The Simmons family — parents Jeremy and Carrie, and sons Nathan and Seamus — experiences the fun and challenges of travel just like any other family, only in front of a camera. They explore the history and culture of a destination, highlight the family-friendly activities and offer practical tips for avoiding travel pitfalls.
Peru - The Inca World - Machu Picchu & Cuzco
The city of Cuzco, the famous center of the Inca world, is full of colorful history, culture and adventure waiting to be discovered as Nathan & Seamus explore the massive stone walls and a Spanish colonial town square. Take the train from Cuzco into the mountains to discover the majestic Inca city of Machu Picchu where soaring stone structures have stood for centuries and are surrounded by ancient footpaths and trade trails, perfect for hiking including the famous Inca Trail.
Costa Rica - Volcanoes and Rainforest Adventure
The family heads to eco-friendly Costa Rica to get a close-up look at the area's most active volcano, while staying at a hotel right at the base of the mountain. Then head up to the fabled cloud forests of Santa Elena and Monteverde to find all sorts of jungle creatures including sloths, iguanas and poison dart frogs. Canopy tours, weird wildlife encounters and rumbling mountains are all part of this Costa Rican interior adventure.
Florida: Miami & The Everglades
The crazy art deco buildings painted in an array of colors and a festive atmosphere has the Roberts grooving in the outdoor cafes of South Beach. Surrounded by water, Miami is an ideal place to discover the ocean, and the Roberts do just that...on board an amphibious vehicle, playing in the waves, and checking out an aquarium. Next, they head inland to explore the Everglades where they come face-to-face with alligators on an exuberant airboat ride and a hike through the backcountry.
Scotland - The Scottish Highlands
Scotland has long been known for its deeply rooted heritage. In this episode, the family heads for the hills...the Scottish Highlands that is. After a brief visit to Edinburgh, it's "All Aboard!" as the family head north by train through the craggily hills and open plateaus of the Scottish Highlands. Once there, the family finds all sorts of diversion as they explore the ancient and majestical forest, play in the snow, feed reindeer, taste haggis and try to get a snapshot of the famous Loch Ness monster.
Ireland: The Castles and Cliffs of County Clare
Known for its rugged limestone rock formations and ancient castles, County Clare offers all sorts of off-the-tourist-track exploration, and the kids are thrilled to discover it all. Explore tall sea cliffs at the famous Cliffs of Moher and head beneath the limestone for an underground adventure in the Aillwee Caves on The Burren. Although the kids may not be as impressed as adults by ancient dolmens, the giant castles of Clare like Knappogue and Bunratty are sure to spark their imagination of days gone-by filled with knights and kings.
The Roberts family hits the road running in Paris in attempt to be the first to find the incredible Eiffel Tower while getting sidetracked by the City of Light's artistic culture. Join the host family on a treasure hunt in the Louvre where they discover the gems of the art world; on the city's stinkiest tour in the Paris Sewers; and for a ride down the Seine River for a view of Paris how it was meant to be seen. Watch as the family finds the Eiffel Tower and it's time to climb, picnic, ride mules and go-karts and enjoy one of the greatest monuments in the world.
Costa Rica - Monte Verde and the Pacific Coast
Join the Roberts family as they explore the cloud forest of Monte Verde where snakes and bats have their own museums and the best way to get around is by horse or zip line. Next, head by ferry from the mainland to kick back on the Peninsula Nicoya on the Pacific Coast in the decades old backpackers village of Montezuma and experience the coastal magic of Costa Rica, one of the world's most diverse eco-zones, with jungle and ocean encounters with all sorts of creatures.
Alaska - Kenai Peninsula
Board an RV with the Roberts family as they head south through Alaska's well-traveled, but still remote, Kenai Peninsula. Spot eagles soaring in the skies and otters swimming about as they paddle through Kachemak Bay and discover ocean life as they dissect a squid and check out whales in Seward. Plus, board a scientific research vessel that still measures the effects of the oil spill and gives the kids an up-close look at massive glaciers crashing into the waters of Prince William Sound. The adventure continues when the kids meet a Iditarod musher and his dog sled team and hitch a ride.
