Ahhhh… family road trip! In my head when I say that I imagine a fun-filled adventure. In reality, it’s all fun until someone pokes someone with a pencil!
There are usually 75 bathroom stops involved and the doling out of 55 snacks every 5 minutes. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit.
Let’s be real though, road trips are not all hunky dory when you have little kids. They can be downright hard! I had a few tricks up my sleeve for our road trip to Pennsylvania.
I did my homework before the trip and threw in some surprises to help pass the time. I plugged in the destination in my GPS and calculated how long it was going to take us. The result 6-7 hours! Oh boy, that’s a long time in a car with two 5-year-olds.
Before we left I made a stop at my local dollar store. I grabbed enough items to be able to give them something new to do every 30 minutes of the trip. I figured I would only get about 30 minutes of attention span at this age before they get bored. I picked up things like sticker activity books, small puzzles, coloring books and crayons, and little toys. Obviously, you would gear these choices based on the age of your children. I kept everything a surprise and gave them something new to do about every 30 minutes.
Another trick I had was that I also bought party horns at the dollar store. Every time we crossed into a new state we blew the horns and had a party! Warning: the horns can get pretty annoying so only give them during the new state celebration and then take them away to save your sanity.
Another one of my kids’ favorite things was this homemade slime.
These things helped pass the time along with some snacks. We had a pretty smooth ride! Some families could do this drive straight through with only a few bathroom stops. I, on the other hand, knew my family could not. So I figured out where a halfway stopping point would be and searched google for “family activities.”
I found the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Connecticut. Looking through their website, this seemed like a good place to stop for a few hours and also have some lunch.
Admission prices are $22.95 for adults and $15.95 for children. That price includes an IMAX movie which we did not take part in because that would involve more sitting and I wanted the kids to walk around and get some energy out!
The kids loved it here. They have a cute little touch tank.
They have all kinds of exhibits with all kinds of fish.
If sharks are your thing, they have those. (Not my thing!)
Adorable seals swimming all around.
There is an amazing floor to ceiling jellyfish chamber.
This is my favorite picture of the day!
Of course, we have to get the sillies out.
The Maritime Aquarium has lots of other neat exhibits. We spent about 2-3 hours there, but you could very easily see more and spend more time. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and jumped back on the road. Hershey, here we come! Again. HaHa…
A few hours later, we were so excited to see the Hershey signs!
We did not stay at the Hershey Hotel due to budget constraints but that is on our bucket list for next time. We checked into our hotel. Guess what was the first thing the kids wanted to do? Go swimming in the pool of course!