The best places to go with kids in November

Looking up at The Treasury, Petra, Jordan
Looking up at The Treasury, Petra, Jordan

Find the right place in November and you may get a great bargain. Be mindful that it’s the “off season” for a reason. The shoulder period of November brings seasonal changes and the weather can be slightly off as well. Storms can roll in a bit earlier for the Southern Hemisphere or an earlier cold snap north of the equator.

November in Australia

Whilst the sun is shining and it’s heating up in the southern parts of Australia, the wet season will soon be upon Aussie states including; Queensland, NT and northern region of Western Australia.

November is a great time to do a last grab of the good weather, before it gets too hot, wet and humid. If the wet season doesn’t deter you then perhaps the un-swimmable stinger infested waters may. A particularly nasty one called the irukandji jellyfish lurks in the region during summer and one of the most venomous creatures in the world.

For places such as Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, November is a the best time to explore the outdoors without the need to be beachside, poolside or even air conditioning unit side.

November around the world

It’s starting to cool down in America, days are shorter, trees are becoming bare and the snow is not far away. Still, a great time to enjoy the states with Halloween and Thanksgiving festivities. November places the spotlight on the Southern States including the southern region of the West Coast. It’s a perfect time of the year to visit; LA, San Diego, Palm Springs, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Hawaii.

As for most parts of Europe and the UK,  it’s cold and grey. However the southern parts of the EU is still wonderful including; sections of Turkey such as Antalya and the Agean Coast, Southern Italy such as Sicily and the Canary Islands.

It’s prime time for parts of Asia in November. It is generally dry and less humid for places including; China, Hong Kong and South Korea. However, other parts of Asia it’s bang on wet season with tyhpoons and monsoons for places such as; the central regions of Vietnam (Hoi An), Borneo and the east coast of Thailand and Malaysia.

The Middle East and North Africa is to be avoided during the summer from June – September. November is the ideal ideal time to go, where you can swim and explore without the suffocating heat. Places such as Morocco, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, UAE and Jordan are great this time of the year.

As you can see, lots of places to consider and with much thought here are the best of the best places to go with kids in November.

The best places to go with kids in November for Australia

1. Magnetic Island

Also known as Maggie Island, a beloved term used by locals is easily accessible from Townsville by a 25 minute ferry ride. Part of the “dry tropics” Magnetic Island has very mild weather, less rainfall and boasts 300 days of sunshine a year.

Being in the dry tropics also means the landscape is unique, with a large national park covering half the island, rugged hills made up of eucalyptus trees, precariously perched hoop pines, ironbarks and large granite boulders.

Due to it’s distinctive landscape, it’s home to plenty of Aussie wildlife; koalas, rock wallabies, northern quolls, various species of snakes, birds and lizards to name a few. There are picturesque beaches and perfect water temperatures on offer in November. Maggie is also part of the Great Barrier Reef with great dive and snorkel spots around the island.

Sunset over horseshoe bay, Magnetic Island
Sunset over Horse Shoe Bay, Image courtesy of Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0

Magnetic Island highlights with kids:

  • Cuddle a Koala at Bungalow Bay.
  • Take the kids fishing.  Maggie Island is an anglers paradise. Kids would love the easy fishing around the island. Or get serious and charter a boat to find the secret spots.
  • Visit Horeshoe bay. Play at the prettiest crescent shaped beach on the island, Horseshoe Bay
  • Swim at Alma Bay where it’s patrolled by the local surf lifesaving club.
  • Snorkel at Geoffrey Bay and find nemo through a semi-guided snorkel trip around the sunken wreck of the Moltke.

2. Margaret River region, Western Australia

The Margaret River is Western Australia’s premium wine region and simply gorgeous, especially in November. The skies are blue, there is little chance of rain and the temperatures averaging 22 degrees is perfect for walking around in, especially if you end up carrying the kiddies.

