If summer vacation seems too far away, check out these winter vacation ideas and recharge your family's battery.
Maybe bears and bees are onto something. At some point during winter, hibernation starts to seem like a smart idea. Those gray skies and frigid winds can fill your head with summer vacation daydreams. Don't let those short days get you down, though. These winter vacation ideas will have your entire family jumping for joy. In fact, you might not even miss summer.
The best thing about these winter vacation ideas is that you don't need to go far to create memories. Nor do you need a big break in your schedule. Most staycation ideas are simple day trips or weekend adventures near your home.
1. Go for a winter hike
The Audubon Society has chapters throughout the U.S. You can take a hike on your own or sign up for special programs like river walks or bird watching trips.
2. Have a movie marathon
Call up your best friends for a potluck dinner and a movie marathon. If you really want to make a weekend of it, you could watch all of the Star Wars films, or for something less time-intensive, a couple of Hayao Miyazaki movies would fit the bill. My Neighbor Totoro is a classic, but Spirited Away is a can't-miss that parents and slightly older kids will love.
3. Explore a nearby museum
You don't have to live in a big city to find an interesting museum. Many national parks have museums, as do cities and towns throughout the country. In Lincoln, Nebraska, you'll find the National Museum of Roller Skating which includes a prototype gas-powered skate. Or head to Metropolis, Illinois, for the Superman Museum. In Phoenix, Arizona, you can experience the bravery of firefighters past and present at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum. Surely there is a museum near you that is worth a visit.
4. Take a class
You don't have to be a college student to take a class. Family-friendly classes are a fantastic way to bring your family together while you learn a fun new skill. Take a cheese-making class or register for that photography class you and your kids have always wondered about.
5. Have a pizza, ice cream, and arcade day
Fill your pockets with quarters and go play Pac-Man, Frogger, and Asteroids at your local arcade. Challenge your family to a game of pinball. Wrap it up with a big pizza, then treat yourself to ice cream (or maybe hot chocolate is more in order for cold weather).
When is the last time your family went on a true adventure? Pack your bags, gas up the car, and put these winter vacation ideas into action.
1. Go cross-country skiing
It's the quintessential winter adventure for cold weather outdoor activities. Wisconsin has over 700 miles of cross-country ski trails, and there's no shortage of trails in Indiana or Ohio. We don't have room to list all the trails, but you can search for trails in your state through Traillink.
2. Go ice fishing
Bundle up, find a lake, and catch your dinner. The obvious caveat to this adventure is to make sure the ice is thick and safe to walk on. Check with your local park authorities to ensure you're heading to a good spot and learn more about ice fishing here.
3. Go caving
Head to Bayfield, Wisconsin, to explore the Lake Superior Ice Caves. Walk along the frozen shores of Lake Superior and into the "fairyland" of icicles inside the caves.
4. Follow the outlaws
Saddle up and spend the day riding horseback, following the trails of Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy. There's nothing like a day in the wilderness to reset your mind and body, and a stay at a Dude Ranch is sure to give you an unforgettable family adventure.
5. Go swimming
No, we haven't lost it. The indoor waterpark at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells offers a wave pool, family raft rides, and water slides. You can rent a cabana for the day, too, or head over to MACS - Macaroni and Cheese Shop where they boast at least a dozen different mac and cheese dishes. Really, does it get better than a water slide followed by some mac and cheese?
The relaxation vacation
Okay, vacationing with kids isn't always relaxing. But a fun vacation with the entire family can be relaxing in its own way. These winter vacation ideas do revolve around relaxation, but save the spa day for date night.
1. Head for warm waters
Take advantage of the off-season and head to the Caribbean. You can find tickets from Chicago to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for around $250, or enjoy the warm waters of Florida. Flights from Cleveland to Ft. Lauderdale are as low as $180.
2. Get some sunshine
Yes, winter days are short. That doesn't mean you can't soak up some sun. Head to the gorgeous Painted Desert in Arizona for a breathtaking look at the wonders of nature. While overnight temperatures can get into the teens, the average daytime temperature through winter is around 50 degrees.
3. Head to the hills
Spend a week tucked away in the hills of Tennessee. Relax in a secluded cabin where winter rentals are as low as $600 for a week. If you want some adventure, add on a day at Dollywood or roll into the Hollywood Star Cars Museum to get a glimpse of the Batmobile or Elvis's personal ride.
4. Roll on highway
If you don't own an RV, you can rent one for under $100 per night. Spend the day exploring new locations and the nights enjoying the solitude of your home on wheels. You can cover a lot of ground in a week. Bring some board games and plenty of snacks. Just make sure to turn off your phone for some guaranteed relaxation.
5. Don't do anything
Don't do anything much, that is. The point of a family vacation is to spend time together, but that doesn't mean you have to do anything particular. Find a hotel an hour or two from home. Spend the weekend eating out, lounging by the indoor pool, and letting someone else take care of the dishes.
Before you go on vacation, make sure you're covered in case of an accident. Check with your local Pekin Insurance agent to secure coverage for your home and car so you can enjoy some peace of mind on your trip.
What kind of family activities do you like in the winter? Let us know in the comments.