Looking for the best fun family adventures to have with science-obsessed kids? We've found six exciting new experiences to satisfy wannabe astronomers, mini-explorers, young zoologists and the undecideds who just love anything scientific, as long as it's fun. Take a look.
Home to some of Europe's darkest Dark Skies, Kielder Forest Park is one of the best places in the UK to view constellations. Visit Kielder Observatory and young wannabe astronomers can use the large telescopes under expert supervision to observe 580 miles of outer space. In summer they can see the Milky Way, shooting stars, comets and even the surface of the Sun. Winter's best for exploring distant galaxies. Kielder Observatory opened for 2021 with brilliant line-up of family events running from now until late August.
Tenerife ranks alongside Chile and Hawaii as one of the world's best stargazing destinations and Teide National Park is the prime spot for clear, dark skies ablaze with constellations. Mount Teide is Spain's highest mountain, so there's plenty of natural drama on the ground too - wrap up warm, even in summer it's chilly at night in this volcanic park. Expect to be amazed by how much you see using powerful telescopes under the guidance of local astronomers. And the entire experience lasts about an hour so it's a nicely sized introduction to astronomy for kids.
An Astro Adventure Break is great fun for young stargazers, not least of all because it's on the border of Devon and Cornwall and they get to stay in a cute timber lodge with an outdoor swimming pool. A dedicated observatory complete with a 20" Dobson Telescope means you can take full advantage of the clear night skies and low light pollution in this part of England . And beautiful beaches and national parks are right on the doorstep.
Northern Lights are clearly seen in Iceland as early as September and Icelandair are keen for families to come see. Fly into Reykjavik with kids for a Northern Lights City Break and explore this remarkable country from capital to coast to lava fields and remote national parks in search of the stunning Aurora Borealis. And if the light show isn't exciting enough you can add on activities like a visit to the Blue Lagoon or a tour of the legendary Golden Circle. The Northern Lights City Break includes return UK flights and a three night stay in a Reykjavik hotel.
From 17 July 2021, Astronights are back at the Science Museum for kids from ages 7 to 11. Young sleepover scientists love the idea of being locked in the museum after it's closed, plus they can look forward to lots of challenges, games and fun with the friendly Science team. Then, tired but happy, they get to snuggle down for the night surrounded by amazing exhibits in one of London's best loved family museums.
Experience the meeting of land and sky at Loisaba Conservancy in Kenya where families can sleep on Star Beds: luxury four-posters wheeled out onto wooden platforms looking across the savannah. Night sky views are unforgettable with no light pollution and Mount Kenya in the distance. Borrow binoculars from your Maasai hosts to spot constellations, as well the likes of giraffe, lion and buffalo roaming nearby.
Looking for even more fun family adventures this summer? Check out UK theme parks for younger kids. And remember to follow Family Traveller on Instagram and Facebook for travel news and ideas – or just to say ‘hi’.