It’s the morning of yet another road trip for some of the Campanellis. Jack, grandma and I are heading toward the Ottawa area to visit family and explore.
Road tripping with kids who don’t like the car (my year and a half old is just such the case) can be a nightmare. For some peculiar reason, Jack is one of the few kids who won’t sleep in the car — even if you time your departure around his nap time — and this can make four hour trips feel that much longer. I do feel bad for kids — all they want to do is play and explore and they’re strapped down into a chair. Jack is still rear-facing (for safety) so his view isn’t that great either. Over the past year or so, I’ve tried everything: giving him his bottle and prepping him for nap and then putting him “down” in the car instead of his crib; constant stimulation with new books and toys; snacks, snacks and more snacks. Nothing really works.
Now that we’re in the stage where he understands screen time, it’s sort of saved us (I am hoping our pediatrician doesn’t read this lol). Grandma bought a small screen for the head rest and then I went to Walmart and basically cleared out their $5 DVD bins (they have everything from Barney & Friends, ScoobyDoo and Dora The Explorer to Bubble Guppies, Disney movies and Curious GEorge, I found them all). Playing various programs helps to pass some of the time and break up the monotony.
We also always try to leave on days when we have nothing planned after the arrival. That way, we can make random pit stops and break up the drive when needed.
We use these pit stops as a fun time to explore our local region.
When time permits, I love checking out smaller city fairs and attractions. One of my favorites in the southern Ontario area is Jungle Cat World. I’ve been going there for years: it’s a small town cat rescue area that’s very intimate and kids love it (1:30pm) is feeding time and all of the animals come out to explore/play. We also love to plan a stop at the Big Apple, which is rightfully called “more than just a pit stop.” From free kids’ activities to mini golf, this place really offers a lot to break up the drive. The food isn’t the best but it’s such a cute, family-friendly stop.
Writing about the fun we have actually makes it easier to brace myself for the trip. I’m getting more and more excited to leave just to see what new places we will discover.
Off to go finalize packing…