the locker rooms and players’ bench. The neighborhood of Barri Gòtic will reveal to you the city's distant past. Children are invited to a realm of fantasy with dragon figures and sculptures on buildings that date back to Roman times and the Middle Ages. How about a sweet break of churros after an exploration of the Gothic structures and the streets?

Who’s afraid of the cold? Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, one of the world’s happiest countries, is home to many options for children. Tivoli Gardens host a number of attractions such as a roller coaster, a merry-go-round, swings, and water shows. The science center Experimentarium offers educational and fun opportunities for exploration. Focusing on the relationship between humans, nature, and technology, the center is mostly popular for the Tunnel of Senses, providing various approaches to our five senses based on the stages of life from a baby’s first visual experience to the moment an elderly person loses his/her hearing. If you wish to continue your tour of science, I suggest you visit Tycho Brahe Planetarium to see the moon rock brought back by the Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972. While in Copenhagen, you should also visit the Hans Christian Andersen Fairy-Tale House, dedicated to the Danish author. Transformed into a museum, the house has meticulously protected all his belongings including his handwritten notes. Of course, Copenhagen is also the home of the Vikings who ruled Scandinavia many centuries ago. The five original Viking ships at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, 35 kilometers from the city, will excite your kids and draw your attention. If you prefer a more classical tour, you can visit Bakken Amusement Park (Dyrehavsbakken). Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s the oldest one in the world because it has all the rides you'd expect from a modern park. For a break from having fun, you can relax with live music at one of the park's restaurants.

How about visiting Antalya for something besides swimming and relaxing on the beach? Mostly preferred for summer vacations with its beaches and wonderful sea, this city in southern Turkey has something more waiting to be discovered. The Antalya Toy Museum invites your children to play games. The museum will also take you back to your childhood days with more than 3,000 nostalgic toys including cartoon characters, tin soldiers, and porcelain dolls. How about some adventure after this low-key visit? Don’t be frightened if you suddenly hear a dinosaur because it means you’re in Dinopark! The moving, audible, and true-to-life replicas of dinosaur models make you feel in the Jurassic period. Children cannot have enough adventure here with climbing walls, bumper boats, trampolines, and pool games while movie buffs can enjoy 7D cinema. Antalya Akvaryum, one of the world’s biggest aquarium complexes, is both entertaining and educational for it introduces children to the interesting underwater world. The aquarium offers a year-round experience with snow thanks to its Snow World and Ice Museum. Situated in the same complex is WildPark which takes children on a tropical journey among the world’s most intriguing reptiles. For those who wish to enjoy the open air, the city offers many options from sack races to tugs-of-war, archery to flying kites. Another pleasant stop for kids is Antalya Marine Biology Museum. Designed as a sunken pirate ship on the inside, the museum displays nearly 500 species inhabiting Turkey’s seas.

The district of Kitsilano on the northern coast of Vancouver, is home to a volleyball court, an outdoor pool, and a sand playground for children. While children have fun and enjoy the sunny weather, you can take pictures of the mesmerizing view of the ocean. Of course, don’t forget to visit Kitsilano Market to buy fresh local fruits and vegetables, and to wander among colorful stalls. You can stop by Stanley Park to prolong this outdoor pleasure. It’s almost like a forest with its natural flora and size. If you happen to visit on a sunny day, you can have a family picnic on the grass, or rent a bike to enjoy both nature and the city along the coast. Another fun event for the family is a ride on the SkyTrain, which is more than a means of transport with wonderful vistas of the city. Granville Island, the city’s popular shopping district, is home to many culture and arts venues in addition to an entertainment and game center with a dizzying number of options for kids. Fresh cocoa cream and warm doughnuts are must-try delicacies in Vancouver! H.R. MacMillan Space Center deserves a visit from kids interested in astronomy. Take your seat in the planetarium and lean back to explore the universe we live in. Here, the entire family can learn about planets, meteor showers, nebulas, black holes, and many astronomical events. The Cosmic Courtyard Exhibit Space informs you about light pollution, climate change, and potential life on other planets while introducing  you to strange astronomical facts. Make sure to touch the 3.75-billion-year-old moon rocks, one of the only five touchable ones in the entire world.

Another child-friendly city is Helsinki with many spaces designed for children's quality of life and comfort. In addition to the green urban spaces and parks, the city has a number of centers that offer new experiences for children and youth. Linnanmäki is the biggest entertainment park in Helsinki. Besides rides and play areas, the park hosts a toy museum, an aquarium, and a movie theater that shows children’s films. If you’re looking for an event, you can attend a cotton candy workshop at Shop Caramelli inside the park where children will learn the stages of making cotton candy and create one based on their own aesthetics and preferences. Serena, the biggest water park in Scandinavia, lets children enjoy the rides in indoor and outdoor pools while you take a hot break in a spa or a Jacuzzi. It’s a wonderful experience to feel the peacefulness of a life in nature by staying at one of the cabins in the park. They are all inside a forested area with a view of Serenalampi Pond, right beside the event locations inside the park. The forested area surrounding the cabins is perfect for outdoor activities and camping adventures. Helsinki Zoo on Korkesaari Island awaits curious children with 150 animal species and nearly 1,000 plants where goats, peacocks, and squirrels can roam freely. The zoo becomes even prettier in spring when nature is awakening, and animals give birth. The boat ride to the zoo will allow you to witness the city’s beauty from the sea.

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