As we venture further into summer, with San Diego Comic-Con 2018 in our rear-view mirror, it’s perhaps a perfect opportunity to get in the car with our kids and see the sights, and in this case, some things you won’t normally find anywhere else. As a child, I was fascinated by things that were larger-than-life and the idea of seeing a Guinness World Record (GWR) was always exciting to discover in the news.
Something that a younger audience can take away from seeing such gigantic things, and possibly world record-worthy, is the fundamental fascination of exploring something new, learning about it, and then possibly have a sense of ingenuity develop within themselves. If a child sees the largest set of knitting needles in the world, will they suddenly want to learn how it was crafted and become a builder too? Or perhaps they’ll want to know the purpose of such a tool and then become an expert knitter later in life? Maybe, just maybe, the idea of setting a world record will allow them to shoot for the stars and attempt to break a record of their own choosing.
Now, let’s take a look at some destinations where you and your kiddos can make some lasting memories by visiting locations with some of these unique, and possibly inspirational, attractions. If you’re still recovering from the Con, don’t worry, we’ll list some records that you and your kids can view from the comforts of your home.
World’s Largest “Teapot”
Chester, West Virginia
Have you sat down with your kids and had a tea party? Well, now’s your chance to have the largest tea party ever imagined. Stop for a figurative cup of tea as you stop in the city of Chester. Previously used for concessions and souvenirs, this giant red and white teapot was initially created to be “used as a giant keg for Hires Root Beer.”
The Chester teapot is not officially listed on Guinness. The GWR lists the largest teapot to have been created in Morocco (2016). The teapot was introduced to the world at the International Agricultural Show.
World’s Oldest Continuously Operating Cinema Theatre – Washington Iowa State Theatre
This theatre opened on May 14, 1897, which means it has been running for over 121 years! This is a prime example for parents to show to their kids that you can start something, invest in that endeavor, and see it live on for a very long time.
If you stop by the town, don’t forget to check out showtimes and you can see a feature film in such a longstanding theatre, and possibly grab some popcorn like locals, “from a machine that’s been popping since 1948.”
World’s Largest…Everything – One-Stop Shop for Eight Records
If you’re interested in seeing many world records in one location, then look no further than Casey, Illinois. This place of “Big Things in a Small Town” features several of the “World’s Largest” items, most of which are everyday items you’d expect to find in someone’s home. Such items include a wind chime, rocking chair, mailbox, crochet hook, and the aforementioned knitting needles. Casey is also home to the largest golf tee, pitchfork, and wooden shoes.
World’s Largest Ice Cream Shop – The Ice Cream Farm
Cheshire, United Kingdom
If you live in the UK or are visiting overseas, then perhaps you should take your kids for a tasty treat. Not only do your kids have over 50 flavors of ice cream to choose from, there are also plenty of activities to keep them busy before or after the ice cream.
The Honeycomb Canyon, also part of the ice cream destination and “believed to be Europe’s LARGEST indoor sand and water play,” is open for kids of all ages. Who doesn’t love miniature-golf? Strawberry Falls provides a dessert-themed course to navigate, which is an excellent opportunity to introduce first-timers to the game, as parents can share with their kids the adage, “practice makes perfect.” It’s something I learned during one of my first putt-putt experiences, as I hit the ball too hard and watched it come right back to the starting point, as if I hadn’t struck the ball at all.
The older kids might really enjoy heading to the arcade, where they’ll find a “driving motion simulator, used by formula one drivers themselves,” along with other games, a drum machine, and colorful walls covered in graffiti.
World’s Largest Model Train Set – Miniatur Wunderland
Whether you love trains, your kids love trains, or you just want to witness something absolutely amazing, then you can visit Miniatur Wunderland and see the fantastic world that has been created out of model trains, planes, roads, buildings, and various landscapes that represent multiple countries. You can plan your vacation during any part of the year, because they are open 365 days a year!
Also, make sure to watch the GWR video and see if you notice something special parked in the airport around the 4:00 minute mark.
Pop Culture Records
World’s Largest Mechanical Wings on a Cosplay Costume
Location: United Kingdom
Record set on: January 27, 2017
World’s Largest Gameboy
Records set on: November 13, 2016
World’s Largest Collection of X-Men Memorabilia
Location: United States
Record set on: June 28, 2012
Would your kids want to visit any of these places, make something huge, or build such an extensive collection? Perhaps after seeing so many enormous things, they might begin to dream equally as big. The smallest thing can spark a child’s imagination, so the possibilities could be endless after witnessing something wildly unique. If your kids are interested in building things, check out videos of the World’s Largest Nerf Gun and Super Soaker, created by Mark Rober, who is a former NASA engineer that worked on the Mars Curiosity Rover. Videos like this prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and aren’t afraid to ask friends for help along the way.
One thing is for sure, seeing such special creations make it a wonderful opportunity for parents to discuss an important topic with their kids – be a fan of what you’re a fan of!
There are so many things that can be achieved when we put our mind to it, so share with your kids what you geek out over and embrace all of the things they love too. Not only is it a wonderful chance to further connect with each other, it’s a powerful way to send a positive message – it’s okay to be you and love what you love. It might not mean they’ll want to break a Guinness World Record, but perhaps it will strengthen their confidence and know that they are supported on whatever path they trek upon. See, I can’t help using the word trek (Star Trek: The Next Generation fan for life).
Which of these records do you enjoy the most? Are there any you’d like to see in-person or attempt yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you like this content, don’t forget to like and rate this page and share this with all of your geeky friends.
If you or your kids are looking for more summer activities, check out previous episodes of the Geeky Parent Guide where we explore museums perfect for Jurassic Park fans, and discover that the number of National Parks at your disposal is astounding.
Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking!