Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Favorite travel destinations for a 10 year old girl? (

LSUvetgirl Nov 20th, 2006 11:30 AM

Favorite travel destinations for a 10 year old girl?
Hi everybody:

My brother is going to bring his 10 year old daughter to visit us in Belgium this coming summer. They don't really have any preconceived notions, and are asking for assistance formulating a travel plan. I'd love to hear what people's kids enjoyed the most in their Europe travels during this time of their life. Also, any recommendations of TV shows, videos, or books she could read to get ready and excited for her trip would be appreciated. I have no kids so Im kinda flying blind, but I need to keep my title of "cool aunt Carrie" by helping plan a fabulous trip!!


SloJan Nov 20th, 2006 11:35 AM

I could recommend Heidi and Switzerland but what my kids enjoy most about traveling in Europe is good food, nice people and beaches. They adore Italy (think Gardaland, Agriturismos and Sardinia) and Portugal.

For books and movie, The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke is set in Venice and is a wonderful book.

ira Nov 20th, 2006 11:40 AM

Hi L,

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.

See for flight info.


valtor Nov 20th, 2006 11:47 AM

I think that there are interesting things close to you:
- Europa Park, Chinese and Japanese pavilions in Brussels, maybe Waterloo
- then Holland: Madurodam, the mills, the chanels of Amsterdam, Anna Frank house..

gabygail Nov 20th, 2006 11:52 AM

Children like the same things as adults just in smaller doses. At 10 she will recognize landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and be keen to head to the top. Museums, even the Louvre, are fun as long as you do just one and rent the audio guide for kids or sign her up for a children’s art workshop offered at most museums in cities such as Paris and Florence. Wherever you travel to pick a kids guide to ... (Ancient Rome for Kids, Venice for Kids, etc) and let her help you plan the itinerary. Novels set in the location are also a great help. My daughter found the Roman Mystery series by Caroline Lawrence (readers 9+) great fun.

fun4all4 Nov 20th, 2006 11:58 AM

A couple of things to consider:

1) We have found that there are great things for kids to do there somewhere she or your brother have always wanted to go? That would help begin to narrow down the myriad of possibilities. Whether it's Paris, the Swiss Alps or the beaches of Spain, it may be best to narrow down some options and go from there in terms of super friendly kid spots - Eiffel Tower in Paris, theatre in London, Gardaland in the Northern Italian Lakes, the Colosseum in Rome.....

2) What are her particular interests? Some kids are really into ancient history, others love theatre, others love hiking, etc....

Also, how long will they be in Europe?

A little more info will help us help you retain your crown of "cool aunt Carrie." :D

missypie Nov 20th, 2006 12:28 PM

Paris has great playgrounds.

My kids have always liked anything that can be climbed to the top of and looked out of (towers, etc.)

I will say, however, that of all of our travel destinations, my 10 year old daughter liked Costa Rica the best....beaches, zip lines, snakes and monkeys!

enzian Nov 20th, 2006 12:39 PM

Our 10-year-old daughter loved London---much more so than Paris. In particular, she loved the parks, the Tower, changing of the guard, the British Museum, and just about anything to do with royalty and British history.

You can get there from Brussels on the Eurostar.

Lexma90 Nov 20th, 2006 01:03 PM

To echo what other posters have said, key your plans off your niece's interests. My son likes James Bond and associated spy-related things, so London was an easy choice for his first trip to Europe, when he was 10 years old. He had also always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, so we went to Paris as well. He's a city kid, so we spent most of the trips in big cities.

When we take our daughter to Europe in a year or two, we'll focus on her love of the outdoors and active pursuits; we'll probably go to Austria and Switzerland and do some hiking.

Also, what previous vacations has she enjoyed? Does she like big cities, the mountains, beaches, etc?

Once you've selected a destination, you can look for books, movies and other materials that are about that specific destination. One thing we did in preparation for the Paris portion of the trip was to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame together. My son certainly learned a lot from the book, and it made him very interested in Notre Dame!

Dukey Nov 20th, 2006 01:08 PM

The child may know a LOT more about sights in Europe than you know and already have some ideas.

Has anyone asked her about some of the things she might like to see and do?

risab Nov 20th, 2006 04:13 PM

Give your niece these two books:
The Diary of Melanie Martin
Melanie Martin Goes Dutch
By Carol Weston

My daughter read both books when she was ten and still loves to read them (she's 16). It is diary format and about a girl who travel to Italy (first book) and the second is a trip to Amsterdam. It is pretty current and if she is a reader she should enjoy them.

My daughter always enjoyed seeing things that related to what she was studying for example:
Castles in London when studying feudalism; The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum; The Uffizi and Florence when studying The Rennaissance; Rome for Ancient History, etc. So you may want to make some historical connections. When we traveled when my daughter was ten she loved fun stores, museum stores, outdoor markets, streets with performers, and boat rides (of course a night time boat cruise up the Seine is still a favorite), parks (Borghese Gardens and riding the surrey's through the park), and eating gelato, eclairs, and apple struedel. I would imagine that your niece would love seeing Belgium including Brugge and Brussels, Amsterdam (Ann Frank House), and a trip to Paris- if they have plans to visit other countries.

nytraveler Nov 20th, 2006 05:48 PM

It depends so much on the kid and her interests.

