The EMP is a remarkable place where the most famous musicians from the Pacific Northwest area (Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain) are represented alongside other important but less commercially successful artists such as Sleater-Kinney. There are also exhibits offering a more general overview of the history of music and lots of interactive exhibits - including real musical instruments with tutorials!
Admission is usually $15 but they hold an 'all access' evening every month which is free and also features local live bands.
325 5th Avenue North (at the bottom of the Space Needle), Seattle, WA 98109
The first Sunday of the month is free, as everybody knows. Therefore, to avoid the crowds, the best time to go is on the day before - everyone's waiting for the free entry the next day!
We went on the Saturday and had the place to ourselves, apart from the usual crowd that is always gathered around the Mona Lisa. We went again on the Sunday and it was hideously busy. We didn't have to queue though: a nice security guard spotted our pushchair and let us jump the queue! It's a surprisingly child-friendly place, and of course the advantage of the free Sunday is that you can take the kids (they are always free on any day) and you haven't wasted the cost of your ticket if their behaviour is such that you have to leave after five minutes.
This must be the best B&B in Wales. The rooms are really bright and comfortable and spotlessly clean and the food is delicious. Nick and Mair the owners are friendly, helpful and great with the children. The surrounding area is beautiful. We have been back time and time again.
Ty Derw, Dinas Mawddwy, Machynlleth, SY20 9LR 01650 531318
Do what the Istanbullers do. Escape the heat of the city with a ferry day trip to the Princes Islands. Drink tea and eat bagels served to your seat during the 1 ½ journey as the ferry stops at four of the islands before terminating at the ornate Ottoman quay on Büyükada. Take an island tour by phaeton (no cars allowed on the islands). Stroll along the shopping streets. Marvel at the extraordinary ice cream parlours. Eat fish on the waterfront, then return to the city. For just three TL (£1.50) each way, a bargain.
Ido Ferries, regular departures from Kabatas quay, Istanbul. www.ido.com.tr/en/index.cfm
A summer fete for kids throughout the summer. They provide everything from African dance workshops to face painting and book libraries. All in Italian, but all very accessible, friendly, a great play park and free!
www.lacittaintasca.it nr Circo Massimo
Cortona is a pocket sized town in northern Tuscany. It's a two and a half hour train ride from Rome and with a bit of searching, B&B and self catering accommodation are reasonable. The public swimming pool is located on the edge of the town and even in the heat of August is rarely busy. Prices change year on year but tend to be around 5E for an adult for an all day visit (sun beds are currently free). If you want an Italian holiday and can't afford a three-bedroomed villa with a pool, this is the place for you. The pool is a 15 minute stroll from the centre of town where many of the B&Bs are located. You can wander through the local park, plonk yourself on a sunbed all day and enjoy pizza and a jug of the local wine for under 10E in the charming cafe. Take your own swimming hat (you're not allowed to swim without one) and frolic in the cool, unchlorinated waters.
Parco Sportivo "G. Favilli" - just off Viale Passerini (behind Casa di Accoglienza)
Hidden away in an interior garden near Barcelona's city centre is a public paddling pool great for cooling off with kids. The Torre de les Aigues is also known as the Eixample Beach (Plaja del Eixample) and is very near Paseo de Gracia (Roger de Lluria with Consell de Cent). The park has shade, changing rooms and a sandy zone for fun with buckets and spades. Also further uptown in Gracia, the Parc Creueta del Coll located at Passeig de La Mare de Deu de Coll has a, cafe, playground, grass to lounge on and huge paddling pool open throughout the summer months. Entrance for both is two to five euros.
Family guide site to Barcelona www.kidsinbarcelona.com has information on these and other outdoor swimming pools in Barcelona
The gardens which surround the Musée du quai Branly in Paris are free to enter. They are beautifully designed with lots of nooks and terraces. They even host parts of museum exhibitions such as the current TARZAN! exhibition which has sound effects hidden in the garden - great for kids. You can also view the Eiffel Tower whilst sat eating a lovely chocolate cake in the museum cafe also in the gardens.
musée du quai Branly
37, quai Branly
75007 – Paris
tuesday, wednesday and sunday : 11am . 7pm
thursday, friday, saturday : 11am . 9pm
- metro : Iéna (line 9), Alma-Marceau (line 9), Pont de l’Alma (RER C), Bir Hakeim (line 6).
