10 Bucket List Trips for Families

Bucket list. When I was younger I never really understood what this meant. I later learned it came from the term “kicked the bucket.” This is also known as, died. Bucket list essentially became a list of the things to do before you well, die. 

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I am very careful about what I put out in to the universe and I don’t really like this idea. I may very well be thinking to deep about this, but hey I figured I would express my thoughts and someone else may be thinking the same. If your out there leave a comment below and Validate me, lol.

What ever happen to just saying “to-do list.”

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I am not saying lets not call it a bucket list because it’s far too popular now, but I will reframe my bucket list as things to do before the end of this year, next year, and so on. I’m a little superstitious to say the least.

logo-white-small.pngIt’s even so popular that there’s a website, BucketList, where you can create goals for yourself, explore ideas for goals, and set dates to get these goals achieved. It’s a really easy sign up process. There are thousands of ideas on this site. I signed up and have 35 goals on My Bucketlist which includes the family fun trips I want to share with you.

I’ve been reading a lot of family magazines and have come across some great ideas for family fun trips. I plan to do most of them within the next 18 months.

I feel its important that I list them, share them, and then allow things to manifest. Ofcourse,  I hope this gives you some ideas for family fun as well.

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Myself nor my family are new to beaches, theme parks, or water parks so in considering family fun short and long trips I’m exploring other options that include factory tours of American products and brands, cruise vacations, and the outdoors.

I read an article titled, “8 Great Tours for Families” by Brandy Centolanza“in the RFM August 2016 edition that got me thinking more about factory tours. She starts the article sharing how factory tours are, ” a natural fit for families who want to have a more active sight-seeing experience, or families who prefer a city vacation. Along the way, kids are learning and having fun.”

The most important part of the read for me was “kids are learning and having fun.” I want to ensure that our family trips are meaningful and unforgettable. From the list 0f 8 tours, I chose 6 to start off our family fun bucket list. What extends the list thereafter are events that I have come across by word of mouth, googling, and social media.

  1. Crayola Experience &
  2. Hershey’s Chocolate World– While these two factories are not connected, they are in the same state. Hershey’s Chocolate World is in Hershey, Pennsylvania, about 4 hours from here in Richmond, VA and the Crayola Experience is in Easton, Pennsylvania, about 1 hour from Hershey’s Chocolate World. My idea is to have a weekend getaway. We would start off by driving to Hershey, because road trips are the best. We would arrive there, check in to a local hotel, and head to the factory. I would like to go in February. If we do not go by February  and end up going in the spring or summer then I would add Hershey Park to this excursion as well. Following the tour we would stay overnight and head out the next morning to the Crayola Experience. In thinking about cost, the expenses would be gas, hotel stay, dining, and souveniers. The Crayola Experience admission cost is $16.99 and Hershey’s Chocolate World is FREE. I love FREE. The aformentioned article shares highlights and what to expect at each of these factories. For more information visit, www.crayolaexperience.com and www.hersheyschocolateworld.com.
  3. Community Idea Stations-This just happens to be local, which is perfect. All this time I did not know that there was a 23 Sesame Street right here in Richmond, VA. This is only 25 minutes from our home and it is free. My daughters watch PBS often and would love this. You have to call to schedule a tour which I already did, but was told to call back Monday as the coordinator was out. This is something I foresee us doing in the the upcoming weeks. We will have the opportunity to get an inside view of the digital operations, radio studios, and hopefully see someone famous! For more information visit, www.ideastations.org.
  4. Route 11 Potato Chip Factory– We love our Crispy Kale Chips, but I found it interesting that this too is located right here in Virginia. The Route 11 chip factory is in Mount Jackson, Virginia which is 2 hours away from our home. This would be a day trip that would start off early in the morning. Tours are self-guided and admission is FREE. If you call ahead you can find out the optimal frying times. We will be able to observe the chip making process through windows on two levels. I think the girls will love being able to see how potato chips are actually made and then getting samples as well. For more information visit, www.rt11.com.
  5. Pez Visitor Center-Pez is one of those candy dispensers that my mother always brings along when coming to see my daughters. I figure my oldest daughter will get a kick out of visiting the Pez factory. It is apparently off I-95 in Orange, Connecticut. This would be an overnight trip. It is exactly 7 hours and 30 minutes away from our home, RVA. The good news is we actually have family in Connecticut. I am thinking about making this a weekend trip where we do some family visiting and then off to the Pez Center. We also have family in New York so this could be a pit stop before an after. The admission rates are affordable, $5 for adults and $4 for children. The tour here is self-guided. I think the kids would love seeing the world’s largest Pez Dispenser. I will also research what other happenings Orange, Connecticut has to offer. For more information visit, www.pez.com
  6. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory-Ben & Jerry’s is located in Waterbury, Vermont which is 11 hours away from RVA. The tour for this factory is only a half hour. During the tour you learn about the ice cream manufacturing process and also get to try free samples. Considering the short tour time and comparing it to the very long travel time (if driving) I realized that this factory visit would have to be part of an even bigger trip. I have never been to Vermont, but researched the top 10 things to do in Waterbury, VT and learned that they also have a glass blowing studio, winery, state parks and a few other things. We might have to fly for this one! For more information visit, www.benjerry.com.
  7. A Dolphin Cruise aboard the Rudee Flipper-Right her in Virginia, Virginia Beach to be more specific, they have Rudee Tours. Rudee Tours provides boats that take people on cruises to fish, watch the sunset, and view dolphins and whales. Almost daily, they offer Dolphin Watching tours. The tours are 90 minutes. The admission cost is affordable. Adults: $21.00, Children 11 and under: $16.00, and Children 3 and under: Free. Parking is free. Virginia Beach is only about 90 minutes from RVA. This would definitely be a day trip for us if we go this fall or a weekend getaway if we choose to go during the summer. I plan on doing this one sooner than later. For more information visit, www.rudeetours.com

  8. Disney Cruise Line-I have never been on a cruise nor have my children. I would love for my first time to be with my family. Disney Cruise Line has many different options for destinations, but they also have “specialty cruises” where you can embark on themed voyages that are immersive, festive and fun for the entire family. I love the idea of their “Very Merrytime Cruises.” We already are very nontraditional, so starting a new tradition for the holiday season would be epic for us. For more information visit, disneycruise.disney.go.com.
  9. Shenandoah National Park– As you know the Shenandoah National Park also encompasses the Blue Ridge mountain and is alongside the Shenandoah River and Valley. Here is where we can converse with nature. At the national park you can lodge in a cabin and participate in many nature activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and more. We would probably pick a time of year like fall where its not too hot and not too cold so we can really enjoy ourselves as we embark on what mother nature has to offer. Shenandoah National Park is about 75 miles west of Washington D.C. so that makes it only 3 hours from RVA. For more information visit, www.shenandoah.com.
  10. Pick Your Own Farm visits- My children and I have experienced apple picking, Blueberry Picking: A Handful of Health, and Strawberry Picking with Friends. A great day or weekend trip for us would be to visit different farms in our surrounding area and pick peaches, raspberries, honey from hives, and more. I would love for us to start early in the morning, after strategically planning out what farms to visit, and go to at least 3. There are dozens of “U-Pick” farms here in Virginia. For more information visit, www.pickyourown.org.

That concludes my 10 Bucket list trip for families. What do you have on yours? What are some great family trips that you have been on? Where else do you recommend we go, do, or explore?

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