Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ten Trips Update

At the beginning of the summer I made a summer bucket list with ten trips I wanted to take. Due to extreme heat, potty training, and unexpected wisdom teeth removal, we only completed eight items on my list. Here's a recap of our summer adventures:

Greensboro, NC--Greensboro Science Center, parks, splash pad ($71 value)
Visited on June 8 on June 8. 

Troutman, NC--Zootastic (only free on Teacher Appreciation Day-$67 value)
 Visited on June 16.

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) ($331 value)
Visited on June 19-21 This was hands down the best trip of the summer!

Asheville, NC--WNC Nature Center, Arboretum, Looking Glass Falls ($61 value)
Visited June 29-30   Instead of Looking Glass Falls, we went to DuPont Forest to Hooker Falls. We also went to Mount Mitchell and some extra hiking along the Parkway.

High Country, NC--Linville Falls, Grandfather Mountain
Visited on July 29 We added a stop to Linville Caverns as well.

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

Durham, NC--Museum of Life and Science ($88 value)
Combined trip on August 5

Wilmington, NC--Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach, Cape Fear Museum ($86 value)
Visited on August 12

The following two trips did not make the cut, but will hopefully become fall day trips since they are both less than two hours away.

Asheboro, NC--NC Zoo ($47 value)

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

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I included the cost of admission because I am amazed at how far we've stretched our Discovery Place membership this summer alone. We also visited the local Discovery Place museums a handful of times. Each visit would have cost our family $60-$86. Our annual family membership cost $140, though we saved over $1,000 in various museum admissions this summer. Moral of the story, take advantage of museum reciprocity!

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Here's a quick list of things our family experienced this summer:

  • Stood inches away from giraffes, tigers, panda bears, zebras, cows
  • Saw real dinosaur fossils, replicas of dinosaur skeletons, and animatronic dinosaurs that spit and roared at us.
  • Hiked multiple trails of varying difficulty
  • Swam/jumped in the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, Lake Norman, streams
  • Hiked to three different waterfalls
  • Went inside a real cave, experienced total darkness
  • Walked across the Mile High Swinging Bridge multiple times
  • Stood at the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi
  • Toured inside a battleship
  • Visited multiple aquariums and touch tanks, pet a shark
  • Geocached at the arboretum
  • Explored excellent children's museums in multiple cities/states
  • Climbed through a maze of tree houses
  • Attended a minor league baseball game
  • Rode a train and toured NC Transportation Museum (free day!)
  • Dressed like cows for Chick-Fil-A day
  • Saw a movie at the theater
The summer went by incredibly fast, but we certainly made the most of our time! Ready or not, it's time to begin another set of adventures.

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