"Lay down in the grass at a park and then fly kites," added Edward, 10, from San Diego
"Walking around a city with no agenda is the best thing!" said Hannah, 12, from Chicago. "I like to just look around at all the buildings downtown," agreed Ian, 11, also from Chicago.
4. HAVE A SOUVENIR STRATEGY IN ADVANCE "Kids should save up before they go," suggests Lexie, 10, from El Paso, Texas
Parents should suggest kids "get a souvenir that they can see and use every day that will remind them of their trip," adds Alexia, 14, from San Diego.
"The best souvenirs are pictures -- better than a toy," believes Natalia, 10, from Chicago.
Start a collection, like postcards from around the city you're visiting, said Jenna, 12, from Antioch, Ill., or pins from theme parks. "I have over 90 so far," said Macy, 10, who's from Connecticut. "Trading pins is my favorite thing to do at the parks!" said Caroline, who is 10 and lives in Orlando and visits Disney World often.
5. SKIP FAST FOOD in favor of new flavors at local eateries. "It's very fun to try food from different cultures," said Michael, 9, who is a big fan of Chicago's summer Taste of Chicago festival. Kids alternately suggested families not leave where they are visiting without eating Sushi, Mexican, barbecue, pizza and Chinese at favorite local haunts.
6. SEE A MUSEUM FROM A KID'S PERSPECTIVE. Try some of the interactive family activities, whether you're exploring a science art museum or an aquarium. "I like to look at all the different types of art in the past and compare it to modern art," explained Chris, 14, from Los Angeles.
"Try to get a behind-the-scenes tour at an aquarium. It's really cool!" says Amber, 11, from Chicago.
And my favorite from William, 10, who is from Phoenix: "Never put your hand in a shark's mouth when it yawns!
(You can find Eileen's Kid's Guides to NYC, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Chicago, LA and Boston online and at major booksellers. Guides to San Diego, San Francisco and Denver will be out later this year. If your kids have opinions about vacations, have them email Eileen at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to @takingthekids on Twitter and Facebook.)
(c) 2014 EILEEN OGINTZ DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
Taking the Kids -- and the true secret to vacation happiness -- asking their help planning!
Kayaking among glaciers. (Thomson Family Adventures / March 20, 2014)