Category Archives: With Kids

Wild Swimming in Spain

Similar to open water swimming, wild swimming is simply choosing to swim in more natural environments, often without parking, lifeguards and other trappings of civilization. Wild swimming is usually at a river or abandoned beach, and may require a long walk or hike to reach. Wild swimming also happens at local creeks or ponds.

When you were growing up, you probably just called it “swimming.”

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Wild Swimming in Spain

Similar to open water swimming, wild swimming is simply choosing to swim in more natural environments, often without parking, lifeguards and other trappings of civilization. Wild swimming is usually at a river or abandoned beach, and may require a long walk or hike to reach. Wild swimming also happens at local creeks or ponds.

When you were growing up, you probably just called it “swimming.”

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Top 23 Things to do in Valencia, Spain with Kids

“Below is our favorite 23 things to do in Valencia with kids, but this is only part of a growing list of fun family experiences in Valencia we’re compiling. I am sure to return to this post and update it as we get to know the city better.”

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Top 23 Things to do in Valencia, Spain with Kids

“Below is our favorite 23 things to do in Valencia with kids, but this is only part of a growing list of fun family experiences in Valencia we’re compiling. I am sure to return to this post and update it as we get to know the city better.”

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Don’t fear the creeper: A lesson in overcoming fear

“Once back on the scooters and heading back to town, both kids seemed like different people. Felicia’s only concern seemed to be leaving the snakes behind. All worries about the dark or about getting lost were gone. In fact, Jamie became an active participant in navigating our way back.”

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Don’t fear the creeper: A lesson in overcoming fear

“Once back on the scooters and heading back to town, both kids seemed like different people. Felicia’s only concern seemed to be leaving the snakes behind. All worries about the dark or about getting lost were gone. In fact, Jamie became an active participant in navigating our way back.”

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Learning from a neighborhood stroll

“Guests are welcome to step inside the buildings and touch many (but perhaps not all) of the objects they find there. Kids can operate machinery that husked the community’s rice, and then handle the pots that were later used to cook the grains. You can step into the houses (shoes off first please) and peruse some of the now-somewhat-alien belongings that would have been commonplace in their time.”

Learning from a neighborhood stroll

“Guests are welcome to step inside the buildings and touch many (but perhaps not all) of the objects they find there. Kids can operate machinery that husked the community’s rice, and then handle the pots that were later used to cook the grains. You can step into the houses (shoes off first please) and peruse some of the now-somewhat-alien belongings that would have been commonplace in their time.”

Workshops to keep the children sweet

“With skill and hard work, however, an artisan can turn sweets into something more sublime. Just like the French patissier, the makers of wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) use sugar and other ingredients to make edible art — objects of such beauty that you may feel guilty taking a bite from them.”

Workshops to keep the children sweet

“With skill and hard work, however, an artisan can turn sweets into something more sublime. Just like the French patissier, the makers of wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) use sugar and other ingredients to make edible art — objects of such beauty that you may feel guilty taking a bite from them.”

Get kids’ education down to a science

“These are the type of activities you find in most science museums in the world. The buttons are worn around the edges and they’re not decked out with iPads and the most recent technologies, but they’re still interactive and educational. They may show their age, but the fun (and the science behind them) is timeless.”

Get kids’ education down to a science

“These are the type of activities you find in most science museums in the world. The buttons are worn around the edges and they’re not decked out with iPads and the most recent technologies, but they’re still interactive and educational. They may show their age, but the fun (and the science behind them) is timeless.”

TenQ can stop kids getting lost in space

“I’m not sure how self-conscious it makes these researchers to be presented as an exhibit themselves, but they seem unperturbed by observers, and I like the idea of children observing scientists at work — even if it has the feeling of watching fish in a tank.”

TenQ can stop kids getting lost in space

“I’m not sure how self-conscious it makes these researchers to be presented as an exhibit themselves, but they seem unperturbed by observers, and I like the idea of children observing scientists at work — even if it has the feeling of watching fish in a tank.”

Take on the samurai in Edo Period Toei

“…the sets here are used to shoot more than 200 productions a year, and the park itself offers an interesting opportunity show your kids he magic of filmmaking — all while exposing them to a little Japanese history.”

Take on the samurai in Edo Period Toei

“…the sets here are used to shoot more than 200 productions a year, and the park itself offers an interesting opportunity show your kids he magic of filmmaking — all while exposing them to a little Japanese history.”

Take a slow, deep dive into marine life

“Look,” says a child, pointing to one of many sea creatures. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Oh yes,” says the parent. “Beautiful. And it’s making me hungry.”

