It's unbelievable, but it's true: there are only a few weeks of school left -- and fewer than there should be due to budget troubles here in Los Angeles. I realized today with a sinking sensation that I haven't yet planned much in the way of fun vacation activities for our daughter, so I decided to get with the program and review some of our very favorites to share.
Here are our top five:
1 - Find a beach or lake or pond and get into it! Nothing says summer to every cell in your body like sun and water. Take lots of sunscreen, water, and cover-ups and be willing to spend a little time in traffic or dealing with parking, but just do it. Fling a Frisbee, play outdoor games, read mindless books and have a blast.
2 - Pick a place to visit that's within two hours' driving that you've always wanted to visit, but never have. Does your family love Route 66 diners and dives? Drive just a few miles further down that stretch of road than you usually do and discover cool historic districts, funky Main-Street theaters, and monster chocolate sundaes at the counter.
3 - Hang out in the yard. Get a big umbrella if you need to, but roll around in the grass, play badminton, set up horseshoes, and talk to neighbors as they pass by. You may have to do it early morning or early evening to beat the heat, but don't spend all summer in front of a screen with gale-force air conditioning blowing your hair around. Get back to nature! Plant a flower or two.
4 - See outdoor movies! Many towns and cities set up special al-fresco screenings of popular or classic family movies during summer months. Pack the camp chairs and head for the pier, the public pool, the park, or your neighbor's backyard. Seeing "Daddy Daycare" may even be more enjoyable on a ripply white sheet hanging from someone's tree.
5 - Camp it up! Not just at learning-adventure day camps, but in a tent. Target has camping equipment for very little money (my advice: buy the inflatable beds...). Camping is inexpensive, but you'll have to plan ahead a bit to be sure you get a great spot.
What's your favorite summer vacation activity? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section. And for more great ideas, check out these moms' blogs: http://www.twittermoms.com/forum/topics/share-5-fun-family-vacation.
By the way, I wrote this blog post while participating in the Williamsburg Tourism and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.