We all get the urge to get out of town and see something new, but vacations and long distance travel often require a ton of planning, money, and time that most of us just don’t have year-round. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t load up the car and head out into the world for an adventurous day trip when the mood strikes.

Weekends are made for relaxing, socializing, and exploring the unknown. Here are our 5 best tips for having a killer time outdoors this weekend without breaking the bank (or using any vacation days).

Take a Museum Tour

No, we don’t mean that your family should tour one museum—we mean take a tour of all the museums in your area and beyond! No matter where you live, there are likely dozens of museums dedicated to preserving art, history, science, nature, or something niche and wonderful.
With a quick internet search, you are likely to find a whole host of interesting museums to choose from, so why not let each member of your family pick a museum that interests them and make a whole day of touring unique and interesting things that you may not have taken the time to see before.

Take a Hike

There is absolutely nothing that can compare to breathing in crisp, clean air while getting out into nature and exploring all that your fair state has to offer. After a week behind the desk, both you and your kids will be thrilled to stretch their legs, test their skills, and get walking.
Families who hike together display not only positive exercise examples to children, but also hiking alternate types of terrain can help keep your family heart-healthy. Hiking is one of the best ways to fit in a killer cardio workout, even if you’re taking it easy. Hiking is also a terrific mood booster, so everyone in your family will likely return from your hike full of positive energy.

Find a Lake

Every state has lakes, whether they are man-made or natural. If you and your family haven’t seen or touched some fresh water in a while, it’s time to pack a picnic, jump in the car, and find a lake. Lakes are great for exploring nature, fishing, swimming, and of course, some amazing photography opportunities.

If your state’s nearest lake is far, why not find an adjacent camp site and make a whole weekend of enjoying the natural beauty? You won’t regret the time spent appreciating and getting back to nature with your family.

Take a Historical Tour

The United States is absolutely brimming with history, and you would be hard-pressed not to find a historical tour or reenactment nearby, whatever state you live in. Civil War battlefield tours, historic Western battles and shootouts, and Native American history and cultural tours and demonstrations are just some of the common historical and educational tours that your family can enjoy.

Getting to know the history of your state and your country is always a good time, and professional tour guides, reenactors, and event coordinators are loaded with tons of historic information to keep the whole family engaged and entertained.

Brave a Wildlife Tour

There is nothing more family-friendly than animals, so why not share your state’s unique animal reserves, biospheres, wildlife refuges, and sanctuaries with your family? You might be surprised just how many wildlife features your state has once you start your search!

From monkeys to elephants to bats, the United States has locations and pockets of land that are dedicated to keeping animals and preserving local flora and fauna. Why not skip the same old trip to the zoo this weekend and head off to see animals in their natural (and sometimes unnatural) environments?

Not only will your family learn a lot about these animals, but your visit will help ensure that these animals are cared for and remain happy and healthy for years to come.