HCA Midwest Health
May 01, 2017

Choosing a vacation that excites the whole family can be very challenging. It’s even more ambitious to find a destination that offers activities that balance the fun with some adventure that gets everyone moving. Here are some ideas for active getaways that accommodate family members of varying ages and abilities — allowing them to participate fully while having the time of their lives!

Get Away to the Mountains 

A week at a cabin or resort in the mountains will provide plenty of active diversions for families. In addition to winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, in the summer families can soak in the natural beauty of the mountains while enjoying horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking. 

Travel to the Tropics

Beach destinations offer relaxation as well as picturesque backdrops for exercise with your family. The perfect setting for water activities such as snorkeling, sailing, wind-surfing and diving, many resorts also have kids-only activities such as crafts and games. Some lush destinations also feature zip-line tours, biking and extensive hiking trails. 

See the World by Bike

Want to explore a new landscape on two wheels? Check out bike tours for the family in the U.S. and abroad. Explore popular tourist destinations like Chicago, San Francisco and Manhattan by bike trail and see iconic sights like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty in a whole new way. Bike-friendly cities offer breathtaking scenic routes, convenient bike rentals, and a variety of trails so that you can choose the best distance and grade for your family. 

Sail Off into the Sunset

Most people think of cruise vacations as one long buffet with stops in exotic ports of call in between. But there are many cruises that offer activities customized for fitness-minded families — rock climbing, basketball, roller-skating, dance parties and even surfing on a wave simulator. And that’s just on the boat. Shore excursions allow you to explore sports like paddleboarding and snorkeling while checking out unique settings. 

Visit National and State Parks

The United States has 59 national parks and over 6,000 state parks. Visiting America’s parks is an interesting and affordable way to experience history through our country’s most iconic landmarks. 

Hike through glorious fall colors at the most visited of America’s parks, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Go horseback riding in Yellowstone and introduce the whole family to the legendary geyser Old Faithful. Or ride mules down rocky paths to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Explore amazing rock formations at Arches National Park in Utah.

Explore Your Community through a Staycation

Less time to travel or looking for a lower-cost alternative? Take a whole new look at your hometown by pretending to be a tourist. Use that money you’ll be saving in hotel and transportation costs by taking your vacation at home, and spend it actively exploring your own community. The Kansas City area has a wealth of museums, art studios, historical sites, outdoor markets, nature centers, local parks, gardens and sporting venues for your family to discover together. Many venues offer free or discounted admission. 

“As the weather improves, walking is a great way for families to be together and exercise together,” says Dr. Dan Gurley, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at College Park Family Care Center. “Even on vacation, walking can be a family activity. A stroll around town is a great way to see the city and get some exercise. Healthy habits can be continued on vacation at local parks where families can get outside to walk, bike and play.”

Families today are always on the go and schedules tend to get tight. When you vacation as a family, you won’t have work, appointments, school or sports practice to draw your focus away from each other. Sharing active and exciting adventures draws you closer as you relax and unwind. You may find that before your vacation’s over, you’re already planning the next one!