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Family Friendly Road Trip to Getaway Beaver Creek

We know it can be hard keeping kids entertained during the car ride to our Outpost. That’s why we’ve put together our recommendations for the best places to stop along the way from Pittsburgh or Cleveland with your kiddos.

Attractions

White House Fruit Farm Youngstown, OH
~ 40 minutes from Outpost
This family-owned farm allows you to buy freshly picked berries, fruits, and vegetables, as well as sample some of their famed baked goods. The farm, 1.5 hours from Cleveland, offers year-round events, including summer crop picking and flower festivals.

Lanternman’s Mill Youngstown, OH
~ 45 minutes from Outpost
This peaceful park, 1.5 hours from Cleveland, is a great historical stop along the way. Best yet, it’s dog-friendly and features an old mill built in the 1840s and restored in the 1980s.

Fellows Riverside Gardens Youngstown, OH
~45 minutes from Outpost
This 12-acre free public garden boasts views of rose, annuals, perennials, and scenic vistas. With an attached education and visitor center, the garden is a beautiful and education place to stop along the way.

Fun Fore All Family Fun Park Cranberry Township, PA
~ 1 hour from Outpost
This park, just 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh and 1 hour east of Getaway Beaver Creek, has a little something for everyone. With arcade games, bumper boats, mini golf, rock climbing, and more, it’s the perfect place to stop and let your kids spend some energy before your family escape.

Akron Zoo Akron, OH
~1.5 hours from Outpost
Just 45 minutes south of Cleveland, this 50-acre non-profit zoo is home to over 700 animals and is sure to please the whole family.

Walks in the Woods

Mineral Springs Loop Trail
Hike Duration: 1.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
This easy loop trail, just 45 minutes from both Pittsburgh and the Outpost, features a waterfall and is recommended for families with young kids.

Hellbender Bluff Trail
Hike Duration: 3.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
This loop trail features lots of wildlife, including bald eagles and spring warblers, as well as wild flowers and mushrooms. Just 1 hour from Pittsburgh and 2 hours from Cleveland, it’s a great family-friendly hike to do once you’re close to Getaway Beaver Creek.

Food

Two Smart Cookies East Liverpool, OH
~ 5 minutes from Outpost
This nearby bakery is the perfect place to stop for some sweet treats right before you arrive or right after you leave our Outpost.

Shale Tavern and Grille
~ 10 minutes from Outpost
This tavern has all of your classic favorites, from chicken noodle soup to a barbecue bacon cheeseburger, so there’s sure to be something for every one in your group.

Mary’s Pizza Lisbon, OH
~ 20 minutes from the Outpost
If your family is hungry from the drive over, then this local pizza joint is an easy stop that’s sure to please.

Looking for our full list of attractions to explore around Getaway Beaver Creek? You can find it here.

Features

Teaching Balance in the Modern Age

Teaching is considered by some to be a thankless profession: though the hours seem short compared to other jobs, the reality is that it’s a tough gig to balance work and life with all the prep work: answering emails, updating the classroom website, entering data, lesson planning, preparing for meetings, and more.

Recently, one of our guests, Liz Orlando, an elementary school teacher and yoga instructor who lives just outside Boston, MA, wrote to us recounting her reflections on her trip. She told us about how teachers often feel the need “to disconnect from the world from time to time.”

Which makes sense as teaching in the digital age is tricky; technology has dominated our lives and now is an integral part of the classroom. There are technology specialists now – gone are the days of card catalogs –  and “it is remarkable how technology savvy a seven year old can be… it can be really difficult to capture students’ attention when you are competing with technology,” according to Liz.

Here are Liz’s top three lessons to teach kids about balance:

Slow down to speed up. By slowing down, you can do things once and do them correctly. By going too fast, we can make mistakes and then have to re-do work, which ultimately slows us down. We said that in our classroom all the time this year. So much so that a student brought in pencils with that phrase on them!

Slow down to speed up

Make decisions for what is best for you. With so much stimulation everywhere, it can be tough to prioritize what works for you. I’ve also been practicing saying “no,” meaning if it isn’t going to serve me, I let it pass. However, I’m also being mindful of saying “yes” when I think it might be a good opportunity for me to grow and try something new.

To have good friends, you must be a good friend. Practice kindness.  There are so many digital friends one can have, and technology allows us to connect in so many ways, but there is something about being in front of the people you love.  Carve out the time to really relish those moments, and set plans to do it again then and there.

Find balance in your own life

As the saying goes, it’s never too late to learn. After all, you don’t need to be a student to take a page out of Miss Orlando’s lesson plan and start learning about how to create balance in your own life. If you’re looking to slow down, prioritize yourself, and be a good friend, we know the perfect place to start.

For Your Free Time

Throwback Analog Activities For Kids

Most modern parents will tell you that the easiest way to placate a fussy child is with a smartphone. There are countless apps, YouTube videos, and educational games that can capture the attention of even the rowdiest toddler.

For generations, televisions were the stand-in home babysitters. Now, screens follow us everywhere: a 2017 study found that the amount of time young children in the United States spend with mobile screens has tripled in just four years—and that number is increasing.

Smartphone addiction impacts our brain and ability to focus, and the still-developing mind of a child is even more vulnerable. More time in front of screens also means less time for other activities, including playing outside, reading, or engaging in sports — which can negatively impact health and development.  

The solution?  Go retro with some of these fun analog activities with your kids to boost their brain development, increase their mental focus, and strengthen the bond between you —  all while having fun the good old-fashioned way.

Play a boardgame

Research shows that boardgames are one of the best things you can do to boost your child’s mental development. It teaches them logic and reasoning skills, it gives them an opportunity to learn how to win (or lose) gracefully, and it gives them space to practice critical thinking and/or spatial reasoning, depending on the game.

Even a game as simple as Go Fish can improve a child’s verbal communication skills and their focus and memory by requiring them to vocalize what they need, respond to others’ requests, and pay attention through people’s turns who are not their own.

Read together

Take turns reading a chapter out loud to one another, or read the same book side-by-side, one chapter at a time, discussing what happened at the end of each chapter.
This simple activity can help develop early analytical and critical thinking skills—no lesson plan necessary! Just ask them what they think about what happened, what they think will happen next, and how they feel about the book so far at the end of every chapter.  

Analog Toys

A nice option is to turn back to objects of distraction of yesteryear: think slinkys, Play-Doh, puppets, puzzles, bubbles, skipping rope, water balloons for summer, Twister and more.

The benefits of these throwback toys also extend to a sense of bonding. Show your child your favorite toy of your own childhood, and explain to them a time that wasn’t dominated by screens.

Explore nature

Spending time outdoors has been shown time and time again to support healthy development in a child – both mentally and physically.  

Physically, it’s great for kids to spend time running around outside. This is good for their heart, their lungs, and their growing muscles. Mentally, a child’s outlook on life as they grow older is greatly improved by spending time in nature. Studies show that even just taking a short walk every day boosts your mood and clarity of mind, which matters just as much for a child’s developing brain as it does for a stressed-out adult – maybe even more so.

Our ultimate recommendation?  Pack up your family, your favorite board games, comfortable shoes, and hit the road to unplug and escape to nature for a few days. You might have guessed that, though. For other recommendations, email them to us at [email protected]