Places to Experience Wonder with the Kids

Did you guys know that Atlas Obscura has a kid’s book? The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid (buy now!) brings the mystery, curiosity, and adventure that Atlas Obscura has been giving adults for years, to a younger generation. In that vein, we want to discover even more terrific places to bring young people to ignite their first spark of wonder. So tell us about your favorite spot to visit with children, sharing in that sense of newfound wonder.

(Image: Simon Rae/Public Domain)

In the comments below, tell us about the most wondrous places that you like to visit with your kids, where it is, and what makes it so special and appealing to children. If you have any pictures, we want to see those too! Help us work to make family travel more curious than ever before! Bring the kids!

In Edinburgh, Scotland, right near the top of the Royal Mile, is one of the most fun museums I’ve been to in years. The Camera Obscura & World of Illusions takes the lineage of the 19th century camera obscura installed at the top of the building, and adds to it with several floors of perception-distorting installations.

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Ipswich river Wildlife Sanctuary In Topsfield Massachusetts!
The rock grotto called the rockery, wetland observation tower and boardwalks are awesome for kids! Plus summer camps and day programs and canoeing!

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If you’re in southern New England, Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown, RI, the darkest sky spot in the region, is wondrous. Every Friday with clement weather they have viewings, and all kinds of people bring their own telescopes, and everyone is always so sweet and accommodating about letting children take a peek with their equipment if the observatory telescope isn’t open, or if they don’t have their own (at least in my experience.) They even have themed nights throughout the year based on astronomical events, and even holidays. It’s worth the hike on a clear night.image

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Anywhere in Iceland, really, but one of our kids favorite spots was Gjain, this straight-out-of-Tolkien valley filled with caves and waterfalls that is in the middle of a barren lava field. You need a 4x4 to get through the very scary road, but we had the best time looking in “troll caves” and drinking water out of the falls.

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such cute photos