Family breaks are a great way to have fun together and make some memories that will last a lifetime, but choosing a city break in the US can also help your family to learn and grow together. With a large selection of cultural destinations on offer across the country, parents are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a city of culture to explore with their offspring.
Whether you want to head west, aim for the East or see the South, there is a cultural city break destination to suit your family style while offering its own exciting range of entertainment and attractions.
Boston is a popular choice of destination for culture-hungry travelers from across the world. In addition to some amazing early American architecture, the city known as “bean town” also offers an exciting mix of museums and attractions that will appeal to visitors of all ages. Head for the Museum of Fine Arts, which is open daily except some public holidays. Children between the ages of 7 and 17 go free after 3pm and on weekends! Collections include art across the ages, along with exhibitions of artifacts including musical instruments and jewelry. Alternatively, take in the Boston Tea Party Ship and museum, where the famous anti-British protest of 1773 is faithfully recreated for families to explore. Little ones can even help to dump the precious cargo at this interactive experience.
As the capital of the United States, it is no surprise that Washington, D.C., rates highly when it comes to cultured cities to enjoy with children. Choose one of the many apartments in Washington D.C. for vacation rental and then head out to explore all that the area has to offer. From the iconic White House to the Museum of Natural History, the city is brimming with opportunities for cultural education. Visit the National Museum of Air and Space for a fun-filled day exploring the nation’s role in the space race or head for the Lincoln Memorial and start a conversation about the Civil War.
In addition to being an exciting metropolis to explore, the city of Chicago scores highly on the culture front, making it a great option for families looking for educational opportunities while they are away. Visit the Chicago Cultural Center, which was converted from the city’s public library and opened in the early ‘90s, for free classical music concerts and open-access art exhibits. You can also head over to the Museum of Contemporary photography to see images through the ages, from the old-style analog to the present day digital. The kids might be inspired to capture some of their own scenes while you explore! The city is also home to the National Museum of Mexican Art, a great hub for discovering Mexican culture.
New York, New York
You can’t cover destinations for families seeking culture without a nod to the Big Apple, which has been at the cutting edge of America’s cultural development since the country’s inception. Visit the Lincoln Centre for theatre, music and storytelling, or head to the Museum of Modern Art to explore some alternative aesthetics and inspire young minds. The Metropolitan Museum has an exciting collection of arms and armor that will excite any young would-be knights, along with all sorts of other art and artifacts from across the ages.
San Francisco, California
As the capital of the country’s counter-culture, San Francisco is worthy of consideration by families looking to travel and learn together. In addition to the usual round of museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Asian Art Museum, the city is home to a number of al fresco and alternative art installations that offer young minds a new perspective on how art and society interact. Head to the de Young’s sculpture garden and check out the amazing Three Gems installation, where LED light play offers a new perspective on the sky at night, or check out the Civic Center’s immersive multi-media dangling piano installation called Caruso’s Dream. Keep your eye on local listings for exciting immersive events, such as the free outdoor opera at AT&T Park.
Cultural cities can be fun for families
Whichever city you head for, packing your travel bags and seeking out cultural attractions can be a wonderful opportunity to broaden children’s horizons and open their minds while also firing small imaginations. Cultural experiences need not be stale, and with so much to experience, children won’t even realize they are being educated!