Looking for more ways to truly experience U.S. culture this summer? We've got you covered! Check out some of our staff’s favorite American summer traditions!
Raleigh Local Coordinator, Au Pair USA
Attending a Bulls game is a highlight of summer in our area of North Carolina! The beautiful ballpark is in downtown Durham and offers a chance for au pairs and host families to take in this most American of traditions. They often have fireworks after the game.
We've had two Host Family days with the Durham/Chapel Hill and Raleigh clusters joining together for these events, and we've had a great time. My son has also really enjoyed these activities!
Communications Manager, InterExchange
The alarm sounds at precisely 4:00 a.m. on the morning of July 4. It's not a prank played on the guests who celebrated a bit too much the night before; the alarm is the only way to secure a spot along a packed parade route in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Most people don't encounter Bristol - a town of around 22,000 people along the coast of the smallest U.S. state - unless they're on their way to Boston or Providence. But Bristol's big claim to fame is hosting the oldest Fourth of July parade - 2017 marked the 232nd celebration - in the country. And for me, my extended family, and the thousands of people who cheer on the bands and floats in the annual festivities, it's the biggest party we'd never miss. And so my poor brother-in-law wakes before sunrise to save a spot for the family along the parade route.
Bristol is lovely spot to visit outside of the Fourth of July. Colt State Park has great views of the Narragansett Bay, and a stroll along Hope Street showcases quintessential New England charm. The town also boasts a large Portuguese-American population, so we always stop at Batista Bakery for malasadas. Because it's simply not an American holiday without a breakfast of fried dough topped with sugar.
International Relations Manager, Au Pair USA
Spending time outdoors is my favorite summer tradition, and my favorite way of doing this is by going camping! Back home in the Rocky Mountains, my family would load up the truck and drive out to one of the many national forests or parks in the area. Being cut off from the innumerable distractions in the modern day-to-day and reconnecting with loved ones made it easier to appreciate the warm weather and beautiful surroundings.
If you get too warm, you can cool off in a local lake, take a tour by kayak or, if you're feeling adventurous, hit rapids and go river rafting! Colorado is very sunny, but it still gets cold at night in the high country. This is perfect for building a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and playing games. At night, and 12,000 feet up (or 3650 meters up), you also have a front row seat to an amazing show of stars, free from any light pollution.
I've been camping since I was an infant, and I'm excited to now be taking my own nieces and nephew camping. We cultivate a love for nature and the environment and reinforcing our family's bonds with every trip.
Participant Services Manager, Au Pair USA
Summer in Brooklyn, New York is not complete without a trip to Coney Island. Heading down on the train for a day full of thrill rides and freak shows is always fun. My favorite time to go is slightly off-season for fewer crowds and crisp weather.
Baltimore Local Coordinator, Au Pair USA
Every year, I try to start the summer off with a barbecue and swim party. This year, the Baltimore cluster joined me at my son and daughter-in-law's house for a swim party and an American style barbecue. It was truly a family event. My husband did the cooking and each au pair brought something to share. Even the family dog, Jade, became part of the party. We had so much fun that my husband and I have invited my fabulous au pairs to join us for a day at our condo in Bethany Beach, Delaware in August.