It’s a food and wine heaven made even better with beautiful scenery of rolling hills and the occasional pops of colour from the roses in bloom. What tops the area off for me is the proximity to stunning beaches. Western Australia is blessed with pretty white sandy beaches and water that is sky blue. The only thing is that that the water is “refreshing” which is a nicer way of saying its cold. Still lovely for a quick splash and it’s no bother for the kids, they don’t feel the cold.

One of the beautiful wineries of Margaret River
Read more of Western Australia Margaret River with kids here.

Margaret River highlights with kids:

  • Enjoy the wineries. Visit the surprisingly kid friendly and beautiful Margaret River wineries including; Voyager Estate, Brookwood, Vasse Felix and Leeuwin Wines to name a few.
  • Check out the Margaret River Chocolate Company where I doubt you will get a complaint from the kids.
  • Stroll around the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and admire the views.
  • Play by kid friendly beaches. Have a dip at some picture perfect beaches of Smiths Beach, Meelup Beach, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay.
  • Run along Busselton Jetty and see the fish from the aquarium.
  • Explore Ngilgi Cave on a tour of stalactite and stalagmites.

Clock here for more details on Margaret River with kids.

3. Blue Mountains National Park, NSW

The Blue Mountains is a world heritage National Park in New South Wales, made famous by it’s blue hazy mountains. The hue of blue is caused by the suspended eucalyptus oils from the eucalyptus trees that densely populate the region. Part of the Great Diving Range and spanning 247,00 hectares, it’s landscape is made up of rugged sandstone cliffs, deep gorges, rainforest and waterfalls with much to explore.

You can generally pick two types of walks in the Blue Mountains, either cold chilly walks with little chances of rain (dry winter) or warmer walks often in the rain (wet summer). The shoulder seasons are therefore the better times to visit. November is a perfect as it’s warm enough for a walk with smaller chance of rain than later in the summer.

The Three Sisters - Katoomba, Blue Mountains Australia. Image courtesy of Tom Heyward Flickr CC
The Three Sisters – Katoomba, Blue Mountains Australia. Image courtesy of Tom Heyward Flickr CC

Blue Mountains National Park highlights with kids:

  • See the Three Sisters. According to an an Aboriginal dream time story there were once three sisters that were turned to stone. These are the three large iconic sandstone formations which can be seen at Echo Point.
  • Go bushwalking, the Blue Mountain National Park has many different walking trails, taking you through scenic lookouts, waterfalls, scrambling up rocks and waking through valleys. There are trails suitable for kids of all ages some even wheelchair and stroller friendly. Check them out here.
  • Swim at Minnehaha Falls. Though it can be a little brisk, kids can jump off the ledge into the pool of fresh water at the bottom of Minnehha Falls.
  • Check out Wentworth Falls and instead of having lunch in the picnic area, head to Wentworth Falls lake and picnic there with a lovely playground by the lake.
  • Board the Scenic Railway, the steepest passenger railway in the world.
  • Take a sky cable car ride over the Blue Mountains.

The best places to go with kids in November, around the World

1. Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong can be unbearable, particularly in the summer where you are battling the crowds of people that smell like damp laundry, it’s terribly hot and and incredibly humid. There are also threats of typhoon and the fear of freezing to death when you walk indoors as the air conditioning is cranked up to blizzard, a permanent summer setting that locals use to combat the heat outside.

November brings about changes to the weather, where the days become milder and the typhoon season comes to an end.

Hong Kong Skyline viewed from Victoria Peak by Haydn Hsin, CC BY-SA 3.0
Hong Kong Skyline viewed from Victoria Peak by Haydn Hsin, CC BY-SA 3.0

Hong Kong highlights with kids:

