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How to channel your inner child at these fun destinations

Tivoli amusement park, Copenhagen

I don’t know about you guys, but when I was a kid all I wanted was to grow up and turn 18 already (so I could go on a Contiki, naturally). Now that I am an actual real adult – ugh! – all I want is to return to the sweet sweet bliss of childhood. Sadly, time-travel and de-aging machines haven’t been invented yet, so for now I’ll content myself with seeking out activities across the world that’ll awaken my inner child.

If you’re in a similar boat to me, read on to stick some happy-go-lucky times onto your horizons.

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1. Tivoli, Copenhagen, Denmark

As a general rule, amusement parks are some of the best places to awaken your inner child. But Tivoli is something special. Set in a botanical garden in the middle of Copenhagen, walking into this park feels like walking into a fairytale. The arched entrance alone is enough to draw you inside.

You’ll find classic roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, ferris wheels, and much more; all completed by a gorgeous background of twinkly lights. The decor throughout Tivoli changes with the seasons, so we recommend a trip at least four times a year! You can slip out to the park on one of your free days in Copenhagen during Contiki’s Scandinavia trip.

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2. Lotte World Adventure, Seoul, South Korea

Lotte World Adventure is kind of like the Disneyland of South Korea – it has all the magic and twinkly lights, and some amazing rides. One of Lotte’s selling points is how beautiful the park is – it’s pastel pink and baby blue, and if you visit in the spring you’ll see it framed by cherry blossoms all around – making it so much more charming.

If you’re in South Korea, this is the perfect little day trip to embark on for all the childish fun (and lots of giggles too).

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3. Safari, Maasai Mara, Kenya

I mean, does this one need explaining? Catching giraffes, elephants, and zebras grazing in the African brush sounds like a dream that’ll make any inner child smile with wonder! Not to mention the burst of happiness you’ll feel if you get a glimpse of some lion cubs tumbling over each other.

Safaris are sooo in right now, and Kenyan Highlights promises lots and lots of opportunities to make the little girl or boy inside you as happy as can be. What an amazing way to connect with yourself and nature at the same time.

Lion in Kenya

Image source:Contiki

4. Coney Island, New York, USA

Whether it’s from references in The Great Gatsby or a song by Taylor Swift, you’ll definitely have heard of Coney Island. It’s one of the most famous and long standing amusement parks in the US (and it’s worth all the hype too).

Charming and old-school, Coney Island is home to many classic rides, including a mega ferris wheel that’ll let you glimpse some of the iconic New York skyline over Brooklyn. Food stalls aplenty and the beach on the other side – what’s not to love?

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5. Studio Ghibli Park, Aichi, Japan

Calling all Ghibli fans, this park in Japan is the place for you! If you, like me, grew up glued to the TV watching My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service wishing you were a part of that world, then get yourself to Aichi ASAP! 

This is a nature-filled park, offering long and luscious strolls, complemented by gorgeous Ghibli-inspired installations. Different locations include Mononoke Hill, Valley of the Witches, and Dondoko Forest. You can spend a whimsical day enjoying Japan’s mild weather and treating your inner child.

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6. A’DAM Lookout, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Looking to relive the thrills of childhood? Look no further than the A’DAM Lookout swing in Amsterdam! At the very top of the A’DAM lookout is a swing that’ll propel you right over the edge and offer you stunning panoramic views of the city. It’s the tallest swing in Europe, so you can brag all about it when you get back to the playground! Er… I mean the office.

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7. Disneyland, Paris, France

The most iconic and popular of amusement parks, of course Disneyland has to be on the list. It has locations around the world including California, Florida, China, and a really unique one in Tokyo, but the fabled Parisian Disneyland can’t be beat.

Of course this had to be on the list of best destinations to awaken your inner child, I mean, it’s all about Disney! Princes and princesses walk the streets, as well as many other iconic characters, and you can scream at the top of your lungs and let out a jovial cry on all the exciting rides! 

8. Lifesize Monopoly, London, UK

Ah… Monopoly, the family game that comprises arguments, someone stealing extra money, and eventually the flipping of the board before the game has a chance to end. This lifesize experience might bring up some inner child trauma, but it’s pretty fun anyway. 

Need something to fill your day in London before your Contiki departure? You’ll get to team up with some friends (preferably some you’re not fussed about losing to) and hop along the board, rolling a massive dice, and bringing everyone around you to financial ruin. Fun!

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9. Castle escape, Ljubljana, Slovenia

On Contiki’s Mini Balkan and Best of Balkans trips, you’ll get a full free day in the charming capital city of Slovenia. The best way to spend it, you ask? Head to Ljubljana and ask to participate in the castle escape at the ticket booth! 

The aim is simple: there are 5 puzzles across the grounds that must be solved so that you can free the sleeping dragon below. Exciting, right? This activity takes between one and two hours to complete, and you’ll find yourself running around with your friends in a fit of laughter. 

10. Kayak with Penguins, Cape Town, South Africa

Let’s round this list off with some more adorable animals: penguins in South Africa! As part of one of Contiki’s cutest MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences, you’ll get to admire African penguins waddling along crystal blue shores… and even kayak alongside them too. This should make your inner child feel all the warm and fuzzies. 

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