Summer is drawing to a close, but there’s still time to get a little creative traveling in before school starts. If you live in or near a large city, you can take advantage of many low-cost activities for the entire family.
Usually when we think about a vacation, we dream of exotic locations. The reality is that fun can be had wherever we live. Even if you spend time at the beach, choose one that is in a city or close to a nearby city with lots to do. Family “staycations” can offer you a road trip and fun within your own area.
Since these staycations are for the entire family, it would be in everyone’s best interest to have a family meeting to discuss the types of activities everyone enjoys. This is the key to finding a place that will have enough to please the entire family. Make a list to help you decide which cities hold it all.
Now that you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to consider how you’re going to get around. Many major cities have subways or some form of mass transit to get around. Or, if you dread lugging the stroller up and down stairs, you might want to consider a walking tour.
If your attractions are far between and you have little ones, consider a stroller as well the ease of transporting strollers on and off of buses. Umbrella strollers, lightweight and easy to fold up, are usually the most convenient when using public transportation.
So what are some things that you and your family can enjoy while in the city?
- Museums – Visiting museums isn’t a boring activity these days — there are children’s museums, museums dedicated to hands-on science experiments, wax museums and museums with a combination of interactive exhibits as well as traditional attractions such as dinosaurs and art exhibits.
- City events – Most cities have annual events that are free and open to the public, so try to plan your trip around these events. Watching parades and firework displays can be a lot of fun for everyone. Try to catch an outdoor fair or carnivals. Carnivals have games and rides for both smaller kids and teenagers and parents.
- Tourist attractions – Cities usually have lots of tourist sites. Look up free and low-cost activities including outdoor markets, street performers and ethnic festivals held in different parts of the city both online as well as in local Pennysaver newspapers.
- Guided city or water tours – These usually come with a fee, but it can be affordable if you do a lot of free activities. You can sit down or take a bus and get a rolling commentary on exciting landmarks in the city.
- Visit parks– One of the most notable parks is Central Park in New York (my hometown). Parks are really great places to hangout because there is so much to do.
- Explore the park in a new way. There are outdoor concerts as well as play places for the children, boat races, paddle boats, hiking (bring the proper gear), and fishing.If you decide to go fishing, Boats can be rented, and most facilities offer you a choice of a guided outing or going out on your own. You can pack a lunch and spend the day on the boat. Your family can fish for food, or simply for the experience. Science-minded family members might enjoy studying the various species of fish you catch. There may also be hiking trails for adventurous families.
Mini-vacations in the city can be a great way to end your summer frolics. The key is to find a place close by that holds something of interest for all members of the family. And of course, taking plenty of pictures to inspire your planning next summer.
photo credit: La Citta Vita
Bong loves birthday parties! Well, so do I, but he really, really gets a big kick out of them. Summer birthdays have so many fantastic choices . For example, the weather gives you the option of indoors, picnics, beaches, and more.
Of course, you have to take into consideration your child’s age and your budget, but I”m sure that the ideas we’ve come up will be useful to you and your family. Continue reading
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Here are four tips on keeping your food safe this summer so that you don’t miss a second of the fun: Continue reading
Frozen Mango Popsicle - Yields 8
- 2 cups low fat mango yogurt
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups fresh mango, cut into small chunks
- 8 Popsicle molds
- Combine the mango yogurt, lemon juice, corn syrup, sugar and 1 cup of mango chunks in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add the remaining one cup of mango and pulse until the yogurt mixture is smooth, but still has some small mango chunks left.
- Pour the mixture into the Popsicle molds, cover with the tops and plastic or wooden Popsicle sticks.
- Place into the freezer until thoroughly frozen.
These Popsicles make great treats for children (and parents too! Enjoy!