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Frommer's 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up Paperback – Aug 10 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Frommers; 2 edition (Aug. 10 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047047405X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470474051
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.4 x 20.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #416,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

500 Great Reasons to Say,"Are We There Yet?"

This bestselling guide takes you across town and around the globe to 500 of the most exciting places on earth. With more than 40 new destinations, this revised edition is packed with things to see, do, and explore—from the Painted Desert (United States) and the cave homes of Coober Pedy (Australia) to a camel safari (India) and Dracula's Castle (Romania).

Complete with hotel information, age recommendations, Web sites, and more, this guide provides the advice you need to plan a trip the whole familycan enjoy—and remember for a lifetime.

Places to Go & Things to Do Around the World

  • The natural world: awesome vistas, flora, and fauna

  • Offbeat attractions: weird and wacky fun

  • History: from ancient wonders to modern marvels

  • Rides and thrills: bobsleds, dogsleds, andeverything in between

  • Art and architecture: galleries, buildings, andmonuments

  • Science: space centers, natural history museums,and more

  • Sports: halls of fame and sporting events

About the Author

Holly Hughes (New York, NY) is the former executive editor of Fodor's Travel Publications, the series editor of Frommer's Irreverent Guides, and author of Frommer's New York City with Kids.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa05bec0c) out of 5 stars 66 reviews
132 of 139 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0715f6c) out of 5 stars Interesting but Unrealistic Aug. 17 2006
By Austinlvr - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had high expectations for this book but they fell flat. First, the layout is o.k. but not great. Areas are grouped by categories such as "Out and About" and "On the Water." As the book covers the world, I think it might have been better to be laid out geographically and maybe cross-referenced. As for the selections, they are very diverse. Some make sense but some I really don't feel are appropraite for children, except for maybe the very well travelled child. For example, number 397 is Mount Fuji: Scaling the Symbol of Japan. The age range is 8 and up. The author writes, "Take a shortcut directly to Kawaguchiko's Fifth Stage by bus from Shinjuku Station (be sure to book in advance); the trip takes about 2 1/2 hours. From this starting point it's about a 6 hour climb to the summit, with another 3 hours to make the descent; at the top, a 1-hour hiking trail circles the crater. The highlight of the classic Fuji Climb is to watch the sunrise from the peak, which in summer means being there by 4:30 am." I was hoping for more "kid friendly" suggestions. I don't think I'll be visiting number 280 "Hiroshima: The Original Ground Zero" or number 277 "The D-Day Beaches of Normandy" with my son anytime soon. Perhaps the child that is a huge history buff would understand the significance.

The positives are that the author provides good detail for each area with tips and tricks, good hotel, airport and contact information, and age ranges. There are some very unique groupings which make for an interesting read.

The negatives are that is it is an unrealistic travel guide for the average family, the "Why They'll Thank You" is weak, and it still didn't help me decide what to do next summer!
95 of 101 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0cf0978) out of 5 stars Aspirational list Jan. 31 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm surprised by the number of negative reviews of this book so I thought I would offer my own counterpoint. This is the best list I've found of aspirational places to take children. The only comparable list book I've found is the ever-popular 1000 Places to See Before You Die, which isn't oriented around kids at all. Of course they will all want to go to Disney World, but this is a different type of list. These are places that kids should visit to understand more about the world, how people behave, how science works, and what life is like for people who aren't always like themselves. It is not a list of fun places to take little kids.

We've been lucky enough to have visited 97 of the places with our kids, now aged 15 and 20. It's been a blessing to us to be able to visit places like Thailand, which is wonderful, and the Great Barrier Reef and indeed Mount Fuji and Hiroshima. People in Japan take many kids ages 8 to 10 to the muesum at Hiroshima; it's a fantastically well done museum about a topic that every kid--and adult--should understand. The only one of the places that really didn't give us much of a thrill was Agate Fossil Beds in Nebraska. My guess is that the authors HAD to pick something in Nebraska. We just used the book to pick #97 which was the Spy Museum in Washington DC -- a great spot we hadn't heard of.

The only reason I don't give this book 5 stars is that it really could benefit from a geographical cross-reference. Many items do offer a list of items nearby which is helpful.

