Last week we took our last mini family vacation of the summer season. We debated on going somewhere further away from home, but only had a couple of days to work with. We ended up having the best time on such a short trip and I've gathered a few favorite tips to share with you today on how you can have a grand adventure with only a little bit of time and money.
And with that, I leave you with Tip #1 for a mini-vacation "How-To"-Talk to your friends and family to get a real-life opinion on the fun things to do in your town or a neighboring city! Then pick one main attraction.
A friend of mine from our weekly playgroup told me about the Tulsa Children's Museum and how much fun her family had going. We decided to make this the main attraction of our mini vacation!
For some families, picking only ONE main attraction seems like such a downer because perhaps you are expert travelers and have 10 kids dressed and organized with no problem.
We. are. not. that. family. EEEEKKK-not even close. So for us, we are left with two choices: sit at home because it takes too much work to go anywhere, or pick one place do-able. We choose the latter.
We got up the day of the museum and ate Chick-fil-a breakfast in the car while the girls watched a movie on the laptop.
We then spent several hours at the museum (which the girls LOVED). Because we didn't have anything else on our agenda for the day, other than the hotel pool, we were able to freely explore the museum without being rushed to leave.
(This particular museum even lets you re-enter later in the day if you wanted to leave and come back)!
How-To Tip #2: Pick a spot where you can interact WITH your kids,
not your phone.
I know, I know...the kids are finally happy and running off all that energy so it feels like the perfect time to peek at your phone, right? I've certainly been guilty of this before and I don't always think it's a bad thing to look at your phone! But for a really fun time with your kids, pick a place where you can easily interact, run, jump, and PLAY with them! They will love it and so will you.
The Tulsa Discovery Museum had this giant tunnel and slide made entirely out of packing tape. I mean seriously, how cool is that?! Mind-blown.
I went through it twice and the girls went through lots and lots of times with Brett.
Tip #3-Encourage friendliness with parental guidance.
A lesson we teach over and over at our house is to be polite and friendly when we're out as a family. I want the girls to know that as long as mom or dad are by their side, it's ok to be friendly and make friends with someone new. Anna Ruth quickly befriended this little boy in the background and they would tell each other "Good job!" as they were building. So cute.
(obviously I won't always be by their side through their entire lives. But for their little toddler selves now, I want to be around when they're talking with a child who is also with another adult)
Tip #4-Don't be afraid to show your kids the ropes.
Kids aren't afraid to look silly because put simply...they usually don't even know they look silly! They're just having fun. So when vacationing, don't be afraid to try something to encourage your little ones to do it as well, just because you think you'll look "silly."
Brett showed Anna Ruth how to swing on these ropes and she obviously adored the lesson and taking a turn herself!
Tip #5-Talk to the locals!
We asked the sweetest lady working at the museum where a good place to eat would be that was kid-friendly. When we go out to eat we're neither quiet or neat! She recommended a great Mexican restaurant nearby and it was delicious! Taking the time to talk to a local gal definitely saved us some cash and driving time while our tummies were all grumbling.
What are your family vacation tips?