Guys, it’s back-to-school time. We’re definitely going to be covering sales and all sorts of exciting deals, but we want to give you a minute to mourn the long, sunny, a-little-less-stressful days of summer, too.
You may be jumping for joy at the thought of putting your kid on that school bus, but we know that a not-so-small part of you is going to be missing them, too. That’s why we’ve put together a list of totally awesome things you can do to get in some quality time with your little ones before they’re gone for six to eight hours a day again.
Love ‘em while you can. Childhood goes fast.
Ripley’s Aquariums are built for kids. They provide opportunities for hands-on learning both with and without live sea creatures. They’ve got tunnels full of sharks and eels and other wildlife that swim around you as you pass under on a moving walk way. They’ve got hidden surprises of luminescent fish hiding at the end of dark, crawl-through tunnels. Sometimes, they even have actors putting on underwater shows as mermaids.
There are three locations convenient to those on the East Coast in Myrtle Beach, Gatlinburg and Toronto. Be sure to check promo codes from Ripley’s Aquarium before buying your tickets so you can get in for less.
Six Flags Amusement Parks
Even your teen will have a hard time complaining about a day at Six Flags. Whether you’re into water parks or you’re a Coasterhead like Lisa Kudrow in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Six Flags has you covered. Of course, you can always kick back and play some carnival games, too, or even watch a dolphin pod perform.
With 16 locations across the country, mini-vacations or day trips to Six Flags are possible for a lot of Americans. There are even a couple of locations in Canada and Mexico–grab your passport!
Legoland Discovery Centers
While the big Legoland centers are located only in California and Florida stateside, there are a lot of Legoland Discovery Centers dotting the country. These attractions are fun for both big and little kids. (And adults, too, if we’re all honest with ourselves.)
You can find Legoland Discovery Centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Westchester and Kansas City if California and Florida are too far.
Head to the Zoo
The start of school signals the beginning of the end of the season for your local zoo. Here your kids will be able to learn, observe and most likely play on an animal free playground to get some energy out. That should give you some quality time when they pass out early to get all of your stuff organized for the big first day!
Check for any discounts before you buy your tickets. Some of your children may get in free if they’re young enough, or if they are college students, depending on your zoo. Military families may also receive some type of discount, and everyone can use promo codes when they buy their tickets online.
You don’t have to go far to enjoy all summer has to offer. Take a trip to your local pool before many of them close on Labor Day. Find one with free parking, and check to see if admission is reduced after a certain time. That way you can get in for less while still enjoying some summer fun.