WOW is one big interactive party, also for kids

Are you planning a family holiday in Portugal this summer? Then a visit to WOW, the new cultural district of Porto, can not be missed.

This area is located in Vila Nova de Gaia, across the street from Porto, on the Douro. This is where the world famous port wine comes from and today this district is completely dominated by wine and Portuguese delicacies. But what are children doing there? An interactive and fun learning environment where they discover everything about making chocolate, cork and wine. They enjoy themselves at the various playful museums and restaurants and the parents enjoy a good glass of Portuguese wine. It sounds like a good idea! Here are some experiences in and around WOW that are fun for families.

The golden ticket to The Chocolate Story

Many children’s favorite movies are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not surprisingly, chocolate is proving to be one of the favorite snacks for kids and adults alike. What most kids are not so happy about are museums without interaction. Then they walk after their parents for hours and constantly ask the question ‘shall we go now?’. This is certainly not the case at The Chocolate Story, the chocolate museum located on WOW’s grounds. The chocolate scents already meet the visitors outside.

Once inside, they are immersed in the world of, well, chocolate. In a playful way, visitors learn more about the history of cocoa, where the chocolate comes from and how the chocolate is made. Families go through all the steps of the chocolate production process in 12 phases. They ‘travel’ to Central America, where cocoa trees grow in remote areas. They learn how the chocolate beans are harvested and fermented, and how the beans are eventually processed into the delicious bar that can be tasted at one of the many tasting stations.

With a little luck, families can watch the world-famous chocolatier Pedro Araujo, also known as ‘Doctor Boon’, make his award-winning ‘Vinte Vinte’ chocolate at the factory surrounded by glass. And for those who can not get enough of the sweet delicacies, the visit ends at Suspiro, the World of Wines dessert café.

Making explosions with cork in Planet Cork

Did you know that cork is used for much more than bottles of wine? For example, plugs are used in the film world when filming explosions. As the cork granules are very light, this is the perfect material for spectacular special effects. In Planet Cork, WOW’s cork museum, children can create such an explosion themselves. It will be the highlight of the holiday.

It is not surprising that Portugal has a museum dedicated entirely to cork. Cork is made from cork oak and this is the most common wood in Portugal. The country therefore accounts for 50% of world production. Back to the museum!

Here, visitors learn all about Portugal’s pride in an interactive way. There is even a full-size artificial cork oak tree, and unlike other museums, visitors are allowed to touch everything. Fun for the kids: Step on the scales and see how much you weigh in wine corks, or try to cram as many bottles as possible without cracking them.

Taste test with jelly beans in The Wine Experience

Taking children to a wine museum does not seem like a good idea, but ‘The Wine Experience’ is the exception to the rule. Take a journey of discovery in this museum and discover how wine is made and what influence the grape variety, the environment and the climate have on the wine. The creators of this museum have certainly thought of the children. For example, there is a giant cross section of a grape that they can go through and there is a fragrance workshop where they can smell a carafe and guess what they think they can recognize.

But the best thing about this museum, for both the kids and their parents, is the taste test with jelly beans. During this test you will discover how important the smell is for the taste of a wine. Finally, parents can enjoy a wine tasting. It’s also your holiday …

Postage from great height and the water

WOW is in a beautiful area. From Portuguese houses to mosaics and endless views, visitors will be amazed by Vila Nova de Gaia. After a visit to the museums, it’s time for some action! From WOW, go to the banks of the Douro and see the cable car here.

Fly over the harbor houses and stare endlessly over the Douro river and the old center of Porto. Both sail past on the water and let it be a great experience for children. The cable car ends at the Luis I bridge. From here you can walk directly into the old center of Porto, but with about 5 minutes walk you will also find the starting point for the 6 bridges Douro river cruise. Step into an old boat that was once used to transport harbor barrels. During the 50-minute cruise, the skipper will tell you all about the history of the 6 bridges that connect Vila Nova de Gaia with Porto.

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