Standing within the royal gardens of Versailles with your children, it’s easy to think that this is the fanciest house they will ever lay eyes on. Eyes agog, they’re interacting with your tour guide, having already learned on the train ride from Paris that Louis XIV—who designed the palace—became king at just five years old. From here, you’ll go on to explore the interior, where your brood will be encouraged to consider what life was like within its walls—and day dream about which room they’d make their own.

When traveling with kids, nothing is more important than keeping them engaged—which is exactly the goal of the family-friendly tours offered by Context Travel, an AFAR partner. Excursions range from half-days to 7 days, and each is led by a real expert in their field—like an art historian or archaeologist—who has experience working with kids (especially those 12 and under). Regardless of which tour you choose, expect fun activities—like scavenger hunts and hands on projects—designed specifically around the unique way that kids engage with art and culture.

From Venice to Versailles, here’s a look at what Context has in store just for families.

Photo by Candré Mandawe
Experience Italy in a Hands-On Way

Kids may think vacations are not for learning, but it’s impossible to visit Italy without coming away with some knowledge of its rich history—especially if you book one of these tours.

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  • Venice: Make exploring even more exciting with an expert-led scavenger hunt designed for kids ages four to 11. The goal is to search for lions—a symbol of the city—at places like St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace.
  • Florence: Children hunt for different symbols during a Renaissance-focused tour, with stops at the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Piazza della Signoria.
  • Pompeii: A local historian or archaeologist leads an all-day interactive tour, which includes engaging activities about the ancient civilization.

Photo by Daniel Corneschi
Hunt for Dragons in Barcelona

Did you know that the Spanish city has a large population of dragons? If you know where to look, you’ll see them in countless building facades around town, especially in the Gothic Quarter. On an interactive, family-friendly tour, a local historian or architect will lead the way as the kids are encouraged to search for the mythical creatures and learn about the area’s history in the process.

Photo by Jurica Koletić
Get Your Creative Juices Flowing in London

Art projects are a great way to get kids engaged, and during London’s artist-led drawing workshop, you’ll get sketchbooks and materials to create your very own souvenirs of city landmarks and views, along with some tips from your guide on proper technique.

Photo by Jörg Angeli

Show Your Harry Potter Love in Edinburgh

Fans of J.K. Rowling’s famous series will no doubt love the Harry Potter-themed tour in Edinburgh, Scotland, a city known for inspiring authors like Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame. Along with a literary expert, you’ll visit the Writers Museum—home to many original manuscripts—and visit sites that inspired Harry Potter.

Visit France’s Most Famous Palace

Versailles is an easy day trip from Paris, and experiencing this 1,000-acre estate is also easy—and interesting—with the help of a guide trained in French art and history (and in working with children!). During the palace tour for kids, you’ll explore the expansive gardens while playing interactive games before heading inside to the palace, which has a whopping 2,300 rooms.

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Learn more about Context Travel and book today!