Some fun ideas for one-day family trips include whitewater rafting or canoeing, visiting a historical reenactment site, a day at a ski resort, exploring the downtown of a nearby large city, or a theme day trip centered around a special hobby, interest or even book. Other options include science centers, nature preserves and amusement parks.
Great family trips hold the interest of all family members so it is a good idea to work together to choose a location. A good way to start is to draw a circle on a map to show the reasonable area for a day trip and then start exploring the options. Fun trips often involve new places or seeing old places in a new way. For example, hiking and picnicking at a never-before-visited nature preserve or exploring a city previously visited in a different season.
When choosing a location, it is important to take into consideration the age of each family member. If long car rides are a problem, public transportation is an option. Taking a train or bus adds a new dimension to a day trip. Eclectic transportation options, such as a steam train or a riverboat, become a focal point of the trip.