Top Kosher Summer Vacation Ideas (that aren't the Catskills)
Summer vacation is upon us, which means it's time to rack your brain for fun ideas to keep everyone in your family happy and busy.
As avid travelers, kosher keepers, and parents of two young children, we are always thinking of ideas of things to do. Standard summer vacations include the upstate New York area, as well as day trips to local farms and petting zoos. While those options are tried and true, we’ve compiled a few ideas for some summer vacation alternatives.
This list is just a taste and in no way comprehensive, but we hope it gets you thinking of new and exciting things to do, see, and enjoy for Summer 2018!
Wherever you live, there’s a good chance you haven’t had the opportunity to explore all of the activities on offer. Try a site like mommypoppins.com to discover fun activities that are local to your area, or take a drive to a local hotel or motel and pick up some of the brochures that are there for tourists exploring the area. (If you don’t have any in your area, try Tripadvisor). You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that your own hometown has lots to discover.
Your local library is also a great resource to research things to do in your area as well as find out about local programming that might be interesting to you and your family. Many museums offer free or reduced cost admission on certain days of the week so you can explore and learn for free.
The Zagat Review
If you live in an area with lots of kosher options, you can make dining out a super fun family experience or a great way to do date night. Let every member of your family choose one restaurant that they want to try. Order the same or similar dishes from each restaurant and give each a rating. It’s a great way to get your kids to try new foods, have a family bonding experience, and go out as a family.
Not many kosher restaurants in your area? Consider teaming up with a few other families or couples and host a competition. Each family or couple hosts a night and makes a meal for everyone. You can use a theme like “cuisines of the world” (back when we were first married, we did this with friends), or do a whole meal of just desserts or appetizers and let everyone vote on their favorite. It’s a great way to socialize, and a fun activity that kids will love.
Fly on a Whim
If you’ve ever just wanted to hop on a plane and go someplace different, this option is for you. Find the cheapest domestic airfares (check Google.com/Flights to start), then hop on a plane and get exploring.
11 of our favorite North American destinations:
- Philadelphia, PA – The city of brotherly love has several kosher options and so much to do for kids and adults alike. One of my favorites.
- Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix is pretty hot in the summer, but does offer several kosher options and lots of family friendly activities.
- Los Angeles, CA – Home to a plethora of kosher options, L.A. has a lot to offer. It will be hot, but if you can handle the heat, definitely worth looking into.
- New Orleans, LA – In search of an alternative winter vacation, we headed down to NOLA this past January. We had a ball and highly recommend as a family friendly and fun destination, that has a surprising amount of kosher options.
- Denver, CO – A great hub for adventure travelers, and with several kosher options now available, Denver is another great location to consider.
- Charleston, S.C. – Full of southern charm and hospitality, Charleston was another great trip we took with our kids on the cheap. While the kosher options are limited, they managed to keep us satisfied for the week we were there.
- Washington, D.C.– Our nation’s capital is a really great place to get away. Growing up, my family took many vacations to D.C. Today, there are a growing number of kosher options with so many things to see and do in and around the city.
- Chicago, IL – Chi-town has lots of great places and architecture to explore, and with a large Jewish community, they have many kosher options to keep your bellies full.
- Boston, MA – While very cold in the wintertime, summer in Boston is beautiful. Explore old New England, American history, architecture, and the Boston Harbor. If you have time, take a day (or two) trip to Newport, RI (less than 90 minutes away).
- Niagara Falls, ON, Canada – Fly into Buffalo or drive to the US/Canada border. The Canadian side of the falls is truly beautiful and filled with lots to do for tourists. Kosher options exist only during the warm months, but there’s still stuff to do in the area during off-peak times. (Passport required)
- Montréal, QC, Canada – Montréal in the winter is dreadful, but in the summer it’s beautiful. It feels like you’re in Europe, but it's only an hour+ flight from most cities in the Northeast. The large Jewish population ensures that the city has many kosher restaurants—and many good ones at that. Explore the history and the culture up north (including their annual comedy festival every summer, Just for Laughs), in a place that truly makes you feel like you’ve flown overseas.
These are just a handful of destinations that would make a great summer vacation alternative. There are many more just waiting to be explored.
This list is just a taste of all the ideas out there to have a wonderful vacation that’s slightly out of the box. Are you ready to explore? For more great kosher travel tips, ideas, and restaurant recommendations on YeahThatsKosher.com.