Guest Author - Aimee Wood
Taking a vacation this summer doesn't have to be costly or involve going very far. Keeping vacations local and enjoying the outdoors can be fun and a great way to explore the niches of your area. Included here are some great ideas for your stay-cations.
Movie theater deals. Summer is a great time to catch up on movies from the past year. Generally these older movies are offered at a discount. Check with Regal, AMC, or Cinemark with their summer movie list. It's a great way to relax and get out of the heat and into the air conditioning. Even better, maybe your area has a drive-in theater! Great memories can be made!
Picnics. Generally during the year with the hustle and bustle of school and jobs meals can be rushed. What better way to slow down than to plan a picnic with the whole family? Pick out your favorite picnic foods and take it slow. Get the whole family involved in the prep, then seek out your favorite park.
Free outdoor concerts. Many local communities host free outdoor summer concert series of local talent. Check with your town or recreation center to see what they may provide. Generally these concerts are held once a week outside at a local park. Bring the whole family, pack a picnic, and enjoy the show!
Museums. Many communities offer discounts in the summer or local libraries have free passes to local area museums. There is tremendous culture to be found at any museum, whether it is science, art, or history. If you can't find free passes, check groupon.com, oftentimes they have museum deals.
Hiking, Biking, and Trails. Every local community has a trail system, whether it is for hiking or biking. Simply go to trails.com and you will be able to access a list of trails in your area along with a map. To spice things up on your adventure, check out geocaching. Simply put, people hide treasures and are given clues and coordinates to find them. It's a fun way to get your kids interested in hiking, if they are apprehensive.
Farmer's markets. Every community has at least one farmer's market in the area. Make a point of going and getting to know the local farmers. Bringing home new treats is a great way to change things up and a great way to explore your community. Go to localharvest.org to check out local farmers.
Camping. Many areas have campgrounds at state parks that boast wonderful amenities such as swimming and hiking, along with canoeing and kayaking. Even if you aren't an outdoorsy person, some camping areas have cabins with electricity that you can rent. Making memories around a campfire with some marshmallows sounds lovely.
What makes your area unique? Generally every area of the country has a few attractions that people from out of the area come to and enjoy. What makes your area special? Research those attractions and make a point of visiting one of them this summer.
Making summertime memories can be simple. Keeping close to home cuts down on travel costs and time, gets you to explore and enjoy your home territory, and opens your eyes to the beauty of your area.