Monday, July 2, 2012

Planning Summer Outings

Coming up with things to do with your kids during the summer holidays can be a real challenge, especially as the summer progresses and everyone is 'tired' and 'bored'.

We've looked a few ideas of things we'd like to do. Many of these are specific to Bermuda, but hopefully you'll get some ideas for your local town!

1) Bermuda Museum Aquarium & Zoo
All on one property, the BAMZ is everything - an aquarium, a zoo, and a small natural history museum, all built into one. We've long held a family membership, which, for a fee of about $75, we get free entry for an entire year (it really makes up for it, with regular entry costing of $10 for adults and $5 for kids), as well as a discount in the gift shop and exclusive access to certain activities for the kids. If you do have a local aquarium or zoo, you just might want to look into family memberships and make it a regular stop throughout the summer!

2) Visit a local farm.
I've still to do some emailing to make confirmations, but we're looking at seeing if we can make a visit to a local farm. Wadson's Farm is a local organic farm, with fields and animals, and not far from our house. Hopefully, we'll get to visit there some time this summer!

3) Local courthouse or parliament building.
Both of my boys studied Bermuda in various forms in Social Studies this past year, so a tour of the Bermuda Parliament building is, hopefully, on the cards. The Sergeant-at-Arms gives tours twice daily during weekdays, except when Parliament is in session. To schedule a tour or for information, call 1441-292-7408.

4) Historic Towns and Villages
Make it a day and visit a nearby historic town or village. It will transport you and your family to a different time, and possibly a different place!

In Bermuda, one of the best places is the Town of St. George's, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The St. George's Foundation offer regular walking tours for free to tourists, so you can just check the schedule and join in. There is also a World Heritage Centre, the Deliverance replica ship, the Bermuda Perfumery and the Unfinished Church, in addition to some of the oldest buildings on the entire island.

5) Museums
We don't have a lot of museums in Bermuda, but there are still a number of small, though very good ones, including the National Museum of Bermuda (formerly the Bermuda Maritime Museum), Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, and Fort St. Catherine. Check your local museums and galleries for their summer schedules, as some may offer special events or programmes for children throughout the school holidays.

6) National Parks and Beaches
Bermuda, being an island, has TONNES of beaches to visit, many of which also have other activities, like hiking trails and playgrounds, to enjoy. We also have places like the Bermuda Botanical Gardens and Cooper's Island Nature Reserve where families can enjoy, as well as a number of forts to explore. Remember, though, if you do visit, like for a picnic, that you take everything you brought with you, including rubbish. As they say, "Take only pictures, leave only footprints" !

To help you out with other ideas, the website, How Does She?, posted a great blog post today with 100 different free or cheap ideas of things you can do with your kids during the summer months, including a printable with the list! Be sure to check it out!