Family travel is about having fun, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t nurture their budding scientist at the same time. Travel writer Heather Greenwood Davis and her 14-year-old son, Cameron—also a published writer—discover some experiences that will nurture your child’s current obsessions while still teaching them valuable life skills.

The Main Experience

Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris, France 

One of the biggest science museums in Europe doesn’t pull any punches when pairing learning with fun. Inside, you’ll find two kid “cities”—one for ages two to seven, and the other for ages five to 12—but all the exhibits are bound to find fans in youngsters. Permanent exhibits take deep dives into genetics, the universe, math and more through games and hands-on activities. The science museum is closed on Mondays and you should purchase your tickets in advance.

Heather Greenwood Davis (left) and her son Cameron (right)
Heather Greenwood Davis (left) and her son Cameron (right)

Heather says: “How many times have you been asked a question you can’t answer? I love that this Google-free space allows kids the room to delve deeper into the big questions (How do we save the planet? What does my brain actually do?).”

Cameron says: “This place has a ton of different activities, but they also break it up so little kids get what they need and bigger kids have fun, too. Teens will probably like going to the BR4IN exhibit where you can learn how the brain works.”

3 more kid-friendly options

Tour Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Joggins, Nova Scotia

Joggins Fossil Cliffs, photo by VJ Matthew.

Joggins, N.S.: Head for Joggins Fossil Cliffs along the Bay of Fundy’s Cumberland Basin. Guided Tours are included in your admission fee and will help kids make sense of 300 million years of history.

Go stargazing at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona

The Lowell Observatory, photo by Kerrick James

Kids curious about astronomy will enjoy a visit to the Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered in 1930. Activities include a tour of the constellations and stargazing.

Dig for Fossils at Dinosaur Provincial Park in Brooks, Alberta

Photo courtesy Dinosaur Provincial Park.

Brooks, Alta.: Blow the mind of a dino-fan with a trip out to the UNESCO World Heritage Site—Dinosaur Provincial Park. What could be cooler than hunting for fossils in a spot where dinosaurs once roamed?

[This story appears in the March 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]