As summer begins to come to a close and our televisions fill their commercial slots with back-to-school ads, it’s only reasonable that we want to hold on to every last bit of summer that we have left.
Summer seems to be that one time of year when some offices slow down and kids’ schedules are more laid back, which means it’s the perfect time for a family vacation.
After all, most parents know that once school starts life becomes extremely hectic and trying to find a moment to spend time together can be impossible. Ergo, you might desire to squeeze one, last vacation in to your family’s summer.
If you’re hoping to make a last-minute trip with the kids, consider these six playcation ideas that’ll be fantastic for the whole family.
1. Cape Codder Resort, Cape Cod
The northeast and Cape Cod, Massachusetts can be extremely beautiful this time of year. If you’re looking for a great place for the whole family, the Cape Codder Resort can provide your family with an array of activities. From an indoor wave pool to parent and child spa packages, you can all find something fun to do.
Moreover, on the weekend, the resort provides kids with myriad activities such as, roasting marshmallows by a bonfire, nighttime movies, and volleyball. The resort also offers a free kid’s program that offers crafts, face painting, workshops and much more. And if you’re looking to keep the vacation on budget, opt to go for a shorter weekend trip.
2. Pocono Mountains Skytop Lodge
On over 5,000 acres, this lodge set right outside the bustling cities of Washington D.C. and New York can be a perfect last-minute getaway for parents and kids alike. Parents can golf, head to the spa, or engage in an array of outdoor activities.
For the kids, the Sky Lodge offers an Adventure Center that features an array of activities from ziplines to a paintball course, climbing wall, multiple pools, as well as a natural lake that’s great for water sports and swimming. Since it’s placed in a peaceful setting, it’s a great spot to getaway and relax, but also a fantastic place for kids to find all kinds of ways to play.
3. San Diego
If you want an affordable, but exciting last-minute vacation, San Diego is a wonderful destination. Nestled on the beautiful coast of California, San Diego is a great spot for your animal lovers and future veterinarians. San Diego is home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Sea World as well as the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Kids will love visiting the parks zoo houses, home to a wide range of wildlife. Younger kids have the opportunity to participate in arts and crafts and pet the animals. And the whole family can go on a safari walk or ride the Africa tram to view their favorite animals. While the city is a little more spread out, it’s full of family-friendly dining options and activities.
4. Minnesota’s Caribou Highlands Lodge
Minnesota, at first, might not seem like a prime vacation spot, but the Caribou Highlands Lodge is a great spot to keep children of every age entertained. It’s a scenic and beautiful spot full of activities in the eight state parks that surround it. There’s hiking, canoe and kayak trips, horseshoes and bocce ball, and bonfires every night complete with s’mores.
The best part? All activities at the lodge are free and they even offer, for kids under 12, a free day camp. Moreover, it’s surrounded by smaller towns full of fun places to eat and see. If you have a family with a wide range of ages, Lutsen, Minnesota has an array of ways to entertain everyone and for a great price.Now is the time to take a playcation before your crazy school schedule starts up again! Click To Tweet
5. Opt for a Ski Resort
This might seem like an odd suggestion in the summer, but even without the snow and skiing, ski resorts can be a fantastic destination for your family, last time we went I tried and tested boots for skiing and I was able to learn the sport right away. Places like Breckenridge or Lake Tahoe are full of outdoor activities and give you a break from the heat.
Plus, since it’s technically the off-season, you might find many of these spots a lot less crowded and potentially cheaper than usual destinations. Apart from the usual outdoor adventures, like hiking and mountain biking, most ski towns plan fun concerts, activities, and festivals that are specifically geared towards kids and families.
6. Mackinac Island, MI
This spot in particular might be my favorite, from the ferry boat ride to reach the island to all the fun things you can do and see when you get there, Mackinac Island is an ideal spot for a last-minute family vacation. One of the neatest aspects of Mackinac Island is that no cars are allowed, which is fun to experience as it sort of takes you back to a simpler time; you can opt for a horse-drawn carriage or tour the Island on foot.
Moreover, June through September is also the Island’s warmest time of year, so even the cold Michigan waters are great for water sports and swimming, of course there are plenty of pools as well. Kids and families can go horseback riding, bike along the island, and visit the historic Fort Holmes. Kids will love exploring this charming place and enjoy seeing all the butterflies. And you can’t forget to sample the fudge; Mackinac Island is famous for its fudge.
Squeezing one, last and quick getaway into your summer can be a great way to end the season and get some quality family time before school and hectic schedules ensue.
After all, between all the school activities and the array of holidays coming up, the time to plan a family vacation might not come again until spring break. So, if you’re looking for a back-to-school treat that your kids are sure to enjoy, I highly recommend considering one of these great spots. You’ll no doubt find something each family member loves in each one.
What’s your go-to family playcation spot? What are some of the things your kids love to do?