Educational and Fun Summer Vacation Destinations
With the start of summer approaching, the last thing students want to consider is keeping up their education over the summer. Their focus is going to be on getting outside, seeing friends, staying up late, and going on adventures to create fantastic summer memories. In most cases, asking students to spend their time studying instead will not go well.
But there are other ways for students (and their parents) to keep learning over the summer break. Here are a number of fun summer destinations for families that are both educational and adventurous.
Visiting zoos is a great way to learn about different wildlife from around the world. Some zoos offer tours or have staff on hand to answer questions or teach fun facts about the animals that you might not expect.
Below are just a few of the most popular zoos to consider in your travels:
- San Diego Zoo (San Diego, CA)
- Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Columbus, OH)
- Saint Louis Zoo (St. Louis, MO)
- Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo (Omaha, NE)
- Bronx Zoo (Bronx, NY)
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo (Washington, D.C.)
Across the United States, there are many national parks where families can satisfy their need for adventure while simultaneously enjoying educational benefits. Depending on what lessons you have taught throughout the year, this can be a great way for students to experience regions of the U.S. that they may have learned through their social studies textbooks. While we can’t list every single national park here, below are just a handful of popular vacation destinations:
- Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)
- Yosemite National Park (California)
- Redwood National Park (California)
- Badlands National Park (South Dakota)
- Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
- Zion National Park (Utah)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee)
Virtually every major city that you visit will have several museums to explore. If you know where you will be traveling, check out the local museums and see what’s available and if there are any special or kid-friendly exhibits. Here are some popular destinations to consider:
- Smithsonian (Washington, DC)
- Exploratorium (San Francisco, CA)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
- Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn, MI)
- American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY)
- Children’s Museum Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN)
- Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago, IL)
Local Hiking Trails
Many regions have hiking trails that are open to the public. While it may not seem like the most “educational” activity, it’s an opportunity to get children into nature and to experience phenomena they may have learned in their science lessons.
Some trails have signs posted throughout as a way to provide additional information about the trail and the region. More popular areas may even have guides that can provide more in-depth descriptions about the area you’re hiking in.
These destinations are a great starting point to consider for your summer plans as well. You can have a conversation with your classroom before school’s out for summer, and have students research local and nearby attractions to help them be excited for a summer full of fun and learning.