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Kids learn traditional Caymanian crafts at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman’s Ambassadors of the Environment program.

Kids learn traditional Caymanian crafts at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman’s Ambassadors of the Environment program.

You don’t want your kids to experience summer brain drain once school is out, but a summer full of classes and homework is literally no picnic. Find balance with vacations that sneak a little learning in with some fun.

Outfitters The Sierra Club offers outdoorsy vacations all over the world for families who want to explore a new ecosystem or give their time to restore a trail. Bonus: There are options for most any budget.

The expert guides at the Hole Hiking Experience in Jackson Hole, Wyoming offer family-friendly learning excursions for groups of any ability. The Wings and Walk tour starts at Teton Raptor Center, then moves outdoors to explore area wildlife and ecology. In fall, an Elk Bugling and Wildlife tour gives you an up-close look at elk and bears as they prepare for mating and winter.

Resorts Who says a beach vacay has to be all about vegging out on the sand? The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman’s Ambassadors of the Environment program developed by Jean-Michel Cousteau (Jacques’ son) offers more than 50 workshops and excursions for ages 4 and up that transform the Caribbean island into a living classroom. Guests can partake in experiences such as the Blue Iguana Recovery Program, where they feed and track free-roaming iguanas, night snorkel in coral reefs and learn about nature photography.

Dolphin Cay at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas is a marine habitat and rescue/rehabilitation facility where you can partake in a Trainer for a Day program, experience a side-by-side deep water swim with dolphins or go behind the scenes to learn about conservation at the Dolphin Cay Education Center.

Museums Kids won’t roll their eyes at the suggestion of museum visits when the focus is on a hobby they’re into. The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix houses 200,000 square feet of rhythmic fun in the from of hundreds of instruments from around the world, wireless hot spots providing loops of streamed music as you enter particular areas, artifacts such as Eric Clapton’s guitars and John Lennon’s piano, and interactive experiences that give you a chance to play instruments yourself.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York will hit it out of the park for any Little Leaguer. Highlights include nearly 40,000 artifacts, three million books and 500,000 photographs and Doubleday Field,  a 9,000-seat, old-timey stadium used primarily for amateur league games.

Tagged: Family time

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Judy Sutton Taylor

Judy Sutton Taylor

Judy is a journalist, travel lover and mom in Chicago. Find her on Twitter at @jsuttontaylor.
Judy Sutton Taylor

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