Photo by: Olha Melokhina, www.olhaphotography.com | On photo: Olga Garicichina with Ksenia Kudas
Summer is here, which means your kids are out of school and are ready for you to come up with something exciting to do. Going somewhere warm for a family getaway is always a good idea. A Median Vacations lasts no longer than seven days, which then leaves you with five more weeks of summer to spare. Here are five great ideas on how to entertain children without taxing your brain or spending a fortune. These are fun, easy to implement, and are guaranteed to get your kids super excited!
HIT THE BEACH
If you live in California you simply can’t make an excuse to skip a trip to the beach during summer. There is something special about chasing the waves, building a sand castle, or soaking up the sun, together with your kids. These simple pleasures never get old and make the best memories that can stick with your children for a lifetime. There is hardly another state that offers as many different coastline sceneries as California does. From the mysterious Nort Shore to the lush hills of the Central Coast and the sunny beaches of South Cal, there are plenty of destinations to choose from.
NORTH SHORE – Van Damme State Park, Mendocino County. Try ocean kayaking, offered by many local companies, and explore sea caves and marine life.
CENTRAL COAST – Gibson Beach, Monterey County. The beach is located in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve just outside of Carmel and Monterey. The reserve offers some fascinating hiking trails with breathtaking ocean views.
SOUTH CAL – Huntington Beach, this nine-mile long stretch of sand is perfect for surfing, body boarding, biking, or simply lying in the sun all day long.
There is nothing that makes you step out of your comfort zone as much as a camping trip. It is an unconventional experience that makes you unplug from the world and connect with each other. For children, setting up a campsite, eating sausages off the grill, and making s’mores over an open campfire at night are unique experiences. This is the kind of adventure that every child should experience at least once with their parents.
LAKE TAHOE – Meeks Bay Campground is situated on the lake and is adjacent to a sandy beach with relatively warm water - a rarity in this otherwise cold lake. The campground offers great facilities and rentals.
SANTA BARBARA - El Capitán State Beach Campground is located just 17 miles away from Santa Barbara. It is situated on a beautiful sandy beach with many campsites offering ocean views.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - White Wolf Campground is nestled in a pine forest at 8,000 feet and provides a fascinating view of the Yosemite high country.
DO A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
Get your kids excited about science with a DIY science experiment, done together. Children get thrilled when they are allowed to mix mystery ingredients and then watch different chemical reactions take place. DIY science experiments make children like science which in turn could help them do better at school. Not a science geek yourself? Don’t worry! You can find plenty of books and websites with easy step-by-step DIY experiments that require no special gear or expertise. www.sciencebob.com is our personal favorite. Here is one easy DIY Science Experiment they recommend:
YOU WILL NEED
· One small empty plastic soda or water bottle
· 1/2 cup of vinegar
· Small balloon
· Baking soda
· Funnel or piece of paper
WHAT TO DO
Carefully pour the vinegar into the bottle. Loosen up the balloon by stretching it a few times and then use the funnel to fill it a bit more than half way with baking soda. Now carefully put the neck of the balloon all the way over the neck of the bottle without letting any baking soda into the bottle. Ready? Lift the balloon up so that the baking soda falls from the balloon into the bottle and mixes with the vinegar. Watch the fizz-inflator at work!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The baking soda and the vinegar create an ACID-BASE reaction and the two chemicals work together to create a gas, (carbon dioxide) Gasses need a lot of room to spread out and the carbon dioxide starts to fill the bottle, and then moves into the balloon to inflate it.
GO DOWN THE RIVER
Beat the summer heat by taking a boat down the river. Any boat. If you prefer more relaxing-type of fun choose a mellow and shallow part of the river and float down on an inflatable raft or tubes. If you like more energetic activities – rent a canoe or a kayak. Get a boat for two and pedal together with your kid or get two boats and have a little friendly family race. If you come from a family of daredevils, try whitewater rafting. This electrifying adventure equates to an extreme roller coaster ride on water.
WHITEWATER RAFTING – Try going down the south fork of American River, California’s most popular whitewater rafting destination. We recommend All Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting, a company that has been providing safe rafting trips for 50 years.CANOEING – spend a day canoeing down the Russian River with your family. Burke's Canoe Trips rent canoes that can fit two adults and one child plus a backpack full of food.TUBBING – if you wish to be on the safer side you may always go with tubing down the lazy river in a local water park.
HOLD A CAR WASH
All right, there is no cheaper way to thrill the kids. Pick a really hot day, have them put on their swim suits, give them a sponge and a bucket of bubbly soap water, and let them go wild while washing your car. Do you dare? Get a water hose and get in the game. Between splashing each other and getting soaked, your kids will have a blast and you will have a clean car. If you live in an apartment or have a water restriction in your city, look up the self-service car wash stations near you. A car wash party there will only cost you a handful of quarters. Make sure to bring plenty of towels.