Tervuren Park is a tram ride from the city centre. Walk around the lakes or wander along the trails in the woods. You can get to the Africa museum and its formal grounds from the park or go into Tervuren centre and sample the patisseries and shops.
Take the No 44 'Tervuren' tram from Montgomery metro. The park and museum are just opposite the tram stop
This welcoming cafe/restaurant is in the basement of St Andrews in the Square (a renovated 18th-century church, now functioning as a folk club and venue for events such as weddings and conferences). Cafe Source offers value for money - not particularly cheap, but fantastic quality and decent portion sizes (especially the delicious sandwiches).
It's also a good choice for families, as a selection of toys is usually available, and is ideally placed for lunch or dinner following a visit to the People's Palace on Glasgow Green.
The monthly jazz supper club is well worth a visit, but book in advance - it's very popular.
St Andrews Square, just off the Saltmarket, G1
A great place to see the cool and relaxed side of the busy city. It’s best at weekends, if you have never seen a mum pushing her child in a buggy while rollerblading, this is the place to go. Street markets and entertainers abound and the whole atmosphere is friendly.
Head north-west up the coast and you can't miss it.
One of many luxury hotels in Hong Kong but this one is just that bit special. Extremely well located on the Kowloon side, it’s just a few steps from the Star Ferry terminal and the malls of Ocean Terminal. Opposite it is the Hong Kong space museum and it is not too far from the Hong Kong science museum – both great venues for children. And of course the hotel has a shopping mall of its own.
Rooms are spacious and elegant and the service is as you would expect. However the best part of it is that the hotel does relatively affordable helicopter rides. A fab way to see Hong Kong or to buzz yourself to the airport.
It also has Rolls-Royces to transfer you to the airport – very comfortable and only a fraction of the price of what you would pay for a car transfer from Narita to Tokyo.
A masterpiece of design, the main surviving relic of the 1958 World Fair, the Atomium is a giant aluminium and stainless-steel representation of the atoms in a steel molecule. Recently renovated to its original shining glory, the Atomium will reopen for visitors in February 2006. Features will include a top-floor restaurant with panoramic views. The building will host exhibitions and artefacts from the 1958 fair, but the building is worth a visit on its own.
Square Atomium, 1020 Brussels; Metro 1A to Heysel; www.atomium.be
The ancient capital of Siam, it's the same distance north of the airport as Bangkok is south.It is everthing Bangkok is not - rural, relaxing, peaceful, hassle-free and the only choice if you have small kids. You can even breath the air.
Once there, choose from a range of lovely, cheap family run guesthouses within walking distance of the crumbling golden wats, some over 1000 years old, that dot the canal girt plain. Built by the Khmers and destroyed by the Burmese only a couple of centuries ago, they make an ethereal sight as the dawn lights the mist through the banyans.
Just catch a train in the opposite direction from the front of the airport. On arrival, a tuk-tuk will take you round to the hotels on the opposite side of the river for a few baht.
They roast their own coffee, brunches are fabulous, the atmosphere laid-back, and there's a good newsagents with a wide range of imported magazines and newspapers (including the Guardian Weekly) just a few doors away. Open air seating out back with a small sandpit for the kids. The Atomic has been around so long that it's become a bit of an institution and so a wee bit shabby. But then shabby is part of the NZ experience.
121 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland; Tel:09 376 4954
A pleasant, air-conditioned bookshop with a coffeeshop near Gulshan 2. Smaller than the chain Et Cetera, they hold a wide variety of hard and paperback books in English from India and the UK. They also carry DVDs, kids books and toys. The small cafe seems to be a hit with young locals and foreign visitors.
Very near the Gulshan 2 roundabout. 125, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212. T: 02-9890832
This is a central Australian must see. An award winning, well set-out park that offers a great insight into desert ecosystems (much richer than most realise), aboriginal land use and amazing animal displays. Entrance is not cheap, but it’s a sophisticated, full-day experience.
You can get there by shuttle bus from most hotels and guesthouses in town. You could hire a bike (20 minute ride from centre) or walk (about 40mins, 6kms); www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au/
Google map: tinyurl.com/nznx8f
Toronto Island is a must see and it is basically free, an oasis in the middle of the city. The island is a like a large peaceful park with beaches (there's a nude beach, gay beach as well as regular beaches), rollerblading, biking and walking paths, and even an amusement park and free petting zoo for children.
