Activities

9 family activities AAA can help you save on this spring & summer

Ah, summer: balmy weather, long and lazy days—and, potentially, a house full of bored and restless grown-ups and kids alike. 

Beat back the summertime blues with these ideas for seasonal entertainment and adventure.

A mother and son pack their car for a road trip.

Take a road trip

For families, summertime means road-tripping. A cross-country epic is great, but if you’ve got limited time or other constraints, you can scheme up a heck of a trip closer to home, even if you’re just weaving around neighboring counties. Plan the itinerary to the minutest detail or leave yourselves open to spontaneous along-the-highway inspirations—either way, it doesn’t get more classic than a four-wheel family odyssey.

Head for the ballpark

You don’t need to be a hardcore fan of America’s pastime to enjoy a ballgame, given the ambience, the fandom, the timelessness of it all. Major or minor league, take the gang out to the ballpark this summer and listen to those bats a-cracking.

Hit up an amusement park

From world-famous theme parks to smaller-scale affairs, amusement parks can be all-ages winners as summer destinations, whether it’s a day trip or an extended visit. If you’ve got the energy and ambition, you can scheme out a whole amusement-park-hopping road trip to take things to the next level.

A father and daughter stand under a waterfall at a water park

Hit up a water park

Make it a summer splash with a visit to a waterpark (or 10): From Six Flags to Dollywood’s Splash Country, hit those twisty slides, chutes, and wave pools in style.

Take a sightseeing cruise

Whether a whale-watching or lobster-boat cruise in the Gulf of Maine, a ride-around of Lake Tahoe, or anything in between, the whole gang’s likely to get behind a narrated on-the-water tour.

A mother and son look at the Milky Way in the night sky while camping outdoors with tents

Camp in a National Park

The national parks of the U.S are year-round destinations, but they’re never so accessible as in the summertime. A day visit is all well and good, but nothing compares with tenting out in one of these jewels of the American landscape. From the geysers and bison of Yellowstone to the headlands of Acadia, from the misty rainforests of Olympic or Redwood to the lake country of Voyageurs and the leafy ridges of Shenandoah, these are life-changing places, and kids of all ages won’t soon forget a night under the stars within their primal embrace.

See a summer blockbuster

Temperatures north of 90 and humidity of the tropical kind? On that kind of summer day, nothing beats escaping to the cool darkness of a movie theater and seeing the latest box-office juggernaut.

A hand holds a split-open rock with a fossilized animal inside

Dig for fossils

How about a little time travel to spice up your summer? There are numerous rich fossil beds around the country open to public digging, including Maryland’s Purse State Park, Pennsylvania’s Montour Fossil Pit, and Colorado’s Florissant Fossil Quarry. You can also join a professional fossil dig via organizations such as the Wyoming Dinosaur Center and Montana’s Two Medicine Dinosaur Center.  

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