Anyone who follows me on Instagram is always asking “does your husband even work??” or commenting that “you guys are always doing such fun stuff!” Yes, he does work. And yes, we really try to do fun stuff. We also have one income now to support two adults, one baby, a dog, a mortgage, two car payments, etc. That means while we like to keep our days full, we also need to keep our pockets full by keeping our activities as cheap as possible. So we try to make the most of our day trips by working in a few different activities rather than driving 45 minutes to do one thing before heading home.
With all that said, one of our biggest challenges on these fun-filled days is maintaining our son’s schedule (which i live by religiously) while getting out and doing special things. My husband usually suggests some off-the-wall idea for the day and then I have to be the one to say, “okay... and when will he be getting his nap?” Unfortunately, us moms always end up being the ‘bad cops’. If you have a baby under six months, you probably don’t have to worry as much about when and where your child naps. For the rest of you, these trips can be possible if you leave after an early nap or have your babe sleep on the way. If the trip home is kind of long, stick around where you’re at and drive home at bedtime.
Here are just five of my favorite locations to visit and some must-do activities while you are there:
1. Long Beach
Long Beach is a great little city not far from LA. In fact, if you want to add a train ride to your day, you can take the metro from Union Station to downtown Long Beach in about an hour. This can be something fun in itself for your kiddos, especially those who love trains. Now once you get down there, the Aquarium of the Pacific is a must. I love all the different fish in the aquariums but also that you can pet the stingrays and see the penguins up close. Check out goldstar.com for discounted tickets if you enter the aquarium after 3pm. This deal is perfect because who really needs to spend more than a couple hours looking at fish anyways? Before or after the aquarium, definitely stop by the Queen Mary. I’ve never been on a cruise and most kids probably haven’t yet either, so they will love it. You can walk right in and explore around the huge 100-year-old ship. There are some tours that require paid admission, but for the most part it’s great to just walk around, check out the miniature models of different ships, and pretend like you’re at sea. Nearby the aquarium is a cute park with a Lighthouse and also a little harbor area with some more cool boats the kids might enjoy seeing. Of course you can’t leave without having a fabulous meal at Hooters… just kidding! There are some great little restaurants along the harbor. My favorite is Tequila Jack’s, known for their awesome Taco Tuesday deals. The kiddos will love the mini bean and cheese chimichangas and you’ll love the margaritas!