3. Forage for food. To incorporate exercise and healthful food, take your family on a fruit or vegetable-picking hike as a summer activity or part of an active vacation. Then carry your harvest home and use it in a recipe that you make together as a family. Picking strawberries or apples? Make a whole wheat strawberry banana bread or apple-stuffed chicken. “It’s good for kids to know where their food comes from and for them to get involved with cooking a healthy meal,” says Manhattan-based wellness consultant Barbara Mendez. To find a pick-your-own farm near you, check out the Internet for local farms.
If you don’t have a farm nearby, check out a farmers market in your city. “Farmers markets are becoming incredibly popular destinations, especially for active families; they are a perfect combination of exercise and good food,” Kim says. In most cities, farmers markets are safe and lively places for families to stroll. Plus, they teach kids about fruits, vegetables, and other fresh foods and crafts local to the area. “Children can pick out some healthful fruits and vegetables to take back to the hotel room instead of the junk food they usually eat on vacation,” she says.
4. Activate a relaxing vacation. If it’s sun and surf your family craves, you can create the perfect balance between relaxation and summer activity. Vacation rental properties often provide bikes, kayaks, and other equipment to keep a family active. Some rental management companies go as far as to offer free services such as access to recreation centers and volunteering to help protect sea turtles. And there are plenty of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean that include water and land sports, gyms, fitness classes, and children’s activities. Talk to a travel agent about how to select a relaxing vacation that offers maximum access to summer activities.
5. Seek adventure locally. Look for fun summer activities to do with your kids that are local to your area. If you live near the beach, take a stroll along the shore and see who can find the most unique seashell. Or hike through a local park and try to spot animals native to your area along the way. Have only a few hours? Grab the kids and take a bike ride to get tacos or ice cream. Vacation is a state of mind, and any summer fun that can temporarily put you in it is good for the whole family.