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Washington DC is a vibrant city full of adventure! People come from across the country and around the world just to visit our city every year. We have so much at our fingertips here that you could do something new every week. But, it is home. It is where our bills get sent and our chores stack up. Sometimes it is nice to get away! One of our favorite ways to get away is the old fashioned family road trip. We love the freedom and excitement of hitting the road with our kids. There is something to be said for the spontaneity and serendipity of a road trip. There is still time to sneak some road trips into to 2018. So without further adieu:
Favorite Family Adventure Road Trips of 2018
- New Hampshire Lakes Region – The Lakes Region of New Hampshire offers family adventures around every corner. Summer on the lake is childhood bliss, but fall in the mountains is epic and winter on the mountain is non-stop thrill.
- Bethany Beach, DE & Ocean City, MD – The busy summers at the shore are iconic for the DC area family. You may be surprised to find fun at the shore starts in the spring and carries into the fall as well!
- Natural Bridge, Virginia – Take a long weekend or a school break to discover the wonder of the Natural Bridge and surrounding attractions. Just over 3 hours away this is a great overnight road trip, or even a stop on a longer adventure.
- Eastern Pennsylvania – There is so much family fun in Pennsylvania it is hard to choose, but Eastern Pennsylvania offers year round fun for little ones. You can easily spend a week of family fun in Eastern Pennsylvania, but it is also close enough for a shorter trip.
- Shenandoah Mountains – We don’t have to drive far to getaway from the busy DC life. Hike, bike, drive or float through the Shenandoah Mountains for year round family adventures!
Full Disclosure: at the time of writing this post we are currently scheming on how to fit in at least one more road trip to the school schedule before the end of the year.
Road Trip Tips
Road trips aren’t always easy with little passengers. The hours confined to a small space combined with short attention spans means that a relaxing drive must be well orchestrated. Keeping our bodies still for such a long time doesn’t have to mean no stimulation. Maximize the sensory experiences to pass time and hold their attention.
- LOOK: For many families screen time is a great way to pass the time in the car. If you are screen free or looking to supplement, we love the doodle boards, LeapFrog readers, Crayola Color Wonder, Melissa & Doug Water Wow books and LEGO mini kits. For some quality time in the car we love to play Eye-Spy. Our kids also like Find it First, where we look for certain things along the way and the first to see it wins. It’s like a scavenger hunt on the road. Our favorite screen time activity in the car is the educational programs available on CuriosityStream.
- LISTEN: Find new ways to entertain your road trip buddies with content from Pinna, your favorite podcasts and audio books. Our little ones love listening to the science songs of Jeff & Paige while we are on the road!
- TASTE: If you’ve met us in real life you know our littles are SNACK MONSTERS! On the road we find that crunchy snacks seem to keep them happier. We like to offer a variety of healthy options like carrots, apples, apple chips, crackers and popcorn (with furikake & arare, because is there any other way?). When we stop we try to find a treat or a new snack to try.
- FEEL: Bring Along Baby is a travel kit for little ones that always has some interesting sensory play. Our little ones love the sticky hands and wikki stix. We also love to window clings, squishy toys and a lovey for cuddling.
- SMELL: This is honestly the hardest sensory experience for the car, but we have found scratch and sniff stickers, scented crayons and even scented lotions can have a calming effect while on the road.
Road Trip Essentials
These are some of the products we found this year to make life a little easier on the go. The amount of travel or kid gear on the market is overwhelming. We like to pack light so our favorite products have to be small, light or pack a big purpose punch!
- Travel Tray – hold drinks and snacks with less fuss on the go
- Bubble Bum – keep little bums safe & save space with the inflatable booster seat
- Scrubee – clean little adventurers on the go with the super soft silicone body scrub brush
- Nidö – keep baby safe and happy at your home away from home
- Pediped – run, jump, climb and skip along to your next adventure in the stylish and comfortable Pediped shoes