England - Bath & Stonehenge
Beyond London, England has a much slower pace and a more natural surround. In Southern England, the Roberts discover area history in the Roman town of Bath and a tour of the world's most magnificent pre-historic relics, Stonehenge and meet the locals as a game of cricket is explained. In a boat tour up the Avon River, Nathan & Seamus enjoy the relaxing lifestyle of the English countryside.
England - The Lake District
After hopping a train to the north, the family finds a world of literature awaiting in the English Lake District, an area so abundant with beauty it inspired celebrated authors like William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. Nathan and Seamus get a chance to explore some of the area stories at the World of Beatrix Potter Museum and the natural surrounds as they bump through the countryside in an off-road adventure, steam down the lake and up the mountains and get to know some of the area's woodland and lake creatures.
Head up the Amazon river basin in Peru to an eco lodge set deep in the rainforest. Join the family as they explore the thick jungle rainforests looking for monkeys, snakes, birds, bugs and other jungle creatures hiking through and up above the canopy and kayaking down the river. Plus, meet a local farmer who explains the healing powers of native plants and help Nathan and Seamus find clues to solve riddles along The Children's Rainforest Trail.
Heritage and Culture in the Southwest: Located in Southwestern Ireland, Killarney is a land of many charms, which natives will tell you is a paradise in the waiting. Using Killarney as a base, the Roberts hop a horse cart to Killarney National Park where they storm Ross Castle, drive the Dingle Peninsula where they learn about local marine life including Fungi the Dolphin and head to Blarney Castle where they, of course, kiss the stone and get the gift of gab.
Rome: Gladiators & Gelato of Rome
Explore the grand splendor of Rome, Italy! Center of world history and power created by the massive Roman Empire. Walk the winding streets of Rome finding Gelato, Pizza and Gladiators. Get an in depth look into the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and actually learn to be a Gladiator in a real Gladiator school! Trained Gladiators teach the kids the moves with wooden and metal swords to prepare for a duel. Then hang out in the fantastic Piazza Navona with it's wild street performers and people from all over the world. Shop at local markets to prepare authentic Italian meals and learn all about the local history, culture and family fun Rome has to offer.
Wales: History & Roman Legacy
Our journey in Wales begins in the capital city of Cardiff, where a cosmopolitan, modern atmosphere melds with ancient historical landmarks like the massive Cardiff Castle. With over 600 castles, Wales is alive with medieval culture. The kids get a feel for it as they learn to fly Harris Hawks at thWelsh Hawking Center. But, the history here is older than that. The shoreline near Cardiff is loaded with prehistoric fossils and the kids are excited to find them and learn more at the National Museum Wales and the National Showcaves Center, where natural rock formations and foliage are dotted with life size replicas of dinosaurs. A bit east in Brecon Beacons National Park, delve 300 feet underground into the "Big Pit" to learn about Wales' more recent history in coal mining. Stay in small farmhouses, surrounded by sheep and run the walls of the largest excavated Colosseum ruins outside of Rome!
Wales: Eco-adventure and Green Living in King Arthur's Land
Head out to Wales' southwest coast to learn how Wales is leading the Green movement in the U.K. and explore the dramatic natural surrounds. Discover new ways of using solar, water and wind for power at the Center for Alternative Technology and see it in action in Britain's Greenest City, St. David's. Explore caves, rocks, and hidden coves along the Pembrokeshire Path by foot and kayak all while munching on seaweed in an activity invented in St. David's called coasteering. To explore a bit further in the sea, our family hops on a boat to Ramsay Island, where they spot some rare animals. Climb Merlin's hill and go deep into an old coal mine to come face to face with the legend of King Arthur and Merlin at the Corris Craft Center and tend the sheep in an old restored farmhouse that uses solar and wind power.
The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys has been the subject of mystery and intrigue for many decades. Closer to Cuba than to the other United States, Key West is known for its independent spirit. Check it out by train in a tour of the sites, by boat at sunset and by bike. Be entertained by the vaudeville atmosphere of the famous Key West Sunset Ceremony, walk the plank at the pirate museum, hop on a bike and pedal your way through the revelers on Duval Street. The exciting atmosphere of Key West is contrasted by the quiet beaches as they head north to Key Largo where they get a slimy kiss from a friendly sea lion.
