Feeling like a little kid is guaranteed fun for everyone you’re traveling with.
Sometimes while traveling you need to take a break from museums, churches, and walking tours. Feeling like a little kid is guaranteed fun for everyone you’re traveling with. There are three places that make me forget about everything in the world, fill me with pure happiness and leave me with the biggest smile.
Upon entering Prater, or Wurstelprater, I was standing under Vienna’s famous Ferris wheel and looking out onto bright lights illuminating every kind of ride I had ever imagined. The best word to describe Prater (Vienna’s giant amusement park) is magical. Aside from the rides, there are caramel apples to be eaten, humongous stuffed animals to be won, and ponies to ride. Prater is free to enter, so if you aren’t a fan of wild rides, it’s fun to take a stroll through the park and admire the daredevils being swung through the air. Within the gates you will also find restaurants, a casino, a nightclub, and more.
The rides vary in price but average around three to five Euros each. After an intense debate, my friends and I started with the go-karts then moved onto a roller coaster that shot us backwards through a tunnel. We ended the night on a 383-foot tall swing from which we could look out onto the entire city. I wasn’t breathless because of my fear of heights, but because of how beautiful the view of illuminated Vienna was.
Musée Mécanique, San Francisco
Remember searching your childhood home for coins so you could go to the arcade with your friends? Before I go to Musée Mécanique I still check under all of my couch pillows before running out the door with a huge bag of quarters. The museum is a privately owned collection of antique arcade games and other fun machines. There are over three hundred items in the museum. You will find everything from a black and white photo booth and coin-operated fortunetellers to pinball machines and racing games. The museum is free to enter, but make sure you bring lots of coins!
You may recognize “Laffing Sal”, the automated character that welcomes you to the museum. He made an appearance in The Princess Diaries when Anne Hathaway takes Julie Andrews to the Musée Mécanique. Located on Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf, the museum is surrounded by street performers, delicious clam chowder bread bowls, and many more fun activities.
Southbank , London
Sitting under the famous London Eye Ferris wheel, you’ll find Southbank, a walkway along London’s Thames River. When it’s warm enough, the walk is filled with street performers, a carousel, and food stands. There are people in costume, magicians, and dancers that one could watch for hours. They often ask for the audience to participate in their performances and have a huge circle of wide-eyed children around them. I once had one performer follow me around for five minutes and continuously jump out and scare me.
If you want to get inside, check out Sea Life London Aquarium (you can get a discount by purchasing tickets for the Aquarium and the Eye together.) There are also a number of great galleries and shops around Southbank, but I have the most fun just walking around outside and taking everything in.