Families can channel their inner adventurers with July’s Costa Rica Family Journey from G Adventures. At Rincón de la Vieja National Park, an ethereal land of bubbling mud springs and smoking volcanoes, swing across zip lines strung through the forest canopy, then play in the mud at the thermal hot springs. Swim beneath the soaring canyons and rushing waterfalls of the Río Negro, walk through the forest canopy across hanging bridges at the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, then take a jungle boat on the river at Palo Verde National Park, gliding past crocodiles.
In winter, the Magic Of The White Continent expedition sets sail in December from chic French luxury cruise company Ponant (think Hermes toiletries, Ducasse-trained chefs, and a capacious, high-end wine list). The 14-day cruise through the otherworldly Antarctic Peninsula, an uninhabited land of ice floes and dramatic glaciers not explored until the 19th century, kicks off by the crossing of the mythical Drake Passage, the notoriously windy, choppy body of water between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands. Upon reaching the so-called White Continent, families will visit Ushaia, given a shivery nickname by Argentinians (El fin del mundo, or world’s end) and take Zodiac outings to volcanic beaches and tabletop icebergs to encounter exotic creatures such as Gentoo penguins, crabeater seals, and humpback whales.
For younger children, Abercrombie & Kent’s private, eight-day Tailor Made Finland tour offers the ultimate prize: a meeting with Santa Claus himself. The tour begins with a handwritten note on parchment paper requesting a lunch with Santa, served by elves in his secret forest, Joulukka. Afterwards, families will visit the elves’ toy factory, where presents are busily being fashioned, take a traditional Lapland sleigh ride through the snowy forest pulled by actual reindeer, attend elf school to learn skills such as gingerbread house decoration, and tuck into a meal straight out of Frozen at the Ice Restaurant, where food is proffered on ice plates. This trip is a win not just for kids, but for parents—as it will ensure your child’s best behavior through the end of the year.