Family vacation ideas for your child’s latest obsession, from dinosaur digs to cooking classes

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Children often have big dreams. Some are obsessed with taking off into space; others, swimming with mermaids, racing on a NASCAR circuit or digging up dinosaur bones in a distant cave. For all your kids’ fixations, there’s a family vacation to match. If you’re planning a family trip that allows your young ones to live out their ultimate fantasies, you’re giving them the ultimate gift: tapping into their deepest desires and planting a seed for them to grow and bring those ambitions to life. And when it comes to travel, it’s the ultimate dream.

Here’s how to plan a family vacation tailored to your child’s current (or future) interests, a trip that’s sure to impress and entertain everyone in the family, while allowing your kids to tap into their obsessions. .

Rockets in Florida

Little astronauts will love blasting off to Florida’s Space Coast, where America’s space travel began in the 1960s. Along 72 miles of pristine coastline, anchored by Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and Port Canaveral, families can attend to a live rocket launch, then head straight to mission control at Kennedy Space Center, where they can get up close and personal with Space Shuttle Atlantic (and even have lunch with a real astronaut). When it’s time to return to planet Earth, there are also surf lessons, unspoilt beaches, and a trip to Brevard Zoo to frolic with mammals, sea creatures, and other earthlings.

A rocket in the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center

Florida Space Coast Visitor Center

NASCAR racing at sea

If your child feels the need for speed, consider swapping the pavement for the sea. That’s right: cruise with Norwegian Prima to take part in the Prima Speedway, an offshore circuit that offers a NASCAR nautical experience for drivers of all ages. It’s the world’s first tri-level go-kart track on a boat, and it gives little drivers all the thrills they need to imagine themselves right in the fast lane of the Indy 500: the engine speed of a race car, the crank of the gear changes, and the wind – okay, the ocean breeze – in their hair.

Cooking class in Mexico, South Africa or Paris

So your little one has concocted the fantasy of one day winning Top Chef. Help them tap into that delicious dream with pizza-making and other cooking classes with award-winning chef Juan Pablo Loza at Rosewood Mayakoba, offered as part of the Rosewood Explorers family entertainment program. In Paris, your little pastry chef can learn how to make French bread and croissants with Sophibee Family Travel, which offers a multi-city European tour designed for families with children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. And in South Africa, at One&Only Cape Town, children who sign up for a sushi-making seminar receive hands-on lessons from former Nobu chefs, as well as personalized aprons and chef’s hats. What make you want to put away your knives and stay.