6 Ideas for Day Trips with Kids
Sometimes, a day trip is with the kids is just what you need. It’s usually much less expensive than an overnight trip and less hassle as you don’t need to worry about packing an overnight bag. There are likely to be many fun day trips within a short distance from your home and chances are you’ve overlooked them because they are so close!
Farms, Zoos, and Petting Zoos
Younger children (and some older children too!) really enjoy visiting any destination that has animals. The opportunity to see animals that they may have only seen on TV, “in real life” is an unforgettable experience. If there are no zoos nearby, a wildlife refuges, farm, or petting zoo can be just as fun. Some wildlife refuges have picnic tables and other accommodations for visitors. Petting zoos are also a fun and interactive way for kids to touch and interact with animals they might otherwise never get close to. A visit to farm lets children see and possibly participate in the day to day life of a farmer. Not to mention they’ll also get to see where their food comes from.
Water Parks and Pools
Once your children learn how to swim visiting a water park or pool is a great way to spend the day. If someone in your family is not a swimmer, look for a water park that has a playground, wading pool, or splash park. From water slides to wave pools, a water park has plenty to keep kids busy for hours. Many community pools offer not just a swimming area but also have water features, diving boards, and some even have water slides. Many pools are very inexpensive to visit, have picnic facilities and lifeguards on staff – just in case.
There are so many different kinds of museums, you’re sure to find something nearby of interest to your children. Historical museums often have hands on displays or the opportunity for visitors to try on period costumes or even play a part in a historical scene – like being a pupil in a one-room schoolhouse. During summer months there are sometimes live events and even summer camps hosted by museums. Children’s museums are another idea to keep children busy. All of the exhibits are hands on and provide a fun, learning experience in a situation that encourages play and interaction.
Aquariums very in size from small displays with many varieties of fish to large facilities with sharks, octopi, and other marine life. If you have small children aquariums are a great alternative to the zoo because they’re largely indoors. Whereas small children overheat and tire easily walking around a zoo, they’re more comfortable in an aquarium thanks to regulated temperatures and shorter distances.
You don’t have to spend the night in a tent for it to be camping! Camp during the day with kids! Bring food and equipment to your nearest campsite, and set up a tent. Build a fire and cook your food over it, let the kids run around in the woods, swim in the lake, or enjoy an on-site playground.
There are horse stables all over the country, many of which provide horseback riding time. Check with the stable ahead of time to ensure they can accommodate the ages and experience levels of your children. Very young kids can enjoy a slow walk with an adult leading the horse or a pony ride, and older kids may be more able to handle a trail ride. See if you can bring a picnic along and enjoy it trailside.