Tag Archives: day trips

Plan A Family Day Trip to the Fire Station

The local firehouse is filled with heroes that children enjoy meeting, and a visit may be the highlight of your child’s week. Most fire departments enjoy showing off their equipment and the firefighters enjoy the fact that the admiring children will be awed by the equipment that they use in their daily job of keeping the community safe. Call your local fire station to see if visits are possible and try to arrange a tour of the facility as your next family day trip.

Drop in visits are usually not encouraged by the fire department because they are always in service and must be ready to respond to the next emergency that is called in. Because the fire department is such an important part of the community, they are usually happy to schedule a time to introduce themselves to the neighborhood and speak about fire safety and even give the little ones a glimpse of fire station life.

A prearranged tour of the fire department will give the kids a close up view of the shiny fire trucks and the equipment the fire fighter use. The size of the fire hoses and the length of the extended ladders may surprise the kids when they are viewed up close. The screech of the siren that is sounded just for their benefit is sure to bring giggles of glee that tend to be contagious.

When you bring your children into the fire department, keep in mind that they are not maintained to be child friendly. The kids will need close supervision so that they don’t wander off on their own to inspect a dangerous area. Make sure that the kids know in advance that if the fire department is called out the visit is immediately over.

Fire departments often hold open houses as part of their community education programs. If a private tour cannot be arranged, ask when the next open house event is scheduled. These are often more fun that a privately arrange tour as they last longer and there are more fire department personnel on hand to answer questions. The community events usually mean that there is more equipment that is available for the public to look at and admire. The scheduled open houses are also more reliable because arrangements have usually been made for other departments in the area to respond to emergencies and the tour is less likely to be cut short.

A successful day trip to the local fire department is a fun learning activity as the child can’t help coming away without a better understanding of fire safety.

Planning a Day Trip Isn’t Always About the Destination

Planning a day trip that’s fun for the whole family can be a challenge for the single mom. A lot of times, we are so interested in looking for destinations that are educational or will provide healthy activities, that we forget that a successful day trip is remembered because of the sheer joy of companionship and relaxation.

While it’s always exciting for a family to explore new places together, sometimes all that is needed to make a day trip successful is a change of scenery. Instead of looking for destinations that offer a learning or health benefit for the family, once in a while choose a location that will allow the family just to relax and enjoy each other.

An enjoyable day can be spent at the beach, even if it’s not warm enough to venture into the water.  A roadside park, campground or even a scenic or historic turnout spot along the highway can be interesting and appropriate. The shopping mall can be a lot of fun if you’re not rushing around running errands, but instead taking the time to poke your nose into the book shops and just people watch. The only other requirement for your destination is appropriate bathroom facilities.

The evening before the trip, put as many provisions as possible into the trunk so that you have one less task on the day of the event. A blanket, table cloth or tarp will stake out a private spot for your family to eat as well as stretch out and relax. Stow lawn chairs and sun umbrellas if you feel you’ll need them the night before, also. Make sure there is a first aid kit and sunscreen all packed up and ready to go.

Let the kids pack their own back packs with a book, camera and favorite gadgets. Some kids might like to bring drawing materials while others will insist on a magnifying glass in case an interesting bug has to be examined. If they want to bring along music or gaming devices, explain the hazards and let them decide for themselves.

Plan on what you will serve for the evening meal on the big day in advance so that you don’t have that chore weighing on your mind. Mom needs to get away and relax, too, and knowing dinner is in the crock pot or only has to be reheated will be a nice way to end a good day.

On the big day, serve a large breakfast, make lunches to take with, pack water or juice, snacks and just drive away.

Once you get there, let the day unfold naturally. Scout out the area for any hidden dangers and let the kids explore or just lie in the grass and watch the clouds. As they devise their own entertainment, catch up on your reading until they need to spend some quality time showing you what they’ve discovered. Your day trip planning will pay off!

Find Local Activities for Day Trips

Sometime the best destination for a day trip is just down the road, but the single mom has never taken the time to recognize it.

Single moms who are struggling for ideas on where to take her kids for a day trip are missing out on valuable resources that may be just under her nose. When we live in an area for some time and get used to passing the same store displays day after day, we often just quit seeing them. Sometime a tourist stopping at a local coffee shop has knowledge of available day trip opportunities in the area than the person who has been living there for years just because they are paying attention.

Just think of the times you’ve been traveling with your family and picked up a brochure that has attracted your eye as you pay for your gas or exit a restaurant. Many of the brochures not only describe the local attraction, but also include a money saving coupon to entice the traveler to visit. These places aren’t just for tourists. You can find information about day trip destinations and activities in your own area and avail yourself to the coupons if you just look out for them.

Watch for display racks touting local areas of interest near the entrance of your favorite restaurant, gas station, convenience store and even at park entrances. Often maps are available with the locations of areas of local interest.

Start a folder for all the brochures and pamphlets you pick up while running your daily errands. Check out the local newspapers for announcements of new attractions. Stop in at the local Chamber of Commerce and sign up for their mailing list.

Before setting out on your day trip, go online and see if the destination has a website. Often they have package deals or online coupons. Reduced admission fees along with a lunch from home make the day trip more affordable for the single mom.

Once you and the kids reach your destination, don’t forget to look around to see if there is a stack of brochures on other local attractions.


Bicycling the Day Away

Exploring the local area on a bike can be a fun day trip for all ages. A smooth bike trail will allow the learner with training wheels to keep up and insure a smooth ride for the baby in the bike seat. A more rustic trail can be chosen for the older kids with sturdier bikes.

Pick the location that will be most appropriate for the age group of your children. With a bit of creativity, mom will be able to make any biking adventure a healthy, fun and educational experience.

Make sure that the trail is not too long for the family. An exhausted child trying to keep up with the pack can quickly sap enjoyment and add to the stress level of the whole group. Even the best weather forecasters are not always right. Make sure the little ones know that the trip is largely dependent on the weather and that the bike trip could be cut short or even postponed if Mother Nature handed out a surprise.

Prepare for the bike outing in advance by helping the kids inspect their bikes for their adventure. Make sure the chains are oiled and the tires are in good shape and properly inflated. A well prepared mom will make sure she has a small pump and tire patches, just in case the unthinkable happens. If it’s been a while since the kids were on their bikes, make sure that each child has a helmet that fits properly.

Pack a picnic lunch and additional snacks. Make sure each person has a bottle of water. Take along a first aid kit and if there is a camera available, tuck that in place that is easily accessible. Distribute the load among all the riders letting them get double usage from the school back pack.

Baskets or saddlebags for bicycles are great help for the family who enjoys biking together. If your day trip is a success and the kids want to plan on doing it again, one of these biking accessories may make a perfect gift if there is a holiday or birthday coming up.

Be prepared to be flexible. Even a familiar biking trail can offer an occasional surprise that is worth getting off of the bikes to explore more thoroughly. If the trail leads through a quiet wooded area, take an opportunity to rest and just listen to the birds. Pay attention to the plants growing in the area and point out the progress of the growth and appearance if you use the trail regularly.

Just because it’s a bike outing doesn’t mean the kids have to stay on their bikes for the whole day. Take advantage of rest spot and open areas that offer a good opportunity for the kids to take a break from pedaling and stretch their other muscles.