Have you ever been to Bali? Bali must be one of the most magical places I have been to and I can imagine it must be paradise for kids. It is so exciting that Jemma, a fellow blogger, offered to put together a post about Bali. Granted, not really a weekend away for most of us (except our South-East Asian readers, lucky you!) but it is a great holiday destination!
Jemma’s love affair with the Island of the Gods began 15 years ago when she first travelled to Bali as a teenager. Fast forward a decade and a half and many trips and adventures later, Bali is now her home away from home for her and her hubby and their two little girls aged 3 and 2. Some people head down the coast for their summer breaks, but this family jet off to Bali for some fun in the sun, new experiences, nasi goreng and quality family time. After dishing out email after email to fellow travelling families on where to stay, where to eat and other tidbits about the island, Jemma decided to launch Little Bali Love which now provides families all over the world with advice and tips on all the best places to eat, play, shop, stay, see, experience and explore when holidaying in Bali.
Please note, the below guide has a strong Seminyak focus. For more tips and ideas on other places to eat, play, shop and stay visit Little Bali Love.
Cubbyhouse Kids Club (Petitenget, Seminyak): Located at the Semara Resort, Cubbyhouse is arguably the best kids club on the island, and open to all too, not just guests. Check the little ones in for 2 hours as part of the “Pampering and Playdate” package while you enjoy a relaxing massage, or even for the whole day where they can play, read, paint, draw and dress-up till their little hearts content.
El Parque (Seminyak): The new kid on the block, and a fun spot for the whole family to chill together and eat, play and swim. Seek out this spot in the backstreets of Seminyak, sample the Spanish inspired menu, and kick back and relax in the sunshine for a few fun hours together. We especially love the “no nanny” policiy – this place is all about rockin quality family time.
Waterbom Park (Kuta): An oldie but a goodie. What child doesn’t love to splish splash around and some serious waterslide action. With over 17 waterslides, water cannons, rides, rafts, boogie boards and more, this place is sure to delight all from toddlers to teens.
Beachside fun (From Sanur to Seminyak, Canggu to Candidasa…): Paddling, swimming, sandcastles, shell-collecting, surfing, boogie-boarding, horseriding, hair braiding, BBQ’ed corn on the cob, manicures, pedicures, massages, buckets and spades, sunsets, fresh tropical juices… life’s a beach, and life on the beach in Bali will provide hours of entertainment, new experiences, fun times and magical memories for visiting families. (more…)
We have had so many great contributors tell us about their cities, and each of them has made me want to pack my bag and go explore the city, so I wanted to do a post about Paris. I still sometimes step out of my flat and get a little bit excited. Why? Because I do live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Sometimes I forget and then I look up and think: “Seriously… I am one lucky girl!”
So here is my list of what to do in Paris with your family for a weekend (or more!) in Paris:
The Pompidou Centre – great for the whole family. The permanent collection is world-class and well laid out, not too big and not too small. The ground floor has a little exhibition center just for kids that normally runs parallel to the temporary exhibitions and helps kids understand the exhibition. If nothing else, taking the rolling staircases, which are on the outside of the building in the plastic tubes, is an activity in itself.
The Galerie de l’Evolution – Paris’s natural history museum, which has recently been renovated and is worth a visit, especially if it is rainy outside. It is a beautiful space and is set in the Jardin des Plantes, the Botantical Gardens. It is a lovely to have a walk around in.
The Menagerie in the Jardin des Plantes – Also in the Jardin des Plantes is the Menagerie, a little zoo that has been around since the mid-19th century and has not changed a lot since then. It is a great size for smaller children and very charming.
The Sacrée Coeur and Montmartre – Montmartre and the Sacrée Coeur is a fun place to explore – unfortunately a lot of tourists agree with this, so the main streets are often packed with tourists. It is quite easy to avoid them though, as the groups normally stick to a few road and squares.
I recommend taking the funicular (easily my favourite public transportation vehicle) up to the top of the hill (you pay with a metro ticket). The view of Paris from the Sacrée Coeur is one of the best. If you walk back down the steps you will find a beautiful old merry-go-round – you might recognize it from the movie Amelie Poulain.
Musée D’Orsay – The Musée d’Orsay is a really accessible museum for kids from about 5 years and up. It houses a lot of the famous impressionists, so it is a great introduction to art and famous artwork that your kids might already know. It is right in the heart of Paris on the right bank of the Seine, beside the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens, the perfect place to go and have a run about in after a museum visit. Do note that one of the crazy things about parks in France is one is often not allowed on the grass and there are fierce looking officers with whistles paroling the parks to make sure it stays that way!
