7 Kid-friendly Vacations to Take without Leaving Your Town

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People usually leave for family trips in summer, but leaving town is sometimes impractical. Here are 7 kid-friendly vacations that keeps home close by.

Most of us get the urge to escape after a long workweek or even a long work hour, but jumping on a plane or cruise ship isn’t always in the cards.

In fact, a recent study showed that the average U.S. employee uses only half their allotted paid vacation time! Vacations have been scientifically proven to reduce stress, benefit mental health, cause better sleep, and improve heart health. One study even showed men at risk for heart disease are 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack if they don’t take a vacation for five years in a row. Another showed women who vacation twice a year are eight times less likely to develop heart disease.

Usually, we skip out on the vacation time because we feel we simply can’t get away. Thankfully, there are fun mini-vacations and adventures we can go on right where we are. Places to escape, relax, unwind, and discover new exciting things that will enrich our lives and even entertain the kids.

Each place on this list can be its own full-day adventure, but combining a few together will add an extra layer of fun and extend the mini-trip. Just don’t forget to take your mind off work, and remember the camera! In fact, try to have everyone you are with get at least three photos of every place you visit. It’ll be fun to see what each person wanted to remember or found interesting.

The Highest Point

Set your sights on the highest point in your area; you can find the geographic place on a map, but also check the height of local buildings.

Before you set out, think about everything you can see from your current location. When you reach the highest point, compare the difference. Gaining a matter of perspective can show us things we didn’t know existed or let us see things in a different way.

The Oldest Place

History has a lot to teach us and can show us how far we’ve come. Spend time in the oldest place in your area. Learn about it, find out how it got its name, why it’s there, and what its purpose was. Now think one hundred years in the future. Where will be the most memorable place in your city then? Why?

The Newest Thing

  • New things happen all around us every day. Here are a few possibilities that kids will enjoy. If you think of any more, please share in the comments!
  • A new house, street, or building
  • A place with baby animals like a horse farm, pond, or aquarium
  • A garden or plant nursery
  • A new play or musician premiering
  • A poetry reading or art exhibition

Create Your Own New Thing

  • Map your own trail through a nearby neighborhood or park
  • Choreograph a dance or make up a song.
  • Craft a new recipe and enjoy it in a place you’ve never been.
  • Create art: painting, drawing, and sculpture are great ways to let your mind relax
  • Food art: use veggies and fruit to make fun pictures
  • Outdoor art: use natural elements like pine cones, leaves and flowers to create a masterpiece.

Find a Shoreline

Being near the water has proven health benefits, even the sight of water has been found to reduce psychological stress. Whether it’s an ocean, river, pond, or lake – taking a trip to view the blue is a must do.

While there, if the water is not yet warm enough to swim (or learn to swim) in, then simply standing at the edge facing the open expanse of water will do the trick. Shout your fears and things you love across the water, say silly words and sing songs. The experience is about being open, free, and letting go. Ask the kids or your travel companions to imagine what it must have been like to set off in a ship on the water with no idea what awaited on the horizon.

Make sure you bring a hammock, beach chair, pack a lunch, and stay as long as you can.

Park or Trail

Find a new-to-you park or trail and spend the day adventuring through it. Instead of talking about school or work, bring a field guide and try to identify the different things you see. Are there any useful plants growing that you can eat or use? What kinds of animals live there?

Foreign Cuisine

Try a food you have never heard of before or that originated in a different country. If you want to create the meal for yourself, here are a few ideas (tip: take the food on a picnic and listen to music from the same culture)

Local Art Studio

Forget going to another state or country; art can transport us to another dimension! Spend time in a local art gallery or studio. Make up a story for each painting or ask the artist to tell you more about it. Have each person traveling with you choose their favorite(s) and share what they like about it.

You deserve more vacations

The whole point of vacation is to relax, have fun, see new things, do new things, experience culture, indulge in delicious food, and enjoy time with family and friends. We don’t need to jump on a plane to do that; we have all the makings of a fantastic vacation right in our town. Now it’s up to you to go explore, adventure, and create!

Sources:

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/377969

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article-abstract/135/8/854/51198/Myocardial-Infarction-and-Coronary-Death-among

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1353829216300119

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Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Sunwarrior’s awesome expert writers do not replace doctors and don’t always cite studies, so do your research, as is wise. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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