Family Summer Day Trip Ideas

No matter where you live, there’s a fun family summer day trip opportunity near you. Day trips can be a budget-friendly way to have fun without spending money on travel and overnight accommodation. Try these family summer day trip ideas today.

State or county fair

With games, rides, food, shopping, arts and crafts, agricultural events, and music, each member of your family can find something to enjoy at your local fair. Some fairs offer discounted or free admission for children, and others have no admission fee at all.

National park

National parks are a unique opportunity for your family to build strong memories while learning about nature, wildlife, and history. Visit the National Parks Service’s Find a Park tool to discover a national park near you.

Water park or beach

Depending on your budget and schedule, your family can enjoy a full day of water slides and wave pools at a large water park, or a few hours building sandcastles at a nearby beach or waterfront. To help you plan your water park visit, visit TripSavvy’s lists of biggest and best water parks in the Northeast, in the Southeast, in the South, and in the West.

Theme park

A day at a theme park can be costly, but for some families it’s a good alternative to a week-long holiday with hotel and travel costs. Family-friendly theme park activities include teacup rides, mini roller coasters, splash pads, carousels, and child-appropriate Ferris wheels.


Enjoy the great outdoors this summer and help your child learn about the natural world with a family hike to a scenic view, lake, or historical site. Many hiking areas offer paved or boardwalk trails for younger children or strollers. Bring an easy lunch and plenty of snacks and water, and don’t forget your sun protection.


Museums give children a unique opportunity to learn about history, develop curiosity, and inspire new ideas. Set behavior expectations with your child before you go, and ensure all activities are appropriate to your child’s energy levels. You can also ask the museum if they have any recommendations for visiting families.