  • Grab an upper-deck ticket and board the iconic Star Ferry to sail across Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. An inexpensive journey which has been in operation for over 100 years. For me nostalgia abounds, I rode the ferry as a child on my first overseas trip and my parents took the journey as children also. Time a ferry ride with the “Symphony of Lights” show combining interactive light displays of the Hong Kong city skyline from both the Hong Kong and Kowloon buildings.
  • Take the kids on a ride to the peak on a steep rickety funicular journey to Victoria Peak.  Once you reach Victoria Peak watch as the lights switch on over a panoramic skyline of Hong Kong.
  • Play at Ocean Park arguably better than Hong Kong’s Disney Land and more popular with the locals. Offers an impressive cable car journey across the sprawling property, a wide range of amusement rides for all ages, a Grand Aquarium filled to brim with marine life and home to amazing animals including resident pandas.
  • Eat lots and eat frequently. Kids will love the world famous Tai Cheong egg tarts, steamed milk at Yee Shun, hawker markets along Temple Street (one of the last of it’s kind) or sample the best dim sum (yum cha) at City Hall, Tim Ho Wan (Central store only) or Lin Heung Tea House are classics.
  • Take a tram ride. Wait for an older style rickety tram at North Point, head upstairs front and center and ride it all the way to Western Market passing Causeway Bay, Wanchai, Admiralty and Central. You will see glimpses of the old Hong Kong and the new.
  • Climb the steps to see Tian Tan Buddha or Giant Buddah and check out the monks at the Po Lin Monaster. If the kids like their vegies they can dine at the vegetarian restaurant opposite.

2. San Diego, California, USA

San Diego is a lovely port city with idyllic temperatures in the mid 20’s year round, which allows locals to take full advantage of it’s beautiful beaches and stunning coastline. November is a great time to travel with kids. The weather is mild, the days are sunny and the crowds are fewer.

Liam and I at Sunset Cliffs, San Diego
Liam and I at Sunset Cliffs Park, San Diego

Dubbed one of America’s most family friendly cities, it offers a gamut of kid attractions including world class San Diego Zoo, Legoland and Sea World.  However it’s also a city of diversity with influences from it’s nearby Mexican neighbour and the tech boomers that have created refined dining, art and a diverse cultural scene.

San Diego highlights with kids:

  • Don’t miss San Diego Zoo, one of the best zoos in the world. Located in the expansive Balboa Park, the zoo is leading the way in animal conservation. Pioneers of natural habitats with diverse and wonderful enclosures.
    Equally impressive is the species list which include highly endangered animals including a snow leopard, a Sichuan muskox and a Guam rail. They have animals of every kind from the star attractions including giant pandas, elephants, gorillas, lions, tigers and polar bear to an insect that only lives on Lord Howe Island, Australia. There is also an excellent Childrens Zoo, Skyfari a cable car ride that glides over the huge property, play areas, educational activities and unique zoo experiences such as hand feeding giraffes.
  • Explore Balboa Park. As well as the zoo, Balboa Park is San Diego’s cultural hub with over 1,200 acres of gardens, parks and playgrounds, bike and walking trails and picnic areas to explore. The park is home to 15 museums, highlights for kids are the San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum and San Diego Model Railroad museum. There’s also a miniature railroad and beautiful carousel build in 1910 to ride.
  • Watch the sun go down at Sunset Cliffs Park. There is a hill-side section of the 68 acre park, that stretches along the Pacific ocean with a sheer cliff face offering dramatic views of the ocean below. Head to the neighborhood of Point Loma and park along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, walking along the cliffs to admire the seals on the rocky coves below. When you reach Sunset Cliffs Park, find a grassy spot to admire the ocean sunset.
  • Lunch at the grand Coronado Hotel. Built 120 years ago, a sprawling resort complex along Coronado Beach the atmosphere is relaxed and the places is completely family friendly with plenty of open spaces to explore.
  • Splash at Mission Beach, a large white sandy stretch of beach right in the heart of San Diego. When the kids tire of the sand and surf they can run along Mission Bay jetty or enjoy the Belmont Park amusement rides. Other noteworthy beaches are the beaches around the La Jolla neighborhood.

