Before that first bell signals another long school, and everything goes back to the everyday ho-hum, give your family something to look forward to by planning a last-minute summer getaway!
Whether you’ve already taken a family summer vacation or you’ve had more of a staycation, now is your chance to send your kids smiling back to school with a final summer splash. Near, far, cheap or all-out, here are several travel destinations with your family in mind.
Kings River, Arkansas
Canoeing, camping and water? What else could a kid want?! Kings River in Arkansas is a great destination for a canoe float trip for the whole family. Relatively quiet during the week, these waters are easy enough for a novice rower to master. So how about it, ditch the technology and bring it back to the basics with a quiet canoe and camping trip.
Salt Lake City/Utah national parks
If you’ve never been to Utah, do yourself a favor and make this summer the time to go. Sure, the desert in the summer may be hot, but find some shade and you’re good to go. Salt Lake City offers spanning mountain and beautiful city views, plus good local eats and treats. And the national parks – Arches, Bryce canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion are marvels of nature that will take your breath away.
Carnival/Royal Caribbean/Norwegian cruise
Summer is a time to set sail and feel the ocean breeze kiss your face. What a better opportunity to do just that than while experiencing some amazing coastal countries on a family cruise line. Eat all-you-can-eat buffet food, swim on deck (or hitch a ride on a roller coaster if your cruise line has one), catch the nightly entertainment and more while doing it all in between beautiful ports along the way.
Oh Can-a-da!! For a last-minute family getaway, head north to visit our friendly neighbors above us. Toronto is a walkable, kid-friendly city brimming with museums and amusement parks, including Wonderland and Centreville. Looking for the best view in the city, eh? Try standing on the CN Tower’s glass floor that overlooks the populous city below.
College campus tours
If you’ve got a kid or two in high school (or near that age), taking a road trip to some nearby college campuses won’t only be fun – it’ll be proactive. It’s a perfect time to tour a few universities because campuses will be less busy due to summer semester. Take it all in – the gorgeous buildings, rich tradition and infectious college energy. And if it’s your alma matter, well, that’s even better. You can relive the glory days with the whole family. Just … leave Frank the Tank at home.
Disneyland Resort – Anaheim, California
If you haven’t already pulled the plug on this childhood dream, right before school starts back up is the perfect time to do so. Ride all the rides, meet the whole Disney cast, eat until you might spew and then wake up and do it all again. After all, they’re only kids once, so let them live out one of their first-ever dreams. That goes for you, too! If you never made it to the this childhood promise land as a kid, it’s time to tap into your 8-year-old self for a little throwback fun.
Yellowstone National Park
Arguably America’s most popular national park, Yellowstone is often overflowing with tourists during the beginning and middle of summer. But, in late July/early August the crowd subsides paving way for better sights, quite trails and impromptu wildlife – everything you could ever want from a visit to YNP.
So as back-to-school rears up to eclipse the waning summer days, remember, it’s not too late to go on a little family getaway. From national parks and amusement parks to cruises and campus tours, there’s enough summer fun to be had for the whole family.