Thursday, November 6, 2008

Travel With Kids:England

Porchlight Home Entertainment
MSRP $14.98

Is travel looking like the impossible dream for your family, especially with kids? Take a virtual trip to England with the Roberts Family without worrying about money, time, food or bathroom breaks!

This couple make delightful traveling companions as they head for England with sons Nathan, 7 and Seamus, 5. First stop: the beautifully historic city of Bath, SW of London. The family travels from London to Bath by Brit Rail on a very pleasant train trip. Once in Bath we are treated to scenes and discussions of architecture, Roman baths, their hotel and gardens, and various sports such as cricket. Other activities include a trip by open boat on the Avon River, and a visit to majestic and mysterious Stonehenge, not surprisingly under appreciated by two young boys!

Narration of the family activities is supplied by the parents. Historical information is presented by a British male voice, sometimes in a straightforward manner but other times amusingly presented with animation, graphics and sound effects. This is far from a dry documentary; the boys are typically high-spirited or occasionally less than awed, but overall very enthusiastic about their travels. Often, a little pop-up of either Nathan or Seamus appears in the corner of the screen, holding a sign with additional information related to the topic.

Part II follows the family to NW England and an area known as the Lake District, 4 hours from London. Once again the mode of transportation is by train. While in the Lake District, the Robertses visit an aquarium, a zoo with many free ranging animals, and take side trips by steam train and ferry. Time is spent visiting a museum dedicated to Beatrix Potter, where kids can wander past still life scenes featuring all the characters from her books or enjoy hands-on puzzles and illustrations. A day spent here can make reading the books together quite memorable.

Included on the DVD are sections identified as: More Travel Info and Trip Planner; Crafts, Recipes, and Language; Bloopers; and Chance to Jump to a Scene. Aimed at families with kids as young as three years old, this is a quality travel opportunity from the comfort of pillows on your own floor!


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