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Last-minute back-to-school vacation ideas


The kids start school in a few weeks, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for one last vacation! Check out our ideas for one last hurrah before starting school.

Parents camping with son

How much would your kids love it if you surprised them with one last vacation before they head into the new school year? Chances are it would give them a memory they’d never forget. It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be well-planned — it’s the thought that counts!

Here are our fabulous ideas for a last-minute back to school vacation.


Take a local day-trip outdoors

Perhaps you live near the beach, the mountains or even live in a city that boasts a fun and unique downtown area. Take advantage of an outdoor day-trip within two hours of where you live. Let the kids help plan a picnic lunch or the itinerary for the day.


Stay at a local hotel for the night

Hotels are less expensive if you stay on a weeknight. Pick a hotel in your city that is geared toward children, with amenities such as large pools or waterparks, movie nights or an arcade center. Check sites like to see if you can score a last-minute deal.


Go camping

A camping alternative: If you and your husband are in need of some alone time, pitch a tent in the back yard and let the kids camp out there!

Pack up the tent, the food and the kids for one last camping trip before they start school! Camping is a great way to let the kids relax and take in the fresh air before the stress of homework and tests begins.


Let each child choose an activity for the day

Though this isn’t quite a vacation, it’s something fun for kids of all ages. Let each child pick an activity they’d like to do one day of the week. It can be something as simple as going out for ice cream after dinner, visiting your local children’s museum or spending the day at an amusement park. The choice is theirs!


Host a sleepover

It’s a staycation for the kids! Let each of them invite one or two friends over for a night of movies, junk food and games. You can also combine this idea with camping in the back yard if you’re not necessarily in the mood for having a house full of kids.


Go on a bike tour

Hop on your bikes for the day and cruise the town. Make pit stops at local parks, ice cream parlors, lakes or even the movie theater if everyone needs a break. Not only will this be a blast for the kids, it’s a great way to get in some exercise.


Send the kids to Grandma’s

Whether Grandma lives down the street or a few states over, send the kids over for one last, fun-filled weekend before starting school. While they’re away, you can get all the back-to-school shopping done and finish up any last-minute errands. It’s win-win for everyone!

More on summer vacations

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