Getting Back to Basics: Family Vacation Ideas that Resonate

  • Kids love to learn and help build the fire

    Campfires are a surefire family pleaser

    Nothing empowers a child like learning something new.  And nothing helps a family bond and laugh, like sitting around a campfire.   Get back to nature, teach the kids about campfires (and fire safety, of course) and see if your back-to-nature time doesn't become a favorite family vacation memory.

    Photo courtesy of JBColorado

  • Myrtle Beach, SC is a family destination

    A beach keeps kids smiling with very little effort involved

    A good beach makes family vacations easy:  all you really need is sunscreen, water and snacks . . . but sand-castle-making equipment is always a good idea, as are frisbees, balls and floats. 

    Photo courtesy of D.B. Blas

  • Horseback trail rides are available in many vacation destinations

    A trail ride is a great way to bring smiles to everyone's faces

    Trail horses are gentle: they know where they're going.   So a trail ride is an enormously relaxing way to see a little more of the world, while letting the kids bond with a new four-legged friend they'll likely remember for years to come.  

    Photo courtesy of pagetx

  • Mealtime can be special in the right setting and with new friends

    Kids love to eat together, at their very own table

    No matter where you go on vacation, kids gravitate toward other kids.   Check and see if there's a way for them all to have their own table at mealtimes, if the setting allows.   Then their vacation becomes vacation away from cleaning their plate and all the table rules they normally have to follow.  

    Photo courtesy of D.B. Blas

  • Events are often free or inexpensive, such as this event during San Antonio Navy Week

    Military Exhibitions and Events always have Cool Stuff for Kids

    The Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines often participate in events like Air Shows.  Check the event calendar wherever you're headed.   A family-oriented event sponsored by the military is likely to be both free and fun.  This lucky girl had an eye-opening interaction with a Navy Seal during San Antonio Navy Week.

    Photo courtesy of Marion Doss

  • 2011 Defenders of Freedom Air Show and Open House

    Bounce Houses and Fun Zones Shoot and Score with Kids

    Bounce houses, fun houses . . . whatever you call them, they are good for a lot of laughs (and relatively free from the need for band-aids, hooray!).   Look for their presence at special events like church fundraisers or grand openings.   You can certainly partake and enjoy, even as a visitor. 

    Photo courtesy of Offutt Air Force Base

  • This family is hiking just outside of L.A.

    Hiking Gets the Family Out and About, Seeing New Things

    Far from the rigors and rituals of daily life, a good old-fashioned family hike helps time slow down.   All sorts of things in the natural world are interesting when seen in real life, and a break from virtual entertainment is good for both body and soul.  

    Photo courtesy of respres

  • Many coastal and river cities offer option, and lakes are fun, too

    Kayaking is Healthy and Fun Way to Get Outdoors

    Buddy up - parent and child - and set out to explore some new watery terrain, aboard your own kayak.  Kayaking is easy in calm water, and kayaks are hard to tip over (unlike canoes).   If you're paddling in clear water, it's fun to just sit still and let the kids see what lies beneath the boat. 

    Photo courtesy of ChristinaT