So maybe it is easier to take kids to Disney World, but think about these places too. A terrific book to think about for a lifetime of travel with your family.
70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa09226c0) out of 5 stars A fairly useless book Jan. 11 2007
By IndyDon - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wow, was I disappointed when I cracked this book open. My two main complaints are layout and site selections. I cannot believe that sites are grouped by general similarity rather than geography. The geographical index at the back of the book just does not satisfy me. Any book like this should be organized from a geographical standpoint in my opinion. You will be required to look at the geographical index at the back of the book to find anything specific. I was hoping the book focused on the US or let's be wild and say North America. While I did not count them up, I would guesstimate that almost half of the sites are outside of North America. You would have to be extremely wealthy to visit many of these places and a fair number really are not place where I would want to take "kids" as they would only appeal to high school age or above. There are better books out there - in this case the Internet would serve you better.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa02f1a50) out of 5 stars I find nothing wrong with this book Nov. 30 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I put off the purchase of the book based on the other reviews. I purchased a fodors family travel book instead. I hated that book so I decided to go back with my gut instinct and purchased this one. I gave it five stars because I thought the other reviews were harsh and unjust. I don't feel the sections need to be in any particular order. Start at page one and read. Mark or just take note of the destinations that interest you. I don't think the destinations are unrealistic. If disney or a caribbean cruise is your idea of the ultimate family vacation then this is not the book for you. I don't say this offend anyone it is just that you may need to consider a different book for your needs. I do plan to take my kids to Asia, Africa, South America and so forth. You need not be wealthy to do so.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0837ee8) out of 5 stars Great General Guide For Travel Ideas Oct. 22 2009
By J. E. Nelson - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
When I had the opportunity to get a review copy of the newest edition of this book, I was quite ecstatic. I have 3 small children and would love to take them someplace else other than the typical Disney World, Sea World, Six Flags, Wisconsin Dells, and a myriad of other theme parks that dot the American landscape. I thought this book was the answer.

When I received the book and began flipping through it, the first thing that I noticed is that this book is definitely not geared to a particular audience other than people traveling with children. Having traveled the world for work early in my career, I had a pretty good idea what it costs to travel to Asia, Europe, and most of the Western Hemisphere. The first thing that I noticed is that the trips ranged from very cheap with easy access to the insanely expensive requiring extensive planning.

Flipping through the pages, I counted about 30 of the destinations that I have been to. I spent a good portion of my childhood living in one of them and over 10 years of my adult life living very close to a handful of others. What the author describes of the destinations seems relatively accurate. I spent my childhood in SE Alaska (Scouting Alaska's Inside Passage in the book). The author's description of utilizing the Alaska Marine Highway system (ferry boats) is excellent. However, no where did it seem to mention that many times the ferry terminals tend to be out on the middle of nowhere. The Juneau ferry terminal is a bit less than 15 miles from downtown Juneau and around 1 to 2 miles from the nearest bus station. Personally, I would not have found this to be a nice surprise if I was traveling with kids and no car. Throughout SE Alaska, the terminals are varying distances from the downtown areas. While a person could always call a cab, it seems that a cautionary note would be in order. It made me wonder if places I am not familiar with would have similar issues. Calling a cab in Alaska is a simple affair for an American, but the same person may not know a safe way to travel in Zimbabwe, Ecuador, or Peru.

When I read the book, while I found it interesting, it seemed to go incredibly slow. Each attraction is given a page or two that outlines what the attraction is, a short history of it, advice on hiring guides and transportation, and many times tips that will help maximize the experience and save time by directing you to the highlights of the attraction. The book is divided into 17 chapters of attractions, each chapter divided into sub chapters. The topics cover most interests that range from animals, nature, ancient civilizations, wars, holy places, science attractions, sports, and amusement parks to name a few.

The book can be a great asset for the rich and not so wealthy alike. There are tons of great ideas that can be tailored to any family. While I would not rely on the book as the sole source of information for a destination, it is a great starting point. If you are looking for a list of Disney knock-offs, this is not going to be the best book. If you are looking for destinations you may not have been aware of (some in your own backyard), then the book is definitely worth a look. Many destinations will be out of your reach financially. Other destinations made me question if the kids would really value the experience. However, flip through the suggestions and you will find something great for you and your family.