The August ritual of visiting colleges contenders for your high school senior’s applications can be an enjoyable vacation for the whole family if you plan in some time for more than the expected campus tour. And your prospective students will get a better idea of what the whole experience could be as a student there.
Taking some extra time makes visits more relaxed for everyone, and by including younger siblings in the planning, they will feel like more than tag-alongs. Having other activities in mind gives the college-bound student a chance to explore more than just the campus.
What’s on campus?
Many colleges have museums or other attractions. Harvard, for example, has its collections of glass flowers, Native American life and minerals, all three a hit with younger kids. University of New Hampshire has its own dairy with an ice cream shop. Close to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst is a museum of childrens’ illustrators (especially the work of Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar). The whole family can rent kayaks or paddleboards at Dartmouth’s boathouse to play in the Connecticut River, and there are Egyptian mummies at University of Vermont, in Burlington.
What’s in the community?
Campus life isn’t everything, and time to explore the neighborhood or community gives a better idea of what living there is like. Are there cafes where students hang out? Stop in one. Have lunch or dinner in a favorite student restaurant. Are there shops within walking distance? Browse in some. A little exploring will give a better sense of the community and what it would be like to live there.
This is a good time to visit nearby places your student won’t have time for once school starts. Colleges in larger cities will be close to all manner of attractions; Boston University is next to the Fenway Park, where you can take a family-friendly Red Sox tour. But even those in smaller cities or rural settings will have places within reach. Jefferson’s home at Monticello is close to University of Virginia, for example. Do a little homework of your own before you go, and look at college websites for ideas. Other activities take the pressure off what can be a stressful experience for college-bound teens.
Exploring local life will give younger siblings a better sense of where their big brother or sister will be living. It can make their moving away less stressful to siblings because they are going someplace that’s become somewhat familiar.
Only the bravest of family travelers should venture to Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights. Every year, Universal Orlando turns into the spookiest place in Florida, if not in the country. On select nights throughout the season, visitors and locals alike can head to the popular amusement park for frights, scares and thrilling adventures. Explore 10 terrifying haunted houses; five scare zones; live entertainment; and themed attractions, food and merchandise.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
With kids back in school and the grueling temperatures of summer finally behind us, life is starting to get back into the routine of fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that family fun has to stop. Big international trips may not be practical for all family travelers this time of year, but places like South County in Rhode Island offer so many fun things to do for families, a quick trip to this East Coast haven is practically a must.
Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition
Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …