Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Five Summer Getaways for Kids......

Ahhh, the thought of summertime makes me smile. I remember as a kid traveling the United States with my parents. We had a driving Winnebago and we went everywhere, from amusement parks in different states, to museums, to monuments, to the ocean, you name it, we did it.

Now as I have grown, married and had 3 children of my own, I want to make new experiences with my family. Times are a bit different now then when I was growing up, though not by much. I think of what my kids can do each and every Summer as not only family time fun, but kid time fun. Let’s see what ideas I can come up with.

Each year, we rent a place at the ocean. Memories to me of being young and spending time with my family were always at the beach. We live in the city and the closest water to us (other than the backyard pool) is a lake and that is about a 45 minute drive from where we live. Yes, we do, more than a handful of times, go to the lake with friends and plan a fun-filled day there, though we just love going to the ocean. It is such a different atmosphere. This year we are going to Wildwood Crest, New Jersey and not only are we (the parents/adults) looking forward to it, so are the kids.

Another fun-filled kid adventure is amusement parks. Where we live we have Six Flags Great Adventure and The Great Escape. Both parks provide “season passes” at a discounted price, which if you plan on going more than a few times, it is definitely worth the investment. For graduating gifts to the kids each year, my parents purchase season passes to The Great Escape. With each season pass comes additional “bring a guest free” pass, so we, the parents, can enjoy a day or two of fun with our kids at no additional expense. From the kiddie rides, to the water park, to the fastest roller coaster, we all love the amusement parks! We also have a smaller amusement park in our Town and love visiting there in the Summer time.

Something my husband and I both realized last year is where we live (New York), there is so much more to see than what is in front of our eyes. Last year we took our kids on a road trip to Woodstock, New York. It is about 1 hour drive from where we live and it just showed so much to our kids. The small town, the different and excited little stores, the people, the food. I would highly suggest showing your children what else is out there. Take a ride somewhere. Experience a smaller town, the people, the food, the shops. I promise your kids will love the new experience.

If you have a “Park Playhouse” where you live, I would highly recommend this with your children in the summer. Each and every year, a theatre group where we live puts on plays in the park for free. This is a fabulous event. We make a picnic basket, bring our blanket and experience a free and fabulous play in our local park. It is bringing a new experience to our children, a free experience for us as parents and a memory to have each and every year.

This experience may not be for many, though through chance of us bringing our 8 year old daughter to a stock car race last year, she fell in love with it. The atmosphere is different, though exciting. We went approximately 3 times last year and as of right now, our daughter keeps asking when are we going? We are going, right? It is a night filled with excitement for all, the drivers, the fans, everyone.

Another experience for kids are the drive-in theaters. Wow, this brings back many memories for me as a kid going to them in my parents station wagon (yeah, we had a cool one growing up, I do not think they are even made anymore) and to now enjoy them with my children. I love it. We make our own popcorn and bring our own drinks so the savings are definitely there.

Remember, there are many things you can do to save money through enjoyment. Every event that you go to does not have to cost a ton of money. Memories do not cost a lot and are cherished as years pass. Enjoy making them with your family every single day.

These are a few ideas that we do every year with our kids come summer time. What do you do with your kids? I would love to hear.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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