Ireland's biggest city, Dublin, is vibrant and has many stories to tell if you take the time to listen. In Dublin, discover the long and often turbulent history with the English at Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Jail, get a taste of hops history at the Guinness factory, and take a break for some kid's activities at St. Stephen's Green, the Natural History Museum and Dublin Zoo.
Baja Mexico: Whale Encounter
Head down the quiet and uncrowded back roads of Mexico's Baja peninsula for a once in a life time encounter like no other. This unique experience brings you face to face with the world's largest mammals.. whales. After loading up on a bus in California, our fearless family crosses the border at Tijuana and drives into the Baja sunset. Explore the bizarre shapes of the Central Desert, a scene that inspired the illustrations of Dr. Seuss, and stay at small, guesthouses along the way. At Scammons Lagoon, head out in small wooden boats to seek out the Gray whale, which mates and births in the bays of Baja. Thousands of whales on their annual migration have filled the lagoon to have their babies and they're not shy. They bump right up to the boats, where guests can reach in to pet them, and sometimes it's hard to tell who's watching whom.
London is world-renowned for its history rich attractions and fast-paced activity, but how will it do entertaining two young boys. The family finds out as they traverse the city by tube and double-decker bus learning all about its royal history at Buckingham Palace, its military past at the Cabinet War Rooms and its colonial ambitions at the British Museum. The host-family takes part in London tradition at a formal afternoon tea, a sun-soak in Hyde Park and hanging out with punks in Piccadilly Circus before heading to West End for a play. And they manage to see a few of London's famous landmarks...Big Ben, London Eye, Trafalgar Square.
Scotland - The City of Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a majestic city filled with incredible architecture and anchored by the massive Edinburgh Castle. Based out of Melville Castle, our host family takes you though the sites along the Royal Mile. Get crowned in Edinburgh Castle and visit some of the city's exciting museums with subjects like the earth, toys and Scottish history. Plus, the kids learn to bagpipe and hold a tarantula.
Ireland - Tracing Ancestry in the Northwest
In Ireland's northwest region, The family discovers their roots and hunts for the ancient castle of their ancestor, infamous Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen. After searching the wilds of the Connemara where they encounter a true Irish traffic jam - sheep in the road - our host family finds refuge at a farmhouse Bed and Breakfast, ironically enough owned by the O'Malley family. In their ancestry search, the family discovers the true meaning of heritage as they learn about the potato famine, sit in on a traditional music session and finally reach Clare Island and the home of Grace O'Malley.
Alaska - Kenai Peninsula
Board an RV and head south through Alaska's well-traveled, but still remote, Kenai Peninsula. In Homer, spot eagles soaring above and otters playing around their kayaks as they paddle through Kachemak Bay discovering giant starfish and eating seaweed.. In Whittier, board a scientific research vessel that still measures the effects of the oil spill and gets up close to massive glaciers crashing into the waters of Prince William Sound and navigate through icebergs. Follow a pod of dophins, eat seaweed from a kayak while discovering ten-legged purple starfish, come face to face with wild Moose in Homer.
The Bahamas - Cat Island & Grand Bahama
To explore a different side of the Bahamas, hop a flight to Cat Island where daily activities include watching the plane take off. On Cat Island they glide up an estuary to find turtles, kayak to their own private island and enjoy a beach to themselves. Learn the history or the British Loyalists during the American Revolution who fled to Cat Island, and the last slaves ships which left their human cargo on the island, who's descendants still live there. Then head to Grand Bahama, the number two tourist destination in the Bahamas, to kayak through a mangrove forest, find bats and head out on a snorkelboat and show their younger cousins what Travel With Kids is all about.
Jamaica - The Wild West Coast
Head to the Caribbean island of Jamaica, away from the mega resorts, to feel I'rie in the sun. Stay in a beach hut with not TV and no A/C set in a tropical garden along a gorgeous seven mile beach in an atmosphere laden with African roots and island music. Get off the tourist track in Black River and YS falls for some crocodile spotting and rope swings over the falls, jump off the world famous cliffs at Ricks Cafe and kayak and snorkel some of the Caribbean's best underwater scenery.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: Fun in the Baja Sun
Travel with Kids heads to the very tip of the Baja Mexico peninsula to find whales, dolphins, zip line over desert canyons, play in the sand & surf and go on their first scuba dive off the coast of Lands End "El Arco." Along the way, they discover the rugged coast and ending point of the Baja 1000 in their own Israeli army made desert dune buggy, take a ride on a bungee trampoline, shop the fun markets of Cabo and learn about the history and culture of this Mexico desert paradise.
