8 Off-The-Wall Family Trip Experiences

Mix things up on your next family trip with activities that get the imagination—and the adrenaline— flowing.

Apr 27, 2020

BridgeClimb Sydney

Oprah has done it, so have Prince Harry and Katy Perry. Follow them on an unforgettable ascent up the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At Climb Base, you’ll receive a full safety brie ng before embarking on the 31⁄2-hour Summit Climb, the 21⁄2-hour Summit Express, or the 90-minute Sampler Climb. Get the kids off the devices (strictly no phones allowed!) and build memories while bonding over hereditary family fears. Leave with a certificate of achievement, a BridgeClimb cap, a group photo and a free pass to The Pylon Lookout museum. Climbers must be at least eight years old and over 1.2 meters tall, with a max of three children per adult. bridgeclimb.com; fromA$148.— Katrina Holden

Hotelier for a day

Top Chef, tween edition, at Anantara Layan. Courtesy of Anantara.

Inquisitive youngsters can get a glimpse behind the curtain at Anantara Layan Phuket Resort with the Junior Hotelier program for children aged eight to 12 years. From folding towels into animals to preparing a meal and concocting a mean fruit mocktail, kids will be well versed in the tricks of the trade by the end of the day, with a photo and a certificate to prove their qualifications. Who knows? You might start getting turndown service and treats on your pillow when you get home. phuket-layan.anantara.com; Family Pool villa fromBt10,730.— Grace Ma

Sustainable fun in Bali

‘Built from trash by kids, for kids’ sounds like a questionable premise for Desa Potato Head’s new Sustainism Kids Club in Bali—but the reality is much more positive than it sounds. Following the brand’s ‘good times, do good’ motto, the cocoon-like space is created from bamboo and discarded flip-flops cleaned from Bali’s beaches by local school kids. Inside, daily workshops combine art, fun, and eco-education and include creating paper from jackfruit trunks and crayons from used cooking oil. potatohead.co; triples from Rs4,347,000. — Chris Schalkx

Vietnamese language and culture

Vietnamese culture class on Con Dao Island. Courtesy of Six Senses.

For a well-rounded travel experience, it pays to dig a little deeper into local culture. An immersive philosophy is to the fore at Six Senses Con Dao where junior guests can take a fun crash course in Vietnamese language and culture as part of the brand’s all-encompassing Grow with Six Senses program. As well as learning the basics of the lingo, youngsters can visit a local school to interact with the pupils. sixsenses.com; Duplex Pool villas from VND19,500,000 — Duncan Forgan

Visiting Studio Ghibli

The Catbus at Studio Ghibli. By Rob Young. Courtesy of Ghibli Museum.

Known as the “Disney of the East,” Studio Ghibli is famous for creating the best quality anime around. And this fantastic museum is where fans from around the world come to pay homage to the genre via interactive exhibits that celebrate the studio’s numerous classic creations. There’s a café, a screening room for short films and shows, a giant plush Catbus for the kids to crawl over, and a shop to buy toys and original cels. Tickets cannot be purchased at the door, only in advance; your best bet is going through a JTB agent in your country before you travel. ghibli-museum.jp; tickets ¥100–¥1,000, children three and under free. — D.F.

iFly Singapore

Skydiving may be insanely fun, but in its purest form, it’s not exactly family friendly. But iFly Singapore has made it kid-accessible: with help from a vertical wind tunnel, anyone seven and up can experience this “ride” that lets you have that free-falling experience without jumping out of a plane. First-time flyers get “pre-flight training” before embarking on an instructor-accompanied jump. This is as close as it gets to the real thing—with a safe landing guaranteed. iflysingapore.com; S$89 for The Teaser skydive, S$119 for two The Challenge skydives. — Lester Ledesma

Surfing in the Maldives

If you want to catch some waves in the notoriously calm-watered Maldives, hit one of the accessible surfing hotspots near capital Malé. Resorts like the family-oriented Holiday Inn Kandooma (maldives.holidayinnresorts; doubles from US$216) and Niyama Island Resort (niyama.com; Beach villas from US$1,392) have beautiful barrel waves right off the shore. If the kids are too young for hanging ten, you can drop them off at the playroom while you’re out getting stoked. Niyama’s Explorers Kids Club, aside from being the largest in the country, is the only one offering programs for children as young as 12 months (ranging up to 12 years). — L . L .

Jet-skiing in Langkawi

Jet-skiing in Langkawi with Mega Water Sports. Courtesy of Mega Water Sports.

Fly over emerald waters, explore caves and swim in a freshwater lake in the middle of Dayang Bunting Island in a jet-ski island-hopping tour with Mega Water Sports. Even if you haven’t been on a jet ski for decades, this company offers a safety briefing and the guides are encouraging and patient. Children double-up with parents, and there are even tour options for kids as young as four. It’s a fantastic, fun activity for the whole family, especially your persnickety teens. Megawatersports.com; tours from RM700. — Pip Harry

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