5 Vacation Ideas That Are Educational (and So Much Fun)

It’s the best time of year for your kids. And the longest part of the year for you. Yes, summer break is upon us once again.

We’ve already talked about some great ideas so you can avoid the Summer Slide, so today we’re going to show you how to up the educational aspects of your summer vacations.

Educational Adventures

National Parks

Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner once said, “National parks are the best idea we’ve ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” From the cool shores of Maine to the deserts of California, these national treasures stretch from sea to shining sea. Visit the National Parks website to find exciting ways to learn about wildlife, geology, and the environment.

Take Museums to the Max!

Of course museums are a great place to keep your kids thinking over the summer, but you can do so much more than just walk through the exhibits. Make your next trip that much more fun when you put together a game or project for your kids to complete. Bring some paper and colored pencils and have your kids draw their favorite scene from history. Put together a scavenger hunt with exciting exhibits that they’ll have to find. Or have your kids pantomime a painting. Simple tasks keep them busy and improves their retention.

Bring History to Life

Over the past few years we’ve seen a rise in living history exhibits. Whether they’re Renaissance Fairs or Colonial Williamsburg, these experiences are great ways to let you and your kids see what life truly was like. If you want to make it extra-immersive, wear period-appropriate clothes as you explore these windows into the past.

Embrace Their Inner Animal!

Modern zoos are more than just places where you can see wild animals. Now they also host summer camps, day classes, zookeeper talks and more! All while staying on the front lines of global animal conservation. Next time you head off to your local zoo, see what events are happening on their website. You can also put together a map for your kids to follow on their safari!

Change Your P.O.V.

One of the best ways for your kids to get an understanding of other ways of life is to experience them first-hand. This summer, try to take them somewhere that they don’t see every day. If you live in a rural area, head into your local city and do a walking tour. Or, if you’re urbanites, head out to the country and check out a local fair or farm. On the way home you can discuss the biggest, and most surprising, differences between the new environment and your usual one.

Whatever you and your kids do this summer, make sure to add some education! Long car trips are the perfect place for them to read a book (or all of you to listen to an audio book). And simple setups can lead to super-sized fun whenever you’re taking a family outing.

About the author

Summit Learning
Summit Learning is a research–based approach to education designed to drive student engagement, meaningful learning, and strong student–teacher relationships that prepare students for life after graduation. Created by teachers with experience in diverse classrooms, Summit Learning is grounded in decades of research about how children learn. With Summit Learning, students gain mastery of core subjects like math, history, English, and science, while also carefully developing the skills and habits of lifelong learners. Summit Learning is independently led and operated by the nonprofit, Gradient Learning.