When it’s time to load up the kids and head out on a family vacation or a familymoon, it can be challenging to keep everyone happy and busy, and still get in some relaxation for the parents. Taking the kids on vacation can end up seeming like just as much work as staying at home. In order to have a successful family trip to Lynchburg or any other town, parents have to balance keeping kids busy and entertained with keeping them from being overstimulated, stressed, and exhausted-all while trying to relax and get a break themselves. Here are some of the best things to do while on a family vacation that will be fun for parents and children alike.
Play in the Water
Kids love water. Spending time swimming, splashing, or exploring in the water is a good time for the whole family and it’s a good way to get in a lot of exercise. If your kids are old enough to safely be in the water alone, they can play while the parents relax on the shore. Great water activities for family vacations include the beach, water parks, splash pads, and of course, the pool at your hotel. You can even find a small creek or pond where kids can safely wade and look for frogs or minnows.
Related Read: Tips for Traveling with Kids
Visit an Amusement Park
Many vacations are centered around an amusement park, and the whole week is often spent enjoying the rides and features found there. An amusement park visit is just one part of the adventure on other vacations. If you are visiting a location that is near a small amusement park or water park, consider setting aside a day for a visit. It’s a great way to keep kids happy for hours, wear them out, and perhaps leave them exhausted and ready for a few days of free play or relaxation by the pool.
Spend Time in Nature
No matter where you go on your vacation, make sure to spend time in nature. An afternoon in a park is one option, but it might be even better to visit a local state park or national park where you can take a hike, learn about the local flora and fauna, and get a lot of fresh air. Many of these places have educational programs, visitor centers, and nature walks that will teach you about the local area.
Related Read: Family Vacation Packing Guide
Get in Some Education
It’s easy to entertain the kids, make memories, and get in a little education all at the same time if you visit a fun museum while you’re on vacation. Kids love interactive museums like science or natural history museums. Many history museums are becoming more hands-on and some feature topics that kids love, like pirate museums. Another way to sneak in some education is by doing Junior Ranger programs at national park sites.
Set Aside Free Play Time
Kids can get grumpy and stressed when they have every minute scheduled out for them, even if they are doing fun things. They can end up disappointed and not enjoying their vacation if they are nonstop on the go. Instead, make sure to schedule some free time in your itinerary, when they can relax, play, and do whatever they’re in the mood for. Take them to a playground or natural area where they can run, play, and yell to their heart’s content. Another option is to simply spend time in your hotel room where they can play with any toys they brought, watch a movie, or take a nap.
Taste the Local Cuisine
Find out what cuisine or special food is important in the area you are visiting, and make sure you try it at least once. Whether it’s key lime pie in Florida, alligator tail in the southeast, gumbo in Louisiana, lobster in New England, or green chili in New Mexico, the United States has a variety of cultural foods that you may have never tried before. If you are traveling internationally, the options are even greater. Help your kids get ready to enjoy the new foods by being excited beforehand and letting them know what you will be eating and why it’s important in the region you are visiting.
Have an Immersive Experience
Try to find something special and immersive to do with your kids. Fun immersive experiences like learning to surf, swimming with a dolphin, touring and helping on a farm, or taking a trip on a fishing boat are great ways to learn more about the local culture and area while having a good time and learning new things. These experiences can be some of the most memorable of your whole vacation and the fact that you are doing them together can be a great way to build your family bond and create wonderful memories together that you will all cherish for years.
Try a New Skill
Similar to the immersive experience, learning a new skill can be an entertaining and rewarding thing to do on a vacation. Whether you all take skiing lessons together or split up for some engaging craft classes suited for each family member’s interests and ages, learning a new skill is fun for everyone. It’s also a great way to help your whole family break out of their comfort zone.
No matter what kind of vacation you are going on, and no matter how active and excited your kids are, make sure to take out time to relax. Spending time by the pool or on the beach, hanging out in your hotel room, or taking a leisurely shopping trip through a local market can help you unwind and make your vacation a relaxing time. No one wants to come home from a vacation feeling more tired than they were before they left!