I mean, of course, has summer – the traditional time to take family vacations – arrived yet? Because I’m eager to hit the open road and start having some adventures!
After a long school year and months of dreary weather, I’m ready to start planning some fun vacations, making memories, and trying new things.
Summer vacation is a great time to break out of the habits and routines that we fall into and explore other options. And you don’t have to get a passport in order to experience new cultures. Here are some low-cost or free activities that will help you connect your families with other people, cultures, and experiences.
Taste the world
Food is a fantastic way to explore other cultures. Whether you’re traveling or staying close to home this summer, consider trying some new food as part of your summer schedule. There are kid-friendly options available at any ethnic restaurant you can imagine. When in doubt, ask the server for recommendations about what other children enjoy at their restaurant, but here are some suggestions from KidCulture:
If you’re more of a home chef, research some recipes online and make them with your family. Here are some websites to get you started:
Spend a night (or day) at the museum
You may be overlooking cultural opportunities in your own backyard. Many towns have smaller museums; local, state, or national parks; art galleries; or local historical societies. They may not command the audience of a Smithsonian or Museum of Modern Art, but they have a lot to offer.
In addition, many museums are now offering opportunities to spend a night “camping” at the museum. What an amazing – and memorable opportunity for you and your child.
Check out the library
Libraries offer more than just books, audiobooks, DVDs, and videos. In the summer, many offer play groups, story times, craft classes and other opportunities for children and their families to connect.
Summer is a great time to learn more about astronomy. Consider attending an astronomy lecture or connecting with amateur astronomers in your community to learn about our historic fascination with the stars and how different cultures have interpreted the constellations.
Find a festival
There are all kinds of festivals offered in the summer months. You can celebrate foods such as blueberries and peaches, historic events, different ethnic groups, and more. It may make you try a different food, hear a different kind of music, or entice you to try a different activity – all great ways to shake up your routine and make the most of summer.