May 23, 2011

Five Summer Getaways Every Kid Should Experience

Most of us have fond memories of summer vacations from our childhood. Mom and dad would load us up into the car and off we'd go across the country on a great adventure. Of course, the trip would be peppered with the obligatory "he hit me" and "she's looking at me funny." Summer vacations are a great time to explore and bond with your family, and this country is full of fantastic places to see and explore!

  1. Washington DC - Is your family on a budget? DC is a great place to explore a plethora of free monuments, museums, and locations of national interest. It's neat to watch the history books come alive in front of your kids. You can even take a peek at how the government works. Visit the Senate and the House, if you make arrangements ahead of time, you may even be able to swing by the office of your local senator (although it's pretty unlikely they'll be there). The Library of Congress is a definite must if your kids are readers. There are thousands upon thousands of books, including some pretty fantastic treasures. 
  2. The Grand Canyon - You may want to be a little bit cautious with this one if you have some daredevil boys in your family. They might be a little tempted to urge that annoying younger sibling a little too close to the edge after your eleven hour car ride. All kidding aside, the Grand Canyon is a phenomenal place of beauty, and can definitely be done on a budget. There are plenty of educational opportunities available, as well as some fantastic opportunities for some bonding in the great outdoors. 
  3. Dallas/Fort Worth - Ok, I'm a little partial to this one since it's where I grew up. The DFW area has some fantastic things to see and explore. Take in a professional baseball game with the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington. Swing over to Six Flags for a fun afternoon at an amusement park (just be sure to drink tons of water - it's hot). Stop by the Dallas Aquarium or the Ft. Worth Zoo. There are quite literally hundreds of places to visit. I can pretty much guarantee that there's something for just about everyone in your family within a short distance of the Metroplex.
  4. The Ocean - I don't care which one. Every kid needs to feel the sand between their toes. There are few things like standing in front of the massive ocean at sunset. Absolutely beautiful. Don't forget the excitement of building sand castles and chasing the waves. Go for a family stroll on the beach to collect sea shells and sand dollars. Don't forget the sunscreen!
  5. Volunteer -I think this is a getaway with no price tag. Do you want to make a significant impact on your child? Want them to look beyond themselves? Get them to help others. Take a family mission trip where you help those less fortunate. Volunteer as a family with an organization like Habitat for Humanity if your kids are old enough. Volunteer in a soup kitchen or travel with a disaster relief crew. Help your children see that the world is bigger than the street where they live. You will be amazed by your kids capacity to love and give. Don't forget to throw in some fun times on these type of trips as well. They need to learn that giving of yourself is a rewarding experience, and it's a great way for your family to bond. 
What are some of your summer getaways? What types of trips made the biggest impact on you when you were growing up?


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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