If your family is like mine, you might be getting ready to get out of the house and do some outdoors learning after being shut up for the winter. Unfortunately, in the Northeastern US, we still have plenty of cold, rainy weather. That doesn’t mean we can’t get some fresh air, though. Here are a few tips and trip ideas for the in-between spring weather.
While museums are usually open all through the winter, this is a good time to visit. See if you have art, science, children’s or natural history museums in your area. You might also consider purchasing a family membership so your family can go back again and again. This will also benefit you during summer travel, because many museums offer reciprocal benefits at museums across the United States.
Fall offers apple cider, pumpkin and harvest festivals. However, spring is a great time for festivals as well. If you are near maple tree farms, you might enjoy maple syrup festivals. Many of these are free and include a hot pancake breakfast with the fresh maple syrup. Other spring festivals may be available depending on your area.
You might not consider the zoo to be the best place to take a family on a chilly day. However, bundling up and enjoying the smaller crowds and discounted prices may make for a great trip. Zoos offer memberships as well as museums and also reciprocate with others across the nation. This is a great option for the family with small children who may only last long enough to see the bears and the monkeys! You can always bring them back another day.
4. Nature Hikes
Early spring is a beautiful time to be in the woods. It is a great science project for your children to see the last vestiges of winter alongside the newly budding trees. Choose a sunnier day and bundle up against the chill, and your children will enjoy seeing the emerging spring. If you are near an area with a state park system, check to see if they have any family programs available with naturalists to go along.
5. Safety Worker Station Tours
Your children may prefer to spend the summer months in the pool or in the backyard, so this might be the best time to let them tour a fire or police station. Check with your local station to see if they are friendly to giving tours to a family or small homeschool group. Even older children enjoy seeing the equipment and procedures up close.
6. Chocolate Factories and Shops
If you are fortunate enough to live close to a chocolate factory, these weeks before Easter are a great time to visit. Check to see which hours they are open for tours or if you need to make reservations. Children will appreciate seeing how their Easter candy is made and may even be given a sample to enjoy!