Unique ways to spend quality time with loved ones this summer

Do your plans involve some R&R or quality time with loved ones this summer?

I love going to new locations and experiencing places in unique ways.

This time of year is often a time of outings for our family, as well as planning for the weeks and months to come. If you’re doing the same, you may enjoy a few of these discoveries we’ve made as & favorites from the past:

Don’t just vacation, vacation with purpose

Discover Corps is a tour company that takes you beyond typical sightseeing. From their website: “Immerse yourself in a different culture while giving back, engaging in hands-on cultural workshops, and connecting with fascinating people. Volunteer trips allow you to experience a country in a way that other tours can’t provide. You’ll see the sights, but also dive beneath the surface to truly understand life in a new land – and return home inspired.”

Test your limits

Every year, my kids do the Positive Energy Kids Triathlon out of Davis, CA. They absolutely love it – and despite the sound of a kids’ triathlon being overwhelming or too competitive, I find it to be an amazing way to boost my kids’ confidence and give them a sense of accomplishment. (By the way, after doing 2 years of entering the kids in this event, I realized I needed to “walk the walk” which is how I started entering competitive half marathons and other long distance races myself.)

But there’s a whole new wave of competitive events that are fun for kids out there. The three I’ve been watching, which are taking place all across the U.S. this spring & summer:

No doubt these events are full of fun for the whole family!

National Park tent cabins

While not a new concept, this is a new discovery for my family. Tent cabins and tent cabin communities are so much fun! Last year, I took my kids to Yosemite’s Half Dome Village for a few days. What I loved about staying in the tent cabin community was that we didn’t have to get in our car to go anywhere! Between walking to the restaurants, pool & grocery store onsite, biking to waterfalls, and the shuttle service to take us to hiking locations, it was so convenient to get around and enjoy the outdoors. Having experienced (and loved) Europe’s holiday parks as a family prior to our stay at Half Dome Village, our family all felt like this was the next best thing. Any vacation where a car is not required, and family members – including the young ones – can freely explore an area safely, is perfect for me.

And here’s a great trick for those wanting to stay in Yosemite’s Half Dome Village, but fearing that it’s already all booked up. If you really want to stay there, be aware that with their 7-day free cancellation policy, reservations are opening and closing constantly. Try checking every 4 hours and only booking one night at a time then chaining the reservations – this is how we booked a 4 night stay in the middle of July just a week prior – it works!

Here’s a link to Yosemite’s Half Dome Village reservation system. Many other National Parks offer the tent cabin resort experience as well!

Summer & Family Camps

Every metropolitan area has such a breadth of summer camps and family camps, I can’t possibly begin to describe and list them all here. But I do want to mention a couple that are nationwide that are worth looking into.

Last year my son did his first 5 night Boy Scout overnight camp, and just loved it. This year, my 9-year old daughter will be doing an overnight Girl Scout camp. And, for a taste of these kinds of experiences the whole family can enjoy, many overnight summer camps also offer 2 and 3-day weekends which they call “family camps” that are worth looking into as well. Below are links to 3 links to CA Bay Area family camps and overnight summer camps – .

You can use the above as an example to search for similar camps in your area, or simply google “Family camping” in your area to find a whole of opportunities to create a unique family experience this summer.

Family camps