3. Jordan, Middle East

It was difficult to narrow Jordan down to Petra alone so we had to cover it all. There are some great places to visit, even with kids as the attractions are easily accessible and the country is relatively small to get around in. There’s lots of walking, just be sure to bring a baby carrier for little ones.

In November, it’s finally cooling down, the summer months in the middle east can be very oppressive and most of the tourist hotspots offers little shelter from the sun. The autumn provides a reprieve from the sweltering heat. Some say the best time to go is Spring with the budding flowers and greener landscape, they don’t mention the possible dust storms that can cause havoc to travel plans. October through to early November is ideal, if you travel at the end of the month, there are more chances of rain and possible snow. The desert can also get very cold at night during winter.

Sunset at Wadi Rum
Sunset at Wadi Rum

 

Jordan highlights with kids:

  • Discover Petra. Even though the kids will think Indiana Jones as ancient as the buildings carved into the rock face, they will still love walking the Siq, a narrow entranceway that leads you through the rocky gorge to the Treasury, one of the most photographed places in the world. Once there, hire a guide and wonder the Street of Facades, point out the ancient tombs, check out the huge Roman Theatre and view the Monastery as the sun sets upon it. When the kids tire (and they will) take the many forms of transportation back out of the archeological park including camel, donkey and a horse buggy through the Siq.
  • Camp out in Wadi Rum. One of our favourite experiences, stay at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum, a desert valley with oddly shaped sandstone mountains carved by punishing winds over time. The desert is harsh and the nights are cool but the beauty outweighs these small inconveniences.  Run down sand dunes with the kids, eat fetir by candlelight in a Bedouin tent, see the stars shine brightly overhead and enjoy the silence and a toasty camp fire in the middle of the desert. Wadi Rum is getting a bit more upmarket since my last visit. There are now hot air balloon rides, luxurious tents complete with bathroom, running water and electricity. Which makes it even easier to take the kids.
  • Float the Dead Sea. Another bucket list item which can be ticked off in Jordan. Though not recommended for toddlers and infants as the huge concentration of salt can sting the eyes, confident younger kids may want to give it a go. What makes this an easy attraction with the kids is the many resorts along Jordan’s Dead Sea complete with water play areas and infinity pools. Mum or dad can take turns slathering up on the mineral mud and float along the Dead Sea whilst the other entertains the kids poolside.
  • Swim at Aqaba. The seaside resort town of Aqaba is lovely in November with mild temperatures and calm waters. It’s not as memorable as Wadi Rum and Petra, but still offers a unique landscape where the desert mountains meets the sea. A great place to relax after your family adventures without compromising on style as 5 star resorts are popping up rapidly. Aqaba must be done, how many people can say that their kids have splashed in the Red Sea?

Have you been anywhere in November? Got any hot tips or destinations to add to this list? Where would you like to go? Love to hear about it, please reply below:

4 Comments

  • Hello; I used to LOVE travelling in November – sadly now as my boys get bigger it has become a really busy month (exams, end of year activities at school….). I enjoyed reading your options though; Maggie Island (I haven’t been there for years, I used to live in Townsville and frequented it a lot – time to take my boys…). Hong Kong (I was there last month with The Husband, a fantastic grown ups holiday, although I know the boys would have loved it too)…thx for the tips…

    • Hi Monique. Thanks for popping by and commenting. As my son starts Prep next year I have a feeling our November trips will be busy also. There’s always arm-chair travelling though. I’m also longing for a trip without kids and HK how fun! xo

  • Hi Renee, what a great idea for a post, there’s some great travel inspiration here. I haven’t done much in November, we were in Dubai in December and it was very clement. Sydney is lovely in November usually, though we had a boiling hot but very windy day yesterday, not a great comb. Novemeber is also the end of the year’s whale watching, I think, great to get a last glimpse of them as they go up the east coast.

    • Our weather in Brissy is getting temperamental with cloudy humid days, not a good combo either. Thanks for the tip about the Whales, they left our waters last month so it’s good to know you can chase them down the coast. xo

Leave a Reply to Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *