Adventures with kids. There’s nothing quite like it. From camel trekking to conservation work and skiing to safari there are so many options. Lucky for you we’ve pulled together the 11 best family adventure holidays to give you some ideas.
Adventures with kids
The primary idea of adventure trips is to get everyone in the family having fun, enjoying the outdoors and learning new skills. But there’s perhaps more to it than that.
On the best family adventure holidays you’ll experience new things together and have to work as a team, this has the power to unite. By having an adventure together, family bonds become stronger and go a bit deeper.
Now you’re thinking this all sounds rather warm and fuzzy, but there’s a strong element of truth in it. Research shows that families are brought together by adventures and outdoor experiences.
Also shared adventures create a lifetime of memories that are particularly influential for younger kids. They won’t remember the long drive, or the horrible hotel, but they’ll always recall their first wave surfed, or rafting rapids with their family.
Best family adventure holidays
Just like families adventures with kids come in all shapes and sizes. So we’ve set out a range of adventure trip ideas that would suit the whole family, covering a wide range of ages and diverse interests.
So don’t book a beach holiday, instead do something really exciting and go on one of the best family adventure holidays:
White Water Rafting on the Rio Manso, Argentina
There are few family adventure holidays that can mould your brood into a dynamic team quite like white water rafting. This is because in order to stay out of the water, you need to work together and time those strokes to perfection.
Someone’s got to take the lead, and the rest have to follow in unison – otherwise you’ll all be taking a dip. Teamwork is the name of the game, and learning to look out for other family members is vital.
There are plenty of places in the world where you can experience the thrill of rafting with the family. And there’s a lot to be said for the usual hotspots in the U.S, Scotland or New Zealand.
But why not head to a destination that is an adventure in itself? We recommend you try the Rio Manso, near Bariloche in Argentina. It has graded sections for various difficulty levels, and is suitable for ages 6 and up.
Of course the Andean scenery isn’t half bad either! Plus you can try your hand at many other adventures with kids in the area, with everything from horse riding to hiking and kayaking to climbing on offer.
Journey to the Lost City of Petra, Jordan
Lovingly referred to as the ‘rose-red city half as old as time’, there are few places on earth that can stupefy you into speechlessness as Petra can. No matter your age or historical interest, you simply cannot fail to be amazed by this remarkable feat of ancient engineering.
Movie buffs will recognise Petra as the setting for the final scenes of the Indiana Jones film, The Last Crusade, which only adds to the feeling of being on an adventure. The wow-factor you get upon first glance is an experience that everyone can share – a collective memory.
It’s not just the Nabataean city itself which makes Petra one of the best family adventure holidays. It’s the journey getting there. A camel trek through the Jordanian desert and the Wadi Rum Valley is tough, but enjoyable. You’ll encounter new cultures, new customs, new food and new traditions.
So bring along an open mind and under the starry desert sky you’ll have an unforgettable – possibly life-changing – experience. And ultimately adventures with kids don’t come much better than following in the footsteps of Indiana Jones.
Serengeti Safari, Tanzania
Those with a dog or cat will know that a family pet has the power to bring everyone together. There’s just something about animals that makes you happy. Take that feeling, times it by a thousand, and you’ll come pretty close to what it feels like when seeing them in the wild.
The best family adventure holidays in the Serengeti will undoubtedly put smiles the size of Niagara on everybody’s faces. And seeing the so-called ‘Big Five’ (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros) in their natural habitats will create memories to cherish.
For the creatures of the Serengeti, family cooperation is vital to existence. Without it, a pride of lions would go hungry, a herd of buffalo would be exposed to attack, and a mob of meerkats would have no underground home to retreat to. Take notes: you could learn a lot from them!
Lapland winter adventure: Ruka, Finland
A winter trip to Lapland is one of the best family adventure holidays if your kids still believe in Father Christmas. As there is nothing better than visiting Santa’s home, baking gingerbread with Mrs Claus and delivering your Christmas list in person.
Or perhaps there is… Ruka is a ski resort just outside the arctic circle, so after meeting the Claus’s you can hit the slopes and learn to ski or snowboard in a winter wonderland.
While you are there, you have to try your hand at dog-sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, snowshoeing, reindeer sled rides and horse riding in the snow. All of this can be experienced under the magical glow of the Northern Lights – adventures with kids don’t come better than this!
Desert adventures in Dubai
Moving from winter wonderland to hot deserts and beautiful beaches. A visit to Dubai is one of the best family adventure holidays purely down to the variety it can offer with guaranteed year round good weather.
