Monday, May 23, 2011

5 Summer Getaways Every Kid Should Experience

Summer, it is just around the corner and my feet are itching to take me somewhere. I am sure my children feel the same way! Something about the warm weather wakes up the explorer inside me.

When I was growing up, Summer was when we took our family vacation. I learned a lot about my home state of Oregon during those road trips and I hope my children will learn as much on our vacations together. I know, I know.... there are many great theme parks and attractions to see around the country, but my list is a little more basic and closer to home. I want my children ...and all children to experience the world around them during Summer.

Our state of Oregon has distinct areas of interest. We are right along the Pacific Ocean, we have great forests and mountains as well as the high desert on the Eastern border. I would love my children to experience the best of all of these. So, here are the 5 things I want my children to experience this Summer.

  •  The Beach - We live on the West Coast. Our beach is sandy, but not warm like the images of our Southern neighbors in California. But, there is still SO much to do! We can still build sandcastles, watch the waves crash up on the shore, visit the Sea Lion Caves and explore tide pools along the shore. My toddler loves going to the beach. There is something magical about playing in the sand that every child should experience.
  •  Camping - Our family loves camping! We camp with a tent and backpacks up in the mountains. Besides the clean fresh air, we can teach our children more about nature and basic needs. I also adore those lazy mornings complete with a good snuggle. Just be sure to pack the sunscreen & bug spray!
  •  The Desert - Such a different eco-system in the high desert of Oregon. What can you do there? Besides some great hikes, there are fossils beds to explore and great rock formations. We have enjoyed both hiking and watching the rock climbers. When my children are older, I am sure we will be right up there on the rope with them.
  •  The City - For a country family,  heading into the big city is a big deal! All those skyscrapers, buses and shopping malls. Since I have small children, they get excited just to see the hustle  and bustle in the city. Add to that the opportunities to see museums, try new foods and play in a local park or two. A vacation to the city doesn't have to cost a lot, often there are great options to keep a stay within any budget.
  •   Stay local! Okay... this one may sound strange, but I bet there are festivals and events going on near your place all through the year. We have things like the Scandinavian Festival, Wildflower Festival, Blackberry Festival and many more. They often have special opportunities for families or small children. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce for options near your home.

To stay within our budget, we will be experiencing a combination of those this year. Sometimes the best part of Summer is just getting out of the house and having fun. Now, if I can also teach my children something about their wonderful state, that is even better!

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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