Friday, June 10, 2016

Ten Trips ~ Summer To Do List

We have a family membership to the NC Zoo and to Discovery Place. Both memberships have reciprocity with a large network of other zoos, aquariums, and museums throughout the country. I compared the two lists and wrote down names of cities that appeared on both memberships, as well as places that would make great day trips. Most places are 1-2.5 hours away, with the exception of the two beaches. Wilmington is 3.5 hours away and Norfolk is five hours away. Most of the places will be day trips, but some will be overnight excursions. Here is our proposed list of summer trips, with the intentions of picking one place per week:

Greensboro, NC--Greensboro Science Center, parks, splash pad ($71 value)

Durham, NC--Museum of Life and Science ($88 value)

Greenville/Spartanburg, SC--Roper Mountain Science Center, Greenville Zoo, Hub City Railroad Museum ($44 +$41 =$85 value)

Troutman, NC--Zootastic (only free on Teacher Appreciation Day), Lake Norman State Park ($67 value)

Asheville, NC--WNC Nature Center, Arboretum, Looking Glass Falls ($49 + $12 = $61 value)

High Country, NC--Linville Falls, Grandfather Mountain

Wilmington, NC--Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach, Cape Fear Museum ($70 + $16 = $86 value)

Raleigh, NC--Marbles Museum, NC Museum of Natural Sciences ($30 value)

Asheboro, NC--NC Zoo ($47 value)

Norfolk, VA--Virginia Zoo, Nauticus and Wisconsin Battleship, Virginia Air and Space Museum (Hampton), Children's Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth, Virginia Living Museum (Newport News) ($77 + $43 + $94 +$62 + $55 = $331 value)

With the exception of Grandfather Mountain, every other place on our list will be 100% free. Without memberships, our family of six would have to pay over $750 for admission to these museums and zoos! I've mastered packing lunches for picnics, so I don't anticipate eating out much. We still have several gift cards to restaurants that we will use before we spend any cash. Our only expense should be gas and occasional lodging and meals for the overnight trips. I'm excited to take the kids to the mountains, ocean, and lake, and bay. They should have a grand time exploring waterfalls, aquariums, zoos, parks, ships, trains, spacecraft, hiking trails, dinosaurs, tree houses, gardens, and more.