How to make City Trips Fun for Kids: The Leap & Hop Travel Guides

Taking your children to visit cities can be a real headache. You want to look at the sights, see the museums and enjoy the food but you don’t want crotchety kids moaning about how tired and bored they are.

When you’re travelling with children, particularly if you want to see the cultural sights,  you need to find something to engage their interest.  I always try and hunt out the stories that will make the place, the history or the art come alive and turn it into a fun experience for all of us. We’ve gone hunting for dragons at the Brighton Pavilion, found out about the King who chopped off queens’ heads at the Tower of London and searched for the sea monsters carved into the stone in the cloisters of a Lisbon Monastery.

Travel is the best possible way to teach your children about the world they live in as they get the chance to explore different cultures, learn about history and try new foods. But it’s not always easy. You have to change your pace when you’re travelling with children, take things slower. You can’t walk around for hours. You also need to factor in tiredness, hunger and boredom thresholds.

But when you get it right and you see that excitement in their eyes when they’re experiencing something for the first time, you realise that far from slowing you down, travelling with kids can be even more rewarding than it was before.

The wonderful Leap & Hop travel guides are brilliant at helping to turn a grown-up trip into a fun adventure for children. The books include guides to the cities of New York, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong. They’ve been created to help kids get involved and excited about their travels with fun, interactive activities.

The Paris guide is wonderful. It’s packed with information about the city, with games and activities on every page to help kids discover more about where they’re visiting.  You can go on a scavenger hunt around a department store, take a quiz walk around Montmartre, design clothes for the fashion capital of the world and hunt for the ‘mascarons’ (carved faces) on the Parisian buildings you pass. There are spot-the-differences, colouring pages and word searches and it’s all really colourful and beautifully illustrated.

My kids and I loved the idea that you can turn the book into a very special travel scrapbook of your trip. There are places to stick ticket stubs and souvenirs, draw pictures or take photos of what you loved and hated eating while you were there.

The book is so jam-packed with information and things to do that you couldn’t possibly do it all on one trip so there will always be something to save for your next visit. The books are aimed at 7 to 14-year-olds although younger children would be able to enjoy some of the activities with their parents’ help.

My 10-year-old was delighted with it. “It’s an amazing book!” he told me. “You’d know every corner of Paris when you finished doing it.” He’s really excited about using it when he goes to the city for the first time.

The books have been written by Isabelle Demenge. She wrote her first guide to Cambodia when she couldn’t find anything suitable for her three children, aged 8, 6 and 3, for their family trip to the country.

“I wanted to make sure that the kids could enjoy the temples so I tried to think of activities that they would enjoy for each temple on our list: treasure hunts, i-spy games and doodle prompts. It was a big hit with my three boys and their two cousins and so every year I wrote another book for them for our big family vacation.”

Her boys loved the book so much that she now writes one every time they travel anywhere – even for a long weekend. There are now nine books in the series and Isabelle is planning more. “It’s great to see how all three of them are interested in different sections of the books,” she says.

You can buy the books from the Leap & Hop website for HK $170 (about £15). They are also available on Amazon. I’ll certainly be using them with my kids and I think they’d make wonderful presents for children travelling to those destinations.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post. I was very kindly given a copy of the Leap & Hop guide to Paris for the purposes of review. All opinions are, of course, my own.

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37 thoughts on “How to make City Trips Fun for Kids: The Leap & Hop Travel Guides

  1. These books look great Clare. As you know my children are a little young for them but I’ll certainly seeking out this type of activity as they get older. I think it’s the perfect combination of firing imagination and learning about different cultures

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is lovely, Clare. The amount of effort you put into sharing the world with Edward and harry is very impressive. Andrew and I are about to go off on holidays sans kids and his sister in law- who can take her whole family to the USA was saying how much she envied us! A real case of grass in greener …on bot sides.

    Avril O’ReillyChildren’s Book Writer and Illustrator My new straight-to-the-point one page

    Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2016 06:04:53 +0000 To:


    • They’re certainly quite well travelled now! I’d still love to take them further afield more often though – particularly when it’s so grey and dreary like today in the UK… I hope you and Andrew have a great time on holiday together.


  3. The kids’ travel guides look great, Clare. As most of my friends have kids, I usually try to find fun and engaging activities to try out during our little trips together. So, this looks like something I could try for the next visit. Look forward to reading about your experience post-visit to Paris.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for letting me know about these guides! I love going on city breaks with the kids but it does take a lot of planning; I enjoy doing it, but for cities I don’t already know I often think I could do with some help: I hope they add new destinations soon! #citytripping

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These sound fantastic – I love the way they end up as a permanent memento of your trip(s) as well. I definitely agree that you can’t just turn up with kids and expect them to enjoy (although I do forget that) but making a game out of it just transforms the experience. I have to admit, it’s nice to find someone’s done all the work of creating that! Will definitely need to check these out. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved that they can be turned into a special scrapbook of the trip. I’m all for making travelling fun for kids – and these seem to be such a fantastic way of helping you do that.


  6. Oooh these sound great. Brill idea. I’ve never heard of them before but it is definitely something I would have enjoyed doing when I was a child… in fact, I’d still like doing it now. I think I’d end up using it more than my daughter (although she’s a bit young at the mo) #citytripping

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Elizabeth. A lot of the information in the book is useful for parents too – the Paris book really was crammed with useful bits and bobs about the French, the culture and the city, so you could use it alongside a more ‘adult’ guide book and still learn something.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice post – I recently came across these books as well and did a small FB post on Leap & Hop myself! I totally agree that it’s important to engage kids with activities and games and we can’t just expect them to like a city or place because we do. And these days I’m all for slowing down;). #citytripping

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Arm Chair Travel #6 - Toddlers on Tour
  9. We love a good city break and, although our two little critters are a tad young at the moment, these travel guides love brilliant. It’s the first I’ve ever heard of them so thanks so much for bringing them to our attention.
    Potty Adventures


  10. OMG Clare, this book is amazing!! I’m no kid anymore, but even I would love to have them all!
    What a great idea of Isabelle, I hope she keep doing those books. I’m certainly getting some for my nephews 😀
    Thank you for introducing this great work!

    Have a wonderful week and thank you for joining #MondayEscapes 😀


    • The books really are a great idea, aren’t they? I just love them and would like to see more destinations included in the future. Thanks again for hosting your wonderful #MondayEscapes and have a brilliant week, yourself.


  11. These books sound awesome! I wish I had had one when I was a kid. As it is, I’m trying to think of any kids I know that would enjoy working their way through these books. Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  12. Wow these are absolutely brilliant! I really want to start taking my kids to more cities, this would be absolutely perfect. Thanks for sharing the idea. #MondayEscapes


  13. Pingback: The Best Things to do with Kids in Paris | suitcases and sandcastles

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