Weekend getaways in the great outdoors can be a great way for families to break from the norm and spend some quality time together while getting some fresh air. Time outside is also known the reduce stress and anxiety. Outdoor trips are popular, as the U.S. Travel Association notes that nearly three out of four domestic trips are taken for leisure purposes. Families looking to get away from home on weekends often look for activities or locals that appeal to kids and parents alike while getting everyone out of the house and immersed in the natural world. The following are a handful of outdoor getaway ideas the whole family can enjoy.
• Hiking: By 2015, the United States was home to nearly 240,000 miles of hiking trails on federal and state lands. Hiking opportunities also are abundant in Canada, where the 2016 General Social Survey found that 44 percent of Canadians go hiking in a given year, making it the country’s most popular outdoor activity. Hiking is a rewarding, healthy hobby that also happens to be free, which can be especially appealing to budget-conscious parents. When exploring potential hiking destinations, parents should look for parks with kid-friendly trails. Many parks have paved trails on flat surfaces, which are ideal for families with small children.
• Rivers/lakes: Escaping to a nearby river or lake for a day on the water can make for a memorable, family-friendly getaway. Look for activities like fishing and bring your own rods or rent from nearby bait and tackle shops. If cruising is more your family’s style, look for boat tours that offer a chance to explore local history while giving the whole family a chance to relax on a boat and soak up some sun.
• Zoo/aquarium: According to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, there are more than 220 accredited zoos and aquariums in the United States and Canada. That makes it easy for families that live just about anywhere to plan day trips to local zoos, where they can spend the day soaking up some sun and marveling at exotic wildlife. Zoos and aquariums with outdoor exhibits make for wonderful, family-friendly weekend getaways.
• Theme parks: Theme parks make for a great weekend getaways for families. Many theme parks even offer rides and attractions for young children and sensory-friendly supports, but parents should call ahead to confirm this before planning their trips. Weekend getaways are great ways for families to spend time in the great outdoors and take advantage of local attractions. With some simple investigation, families might find there are lots of local attractions within driving distance of their homes.