Tackle It Tuesday – Surviving a Family Day Trip

Tackle It Tuesday

Lolli here…My family lives near Washington DC, so we often take day trips down to the Capitol, despite the fact that I know that sight seeing is a challenge with a bunch of kids in tow.

This past weekend, however, I decided to branch out beyond Washington DC and introduce my kids to the wonders of New York City. I have had the chance to take the train from Maryland to New York several times, and I adore the city. I figured that the train ride would be an adventure by itself for my kids (who usually only travel by car or metro), and the day in New York would be the icing on the cake.

On the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty

Tips to make a family day trip more enjoyable

After 14 years of taking my big family on day trips (between Pennsylvania and Virginia), I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to make the most out of the day.

Plan, plan, plan. Map out a route. Know where you want to go and how long each activity will take. Definitely check ahead to make sure everything is open and double check closing times. There’s nothing quite as disappointing as arriving at a location just to find out that they are closed for the season…or that they just closed 30 minutes ago.

We didn't anticipate all of the lines and almost missed seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Pack plenty of snacks and water. Packing a lunch can be a huge money-saver, but even if I plan on eating out, I have found that a bag of snacks can be a life-saver. A bag of twizzlers or a few fruit snacks can calm a kid who has had “enough” and a little snack helps to pass the time while waiting in a long line.

Schedule wisely. I’ve found that it’s usually best to schedule the most active things when the kids are the most fresh and energetic….either in the morning or right after they’ve eaten a good lunch.

Schedule some down-time, too. I try to remember that as much as my feet hurt when I’m walking all over town, my kids are going to feel 10 times worse. Or else they’re just less likely to hide their fatigue and soreness. Spending some time at a park where they can run around care-free or lay down on a picnic blanket, or scheduling a movie where they can relax in the dark can give kids a boost to keep going. Sometimes a train or metro ride is just what the doctor ordered.

Dress everyone in bright colors. I can’t tell you how many times my son’s red baseball cap or my daughter’s bright blue jacket have come in handy for keeping track of my brood.

Remember that your kids might not love everything you think is cool. Sometimes there will be duds. Just chalk those experiences up to learning, and get a feel for those activities that your kids enjoy the most.

Not everyone was thrilled with the Statue of Liberty


What are your best tips for tackling a family day trip?

Calling All Tacklers!

We’re looking for YOU – guest bloggers to post about your own tackles right here. If you are interested in showing off your tackles (we all need some tips and ideas!) then send a quick email to lolli.5m4m at gmail (link in the About Lolli section at the bottom of the post). Thanks for your inspiring tackles!!

Mom Bloggers — what are you tackling this week?

Link up your Tackle it Tuesday post…

Tell us what you’re up to with all your other tackles… housework and otherwise… add your link to your tackle in the Linky below!

We are Tackling Our To-Do Lists Together and making housework bloggable — Each week on Tuesday, we are posting before and after pictures of a project or trouble area that we tackled this week.

Find out more about how Tackle It Tuesday began.
The project can be little or big – whatever you want.

Basically, Tackle It Tuesday is about giving ourselves incentive, deadlines and satisfaction in tackling all our tasks — whether household or otherwise.

If you tackled a project this week, just add a comment and add your link below.

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom managing editor, Lolli. You can find me blogging at Better in Bulk and tweeting at @1momof5.


  1. says

    I agree with packing snacks! No matter where we go, it is infinitely easier to calm down whiny kids by pulling a snack out of my bag than it is to have to hunt down a snack bar/convenience store/whatever to buy something for them.

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