Before you know it, school will be back in session and summer will be over. Luckily, there’s still time to take a road trip or fly somewhere fun for your end-of-season family getaway.
Your next adventure doesn’t have to be expensive, just full of memories and new experiences together. Here are four family-friendly vacation ideas to get you started:
Whether you’re tent camping or traveling in an RV, the U.S. has so many places to explore, some of which could be right in your backyard. With tent camping, the family learns how to work as a group, organize gear, prepare food and problem solve. Pile into the station wagon and hit the road. The kids will always remember a camping trip as a wilderness “playground.”
If you want to learn more about needed skills in family camping, check out 13 essential first experiences in nature, which gives a variety of tips, games you can play, and simple ways to make your time outside more fun.
If RVing is more your speed because you have toddlers, there are still tons of adventure to be had. They learn to be curious and flexible, too. If you want to take up RVing, but are a little hesitant, read these tips from Funtown RV to learn how to make traveling with kids easier.
The nation’s capitol, Washington D.C., is a popular destination as there are numerous attractions and hands-on museums for the whole family to enjoy.
Some of the most entertaining and educational spots for children include the National Museum of Natural History, International Spy Museum, US Botanic Garden, the Newseum, and National Air and Space Museum.
You can explore the National Mall on your own or by taking one of the walking tours. DC by Foot offers free kid-friendly tours, including the Arlington Cemetery Tour, the Lincoln Assassination Walking Tour, and the Ghosts of Georgetown Tour.
The National Zoo, also free, has giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, and their offspring, Bao Bao and Bei Bei. The zoo’s conservation efforts can be experienced firsthand along the Asia Trail. The zoo even has tiny red pandas.
Summer is the perfect time to take a ride on one of the D.C. Ducks. These are fully restored World War II vessels that were used to carry supplies back and forth to ships that did not have port facilities. Today, you and the kids can ride on an authentic Duck (an amphibious vehicle), and see the sights of DC by land and sea. It’s a fun and unique way to learn about the history of our nation.
There are plenty of things to do on a dime in NYC. New York is a complex city with a lot going on. It’s comprised of five boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Manhattan is at the core and is a densely populated borough and among the world’s major commercial, financial and cultural centers.
Some of the world’s most iconic sites are in NYC, and include the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Central Park. Here’s a 2017 comprehensive list of activities to do with kids in NYC.
Hit the Beach
If escaping the concrete jungle and heading to beach sounds enticing, San Diego has a ton of free things to to do. There are more than 30 public beaches in San Diego. A few recommendations include Coronado Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla Shores.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Gaslamp Quarter, a 16-block historic district in downtown, has a distinct turn-of-the-century Victorian vibe. Originally built in the 1860s, the name of the area comes from the gas lamps used to light the streets. These still adorn the walkways and streets of the area, now home to over 100 shops, restaurants and bars.
For the adults, sample free beers while getting a behind-the-scenes look at beer making. San Diego is the home of America’s craft beer scene. The breweries with free tours include The Green Flash Brewing Co., Karl Strauss Brewery, Stone Brewing Company and Lo Jolla Brewing Company.
If you need a beach break, education amusement parks are definitely kid pleasers, including San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, LegoLand. No matter where you take the kids as an end-of-summer vacay, any of these ideas will be fun for the whole family.