We all know about that magical place that’s been called the happiest place on earth, but let’s face it, the happiest place on earth is expensive! There are many end-of-summer family destinations that you can enjoy with the kids that won’t break the bank. Plus, they are close to your house, so you won’t have to worry about traveling too far with the kids!
#1 Your Local Pool
All right, this one’s not exactly a relaxing getaway – parents have to be hyper-vigilant when the kids are near the water. But it’s an important place to visit, particularly to enroll your kids in swimming lessons and get them on their way to learning good water sense. Once they’re confident in the water, let the play time begin! Water sports like water polo are fun, but a game of “Marco Polo” can bring just as many giggles.
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#2 The Library
When you instill a love of reading in your kids, the world literally unfolds before them. Libraries aren’t quiet, stuffy rooms of old books. Many of them have special rooms for kids that allow them to talk and play. Some have puppet theaters, access to computers, movies, wooden blocks and coloring books. If you haven’t been into the library recently, make plans to go soon. Get your child a library card and teach them about responsibility and about the books you loved at their age.
#3 The Park
Isn’t a spill off the monkey bars or spinning to the point of nausea on the merry-go-round a rite of kid passage? Take your kids to the parks and swing, teeter (or totter), slide, climb and relive your childhood. When you’re ready for a break, lean against a tree and watch your little ones navigate the social structure of new friends and a game of “tag.”
#4 The Movies
If you haven’t taken your kid to the latest kid movie, don a pair of earplugs and go. The ear plugs will steel you against the shrieks and screams of enthusiastic movie goers. Do it up right: get the popcorn, the candies, the soft drink and the works. Sit up close and let yourself get sucked in. It’s a great way to share some time and treat the kids to something special.
#5 The Backyard
How about a little family time in the back yard? Don’t worry if you don’t have a swimming pool, trampoline, and a zipline. Never underestimate the power of lying on a blanket and looking for shapes in the clouds. Plan a campout in the back yard with a tent, flashlights, sleeping bags and s’mores. This is where memories are made.
You don’t have to hop an airplane or spend hours in the car to get to some of the best destinations for the family. The best places to take the kids are right in your community and much closer than you think!