4 Surprising Road Trip Stops Kids Love
Do you and your kids like to take road trips? My kids’ road trip insanity reached the point of insanity somewhere outside Kansas City at 8 p.m. on a Sunday night. We desperately needed to get out of the car or someone was going to get a board book chucked at their head – probably me. Taking stops along the way, will not only give your kids a much needed break, but make the road trip more enjoyable.
No matter how well you prepare for a road trip (the games, the surprises, new toys, old toys, planned breaks) kids find a way to mess thing up. Mine do, at least. Turned out, my road trip sanityo was saved by a store in a strip mall.
Surprising Road Trip Stops That Kids Love
1. Pet stores - I never would've planned a stop at a pet store, but I am a believer after I had to improvise that night. Turns out, the kids loved walking around the pet store, checking out animals. And strange but true, my kids even found the dog houses as a source of entertainment.
2. Big box stores - Michaela, a mom of a boy and girl in Texas, recalled a 10-hour road trip with her oldest child, Dylan, when he was about 1 years old. They were in their 7th hour when her son had had enough. In the next town, she found a Shopko, put the toddler in a cart and as she describes it, they zoomed. “The store was pretty much empty so running or walking briskly with my kid was OK." Her children laughed and had fun which gave us them the break they needed.
3. Farms - Jen, a mom of two boys in Maryland, discovered a farm on the way to her family’s vacation destination to the Outer Banks. Her boys loved playing on all the tractors, and mom and dad loved sampling the food sold there.
Along similar lines, Ohio mom Amy recalled a stop during a 12-hour trip to Wisconsin with her toddler, Madeline, where they toured a cheese factory. Young Madeline liked seeing the cows and Amy and her husband liked the samples and being able to restock their cooler with snacks.
4. Cultural sites - Jessie, who blogs at wanderingeducators.com, says her family always stops at libraries (especially in foreign countries) and art museums. They also stop for festivals.
Bonus Pit Stop Tip
Save by planning ahead - Familiarize yourself with the route and search for discounts from sites like Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local. Jessie told me she planned stops along the way according to Groupons she snagged. Some great ones included a sushi restaurant in Chelsea, Mich., (including rhubarb soda!) and a laser tag break in Dayton, Ohio.
Does your family love road trips? Where do you like to visit?
Photos used with permission from Dr. Jessie Voigts at wanderingeducators.com and Jen Zirbel.