Long trip in a car: „Are we there yet mum? How long? When? Mum! Are we there yet mum?" Yes, it drives you mad... It might help to explain to them how long the whole trip will take by dividing the trip into sections. If you know the way you are going, add in that you are 20 minutes away from stopping at that place with the ducks and donkeys!
Choose the time for travel when they could sleep in the car. You can try leaving before sunrise and get several hours of quiet driving time before they wake up and want entertainment.
And now they want it! So, try classic car journey activity – singing!!! Maybe you can find a CD of music that everyone will enjoy! You can also try radio-productions, taped books – a wonderful way to pass the time together in the car and enjoy a book together as a family. You don’t need to buy them: borrow from your friends or a local library!
If I was a child I would really love this advice: a goodie bag for each child filled with simple cheap toys that you think can keep them amused. No, it won’t cost from you millions if you search at the cheaper isle of the toy store. It could keep them quiet and happy. Don’t give it before the trip, wait when they start: „Are we there yet mum?” You can also include there coloring books, crosswords, sticker books, crayons etc. I guess you know better what would your children like.
Just some planning and creativeness and you can make you car ride enjoyable for the whole family. Oh, and children need variety – don’t forget it.
If you come to Riga with your children, visit LIDO recreation centre – while you will enjoy absolutely tasty Latvia food, elegant wooden interior and live Latvian music, your kids will find for them a lot of attractions, in winter there is also skating-rink. You can visit Mezhapark (Mežaparks – Forest park) with the Zoo (and animal feeding shows), kid’s railroad and modern playground. There is also the lake, so after a nice, hot summer day in the Zoo you can go to swim, before getting back to the centre of Riga. You can also enjoy white sand beach in Jurmala. Favourite indoor places to which kids usually pull their parents are Livu Aquapark in Jurmala and Go Planetcomplex in Riga. Actually, with kids I would advice you to go out of the city: hiking, palaces, skiing, flying in the vertical wind tunnel in Sigulda, forest with characters from fairytales in Tērvete, besides, you can book theme excursions (for example, to the airport or chocolate factory).
Pictures from Latvia: 1) Giraffes at the Riga Zoo; 2-3)Tērvete Nature Park; 4-5) LIDO recreation centre