The end of the summer is near, and your kids wish the break from school were just a little bit longer. One way to mitigate the end-of-summer blues is to plan a trip somewhere. Make the end of the season a blast with these six vacation ideas the whole family will enjoy.
1. National Parks
There are 423 national park sites in the United States, including at least one in all 50 states and territories like Puerto Rico, and most have free admission. They range in purpose, showcasing the natural beauty of America’s landscape and commemorating the heroes of our nation’s contentious times, such as the Civil Rights Movement. Visiting these parks can help your kids appreciate the natural beauty around them.
2. Washington, D.C.
Another place you can soak in our country’s history while having fun with the whole family is in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. The District is only about 68 square miles, and it’s jam-packed with sites you and the kids will love, including:
- National Zoo: The Smithsonian National Zoo is free to enter. One of its most popular attractions is the panda bears. These animals native to China have been at the National Zoo for 50 years, and this is one of the three zoos that have them.
- White House: What better site to see history than the White House? The Executive Mansion is free to enter. All you need to do is schedule a tour through your congressional representative.
- The Nationals: Seeing a Washington Nationals baseball game is a great way to experience America’s pastime. Nationals Park is located along the Capitol Riverfront and delivers a great experience for fans of the 2019 World Series champions.
Detroit is located in the heart of the Midwest on the Canadian border. It’s become a great tourist destination for people of all ages. You can call Detroit “Rock City” for its music scene, including:
- Live music: You can find live music all over the Motor City with concerts at outdoor venues like New Center Park and the DTE Energy Music Theatre. You can find indoor concerts downtown at the Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Red Wings as of 2017.
- Motown: Modern music owes a lot of credit to Detroit and Motown Records. Artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, the Jackson 5 and The Temptations all are products of one of the most famous record labels of all time. The Motown Museum celebrates the long history of Black artists in American music.
4. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is just a few hours from the Mexican border and boasts a rich culture with sites you and the kids will enjoy, such as:
- The Alamo: Historians remember the Alamo as one of the most significant battles of Texas’s war for independence, when the Lone Star State was a province of Mexico. Today you can visit The Alamo for free and see the site where valiant soldiers like Davy Crockett defended the mission from the Mexican army.
- The Riverwalk: The Riverwalk is a beautiful sight with fun activities for the whole family. There’s live music, comedy performances, boat tours, kayaking, dining cruises and much more. You can find a schedule of events on the Riverwalk’s website.
5. San Diego, California
San Diego is one of the most kid-friendly places with activities all over town your family will enjoy, including:
- Legoland: Legoland has attractions for everybody, featuring a theme park, a water park, an aquarium and, of course, LEGOs. There are sculptures made from real LEGO pieces, recreating ancient Egypt, Star Wars, Las Vegas and more.
- Beaches: The West Coast features some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. The beaches of San Diego are great for watersports, such as surfing, Jet Skiing and windsurfing. The mild weather makes for a great vacation that’s not too hot, with temperatures rarely eclipsing 80 F.
- San Diego Zoo: If you want to see pandas but can’t make it to Washington, D.C., then you’re in luck with the San Diego Zoo. There are over 650 species and 12,000 rare and endangered animals at the zoo in Balboa Park. You can see wildlife presentations, take a botanical tour and ride the Skyfari Aerial Tram.
6. Hershey, Pennsylvania
Do your kids like candy? You probably have a sweet tooth as well. Hershey, located a couple of hours west of Philadelphia, is a small town of about 14,000 people, and it packs in a lot of fun with these attractions:
- Hersheypark: You definitely don’t want to miss Hersheypark. This theme park features a water park, roller coasters and the best part, Hershey’s chocolate.
- Hershey’s Chocolate World: If you want to see how Hershey’s makes its candy, visit Hershey’s Chocolate World and tour the facilities as if you’ve just won a golden ticket.
- Antique Autos: The Antique Auto (AACA) Museum is a great family-friendly experience for any car enthusiast. You can take part in the Model T experience and see original car assembly lines, Tucker automobiles, the Hershey’s Kissmobile Cruiser and a prototype of the DeLorean.
One Last Summer Hurrah
Taking one last summer trip will send the kids back to school with plenty of fun stories to tell their friends. There are places to visit across America that will give your family memorable experiences they’ll never forget.