While traveling in June, there were times I had to come up with activity ideas for my kids while my husband was working, in places I had never been before. I would like to share a few resources and ideas on how I find places to go with the kids when I’m not at home (although these ideas could certainly be used at home too!).
1. Internet Search
This one is pretty obvious, but it is the first place I start when looking for activities in a certain area. So, for example, when I was planning to visit my parents in Boynton Beach and needed ideas on things to do with my kids there, I searched Boynton Beach Kids, Boynton Beach Fun, etc. You could also do more directed searches like Boynton Beach Zoo or Boynton Beach Children’s Museum to find specific types of places that you know your kids enjoy.
2. Specific Web Sites
A good place to start is the town or city’s website. This will have a list of parks and recreation in town and probably a list of local attractions. Other websites you can check include FamilyDaysOut.com, USFamilyGuide.com, and macaronikid.com.
3. Google Maps
Type in the address of where you’ll be staying, zoom out a bit, and see what’s nearby! This is a good way to locate the closest playgrounds (just make sure you search for the park name as well to make sure it’s not just a green area with no playground!), shopping locations, etc. Again using the example of my parents’ house, I realized they are extremely close to a nature center just by seeing it near their address on Google Maps. I do recommend googling whatever you find just to make sure it is still open and operating, etc.
On one of our days in Tampa, my kids weren’t really in the mood to do much that would take a lot of energy. We decided to go to the park, but I wasn’t sure where there was one nearby. We declared it an adventure, got in the car, and told our GPS to take us to the nearest park. It turned out it was less than a mile away and pretty fun too. You could do this to locate libraries, shopping, restaurants, attractions, etc.
5. Ask a friend
I have friends everywhere! I’ve been involved in various communities online for years and have met people all over the country (and sometimes beyond). Even if you can’t think of a friend who lives in a specific area, someone you know may live there or may have traveled there already. You can use Facebook or Twitter to post a shout out asking for recommendations on things to do wherever it is you are traveling.
Have you ever had to find ways to entertain your kids’ while away from home? How did you find what to do?
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