Vacation is the perfect way to get the entire family moving. The best part is that everyone will be having so much fun that they won’t even notice it’s exercise — and they certainly won’t miss the iPad or the video games. If you haven’t booked your summer vacation yet, check out these ideas for the best vacations for summer fun that will keep the whole family happy — and worn out!
National Parks 1 of 5
With amazing natural scenery, hiking, lakes, and nooks and crannies to explore, national parks are just adventures waiting to happen. You can hike and try to spot wildlife, canoe on a river, and horseback ride to see the sights. (And don't think horseback riding isn't active—try it and let us know how exhausted and sore you are the next day!) Yosemite and Rocky Mountain National Park are two of my favorites. (As you can see, I even took my pug on a Yosemite visit back in 2009.)
Bright Lights, Big Cities 2 of 5
Head to a major metropolis to sightsee with the family and be sure to wear your walking shoes. Cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Las Vegas just beg to be explored on foot, and putting those miles on is a surefire way to wear you out!
Amusement Park Action 3 of 5
You'll know you're no longer a kid when you head to an amusement park with kids of your own. The boundless energy of kids exploring roller coasters and water rides will keep you moving and logging miles on your sneakers. Make it a water park and add swimming and carrying rafts to the vacation-as-workout mix. A recent trip to an amusement park had me scaling these nets, while carrying 35+ pounds of a 2-year-old.
Water, Wherever 4 of 5
Whether you hit up a faraway lake, a hotel's pool or your neighborhood pool, or a local swimming hole, kids love playing in water. Jump in with them to play Marco Polo, dive for dive sticks, and play chicken for active fun for the family. Be sure to take breaks as kids love playing in the water so much they don't always realize when they're exhausted!
Photo credit: allensima
The Beach 5 of 5
The beach is an obvious summer vacation destination, but it is one location that can keep a family busy from sun up to sun down. From long walks on the beach hunting seashells, to surfing and bodyboarding to volleyball and Frisbee, to building sandcastles and parasailing, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and swimming, there is no shortage of active pursuits. The wide variety is guaranteed to keep kids of all ages entertained.
Do you make your vacations active ones? Or do you prefer to use your beaches for lounging?