Traveling across town or to another city to experience a different culture, some history or beautiful art will enrich your children’s lives. Sightseeing with kids requires advanced planning and pacing the day differently. Use our guide to eliminate some mishaps and increase the chances for a good time for the whole family.
Get the Kids Involved
Research the possibilities online. Select several attractions you think will be crowd pleasers for everyone, show the kids the choices. Let them be a part of the decision-making process, your children will have a more vested interest when the day finally comes.
A Daily Plan
Have a plan for the day. Know where you are going, how you are getting there, and where you are going to eat. Be realistic about what you can cover with kids in tow. Limit each experience to around two hours to allow them to absorb the opportunity, but not get bored. A balance between learning and playing will keep your kids in a good frame of mind. Schedule some time for them to run around and just play. If there is not a space at the attraction you are attending for play time, look for a nearby outdoor park. Never underestimate the power of a playground. It provides kids the opportunity to burn off some energy and parents the chance to sit down and relax.
Several days prior to your departure, check the websites of all of the places you are planning to see. Attractions close for renovations or change their schedule which could ruin the best of plans. A final check can prevent a disastrous outing from happening.
Choose the Right Stuff to Bring
Don’t overload your bag with tons of stuff. A re-usable water bottle for everyone in the group will quench their thirst throughout the day. A few snacks will be essential if you get caught up longer than you expected at an attraction or delayed in traffic. If the forecast is calling for rain, pack a compact umbrella and/or light jackets. Sunscreen and insect repellent are essential for any outdoor activities.
Dress Appropriately for the Outing
Check the forecast the night before. Encourage your kids to wear light, loose fitting clothing to stay comfy. Skip the new shoes and encourage them to wear a pair that is broken in. A pair of brand new sneakers could lead to blisters after a long day of walking.
A Safety Plan
Once you reach your destination, designate a meeting point in case someone gets separated from the group. Act it out and it will likely be remembered. In your kids’ school, it is common practice to act out safety drills, so it will not come as a big surprise to them. Pack a first aid kit. Make your own in a resealable plastic bag. Add Band-Aids, wet wipes, dry tissues and first aid ointment. Don’t forget tweezers which will be extremely helpful for a splinter from wooden park benches or playground equipment.
Set the Pace
Be realistic about what you can cover with kids in tow. Whether it’s time for a snack or a quiet moment away from the crowd, your family will need time to recharge. Make frequent pit stops, a bathroom might not always be easy to find.
Be Positive and Stay Flexible
Sometimes the best laid plans don’t always work out. Your level of patience is contagious to your kids. Be calm and your kids will follow. Praise your kids for their patience and effort. It will go a long way the next time you want to take your kids sightseeing.