It is almost the end of summer but there are still some spots you can visit that are not only fun and educational but help your child prepare for back to school. Check out this list of some of the top fun and educational places to visit.
Theme parks— a place of entertainment that has food, rides and attractions. These are great places to take kids as an end of the summer fun day. If you want to throw in some educational value to the fun, there are places that use rides and other attractions for the purpose of education. These theme parks include Dinosaur World, Busch Gardens, Sea World and Holy Land USA. Closer to home, Playland at the PNE is a big summer attraction in Vancouver.
What kid doesn’t love a day at the zoo? The zoo is not only fun but kids can learn about how various animals live. They can observe zoo animals in their natural habitats. Zoos usually have separate areas for different species such as mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. Animal shows are always exciting, and also educational—zookeepers provide information on animal habitats, their favourite foods, and typical characteristics. Watch out for 2-for-1 and other promotions to stretch your dollars. I also suggest bringing your own snacks, since eating out can take up a big chunk of the zoo budget.
Aquariums are places to showcase and house fish, amphibians, turtles, invertebrates, marine mammals and aquatic plants. Aquariums often have mid-day feedings, which are enjoyable to watch, along with regular shows where the animals get to show off a bit. The Vancouver Aquarium has special nights throughout the summer (and rest of the year) to focus on specific animals and programs—these make it exciting to return to visit again over and over again.
Children museums are designed to showcase exhibits and other programs that stimulate learning for kids. Most museums of this type feature interactive exhibits. The first children’s museum in the United States was the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Other popular museums include Boston’s Children Museum, Chicago children’s Museum, Children’s Discovery Zone in Nebraska and The Children’s Museum of Denver. There are some museums that specialize in certain areas. For instance, the Arizona Museum for Youth focuses located in Mesa was opened in 1980 and is the only museum for kids that focus on fine art. I loved going to children’s museums as a child—I found them more interesting than ones where I was only allowed to look at things behind glass. The interactivity involved in children’s museums makes the lessons learnt stick more easily.