Every year, students can anticipate answering the same question, “What did you do this summer?”. As we move into a new school year, we want to encourage finishing the summer in style with an outdoor adventure or trip. To give you some ideas, we put together a list of some family-friendly options that will give your little scholars something to talk about with their teachers and classmates.
Jekyll Island in Georgia is home to a Sea Turtle Center that can teach kids about marine
conservation and rehabilitation. The family can participate in the sunrise beach turtle walk or
chat with the center's top biologists all about the island's inhabitants. Best Friend Animal Society
in Utah is the largest no-kill sanctuary with over 1,600 companion animals. They even have onsite
cottages so you can stay over, play with the animals and coordinate adopting one as a pet.
San Diego or the Jersey Shore, whichever coast you're on or closest to, make sure to get to the
beach before the end of the summer. Surf, boogie board or skimboard as you soak up some
vitamin D. Sea salt air and a picnic on the beach is a great way to close out the season in the
sun. Have a competition for who can find the most sea glass or build the best sandcastle. Enjoy
ice cream on the boardwalk and keep your eyes peeled for a fireworks show.
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina is a century-old castle that boasts 250 rooms
and sits on over 8,000 acres of gardens and forests. You can download the free treasure map to
keep the kids busy on an exploration they won't forget! Stay the weekend and tour the grounds
or make your way through the quaint town with cozy shops, outdoor artisan markets and plenty
of artistic culture to consume.
Seven Magic Mountain just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada is a fun day trip to consider if you’re
in the area. If you want to spend more time in the desert and stargaze, keep Arizona in mind.
The Canyon Cliff Dwellings have a museum with ancient artifacts and pottery that tell stories of
the past along with telescopes to observe planets and star clusters with unmatched clarity. The
telescope that was used to discover Pluto back in 1930 can be found there as well.
A true outdoorsman is bound to have a dream fishing trip penned on the bucket list. Why not
test out your equipment and scope out a spot nearby to polish your skills with the whole family?
Take the Mississippi River for example, a vast and winding option with huge and colorful fish.
Don’t let the close proximity or accessibility fool you, this water offers a challenge to skilled
captains and anglers with a variety of potential game.
Towns like Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, Virginia are great places to have a
weekend getaway filled with rich colonial history and some fun before heading back to the
classroom. Learn about century old shipwrecks or the original townspeople by participating in
period plays. Learn about the lucrative business of barrel making or spend the day kayaking
along the James River. Head a few states south to Georgia’s Fort Frederica National Monument
if you’re particularly fond of the mid 1700s. This area tells the story of protecting the southern
boundary of the British colony against the fierce Spanish raids.
A great way to enjoy the tranquility of the outdoors while also having some healthy activities on
the itinerary. Lake Placid, New York is a great suggestion if you want to be waterside with some
hiking trails nearby. Mirror Lake is a nice spot to stop on your trek for a picnic. If you’re looking
for something a bit more taxing, head to the Saranac Lake Sixer, which has six peaks scattered
around the lake. A happy medium of the two and best known for being family-friendly is the trail
at Mount Baker.
National Park Visit
With no shortage to choose from, taking a trip to a National Park gives a great variety of
activities to keep busy and explore. Rock climb, look for wildlife or spend the day taking in the
sights and fresh air. If you’re looking for an exotic option, make your way to Alaska to Denali
National Park. There you can expect to see moose, caribou, Dall sheep and golden eagles.
Make sure to pack the camera!
Rent an RV or pack up the car and hit the open road. This is a great way to see the far corners
of the country that offer great scenery, experience and adventure. Check out “The World's Only
Corn Palace” made entirely of corn and grains. Dinosaur Park is made of huge life size concrete
replicas of prehistoric reptiles making it another interesting choice. Both of these are famous
spots to visit in South Dakota. Or how about the Paper House in Massachusetts which was
created by over 100,000 newspapers? Don’t forget to swing by the Titanic Museum in
Tennessee if you want to feel like a millionaire in the year 1912.
Sometimes the best memories are made right in our own backyard. Spend the weekend
building a treehouse or create a fort outside to sleep under the night sky. You can have a
bonfire with s’mores and use a projector to create an outdoor movie party. Get back to basics
with a board game tournament while sizzling up a yummy barbecue feast.
A local beach or park cleanup is a great way to give back to your community and maintain the
environment season after season. Spend time at a local soup kitchen or generate an end of
summer fundraiser to drum up donations of school supplies for both students and teachers in
need to help get the academic year off on the right foot.
White Water Rafting
Right off the riverbank, set off onto standing waves that swirl and dip for the ultimate adventure
with a white water rafting trip. Buena Vista in Colorado is surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks.
Jackson, Wyoming’s very own Snake River gives a nice combination of relaxed flats and wildlife
sightings as you make your way downstream. Cool off with this family-friendly activity that will
end the summer on an exhilarating note.