Nostalgic TV theme parks offer a chance to celebrate your own Childhood.
Even though the twinkling lights and presents by the truckload are behind you, chances are you’re still getting a little misty-eyed at all of the friends and family you hung out with or missed during the holidays. I love watching my own boys create holiday memories that I know they’ll look back on down the road. What I also love? The opportunity, if only for a few hours, to step back into my own childhood. Turns out we don’t have to limit our childhood reminiscing to holiday mornings. Here are 5 spots where you can force your kids to relive your childhood any time of the year. (Hey! It’s your duty as a parent!)
1. Sesame Place, Pennsylvania : They had me at Cookie Monster, but the great thing about Sesame Place is that your kids won’t even realize that this trip is as much about you as it is about them because the beloved television show is still so much a part of their lives. Sure the Street didn’t have the Orange day-glo outfits or magical boomboxes of some of today’s favourite characters but who couldn’t fall in love with an 8 -foot tall bird and a grouch living in a can? Sesame Place perfectly mixes the fun kids love at any theme park (watershows, roller coasters, parades) with character meet and greets, breakfasts and other interactions. Don’t leave without taking a photo on the steps of 123 sesame.
2. Muppets at Disney World Resort , Florida: It may be Mickey’s house but there’s plenty of room for Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang at the Florida theme park. At Jim Henson’s Muppet-Vission 3D, a 17-minute movie takes you right into the Muppet world and is a great introduction to the beloved Muppet show. The kids will recognize a friend or two and you get to introduce them to favourites like The Swedish Chef, Miss Piggy and Animal! The gift shop across from the movie is worth a stop too.
3. Astroboy Museum, Kyoto, Japan: My kids haven’t visited this one yet, but the resurgence of the popular boy robot thanks to a movie release a few years ago makes it a must stop on our upcoming trip around the world. I can still remember the look on my husband’s face when we saw the sky-high statue celebrating Astroboy as we disembarked in Kyoto almost 10 years ago. These days you’ll find a museum paying tribute to the man who created the boy who was part machine just outside the train terminal.
4. Superheroes, Sailing Strongmen, Mounties and More, Universal Studios, Florida: Harry Potter may be the rage now, but this theme park’s celebration of several of the characters parents will remember best makes it a must-see for the next generation. Start with Dudley Do-Right. The Canadian Mountie and his nemesis Snidely Whiplash are at the heart of a flume ride that has a 75-foot drop below an “exploding” dynamite shack. Then move on to the superheroes of your youth: The Amazing Spider- Man, Dr. Seuss and Popeye’s ship are a few of the others that will bring back good memories.
5. Christmas Story House, Cleveland, Ohio: Tis the season. If you’re the kind of guy or gal who still calls their siblings and can erupt into fits of laughter by simply saying things like “You’ll shoot your eye out!” this place is for you. From the leg lamp that sits in the living room to the kitchen sink you can climb under it’s all been recreated to look exactly like the movie. Die hard fans come in November for the annual conference and celebration of all things related to the classic. After snapping a family photo by the Christmas tree be sure to regale your kids with what winters were like when you were a kid. They LOVE that.
See how much fun the kids are having?
Heather Greenwood Davis is a freelance travel writer currently planning a 1-year around the world trip with her husband and 2 sons. Follow her travels here and at www.globetrottingmama.com