Summer: 15 Vacation Ideas Both Kids & Parents Can Enjoy

Yeah – it’s about that time of year. Time to start thinking about summer plans.

When we ask our kid what he’d like us to do this summer, the response typically is:

“I’d like to stay home”
“I’d like to [insert EXACTLY what we did last year]”

Not our idea of a fantastic summer vacation 😂.

It’s not easy to plan a summer break that is fun for both kids and parents. It’s a fine balance between relaxing and creating good and fun adventures.

Here are some of the ideas we have, so far.

#1 – RVing Around

Kids often hate moving around too much (well, at least our kid). To be able to move around is a top priority for us – we’ve done MANY trips with our towable camper.

After a few days on the road, our son starts referring to the RV as “home”.

If you have kids who hate moving around, that can be a great option.

There are lots of RVs and campervans you can rent for a few weeks.

#2 – Home Exchange

We’re looking to save some money this summer, so we’re considering joining a home exchange program.

Since we’re in the city, this is a pretty good option.

We’re actually in the process of listing our apartment.

#3 – Going Somewhere With a Beach

I feel like beach vacations are great for both kids and adults.

There are lots of stuff kids can do on the beach – while you can watch them with a cold drink.

We love the beach, and with our camper, we have been able to visit some pretty cool beach destinations.

#4 – Tourist In My City

If traveling long distances doesn’t work for your family, this is a fun option.

Check out what your town has to offer and support local:

  • Museums
  • Parks
  • Historical monuments
  • Geocaching 
  • Library

Most towns and cities have at least a few free places to take the kids.

Pro-Dad Tip: Geocaching is seriously cool, especially for older kids (and parents!). They call it a “global treasure hunt”.

#5 – Water Park

On very hot summer days, water parks are fun for the whole family.

Even if mom and dad aren’t able to enjoy all the slides while they are on “kid duty”, seeing your kids giddy with excitement is priceless.

If big, loud, and busy environments overwhelm your kids, a local community park nearby you may have some smaller water fountains.

Kiddies can run around and splash to cool down in a calmer setting.

#6 – Picnic at the Park

Pack a basket of “munchies” (little snack foods) and head to the park!

As I mentioned, we plan on saving some money this summer. So heading to a new park in our city is on our to-do list.

Is there a Botanical Garden in your area? Often these gardens have indoor and outdoor activities that are family-friendly… and tranquil 😉

Take a look at my blog post for ideas to help the picky eaters in our crew.

#7 – Theme Park

Disclaimer: this is NOT for the faint-hearted.

Theme parks are loud and full of sugar.

But they are also really awesome for a high-energy dad to take his 8+ year-old kids to!

#8 – Take a Hike

There is just something about being in the mountains that inspires me.

Babies and toddlers can be strapped to your back, and older kids can handle short trails (even if its sloooow).

I find that when our family takes walks, we have some of our best conversations – we dream big and laugh. But sometimes, tough topics come up.

Please check out my past blog, all about handling difficult conversations.

#9 – Safari

Ready to head to Africa?

This is a big-budget vacation idea.

But, if you are a curious kind of family, it is well worth a trip to see Africa’s wildlife!

  • Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  • Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • Chobe National Park (Botswana)

#10 – Holiday at Home

Aka – “staycation”!

You can set up a:

  • Home cinema with “tickets” and popcorn
  • Obstacle course
  • “Cordon Bleu” restaurant – parents serve the kids or vice versa!
  • Slip and slide in the garden

Dad Joke Alert! “Hey kids, guess where we are going on vacation? … To Romania…”

(Re-main-here) 🫣

#11 – Farm Retreat

Find out if there is a working farm near you.

Many working farms allow guests to milk cows, collect eggs or feed the pigs.

This is an out-of-the-ordinary vacation idea for the whole family.

And interesting to see where our food really comes from!

#12 – Camping

This is for the families that are more adventurous than us RV-ers 😉

Truth be told, camping is more affordable. But it requires a lot of preparation.

Dads, let’s be honest, there is nothing quite like a cozy time roasting marshmallows and star-gazing with your kids.

#13 – Summer Camps

For bigger kids, summer camps are where memories are truly made!

Some fantastic (and safe) organizations host summer camps. You can ask your local community center or library if you are unsure of reliable organizations in your area.

Pro-Dad Tip: This is a win-win. Safe childcare with loads of fun activities AND a few days off for you and your partner!

#14 – All-Inclusive

It’s time to sign up for more newsletters to catch the best holiday deals.

All-Inclusive holidays often cover everything from travel to accommodation and food to activities.

Generally, these packages are at resorts where there might be many other people and kids.

If this doesn’t sound like an ideal holiday, maybe you need something quieter like…

#15 -National Parks

A visit to a National Park in your region or a new country.

This is one way to really appreciate our incredible world.

You can go on hiking trails, camping, or river rafting at different parks.

Some popular National Parks in the USA are:

  • Great Smoky Mountains
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Everglades National Park

Thanks for reading.

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