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Travel & Vacations Family travel and vacation ideas, fun activities, movie night, game nights, plenty of ideas for fun and relaxation.

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Old 01-11-2002, 08:30 AM
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Question Family Outing Ideas

When your family needs to get away for the day, where do you go? I'd like your ideas on day trips as well as overnight trips for families.

Which hotels seem more kid-friendly?
Where can you go in the winter?
Any ideas for free activities that will please all ages?

Kelly H.
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Old 01-18-2002, 04:44 PM
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Overnite Trips

Years ago, my husband and I had custody of his two granddaughters. At one point, he was having some health problems, and was really in need of some peace and quiet~not 2 sisters squabbling One day during winter break, the girls, who had been 'at it' for a few days were really on each other's nerves, and my husband was at his wits end with them. I did not have to work at this time either (poor guy...3 females at once and he was home-bound!!) I took $300.00 out of the savings account and the next morning I told him that we would give him 24 hours of R & R and hit the road. We sat down and we agreed on ONE thing that the 3 of us really liked to do, and that was shop and go out to eat dinner. We agreed on a little town only 1/2 hour from our home that we liked to spend the day at. There was a hotel not too far from the town, so we packed some PJ's and bathing suits and left 'grandpa' for a day. Each girl was given $25.oo to spend how they wanted. We checked into the hotel and went out shopping. When we were pooped out, we went and had a nice dinner in our favorite restaurant then went back to the hotel and swam. That was BIG fun in the winter!! After our big day, we came back to the room, called 'grandpa' and said goodnight, then watched TV til we fell asleep. We got up the next day, swam again, went to breakfast then headed home. The girls were out of their boredom, we had made a wonderful memory, and my husband had some time to rest, and enjoy the quiet. . Grandpa was actually glad to have us home
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Old 01-18-2002, 05:00 PM
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Ooo that sounds like fun! My story is similar:

We live in Wisconsin, so we head up to Wisconsin Dells when we need a weekend away. We usually go to Treasure Island which houses Bay of Dreams, their indoor waterpakr! It has 50,000 square feet of slides, play areas, pools, and hot tubs. It is sooooooo fun! The rooms seem a little pricey, but when you consider what you get with that price I think it's definitely worth it!

The room we get has 2 queen size beds and a sofa sleeper. It has a microwave, fridge, and a coffee pot. The water park is totally awesome and there is fun for all ages in there. They have the big slides, the lazy river, the kid slide area, pools, kiddie pools, hot tubs, basketball in the water, etc.

We went over Thanksgiving weekend this year, it was the first Thanksgiving we didn't spend at home and it was a very nice break!

Also, around the hotel, if you want to venture out, there are restaurants, gift shops, and a great magic show. Not a lot is open in the winter, but who needs anything else with that waterpark!

I did a review of it for my site in fact, I love it so much LOL

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Old 01-20-2002, 04:52 PM
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My family and I really like to go to local national parks and reserves. We go camping when it is warm and fishing. Also, we like to go hiking. I was surprised at how well my 2 and 3 year olds have done with that. They can outlast me sometimes!!! They also like to go places where they can ride their little bikes or just to rec parks or if nothing else to the local McDonald's to play. Hope some of this helps. I would love more ideas on this too.
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Old 03-04-2002, 01:55 AM
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We do not do overnight trips, however we do go on some day ventures.

Why not go to a museum. There are also interactive museums for children of all ages that are great. The children can get right in and act, touch and play with exhibits.

Take a tip to the zoo for an afternoon.


I can't think of many but these are a few ideas.
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Old 06-16-2002, 05:08 PM
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state parks are a great bargain

I went online a few weeks ago and found a state park 2 hours from home that I had never heard of or visited( I love to travel and have lived in NC for most of my 35 years!)
I was thinking of taking my kids camping, but wasn't really looking forward to all the work by myself ( I am a divorced mom). I found this state park that rents fully furnished cabins for $60 a night. Linen's were not furnished. It slept 6, so I invited my mother and grandmother and we had a great weekend! NO TV or phone all weekend. We played board games we brought with us and read books in the evenings. My mom and I took the kids hiking ( my 87 yo grandma even went on one of the easier trails), went swimming in the lake and visited the museum in the visitor's center. We hiked to the top of the Hanging Rock and down to see some caves and waterfalls. We saw several types of wildlife and the kids got some free wild life checklists from the visitors center. On the drive home we stopped at an old working gristmill.
Check out your state's park system- I plan to use this even more. Closer to home we like to attend free concerts our city puts on in the summer. We have several museums in our small city and we try to visit them whenever they have a new exhibit.
I am on a limited budget and so most of my trips have to be frugal and creative. CHeck with your state parks and state museums. They often have day trips and overnight trips that are remarkable. 2 years ago we camped with a tour from our state museum of Natural history on a barrier island off the coast of NC. There is nothing on the island, but a ranger station and you get there by ferry. We had the unique opportunity to see the rangers release about 100 baby loggerhead turtles. I can't remember how much it was, but is wasn't very much if I went, lol, and they even cooked for us and it was delicious.
I can't praise my state enough, but I'm sure other's have similar programs.
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Old 08-10-2002, 08:04 AM
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camp-out for the day

When my health was better, (and the drought was less-severe) our FAVORITE activity was a "camp-out for the day".

Day packs were stuffed with sandwiches, fruit and the makings for s'mores...whistles were hung around our necks, matches wrapped in plastic bags, and hiking boots laced up over good, thick socks. Making sure we had water bottles filled, and trail mix along for fun, we would drive to a local hike trail, or lake front, and set off for a easy walk.

If you plan a scavenger list of nature things to search for on your walk, even the youngest to oldest member of the group will be challenged to look for items as you travel. ( flat or shiny objects, rough objects, things used for animal's homes, things used for animal's food, things that belong in nature, things that don't, etc...)

When we reached an appropriate spot, we would stop and build a fire circle with rocks or fallen deadwood. Then out we'd go, in pairs (at least) to collect wood for a small campfire. The kids would be instructed on how to sort the fire fuel, and build a basic campfire. then once we got a good one going, the relaxation would begin.

We'd eat our lunches around the fire, compare our scavenger finds, and as the fire reached the point of hot coals it was ready for s'more making. Ahhh now that's the best part of the day...
( don't forget your camera!)

Just a few hours after you started out..it was time for the walk back to the car. This activity is good in any season, as long as the weather is dry and not too windy. When it's cold, just limit the time you spend hiking, and spend more time aroung the fire!

Always dress for the weather, carry a cell phone or radio, and leave a hike plan with someone and never deviate from that plan!

I hope you find my favorite free day activity could become one of yours. I miss doing it so very much. My health has made it impossible for me to hike with my kids anymore. They enjoyed it so much!


Other good free and inexpensive ideas are Zoo free-days, Museums, & local park picnics.

Around here, some schools have planetariums and will open them to the public on occasion. There are HS orchestra concerts, that are pretty good, and non-profit organizations that put on plays and concerts for kids at community centers and schools around the county that charge less than $10.00 admission for adults, and $5.00 for kids.

If you check with the local chamber of commerce or the county clerk's office you may find out about these things.

It's a chalange to be frugal and fun! Good luck!!
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