Cité des Enfants - The cité des Enfants is based in the Science Museum a little bit outside the centre of Paris at La Villette. It is definitely worth the treck out if you are staying for a few days. All the exhibitions are interactive, educational and fun. I have been there with my kids and it is quite interesting how different kids gravitate towards different part of the exhibition. The exhibitions are divided between a section for 2-7 year olds and a section for 5-12 year olds. I would advise booking tickets in advance from the museum’s website.
Luxembourg Gardens – The Luxembourg Gardens is possibly my favourite park in Paris – it is beautiful and very, very Parisian. Again you will stumble over the problem that it is hard to find a piece of grass to sit on, but you can sit on the famous chairs, go on the merry-go-round, rent little boats to push around the little pond with a stick, visit the play area (you will notice all the French parents sitting on the benches outside the area while the foreign parents are running around the area trying to keep an eye on their children). (more…)
Hope you’re having a lovely weekend! (Sugar cookies recipe here.)
With a few sheets of felt and a 6-year-old daughter who now masters the blanket stitch, we’ve had some fun creating the above Easter decoration! If you feel inspired, you can download a template for the bird and the egg-cozy here. (You can also quickly make the egg-cozies on the sewing machine, if you have one.)
I remember making little chicks like these as a child! The idea is simple: make two pom-poms of different sizes, one forming the body and one the head, and sew them together.
Do you recall how to make pom-poms? Cut out two rings from thin cardboard: a big circle (about 8,5 or 3 1/2″ Ø) with a smaller circle (1,5 cm or 1/4″ Ø) cut out from the middle. To make it easier for children to wind the yarn around the disk, you can cut out a thin wedge from the ring. Start winding yarn around both the rings, until the entire cardboard rings are covered with a few layers of wool (a 4-year-old child should be able to do this).
Now the tricky part: holding the wool together in the centre (pinch it!), cut the wool in between the two layers of cardboard (sharp scissors help). When done, tie a piece of thread in between the two circles and make a firm knot. If you want to sew the pom-pom to something, leave the ends. For the chicks, I didn’t use thread but pipe cleaner to tie the wool together. I left the ends of the pipe cleaner, they became the legs of the chicks! Now remove the cardboard, and there’s your first pom-pom! Repeat the exercise with smaller rings (about 5,5 cm or 2 1/4″ Ø) to make the heads of the chicks (I used smaller pipe cleaner for the beaks). You can make the pom-poms extra fluffy by keeping them in hot steam for a second. Last step is to sew both pom-poms together, and glue on goggle eyes (I used a hot glue gun for this). My kids love their chicks!
PS Yellow wool would have been more appropriate but I didn’t have any around…
Courtney and I spent a hilarious weekend seven years ago (pre-children) at the October Fest in Munich. It was great fun: there was a lot of beer, schnapps, bretzels, German sausages, sleeping and card playing involved. I don’t think we had ever seen so many people our age in lederhosen and dirndls. It was definitely not the kind of weekend you would have with kids.
I am pretty sure that a weekend in Munich now would be very, very different, but potentially as much fun — it is a beautiful city, very traditional but also very happening. For some local insight on what Munich has to offer for kids, Mitali, a stay-at-home mom living in Munich, has very kindly given us her tips and recommendations on what to do in the capital of Bavaria. She is a mother of two (son Nilay 6 years, daughter Nalini 7 months) and the proud owner of a crazy dog, Greta. She loves travelling and has lived all around the world, but, in the end, has always enjoyed coming home to Munich. She has some great ideas of what to do in Munich! (more…)
Happy, happy 2012! May this new year be filled with lots of love, fun, hugs, sleep, tea, laughter, books… etc. Did you make a new year’s resolution? We’ve promised to be a quieter family (less shouting!) but we also hope to have more of all of the things listed above. Here’s to hoping!
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ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Happy 2011!
We send you our warmest wishes for a happy, cosy, and relaxing holiday with your family and friends. We are ever so grateful for your support over the past year, and we look forward to an exciting new year ahead with you.
Esther, Emilie and Courtney
As a child, my mum and I made pomanders out of oranges and cloves every year for Christmas. I love that smell, so spicy and Christmassy, so last weekend I put my kids to work. It kept them focussed and busy for quite some time! It’s such an easy and lovely project, great for all ages (even 19-month-old Ava liked to participate — pulling the cloves out of the oranges!). There’s nothing more to it than an orange, cloves and a wooden toothpick to make it easier to get the cloves in. You can make patterns or just let the kids go crazy — it won’t affect the scent of the pomanders! When finished, you can tie a ribbon around them and hang them somewhere decorative. Or, give them away as presents!
Every year of my childhood my mom took us to see Santa. We would drive into the city, head to the big department store and wait for hours in the queue to see Santa. I still remember standing there with all my siblings, waiting eagerly to see him, and my mom telling us all to behave and stand patiently! My mom has kept all the santa photos in one big album… and it’s hilarious to look through them. From the time I was a baby (crying on Santa’s lap) until the time I was 20 (looking very awkward standing next to him!), there is a photo from every year.
