You’ve heard of a honeymoon and a babymoon, but what about a kindermoon? A kindermoon is the latest trend in travel, where a family takes a special vacation just before one of their children starts kindergarten. Yes, this idea probably first came about as a brilliant marketing stunt by the travel industry, but if your first reaction is to resist the concept of adding one more thing to your growing list of “things a ‘good’ parent must do,” don’t be too quick to write this trend off. There’s something to be said for pressing pause. Here’s why a kindermoon might be the next best thing for your family.
It’s practical. If you’ve ever tried to plan a family vacation with school-age children, you already know that it can be a logistics nightmare. A kindermoon takes advantage of that magical window before your choices are bound by a school calendar.
It’s a good time to freeze time. Ferris Bueller might’ve been on to something when he famously said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Parents are keenly aware of the fast pace of parenting, especially once they start kindergarten. Baton Rouge mom Rachael Goff says, “It was a conscious decision to take our daughter on a kindermoon as a sort of ‘pump the brakes’ moment. We realized that things were about to get crazy with school starting, and we wanted to take the time to slow down before things sped up.”
It’s okay to be indulgent. As parents, we often walk the line between trying to give our children everything they need in life and trying not to be overindulgent. But sometimes, it’s okay to indulge. What better time to see the world through your child’s eyes than at this milestone moment, when he crosses over to being a “big kid?” It’s okay to celebrate and relish these times that pass by in the blink of an eye.
It’s about making memories. It doesn’t matter how extravagant or how simple your kindermoon is. The gift is in the experience itself. What’s important is making memories and creating new family traditions.
Where To Go
When choosing what to do for a kindermoon, consider your child’s unique interests. For families with multiple children, this becomes an adventure for the whole family as siblings learn the selfless act of celebrating one another. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Disney World. Let’s state the obvious one first. The folks at Magic Kingdom probably invented the kindermoon, so it goes without saying, if you have a pre-kindergarten age child, your little pirate or princess will not be disappointed at the Mouse’s House. This is the perfect age to take your child to Disney because he will finally be old enough to remember, but not too old to still enjoy the kiddie rides.
- Theme Parks. Whether your little one is into adventure rides, Legos, or water parks, there are so many choices that are possible road trips. Great Wolf Lodge, LEGOLAND, Dollywood, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios are just a few of the theme parks that would be perfect for your trip.
- Go camping. It’s never too soon to instill the love of the great outdoors in your children. Louisiana has so many beautiful state parks right here in our own backyard. Depending on how adventurous your little camper is, you can set up a tent almost anywhere, or choose a cabin and go “glamping” at a state park.
- Get to the Mountains. Mark your child’s milestone moment with a family milestone! Hike Clingman’s Dome, the highest point of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This is just one of the many family-friendly hikes in the Smokies. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge also provide the perfect mountain setting for a kindermoon.
- Hit the Beach. You don’t have to go far from home to get to the Gulf coast. In a few hours, you can have your toes in the sand at Ship Island or Margaritaville, or drive a little further to Orange Beach, Alabama or Destin, Florida.
- Keep it local. Pick a city in Louisiana and explore! From the Children’s Museum of Acadiana in Lafayette to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, our state’s rich culture is everywhere. Let your little ones soak it up on the Honey Island Swamp Tour or with a trip to Avery Island. Before your future kindergarteners begin their new adventure in school, choose your own new adventure in a part of Louisiana that you haven’t seen.
Remember, the important thing is not necessarily where you go, or what you do. What is important is the memories you make with the family that you’ve made. Don’t ever feel guilty about taking the time to find the beauty in a single moment and celebrate it. ■