South Africa: Soweto Township & Safari
Explore the shanty-town streets of South Western Township near Johannesburg where the anti-apartheid movement bloomed just decades ago. Witness evidence of the struggle for equality at Nelson Mandela's home and Regina Mundi church. Then, meet some of the smiling, friendly locals by visiting a township school. Not all history in this area is as new as the anti-apartheid movement. In fact some of the oldest hominid skeletons in the world were found just outside Johannesburg at the Cradle of Humankind. Discover the early human story and explore current archeological excavations as hosts Nathan and Seamus crawl through caves. South Africa is known for its incredible wildlife. Just near the Botswana border lies Madikwe Game Reserve where the family discovers why rhinos charge, how lions protect their dinner and learns bush survival skills on a kids safari outing.
Cape Town: Mandela History & Great White Sharks
Situated near the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town has a Dutch colonial feel to it. Just across the bay is Robben Island, where Travel With Kids hosts discover the history of Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom" in the prison where he spent decades of his life as a political prisoner. A trip down the Cape introduces viewers to precocious residents like baboons and penguins. The mountains in the area offer fantastic views, witnessed as Nathan and Seamus head up Table Mountain by tram, and lots of outdoor activities like hiking and sand boarding. One of the most adventurous activities in the area lurks just down the coast. So, the family head to Grootbos to work on a sustainable farming project with local women learning about growing the land and a once in a life time adventure off the coast to go cage diving with great white sharks!
China: Yangtze River & Three River Gorges Dam Project
Leaving Shanghai by train for the interior of China is an adventure in itself! After two days on the Chinese trains, Travel With Kids' hosts Nathan & Seamus become a curious novelty among the locals. School kids engage them in learning English and playing games and hilarious antics ensue. From the train to the M.S. Yangtze Explorer, the family embarks on a downstream adventure on one of the world's longest rivers. Wind through the famous Three River Gorges and visit the controversial Three Gorges dam with a first-hand account of its massive lock system. Meander through markets, visit new homes and traditional homes of those displaced by the dam project meet the local boat trackers who pull boats upstream with ropes.
North Vietnam: Hanoi & Ha Long Bay
Arriving in Hanoi by train from Beijing, China, the Asia travel adventure continues in the communist capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Head underground with hosts Nathan and Seamus as a hotel in Hanoi uncovers a recently discovered bomb shelter where Jane Fonda was reported to have played during air raids. Explore the winding alleyways of the Old Quarter markets with amazing water puppet shows, temples and shops. Experience the Vietnam War (or American War as it is called in Vietnam) history with a visit to the "Hanoi Hilton" prison. The Travel With Kids family then heads east to witness the fabled gum-drop mountains of Ha Long Bay. On a traditional Asian wooden boat, Nathan & Seamus explore ancient caves, white sand beaches, rural rice paddies and small villages rarely seen by outsiders. Plus, find out what happens when Seamus suffers a broken foot in a boating accident. Will the family find proper medical attention back in Hanoi, or is their Asia adventure finished?
Thailand: Jungle & Elephants
After a quick tour of Bangkok, and its traditional floating markets, Travel With Kids escapes the rush of the huge city and heads into the jungle of Kanchanaburi Province near the Burmese border. Heading up the River Kwai by boat, stopping to absorb World War II history at the famous bridge, the family arrives at the a floating hotel. Built out of bamboo, the hotel is set deep into the river canyons and is surrounded by elephants! After discovering the lives of the Mon people, refugees from nearby Burma, the family heads to Elephant World, a rehabilitation center for the giant creatures. Nathan & Seamus learn about the conservation efforts underway in Thailand to save the elephants and help care for the animals: preparing their food, hand feeding them, giving them a scrub down, and riding them into the jungle to sleep.