- bus : line 42 Eiffel Tower stop; lines 63, 80, 92: Bosquet-Rapp stop; line 72 Musée d’art moderne – Palais de Tokyo stop
- river shuttle : Eiffel Tower stop (Batobus, Bateaux parisiens et Vedettes de Paris
The Centre National de la Mer is a vast aquarium on the northern edge of Boulogne Sur Mer and a good place to take children and young people.
It offers a broad experience of the world of the oceans, as well as showing hundreds of species of fish and marine mammals in spectacular tanks, against which you can press your nose to the (toughened) glass as sharks or barracuda swim by, alarmingly close.
Adults may find it a little too didactic an experience because, in typical French fashion, there is a very great deal of information presented to you, both at the start and at every stage of your visit. It is also rather hot and, again, adults may find that, like me, they are forced to visit the excellent bar to refresh themselves before returning to the Everglades, or the Deep Oceans or whichever part of the Centre they were at when the need for sustenance overtook them.
Children, young people and adults with energy and curiosity will enjoy Nausicaa enormously.
Nausicaa, Centre National de la Mer, Boulogne Sur Mer. www.nausicaa.fr
A great find! A beautiful family run beach front hotel in a small Turkish village. The warm welcome lasts all week! If you are looking for a taste of Turkish culture and spectacular food then this is the place to be! Bodrum is only 15 minutes bus ride away but we only visited once, there was always enough to do nearby. Local markets, horse riding, live music.
The Mandalya Hotel
City sightseeing tour with live guide or multi-lingual commentary. It is amazing! Takes you on a huge sightseeing tour of the city and we hopped off at the People's Palace and Mitchell Library which were superb. Recommend also visiting Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow Cathedral, University West End area of Byres Road. Fantastic value for money. Interesting. Breathtaking architecture. Your ticket is valid for two consecutive days.
www.citysightseeingglasgow.com or Tourist Information, George Square also Buchanan Bus Station. You may also pay as you get on the bus.
My family and I recently visited a brand new apartment complex on the Costa Del Sol, near Malaga, called Terrazas Costa Del Sol Holiday Village. It only opened this year, so there are some really good deals on one-bedroom apartments – ours slept four people and was about £300 for the week. We have young children, so the kids’ clubs were great. It also has a gorgeous infinity pool that has views of the Rock of Gibraltar. The kitchen in our room also meant that we were able to cook food cheaply and make meals that we knew the kids would like. We will definitely be back!
The Fox and Goose is a good country pub, within reach of Exmoor and the South West Coast Path, which has an excellent range of beers (Barn Owl, Cotleigh Brewery, especially good), and a wide-ranging food menu. The cheeseboard has local cheeses as well as Cornish classics, such as Yarg. Staff are friendly and helpful.
The interior of the pub is somewhat utilitarian, but gives the impression of having been put together with care over many years, with fading photographs of long-deceased local drinkers, yellowing maps, newspaper cuttings, and an enormous stag's head, with a scarf tied loosely round its neck, given pride of place. While vegetarians might find this somewhat off-putting, visitors made of sterner stuff will enjoy the atmosphere greatly.
Parracombe is just off the A39 between Blackmmor Gate and Lynton. The village is at the bottom of a steep hill, with a narrow road. Take care driving down. The visit is well worthwhile. Phone 01598 763239.
1- Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
Kelvingrove is the most visited museum in Scotland and the most visited in the UK outside of London. It recently underwent a massive refurbishment which has added new collections to its already impressive invitory.
2- Museum Of Transport
Everything from a horse and carriage to vintage steam trains are available here. A great place for kids or for a family day out, plenty to see.
3- Glasgow Cathedral
Worthwhile just to see the building itself, it is hundreds of years old and still looks magnificent, not bad inside either.
4- Burrell Collection
Located opposite the Kelvingrove Museum and well worth doing along with its more popular neighbor. Plenty to see from Ancient Egypt to information on Sir William Burrell who donated the collection.
Long gone are the days of my childhood, spent hunting for huge, edible pink crab with my great-uncle on the rocks of West Pentire. However, Vugga Cove on Crantock beach still holds many delights for rockpoolers, young and old.
