Life is busy and there is not always time for week-long vacations with our family. We can, however, find a day, an evening, or a weekend to plan fun and relatively inexpensive outings that the entire family will enjoy.
Obviously, if you live in a large metropolitan area, your choices are going to be much more diverse than if you live in a more rural community, but no matter where you live, there’s always somewhere fun to take your family. Let’s look at some of the options:
The key with all of these is to spend time with your family and have fun. Ask your kids about things they’d like to do and see, check out your area’s tourist attractions by visiting your state’s tourist website –- you may find new ways to explore your city or region you never even knew about!
- A picnic at a local park or playground. You can either pack a basket with your family’s favorites or swing by a drive-thru on your way there. If an entire meal doesn’t sound appealing, consider a dessert picnic with cookies or brownies. The picnic can take most of a day or last just a few hours.
- Visit a museum. This is especially enjoyable if your local museum is having a special display that is appealing to children and adults alike. You’ll not only begin instilling an appreciation of art and culture in your children at an early age, everyone will learn something!
- Everyone likes living museums, and kids especially warm up to the idea of learning how people lived in another time. Colonial Williamsburg is the granddaddy of them all, but there are smaller and more accessible sites across the country in every state.
- Check out the local minor league baseball teams. Many of these teams have built small parks with all the ammenties of the larger ones but where tickets are affordable and you can actually sit near the field!
- Activities such as bowling, putt-putt, and go-carts are always fun. There will likely be loads of laughter and big, wide smiles! Plus, kids really enjoy playing games with their parents.
- Plan a visit with old family friends who might have moved away or who you never see, despite the fact you both live in the same town. Meet them at a park or recreational site. Bring along balls and Frisbees, and any other equipment that your families might need for games and fun.
- Find a nearby lake or river where you can rent tubes or kayaks. Get out on the water with the kids and plan for some good fun! Make sure everyone wears life jackets and takes all safety precautions.
- Local festivals and fairs. Cities all across the nation have festivals and fairs throughout the year, and these can be a great way to spend a day with your children. Some offer amusement type rides and games. All offer food of some sort!
Tracy Leigh Ritts is a freelance writer based in Ohio. She’s the author of the book, How to Plan Your Own Wedding and Save Thousands…Without Going Crazy.