Take a slow, deep dive into marine life

“Look,” says a child, pointing to one of many sea creatures. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Oh yes,” says the parent. “Beautiful. And it’s making me hungry.”

Art is for everyone, including kids

“If you glean anything from this column, I hope it’s that Tokyo is fantastic fun for children. There are great parks, museums and family entertainment options, but one aspect of the city that I feel is often overlooked by Tokyo parents is the vibrant contemporary art scene.”

Art is for everyone, including kids

“If you glean anything from this column, I hope it’s that Tokyo is fantastic fun for children. There are great parks, museums and family entertainment options, but one aspect of the city that I feel is often overlooked by Tokyo parents is the vibrant contemporary art scene.”

Don’t let rainy days stop you going out to play

“As wintry weather hovers over Japan, parents are constantly on the lookout for indoor places for their kids to play. “

Don’t let rainy days stop you going out to play

“As wintry weather hovers over Japan, parents are constantly on the lookout for indoor places for their kids to play. “

Brightening your holiday mood

“Tokyo has never shied away from spectacle, and the amount of sheer wattage that will go into this year’s illumination displays is likely to make the metropolis visible from other planets.”

Brightening your holiday mood

“Tokyo has never shied away from spectacle, and the amount of sheer wattage that will go into this year’s illumination displays is likely to make the metropolis visible from other planets.”

Halloween in Tokyo: Don’t be afraid to take the kids out

“Halloween, I believe, proves to be a better fit for Japan’s cultural predilections just as it is. It has its roots in respecting — and even communing with — the dead, which lines up well with ancient O-bon traditions, and Japan has more than its share of homegrown ghost and monster stories to be told around a campfire. Halloween’s present themes of costumes and fright also jibe with the Japan of today, where horror movies and cosplay still rake in billions of yen every year.”

Halloween in Tokyo: Don’t be afraid to take the kids out

“Halloween, I believe, proves to be a better fit for Japan’s cultural predilections just as it is. It has its roots in respecting — and even communing with — the dead, which lines up well with ancient O-bon traditions, and Japan has more than its share of homegrown ghost and monster stories to be told around a campfire. Halloween’s present themes of costumes and fright also jibe with the Japan of today, where horror movies and cosplay still rake in billions of yen every year.”

Creative approach brings science to life in Osaka

“Did I mention the playground? Designed by Austrian contemporary artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, this space is an organic jungle gym painted white with primary-colored trim. It’s as if Mondrian and Gaudi had teamed up to build a gingerbread house.”

Creative approach brings science to life in Osaka

“Did I mention the playground? Designed by Austrian contemporary artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, this space is an organic jungle gym painted white with primary-colored trim. It’s as if Mondrian and Gaudi had teamed up to build a gingerbread house.”

Spa World Osaka Japan with Kids Childs Play

Make a splash on a family outing

“Splashing around in its warm waters has always been a pleasure during the bitter cold of January, but it still feels great now, even after winter’s sting has retired for the season.”

Spa World Osaka Japan with Kids Childs Play

Make a splash on a family outing

“Splashing around in its warm waters has always been a pleasure during the bitter cold of January, but it still feels great now, even after winter’s sting has retired for the season.”

Sanrio Puroland: Japan Times Child's Play

Family flashbacks to a psychedelic day with Kitty

“What comes across as tacky, soulless commercialism in small amounts transmogrifies here into an ornate, sugar-fueled spectacle of near-baroque proportions.”

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Sanrio Puroland: Japan Times Child's Play

Family flashbacks to a psychedelic day with Kitty

“What comes across as tacky, soulless commercialism in small amounts transmogrifies here into an ornate, sugar-fueled spectacle of near-baroque proportions.”

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Tokyo espace louis vuitton ernesto neto

Exploring Omotesando’s cool cultural playground

“Large 8.5-meter-high windows offer a great view of the area, and the curator makes use of the ample daylight, frequently choosing art that emphasizes the bright and shiny.”

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Tokyo espace louis vuitton ernesto neto

Exploring Omotesando’s cool cultural playground

“Large 8.5-meter-high windows offer a great view of the area, and the curator makes use of the ample daylight, frequently choosing art that emphasizes the bright and shiny.”

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A museum where kids can play out fire-fighter fantasies

“Using sound, lights and some motorized parts, the diorama shows how such a village would respond to a blaze in the centuries before fire engines and water pressure.”

