Our family kicked off summer 2017 with a family vacation to Prince Edward Island and, by all accounts, it was a resounding success. We were there for a week and had a jam-packed schedule that included some amazing playgrounds, beaches, bike rides and, of course, Sandspit Amusement Park and Shining Waters Family Fun Park.
There are themed playground, accessible playgrounds for people with special needs, and natural playgrounds inspired by and made with elements found in nature. But the main reason you need to incorporate playgrounds into your Canadian road trip is because so many of these playgrounds have taken cues from their home communities and incorporated the local values and history of the area into the design.
Tips on travelling with children including being prepared, dealing with anxieties and practical travel information.
We went on our first major family road trip vacation this summer and the kids did way better than we thought - in fact, not once did we pull over and threaten to turn the car around! Based on our experience, here are our top dos and don'ts for road tripping with little kids.
When you plan a family fun day - or it surprises you out of nowhere! - I've found having a fully stocked "Adventure Kit" in the trunk of the car ensures you're always ready to roll with what may happen. I've got a list of things you need for your kit below.
When my husband and I got married we chose (chose) to go camping for our honeymoon. We grabbed our tent and gear and headed off into Keji in early June for a little getaway. I remember long lazy days of bike rides, kayak trips, and reading a book in the sunshine.
Fast forward a few years and we haven't been camping for the last four years because every summer I have been either very pregnant or with a child of less than a year old. I know lots of people do it, but I couldn't even bring myself to consider it. The thought of planning and having everything we would need was overwhelming.
Now that Miss M is close to four and Mr M is close to two we decided it was time to give it a shot. We booked two nights into a family campground in the Annapolis Valley, packed our car and roof box to the brim and headed off.
In hindsight I will say it was a success; however if you asked me in the middle of the night as I shivered uncontrollably on the air mattress and begged the hours on the clock to move faster, I would have given you a different story. The upside is that the children slept great (after many post-bedtime giggles at sleeping in the same space together for the first time).
In the morning we heard rain was coming so we packed up quickly and cut our trip short. We spent the (sunny) day mostly at the campground (with a quick visit to a friend's local farm). Later a friend we'd run into at the campground told us that it started to POUR that evening and went on for the next day so I'm glad we made the decision we did.
So will we do it again? Perhaps next year...while it was fun, it was still more work than we had anticipated, and obsessing over the forecast for rain is stressful (especially in Nova Scotia). We aren't confident about our tent's waterproof-ness and aren't really interested in testing that out. :-)
For our last mini vacation this summer we're going to try our inaugural Airbnb experience at an oceanfront property on the South Shore. Here's hoping the beds are warmer than the ones in the tent!
But don't you be afraid! In this month's Family Matters column I gather up some advice from the experts about camping success with kids and I'm sure you're much hardier than I am.