Labor Day snuck up on us, school has started, and the peak travel season is over. What does that mean? To me, it means road trip! As soon as the summer crowds start to dwindle and the temperatures moderate, I’m ready to hit some of the best tourist spots in my local area. Whether your family tends to prefer adventurous or low key weekend activities, fall is the time to get out and try something new. Here are a few suggestions to get you rolling.
Does your family love…
- Find a local orchard and go apple, pumpkin, flower (or whatever is in season where you live) picking.
- Go hiking or biking. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, it’s time to take a hike and bike!
- Conquer a corn maze. It may sound corny (ha!) but actually corn mazes are fun for kids of all ages. Corn mazes are also great fun for scout groups, youth groups, and birthday parties.
- Amusement park madness is in the air. The crowds have dwindled but the parks are still open on weekends with some even having Halloween themed activities that make visiting even more fun.
- So your local pool is closed and it’s too cold to go to the ocean, right? Well, hello indoor pool and waterpark season. Indoor waterparks seem to be popping up in locations big and small and even if you don’t have one near you, chances are you do have a local indoor pool that will satisfy your little mermaids and mermen.
- Heading to a local stream or pond and wading in is one of the often overlooked joys of childhood. Yes, your kids will get muddy and yes, they will touch frogs and bugs and other creepy crawlies. It’s all good fun. If the water is moving (like in a stream) have them craft a leaf boat and have leaf races. If the water is flat, try skipping rocks. Take it from me, this is a simple pleasure that your kids will remember for years.
- No matter where you live, there is likely a museum or other historical site nearby. Now that it isn’t too hot, it’s time to check them out. Bonus: Some locations charge less for offseason visits so this could be a less expensive time to visit as well.
- National parks are another great place to get a sense of our country’s history, including monuments, battlefields, and the homes of presidents. Added bonus: did you know that every 4th grader in the US can get a free pass that will allow the child and his or her family to visit every national park in the US for free? Get the pass here
- Baseball is ending, football is starting, and now is a great time to catch a game. Whether you choose high school, college, or professional, day-tripping to see a new stadium or cheer on your home team when they are playing out of town, is a great way to spend a few hours.
This blog is getting long so I’ll stop here, but please feel free to share your ideas for other easy and stress-free daily and weekend road trip ideas in the comments section. And while you are contemplating where to go, check out Cobblestone magazine, which features great places to visit in every issue. This month, Cobblestone is all about the great city of New Orleans, home to jazz, Mardi Gras, and classic Creole cooking.