Best Hands-on Activities for Traveling Families

Mosaic Workshop - NaplesSometimes the best way to really sink your teeth into a city is by getting your hands dirty.   This is especially true when on a family vacation, where time spent on active learning can really perk up museum weary children and bond a family together in a cultural learning experience.

While our selection of family focused tours is well-known, many families don’t realize the variety of workshops and activities they can partake in with Context.  And while these workshops can be enjoyed by adult-only parties, we’ve found they work especially well with families and often help reinforce what they have already been learning.  To make things a bit easier to pull apart, we’ve put together this list of our 5 favorite hands-on experiences for families.

  1. Become a Renaissance Artist – Our Fresco Workshop in Florence has long been a go-to recommendation for families in this Italian city.  In fact, fresco artist Hector Ramsay, who leads these workshops, says that family groups are some of his favorites and that there’s nothing better than seeing the whole family create together.  Think about it.  You see so many frescoes on a trip to Italy, doesn’t it make sense to allow your children to really experience what goes into creating such a masterpiece?  You don’t need to be an expert artist to turn into one for the day, just set your inhibitions aside and let your imagination run wild.
  2. Bike Through History – Understanding the history and impact of the Berlin Wall is surely something that most families, especially those with slightly older children, will want to address during a stay in Berlin.  Berlin is such a bike-friendly city that biking along the Wall is a fantastic, active way to explore while learning about a structure that has defined the city since its creation.
  3. Learn an Ancient Artform – Imagine visiting Pompeii and then later creating your own mosaic to rival the ancients.  It’s more than possible through our Naples program, which not only arranges visits to Pompeii, but has an award-winning mosaic artist and classicist in our docent pool.  During our Mosaic Workshop, which typically takes place either in the artist’s studio in Salerno or your hotel (space permitting), the entire family will sketch and then create their own mosaic masterpieces to later bring home.  With mosaics being a key artform of the ancient world, your children will gain an appreciation for the technique and skill needed to bring the images to life, all while having fun!
  4. Go Shopping at the Market – Food is an integral part of learning another culture and there’s no better way to get that experience than by visiting a local market.  Though our Paris Market tour is popular with adults, why not turn it into a family event?  The sounds and smells of the market stalls are perfect for capturing the imagination of children and they can help participate by learning how French families do their daily shopping.  The tasting will help the expand their palettes and take them on a food adventure and an added bonus is that they may even learn a few French words along the way!
  5. Create a Stained Glass Masterpiece – The newest edition to our Barcelona program is an exciting stained glass workshop that takes place in a suburb just outside the city. In contrast to the other workshops mentioned above, we start with a stroll of the neighborhood to understand different styles of stained glass through history and also visit the workshop of a master artisan.  After this brief, inspiring visit, the family will have the chance to try their hand at forming their own creation.
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