What makes a family getaway great? Is it quality time together? A picturesque destination? Or  unique activities that stay with you long after you are back home? This spring, as you leave the cold days behind, I propose adding a fresh adventure to your family's spring getaway: cooking classes with local hosts, the crème de la crème of culinary experiences. This article will cover the What? and the How?, and shine light on the real magic of family cooking classes.

Food experiences with locals–your perfect family activity this spring

I’d like to start with a short story. A few years back while enjoying Kathmandu’s spring weather, I ran into a sign that said ‘cooking class’. I could already imagine myself perfecting the art of curry-making, but I was more excited about cooking in a local’s kitchen and using those big pots you only get to see behind-the-scenes in restaurants.

I joined a class where one of the participants was a 10-year-old boy from Germany. The actual samosa making I failed already then, the recipes I eventually forgot, but the scene of the German boy saying ‘thank you’ in the local language and his expressions when tasting local spices will stay with me forever. Taking that cooking class was the best combination of being a nosy tourist and supporting the locals.

Spring is the season of rebirth

It prompts us to get out and explore; it's a time for discovery. Unique cultures, beautiful nature, mouthwatering dishes. I invite you to think out of the box when planning your next weekend getaway, and to make it a culinary adventure.

Tapping into the local food scene isn't just about sustainable tourism. It's a cultural exploration at the shared table. The essence of any place hides in the flavors and stories that local dishes tell. Picture your family cooking together with a real Roman chef, exploring Ethiopian cuisine in London (and learning about the globalization of our times), or trying your best to make French macarons in Paris. Brings a smile to your face, doesn’t it? Time to book your next family trip!

Curiosity, and much more! Family cooking class in Florence

Family cooking classes are much more than just a lesson

Culinary experiences offer a unique and educational insight into local life and culture. By taking a cooking class, or attending a home-hosted dinner, your family can deepen their appreciation for diverse cultures. Your children will not only explore famous sights and tourist hot-spots, but enjoy hands-on lessons, meet with locals, and most importantly have a great time (and a not-too-messy one, we hope!). There's an undeniable magic that comes with rolling Japanese sushi in Japan or learning the art of real pasta making in Italy. This approach to travel, having an open mind and heart, is the bridge that connects you to others.

Such experiences resonate even more with children. Exposing them to local dishes and traditions can expand their palates and ambitions, making Spanish paella making seem adventurous, and foster cultural curiosity from a young age. These are moments where the classroom truly extends to the kitchen and the world of food becomes much more than what’s on their weekly dinner plate.

Family culinary adventures are a must in our digital world

As spring approaches, weekend trips are on the horizon. Why not book a  different family experience this year? Allow your kids to smell the freshness of their own made sauce, learn something new in the kitchen, and chat about local cuisine with your local host. Not only will it be great fun, but also a window into new ways of life, and of course, to the food on their plates.

Let’s face it, for children these days, it seems like they can almost ‘travel’ online. With so much information and data accessible, it’s easy to forget how bringing people together, especially from different places and cultures, can positively impact and help develop  the next generation. I think that in this day and age to go out, travel, and explore is much more important than we might think. Bring your family to locals’ tables, encourage them to participate in unique culinary experiences outside their comfort zones, and have fun together, competing over who can make the best gyozas.

cooking class in Tokyo
Fun Mochi cooking class in Tokyo!

A family's time over a messy table trying to make Pasteis-de-nata in Porto, or a homemade Greek pie in Athens, will win over any tourist attraction. These are the moments that no participant will forget. 

Having written all of that, I am very excited for the upcoming season. My sleeves are rolled up while I think of what cooking class to do on my next travel adventure which, in my opinion, is the most interactive and fun way to meet locals.

Spring is not just a season; it's a lifestyle, best enjoyed with a discovery in mind and an apron on! Browse and book your local cooking class, or any food experience just by choosing your destination here!