Taking advantage of the last days of summer to get away with the whole family before school gets back in session can help ease the pain of adjusting to the daily rigors of an early start, tight schedule and demands of homework. A family trip before the school daze is a fun way to bond and make memories to last throughout your children’s academic year.

Here’s a look at four short stay vacation ideas that you and your family can take last minute before your kids head back to class.

Beach Break

No major revelation here! But that’s because everybody knows a beach break is an ideal getaway for most families. Whether your children are about to start their first day of kindergarten or they’re moving out to commence their first semester of college, a few days at the beach can offer the opportunity to pause and rewind a little before the growing up process rolls on. No matter if it’s a resort in Cancun or a campsite on the dunes of an Oregon beach, the seaside is a fine place for all ages play.

Have a Scream at a Theme Park

Get all the thrills and chills out of your kids’ system before they have to go back to keeping still and attentive at a desk revert to using their “inside voices” with a visit to a theme park. The experience could provide some good talking points for conversations with their fellow students too. Such an experience could have you coming out looking like a champ, as well, which might come in handy when you have to clamp down and be the enforcer later in the school year. A few days of roller coaster action in Anaheim or Orlando – or wherever your kid’s fave theme park may be – might be just the right ticket for end-of-summer family fun.

Make Time for Museums

Kick start your kid’s sense of wonder with some trips to some museums. Odds are there are plenty of great cultural institutions within a short drive of your home. But for total awe and an awe-inspiring time consider a trip to Washington D.C. and see how much of the Smithsonian museums you can cover or one to New York for a multi-stop tour along Manhattan’s Museum Mile.

Book a Literary Holiday

Does your child have a favorite author or genre of literature? Did they have to read a required summer reading list? Bolster that interest in literature with a book or author themed visit to somewhere your kids will love or can help them get a head start with their studies. Harry Potter fans would love a visit to London (where there actually is a Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station just a short stroll away from the British Library).

How about you and your family? What’s the best way to share downtime before school starts back up?

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About The Author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, curator, and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, tikichris.com. Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world. He's called London home since 2001.