You’re trying to fill the remaining days of summer with as much fun as possible before school starts again, but your kids have full schedules during the week and taking a week off from work isn’t in the cards. IKO Community Management encourages you to explore the wealth of adventure opportunities right in your backyard! Summer is the perfect time to take day trips. These short excursions don’t require anything more than a tank of gas, a backpack with some supplies, and your family. IKO has a few suggestions to get you started with planning your family’s next day trip!
- Check your Local Website – Many cities and counties will update their website and/or Facebook page with event calendars and articles to showcase local businesses. This is a great resource for finding festivals, street fairs, and activities in your hometown.
- Play Tourist – If your town or county has a visitor’s center stop by and grab some pamphlets and a visitor’s guide. Even if you’ve lived in your city for 10 years, you may be missing out on some of its treasures. Let your children browse the pamphlet racks and choose out some attractions that they’d like to visit.
- Go Wild! – National and state parks are great places to take your family. They offer hiking, nature trails, picnic areas and playgrounds. Some may have beaches and lakes or other opportunities for water play and sports. Check the website to see if they have kayak and canoe rentals. Trail maps are often posted online, so check them out beforehand. Remember, if you’re bringing anything into the park with you, make sure it leaves with you when the day is done. Check out Leave No Trace’s website for more information. Parks are a great place to teach your family about nature! Bring a plant or animal guidebook for your region and see how many species your children can identify during your visit or download one of the many apps that now provide great resources like information and pictures.
- A Blast from the Past – Visit a regional battlefield or history museum! Many battlefields hold reenactments during the summer months. Kids will enjoy seeing the actors in their period costumes and will be able to ask them questions about the event being reenacted as well as the items in the actors’ camp, which will be staged to be historically accurate. If there isn’t a reenactment, many parks have rangers or volunteers that give tours to visiting families. Museums are a great indoor alternative. Museums are a wealth of local historical information. You’ll be able to see pictures of your area from the past. See if you or your children can identify where the picture was taken (if it’s not stated) and compare how the area looks now with the photograph.
- On the Farm – Visit a local farm that offers “pick-your-own” fruit opportunities. Allow kids to fill their bags and baskets with fresh, delicious fruit. When you get home you can make a new recipe with their help! These farms are a great day trip during the spring, summer and into the fall (think pumpkins and apples). Check out this website to find a PYO farm in your area. Some farms have petting zoos, which are a favorite with younger children. Visiting a farm can be as simple as stopping by and doing some of your weekly shopping at a farm stand. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try to visit all of the farms on Maryland’s ice cream trail! This might be better if broken up into multiple trips, but it’s a great opportunity to try locally made ice cream made onsite at the dairy farms where the milk is produced. Visiting a farm is a great way for kids to learn more about where their food comes from.
- The Big City – Our region has so many wonderful cities to explore. Take your pick – Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington DC – they all have a distinct personality and a huge list of offerings that make them perfect destinations for your family’s trip.
- How it’s Made – Similar to a trip to the farm, factory tours are a great way for kids to learn more about the products they use everyday. Check out York, PA, the factory tour capital of the world! Hershey is also right up the road in Pennsylvania. Kids and adults alike will love the chocolate factory tours!
- For the Thrill of it – Perhaps the perfect summer day trip is a trip to an amusement park. Exciting rides, great food and every sort of entertainment, all in one place.
Day trips are perfect for summer. Many teachers ask children to write a report or give a presentation on something they did during the summer, and day trips give kids plenty to write about! Day trips help kids and adults learn about their region. The IKO Community family hopes that you and your family have a wonderful summer! If you need any more inspiration for your next road trip, check out our Pinterest! It’s filled with great, local attractions. Happy trails!