It feels like it’s been forever since we just picked up and went somewhere for a weekend. When we first got together it felt like we were doing this all the time. Then, the kids’ needs were different – Dylan was happy to visit with Grandma for a weekend, Nyah’s schedule was much different and Bryan had a day off each week to move around as necessary. Since then we built our life together and with that comes more bills, more work and less time to run off just for the hell of it.
I think we’re finally coming back around. Spring break is coming up and I’m dying for a break. I started taking a look around for possible getaways….and was excited to find how many options we had available within 6 hours of Cleveland. There are the places we’ve been – Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Chicago, Grand Rapids. Then I realized Washington D.C. is only 6 hours from us, along with Buffalo, NY, Lexington, KY, the entire state of West Virginia, and Baltimore, MD.
While I was plotting things on google maps this morning I experimented just a little more and expanded the radius to roughly 7 hours drive time. This added Milwaukee, Philadelphia and New York to the list.
Now, 7 hours does take some work. It may require sharing driving, not stopping for food, a little entertainment for the kids. But it makes for a totally doable long-weekend: 2-3 hotel nights, probably 2.5 tanks of gas round trip, a couple days of meals and activities. Over the next few weeks I’m going to spend some extra time fleshing out potential itineraries and budgets and building a reference of potential getaways for us to choose from.
In the meantime, consider this. We have a membership to the Cleveland Natural History Museum which includes reciprocity at participating museums (I’m sure I’ve mentioned that at least once before). Here’s the list where we can get free admission at our 6 or 7 hour destinations:
- Indiana State Museum (Indianapolis)
- Science Central (Fort Wayne)
- Alder Planetarium (Chicago)
- Field Museum (Chicago)
- Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago)
- Cincinnati Museum Center
- COSI (Columbus)
- Imagination Station (Toledo)
- University of Michigan Natural History Museum (Ann Arbor)
- Grand Rapids Science Center
- Carnegie Museum of Science (Pittsburgh)
- Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
- Franklin Institute (Philadelphia)
- Buffalo Science Center
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (New York)
- Maryland Science Center (Baltimore)
Combined with a membership to the Cleveland Zoo and we can have free admission to the zoos in those corresponding cities (the exceptions being Indianapolis and New York and a limited 50% discount in Columbus) . That means our trips may now include just hotel and food, and maybe an additional attraction if we decide. That makes the idea even easier. Add a good, old cemetery and local brewery to the list and we’ll be on our way.
So, first stop Washington, D.C. Let’s see what we can up with.