Isn’t it funny how some kids LOVE santa and others think he’s the scariest thing they’ve ever seen? My now four-year-old has cried every year we’ve visited Santa. And he told me the other day that this year when we go he wants to sit on a stool, not Santa’s lap. (Sweet.)
So tell me, is visiting Santa a tradition you did when you were younger? Do you now take your own kids to see Santa? I’m curious to know which countries do and don’t do this!
p.s. That photo is of my two boys when they were younger (2½ and 6mos) and it’s my favourite of all our Santa photos. I just love how they’re both crying… and Santa looks so perfectly poised!
Can you believe it’s December already?! Wow! It crept up quickly this year, didn’t it?!
This year will be the first year we stay in London for Christmas… which means we get to properly decorate the house and make it nice and cosy and christmasy (!!!). We’re all very excited about it and have already hung our stockings, set out the decorations, and of course, hung the Advent Calendar (which starts today!). And… I’m listening to Christmas music as I type! Oooh Happy December!
Have you caught the ‘holiday bug’ yet? Do you do an Advent Calendar? Any other little traditions you do around this time of year? I would love to know!
Happy Halloween! Hope you all have a spooky, fun, candy-filled day!
Tell us, will you be taking the kids trick-or-treating? Throwing a little party? Did you carve pumpkins? Or… is this just a normal ‘ol day for you? Is Halloween even celebrated in your country? (It is certainly becoming bigger and bigger here in the UK!).
(Sweet Halloween image from Belle and Boo)
I snuck off to a music festival in the UK last weekend, leaving my two little lovelies behind. It was great — good music, great company and one of my top favourite things to do: camping! I think my most cherished childhood holidays were spent in a lurid, orange A-frame tent, which always sagged a bit in the middle and wasn’t always water proof.
The bell tent we took last weekend was in a different league altogether and I don’t think I can ever go back to a small tent. My friend Russell had it left over from a film shoot (here is actually a clip featuring our tent!). It was super easy to put up and soo roomy and cosy! I thought we were being wildly original, but these tents are now hugely popular with the Brits and were all over the festival camp ground.
I am seriously thinking of getting one. It would be perfect to pitch up in a garden for the summer, or go for a comfortable camping trip with the whole family. I am even thinking it could work as a spare guest room in the garden, when lots of people come to visit!
I just found out about the City Walks with Kids Guides and wonder how I ever managed to travel without them. It is such an ingenious concept! Instead of a book, it is a pack of cards you can take along for the walk you want to go on. The walks are cleverly laid out so that they are easily done with kids and take you to famous and not so famous places that the whole family can enjoy. I love the way the texts are written — they are packed full of little anecdotes and stories that will get everyone’s attention.
I am definitely picking up City Walks with Kids in Paris. Though I live in this city, I have never used a travel guide to explore it with my kids, and it will be a fun thing to do this summer! City Walks with Kids in Paris and City Walks with Kids in London are available from Smallable. The other Cirty Walks with Kids (Washington, San Francisco and New York) are available from the Chronicle Books website.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Imps & Elfs Footless Tights
• Room Seven: Sweet dresses for playing and parading
PS Photo of my husband’s heart-shaped muffins this morning — yum!
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Bubbles and Cream
Have you caught Royal Wedding fever yet? The wedding is this Friday! I haven’t really paid any attention to it… but everyone I know is starting to get excited about it (my mom even came to town for the event!). Every store front in London is devoted to the wedding, and there are commemorative gifts and objects available to buy everywhere (my mom came home the other day with a deck of cards, each card with a different photo of Wills and Kate — too funny!). Here are a couple of my favourites.
- Of course I love the ‘Keep Calm It’s Only A Wedding‘ print — funny!
- I also really love the William and Kate tea towel available on Etsy
- And of course Belle and Boo have made something beautiful as well — I love their Royal Party Parade Poster!
Do you know of any other good commemorative gifts?
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas in the UK! Hope you have (had) a splendid day!
PS – Mother’s Day card (above) from Rifle Paper Co.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Maiike
Kuala Lumpur is one of my top ten favourite cities. One of my closest friends lives over there, and so, before kids, I used to visit almost once a year. Kuala Lumpur is such a great mix between a modern metropolitan city and an ethnically diverse melting pot, full of history and buzzing with energy.
We are very lucky to have Vivien, a mom of two and a KL local, do a write up for us of her favourite child-friendly places in and around Kuala Lumpur. Vivien works with Irene Hoofs on one of our favourite blogs Bloesem Kids. She lives with her two daughters and husband in KL. Do let us know if you have other great ideas of things to do in KL. (more…)