As expected of a coastal destination there are plenty of beaches and in Dubai they are immaculately maintained. There are also lots of watersports such as surfing, scuba diving, waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing and much more to try along Dubai’s coast.
Add to that the world’s second largest snowdome, and you can ski in the morning and build sand castles in the afternoon. There are also some of the best water parks on the planet and you can visit Lego Land!
There are shopping malls the size of towns, speeding roller coasters, an enormous aquarium and a theme park where kids pretend to be adults. It’s safe to say family activity holidays in Dubai have something for everyone.
Hiking in the Lake District, England
It may not be an exotic, far-flung destination, but there’s no denying the Lake District’s natural beauty. And there’s certainly no doubting its opportunities for adventures with kids.
Amid sprawling green valleys, dense forests and cobalt lakes you can hike, bike, ride, swim, sail, row, glide, climb, camp….and possibly get very damp. True, you might not have the weather on your side up in the north-west of England, but you can certainly enjoy yourself nonetheless.
In fact, many an Englishman will tell you that walking with the wind in your ears and the rain in your face is what being English is all about. It’s that kind of stoic determination upon which empires were built. Try it – you won’t forget it.
Road-tripping in New Zealand
If you can think of a better place on earth for getting behind the wheel of a campervan than New Zealand, then I’d like to know it (comments below please). The roads are great and the scenery simply jaw-dropping – driving here’s a pleasure and perfect for adventures with kids.
From the stunning Milford Sound in the south west of the South Island, to the idyllic beaches in the Bay of Islands in the far north of the North Island there is so much to see. Check out our tips for overlanding in New Zealand for more info.
In such surrounds you’re unlikely to ever hear the dreaded “are we there yet?” because even the kids will understand that it’s more about the ride than the destination. And anyway you will be stopping every five minutes to take pictures, try activities and view wildlife.
For added fun, try seeking out some of the filming locations used in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings; that ought to impress ‘em! So pack up and hit the open road – Middle Earth awaits.
Conservation work in Borneo, Indonesia
When you think of Borneo, the Orang-utan is never far from your thoughts. And there’s a good reason why. For years this endangered primate has – along with the Polar Bear, Giant Panda and Bengal Tiger – been a pin-up of international conservation by the WWF.
But there’s still plenty of work to be done if we’re save these handsome devils, so why not get over there with your family and help out? Together you can do your bit for Mother Nature, whilst at the same time having one of the best family adventure holidays.
Trekking with Berbers in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The Atlas Mountains of Morocco offer a family trekking treat, combined with a cultural and spiritual Berber experience. In the Atlas Mountains you can sample a way of life that has existed for over a thousand years whilst having adventures with kids.
Plod along ancient footpaths, savour centuries-old recipes, and as the sun sets listen to stories told a thousand times before. For a mixture of great trekking, incredible views, cultural experience and unbelievably tasty food, nowhere can match the Atlas Mountains.
And while you are in Morocco you may as well do a spot of rafting, enjoy the vibrant cities, try some surfing and of course camel trek in the Sahara desert. Check out the top 10 Moroccan activities to plan the best family adventure holidays in Morocco.
Horse-Riding in Tuscany, Italy
There’s probably no better of way of taking in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Tuscany than from the back of a horse. If you are a family of equestrians this is the trip for you.
Okay, so over doing the delicious spaghetti and Chianti at lunch might not be a good idea if a you’ll be bopping up and down on a uneven trail. But the beautiful rolling hills are better appreciated from a five or six foot vantage point.
Horse riding in Italy’s prettiest region is a relaxing experience that most of the family can enjoy. There is riding suitable for beginners and experts alike, so all the family can get involved. Sit back, unwind, and enjoy adventures with kids on horseback. And in the evening enjoy the spaghetti and Chianti!
Surfing in Hawaii, USA (or Lanzarote)
Where better to go for epic breakers than Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing? Indeed, no place on earth is as synonymous with wave-riding as these iconic mid-Pacific islands, so if you’re going to do it anywhere, it may as well be here.
Having said that, Lanzarote – known as the Hawaii of Europe – is not bad either. Plus it’s a lot cheaper and easier to reach from Europe. Although it doesn’t quite match the real Hawaii, this Canary Island a great option for wannabe surfers.
Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned pro, either of the Hawaii’s will suit any level. Get your brood learning together for one of the best family adventure holidays on earth.
We hope this article has inspired you to ditch the typical beach holiday and try adventures with kids. Be sure to check out our adventure discounts as you could save a fortune on your next holiday.