Best Mini-Vacations for Kids
summer is finally here. the days are getting longer and getting hotter. the urge to get out and enjoy the weather, work in the garden, build the new deck you’ve always wanted, or just to get away and unwind, becomes a burning need. you come home from work, hot, tired, and you just want to sit down and relax with a cold beverage, but then you hear the all too familiar “i’m bored! there’s nothing to do!” oh yeah, school is out. it’s summer vacation. the kids have been home all day while you have been at work. well, kids deserve a break to. so why not plan a mini-vacation for you and the kids? it doesn’t have to be a week long trip, or a trek across country, or a trip to another continent. it can be as little as a day trip, or as long as a 3 or 4 day weekend.
what would be the best mini-vacations for kids? you could ask your children what they would like to do or where they would like to go. if you have a larger family, then you may have just as many suggestions. this “discussion” could go on for days before a decision is agreed upon. it’s a good idea to set some parameters before approaching the kids with the idea of a mini-vacation. jot down ideas that are age appropriate for your children. are they still in elementary school, teenagers, or old enough to start thinking of a place of they own? jot down some ideas that you and your spouse would like. how far do you want to travel? do you want to travel by car, boat, plane, or take a train ride? remember, this vacation is not just for the kids, you need to enjoy it also.
one of the best places to start getting vacation ideas is from your state’s tourism guide. you can request one by going to your state’s website under tourism. the state’s tourism guide is full of ideas for a family vacation. it features state parks and campgrounds, natural attractions, historical points of reference, museums, and cultural points of interest, event calendar, lodging and accommodations, and maps. all organized by your state’s regions. or visit another state.
theme parks are very popular. they provide all types of activities and entertainment for all ages. during peak tourist season, accommodations will be harder to arrange. so make plans as soon as you can.
national parks offer many different actives and environments for vacationers, such as mountains, canyons, caves, even coral reefs. some things to do at a national park are horseback riding, boating, fishing, swimming, or just taking a drive and viewing the abundant wildlife.
some children like hands on stuff. look for a museum that has a “hands on exhibit” where you may be traveling near. nature centers are also a good place to take the kids to. they also may have a “touchable” table and knowledgeable staff where the children can learn a few things before returning to school.
if you have older children, try a 3 day cruise. there are plenty of different things to do on a cruise ship. plus, you may get to stop and visit other ports. maybe you would prefer to stay on land but near the water, so try a beach vacation.
a mini-vacation for kids doesn’t have to be just for the kids. everyone needs unwinding, get away from it all, time. a mini-vacation is just that, a mini-vacation. it could be as simple as a trip home to visit family or as elaborate as a cruise to an exotic port. first, talk to your spouse about a mini-vacation with the kids. second, set some parameters like how far to travel from home, where to go, such as the mountains, beach, west coast or east coast, and how long to stay for. third, include your children. the children will have a much better time if they know they had some input into planning the vacation and they made some of the plans. lastly, take lots of pictures. you and your children will be reminiscing about this vacation all of you had, and all the fun you had together, for years to come.---