Staycations: How to Plan the Perfect Family Day Trip Over the Winter Holiday Break

momfamily fun & traditions

Let's face it.  The kids have been out of school for the holidays for over a week now. Are you like me—feeling like you are in the need of a vacation from their vacation? Then load up the minivan! We are going on a family outing.

family outing

The first thing you need to decide is where you are going. Because your kids are not the ONLY kids out of school, you might want to avoid the major kid hot spots in town—the zoo, the children's museum, and any indoor play grounds.

You have to be smarter than the other kids' parents.

4 Ways to Outsmart Fellow Parents When Planning a Holiday Family Outing in Your Town

  1. Go to the local Art Museum. I promise you they have things for kids, but the OTHER parents don't know that.  In my town, the Dallas Museum of Art has audio tours specifically for children and a full schedule of family activities.  If you are not into art, check into the smaller, quirky museums that you town might offer.  You might not spend the entire day, but an hour or two of adventure may just be what your family needs right now.
  2. Drive a little further from town. Instead of going to the large and well-known Dallas and Fort Worth Zoos, we like to head North toward Oklahoma to a little town called Gainesville which has a delightful zoo.  I have never seen it crowded and because of its layout, the kids can run wild around the 1 mile trail.  The bonus of the Gainesville zoo is that there is a miniature rail road out front that can be ridden for a dollar.
  3. Go outside. Dress the family for the weather and plan an outdoor outing.  The Dallas Arboretum and the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens are popular places to visit with kids, but if the temperature drops below 60 degrees, my fellow Texans will leave them deserted.  They would be perfect locations for a winter picnic and play.
  4. Search out the unusual. We have a book that I love called Weird Texas.  It has all sorts of quirky activities and the stories behind them.  Check out the website for Weird US to see the weird in your town.  Because of Weird Texas, we have found a haunted bridge just a few miles from our house that has a bunch of hiking trails around it.

Regardless of what you decide to do, remember these things: Pick a place, take your camera, and enjoy your kids.

What is your idea of the perfect family day trip?

Holly Homer author of June Cleaver Nirvana

Holly admits that she recently turned in her minivan because she is no longer toting 3 car seats.  Her normal car fits the one remaining booster seat nicely when the family goes out on a day trip.  On their last family outing, she found her kids say the funniest things.
When the family isn't out and about, she is writing about it on her mom blog, June Cleaver Nirvana.
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