Planning a day trip that’s fun for the whole family can be a challenge for the single mom. A lot of times, we are so interested in looking for destinations that are educational or will provide healthy activities, that we forget that a successful day trip is remembered because of the sheer joy of companionship and relaxation.
While it’s always exciting for a family to explore new places together, sometimes all that is needed to make a day trip successful is a change of scenery. Instead of looking for destinations that offer a learning or health benefit for the family, once in a while choose a location that will allow the family just to relax and enjoy each other.
An enjoyable day can be spent at the beach, even if it’s not warm enough to venture into the water. A roadside park, campground or even a scenic or historic turnout spot along the highway can be interesting and appropriate. The shopping mall can be a lot of fun if you’re not rushing around running errands, but instead taking the time to poke your nose into the book shops and just people watch. The only other requirement for your destination is appropriate bathroom facilities.
The evening before the trip, put as many provisions as possible into the trunk so that you have one less task on the day of the event. A blanket, table cloth or tarp will stake out a private spot for your family to eat as well as stretch out and relax. Stow lawn chairs and sun umbrellas if you feel you’ll need them the night before, also. Make sure there is a first aid kit and sunscreen all packed up and ready to go.
Let the kids pack their own back packs with a book, camera and favorite gadgets. Some kids might like to bring drawing materials while others will insist on a magnifying glass in case an interesting bug has to be examined. If they want to bring along music or gaming devices, explain the hazards and let them decide for themselves.
Plan on what you will serve for the evening meal on the big day in advance so that you don’t have that chore weighing on your mind. Mom needs to get away and relax, too, and knowing dinner is in the crock pot or only has to be reheated will be a nice way to end a good day.
On the big day, serve a large breakfast, make lunches to take with, pack water or juice, snacks and just drive away.
Once you get there, let the day unfold naturally. Scout out the area for any hidden dangers and let the kids explore or just lie in the grass and watch the clouds. As they devise their own entertainment, catch up on your reading until they need to spend some quality time showing you what they’ve discovered. Your day trip planning will pay off!