10 Awesome Places To Recapture Your Childhood
Though we all appreciate being of legal drinking age and not having a bedtime, sometimes you can’t help missing the simplicity of childhood. Here are 10 great places to recapture that, if just for an hour.
Summer Camp for Adults
If your parents never sent you to a good, old-fashioned summer camp with campfire sing alongs, talent night and a mess hall — or if you just can’t get enough of that — get a group of friends together and visit one of the dozens of “adult camps” around the country. Or, if you want to do it authentically, don’t bring friends – make them there! Most itineraries at these locations cater to 18-year-olds-plus, with race car driving, wine making, yoga and the like.
Often called “treesorts,” these are all the rage in luxury camping and you can find locations around the world. Most properties are intimate, with around 10 to 20 “rooms”, often connected by Indiana Jones-type swinging bridges and ziplines, sitting high above the ground.
Schoolhouse Restaurant, Connecticut
This is childhood at its purist: a one-room school. Some of us are too young to have been around when these were active schools, but this one, built in 1872, is open for you to enjoy French-fusion cuisine. Don’t worry – the setting might be childlike but the menu is all grown up with items like foie gras and octopus.
Hello Kitty Hotel, Taiwan
You have to do a double take to make sure you’re not in a theme park when you come across this bright pink “mansion.” The 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom Hello Kitty themed hotel features everything from kitty-shaped pastries to Hello Kitty-costumed housekeepers and even Hello Kitty liquor.
Gum Wall, Seattle
Remember when you were in elementary school and you’d get in trouble for sticking gum to the bottom of the desk? Well here, sticking gum on a wall is celebrated! In an alleyway under popular Pike Place Market sits the Market Theater Gum Wall. The tradition began in 1993, when bored children forced to go to the theater began this “wall art.” Now it is an official tourist attraction.
The Pineapple Garden Maze, Oahu, Hawaii
Anybody who grew up watching “The Goonies” or “The Labyrinth” will find this maze a feast for the imagination! This three-mile botanical maze features 14,000 tropical plants that weave through the Dole pineapple plantation. In 2008 it won the title of World’s Largest Maze.
Smurf Village, Juzcar, Spain
They do exist, sort of. Just two years ago, the residents of Juzcar, in celebration of the film “The Smurfs,” painted every building Smurf blue. Four thousand liters of paint were needed to “Smurfify” the town. Everything from government buildings to tombstones were painted, and the transformation brought in more than 80,000 tourists.
I Hate Perfume Store, Brooklyn, New York
Leave it to Hipsterville to come up with an “I hate”-anything themed store. This shop will take you back to third grade art class. You’ll still technically buy perfume here, but scents include rubber cement, crayon and Play-Doh. For some earthier scents try suntan lotion, leather baseball glove and wet lawn.
Museum of Childhood, London, U.K.
Get a look at how society’s view of what childhood means has changed over the past 400 years. The 140-year-old museum has collections of toys, books, games and clothing from as far back as the 1600s. One featured item is a f500-year-old board game that once belonged to the children of King George III.
Mermaid Parade, Coney Island, New York
Each year, one Coney Island non-profit hosts a magical, nautical parade. In celebration of Coney Island pride and artistic self-expression, residents march down the street dressed as mermaids, Neptunes and sea creatures, before throwing fruit into the sea.
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