Dreaming of Finding Great Parks When We Travel

When my husband and I traveled before we had kids, we dreamed of finding the great pastry shop tucked in a corner on a quiet little street.  We dreamed of a great wine bar in the middle of the bustling city.  We dreamed of a quiet afternoon at an art museum.  Having kids hasn’t stopped us from dreaming of and finding these things but we have also added parks and nature walks to our itinerary.  Every time one of our kids spots a playground or a city park, they shout out loud with glee.  Our travel itinerary often looks the same with each trip.  We love to get an early start and spend the morning at the place of our choosing whether it be an aquarium, manor home, a museum, a factory tour, etc. with the kids while they are in a happy mood.  I am not going to lie-you will often hear me bribing my children with a visit to a “cool new park” to get us through the rest of the exhibit.   Then we eat lunch and head for a park.  Many times we go to the park and have a picnic.  The kids love the picnic and I love saving the money that we would have spent on a restaurant!  It also helps us avoid the stress of making sure our children behave in a restaurant.  The kids love to check out the new parks and are so funny when they compare them to the parks we have at home. 

Finding a park to head to is a great way to have your kids let off some steam and explore other parts of the cities you visit.  On this road trip, we are in Virginia Beach dropping my sister off in her new house.  We had to get the kids out of the house (four under the age of 7) so that she could get some unpacking done.  I did a little Internet search for city parks and recreation and found Mount Trashmore, an awesomely huge city park that was created by compacting layers of solid waste and clean soil.  The kids loved hiking up the hill and rolling down the hill.

  trashmore (Small)

How can you find parks when you travel?  We found Mt. Trashmore listed on both Trekaroo and Visit Virginia.  Debbie, at Delicious Baby, has a great way of finding playgrounds when she travels by using Google Satellite.

Head over to Mother of All Trips to see what everyone else is dreaming of!


  1. 1

    This is a great post; I am in total concurrence both philosophically and practically. I would add to it that even rest areas can be park-like – we found several in Iowa with playgrounds that were lifesaver during a long day of driving

  2. 2

    That is oh so true, Mara! We often picnic and stretch our legs at rest stops. Even if there isn’t a park in the rest area like the great ones you found, there are plenty of ways to entertain…Simon Says anyone?!?!

  3. 3

    Its true that new parks have so much entertainment value, even when some of the structures start to look the same! Thanks for reminding me what a lifesaver a discovered park can be on a road trip.


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