9 Summer Family Trip Ideas

By Jeff Bogle

Jun 21, 2022

You've delayed your dream family outdoor getaway trip for too long! Check out these family trips ideas, from rafting to horseback riding, and more!

It's likely that your family trip ideas have been collecting dust in your mind as you pushed your dream family outdoor getaway trip back, back, and back some more in hopes of a vaccine approval for your youngest kids, the ability to travel without masks, and an improved financial picture. As we move into another summer travel season, check out these 9 fun family friendly outdoor adventures you can have together, safely and without breaking the bank.

1. Rafting Trips

Navigating the rapids of the Snake River in Jackson Hole, in the shadow of the Grand Tetons, is a bucket list family outdoor getaway trip, for sure, but there are rafting trips available on rivers from to coast. This means that family friendly outdoor adventures await right around the bend!

2. Horseback Riding

You don't have to saddle up a horse in the Garden of the Gods to have a thrilling family adventure this summer. One of the best family trip ideas is probably a lot closer than you think. Horseback riding, through a mountain pass, on a beach, or simply on a well worn trail in a park near your home will punctuate your summer with some family friendly outdoor fun.

3. Sand Dunes Surfing

Unlike many of our other family trip ideas, this family outdoor getaway trip requires something available only in certain parts of the country, like the wild west coast of Oregon, Northern Ohio, and Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. Sand dune surfing and sledding also requires idyllic weather conditions, namely no wind, but is one of the most unique outdoor adventures you can have.

4. Fishing Trip

Salt or freshwater, lake, river, or ocean, on a boat, shoreline, or a pier; the exact kind of summer fishing trip you take is your call, but the end result will be the same — much needed outdoor family adventure this summer!

5. National and State Parks

Most National and State Parks offer a full compliment of outdoor adventures that are both family friendly and fun. You can hike, fish, camp, go birdwatching, peep wildlife, collect leaves for pressing, and come home with new memories from phenomenal family vacation trips. Whether you plan a visit to the Grand Canyon in Arizona or Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, spending time outdoors in a National Park is always one of the greatest ideas for vacationing in America.

6. Bike Riding

Do you like pedal power to feel the wind in your hair and get a workout while seeing the world on your own terms? Consider a rails to trails bike ride this summer! Nebraska offers the longest such repurposed stretch in America!

7. Swimming Pools

Maybe you've got one in the yard, but visiting new and exciting swimming pools is classic family friendly summertime fun. A staycation escape to a hotel with indoor or rooftop swimming pools will literally and figuratively make your a cooler parent in the wide eyes of your kids.

8. Road Trip

No list of family trip ideas could be considered complete with the suggestion to take a road trip. Whether you put the miles on your own car or rent an exciting new set of wheels, like a VW ID.4 that plugs in for power to save you money at the pump, taking a road trip and getting away from the routines and responsibilities at home is a family friendly way to recharge your batteries, bond over music by taking turns picking the songs on the playlist, munch on road trip snacks, and see the country together.

9. Beach Days

It's simple, sunny, and sandy, but sometimes all your family needs to reset after a tough school year is a low key beach day family adventure. Find a nearby lake or your closest ocean or sea, pack some towels, beach toys, an umbrella, sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water for a great family outdoor getaway trip.

Find more family friendly activities and outdoor adventures to do this summer!

Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle
Jeff is a dad of teen daughters, avid traveler, photographer, and freelance writer. He’s penned stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among other publications. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the publisher of the quarterly literary zine, Stanchion