Want to get the kids’ noses out of their smartphones and tablets this summer? Great, we’ve got some activities the whole brood will enjoy. Who knows, these activities in great destinations across the country can even help mom and dad get a much needed digital detox!
Take the Plunge at White Water Rafting
Yes, we know you’re thinking you’ll be that irresponsible parent if one of your wildings falls off the boat, but there are plenty of kid-friendly (and safety first) rafting companies that organize entire trips — with food, entertainment, and camping thrown in — that are catered to families. This is one experience the kids will love, especially on a hot summer’s day!
If you’ve got kids aged 6 and over, try one of the easier rapids like at New York state’s Delaware River or Oregon‘s Rogue River. If you’ve got preteens or teens who really want to get their feet (and the rest of their bodies) wet, then take on more challenging waters like at Glacier National Park‘s Flathead River or the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon.
Reach New Heights of Happiness in a Treehouse
Not too many getaways let you be a kid as well — unless you want to whisk the family away to spend a weekend up in a tree. There are quite a few treehouse adventures that are aimed at families, and they include other fun activities that’ll keep the little ones occupied.
Try the rustic Out ‘n’ About Treesort in Takilma, Oregon. You’ll have a variety of different treehouses to choose from and kids will love walking the gangways connecting trees, as well as horse riding, zip-lining, and using the giant Tarzan swing. With all these activities, there’s sure to be no shortage of tales for them to tell their friends once they’re back at school.
Burrow Down to Explore a Cave
While a dark cavernous environment may appear to be a bit scary for little ones, think again. Interesting cave tours with lots of things to see and marvel at could just ignite a sense of curiosity in young minds. Not to mention, it’s a whole other world down there that’s just waiting to enthrall them with pleasant surprises.
Take the kids down under at the Frozen Niagara Tour at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park. It’s short enough (just over an hour to complete) to keep kids interested and not too fatigued. Adults and children alike are sure to be amazed at sights like the spectacular Rainbow Dome, Crystal Lake, and the Frozen Niagara flowstone on the trail. Go ahead — unleash the little adventurers!
Take a Walk in the Wonderful Woods
Your kids probably look up to you as giants, but if you want to get them really up close and personal with some real giants then there’s nothing like taking them somewhere that’s full of nature’s incredible beauty. Kids would love the butterflies, lizards, and other little critters that come with a nice walk in the forest, and there’ll be plenty of things to explore and ask questions about.
Take a little walk with the family in the magical Muir Woods National Monument, just north of San Francisco, where ginormous redwoods will make you feel like a Hobbit. The mystical, almost otherworldly, aura created by these ancient trees, some of which are 800 years old, can make even the grouchiest teenager look up in awe.
Go Jump in a Lake
There’s no better way to cool down in the summer than to be in and around a body of water. Your little guppies will have a whale of a time when they can splash around in the shallows, go on a boat ride, and play with their spades and buckets.
The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York offers families a bunch of fun activities on the water for kids, while parents can also enjoy the fine wines produced in the area. If you’re on the West Coast, make it a point to check in at California‘s Big Bear Lake that’s located amidst the scenic San Bernadino Mountains, and which has all the swimming, hiking, and biking your family could want.
Do you know of any other cool outdoor family adventures at destinations around the country? Share them with us in the comments.