A museum where kids can play out fire-fighter fantasies

“Using sound, lights and some motorized parts, the diorama shows how such a village would respond to a blaze in the centuries before fire engines and water pressure.”

Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, Child's Play, The Japan Times

Preparing your kids for the Big One

Nearly everyone in this city has had some sort of preparedness training — from preschools to retirement homes — but a little extra practice has never hurt anyone.

Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, Child's Play, The Japan Times

Preparing your kids for the Big One

Nearly everyone in this city has had some sort of preparedness training — from preschools to retirement homes — but a little extra practice has never hurt anyone.

Miraikan in Odaiba, Tokyo

Take the kids to the future at Miraikan

In Japanese, it is known as Miraikan (roughly translated as “Hall of the Future”), yet despite its science-fiction aesthetic, the museum focuses on scientific realities — both present and potential.

Miraikan in Odaiba, Tokyo

Take the kids to the future at Miraikan

In Japanese, it is known as Miraikan (roughly translated as “Hall of the Future”), yet despite its science-fiction aesthetic, the museum focuses on scientific realities — both present and potential.

Lost in Inokashira, Found in Ghibli

Ah, Kichijoji: my favorite Tokyo neighborhood. Less than 30 minutes from the heart of the city, this hip suburb has everything a downtown dweller would want…

Lost in Inokashira, Found in Ghibli

Ah, Kichijoji: my favorite Tokyo neighborhood. Less than 30 minutes from the heart of the city, this hip suburb has everything a downtown dweller would want…

A big day out at the sumo

“The short, strenuous fights were a natural fit for short attention spans…”

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A big day out at the sumo

“The short, strenuous fights were a natural fit for short attention spans…”

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Meiji Jingu and Harajuku with Kids

Kids love park life in the summer

“This is easily one of my favorite places to relax in Tokyo. It’s almost shocking how empty it can be, especially when compared with the crowds on the Harajuku side.”

Meiji Jingu and Harajuku with Kids

Kids love park life in the summer

“This is easily one of my favorite places to relax in Tokyo. It’s almost shocking how empty it can be, especially when compared with the crowds on the Harajuku side.”

Tokyo Midtown

A dose of culture and fun at Tokyo Midtown

“…offers (relatively) open spaces where kids can run ahead without parents worrying about them slamming into taxis or old ladies.”

Tokyo Midtown

A dose of culture and fun at Tokyo Midtown

“…offers (relatively) open spaces where kids can run ahead without parents worrying about them slamming into taxis or old ladies.”

Tokyo Gas Science Museum

Where kids will have a blast

“…connect your flame with a bubble and you get a bright little blast, right at eye-level…”

Tokyo Gas Science Museum

Where kids will have a blast

“…connect your flame with a bubble and you get a bright little blast, right at eye-level…”

Second Helpings: Nostalgic Japanese foods

“Most kids may not be connoisseurs, but they’re never afraid to tell you what they like on the table.”

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Second Helpings: Nostalgic Japanese foods

“Most kids may not be connoisseurs, but they’re never afraid to tell you what they like on the table.”

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Tokyo’s best high-tech kids’ activities

For children interested in science and technology — or for parents eager to spark that interest — Japan’s capital is the place for kids to get neck-deep in high-tech.

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Tokyo’s best high-tech kids’ activities

For children interested in science and technology — or for parents eager to spark that interest — Japan’s capital is the place for kids to get neck-deep in high-tech.

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Shinagawa Aquarium

“Here manta rays and sea turtles swoop bewilderingly close overhead. “

Shinagawa Aquarium

“Here manta rays and sea turtles swoop bewilderingly close overhead. “

Children’s Castle: Omotesando

“The Children’s Castle looks like any other building on the outside. The inside, however, is another story. “

Children’s Castle: Omotesando

“The Children’s Castle looks like any other building on the outside. The inside, however, is another story. “

With Kids: Taimeiken Kite Museum

“The room is a tangled heap of color and string, requiring you to duck under and step around the hundreds of kites that couldn’t fit inside the glass display cases.”

With Kids: Taimeiken Kite Museum

“The room is a tangled heap of color and string, requiring you to duck under and step around the hundreds of kites that couldn’t fit inside the glass display cases.”

With Kids: Tokyo Drum Museum

“There are plenty of opportunities to test out the goods here, and kids will love it, but be warned: sleeping children won’t stay asleep for long.”

With Kids: Tokyo Drum Museum

“There are plenty of opportunities to test out the goods here, and kids will love it, but be warned: sleeping children won’t stay asleep for long.”