I’m currently spending a few days with family friends in a rented beach house along the coast of Southern California. This is an annual trip for us, but not each of our vacations is so closely connected to nature.
Being the nature lover that I am, I look for opportunities to explore our surroundings no matter where we visit – be it a trip to see the grandparents in suburban Northern California or a weekend getaway on the Las Vegas strip (yes, we do take our little ones to Vegas!).
Here are a few of my secrets for discovering nature when traveling with kids, even when your destination may not seem to offer much at first glance. All you have to do is look around, of course!
1. Take a walk.
It costs nothing, takes very little time and is a great way to get a sense of the area.
We take walks on most nights at home and doing so while on vacation allows us to play the comparison game. What things do we see and hear that are different from our usual neighborhood walks? What feels, looks and sounds the same?
If you and your kids are especially adventurous (or have the time), head for the local trails and take a hike.
2. Play in a park.
The park offers everything a nature lover could want — grass, trees, wide open area — and sometimes much more.
During our recent Thanksgiving stay in Northern California, we struck gold when meeting some friends and their kids at a local park. The place was amazing – complete with a lake, plenty of grassy area to run around on, covered picnic areas, restrooms and numerous play areas. We were sad our visit was so short, but will add this gem of a park to the list of things to do next time we’re in town.
3. Check out a local zoo, aquarium, museum or botanical garden.
If you’ve got the time — or if weather makes being outside less than desirable (like Las Vegas in the summer) — consider heading to a local nature attraction like a zoo, aquarium, natural history museum or botanical garden.
This post was inspired by Sharlene at Double the Adventure, who shared some great ways families can enjoy the outdoors when visiting the OC. Sharlene tagged me in a game of blogger tag that began with Katie at Tripbase. The goal is to create a great list of travel secrets from bloggers all over the world. I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate and will be encouraging some of my favorite bloggers to do the same.