When the school year is over, the kids breathe a sigh of relief and excitement mounts for the months ahead. For parents, it means a break from the daily school year routine and more time to spend with the kids. Each year, as summer approaches, our family talks about plans and ideas for summer fun and adventure, with the ultimate goal of making the most of our time together.

Although our family always enjoys talking about potential international trips, we also realize there’s plenty to see much closer to home. The great thing about a staycation is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time nor money to get to places that feel far from the city. I’ve teamed up with Coleman Canada as a “Get Outside Master” to offer some ideas to help you become a staycation master too!

Canada has some of the most beautiful parks (regional, provincial and national) in the world. It’s time to show those spaces some love, one day at a time. By doing day trips, you and your family will see more places in a given amount of time. Each park has its own unique features and activities. With a little research, you will discover which parks are best suited for your family’s needs. As our kids get older, we look for more physical activities, like watersports and hiking – stuff that we can do as a family.

For our first outing, we decided on Golden Ears Provincial Park, only an hour’s drive away from Vancouver. Before heading out, we made sure to stock up on food and drinks for our day trip. We chose to have lunch at the park before exploring, so we brought the Coleman 62 Quart Wheeled Xtreme Cooler, Coleman Matchlit Stove and the Coleman 10×10 Shelter to keep cool.

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Having the right gear makes for an easy set up. Even though there were no shaded picnic tables available, we used our shelter to make our own shaded oasis. After preparing and sharing a simple meal, the kids took a dip in the lake and the grown-ups chilled in the shade while enjoying the gorgeous mountain backdrop on the lake.

Later in the afternoon, we decided to take in a nature trail before heading home. We walked amongst the tall trees and lush mossy floor. It seemed like we had the entire forest to ourselves. What a wonderful way to end the day. We drove home a little tired, but with full hearts.

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In the next few months I’ll be sharing more staycation tips and ideas as a “Get Outside Master” at http://getoutsidecanada.com/staycation-with-dan-lum/. Click the link to read more details on how we prepared and geared up for our day trip! #GetOutside

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