Family By Justin Gibson

Where in the World to Discover with Kids

More and more parents are beginning to realize how well-suited children are to travel. Children are inquisitive, imaginative and ever-observing with a fresh set of eyes. Every setting is their classroom, every moment is their lesson. Nothing lays the foundation for a well-rounded individual quite like a wealth of worldly experiences to draw from-especially in their formative years.

With that, some experiences offer a greater peek at the world and leave a larger impression than others. For cultivating memories that'll be treasured through the years, here are some surprisingly exciting sites to take your young explorers to during your next family vacation.

Hong Kong Symphony of Lights


While Hong Kong holds an absolute cornucopia of wanderlust-inducing sights, sounds, smells and tastes, none of the above might prove as magical a moment as the Symphony of Lights. Every evening at 8 p.m. sharp, the city's skyscrapers band together to put on a lightshow unmatched anywhere else in the world. Sides of towers flash neon, bathing the streets in hues of futuristic dreamscapes, while spotlights and lasers pierce the night sky with a stunningly-precise choreography. As lively as it is to stand amongst the glowing streets, your best bet for the best seats to the show is onboard a sightseeing ferry in Victoria Harbor-easily arranged by concierge at bespoke establishments such as Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, a SELECT Hotel & Resort.


Hollywood is the land of stars and stories, the cradle for much of the most celebrated movie-magic. As fun as it is to stroll the star-lined Hollywood Walk of Fame, opt for a deeper dive into the fun of film with a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. Whether it's soaring over Hogwarts with Harry Potter or escaping the Walking Dead's zombie apocalypse, a day spent living out scenes of silver-screen excitement is certain to ignite the imaginations of all ages.

Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studios Hollywood

After a day spent in the movies, it's only fair to reside amongst the stars. The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills takes the already-distinct atmosphere of Beverly Hills and refines it further. The glitz and glam of the 90210 is on full display from the rooftop pool down to the personalized service.


The quaint canals and whimsical side streets of Amsterdam are threaded in such a way that moments of magic are never more than a twist or turn away. Case in point: ARTIS. Short for Natura Artis Magistra, this oasis of discovery was established in 1838 as a regal zoo near the center of the city. While much of the zoo still carries the whimsical charm of the 19th century, the more-modern additions of the aquarium, planetarium and world's only zoo for microscopic creatures bring many facets to an educational Amsterdam field trip.

Lion cub at ARTIS - Amsterdam
Flamingos at ARTIS Zoo - Amsterdam

Less than two sunny miles of a walk away, the Sofitel Legend: The Grand Amsterdam is nestled in the absolute heart of the city. Whether it's an expedition to the zoo or a field day in scenic Vondelpark, family outings are easy when you're (breezily) returning home to the Sofitel's historical luxury ambiance.


While much of Tokyo can serve as a setting for discovering life and times wholly unique from your hometown, nothing may be as quintessentially Tokyo as the Tsukiji Fish Market. The largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, it's a city unto itself: strolling the market early morning promises sights like elaborate tuna-carving, countless vendors hawking foreign fares and the absolutely buzzing auction. It's a crash-course in culture and economics!

Sushi in Tokyo
Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Beating the crowd is the key to enjoying the fish market, as visitors are limited to the first 120 people on a first-come, first-serve basis. For that (and many other) reasons, you'd be wise to stay at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. Just a nine-minute drive away, the Imperial Hotel is both stationed and equipped to allow you and your family to make the most of your day-especially with a daily complimentary full American or Japanese breakfast, an exclusive SELECT Hotels & Resorts amenity.


Every child holds certain tales intertwined to their understanding of England-kings, queens, knights in shining armor, castles and moats and sometimes the odd dragon. Nothing sparks the imagination like a visit to a true-life castle, and no castle in London has the storied history quite like The Tower of London. Originally founded in 1066, the Tower has held many roles through the years: palace, fortress, prison and dungeon to name the most prominent. Today, it's the most in-depth history lesson on the country you could hope to visit. Come to glimpse the Crown Jewels on display, stay to stroll the grounds and discover its fabled past.

The Tower of London

When it comes time to pick a place to reside for your London trip, pick a palace, not a modern-day dungeon. The Capitol Hotel London elevates itself amongst the luxury boutique hotel scene, especially with the room upgrade upon availability at time of check-in through SELECT.


As stunning as Singapore's cityscape is-deluxe luxury of the ultramodern variety peppered with timeless regional influences-some of the most memorable adventures reside outside the conventional concrete jungle. The Jurong Bird Park is a 49-acre aviary offering a host of expansive exhibits housing birds from all corners of the world. Whether it's glimpsing the nocturnal birds in the World of Darkness, striking a colorful conversation with the residents of the Parrot Paradise or witnessing eagles and hawks put on a spectacle with the King of the Skies Show, it's highly likely your family will find a moment that you'll treasure together for years to come.

Singapore Skyline Bird's Eye View

Jurong Bird Park Singapore
Conrad Centennial Singapore

Whether you're exploring Singapore's verdant parks and forests or its lively hawker centers, a home base with an exceedingly convenient location streamlines a day of discovery exponentially. Couple that with a standard of plush convenience certain to elevate your journey, and you've summed up a stay at the Raffles Singapore. Throw in the perks provided by booking through SELECT Hotels & Resorts and you're set for a vacation that soars past expectations.