Is she studying a foreign language yet - that may interest her.

Is she interested in art or dance or horses or outdoors or????

The first trip my beau and I took his daughters (14 and 11) we did London and Paris with day trips. They preferred Paris (shopping, a chance to use their French - and they thought the boys were cuter). Loved Versailles, Cluny Museum.

They liked London - and loved the Tower and Windsor Castles - and changing of the horseguard (the younger was horse mad) - but felt it was too familiar - they liked that Paris was more different. (But then kids from NYC may have a different point of view than those from small town or suburb.)

lucy_d Nov 20th, 2006 06:00 PM

I think a 10 year old girl would love Salzburg-- marionettes and The Sound of Music! The city is quaint and charming with gardens, a castle reached by funicular, pedestrian shopping etc. Many of the store fronts feature windows dressed with traditional Austrian clothing- lederhosen and dirndl skirts. I would have loved going there as a child. It has that story book, fairy tale feel to it. Heck, I felt like a ten year old sometimes myself when I was there!

pantelia Nov 20th, 2006 06:46 PM

All three of my children still, almost two years later, talk about how much they loved the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. They loved the fact that it was not crowded, that we had to have an invitation to get it, they remembered so much of what they were told.

It was the highlight of their trip, and I'm certain they will never forget it.

LSUvetgirl Dec 2nd, 2006 11:28 AM

OK this is really strange. every time I look at this thread, it stops at the post about the Key ceremony. I thought "odd, I thought I'd replied to this" and hit reload. Then typed in "europe 10 year old girl" into the search box to find it that way. Still stops at the key ceremony post. So I go to type another reply, and there, in the left column, at the end, is my reply that I posted a week and a half ago! I don't know if my cookie settings are messed up, and it's just me that can't see it, or what, so I'm going to cut and paste the reply in case nobody else can see it either.

Author: LSUvetgirl
Date: 11/24/2006, 12:42 am

Thank you all so much for your input; I am going to start putting some things together to send to my brother and neice to get the creative juices flowing. The reason I'm reaching out for help is because they are providing so few clues as to what type of stuff they'd like to do. As far as I know she doesn't study foreign languages yet, although she lives in south texas and so may know a little spanish. Her current interests are animals (she does like horses, but isnt around them much), and performing (she's on her elementary schools weekly "news" show crew and loves being behind and in front of the camera). She likes cheerleading, gymnastics, dancing.... has always been interested in science, and has a good time doing things like miniature golf and bowling but doesn't seem particularly "athletic," (she apparently got my "why run when you can walk?" mentality).....

She really likes to read, and I had been wondering if there was an equivalent to the "American Girl" series about Europe, so thanks so much for the "diary" recommendation, as well as other book recommendations!

She lives in a quiet town of about 60,000 with not much in the way of "culture." She is definitely a very picky eater so nothing involving "new flavors" would appeal to her that much.

thanks for the input and would certainly welcome more.


LSUvetgirl Dec 2nd, 2006 11:29 AM

that is so bizarre; am I the only one that can see it in the left column if i hit "reply?"

fun4all4 Dec 2nd, 2006 02:52 PM

LSUvetgirl....hmmmmmm, that is very strange. I cannot see your earlier post at all - at least not until you pasted onto a new reply. I'm sure that is why you haven't gotten any further responses.

While waiting for more info, it sounds like she would really like some of big cities (perhaps over hiking in the Swiss Alps). London has lots of great theatre to appeal to her "performance" side as well as an excellent science museum.

Again, once you get a better feel of their priorities or if there is anywhere they really want to go, then it will be easy to find great things to do in any city.

OK, just wanted to post so you would know no one could see your earlier one - weird.

FauxSteMarie Dec 2nd, 2006 02:58 PM

Take her to Parc Asterix north of Paris. My kids loved that place when they were 11 & 13. Also, on weekends in the town of Provins outside of Paris, we went to a jousting show. My kids loved that too even if they could not understand the French announcements.

In Brussels, I am sure she would just like hanging out at the Grande Place.

Also, on the trip where we visited Parc Asterix, my kids enjoyed a side trip to the seaside even if the water (The English Channel) was too cold to even consider swimming.

In London, when the children were 8 & 10 we went to a couple of musicals and one day when I had errands to run (we were home exchanging) they enjoyed an afternoon at the local indoor swimming pool where there were some large waterslides.

LSUvetgirl Dec 8th, 2006 02:02 AM

Thanks for all your input.

I'm very excited about the book suggestions. I have ordered the Melanie Martin books and the Thief Lord. Any other kid-friendly novels to get kids excited about Europe?

prhirsch Dec 8th, 2006 03:11 AM

I agree with the above post. Our kids preferred london over Paris. Also, our kids love eating in smaller family run restaurants where they got a chance to talk with the family. Once in Greece the family even took us out boating the next day. Have fun!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:11 AM.