This archipelago of pools is a tapestry of oxygenating wispy lime green and the burnt umbers and siennas of bladderwrack. Skylarks sing overhead as you hunt with bucket and net for fish and crab. The tiniest of creatures await to be inspected; sea lice, baby translucent fish, shrimps. Two-inch long stickleback and little shore crabs lurk in crevices.
Later, hot and sticky from the chase, you can swim in the warmed waters of Peggy's pool before the tide sweeps in to cover it.
Crantock beach, near Newquay, Cornwall
You sit on the side of the harbour and dangle a net/hook into the water and wait. After a while you pull the line back up and hope there's a crab or two hanging onto the end. You can buy a crabbing line from nearly all the toy/corner shops around Padstow for about £1. We found that by tying and net or an old vest onto the hook and filling that with 'welks' you caught more crabs as they attached themselves to the net. You can buy welks from the local fishmongers for a pound a pot. Or simply ask to have the leftovers of the fish parts which they will give you for a small contribution of 50p or so. Another tip is to take a fishing net, as we found the crabs fall off. So once you pull the line out of the water, put the net under crab and it will fall off into it - then you can put it into your bucket filled with water and watch them move about. Once finished crabbing however, then done thing is to take your bucket to the waters edge and tip it over and watch your crabs run back into the water. It's so much fun, and if visiting Padstow harbour, this is one the the things you MUST try.
West Quay, Padstow, PL28 8AQ
About three miles east from the pier at Herne Bay are some fantastic rock-pools. They cover a large area and are entirely made up of weirdly flat boulders, so it looks a platform game. You can happily spend time jumping from boulder to boulder, or playing games to work out the quickest way to the sea without stepping on the sand. The boulders are covered in weed though, so be careful you don't slip.
Best of all, there are lots of little rock-pools between the boulders with crabs, anemones, little shrimp-things etc. And the flat boulders provide the perfect standing platform to watch them all.
The whole place was totally deserted on a warm Saturday in June - a hidden gem!
Once you head back to Herne Bay, Ernie's Plaice does excellent fish and chips (eat on sea-front) or you can have a classic Knickerbocker Glory sat in one of the kitschy red booths at KC's Ice cream parlour. Their chocolate-orange ice cream is especially nice.
Turn right (as you face the sea) and walk along the sea-front, then down onto the beach when it finishes. Rock-pools are about 3 miles from the centre of town at low-tide only. Or you could drive to Reculver Lane and walk down from the church car-park (much closer).
This family owned and run ski chalet with direct ski access and fantastic creche is where we spent our best holiday ever in New Year 2009. My eldest started on skis; my little one loved the wonderful nannies at the creche.
Skiing was excellent with the portes du soleil right on your doorstep. Each evening, after the chalet served a delicious children's tea, we got the kids in bed and enjoyed the superlative cordon bleu dining and excellently chosen French wines served in the chalet.
The owners and staff were great, the atmosphere warm, friendly and helpful and the service exceptional. Delightful en-suite rooms, ideal for families. Our starlight plunge in the hot tub was one of the many highlights!
This is the best place we have found for crabbing. It's a secret what to use to attract the crabs (don't tell anyone, but we always used liver).
Sometimes you would get the crab to the top of the pier before it let go. Now it is my grandchildren's time for this treat they have a cheat; a net that lays underneath, so when the crabs let go they fall in the net.
In Carnival Week in August there is a Crab catching competition.
Cromer is a lovely little seaside town which has not been spoilt yet, lovely for children's summer holidays.
Cromer has a train station. You catch the train from Norwich.
Take crabbing to the highest possible level by competing in the British Open Crabbing Championship held every year in the seaside village of Walberswick. Described as a competition for “children of all ages” – the only condition being that you weren’t born before 1890 - there can be few greater pleasures than joining the hundreds of competitors with line, weight and bait (bacon is said to be best, but the professionals will keep their choice to themselves) and then teasing the crab out of the water and into the bucket. If you can’t make it to Walberswick on Sunday 9th August this summer then any other day will do. Our daughters, now in their late teens, have the fondest memories of hanging off a bridge, filling a bucket with crabs and then releasing them, often a hundred at a time. An essential family experience.
Walberswick is in Suffolk, across the river from Southwold (take the rowed ferry) Details of the crabbibg championships at www.walberswick.ws/crabbing/
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