Ferries leave every 15 minutes from Bay St and Queens Quay at Harbourfront, just south of Union Station. There's plenty of parking too. www.toronto.ca/parks/island/index.htm
Modern, clean and friendly hotel - especially for families. Rooms around £60 per night accommodating a family of up to four. The hotel is approximately 200 metres from a surviving piece of the Berlin Wall. It’s in a central location about 5-10 minutes walk from Potsdamer Platz.
Anhalter Strasse, Anhalter Bahnhof S-Bahn; www.suitehotel.com
The famous laughing face of Luna Park has long been a symbol of St Kilda. Recently there have been concerns regarding the future of the park, but these have now gone. This amusement park has some great attractions, including the roller-coaster and a of course the carousel. There are also dodgem cars, a ferris wheel, a ghost train and a pirate ship. The Scenic Railway, the oldest continually operating roller-coaster in the world, has been rattling around Luna Park's tracks since 1912 and still gives the best views across Port Phillip Bay... all in all, still one of the best family days out around.
St Kilda VIC 3182
Melbourne's zoo is one of the oldest in the world, and today sets standards with its range of specific animal enclosures and education programs. Nearly all of the animals live in habitats that mirror their natural environment: rainforests for the gorillas, wetlands for the wading birds, native grasslands for the wallabies. A great place to visit, only a short tram trip from the middle of Melbourne
Parkville, VIC 3052
OK, so, it's an obvious choice, but this is toy heaven, or hell, according to your point of view. They say it's the world's largest toyshop, and even if it's not, it feels like it. Besides the extraordinary array of all things childlike on offer, the best thing is the staff, who are endlessly patient - no mean feat in a toyshop full of screaming children.
A word of advice - before you go, set the ground rules with your kids. If you let them know that you're only going to "look but not buy", then anything you do buy them will be a bonus. If they go with the impression that they're goingto be given their weight in toys, they'll only be disappointed.
It's one of those once-a-year experiences.
188-196 Regent Street, Soho, W1B 5BT
Tel: 0870 333 2455
Nearest tube: Oxford Street or Picadilly Circus
The Egyptian Museum, just across the road from Schloß Charlottenburg, has a superb collection of artefacts, but is worth visiting for one reason alone – as the home of the famous bust of Nefertiti. And nobody objects if you take your own photos of it either!
Schloßstraße 70, Charlottenburg, 14059 (3209 1261). U2 Sophie-Charlotte-Platz/U7 Richard-Wagner-Platz.
On the north bank of the river, sitting on the southside of the Strand, Somerset House is well worth a visit either summer or winter. As well as housing the Courtauld Institute art collection the refurbishments at Somerset House have made much more sense of the outdoor space.
In summer there is a terrace cafe, and a beautiful modern fountain feature and in winter - from the end of November to the end of January - the courtyard becomes an ice rink (with an ice wall for lunatic climbers added for 2005). If you are prompt you canbook a skating session if not, you can watch the skating from the comfort of the cafe - it's rapidly becoming London's answer to the Rockerfeller Centre's skating rink in New York, but in some ways is prettier.
Our local Italian... and we are proud of it. It is somewhere we can walk on a Saturday night... with a bottle of red and enjoy a meal. (It's fully licensed or you can bring your own). Families love it because kids are well catered for here.
It is noisy and buzzy but down the back away from the large Pizza oven it is quieter. The waiting staff are very much at home dealing with us locals (even their guest Canadian waiter is no longer homesick)... Great southern Italian cooking here !
Sometimes it pays to book beforehand...
462 Hampton St HAMPTON 3188
ph: 9598 9396
If you want an early morning diversion on a Sunday 8 am til 2pm, columbia Road flower market is excellent, even for non-gardeners. Over the years new shops selling young designers' furniture, delicatessens and even a top cake shop, Treacle, have opened there, making it a great place to browse or meet... Warning though if you are taking small children - it is absolutely heaving and can be a bit daunting for a knee-high visitor.
Afterwards it is close enough to go to the Whitechapel art gallery, Spitalfields Market, Shoreditch or a curry in Brick Lane.
Nearest underground Old Street (turn left outside, walk along Old Street, into Hackney Road then after 200 metres turn right into Columbia Road)
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