Summer is here, which means you probably have a restless child to entertain for the next month or two. If they’re old enough to know of the magic of Disney World (or to a lesser extent, Disneyland) but not old enough to be jaded by the ungodly prices and hour-long lines, you’re probably racking your brain to find out alternative ways to entertain them.
Things that will create wonderful memories for years to come, but that won’t break the bank or impede your ability to enjoy yourself. This article is for you. Here are 10 places that aren’t Disney World to take your child this summer.
10 Six Flags
Water parks are a must during the hot summer months. It’s really only a matter of choosing the right one. As far as water parks go, you can’t really get better than Six flags. But they also have an amusement park, sure to delight those family members who aren't too fond of water.
Right now, there are 21 Six Flag locations in the U.S., which means you probably won't have to travel too far to find one near you. Even if you do, it'll still probably cost less than one weekend at Disney World.
9 Road Trip
Road trips are one of the best ways to build memories together as a family. It'll be great if you have a destination in mind, but the real fun happens along the way. One day you'll be in this hotel, one day you might spend the night on the road, packed uncomfortably in your car. After that, you might end up in a local eatery that's known for miles for their chicken and biscuits.
Just make sure that your car is in good condition ahead of time. No one wants to end up stranded on the side of the road. You should also make sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and emergency equipment.
8 Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is situated between the U.S. and Canadian border. If you're up for a trip to Canada to see the larger side, then you're in for a treat. But honestly, our side is pretty great too.
You and your family can get close to the falls, via the Maid Of The Mist boat tour, or view it from the observation towers. Just be sure to bring waterproof cameras and phones because the mist will drench you. After you're done, you can re-energize at one of the onsite restaurants or even try your luck at the casino.
7 Summer Camp
Sure, your child will probably begrudge you for not choosing a cooler destination. They might also figure out that you sent them there so that you could rest for three weeks. But honestly, it doesn't matter because they'll end up having the time of their lives and thanking you for it.
Modern Summer Camps offer everything from traditions like making smores over a campfire, crafting gifts to send home, and swimming in the lakes. If you live in certain areas, you kids might enjoy hiking or rafting.
6 Cruise Ship
Cruises have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but they're more than worth it if you find reputable companies. Cruise ships are essentially floating cities that offer all of the attractions and amenities that cities do. Anything your heart desires can be found on cruise ships, but with the added beauty of the ocean.
Booking your entire family on a cruise ship is comparable in price to a full experience at Disney World, but at least you won't have to deal with blazing temperatures and fussy babies.
5 Space Coast
Florida is home to one of the U.S's best kept secrets: Space Coast. It's a fun family centered space center, where you can see real rockets take off.
That's far from all that Space Coast has to offer though. Ron Jon Surf Shop will fulfill all of your surfing, fishing, and dining needs. There's also the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier and the Kennedy Space center, if you desire even more stimulation. This trip will be especially great for kids who are interested in science and space.
Camping, even in your back yard, is not for the faint of heart. But if you have outdoor, mosquito bite, canned-bean loving kids, then camping might be a fun Summer activity for you.
You can basically partake in all of the fun activities your kids would get into at Summer Camp. Only this time, you can make it a family affair. Just make sure that you're mindful of the area that you're camping in. Any area near wildlife is obviously out of the question. You should also make sure to pack more food, water and first aid equipment than you think you might need, just in case anything comes up.
You don't just have to limit your activities to the United States. There is a big beautiful world out there, just waiting for you to explore it. The upfront costs of the plane rides might put a strain on your pocket, but you'll soon find that things are much cheaper across the pond. If you plan ahead, you could actually end up paying less for your entire European vacation, than your stint at Disney World.
As for the destination, there are too many to choose from, so you should probably start with mainstays like Amsterdam, Paris or Rome.
If you're not really into putting more miles on your car, or putting any more strain on your finances, you might consider taking a "stay-cation." As in, staying at home.
It doesn't mean that you just go about your normal activities, or even actually stay in the house. It just means that you find fun, new things to do around your City and make the best of things, where you are.
Sure, the beach seems like a boring choice for a Summer vacation. But you have to remember that not everyone lives near the beach. For some people, a beach trip will be a new experience for them.
The best part about the beach trip is the fact that it's probably the most cost effective option, outside of the stay cation. All you'll need is a few swimsuits, a picnic basket, some towels and lots and lots of sunscreen!