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As 2016 draws to a close, it’ll once again be that time when you’ll take stock of the past year and pencil in more quality time with the family. It’ll also be that time when you’ll want a little escape together with the family. If making last-minute plans is common practice in your family, here are some family holiday ideas that you can consider. Don't forget to pick *the right travel insurance* to go along with it!
No matter which one you pick, we can almost guarantee your kids will be unleashed as much as the kid in you will be.
1. Disney Cruise Line
While we’re on Disney, all that childhood wonderland fun doesn’t just have to be restricted to land. The award-winning Disney Cruise Line has a mind-boggling array of family-friendly entertainment, you might find it hard to set aside time to chill out. Case in point? Onboard ‘Frozen’ musical performance, Waterpark out at sea, Star Wars Day at Sea, and these are just tips of the iceberg. Choose to set sail across picturesque destinations such as the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe, Norwegian Fjords, Alaska and more.
2. Shanghai Disney Resort
Unveiled to much fanfare earlier in June, Shanghai’s brand new $5.5 billion Disneyland has pulled out all the stops to give both adults and children an out-of-this-world experience. Be prepared to spend most of your time covering the sheer size of the theme park and waiting in line for its exhilarating rides. The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure’ ride, in particular, is so raved-about people are flying in from all over the world to get unhinged with Captain Jack Sparrow. If there’s one other ride that’s going to pip Pirates to the race, it’d be the futuristic Tron Lightcycle Power Run. You’ll never feel the same about spin classes again.
Entrance fees are priced at RMB499 (S$100) and RMB370 (S$75) during peak and non-peak periods respectively.
3. Ice Fishing: Hwacheon, South Korea
Mention South Korea and you’ll probably imagine shopping marathons in the heart of Seoul or the amazing Samgyeopsal in barbecue houses. But when winter comes around, join hundreds of other Korean families who make the trip down to Hwacheon to bond over the annual ice fishing festival.
Taking place every year in the month of January only, you might have to wait a little past year end to do just that but that’s no big deal. The endless sheets of clear ice and the thrill of catching your own mountain trout in one of the 12,000 holes dug into the frozen river is going to be one to remember. No worries if you have zero experience with fishing, because getting started is a cinch. Purchase a fishing pole, bait and a small chair on site (you might have to camp beside your spot a long time to snag a catch) and you’re good to go.
Entrance fees are priced at 12,000 won (S$15) for adults and 8,000 won (S$10) for children and senior citizen. It is recommended to arrange for a tour for first timers.
4. Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park in California is widely considered one of the more popular choices of camping grounds in the States. There are up to 13 campgrounds to pick from and if you want some certainty that you and your family remain happy campers, make a reservation in advance. Otherwise, camp spaces are on a first-come-first-serve basis. Ninety-five percent of the park is designated as wilderness; that means no internet to bugger you as you backpack across the beauty of plunging valleys and towering peaks. But our wilder kinsmen, the actual bears, might bugger you.
You’ve been warned.
5. Aurora Husky Adventure: Finnmark, Norway
This is a big bonus for dog-loving families. Over at Finnmark, the northern region of Norway, you can arrange for either a five or eight-day tour to create a Christmas moment so special, it feels surreal. After getting hands on with mushing skills (methods of maneuvering the dog sled), sit back, relax and let your pack of adorable huskies take you on a cruise around the wintry wilderness. Don’t forget to pay attention to the skies too; there’s a reason why this tour is called Aurora Husky Adventure, so there’s a pretty good chance the Northern Lights will unveil itself and add that extra icing on top of the icing.
6. Gelato Galore
When in #Rome.... Eat lots of Gelato! Ice cream making in italy is like a form of art! They have every type of flavor you can think off!! Yummm! Treat yourself! #happyfriday #happyweekend #icecream #gelato #italiano #italy #romegelato #flavors #yummy #indulge #sweet #cones #enjoy #waytostay #travel #citytrip #explore #havefun #nodiet #vacation 😍👌🍦🍨
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And that’s eating some of the best gelato the world has to offer. There are ice cream stops both old and new serving wonderfully sinful creations, and there is also nothing vanilla about their selection of bold flavours. But don’t confine the fam to Rome. If you’re serious about gelato-hopping, make a trip down to Florence for a scoop or two, because that’s where it all began.
Your kids will most definitely thank you for it.
7. Swimming With Dolphins: Bahamas
Take your kids and do something they’ve only been reading about in science textbooks: swim with dolphins. The Dolphin Encounters tour in Nassau, the Bahamas will sail you across to Blue Lagoon Island, where you’ll participate in guided interactions with extremely adept and affectionate dolphins. Yes, these lovely sea creatures partial towards a hug or a kiss. Unfortunately, those hugs and kisses don’t come cheap.
The Dolphin Encounters package is priced at US$185 (S$249) per person and operates four timings a day.
8. Universal Orlando Resort: Orlando, Florida
Come the December school holidays, Universal Studios is probably going to be the de riguere family excursion in Singapore. But frankly, it’s a watered down version of the real deal at Orlando, Florida. Universal Studios Florida, consisting eight themed areas, specialises in immersing visitors in Hollywood-based attractions. But that’s not all; its sister offering, the Island Of Adventure, caters to the Marvel geeks and Potterheads. Surely the children can’t say no to that. If those are still not enough to satiate their thirst for theme park thrills, head over to Wet n’ Wild and make a splash at the eighteen water rides.
Here’s a tip: to beat the queue and save time, put up at any of the five hotels at Universal Orlando Resort to enjoy complimentary express passes.
9. Danang, Vietnam
In need of some massive chill vibes yet you don’t feel like traveling too far? Vietnam is probably it. Not only are the pristine white beaches rich with history (you’d never have thought the Vietnam War was once fought there), soaking up the beach bum life at the likes of Danang is gaining so much traction they’re giving their Thai resort counterparts a run for tourism dollars. One reliable five-star pick you should nail down a booking for is Furama Resort Danang, a prime accommodation boasting unparalleled convenience to China beach. Within the resort, you’ll find free babysitting services and kids’ clubs, which may elicit tears of joy and relief. Beach holidays are meant to be peaceful and snot-free.
10. Pokemon Go In Singapore
Because catching them all together is the fastest way to bond strangers nowadays, let alone families.